Don't buy from Platinum Stages

by Amber Rhea, September 3, 2007 - 2:32pm

I ordered a pole from Platinum Stages because that is where the poles at the new studio came from. Previously, I had planned to order from Markstaar, because that's where the poles at the old studio had come from; but I decided to go with Platinum Stages because I liked the ones at the new studio, and I knew they could provide very tall (over 12 feet) brass poles. I also thought it was a good thing that they focus specifically on dance poles (rather than generic brass tubing, like Markstaar).

As it turns out, Platinum Stages has terrible customer service and obviously does not care about "the little guy." They might be good for a studio that's ordering lots of stuff, but for an individual? All I can say is STAY AWAY.

The first time I called, I explained that I needed a tall pole and would be willing to bolt it to the ceiling (because I had a feeling it wouldn't work on pressure alone at that height) and asked if it was possible to get a pole that you bolt to the ceiling but not to the floor. Yes, in fact, it was - they had a "semi-removable" option. I said I thought the height was at least 12 feet, and asked if they needed the exact measurement to place my order, and the woman on the phone (I didn't make note of her name) said no, because the parts were "adjustable." I said I'd like to go ahead and place my order. The woman starts rattling off stuff like, "Okay, so one eight-foot piece + one four-foot piece... wait, let's do three four-foot pieces..." I stopped her and told her I was confused, what's all this about "pieces"? She said, "Oh, so you want a one-piece pole?" Well, I thought I had made that clear. That should have been a red flag right there. And really, it was, but still I thought they were the best place to order from.

So the woman on the phone told me that yes, I would need to know the exact measurement, but I could go ahead and order the ceiling mount, put it in place, and then measure based on that. Then I could call them back and tell them the measurement, and they'd take the cost of the mount out of the cost of the pole I ordered. I thought that sounded weird, but good. So I ordered the ceiling mount and after much futzing with FedEx, finally got it.

Rusty put up the ceiling mount and we measured: 12 feet, 10 inches. I called them back to order the pole, and again explained what I was looking for and the woman I spoke to this time said it was noted in the computer. I told her the height and he said the tallest pole "of that type" they make is 12 feet, so would need to order a custom one. She also said they'd just had a big order go out and it would be about 2 weeks before they'd have any more brass poles in stock, but it would ship as soon as possible. I said that was fine, and ordered. The cost was $470.50.

I waited about three weeks and the pole hadn't arrived yet, so I called Platinum Stages again. This time I spoke with a guy named Kevin. He said the type of pole I ordered wouldn't be available for about 3 months (!!!) but I could use a 12-foot pole just as easily, because the height is "adjustable" due to a coupler at the top. (It was about $40 cheaper, and they did refund that amount.) Already I was having a sense of forboding, and I asked him several times if he was sure it would work and be safe. He said yes, it would work, and it was the same kind he had at his place, same height and on a concrete floor.

Making some adjustments When the pole finally arrived, I was so excited I could hardly stand it. We went home to put it up and had some trouble getting the coupler to adjust to the proper height. A clamp and a wrench helped with that, but there were still other problems.

Now, at this point, I don't feel like detailing every little problem we had with installation... but let's just say, it took us a full month to get it to a point where we even felt marginally okay about it - and at that point, we had been on and off the phone with Kevin at Platinum Stages several times, and had ended up drilling a hole in the floor. (Because without anything bolting the base to the floor, any time I would throw my weight around it at all, the entire pole would dislodge from the floor. Not a good feeling. It was simply too tall to rely on pressure to hold it there.)

But even once it was bolted to the floor, it wasn't secure. The entire pole itself would twist if I did a spin. Kevin acted like he didn't believe Rusty or me when we told him this. He kept saying, "That shouldn't happen." We KNOW it shouldn't happen; that's why we're calling!

Gonna have to bolt it to the floor Finally, after a few more weeks, it was clear we were getting nowhere. We had tried everything and it was just not safe or secure. I was talking to one of my dance instructors and she acted very surprised that they had sold me that type of pole. She said for anything over 10 feet, it really needs to be a permanent pole mounted to the floor and ceiling.

But more than just that, we were convinced the pole was not only poorly designed, but flat-out defective. Rusty called to see if we could return it. But even the higher-up person he talked to (and rightfully cussed out) would just parrot, "Our return policy is 7 days, unopened."

What kind of idiotic policy is that? We wouldn't have known it was fucked-up without opening it and installing it!

So we're out almost $500 and that's that. We would take them to small claims court, but we'd have to go to California, and I'm not sure it's worth the headache. The main thing I want to do is make people aware of what happened. Once we buy a house or condo, we're going to have a permanent pole installed, and I will NOT be purchasing it from Platinum Stages.

I strongly recommend that anyone looking to install a pole in their home NOT buy from Platinum Stages. You may get an unsafe, defective pole, have them disbelieve the problem as you explain it over the phone multiple times in great detail, and not be able to return or get a refund for the defective product.

[Cross-posted at Being Amber Rhea]

Tags: consumer stuff, FYI, Platinum Stages, pole dancing

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