I ordered a Scott Cao violin outfit from Fiddlershop. I realized after ordering that they were sending the instrument to my upstate NY home. I was worried about it being left outside (it's cold here in November, so I emailed them immediately to ask if they could please send it to my work address, which they agreed to do. Not long after, their customer service contacted me to tell me that they had sold out of the violin I wanted, but lucky me, they would send me one of their own violins as an "upgrade." I was suspicious, but at first agreed. But then I thought twice about it and asked about the next Cao model up. The response was that they were out of that too and were preparing to send the fiddlerman violin out that day, and then he assured me that it was about the same as the next step up Cao that I was considering. I again reluctantly agreed, but honestly, I don't feel good about it. Now that this other violin is on the way, I noticed that they shipped it to my house (instead of my work as I requested). I'm reserving final judgment on all of this until I get the violin, but thus far I am not happy. Mistakes happen, and this isn't the worst customer service I have ever gotten, but it hasn't been a great experience, either.
***UDATE*** So, I'm updating this review. All of the things that I mentioned above are true, and I wrote that when I was VERY uneasy about trusting their opinions on a substitute instrument. However, since then, they have contacted me several times to try to ease my concerns (I didn't respond because I wanted to wait and see what the violin was like before making a final decision). The violin arrived today. It was well packaged and is a nice instrument for the price, in a nice case, with a decent carbon fiber bow (usually I'm not a fan of them, but this one is good). It also came with a good cake of rosin (usually the rosin that comes with the instruments are terrible), and I'm pretty sure it has a new set of strings on it as well. They made good on it, given the issues I had. They did still ship it to the wrong address...it was left by my back door. But other than that, I'm happy. So four stars (instead of the initial 3). I will definitely give them another chance if I have additional violin related needs. :)