Der is right, I've been to Guitar Center to get guitar strings and such for my son. I got to know a manager there. Really nice guy.
I went to Sam Ash where I took my son's Fender 1966 Mustang to get it re-ferreted. I also new a guy there that worked a Manny's Music (One of the biggest music stores in NYC). They where bought over by Sam Ash.
I met up with the manager from Guitar Center who quit the store, he was the guitar section manager at Sam Ash. I've always been treated like a musician and with respect at Sam Ash. Whether just buying sticks or strings or what ever I need. Good Courtesy and respect always gets the customers back over trying to make a commission.
Bottom line: Guitar Center is always trying to push what their over stock is. That is not a musically oriented in my book. I always knew more about the product, than whatever they tried to sell me. Especially the Amps from the old days. They had no idea that I repaired lots of equipment in the old days.
Now I have two friends at Sam Ash.
Another thing is that if you try ordering online from Guitar Center, you end up ordering from Musiciansfriend.com
Keep on trying stuff before you buy. Remember that after you pay, it's yours before you even leave the store.