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Discussion Starter #1
Okay...I have settled down enough to hammer out this message. I just got my new Washburn J12SN acoustic back tonight after a week in the shop for a set-up. I am not unhappy about the turn-around time, or the actual job done.

I am a little annoyed however, that the guitar came back to me looking like every inch of it had been rubbed down with a dirty dish cloth and that there is a new 1.5 cm scratch on the top side of the neck where it joins the body. It also looks like somebody "decided to go all Dave Matthews meets Lars Ulrich with a PICK on MY GUITAR!" to quote Alathea in a different thread. There are plenty of pick mark scratches on the top of the guitar near the soundhole, and I am not a heavy strummer (still working on the flatpicking). Part of the appeal of this guitar to me is that there was no pick guard.

I know this isn't a high-end safe queen, but never-the-less...its MY GUITAR. I sent it in for a complimentary warranty set-up expecting it to come back better. Needless to say, I am a little frustrated with the store's contract guitar technician.

What (if anything) would you do if you were in my shoes? Should I demand compensation for damage? What can I reasonably expect from the store...besides indifference.

Best regards,
 

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If nothing else, the management or owner of the store needs to be informed of this. They may end up doing nothing, but I would certainly make sure they knew that I was extremely upset with it and ask that something be done. If they refuse then make sure they know that you are done with them and will be letting everyone else you know what happened.

I am betting that if you talk directly to the owner that they will at least try to buff those scratches out and clean the guitar.

It's an unfortunate and frustrating experience, hope you get some resolution.
 

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Man that sucks. What store was it cause imlookin at sending my guitar in soon and there is no way in hell im taking it to the same store you went to .
 

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There is a long forgotten saying......."the customer is always right". When did you notice the problems? After you got home? If it was me, I'd be right back to the store with the guitar and talk to the owner. If he didn't budge, I'd stay in his face until i got satisfaction. If he still won't fix it, start a blog somewhere and show him the link. He has his reputation to consider. There is another old saying...."the squeaky wheel gets the grease". Don't give up until you're satisfied.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
OK great, but what to ask for?

Thank you all for your support. I will keep you posted and respond in greater detail later...I'm at work right now.

This is all good, about demanding justice, but what do you guys think I should ask for? Repair, replacement, goodies, the next model up, cash, an apology?
 

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lolligagger said:
I know this isn't a high-end safe queen, but never-the-less...its MY GUITAR. I sent it in for a complimentary warranty set-up expecting it to come back better.
I think this is going to have to be your call.
 

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Unlikely you will get a new guitar out of it. I would tell the owner/manager that I brought the guitar in there in good faith expecting that it would be returned to me in the condition that I dropped it off. Point out every area that you have concern with and ask him what he can do about it. If he tells you to piss off, then I would let him know that the treatment you recieved will not go unpunished. If it's a chain, write them a letter or email. If it's a mom and pop shop in a small town, I can't see them letting you go unhappy. The least you can expect is a cleaning and buffing.

I had an experience a few years back at Thorold music. Now these guys have been around since Jesus was a little fella, and I have shopped in there for probably 35 years, I played drums when I was kid and my Father played trumpet in bands for years. We were in there many many times. Not one of them, the old man or the two sons would ever recognize you when you came in, or at least never acknowledge the fact that you were a repeat and local customer. I went in there a few years back to order a trem arm for an Ibanez I was working on. The kid at the counter looked it up for me and quoted me something like $8.00 so I said order it. I went in later to get it and the owner was there and said here you go $21.00. Of course I said I am not paying, he freaked out ON ME !!! I told him what I was quoted and by whom... he made the whole thing look like I was trying to rip HIM off.

Well let me tell you there was hell to pay that day and I am sure he has never forgotten it. I have never been in there since and I must have told 100 people that story and told them stay away. I started to go out to Central in Welland and within 2 months Bill/Bob and even the old lady was calling me by my first name and asking how the wife and kids were. They let me take home $2500 guitars to try on my own rig, amps, whatever. Thats service.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks to all for your responses...I posted on another message board as well and received comments ranging from let em hang to let it be. I'm sure there's a song in there, somewhere. :)

I took the guitar in today, but the manager was out of the store. I expressed my disappointment with the condition that my guitar was returned to me. The second in command was shocked by the damages, and apologetic. He agreed they would make it right, but I will have to wait until Monday for a decision from the boss as to what exactly will be done.

Honestly, I am willing to walk away from the guitar at this point...and I let them know this today. It really is a matter of principle...and respect. If this was a new car going into the shop for first servicing and a mechanic left oil stains on the seat, tool scratches on the hood and drove it down a gravel road at high speed leaving rock chips up the fenders a person would have every right to be angry...which I am.

If I caused the damage, then I would agree that I should let it be. Just play the damn thing, stop pissing and moaning, chalk it up to experience and get over it...but this isn't the case, and its not how I feel on the subject.
 

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lolligagger said:
The second in command was shocked by the damages, and apologetic. He agreed they would make it right, but I will have to wait until Monday for a decision from the boss as to what exactly will be done.
Well at least its a start.

lolligagger said:
Honestly, I am willing to walk away from the guitar at this point...and I let them know this today. It really is a matter of principle...and respect.
I can understand your frustration. See what happens Monday.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Disappointed, but not surprised...

The assistant store manager called me at work today to let me know they had the problems all fixed. Of course I was a little skeptical, but hurried over to the store after work to check things out.

Of course I was disappointed, but not surprised...my 6 year old daughter does a better job of cleaning her mess off our glass kitchen table top than their in-store guitar guy (different person than the tech who did the damage in the first place) cleaned the mess from my guitar. The scratches around the sound hole are still there, and they told me they simply couldn't fix the scraches on the neck. Bottom line, they were satisfied that they had done their best, and I would simply have to accept this.

I let them know that I was most seriously displeased, the service was poor, and that they should consider finding another tech. I also let them know that I was in another guitar shop on the weekend and overheard some women lamenting almost the same storey as me (no shit). The assistant manager started making up some storey about how lame this other person's complaint was, so I told him I wasn't interested in excuses picked up my axe and walked out...probably for the last time.

I don't expect they will be calling me, but I am tempted to phone the Manager to express my disappointment.
 

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lolligagger said:
The assistant store manager called me at work today to let me know they had the problems all fixed. Of course I was a little skeptical, but hurried over to the store after work to check things out.

Of course I was disappointed, but not surprised...my 6 year old daughter does a better job of cleaning her mess off our glass kitchen table top than their in-store guitar guy (different person than the tech who did the damage in the first place) cleaned the mess from my guitar. The scratches around the sound hole are still there, and they told me they simply couldn't fix the scraches on the neck. Bottom line, they were satisfied that they had done their best, and I would simply have to accept this.

I let them know that I was most seriously displeased, the service was poor, and that they should consider finding another tech. I also let them know that I was in another guitar shop on the weekend and overheard some women lamenting almost the same storey as me (no shit). The assistant manager started making up some storey about how lame this other person's complaint was, so I told him I wasn't interested in excuses picked up my axe and walked out...probably for the last time.

I don't expect they will be calling me, but I am tempted to phone the Manager to express my disappointment.
You did good. Sometimes the only way to really hurt them is staying away. Make sure they know you wont be back, nor will your friends, if you can help. Dissapointing for you. Hope the next house does a better job.
 

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Sure am sorry to hear about your experience. A little advice if I may. Whenever I take an instrument into a shop for any work etc I always speak to the manager / owner first and ask about their policy on any damages incurred while on their premises. If they have it I get it in writing.
My next step is to take photos of the instrument from all angles and date them with the camera option. I also ask for a referral sheet ( past customers with some experience ). If they don't satisfy my initial requests, ADIOS.

I do all of this only because of what I've heard over the years from other musicians and their experiences with this very problem. There have been some real horror stories over the years.
I personally would'nt let them off the hook to easily as the next customer may get the same treatment and so on and so on.

Gplayer :food-smiley-004:

P.S. You never did mention the store name.
 

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What a sad story... Like the other guy said, post the name of the store here to let everyone know where to NOT GO for guitar repairs... I'm lucky I deal with a great luthier 15 minutes from my place... 5 or 6 years ago, I was shopping for a PRS Swamp Ash Special here in Montreal, so I went to the only 3 PRS dealers in town and I found what I needed at Italmelodie on Jean Talon Street. I gave the clerk $200 to take the guitar off the shelves and told him I was coming back on thursday with the rest of the money to take it home. So I did, I came back with the money as promised. I was buying a $2800 guitar and that same clerk did not recognize me when I walked in. I also asked for a setup (change of strings, bridge height, etc) - which I think is kinda normal for an instrument of that price. They gave me the guitar, no setup was made because of the "busy" schedule of the store technician. So I said fine and paid for the instrument. They looked at me like I was buying a $10 pack of strings when I handed them the rest of the money ($2600 or so). That did it for me, I freaked out totally and said to the clerk and the rest of the store: "man, I'm giving you a part of my annual income, I chose your store over 2 others because I kinda trusted you and the service, but I just realize that you DON'T CARE about customers." I paid, grabbed the PRS and walked away and never came back. Italmelodie is one of the biggest music store in Montreal and they tend to treat customers like shit, like a number. I can't understand why so many people still go there.
 

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dufe32 said:
I can't understand why so many people still go there.

I can't understand why you still paid for it after them not doing the service on the guitar that was promised. I would simply have asked for my deposit back and gone somewhere else.
And with the original poster, I would not have let the store off so easy. I would have demanded something be done and would not have left the store so easily I would have made a very uncomfortable scene for them and I would have made sure to do it at their busiest time, say a Saturday. They may be minimizing the scratches on the guitar as nothing serious but see how they look at it if you ever tried to trade it in to them. All of a sudden those scratches will devalue the guitar by 70% in thier eyes. Nothing short of another guitar should have been acceptable.
I'd just like to give honorable mention to a guitar store in Cambridge that knows the meaning of service. Long & Mcquade in Cambridge (formerly Murch Music). I had bought a Martin HD28 from them about 2 years ago. After about 6 months the finish started to bubble. It was inspected and determined that it had to go back to the Martin factory for a full refinish. I was quite upset with having to lose my brand new guitar that I shelled out 3 grand for, for what turned out to be 8 months. I expressed displeasure to the manager, Steve. WIthout hesitation he said "Well I've got this 3 year old HD 35 sitting on the wall". "Here take it till your guitar comes back". I enjoyed playing that guitar for 8 months. It wasn't mine but I had a comparable guitar to play. Thats service.
 

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I bought the damn thing because there was none elsewhere and I had to wait up to 16 months to get one, that's why. Believe me I went close to cancel everything, even if they wouldn't give the deposit back but I spent quite some time reading informations about that particular model and that's what I wanted, especially the one in tri-tone sunburst and that store was the only one in Montreal to have one like I wanted. I left with the instrument and never went back to that store.
 
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