Bankruptcy warranty service

Doc Richards

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Don't post much here, never had much of a reason. Bought a new black Memphis VOS ES-355 with Bigsby in March of 2017 (just like keef's), played it gently... I've long since given up guitar acrobatics. I'm sitting in rehearsal one Sunday and suddenly none of my notes are voicing properly. I look down the neck and the guitar looks like a bow out of a B-grade western. I take to my local luthier who tells me the problem is beyond his pay grade. I bought this instrument from business in the Midwest that had a two year warranty above and beyond Gibson's. Called them, they sent me shipping labels and the fees for Fedex. The say they'll look at it and once they get it, it's a six day turn around. Okay, I have a paying gig coming up, but it should be back in time. They notify me they received it on May 20. On June 8, I get an email... the truss rod, or the neck has failed, this is a manufacturer's defect, they have to send it to the factory. Now, I'm concerned... I know I'm not getting this instrument back in the eight days I have left before the gig, but I also don't know when I'll be getting it back at all. I send a follow up message to the vendor's shop asking what kind of turn around can I expect with Gibson in Chapter 11? The vendor says there should be no problem, four weeks. I haven't survived into the middle of my sixties by believing every bit of crap they try to feed me, so I tighten my belt for the long haul. On July 8, I send a follow up message to the vendor asking if they have an update on my guitar. Now, you have to understand, I have had no communication at all with Gibson that they received this instrument for repair... I am relying solely on the word of my vendor. There is no response to my 7/8 message.
Four days later, I called the sales associate asking what gives. I receive two messages, one from the associate who says he contacted their repair shop and one from the shop foreman who said he contacted Gibson and my guitar was being put on a truck that afternoon and should arrive in 7-10 business days... this is on July 12. So I'm watching for an email from Fedex or UPS alerting me to the package and an approximate arrival day. Nothing. On July 17, I sent an email on their server to the VP Customer Service asking for a tracking number or any kind of information their company had on the whereabouts of my instrument. No response. On July 20, two days short of sixty days since this whole process began, I called the sales associate supervisor asking my questions and reminding him that a) the instrument was financed by my bank b) since none of his company's dates were correct, and no one seemed to know where my instrument was, I was going to have to report the instrument as stolen to my local police department and send copies of the report to his local department and to Memphis, too. The supervisor apologized for the poor communication, and I pointed out that his repair shop foreman had flat out lied to me. I said I simply want to know where this guitar was. On July 22, I got a call from my sales associate telling me they had located my guitar at the Memphis factory, there had a mix up with the RMA number it had been shipped to the factory under. Great... when will I get it back? He couldn't say. I asked if they were changing the neck or repairing the truss rod and truing the neck. He didn't know, but he said he'd call me back if he could get the information from Gibson. On July 26, I got an email with a Fedex tracking number from Gibson. Okay, I'm just anticipating getting it back now. The guitar arrived on the 28th... it wasn't my guitar... different serial number. I start going through the packing and I find the factory had removed the pick ups, truss rod cover, roller bridge... in short all of the accessories I had put on my original guitar, and they shipped another instrument from their Beale Street Showcase. Now, you better believe I put that guitar through its paces before I accepted the replacement. I still let the vendor know I was not happy with the process, nor the fact that I didn't get an explanation from Gibson about why they chose to eat my guitar and send a replacement... or that I ended up having to spend a couple hours re-outfitting the replacement with the accessories from the original guitar. Long story short, see if you can get your vendor to convince Gibson to authorize repairs locally whenever possible. Bankruptcy IS DEFINITELY affecting service at the factory. I removed the names of the businesses and individuals, not to protect anyone but as a reminder you can put any business or individuals name with this s**t storm and there was still a $5000 guitar floating around out there with no responsible party with answers.
 

budg

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That sucks , but glad Gibson stepped up in the end. Communicating through a 3 party is frustrating.
 

Rocco Crocco

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I've read stories about Gibson simply replacing defective guitars without explanation, going back long before the bankruptcy bizzness.

I'd be happy they took care of you.
 

Subterfuge

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sounds like a friggin' nightmare to be honest ...
 

mdubya

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I am not surprised by that story at all. Warranty problems suck for everyone: you, the vendor, the manu. I am also not the least bit surprised they sent you a new/different guitar. I would feel lucky that they returned your aftermarket goodies and didn't use them as an excuse to reject your warranty.

Also: :photos::photos::photos::photos::photos:
 

mdubya

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This feels like a proper Friday thread. :beer: :hippie:
 

Doc Richards

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If Gibson's warranty is "lifetime", why did you purchase one that's good for two years after you die?
No, under the vendor warranty, you have to return it to the vendor's repair shop BEFORE you contact Gibson. BTW the Gibson lifetime warranty is not your lifetime, it's theirs.
 

Doc Richards

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I am not surprised by that story at all. Warranty problems suck for everyone: you, the vendor, the manu. I am also not the least bit surprised they sent you a new/different guitar. I would feel lucky that they returned your aftermarket goodies and didn't use them as an excuse to reject your warranty.

If they would reject a warranty service, particularly a defective neck or truss rod because the guitar has a personalized truss rod cover, New pickup rings and speed knobs, they've forgotten customer service pays the bills and need to go out of business. If my tranny went out on my Ford, I'd replaced the rims and they refused to do the repair, I'd be in the front office too. Roll over and get what you get.
Also: :photos::photos::photos::photos::photos:
 

budg

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I know Martins warranty used to be the life of the instrument , but they changed it to include the original owner only.
 

wmachine

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No, under the vendor warranty, you have to return it to the vendor's repair shop BEFORE you contact Gibson. BTW the Gibson lifetime warranty is not your lifetime, it's theirs.
Neither one of those sentences make sense to me. Why would a vendor even want to get in the middle of that?
All's well that ends well.
Doc, you should understand why they did not put "your" parts back on it. What the did sending them back separate is 100% proper. They were more than reasonable not using the mods to reject coverage.
 

Dave_W

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This has absolutely nothing to do with Gibson's Chapter 11. It's business as usual.

Your big mistake was contacting the vendor. Gibson's warranty repair is done through a Gibson-authorized local repair shop. Period. You take it to the authorized service place, they determine what needs to be done, they contact Gibson (usually sending photos). Then, assuming it's covered by the warranty, Gibson either authorizes the repair to be done locally at the service shop or, if the whole guitar needs replacing, the local shop has to send it to Gibson for replacement, who then sends the replacement back to the service shop.

This takes at least a couple of weeks if it's a repair. If it needs replacing, it will take at least a month. That's the way it i. Been there, done that.

Your vendor was extremely foolish to promise that kind of turnaround without knowing whether or not they could fix it in-house. If they then sent it directly to Gibson rather than the nearest service center, that probably caused even more of a delay.
 

brokentoeswalker

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I'd get whatever you can out of them ASAP. In Canada if you buy a Gibson the "Lifetime" warranty is for 1 year through the Gibson distributor (Yorkville). I'm sure this was to maximize profits for everyone. I'm sure most other countries outside the U.S. are similar. Do what you need to do.
 

mrfett

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there have been cases of warranties not being honored because the guitar was modified. it was really cool of them to return all your parts to you, that was good service. the only bad part was the communication from your shop, they should've know it could take over a month.

glad you got the guitar, thanks for sharing your story. it's nice to know Gibson is still taking care of their customers and also that if something catastrophic happens, you need to be prepared to be without the guitar for a couple months.

pics please!
 

Seven

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Midwest, 2 year warranty, sounds like Sweetwater.

This has absolutely nothing to do with Gibson's Chapter 11. It's business as usual.

Your big mistake was contacting the vendor. Gibson's warranty repair is done through a Gibson-authorized local repair shop. Period. You take it to the authorized service place, they determine what needs to be done, they contact Gibson (usually sending photos). Then, assuming it's covered by the warranty, Gibson either authorizes the repair to be done locally at the service shop or, if the whole guitar needs replacing, the local shop has to send it to Gibson for replacement, who then sends the replacement back to the service shop.

This takes at least a couple of weeks if it's a repair. If it needs replacing, it will take at least a month. That's the way it i. Been there, done that.

Your vendor was extremely foolish to promise that kind of turnaround without knowing whether or not they could fix it in-house. If they then sent it directly to Gibson rather than the nearest service center, that probably caused even more of a delay.

This^^

I'm lucky to have a luthier that is a Gibson authorized shop not to far from me.
 

moreles

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WMachine is right about mods. They can easily be considered as voiding the warranty. Sorry about your experience. It shows clearly how nobody in this group of businesses cares about the customer, or even doing a good job themselves. They just don't. If they did, or if they actually wanted t help you, things would have unfolded differently. These boards are full of threads in which customers say they've been screwed, complain and complain, but then go on to say how they held on to the guitar, or tried to fix it themselves, or kept it anyway, etc., actions which all only serve to encourage companies to believe that if they make it hard enough to get service, and if the service is poor, then maybe customers will just eat it and leave them alone. I'm glad you got a new guitar -- not a surprise, as the neck problem is just about KOD -- but to be honest, they should have done more for you given the loss of use, the inconvenience, and the dishonest handling.
 

wmachine

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If a manufacturer tries to push that line, push back, with a reference to the Magnuson–Moss Warranty Act of 1975.
I'm no lawyer....................,
Sure "that makes sense". But making sense is not part of the real world process.
Push back? You mean ask again? You seriously think citing anything would change their mind?
Okay, take it to court and you may win. Oops, if you take it to court you already lost.
Once again, being "right" is not enough. There is a lot more money in cars, and a lot more cars.
You won't see a class action suit against a guitar maker challenging warranty wording.
 
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wmachine

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Fair. but the Magnuson Moss Act isn't just for cars.

With a $5,000 guitar... I'd at least get a lawyer to send a letter.


That said, i think this worked out OK for Doc. I've had a Jeep gone an entire summer, dealing with warranty issues, and a Suzuki gone a year. And during the year, the warranty ended up covering nothing.
The best advice I got from lawyers was "Avoid lawyers". Not being a smartass, but it means conduct yourself and your business in a manor that you won't need a lawyer. Remember the old traffic safety ad, "Dead right"? Sure you can be right, but at what cost?
I don't go through life having to prove I'm right.
 

RicOkc

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My best friend is a luthier and a Gibson guitar warranty repair guy.

He had been sent checks from Gibson for repair work done, deposited the checks to his bank account, and was informed by his bank that Gibson had put "Stop payment" on their checks.

Since Gibson has been going through bankruptcy they stopped payments on checks they had issued.

What a way to run a business!
 


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