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Gibson put wrong guitar in box and other QC issues?


George London

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Ordered a new 2013 Gibson Les Paul Future Tribute recently from a major retailer and was surprised upon opening the factory sealed Gibson box to find that the guitar inside did not match either my order or the serial number/model information of the outside label. Someone at Nashville apparently confused the Les Paul Future Tribute with 57 classic pickups with the Les Paul 60's Tribute with Burstbuckers(?). To their credit, the finish (vintage sunburst) was correct. This is a slightly more expensive guitar and I got a real deal to begin with, so I have no problem with keeping what was in the box. I checked the guitar and it has a great buzz free action (even after lowering the strings to 4/64 on both sides). I was also happy to observe no sign of the dreaded Les Paul hump at the neck/ body joint, as well as a reasonably well crafted nut, straight bridge/tailpiece/pickups, and straight inlays.

 

The only significant flaws I could find were

 

1)two slight indentations on the edge of the TOM bridge where several of the strings had been resting as a result of the decision by some genius at Gibson to jack the bridge up so high that the strings press against the back edge of the bridge. Overall, a non issue for me, as it is almost impossible to see with strings installed.

 

2) Damn near EVERY SINGLE one of the seven screws holding in the plastic control plates at the back of the guitar was installed crookedly. I tried to gently back each of the screws out and reinstall them flush but each time they went back in at the same crooked angle. When you turn the guitar over and look at the control plates at an angle you can clearly see the twisted/angled screw heads one after the other. Lifting the guitar with the headstock pointed toward the sky and observing it straight on, the installation looks fairly normal, which is probably why it passed Gibson QC.

 

The guitar plays and sounds quite good and I did receive a more expensive guitar, so it's hard to justify returning it for a refund. Guys, I paid $549.00 out the door for this Les Paul, and it sounds like a $2000+ instrument. Meanwhile I have a retail receipt/invoice for a new Gibson guitar which does not match the model/serial number of the guitar I actually received in connection with the purchase. So I want to keep the guitar but at the same time I would like eventually to send it in to Gibson to have the crooked control plate screws corrected. Would I be correct in assuming that Gibson would refuse to honor the lifetime Warranty on this guitar, despite the fact that I purchased it new from a major retailer within the past two weeks?

 

Please give me some opinions as to which course of action would be best in this situation.

 

Some photos of the guitar, including the control plate screws.

 

http://s1167.photobucket.com/user/djs259/story

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Take it back and get the right guitar which you ordered, with all the correct documentation.

 

That will be far better in the long run IMO.

 

 

agreed

 

as of now seems doubtful a warranty would be honored due to you keeping the wrong guitar, if that is what you do

 

if they had sent you a lesser guitar by mistake surely you would know someone made a shipping mistake and return it for the right one you ordered

 

why should this situation be any different, unless of course you feel it worthwhile to take advantage of the error, ethics be damned, etc

 

not moralizing, just saying what I and jdgm would do, and likely quite a few other people.....

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There a little larceny in everyone's heart. But you should probably return it.

 

Not sure how much you may know about the different pickups? But there is considerable difference in the tone of the 57 classics and the Burstbuckers. If you ordered the one with the Burstbuckers for their tone, you will probalby be happier in the long run with that guitar.

 

As to the crooked screws - that is really a non-issue. They are self tapping and once they have been installed, that is the way they will always be. As long as they hold the cover on snugly and don't stick up to snag on things they should be fine.

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Contacted the retailer and was told by the customer service rep that if I decide to keep the guitar that there is nothing they can do about the warranty issue. He actually said "you can't have it both ways". The gist of his response was that if I wish to have the assurance of a lifetime warranty with Gibson then the only way they can do that for me is to send the right guitar. He didn't seem to indicate any problem with me keeping the guitar. They don't even have this model in their inventory (2013 Les Paul Tribute w/out Minitune) and the issue is clearly with Gibson. I'll give Gibson Customer Service a call after Christmas but in all honesty I don't expect to receive much more than the usual rude treatment for which they have become notorious of late. Last time I called Gibson about an issue with a guitar, the rep on the phone was very condescending and argumentative despite a concerted effort on my end to maintain a tone of fastidious politeness. For what it's worth, Fender customer service wasn't much nicer. Both seem to have a sort of "let them eat cake" attitude when it comes to customer complaints.

 

Anyway, in talking to the retail rep, I brought up the fact that, while I was sufficiently happy with the sound and playability of the 60's Tribute with Burstbuckers so as to put to rest any notion of returning the guitar, I did still miss the distinctive sound of the 57 classics I had been expecting. With that, he offered to sell me another for $549.00, and I accepted. So it looks as if I'm going to have two. Tee hee.

 

And no, I don't feel like I'm stealing.

 

Stealing is when you claim you never received the guitar and have your CC charge the amount back.

 

This is more like "bank error in your favor, collect XXX amount and pass go" in Monopoly.

 

Merry Christmas to all!

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Guest Farnsbarns

You don't have a lifetime warranty if purchased outside the US so nothing lost. You have no proof of purchase because you don't have the guitar you purchased so your statutory 1yr warranty is effected. You have every right, legal and moral, to keep what was delivered in fulfilment of your contract of sale if you choose, however.

 

I have to say, calling gibson "notorious" for poor service is unbelievable. You may have had a bad experience but the overwhelming consensus seems to be that they are incredible. The word notorious doesent fit, if anything their high level of service has been noted, repeatedly.

 

I notice you haven't expressed any dissatisfaction in your retailer, who, if what you say is true ("factory sealed box", although I struggle to understand how you could be sure), they obviously did no predelivery inspection or set up at all. That really blows goats and I would never accept that kind of shoddy service from any retailer. Who was it?

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Regardless of the law, there is such a thing as wrong and right.

 

There is also a difference between what you have a legal right to do, and what you can do and still be "ethical" about it.

 

Not saying I know what is right or wrong here. I also don't know what the price difference is between the two. I also don't know the details about who is out money from this "mistake".

 

From what I can tell, I might guess that if it was on Gibson's end, they might just gladly tell you to keep the guitar if there isn't enough difference to justify shipping cost. But I am not going to speak for them. Besides, while Gibson does seem to have good customer service, we don't buy or do business with G

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Regardless of the law, there is such a thing as wrong and right.

 

There is also a difference between what you have a legal right to do, and what you can do and still be "ethical" about it.

 

Not saying I know what is right or wrong here. I also don't know what the price difference is between the two. I also don't know the details about who is out money from this "mistake".

 

From what I can tell, I might guess that if it was on Gibson's end, they might just gladly tell you to keep the guitar if there isn't enough difference to justify shipping cost. But I am not going to speak for them. Besides, while Gibson does seem to have good customer service, we don't buy or do business with Gibson, we do it with dealers. If there is an issue, it's between you and the dealer, and a "mistake" on Gibson's part is between them and the dealer.

 

However, regarding the "crooked screws" on the back plates, that's a new one for me. I have NEVER heard of that being a requirement or an indication of quality or something requiring a fix. Looking at the pics you have a link to, I can't even really tell.

 

I have to say, I don't actually know just how crooked the screws you are referring to are, so I ain't saying you are wrong or right. But, if they aren't really that crooked, and you take the guitar somewhere to have it looked at AND want to keep a guitar that is more than you paid for, don't assume someone is being rude if they look at you a little funny.

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I'll give Gibson Customer Service a call after Christmas but in all honesty I don't expect to receive much more than the usual rude treatment for which they have become notorious of late. Last time I called Gibson about an issue with a guitar, the rep on the phone was very condescending and argumentative despite a concerted effort on my end to maintain a tone of fastidious politeness. For what it's worth, Fender customer service wasn't much nicer. Both seem to have a sort of "let them eat cake" attitude when it comes to customer complaints.

 

If you are having problems with multiple customer services perhaps the problem lies with you.

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Your warranty is from the manufacturer NOT the retailer

So don't let them scare you into returning it for that reason. If you took it to the store after 90 days for a warranty claim they would tell you to contact gibson directly anyway. So the store is only on the hook for 90 days. Register it with gibson - they track serial numbers so should know if it's legit and youre the first owner or not. Doesn't matter where you bought it from they should honor their warranty on their product. Document what you can in case they give you any issues but honestly it shouldn't be a problem.

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Mistakes happen. I would never keep a mistake unless I was explicitly offered the mistake by retailer. I've had double shipments and mistaken shipments in my favor and have had the senders respond both ways as far as whether or not to return items.

 

And you want the full warranty treatment as well?

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Contacted the retailer and was told by the customer service rep that if I decide to keep the guitar that there is nothing they can do about the warranty issue. He actually said "you can't have it both ways". The gist of his response was that if I wish to have the assurance of a lifetime warranty with Gibson then the only way they can do that for me is to send the right guitar. He didn't seem to indicate any problem with me keeping the guitar. They don't even have this model in their inventory (2013 Les Paul Tribute w/out Minitune) and the issue is clearly with Gibson. I'll give Gibson Customer Service a call after Christmas but in all honesty I don't expect to receive much more than the usual rude treatment for which they have become notorious of late. Last time I called Gibson about an issue with a guitar, the rep on the phone was very condescending and argumentative despite a concerted effort on my end to maintain a tone of fastidious politeness. For what it's worth, Fender customer service wasn't much nicer. Both seem to have a sort of "let them eat cake" attitude when it comes to customer complaints.

 

Anyway, in talking to the retail rep, I brought up the fact that, while I was sufficiently happy with the sound and playability of the 60's Tribute with Burstbuckers so as to put to rest any notion of returning the guitar, I did still miss the distinctive sound of the 57 classics I had been expecting. With that, he offered to sell me another for $549.00, and I accepted. So it looks as if I'm going to have two. Tee hee.

 

And no, I don't feel like I'm stealing.

 

Stealing is when you claim you never received the guitar and have your CC charge the amount back.

 

This is more like "bank error in your favor, collect XXX amount and pass go" in Monopoly.

 

Merry Christmas to all!

 

George I'm going to lock this thread, and send the link over to Gibson Customer Service. At this point this thread has served it's purpose B)

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