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Shop apparently lost my AJ


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Took my AJ in for some fretwork because it had some high frets and the setup could be better, so I figured a level would be in order. There's a local luthier who has his own shop in my area and also works in a shop int he city, but he lives literally a few minutes from my place so I dropped the guitar off at his house. I perviously took a guitar to him for some warranty work and he did an absolutely incredible job. Agreed that he'd be taking the guitar to the shop in the city this time because they had a PLEK machine. Had been about 6 weeks since dropping off the AJ and hadn't heard back. After about 4 weeks I sent a very polite email just asking for a status update, understanding I know he's a super busy guy. No answer. After another friendly email and a voicemail still no reply. So I called the shop he occasionally works out of asking if they could get in touch with him and reinforced the fact that I think he does amazing work, but haven't heard form him since leaving the guitar with him 6 weeks ago, and I just want to come get the guitar, regardless of if it's finished or not. About an hour later I get a call from him profusely apologizing, telling me that the guitar had been "lost" in the shuffle between his house and the shop in the city and until this morning he couldn't find it. Told me it was ready and I could pick it up tomorrow morning at 9am.

 

I'm torn because I still have my J45TV I want to get set up, and have ben two two previous techs in my area who have done less than desirable work, but this current guy is amazing. Not sure if I believe that the guitar was really lost, or what happened, but communication is key for me. At least be honest with me. $h!t happens and if the guitar was lost I'd be super bummed, but it's not the end of the world and we would have figured it out. But ignoring my emails and voicemail are pretty much unacceptable.

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My guess is that he "lost" it in his backlog of work and forgot about it until you rattled his cage. I've had a similar thing happen with me. Guy is super busy and super good. Somehow, your guitar got lost in the shuffle. I bet if you take another to him, which I would, it gets done in super quick order.... :rolleyes:

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No, it doesn't. Not with a proper luthier.

 

 

I was not speaking of luthiers in particular. I was speaking about small shops that do specialty work. The squeaky wheel gets the grease, and if you don't keep the pressure on, your work may go to the bottom of the list.

 

As I said, it happens all the time.

 

The guy that works on my guitars is very responsive. He doesn't always tell you exactly when the work is going to be done, but he has always done things in a rational timeframe. He's one of the best, and the guitars that come into his shop are pretty mind-boggling. I'm happy he's willing to take the time to work on my guitars.

 

You have to be pretty flexible when working with guys who are in high demand.

 

At least that's been my experience.

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.

I've never had an experience like that. Seems to me the guy is prioritizing certain clients over others. I've got a friend that likes to use a well known luthier that does work for famous clients and he's up front with it - those guys get top priority. I've seen my buddy wait two, three, four months or more for work from this luthier, but he really likes the quality or the work - so puts up with the delays.

 

 

.

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Just to clarify, the guitar wasn't lost in his backlog of work, he said it was literally lost, as in he could not find the guitar. He said they tore both shops apart and he also searched his home and could not find it until today. This is what he told me and was very apologetic.

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Just to clarify, the guitar wasn't lost in his backlog of work, he said it was literally lost, as in he could not find the guitar. He said they tore both shops apart and he also searched his home and could not find it until today. This is what he told me and was very apologetic.

 

I'm glad he found it, I'm sure that wasn't a good thing to hear about a guitar like that at first. Take the next one to him, he'll take great care of you from now on!

 

rct

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Well, the way I see it there are two ways I would look at it. First, I could be close-minded and decide that the sin was too great and once bitten, twice shy. Or I could keep an open mind and accept that people make mistakes without intent to harm. I probably wouldn't have returned your call either! You would be mad at me until I found it. How would that help? It might have been the best of all possible options. I bet you'll get GOOD service next time!

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I'm glad he found it, I'm sure that wasn't a good thing to hear about a guitar like that at first. Take the next one to him, he'll take great care of you from now on!

 

rct

 

Pretty much what I was thinking. He seems legit. He's a busy guy. He builds incredible instruments and does great work. The best guy I've found in my area since moving out here about 2 years ago.

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Well, the way I see it there are two ways I would look at it. First, I could be close-minded and decide that the sin was too great and once bitten, twice shy. Or I could keep an open mind and accept that people make mistakes without intent to harm. I probably wouldn't have returned your call either! You would be mad at me until I found it. How would that help? It might have been the best of all possible options. I bet you'll get GOOD service next time!

 

See, that's where I disagree. But then again, I may be different than most people. I'm a pediatric ER nurse, so unless someone died, I am usually pretty understanding. If he would have returned my calls or emails and told me what was going on, sure I'd be upset, but I'd be pretty understanding and say well lets just talk about how we can work this out. NOT calling or avoiding the situation is where you start to lose respect for someone. In my line of work I'm always upfront and 100% honest with the patient/parent of my patient. If I make a mistake I own up to it and do not try to cover it up. Once you lie to someone or try to skirt the situation you've automatically lost them forever and they'll never trust you again. Everything you do after that is suspect.

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Just to clarify, the guitar wasn't lost in his backlog of work, he said it was literally lost, as in he could not find the guitar. He said they tore both shops apart and he also searched his home and could not find it until today. This is what he told me and was very apologetic.

 

Whoa, that might change my attitude about the guy. How can you literally lose a guitar? Did he ever explain how and where it was found?

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Whoa, that might change my attitude about the guy. How can you literally lose a guitar? Did he ever explain how and where it was found?

Yeah. A no-response to messages is rude enough to make me angry, but losing someone's guitar is another thing indeed. Could elaborate, but doubt it's necessary😮

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That is a crazy story. I'm glad it worked out for you. Waiting six weeks for a good luthier to do a repair is one thing. But not returning phone calls and losing a guitar (even temporarily) would be a deal breaker for me.

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I'm going to take my J45TV to him tomorrow for a a basic setup. Actually it just needs some attention to the nut slots. Previous owner cut a couple slots just a tad too low and I don't feel like dealing with it. We'll see how long it takes and how that goes. If it's a reasonable turnaround I'll forgive him. Everyone makes mistakes.

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If I were to wager a guess:

 

It's quite possible that leaving the guitar at his house was a factor in the overall screw up.

 

This created an extra step for the repair guy, and as soon as something changes from the everyday routine of things, probabilities increase that something will go wrong or get missed.

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Happened to me once. I took my HD28 to Mandolin Bros for Warranty work. This was years ago. Stan was still there and ok. They suggested I send it to Martin since I was the original owner and Mandolin guys thought it would be a better job because some finish work needed to be done which they couldn't do. They said they would ship it for me.

 

Several weeks went by and I called Martin to see how things were going. They didn't have my guitar. Never got it. Called Mandolin Bros. it was still in their basement.

 

That didn't turn me off to them. They apologized and didn't charge me for any shipping. The guitar finally got fixed correctly, but it did take a loooooong time.

 

Rich

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Kidding aside - I sent a Gibson SJ200 back to Gibson to fix a lifting bridge - I want to say this was circa 1999. They misplaced the guitar. Couldnt find it.

 

Gibson sent me a NEW SJ200 with no whining, but with a smile. That told me everything I needed to know about how great a crew the Bozemon folks are.

 

I have bought a half dozen new Gibsons since - maybe more.

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Kidding aside - I sent a Gibson SJ200 back to Gibson to fix a lifting bridge - I want to say this was circa 1999. They misplaced the guitar. Couldnt find it.

 

Gibson sent me a NEW SJ200 with no whining, but with a smile. That told me everything I needed to know about how great a crew the Bozemon folks are.

 

I have bought a half dozen new Gibsons since - maybe more.

 

I didn't know you'd been down the j200 road Sal

Why'd ya sell it ?

Too big ? Didn't like the sound ?

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At this point in my life, Grunt, I was the father of smaller kids... coaching sports... I made more money... bought the J200 on a whim, and played it once a month alongside my Tak.

 

The beginning of my buying and selling for "legitimate reasons" started in 2011 maybe... Hahaha.

 

I remember the J200 as being drop dead gorgeous - but dont remember the sound. I understand the sound now, as I have played a dozen of them in shops over the last five years, but never was particularly moved.

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