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Gibson Warranty Coverage


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After reading the Guitar Centre fiasco below,I would like to portray a example of great customer/warranty coverage.My J-35 was bought through Fullers and had to be returned there to determine issue prior to any claim. I honestly thought it would be a repair,the neck glue on top had released somewhat as the tongue extended over the body.Well it was handled through Jeremy(Fuller's) and Gibson and after two months a new guitar showed up at my door.Yeehaw! To clarify I posted this new J-35 to sell and was asked about the warranty.There is no warranty if you are not the original purchaser, this is the Gibson policy.That said the biggest dealer in Canada,Long and McQuade seems to be far less open to replacing new,original owner problem guitars.I did have a 94' Hummingbird that went through a myriad of repairs for a neck issue.It was handled by a repair person in Canada(who?no idea)and took six months on the first,and 3 months on the second.It was not right and considering what occured with Fullers interaction with Gibson,I'm suprised Long and McQuade could/would not do the same.It seemed often not that Gibson won't stand by their products,it is rather will the dealer make the effort to "make it right".I've only dealt with Fuller's and guitarsale in recent years and any issues I've had are taken care of. I think the problem lies in that many sellers and/or dealers decide that after the sale is made you are on your own,if a problem arises.That is a shame.


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My experience with Long and McQuade here in Canada is far different from your own. First off, you said you don't know where your guitar (the Hummingbird) went or who did the work: It is my understanding, at least in a current sense, that major work on any Long and McQuade customer's Martin or Gibson under warranty is usually done at Folkways in Guelph, Ontario. To put this straight, let me just say I would RATHER have my guitar fixed at folkways than at Bozeman - Folkways is that good.


The next suggestion you make is that Long and McQuade is reluctant to provide replacements, so I have a story for you to consider.


Right now, my Martin HD-28V is in Nazareth at the Martin factory for a neck reset. The guitar was not built properly at the factory, and I did not realize the neck was at the wrong angle when I purchased the guitar. Essentially, a guitar that is purpose built for medium strings has a different sight line than one built for lights. Myself, the sales people and even one of the repair technicians did not possess this knowledge so I purchased the guitar without understanding its issues.


A few months later, the action had raised -- and thinking it was an adjustment issue I sent the guitar to a local factory authorized Martin repair center for a setup. The luthier there told me the guitar needed a reset, but this person has a bit of a reputation for milking warranty work so I took the guitar back to the dealer. The dealer, Long and McQuade, set the guitar up for me with light strings (what I wanted to play on it at the time) and it came back fine, but intonation wasn't perfect so I started calling and writing to luthiers and eventually learned about the different geometry required for a medium gauge intended acoustic.


So, it was almost two years after purchase when I pressed the Long and McQuade store to send the guitar back to Martin. They did it without argument and as soon as the guitar was determined to be faulty by Martin I was offered a full refund of my entire purchase price and the taxes.


Further, it should be noted that the store I purchased the guitar from was not a Long and McQuade store. Shortly after I purchased the instrument, Long and McQuade bought my local chain (called Musicstop) -- so Long and McQuade is providing me with this excellent customer care even though they are not exactly responsible for my problems.


I would never hesitate to recommend Long and McQuade to any Canadian consumer. Indeed, you might have individual experiences that are less than positive, but I can personally assure you that the owners and senior managers of this music chain are very focused on the needs of their customers and are always willing to repair an error.

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I think the issue remains that often the service that is provided is who ,personally provides the logistics to get a repair performed.I assume that is the ability to maneuver within their own corporate structure to set things in action,"to make it right"per se. I am sure there are people who would swear by the Guitar Centre service and others that would just swear at them!

Personal assurances not needed for Long and McQuade,I just bought a Fender electric off them. This was done in Ontario with assurances if things were not right, just return the guitar in 30 days for a full refund at any store in Nova Scotia where I live.That is excellent coverage and was explained to me by someone who understood how and what to offer to seal the deal properly. Unfortunately when I had problems with my Hummingbird, I know that my guitar never made it to Folkways for a repair, I almost sprung for a 61' Tobaccoburst Hummingbird they had during my repair downtime. Initially I was told it was to go back to Bozeman for them to assess.That was plain incorrect by a salesperson who probably did not know what their company actually did in such cases. The store manager was the person to set the ball in motion. I just don't think at the time there was a set policy regarding repairing Gibson's, one that was standard through the company. I do know that I was told that an American bought Gibson would not be serviced in Canada, buyer beware. I've had others tell me that isn't so. Martin warranty is if you are the original owner they will direct you to a repair person, likely in your area, no matter what country/location where the guitar was bought. Transparency and standardized procedure is where it seems people often get stung,often on a individual basis.

I assume I did not ask enough questions.C'est la vie, next time I ask more questions. Where the guitars are is where I'll be,hence my return to Long and McQuade.

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