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Your viewpoint wanted on Gibson Warranty

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Back in January of this year I purchased a new SJ-200 from Best Buy in the Seattle area. Nice guitar! I noticed some strange discoloration on the saddle and nut (dark orange) and sent some pics to Gibson to see what was going on. Their response: "Totally normal." Whatever, but in taking the pics of the nut I saw that the tuning post's ( not the knobs ) gold plating is coming off, exposing the unplated redish colored metal underneath, something that in over 30 years of playing I've never experienced. I take really good care of my guitars. I sent pics and their response:

"Hi Kelly,

 

I sent the pictures to Montana. They replied the damage to the tuners comes from acid in people’s hands playing the guitar most likely at Best Buy. We are unable to cover this under the Gibson warranty. New tuners can be purchased through most authorized Gibson dealers.

 

 

 

 

 

Regards,

 

 

Gibson customer service"

 

What do you think? Is this the type of warranty response I should be receiving? I've never dealt with Gibson's warranty in the past so maybe this is the way they deal with problems? Your input is valued.

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First of all, this is crap. I would escalate up the food chain. There are Gibson staff that come into the forum, and they said they will help with individual cases such as yours. But you also may have some recourse with the manufacturer of the tuners, contact them and send them the pics, and say that Gibson is not honoring their warranty and see if they can help. Finger chemestry would NEVER cause plating to come off....tarnish maybe, but not flake off.....this is total crap.....unbelievable

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As far as the nut and saddle, assuming they're bone, a bit of colour is normal. My J-45's nut and saddle are more brown than white.

 

The tuning machines, though, interest me. If it is because of Best Buy handing, that's why I always buy from the back, whenever possible. It has to be a really sweaty guy or some really thin plating, though, to come off like that. What material is the plating - gold, chrome, or nickel?

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The Gibson warranty is garbage b/c they're the type of company that wants to get their stuff out there and have their dealers get in front of customers.

 

I know a friend who had a Santa Cruz or Collings... can't remember. His tuner was slight worn from a few years of playing and they mailed him a new one no questions asked. I've had similar experiences with Crown, SKB, Carvin, and Ebtech/Morley - some of it not even covered under warranty.

 

Don't get me wrong, Gibson makes great guitars... just don't expect much after it leaves the factory.

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The nut and saddle as Pohatu said - the nut on recent SJ-200s is bone.

 

The tuning machines - I'd like to see a pic or two. I've never heard of plating coming off like that so close to the purchase date of a new guitar. Of course I know that the purchase date has got nothing to do with the date the guitar left the factory. But inside the first year of original purchaser ownship? This sounds bad.

 

I've got a 2008 SJ-200 (purchased new) and the gold machines look brand new - it get's played and restrung a lot. I've got a 1998 guitar (used) with gold machines and they look brand new. No special care BTW. I've got a 1997 guitar (used) with gold machines and their posts look perfect - lots of gigs, lots of string changes. Now their button gold is showing a tad of wear, but the gold isn't worn through.

 

Gibson's response, especially in the first year of ownership, is quite disturbing. So I really would like to see a couple pics - possibly the ones you sent them - before I do any bashing.

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Thanks for the input! I am running out the door right now, but will post pics later. I think you all will be very interested in what you will see.

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I agree with the others. Color imperfections are normal, but plating coming off is a different problem all together. I would think that Gibson would respond to this quite differently. There's a big difference between tarnish and flaking. Did you notice the condition of the tuners when you purchased the guitar?

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I'm with ajsc, get in touch with the Gibson Acoustic folks located in Bozeman.

 

Much like the example that Exchanger mentioned, I have a Collings guitar and after owning it for ten years, one of the Waverly tuners started to exhibit a bit of play. In the overall scheme of things, this wasn't that big of a deal. Still, I contacted Collings to seek their advice. Well, at no charge to me they sent out a new replacement unit, no questions asked. When it arrived, I realized that they had sent a tuner for a slot-head model by mistake. So I called them up again and they promptly sent out another unit, this time the correct model, along with a free Collings Guitars cap as an apology for sending the wrong tuner the first time around. That's top notch customer service.

 

As you're the original owner of the guitar, my guess is that if you get in touch with the Acoustic Division directly, they'll make it right.

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Can't imagine how many more guitars Gibson would sell if they had a warranty like Martin?

 

 

 

??

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What do you think? Is this the type of warranty response I should be receiving? I've never dealt with Gibson's warranty in the past so maybe this is the way they deal with problems?

 

Hard to comment on this case in particular' date=' especially in the absence of photos, but I can make some general comments.

 

The Gibson warranty doesn't cover damage done after the guitar leaves the factory. Lots of people buy guitars and, after some length of time -- sometimes short, sometimes not so short -- have issues that they sincerely, but wrongly, believe to be due to "defects in materials or workmanship". Lots of these people attempt to make warranty claims, and have them denied. (At least initially.) It is also true that people make warranty claims that really are due to defects in materials or workmanship and have them denied. (At least initially.) There are way more of the former than the latter, because AFAICT Gibson only denies claims when someone there sincerely believes the issue is not covered by warranty.

 

Taking Roger at his word, I believe someone in Bozeman who's something of an expert looked at your pictures and thought they showed nothing more than damage done after the guitar shipped. (I don't take the acid hands part too seriously, having played telephone while sitting around the campfire in my youth.) That someone could be mistaken. If you're pretty sure you're right and (s)he's wrong -- expert or no, you have the advantage of being able to look right at the tuners rather than having to rely on photos -- there are two things you can try. One is to go to a Gibson Authorized Repair Facility, have the repair person assess the damage and, if (s)he agrees the plating is faulty, get Gibson to approve replacing them. This is easy -- provided the repair person agrees with you. The other is to start bugging Gibson Montana rather than Gibson CS. If you are persistent (and annoying [biggrin) enough, they will eventually either agree to have a look or just send you new tuners. (They will probably ask you to go to an Authorized Repair Facility as a first step, so you might as well do that before contacting them if you can or have a reasonable sounding reason why you can't if you can't.)

 

Do keep in mind, no matter how frustrating you find the process, that, if/when Gibson believes you have faulty tuners, you will get replacements. But also keep in mind that a sizable majority of people who appeal initial warranty claim refusals are trying to take unfair advantage of Gibson -- some knowingly, some quite unwittingly -- so it's not unreasonable of them to require you to prove your case.

 

Finally, when you hear about these glowing reports of warranty service people have received elsewhere, keep in mind that -- in all cases -- you are getting exactly what you paid for. Every guitar manufacturer figures in the average cost of warranty repairs when setting the price of the product. E.g., when you buy a new Martin, you are paying for a lifetime neck reset insurance policy. It's just that simple. They explicitly estimate the percentage of people who will hang onto the guitar long enough to need a neck reset and the cost of doing a neck reset when setting the guitar's price. If a company's marginal profit is small -- and average marginal profits for Gibson and Martin are both small -- it has to do this or it goes out of business. Martin is more liberal in interpreting the scope of the warranty than Gibson not because they're nicer guys, but because they require you to carry more insurance. This is sensible thing to do, IMHO, because it evidently results in greater customer satisfaction and improves Martin's reputation. But, when making a claim with either company, you're simply getting the level of warranty service that you paid for.

 

-- Bob R

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UPDATE:

Roger from customer service contacted me and asked for my address and said he would try to send out some tuners! I really appreciate his help with this and I will keep you all posted as to the outcome.

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SJ200TuningKeys002.jpg[/img]

Its hard to see in the pic but the plating is even coming off the tops of the posts.

So I'm sure Roger will take care of it, but I'll keep you posted!

Thanks again for all your input.

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What do you think? Is this the type of warranty response I should be receiving? I've never dealt with Gibson's warranty in the past so maybe this is the way they deal with problems? Your input is valued.

 

UPDATE:

Roger from customer service contacted me and asked for my address and said he would try to send out some tuners! I really appreciate his help with this and I will keep you all posted as to the outcome.

 

 

It sounds like Gibson is going to do the right thing for you and I think this is a case where they really deserve credit for looking out for the customer. If you take a look at the warranty that came with the guitar it's very clear about what repairs/replacements Gibson will cover. The section "This Warranty is Subject to the Following Limitations" reads as follows.....

 

#7 Normal wear and tear (i.e. worn frets, worn machine heads, worn plating, string replacement, scratched pickguards, or damages to or discoloration of the instrument finish for any reason).

 

#10 Cracking, discoloration or damage of any sort to the finish or plating for any reason.

 

They have no obligation to do anything, but Roger and the Bozeman crew have chosen to take care of the tuners. Gibson takes a lot of hits on the internet, some are deserved, but a lot really aren't. Based on their warranty obligation, this could have been a hit that wasn't deserved, but instead it's become a problem being solved. And it's a positive outcome that needs to be acknowledged!

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Glad to hear it. Looking at the pics, Gibson did the right thing here, as this is not something you would classify as worn plating, nor would I think this would be classified as "damage" if this phenomena is occurring on all of the posts, yet the face of the headstock looks minty. Simply put, that plating definitely looks defective.

 

It's really good to know that they're looking out for you on this one. This could have happened to any guitar (or guitar manufacturer for that matter) as it would appear that the fault here lies with the manufacturer of the tuners. Learning of stories like yours only increases the pride of ownership associated with playing Gibson acoustics.

 

Nicely done Gibson.

 

All the best,

Guth

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Perhaps we're seeing the benefits of having the Customer Service Team members here on the Forum with us! Looks like they did the right thing here. Worked out good for both parties involved!

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Can't imagine how many more guitars Gibson would sell if they had a warranty like Martin?

 

 

It means ............What does that mean??

 

[thumbup]

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It means ............What does that mean??

 

[biggrin]

 

Original thread asked for a viewpoint on Gibson warranty.

I posted my viewpoint.Don't know how clearer I could have stated it?

Sorry you didn't get it . :P

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xxx -

 

Thanks for posting the pic. I've never seen deterioration like that before, even on older specimens. Looks like maybe a problem with the plating process.

 

Glad to hear Customer Service is taking care of you, and a nod to Roger in C/S. I applaud Gibson for stepping up, overiding their warranty exclusions for this, and treating their customer well.

 

Good job Gibson C/S

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Back in January of this year I purchased a new SJ-200 from Best Buy ...

 

This is a statement I don't like to read...very sad...

 

I sent the pictures to Montana. They replied the damage to the tuners comes from acid in people’s hands playing the guitar most likely at Best Buy.

 

But this is the part that is troubling about the whole Best Buy/Big Box Shop dealer network.

 

What the heck does Gibson think is going to happen to their product in these kinds of stores? I understand that they don't want to pay warranty claims for damage that occurs after they sell/deliver the product...but don't they have enough respect for their customers (and their own product) to choose dealers that will at least try to get the guitars into customers hands in good shape?

 

I love a lot of Gibson's guitars but some of their business decisions are just asinine...

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Dotneck -

 

I'm defending Gibson on this one. The pic looks like a plating problem, not mishandling at the dealer. After some back and forth, Gibson C/S stepped up and took care of the customer.

 

Business decisions isn't the topic here.

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Dotneck -

 

I'm defending Gibson on this one. The pic looks like a plating problem' date=' not mishandling at the dealer. After some back and forth, Gibson C/S stepped up and took care of the customer.

 

Business decisions isn't the topic here.

 

 

[/quote']

 

Yup...you're right...Gibson CS did the right thing here.

 

I withdraw my comment about Gibson's crappy dealer situation....

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