Bass Manufacturer Situation

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Phil Smith, Sep 7, 2001.

  1. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    I purchased a used high end bass and it came with a custom inlay with the prior owner's name that I wanted to replaced with something more generic so that if I decided to sell the bass, I could get more money for it and if I decided to keep it...well I don't need to explain that. :D

    I not going to mention the name of the manufacture until the resolution of this. I'm posting this just to hear what some of you folks think about it.

    The manufacturer has had the bass for over a year now and everytime that I call, they keep telling me next week, two weeks from now, etc, etc, etc... This has really perplexed me because like I said this is a very well known manufacturer of high end basses. I'm not too stressed about because I do have other basses, but I am sort of pissed off about it but I'm waiting to see how it plays out.

    I just wanted to vent this without "outing" the manufacture. Thanks.
  2. bassmonkeee


    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    Maybe you could get the bass back from him, and take it somewhere else. Is it just a block inlay that needs to be replaced? I'd tell him to give you a completed-by date, or tell him to ship it back, and you'll go somewhere else.

    You can, at least, tell us the state the manufacturer is located in, can't ya? C' know you want to.... :D
  3. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    A friend went through this recently with a URB he bought. It needed some neck work, he took it to a recommended local shop and every two weeks when he called it wasn't ready yet.

    I told him the next time he called to tell them, "OK if it's not done in two weeeks I'll just come by to pick it up and pay whatever I owe for work already done and get soenone else to finish it".

    Guess what they said when he called two weeks later:

    "It's DONE" :D

    Squeaky wheel gets the grease, eh?
  4. Matthew West

    Matthew West Guest

    Sep 7, 2000
    Richmond, VA
    I'd ask them to ship it back at their expense, and tell them you'll have the work done elsewhere.
  5. jcadmus

    jcadmus Guest

    Apr 2, 2000
    Really unacceptable, Phil, for them to jerk you around like this. A year? You have the patience of Job.

    I'm guessing that they're too busy with other work and it's a low priority to them, but that's no excuse.

    I concur with the others -- see if you can get it back and take it elsewhere. And please share your dissatisfaction (and their name) with us -- I don't want to do business with them now.
  6. Maybe if you'd mention the manufacturer, someone could give you a number for the president of the company... or have a connection to help get something done.
    Nothing will improve if all the faults are protected by the wronged customers.
    And a mention might also warn others of potential customer service problems.
  7. Once I waited 10 months for a fretless neck from a company called Zolla. I was told it would take 4 weeks. Great product - he makes 5 string conversion necks (they fit into a 4 string neck pocket).

    The customer service was the worst I'd ever experienced. He seemed to have no time for me even though I remained patient well after the 4 weeks had past, and when the job wasn't done after 10 months I'd finally had enough.

    I called and got his message machine. I was all gassed up and ready to go so I left a message. i gave him 5 days to have the finished neck in my hands, or else I would write letters to all the major music publications denouncing his service. I told him I was losing work from not having my intrument all this time when he quoted me a 4 week time frame and would consult an attorney... you get the point. Needless to say I had my completed neck fed ex'd to me within 3 days, with a very nice letter of apology.

    Squeaky wheel indeed! :D
  8. Cripes! Phil.

    Sounds to me like they farm out their inlay work, so nobody there has this on their to-do list because they won't be making much, in anything, off of the reinlay.

    I'd tell them to send it back at their expense, (or else you'll expose them on TalkBass), contact a good inlay artist myself, and deal directly with them and not through a middleman.
  9. malthumb


    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City

    My suggestions are as follows:

    * Talk to the person you've been in contact with the most, and / or the owner or president of the company

    * Agree on a date and price for completion of your modification.

    * Agree on a discount to be invoked at the point in time that they exceed your date. You may even want to "layer" the discount. (ex. - $25 off for every week late).

    * Find out who specifically is working on your instrument and arrange to talk to them directly


  10. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Inactive

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Man, I thought I was patient;)

    Good advice on here. I'm a firm believer in the chain of command process. I won't mess around on any lower level for too long, I go to the next level of responsibility when it's obvious I'm getting nowhere. Have you talked to the owner? At this point I'd be looking at getting the work done gratis... a year is a ridiculous amount of time to hold a bass. Then again, maybe they don't have your bass. I'd be looking at getting the bass back in my hands within the next two weeks or move to the next level.

    You can use the internet as leverage. You've been kind enough not to have put their info out here, it doesn't have to stay that way;)

    I've heard quite a few horror stories about Zolla... it's kept me from ever considering doing business with them.
  11. Just had another thought - Peoples Court, Judge Judy.......get Wapner out of retirement???
  12. That's just wrong. I'd tell them that if I didn't receive the bass in 2 weeks that I'd sue.

    So, which manufacturer is this?

    - Dave
  13. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    Thanks for the replies folks.

    I've have been in contact with one of the owners of the company and was still getting the run around. Today when I called the company, I spoke to this same person and when I asked when would it be ready, he replied "in a week" in which I replied "you said that when I called two weeks ago". He went on apologizing profusely, but I set a deadline for September 16, done or not done, I'm coming to pick the bass up, he seemed to agree again apologizing profusely. I'm stunned by this manufacturers behavior. I'll keep you folks posted and will reveal the name of the company and how things finally got resolved.
  14. Bass Guitar

    Bass Guitar Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2001
    Very wise move that. I don't believe it has taken a year for them to do something that would have taken less than a day. I would be asking for compensation of some sort for the loss of income because of the lack of bass (if you get income from bass-playing). Tsk tsk, this is poor customer service indeed.

    Good luck!
  15. Blackbird

    Blackbird Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    You could also let them finish the work, pick up the bass and hold out on paying them for a year...;)

    Seriously, having to wait over one year for an inlay job is an insult. I'd like to know who these people are, even if you want to wait to get your bass back before you tell us.
  16. MrGump


    Apr 20, 2000
    Maybe they lost it,or shipped to a dealer.stupider things have happened.
  17. Phat Ham

    Phat Ham

    Feb 13, 2000
    If you threaten to sue them they will take that as a hint and get the job done pronto. In the litigious society that America is most companies would be scared of being sued and try at all costs to avoid it.
  18. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    Wapner does a show called Animal Court or some wierd name like that now...saw it on animal planet


    its worth a shot to see if theyll do the work for free now or at an extremely reduced rate. If not, Id tell them I want possesion of the bass within one week. Id also write a strong worded letter to the owner, bass magazines, and every bass guitar site I could find about this situation. They obviously dont care about you, so to hell with them. Spread the word about how lousy theyre treating you.
  19. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Portland, OR
    Man...after 5 weeks, I'da ripped them a new one. But a YEAR? You are truely a patient one. I hope things work out well. And I wanna know who this company is...
  20. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    well, i'm torn. on the one hand, i'd agree with the prevailing opinion of "tear 'em a new one", but on the other hand, i've been waiting now for over 2 _YEARS_ for bill conklin to finish up my 8 string - i'm obviously not a new customer, nor someone who bill would want to have on his bad side, but never the less, the instrument has been being made since the '99 summer namm show. there have been many mitigating circumstances, strange and painful situations for bill, of which i am very much aware, and am very understanding of. furthermore, he has built me another bass, the hollowbody 7 in the mean time, as well as a replacement neck for my bolt-on 7, simultaneously, in the same time frame. the 8 has some really bizarre, custom electronics on it, so i'm not pissed about the hold-up, just sorta anxious to the point of anxiety ("will it ever get here?" sorta thing).

    still, though, i can feel for your plight, truly.