Guitar Center B.S.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Jazz Hands, Dec 29, 2007.

  1. Jazz Hands

    Jazz Hands

    Dec 16, 2007
    So I bought a brand new Jazz on 11/14 from Guitar Center. Played it for only about a week then dropped it off & at my local instrument repair shop to get setup. Living in a large city & w/ the holidays turnaround is anywhere from 2-4wks. Well I get a call today 12/29 from the shop letting me know the truss rod isn't working. Well GC only has there 30 day return policy & basically wash their hands of the situation. I've spoken to the manager & to corporate HQ w/ no luck. I'm being told I need to take it to a Fender repair shop (who indicated on the phone I may incur charges). I understand it's under warranty but this is a huge headache on an instrument that was defective from the get go? What happens w/ people buying guitars as gifts??? - - my mom wouldn't know if a truss rod works.

    Any advice I'm all ears.
  2. ben_the_bass


    Jul 12, 2005
    this is america! sue their asses!
  3. DeanT

    DeanT Send lawyers, guns and money...

    There's not much you can do because it's past their 30 days. If you don't do set ups yourself, the next stop after buying the bass should be to a luthier for a set up, not a week later.
  4. lexluthier72


    Dec 28, 2007
    If its a fender brand Jazz, take it to your local fender warranty center. They will replace the neck no charge. Make sure you bring your reciept from guitar center.
  5. Dbassmon


    Oct 2, 2004
    Rutherford, NJ
    Pretty clear that CG is absolutely doing what they are legally required to do. They could handle this differently but legally, they are not required to. Your beef really should not be with them although it would be no sweat for them to just take care of this. You should get friendly with some the sales people. Never hurts!

    What repair shop has a two week back log for a set up? That is truly BS. I would not wait two weeks for a set up. You could learn to do that your self in an hour if some shows you. You need two tools and a tuner.

    Fender will make good on the repair as long as the truss rod was not snapped because it was over tightened. In other words abused. Assuming it's something like the rod loosed during transport and became unthreaded, that will not incur charges. I can't image what else could be wrong.
  6. emblymouse

    emblymouse exempt Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2006
    That is a sucky situation you're in and I feel for you. I'm a Customer Service rep for a major direct merchant and I'm surprised these GC bozos aren't hip to the current trend in the cutthroat retail biz- MAKE THE CUSTOMER HAPPY DAMN IT! This is what sets one retailer apart from another providing nearly identical wares.
    Unfortunately, often the reasonable customers get the short end and the squeaky wheels get the grease. I'm assuming you've been reasonable so far. If so, it's time to get squeaky!
    Don't be an angry jerk, just me firm and calm and keep coming at 'em. Be very specific. Get a quote for the repair. Decide exactly what you'll settle for and ask for it.
    Don't alienate a possible ally who might go to bat for you. Go to a different contact at HQ, follow up with letters or e mail. I wonder if a different GC might have a more understanding employee who could advise you?
    It will take effort on your part. Good luck!
  7. sjb64


    Aug 2, 2007
    I would talk to the Manager of your Guitar Center. It's within GC's legal rights to not take it back after 30 days and tell you to go to the manufacturer and make a warranty claim. However, sometimes exceptions can and should be made.

    THEY SOLD YOU A DEFECTIVE INSTRUMENT. This is why I feel that they should at least return it for store credit towards an instrument which isn't defective.
  8. Warpeg


    Jun 20, 2005
    +1 on such a long wait for a setup!

    However, I disagree that doing a setup only takes two tools and a tuner. But, then again, I guess that just depends on your idea of a setup. I think of a setup as checking neck relief, nut groove height, bridge/bridge saddle height, intonation, and fret height. For that kind of a job, you would need (at minimum):

    1. an accurate tuner
    2. small to medium screwdrivers (P and F)
    3. truss rod turning tool (depends on the truss rod)
    4. proper size wrench for bridge saddle height adjustments
    5. light-weight oil (e.g. gun oil) for lubricating moving metal parts
    6. grinding file
    7. crowning file
    8. 6"+ firm metal straight edge
    9. 0000 steel wool
    10. shim material (if needed)
    11. nut files

    This list could get more exhaustive, but you get the idea.
  9. jwsamuel


    Apr 26, 2004
    A good shop.

    Yep...they are easy to do. Instructions are at Fender's Web site and plenty of other places.

  10. Brad Maestas

    Brad Maestas Sono est omnia Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2003
    Petaluma, CA, USA
    I'm with Dbassmon, having to wait that long in the first place for a simple setup is pretty ridiculous and obviously set you up for this problem with GC's 30-day thing.

    I just went through this with another retailer in FL with a classical guitar that I ordered from Brazil. Since it was a special order item, I had to deal with the manufacturer directly to get a replacement instead of the American reseller. They were contemplating sending me the same guitar, repaired, but I firmly insisted that I get a brand spankin' new guitar. After many phone calls to stay firmly wedged up their ***es, they are now definitely sending me a new one - which is what they should've done in the first place, without any intervention. :rolleyes:

    While it does suck that GC has essentially dropped you, you are still under Fender's warranty and, assuming the rod wasn't forced, you are well entitled to a solution to your problem. Keep on it and you'll get yours.
  11. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    Bingo. A note from your tech describing the problem wouldn't hurt. My 2003 Am. Ser. Jazz developed a neck twist my tech found during a setup. My dealer hooked me up with the nearest Fender service center, and I had a new neck in a few weeks. GC should, at a minimum, direct you to the nearest Fender warranty service center.
  12. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    Uhhh... this is Fender BS, not GC BS. Guitar Center's policy is clear (and very generous) and I've known them to live up to it. Why should they take responsibility when they have no idea what you or your guitar setup guy may have done to the bass? I don't think they're responsible, nor at fault. I don't think it's a matter of keeping the customer happy either - it's a matter of honoring a policy.

    That's what warranties are for and why it's now Fender's responsibility.

    This is one of the reasons I dilsilike Fender, also. The only authorized Fender repair dude in my neck of the woods is a beligerant idiot who I (and many others) can't stand the sight of. I got virtually no satisfaction from him when I took an american made P deluxe to him for repairs several years ago. The tuners all slipped - his response was, that's the way they are, they suck. I've got a drawer full of busted ones. The "ferrules?" (things in the string-through sockets) kept falling out of the bass and he said the only thing that could be done was glue them but he wouldn't do it because he didn't want to add problems. And his "fixing" of a scratchy malfunctioning mid-pot lasted about a week.

    Anyhow - Fender tech help also misled me . They told me I needed to take the neck off the bass to adjust the truss rod (that it was built like the old fenders) and they were wrong. I find it hard to forgive them for that one cuz if someone else hadn't told me I just needed a T wrench, I'd have been popping the neck off that thing every time I wanted to tweak the truss rod. For a company guitar tech that's real bad news IMO. Bla, bla, bla....

    Fender is now responsible for your broken bass. Put it in their hands and complain about them, not GC.
  13. Sahm


    Dec 18, 2007
    Delaware, OH
    I'd have to agree with it being Fender's fault, and not GC. 30-days is fair for the retailer who didn't manufactor the item sold. It's not GC's fault the luthier was backlogged, plus you had that extra week before you took it to them.
    That being said, if you were persistant enough and put up a big stink, you could possibly still get an exchange from them. When I worked at Target many moons ago, I had a customer try to get us to take back a lawnmower he clearly used all summer long, eight months after he bought it. He debated with us for an hour before the GM came out of the office and did the exchange!
  14. BassBob185


    Oct 25, 2007
    Rocking Chair
    Thats a raw deal dude. I got tired of the "wait 2 weeks reply" for a setup so I taught myself to do it (everything but fret leveling). Basic setup (truss rod, string height, intonation, neck adjustment) takes about 30-60 minutes. I'm no expert by any means but its really not that hard. Other more experienced setup people here onTB I'm sure can provide more and better info.
  15. Jazz Hands

    Jazz Hands

    Dec 16, 2007

    Took the bass to the Fender dealer = bad neck. He said Fender will definitely replace the neck under warranty & they could do the repair but said I should demand a replacement from GC...."do you really want a 43 day old refurbished guitar?" Called GC and finally after talking w/ a different mgr they agreed to swap it.

    As far as the setup goes. I'd love to do it myself but got this fear of doing irreversible damage somehow.....and as far as a fret leveling I wouldn't even know where to start. So I choose to go to the most popular shop in town I deal w/ the wait ~always have a backup instrument.
  16. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    Nothing to fear. Worst that can happen is you break the truss rod.
  17. Which is actually quite hard to do, if you aren't stupid and be careful.

  18. Dbassmon


    Oct 2, 2004
    Rutherford, NJ
    Around NYC a good repair shop would not be able to stay in business with a two week wait time for a set up. That may not be the case for some other areas of the country.

    I would assume, based on my experience, that frets have been factory leveled and crowned and nut cut reasonably well coming out of the Fender Factory.

    So you intonate the bass, check neck relief, and set action. I think it's fair to say that should be all that the vast majority of new Fenders would need.
  19. bovinehost


    Dec 5, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: Ernie Ball Music Man/Sterling By Music Man
    And another happy ending.

    Except, I mean, you still have a Fender.

  20. Jazz Hands

    Jazz Hands

    Dec 16, 2007
    Any good links (preferably w/ pics) on how to do a complete setup? Based on feedback I might give it a whirl.