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Long and winding road getting bass repaired by Fender

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by acmeseed, Apr 25, 2018.

  1. My wife gave me an American Vintage Reissue '64 Jazz for my 60th birthday. The neck turned out to have a serious dead spot issue around the G of the low E which affected the other strings as well. A local Fender rep determined the neck should be replaced and ordered one from Fender.

    Fast forward 7 months I am finally going to get the new neck installed next week. The holdup was that the bass is discontinued and the exact neck with the matching Lake Placid Blue headstock is no longer available. So far this was frustrating, but it gets better. Fender finally told the local tech that the neck could not be replaced because the bass is discontinued.

    After a long email war with Fender over a month they finally agreed to send an AVRI 64 neck but it will be with natural finish on the headstock, that does not bother me too much all I want is my bass back.

    What bugs me is that you purchase an expensive almost $2k instrument (at least for my family's budget), it comes with a "limited lifetime warranty" but at one point in time the manufacturer would not honor the warranty because the item was discontinued. I guess that's the "limited" part of the warranty.

    Has anyone here run into issues like this with Fender or any other vendor?

    Thanks in advance for your feedback.
  2. Hillbillypolack


    Mar 2, 2018

    I’ve had both good and ‘challenging’ dialog with Fender.

    Late last year, I bought a ‘59 Deluxe amp. Brand new, unboxed in front of me, it would not sit flat on the floor. Yes, checked the feet etc, turns out the cabinet had tweaked due to weather. Dealer was a stand up operation and though it took a few months, I got a replacement.

    Just recently I had questions on some of the discontinued Fender Basses though none were near enough for me to drive & check out. Got one, had some finish issues, dealer says it’s ‘within spec’, Fender said the same. So essentially that conversation felt like ‘caveat emptor’, and ‘they’re all like that’. Which I kind of understand - that’s my expectations vs variation in manufacturing vs seeing before buying.

    Now, to your point, there should be some channel to address your concern, through Fender. Are / were you the original owner? I think that has some merit in regards to making the bass original. If the Fender rep said it should be replaced, that carries weight also, and I would think that a replacement neck should be the same spec as the original ( including color). If only for the sake of resale.

    In your case it’s a functional flaw, and should be addressed as close to what the bass was originally. My 2 pesos.
  3. Follow up ....

    I finally had the neck replaced on the bass 8 months after my first contact with Fender. The neck is good, gone are the totally dead notes around the G# of the E string. Fender would not provide a replacement with the matching Lake Placid Blue headstock because the bass is discontinued, I ended up getting a replacement with natural wood color. This does not bother me terribly, I rather have a bass that I can play.

    The whole experience was pretty disappointing. First the response time or lack of it from the authorized Fender repair contacts is horrible (I refused to take it to a big box store) The first one that I tried to contact never got back to me. I later found out that he closed shop and now runs the business from a truck, he shows up every Thursday at a local guitar store ???? The one that I finally ended up connecting with and took care of the problem was also totally irresponsible, not until I reached out to Fender for help did the problem get resolved. To top it off this guy did not like me reaching out to Fender, but would not come out and tell me directly. When I brought the bass back to him he gave me a dissertation about how it is a different world today and things take longer than before, specially after 9/11 and the 2009 recession, yeah, whatever, just fix my bass. I am older than the guy, does he think I live in an igloo.

    Another aspect of the process which is a thorn on my side is that Fender took partial responsibility for the delay because they "thought they would not be able to replace the neck because the bass was discontinued" Somehow supposedly they found a neck laying around so "I got lucky" Items get discontinued all the time, how would the limited lifetime warranty work if they ended up deciding they could not repair the item.

    Sorry for the long winded rant, my opinion on what's good customer service comes from owning a very small business for 19 years which survived against the big sharks solely on providing good customer service. Also since I own 5 Fender basses, 2 guitars and 2 amps I think I qualify to bash the company a little bit.
    Last edited: May 10, 2018
    Flint222 and FranF like this.
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