Ordered a custom bass, 15 mo's later...still don't have it.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by shal1234, Feb 18, 2016.

  1. shal1234


    Dec 21, 2006
    So I ordered a custom 4-string from a smaller company (which will remain private for now). I ordered it in Nov of 2014. The original "earliest ship date" was March 2015. It's nearly a year later and I still don't have it. It has been 15 months total.
    Every time I contacted the company I got "we need more time". Then I was informed that the bass was damaged during the build, and so they needed to rebuild part of it. Then in December 2015 I contacted them and was informed that the build was not up to their standards and another mistake was made, so they decided to rebuild the entire bass. I told them I either wanted a refund or a killer bass better be on its way. They replied by saying I would have to wait a week for an update because their staff was on holiday. What would you do? I've already waited this long, I was thinking about just continuing to wait and if im not 100% satisfied with it send it back and demand a refund. If I could find a bass I liked somewhere else, I would just ask for my money back but I haven't found anything that meets my needs, and I've tried all the commercial basses available. That's why I ordered a custom in the first place.
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    Last edited: Feb 18, 2016
  2. Sav'nBass


    Jan 18, 2009
    Virginia Beach
    There is no reason in my opinion why any bass should take 15 months. A tough one that.... I would have been at the very least consulting an attorney by August of last year...
  3. 15 mos. is a long time unless that's the norm for that particular builder or you absolutely have to have it. If it were me, I'd get the refund now especially since they've ruined it twice on their own bench....or so they say. I find that excuse highly improbable anyway. It's hard to imagine a build getting to the finish stage with an unseen mistake that requires the binning of the whole instrument. Sounds very fishy to me.
    Bass., Lumdingo, 96tbird and 15 others like this.
  4. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Request/require pics of the bass(es) both current and damaged. If they can't/won't produce them then possibly take a look at legal options to get a refund.
  5. Sweet Willie

    Sweet Willie

    Dec 31, 2014
    Former moderator for now non-active Nordstrand Forum
    No photos, no bass...
  6. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010
    If all this is 100% true then I don't see any reason to not divulge the name of the builder.

    15 months is beyond reason and there may be people here considering a custom build who
    would like to know this information and how it eventually gets resolved.

    If they lose orders because of it well, it sounds like they have more than they can deal with anyway.

    I kinda think you deserve some extra special consideration in your build for your wait
    maybe in the form of extra nice grain patterns or custom inlays. But that's just my opinion.

    If I were a builder and something went wrong mid build I'd be sure to keep communication
    open to the customer and provide explanations and photos and offer something extra special to
    compensate for the long build time.
  7. primusfan1989


    Jan 17, 2005
    new jersey
    15 months is not that long for a custom build. Carl Thompson and Alembic have almost a 2 year waiting list so if you're buying something from a small boutique shop you should be prepared to wait. They admitted they have made mistakes and won't let a substandard product leave their shop, Id take that over have some POS rushed to my door.
    Their are many reasons why a bass could take that long to manufacture, the builder's backlog of orders, how many people work in his shop or is he flying solo, perhaps the builder had things going on in there personal lives that derailed production. Thats what you get yourself into when buying custom/boutique instruments. If you want instant gratification go buy a fender
  8. FranF

    FranF Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2004
    Northeastern PA
    If they made two "mistakes" already, I have to wonder if they're "all that". Get your money now, with a lawyer in tow. My guess is, there may be playability issues down the road and if you need to send this thing back one or (likely) more times to get it to your level of expectation, you're in for a long, drawn out potential nightmare. If you accept the bass, it's yours. If you cancel now, it's their problem. Well it may be your problem anyway if you have to get your $$$ back. Hate to be all negative, but this could be a less than optimal situation. Well, it already is!
  9. mdogs

    mdogs Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2010
    Constant state of flux
    We see these threads all the time where the OP does not want to divulge the builder, if you want to keep it private, then keep it private. But, don't come on here and tell us some sob story that is almost never the whole story and not reveal who you are talking about. Give it up or stop wasting everyone's time...
  10. shal1234


    Dec 21, 2006
    Thanks for your replies everyone. I understand waiting a long time for a bass from a well established builder like Alembic. But this operation is fairly new with basses. I was taking a gamble with them. They admitted to letting time slip, so it's not like they were working diligently on this thing for 15 months. I'm sure they did have other orders, but still.
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2016
  11. AltGrendel

    AltGrendel Squire Jag SS fan.

    May 21, 2009
    Mid-Atlantic USA.
  12. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    This. Tell them you want a refund. They're obviously having problems you don't need to share.

    Send a certified letter outlining what was said to you on a timeline. Conclude it by requesting a full refund. Don't make threats to take legal action. Don't write an essay. Just state the facts, the excuses that were made, and when. Then calmly but cleary ask for all your money back.

    If legal action becomes necessary, the less you say upfront the better.

    I suspect these people have gotten in over their heads and are now at the point where they're overbooked and probably borrowing money from newer orders to build the older ones. Bad situation. And all too common with small custom-build operations.

    Best try to get out now.

    P.S. Most reputable small custom shops keep their customers informed all aling the way. Many furnish photos of various stages in the build just to keep you updated. You shouldn't have to chase a shop owner only to get tales that begin with "Bad news!" or "You're not gonna believe what happened!"

    Many times when somebody tries to tell me "you won't believe what happened" - I usually respond: "You got that right."
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2016
  13. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

  14. AltGrendel

    AltGrendel Squire Jag SS fan.

    May 21, 2009
    Mid-Atlantic USA.
    Thought you had read that thread, that's pretty much the consensus.


    Up to you, but I'd at least send a letter like 40Hz suggests.
    MTFD24 and shal1234 like this.
  15. Doctor J

    Doctor J

    Dec 23, 2005
    Read the Huff thread, then read the SGD thread. Don't wait any longer once the excuses start rolling in. The Earth has travelled approximately 730 million miles since you paid. That's a lot. If they can't get a bass to you in that time, particularly when it was indicated you could start expecting it around a year ago, then it's time to pull the plug and get your money back. Don't feel bad or guilty about it, either, you're the victim in this.
  16. shal1234


    Dec 21, 2006
    I have email contact with the one of the lead guys there. I'm supposed to receive an update monday, when they get back from "holiday". If I don't get pictures or something then I'll request a refund for sure.
    MDBass likes this.
  17. 5544


    Dec 1, 2015
    You ordered a custom bass in Nov. 2014 that was suppose to be ready in Mar. 2015 only to question it in Feb. 2016?

    I would have started the Paypal dispute a year ago if I were in your shoes.
  18. Sweet Willie

    Sweet Willie

    Dec 31, 2014
    Former moderator for now non-active Nordstrand Forum
    I agree. This has been my experience. I got a call or email when the build was finally going to start, reconfirming the details, and then received pictures periodically or upon request via email. This is true for the builders who have made basses for me.
    itsalljustaride likes this.
  19. the only online tool to design your bass that I can recall is sandberg. hope its not them
  20. iriegnome

    iriegnome Bassstar style Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2001
    Kenosha, WI 53140
    I got to say, no pic's no bass. No bass, refund... Pretty simple. Custom builders usually live by a hard delivery date when the bass reaches production. Alembic, Carl Thompson, WYN and many many others do have a very long wait, but once they start your bass, it is made and delivered. Heck, even custom companies like KRAPPY Guitars sends pic's of your bass in production to show the status and updates of it being made.
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