Read this before you buy a Fender Custom Shop bass!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Chuck M, Oct 6, 2003.

  1. Chuck M

    Chuck M Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    San Antonio, Texas
    I just posted this in the FDP bass and Custom Shop forums:

    I told most of this in an earlier thread but will repeat a bit to make it clear to those who missed the earlier posts.

    I ordered a NOS 64 Jazz and a NOS 59 Precision. The Jazz came in first and is a wonderful bass in all respects except the neck is so tight in the neck pocket that body paint is sure to be damaged when the neck is removed. Fortunately I can get at the truss rod nut by simply removing the pickguard.

    The P looked even nicer than the Jazz when it came in. Took it home and found that the neck (also very tight in the neck pocket) would not adjust. The truss rod nut would just sink into the neck when tightened and the forward bow would not change.

    I returned it to the dealer and they contacted Fender who told them to have it checked out by the tech at the store. He removed the neck and the paint around the neck pocket was damaged. He agreed that the neck was soft and we also spotted a place on the neck where the clear finish was damaged.


    September 8-picked up the Precision from the dealer.

    September 11-returned the bass to the dealer.

    October 1-called Fender Customer relations and was told that the bass was not in the computer so they could not tell me the status.

    October 6-called my dealer again. He tried to get info from Fender. Still waiting.

    What does it take to get some information or, better yet, a commitment from Fender that they will replace this bass? How long will I have the better part of $2000 tied up in nothing? Does anyone at Fender who can help read this stuff? DO THEY EVEN CARE?

    It is an exercise in frustration to just get a phone number for Fender. Look in the Frontline. No telephone number. Look at the Fender website. No telephone number. Do you get the impression that they don't want to talk to you? I certainly do. There is NO number for the Custom Shop available to the public.

    Just in case someone from Fender should want to contact me:

    My dealer is Century Music in San Antonio and the salesman who knows all the details is Bear.

  2. By-Tor


    Apr 13, 2000
    Sacramento, CA
    Wow, I feel for ya.
    That is some poor customer relations.
    I hope everything gets sorted out.
    Good luck.
  3. Chuck M

    Chuck M Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    San Antonio, Texas
    Don't know how I overlooked the phone number. Thanks for the replies.

  4. Tumbao


    Nov 10, 2001
    good luck!...but your next bass could be a Lull, Lakland, Kinal or Sadowsky.
  5. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Wow, sorry to hear! This is one of the reasons I avoided playing Fenders for a long time, but in that time, most brands customer service went down the poop-shoot. Can no longer get ahold of Ibanez either, so I figured what the hell, got a Fender, and haven't had a problem.

    As far as your rants about Fender, it's well deserved. $2000 basses should come with their own customer service representative!
  6. should not expect this kind of service or quality from a company as big as Fender,and a CUSTOM SHOP instrument...:rolleyes:
  7. that's a bummer. I know if I ever wanted a "custom" jazz bass I would take a little trip up I5 and give Mike Lull a visit. I know I would never have problems like that with him. and if I did I know where he works so I could track him down in person :D
  8. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY

    This is exactly why alot of us are happy to pay 3K for a Sadowsky bass. No issues, the "best" customer service, the "best" bass(IMO). I love Fenders but Roger's product is the perfect jazz bass

  9. Chuck, please keep us informed as to how Fender handles this situation.

    I hope everthing goes smooth!

    ;) Treena
  10. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I had a few minor issues/questions when I bought a Fender RB5 and the dealer couldn't help.

    I asked questions on the Fender Discussion site (FDP) :

    There is a section called something like "Ask Fender" and Fender employees monitor this and answer your questions. I found this very helpful and got very quick answers - within a day!!

    Given the size of Fender and the huge number of customers all over the world - I thought they were pretty good at dealing with customers - the FDP works very well!

    But of course you are not going to get the personal service of a 'boutique' bass maker.
  11. Bruce he has already posted on the FDP board.

    ;) Treena
  12. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well I was making the more general point about how Fender chooses to allocate customer service - given their vast world customer numbers and that they can't be compared to smaller makers.
  13. Bruce, his first post stated the above.

    No big deal, just an observation.

    ;) Treena

  14. RE the FDP posting, it's actually the original poster's first line, right under his post title;)

    AS he says he's just posted there, maybe he'll get a reply from them soon!:)

    I would tend to agree with your comment about Fender and their customer service.....although in the UK we also seem to have to suffer the added blight of Arbiter....
  15. Awful. My heart goes out to you.

    Next time get a Sadowsky new or used. You'll have the opposite experience.
  16. it is insane for fender to run a company straight from a great guy like leo fender to what they have going today... its truly a shame to ruin a perfectly good company with some shotty customer service but more than that some shotty bass making as you make it sound....... hell if i were you i'd get a warwick before a fender cuz they're half a world away but Dana B. Goods has never given me anything but the best... truly a shame to see whats been happening to you man, best of luck... oh yeah, i agree with the sadowsky players, top notch basses and some of the best customer service out there... good luck with this dilemna.....
  17. Forget about the customer service aspect - if you got two basses that had necks so tight like that, why even keep either one? Sounds like shoddy QC to me.
  18. Chuck M

    Chuck M Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    San Antonio, Texas
    Seems like my threads here and on other forums got somebody's attention. Here is what I learned today.

    The bass is still sitting at Century Music waiting for a return authorization from Fender. The RA was requested on the 23rd of September. It seems that Fender mails out an RA rather than simply issuing them by phone as most companies do.

    So Fender dropped the ball by not getting the RA out and my dealer dropped the ball by not telling me that the bass was still not shipped.

    Hopfully things will move along smartly now.

    Thanks to all who have offered suggestions and support. I love being a member of the bass community. You guys are great.

    I also want to point out that Fender really does do a good job on QC for such a big company. I believe that my particular CS P is the exception rather than typical of what Fender is producing. I also believe that the problems I've had in getting the bass replaced are unusual. Yes, somebody failed to follow through on this one, however, my experiences with Fender service in the past have been positive.

    I'll post again as more information becomes available.

  19. I bought a CS Masterbuilt Jazz Deluxe from an original owner some time back. The bass was a beauty but the electronics didn't work right.

    I tried every way to get some info from the CS guys, and Steve Barr, who was FDP moderator at the time, tried a couple of times on my behalf as well. I never got a call or email or posting back in response, and I finally just dropped in a J-Retro which solved the problem. It's now a fine bass.

    It was a frustrating experience, very different from my wonderful dealings with the great independent luthiers who care. My $$$ will always go to the products of stand up guys like RS, MT, RT, ML, JZ, KR, DL, MP, NS, RE, RW et al who really care.

    Hope it works out ok, Chuck.


  20. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Intersting. Many builders use a tight neck pocket as a marketing tool.