Warmoth Neck Pocket - Customer Service?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Ampig, Jul 22, 2009.

  1. Ampig

    Ampig Supporting Member

    Something always seems to go screwy with my projects. I'm building a lightweight bass and ordered a "showcase" dinky P body from Warmoth that weighs 3.8 lbs. It showed up today and I tried to mate my Fender licensed Mighty Mite P neck to it. The neck heel measures a correct 2.5". The neck pocket measures 2-13/32". Way too small. I called Warmoth immediately as per their instructions. I wind up on the phone with a wise ass acting manager. He tells me that all their neck pockets are narrow due to the inconsistent size of aftermarket necks. I tell him that his neck pocket should accept a standard 1-1/2" licensed neck. He tells me to use a sanding block to widen it. I ask if they'll take it back and rout it correctly. He says they won't re rout it for me, but they'll take it back and return my money. That's sort of fair I guess, but it's a nice lightweight body that was cheaper because it was a "showcase" body. I'm going through a divorce with 2 kids in college and my money is tight. I can't afford to pay their standard price for a custom lightweight body. I suspect that this body may have been returned or "B" stocked due to the defective neck pocket and they sold it as a discounted "showcase" body without disclosing all the facts. I guess I'll keep it and use sanding blocks, but it makes me nervous. I'm not a seasoned luthier/repairman. If the pocket was off by a 1/32 I could understand it. I feel like I've been pimped at least just a little. Would this be acceptable to you?
  2. BillytheBassist


    Aug 18, 2005
    I would send it back for a refund personally...I'd heard Warmoth has pretty decent customer service.
  3. 3/32 isn't that much. I'd work with it. I mated a moses neck to a jackson body that there was 3/16 difference and I alternately sanded the pocket and the neck until they fit. Took some time but was WAY worth it.

  4. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    I've used quite a few Warmoth bodies and never had one with a narrow neck pocket. I even used Mighty Mite necks on Warmoth bodies with no alteration to their neck pocket. Unless something has changed at Warmoth very recently, I think his statement that they make them all that way is a crock.

    And if it is true that they now make the neck pockets narrow then I won't be buying any more bodies from them. I certainly don't need the extra work of widening the neck pocket.
  5. well manager may have been a smart ass, but I'm sure he meant that all the neck pockets are routed to the American Fender standard specs, mighty mite and other import necks have slight variations in size as far I have seen. Also my Warmoth bodies have a tight neck pocket when paired with a Warmoth neck or an MIA Fender neck, I usually use a sanding block on the neck because it is easier for me to deal with the flat surfaces on the side on the neck instead of inside a neck pocket. As for customer service they have always been great to me, pm wyliee who is here on TB and he will help you out!
  6. Ampig

    Ampig Supporting Member

    As far as I know, a 2.5" neck pocket is standard. That's what my Mighty Mite neck measures. The Warmoth neck pocket is not just tight - it's too small by 3/32" of an inch.
  7. wyliee


    Jul 6, 2003
    Lakewood, WA
    Ampig, I am sorry to hear about your challenges with your recent purchase from Warmoth. Let's see if I can address some of the questions that have been raised thus far:

    - Warmoth does not intentionally undersize the neck pocket. I've just double checked the code with our CAD/CAM crew. Since our neck pockets are CNC'ed, I would expect to see a high level of consistency from body to body. In other words, if one body was wrong, we'd likely see all bodies wrong.

    - With that said, there can be some variance if the body is finished. Paint can form a slight lip on the edge of the body. A sanding block can quickly clean up the lip. Additionally, if the body is unfinished and shipped to a region with higher humidity, the wood can swell slightly.

    - Hopefully we can all agree a tight neck pocket is preferable to too loose a pocket. We know the tolerance on an import neck heel can vary greatly. Also, adding a finish to a neck can a thousandth or two to the neck. There are many variables here and some sanding may be required for the best possible fit.

    - I helped train Rob, our sales manger, and have worked with him quite a bit. If he came across as a smart ass, it was not intentional. He has a tremendous amount of experience in the industry and is an asset to the company, IMO. Guys, I know Warmoth has taken more than a few hits in years past for a perceived lack of customer service and terse sales staff. While I doubt we'll ever be the 'lonely guitarists hotline', we've worked hard to continually improve everything we do including customer service.

    - Ampig, a sanding block may be your best friend in this scenario if you're comfortable doing the work. If not, we still have the 10 day return policy provided the body is still in as-received condition. Contact Rob for an RA number. As alway, I remain available here on TB or you can email me at: [email protected]
  8. Ampig

    Ampig Supporting Member

    Thanks Wyliee. I'm not trying to start a flame war against Warmoth, although in hindsight that is probably what it looks like.
    The facts are this: The neck measures 2.5" with a semi gloss finish applied. The body is unfinished and the neck pocket is considerably smaller than that dimension.
    When I contacted Warmoth I was hoping they would offer to rerout the pocket to the standard dimension. They declined but did offer a full refund, which I can't say is unfair. The body is lightweight and beautiful and I doubt I can get another like it at the price I paid. I'm not exactly rolling in cash right now, so I guess it's on me to widen the pocket myself.
    Everyone has their own opinion of what is entailed in good customer service and I guess which end of the barrel you're looking down is a big factor in that determination.
  9. Band Dad

    Band Dad

    Dec 5, 2006
    San Mateo, CA
    I say send it back and let Warmoth give it a look over. If they truly believe that it is to their specs, they'll let you know and you can then ask for the refund. If you still want that body and are willing to go the sanding block route, then do that. I'd say that shipping in this case would be on your dime.

    If, on the other hand, Warmoth finds some anomaly that they can fix easily enough, they should do so, free of charge–shipping included.

    If there's a problem due to swelling of the wood, etc., perhaps Warmoth can correct the problem, charge you a minimal amount for that, and find they've kept a valued customer.

    I've never dealt with Warmoth, but I've seen, and have been impressed with their products.
  10. Ampig

    Ampig Supporting Member

    That's what I was hoping for.