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Repair shop nightmare

JRenn

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,253
So I just bought a multi-thousand-dollar Collings from a store, and took the guitar to the same shop to get a pickup installed. An LR Baggs Ibeam if that helps anyone realize how simple this went.

So they take my guitar on Monday and say it will be one day, two at the latest, before that call me again. 3 days later, Wednesday, they leave me a voicemail saying they "need to order a part" so I call back and they apologize, say the part is coming in, and that it should be done the next day, Thursday. No problem, I thought.

Thursday, no call.
So I call Friday, apologies from the front desk, then transfer me to the repair guy. "Yeah man, sorry still waiting for the part," he says, "it should be in tomorrow [Saturday]."

Frustrated, but reassured, I tell him again, okay, fine… I understand that he is helpless if he's waiting for a part they ordered.

THEN IT HITS ME. HE'S INSTALLING AN IBEAM. ONE OF THE EASIEST PICKUPS IN THE WORLD TO PUT IN A GUITAR FROM ANY EXPERIENCED TECH. Something doesn't feel right…

So Sunday, I stop by the store to take a look at it, just to "see how it's coming along."

I walk back to the repair shop in the store and there's my guitar, hanging up on the wall. I take it off the wall and find a half drilled hole into where the jack should be drilled, and the ivoroid (It's a D2H model) cracked (OBLITERATED) and stress-cracking around the edges where it was inlaid. He obviously went at it hard and clumsy.

I got mad. They lied to me multiple times on the phone, and for all I know, they were going to try to "repair" it in an indiscernible way and give it back to me without ever letting me know. Something that reduces the resale value of the instrument at such a high collector's grade.

Someone tell me what I should do? "If you're unhappy, we will give your money back." That's all I got, not even an apology for the dishonesty on behalf of their guitar tech. I'm past the point of infuriated, because it seems money is a pathetic way to apologize without words attached. The best they offered was to repair the guitar til it's unnoticeable (WHICH THEY WOULD HAVE HAD TO DO DO ANYWAY) and write me a check which to me seems a lowball amount.

Tech guys, Repairmen, luthiers, what is a reasonable response to this? What should I do about it? I've got a few days to think about it while they get the repair done, then I have to choose to be refunded or take the guitar and the amount offered, which isn't very much (in my mind). What would you do if you were in my shoes?

All thoughts appreciated,

-J
 

kidmo

Senior Member
Messages
1,149
Really sorry for that to happen, they're gonna want to "fix" it themselves? First thing I would want is to send it back to Collings for a repair, they foot the bill and refund you what the guitar would take in a resale hit.
Please let us know what shop it is, doesn't have to be in a mean spirit, but no one should be lied to.
 

texasdave

Member
Messages
1,474
FWIW, I had the same thing happen to me with a store install. They sent the guitar back to Collings and the repair was 100% perfect.
 

PBC

Member
Messages
607
If you are worried about the resale value then my advice would be to take the refund and find another guitar. From reading your post it sounds like there isn't anything that they (the shop) could do to make you happy and restore your faith in them. Based upon that I would advise you get your money back, cut ties and find another shop to do business with.
 

JRenn

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,253
If you are worried about the resale value then my advice would be to take the refund and find another guitar. From reading your post it sounds like there isn't anything that they (the shop) could do to make you happy and restore your faith in them. Based upon that I would advise you get your money back, cut ties and find another shop to do business with.
This might be what I have to do, unfortunately… Unfortunately, the owner of the store has little involvement with what happened, because it was the repair guy I repeatedly talked to. BUT as the owner of the store, I expected him to take responsibility for how HIS store's repair shop treated the whole situation. Captain of the ship sorta thing. I'd hate to talk bad about the owner when he seems like an honest guy. But no effort was made to take responsibility and make things really right with me. That seems like poor ownership if you ask me. Is it wrong to think there should be some dignity at stake on the owner's behalf?
 

JRenn

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,253
Really sorry for that to happen, they're gonna want to "fix" it themselves? First thing I would want is to send it back to Collings for a repair, they foot the bill and refund you what the guitar would take in a resale hit.
Please let us know what shop it is, doesn't have to be in a mean spirit, but no one should be lied to.
I think I'll wait until things work themselves out before I do this. Still got time for things to pan out differently. I'd hate to jump the gun and leave a bullet hole. Thanks for your concern and advice! I appreciate it.
 

PBC

Member
Messages
607
This might be what I have to do, unfortunately… Unfortunately, the owner of the store has little involvement with what happened, because it was the repair guy I repeatedly talked to. BUT as the owner of the store, I expected him to take responsibility for how HIS store's repair shop treated the whole situation. Captain of the ship sorta thing. I'd hate to talk bad about the owner when he seems like an honest guy. But no effort was made to take responsibility and make things really right with me. That seems like poor ownership if you ask me. Is it wrong to think there should be some dignity at stake on the owner's behalf?
No, I don't think you're coming out of left field on this one. Repair guys differ from shop to shop in that some are full time employees and others are independently contracted. Either way the work done falls back on the owner of the business whether things go right or wrong. By chance did you take pictures of the damage to the insturment? If so keep them safe, don't post them here or on facebook etc,. in case this thing ends up in the courts. Basically do your best to keep yourself covered and try not to say anything that could be considered slander, definitely don't mention the name of the shop until you have the whole thing finalized to your liking and behind you.
Hate that this happened to you, I know how exciting a purchase like that can be and how disapointing it is when your brand new guitar is damaged and taken away from you.
 

gregsguitars

Member
Messages
879
Make them cut a check for the price of the guitar the way it was before they attempted to place a pickup in it, if it is a legit shop they should stand behind their tech(s) work 100%. Just another reason I only use experienced LUTHIERS and not a music store tech that may or may not have the knowledge,training and expertise a LUTHIER offers........
 

JRenn

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,253
No, I don't think you're coming out of left field on this one. Repair guys differ from shop to shop in that some are full time employees and others are independently contracted. Either way the work done falls back on the owner of the business whether things go right or wrong. By chance did you take pictures of the damage to the insturment? If so keep them safe, don't post them here or on facebook etc,. in case this thing ends up in the courts. Basically do your best to keep yourself covered and try not to say anything that could be considered slander, definitely don't mention the name of the shop until you have the whole thing finalized to your liking and behind you.
Hate that this happened to you, I know how exciting a purchase like that can be and how disapointing it is when your brand new guitar is damaged and taken away from you.
Thanks for keeping a cool head, PBC… I'm going to do all those things you said. Didn't take pictures but I don't think I'll go to court over it. Just might never buy again from anonymous dealer.

If it means something, the guy who botched it was their hourly-paid repairman, but another guy who is independently contracted within the shop will be doing the fixing. I'll release respectful relevant details as the situation goes on. Thanks again, everyone.
 

JRenn

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,253
Make them cut a check for the price of the guitar the way it was before they attempted to place a pickup in it, if it is a legit shop they should stand behind their tech(s) work 100%. Just another reason I only use experienced LUTHIERS and not a music store tech that may or may not have the knowledge,training and expertise a LUTHIER offers........
Gregsguitars, their contracted guy used to be a luthier on the Nashville Gibson assembly line back in a good era. He's the guy that will repair.

Their in-shop guy, though…??? :dunno
 

JRenn

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,253
Make them cut a check for the price of the guitar the way it was before they attempted to place a pickup in it, if it is a legit shop they should stand behind their tech(s) work 100%. Just another reason I only use experienced LUTHIERS and not a music store tech that may or may not have the knowledge,training and expertise a LUTHIER offers........
Also, Greg, I bought the guitar from this store, so they have offered me a refund and will assumedly try to sell the guitar again in-store. The worst part of it is I just flat-out loved that guitar. Oh well, other fish in the sea. ::rolleyes:
 

PBC

Member
Messages
607
FWIW when I was first learing to work on instruments as a teenager I totally botched a tuning key upgrade on a customer's guitar, the customer also happened to be a friend of mine. The guitar was on the cheaper side and being that the customer was a friend of mine I thought I'd do him a favor and do the work myself rather than have our more experienced luthier do the repair work, that way he wouldn't have to pay for the more expensive install. I cracked the finish on the headstock vaneer around each tuning key slow from a bad reaming job ( i didn't know you were supposed to mask off the vaneer to keep it from splitting before you took the reamer to the headstock, hey I was a green teenager at the time!) and the whole thing looked absolutely awful by the time I was done.

The owner was not at all happy and gave the option to the customer to have it repaired on our dime, in reality he told me that the work was going to be done and I was going to pay for it for a number of reasons, 1) I did the damage and 2) I should not have done something that I didn't know how to do without at least asking for some guidance. The whole situation had a happy ending but it wasn't good for anyone on our end because the money made from the tuning key sale ended up going to pay for the repairs and we as a shop lost out on the profit we could have made if I had just let our repair guy do the work in the first place. As I look back on this almost 20 years later I can say that I learned my lesson from this one and it has certainly been something I think about whenever a situation like yours occurs. I hope that the shop works with you in whatever way you feel needed to make you feel whole and that both parties can salvage the relationship.
 

GPG Greg

Guitar fixer
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
193
They should replace the guitar with an exact match or give you fair market value PLUS a bonus for putting you in this position.
 

hank57

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
9,162
I like the Collins folk doing the repair and that little shop of horrors footing the bill. Nothing else will be better because you cannot trust the shops choices at this point.
 

hank57

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
9,162
They should replace the guitar with an exact match or give you fair market value PLUS a bonus for putting you in this position.
Actually this is the other best choice and then they figure out how recoup the money on the problem guitar.
 

GM Reszel

Member
Messages
1,126
I like the Collins folk doing the repair and that little shop of horrors footing the bill. Nothing else will be better because you cannot trust the shops choices at this point.
This, and I hate to say it, but threaten with a lawyer.
 

Jon C

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
17,825
This, and I hate to say it, but threaten with a lawyer.
Agree w/ first part, not with second.

All the threat will do is get their back up and they may just say "fine", go ahead.

Now the OP is on the hook to pay a lawyer (who will want his or her hourly fee) for what it is a serious thing for OP and for us players, but as a legal matter it's a relatively low dollar thing and the fees can mount.

So ... keep that thought should you need it but I don't think OP is near that yet unless he really wants to turn up the heat and be involved with this for some time (while shelling out $ to his lawyer).

I'd either take the full refund and move on or make the shop send it to Collings for repair @ shop's expense.

:cool:
 

zztomato

Senior Member
Messages
11,391
You don't need lawyers to get involved...yet.
If you really like the guitar- Collings guitars are awesome- then have them send it to Collings for the repair. WRT the repair, nothing short of that is acceptable -IMO. Most likely, the tech used a regular drill bit and screwed it up. Maybe he used the proper bit and something happened that was a fluke. You never know- **** happens...as they say. None of us are beyond reproach.
If you're not that attached to the guitar then get a full refund and they can do whatever.
I have a really great 2001 Collings OM that if something happened like that to I would just insist on the repair. It's a really special guitar to me though.
 






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