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Thread: Customers dragging me into disputes

  1. #1
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    Customers dragging me into disputes

    One thing that gets me angry is customers who bring me recently purchased instruments or equipment for repair and then try to put me in the middle of a dispute. So the seller denies any problem and the buyer passes on my details for me to sort things out and justify my decisions and repair costs. It's happened again today. It can get really bitter, especially where the buyer is trying to get a refund of some sort. I refuse to get involved, which then irritates/angers my customer.

    Well, they can all walk.

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  2. #2
    Don't forget the joker g1's Avatar
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    This is used gear I guess?
    Another similar one is where you do a simple cleaning or other repair, and the owner puts it up for sale as 'fully serviced'.
    It's always hard to tell exactly how the item was represented to the buyer. And if it's just verbal, nothing can be done anyway.

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    "Everything is better with a tube. I have a customer with an all-tube pacemaker. His heartbeat is steady, reassuring and dependable, not like a modern heartbeat. And if it goes wrong he can fix it himself. You can't do that with SMD." - Mick Bailey

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    Old Timer Leo_Gnardo's Avatar
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    Another situation I love to avoid is when gear gets damaged in shipping. Even if it's just a little bit. I have one crustomer who has made a small fortune by clipping UPS for outrageous repair claims - something that could be fixed for $50, he collects a $900 claim. Like that. Good thing UPS has deep pockets.

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    Enjoy. Every. Sandwich.

  4. #4
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    Sounds like a good scam there.

    I have a Monster power conditioner where a board mounted transformer ripped apart during shipping.

    I told the guy who bought I may not be able to find a replacement.

    And he wants me to fix it anyway, great.

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  5. #5
    Supporting Member The Dude's Avatar
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    Just did the same with a Carvin power conditioner. The transformer wasn't salvageable. I ended up mounting a transformer off board and running wires into the board because I couldn't find one with the right footprint. Carvin was no help at all.

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    “Yeah, well, you know, that’s just, like, your opinion, man.”

  6. #6
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    I'll probably start another thread for the power conditioner, but what did you use dude?

    If I can't get info from Monster I'll have to refresh my tranny knowledge.
    I was able to measure the primary at 13 ohms that gets 120 volts to drive the logic circuits.
    Secondary windings we're about twice as thick with wire about half as thick.

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    Supporting Member The Dude's Avatar
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    There's no telling if your Monster is the same as my Carvin, although there's a chance it's the same Chinese made board. If you can post a pic of the transformer and/or board, I might recognize it. I did just look it up and the transformer I used was this one. It fits in a single rack space unit and there was plenty of room to mount it in the chassis. I just had to drill a couple holes to mount it.

    https://www.digikey.com/product-deta...679-ND/4878608

    P.S. I did have to calibrate the voltage readout slightly with the new transformer, but it wasn't hard to find the trimpot.

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    Last edited by The Dude; 02-05-2020 at 01:16 AM.
    “Yeah, well, you know, that’s just, like, your opinion, man.”

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    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    As far as I know Carvin is currently just a name in the "who really owns it now" circle. In 2009 the founder died and in 2015 they split operations between guitars and amps and started a NEW guitar company, Kiesel Guitars to sell Carvin and Kiesel guitars. Somewhere along the line between then and now their website went bye bye for a long time. In 2017 their Ca. factory closed it's doors after 70 years and then in 2018 their website was re launched. Who knows WTF they actually are anymore. Tech support? Pfffftt!

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    "In fact when I run into problems working on electronic circuirts, there are so many times that when I finally track it down, the source of the problem is located between my soldering iron and my seat." SoulFetish

    "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

    "Being born on third base and thinking that you must have hit a triple is pure delusion!" Steve A

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    Old Timer Leo_Gnardo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck H View Post
    As far as I know Carvin is currently just a name in the "who really owns it now" circle. In 2009 the founder died and in 2015 they split operations between guitars and amps and started a NEW guitar company, Kiesel Guitars to sell Carvin and Kiesel guitars. Somewhere along the line between then and now their website went bye bye for a long time. In 2017 their Ca. factory closed it's doors after 70 years and then in 2018 their website was re launched. Who knows WTF they actually are anymore. Tech support? Pfffftt!
    I remember a couple of years ago, the "Carvin going out of business" story. At the same time, a number of "secret" Carvin schematics were suddenly made available, so that's one good thing.

    Never was a fan of their so-called "tech support." "Carvin does not supply schematics" one of two answers I got. The other answer was confirmed by one of my local customers who was told "just ship your malfunctioning equipment to us, and we'll fix it so it's factory fresh." He did that with his demised combo amp. Eighteen months later, after paying return shipping, he got his amp back. With the same exact problem for which it was sent to be repaired. About $200 shipping plus a year and a half wait = phooey! "Made in USA", whoop-dee-doo, wave the flag, we're soooooo proud! Bollocks...

    I know I mentioned this some years ago here, and some folks apparently got better treatment. How, I'll never know.

    Anybody asked me about Carvin gear, I told them the truth from my experience: "Their best product is their catalog." A glossy production with stunning photos of their offerings, complete with stage fog, glitzy star-lens photographs, and of course scantily clad women. Well, they sure knew how to get the attention of their target market of wanna-be rock stars.

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    Enjoy. Every. Sandwich.

  10. #10
    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    Well I had a DC400 that I ordered with a 25.5 scale length. They shipped it with the bridge pickup mounted where it should be for the 24.75 scale guitar Repeated complaints yielded no accountability on their part for the error. I had the hole routed back for a correct mount and forward to mount another pickup just in front of the bridge. Making it a three humbucker guitar with the bridge and middle pickup right next to each other. I wired it for coil split and made it so the front coil of the middle pickup, the rear coil on the bridge and the front coil on the neck were selected. Basically strat positions. I also had to adjust the saddle height on the locking trem to match the fingerboard radius using shims made from a feeler gauge kit.

    I used the hell out of that guitar during my gigging years. Aside from the blatant errors and the lack of accountability I can say that it ended up an eminently playable, toneful and versatile guitar. Stable trem and stable tuning in various environmental conditions. VERY playable, fast and comfortable. I can honestly say that I've never had a faster or more comfortable guitar. And I can honestly say that I never ordered another one.

    I replaced it with an Ibanez RG570 and then later the Warmoth frankenstrat that is my main squeeze now. I sold the Carvin to a (ex) friend that always coveted it. Don't know where it ended up, but I'll bet someone loves it. They sure wouldn't have the way it was sold to me though.

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    "In fact when I run into problems working on electronic circuirts, there are so many times that when I finally track it down, the source of the problem is located between my soldering iron and my seat." SoulFetish

    "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

    "Being born on third base and thinking that you must have hit a triple is pure delusion!" Steve A

  11. #11
    Old Timer olddawg's Avatar
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    I’m grew up in San Diego County. I’m 64. Carvin was in Escondido so I was around them for decades. You could drive to their factory and buy stuff right there so there was a lot of it about... but it always had a “garage band” stigma. Their earlier guitars had Hofner necks. Their earlier tube amps were pretty generic. I used to HATE to work on their mixers... especially the later ones with onboard effects processors since there was no documentation. I even knew a couple of “techs” that worked there.. They weren’t techs. They were low wage parts changers with little or no knowledge of electronics. They would board swap and replace speakers on current models. Anything out of production... forget it.

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  12. #12
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    The instrument in dispute is a Gretsch Brian Setzer 6120. No fret wear or signs of much playing, but all of the nickel is corroded like a 60 year old guitar that's come out of a damp garage. I often see this with little-played instruments kept in their cases. The case absorbs moisture and holds it there. So, the neck relief was .036", 13th fret well raised and the 14th onward uneven. Neck was twisted towards the treble side. The pickups packed with plywood, strips of card and veneer so that the E and A strings touched when frettted in higher positions. The pickup screws on the bass side rusted away and the timber softened too much to take a screw where the corrosion and damp had attacked the fibres. Pickup polepieces incorrectly adjusted and some rusted solid. Truss rod nut seized due to corrosion. Other faults are the bridge location and dimensions being incorrect from the factory.

    When presented with this list the seller replied by saying he didn't understand why I though the bridge was in the wrong place and its pinned from the factory. As usual I'm the dummy who doesn't know what he's talking about, sandwiched in the middle. Now the new owner is being a complete prick as well and just sent me a really annoying email that's made me see red.

    Take a look at the underside of the neck pickup - it gives some clue as to how damp such a recently made guitar has been kept.
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  13. #13
    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    Wow! I just don't have a good answer for you on this one. One side of me says "take on the fight" because this seller is clearly nefarious and stands my hackles on end. But logic says that there's no positive outcome for you in such a course. Not your problem. And as we've all learned, the hard way, you should never argue with idiots because every other dummy in proximity won't be able to tell the difference. It's a lose/lose. Tell the customer you'll write a summary of your observations and let that be the end of it unless he wants to personally guarantee payment for the extensive repairs. You can't fix the guitar for him and be expected to chase payment from the crook that duped him. If your customer doesn't get that you should drop him as fast as possible.

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    "In fact when I run into problems working on electronic circuirts, there are so many times that when I finally track it down, the source of the problem is located between my soldering iron and my seat." SoulFetish

    "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

    "Being born on third base and thinking that you must have hit a triple is pure delusion!" Steve A

  14. #14
    Lifetime Member Enzo's Avatar
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    I think I would provide the customer all those photos, like the one here and the others of the stupidity in the instrument. Explain it is obviously not stock. And I would post publicly any such photos so anyone hearing only one side of the story can see what is what.

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    Education is what you're left with after you have forgotten what you have learned.

  15. #15
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    I've given my customer pictures and a full rundown of what's wrong. I found another problem yesterday - from the factory the Bigsby is misaligned to the body well over towards the bass side. To add to the pile of misery the guitar was advertised as having TV Jones Brian Setzer signature pickups. It hasn't - the pickups are clearly Classics, with no signature on the cover. I've sent my customer some pictures and a rundown of what's wrong. He also came over yesterday and I ran through first hand with him what was wrong, what's been fixed and what still needs to be fixed. He now gets the picture. I also ran through what to look for when buying any guitar. The trouble is he buys blind off the web, something I never do, except maybe if it was a project guitar or really cheap.

    I've seen a lot of expensive-but-poor guitars innocently bought over the years that have major problems. Often they appear to be completely unplayed and maybe this points to a deeper reason why. You can't see a twisted neck on a picture, or hear it fretting out all over the place, or smell the inside of the musty case.

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