Forgive me for using this as a place to vent, but at this point I really need to, and hope someone can offer some advice on what to do next.
Playing guitar is my livelihood. Like most musicians, I don't make much money from it, bit I love doing it, and will gladly eat Mac and Cheese 5 nights a week and save for a new piece of gear.
Well, about a year ago I saved up for my first really nice acoustic guitar. I spent about $1100 on a new Martin D2R acoustic from Mars. It was beautiful--sounded great and played like buttah. Well about 2 months after I got home, a major crack developed on the top, at the seam running from the saddle to the ebd of the guitar. This was despite my taking meticuous care of it and properly storing it with a humidifier. After contacting MArs and ultimately Martin customer service, they told me to take it to Broken Neck Guitar Repair here in Boston for a warranty repair job.
Fine--I did that, and it was repaired by gluing the two pieces back together. There is now a major visible seam and you can certianly feel the repair, but intial testing in the shop indicated that it was ok.
When I got home and took it out of the case, I noticed the intonation was way off, and the action just wasn't right. I tuned it again, but over the course of several days it would quickly lose its tuning and the action seemed to be all over the place. I took it back to Broken Neck, and they did something to it, supposedly fixing it.
Well it didn't work. Over the course of 9 months I took it back 3 more times for adjustment. Then last week I got so frustrated I took it to another guitar shop for another adjustment. The guy took one look at it and said "Dude, you got hosed". Martin should replacxe this guitar or do something to make it right. Given what you paid for this, you shouldn't have to be dealing with this. "They have great customer service" he said. "They'll make it right in no time".
So I emailed Martin Guitars. And waited. A week passes, nothing. I email again. Nothing. One last email, nothing. Finally, a week and a half later, I call them up. The guy I spoke to said that it was a warranty and that Martin would only repair the work--not give me a new guitar or a credit towards the purchase of a new Martin. They told me to take it back to Broken Neck Guitar for adjustment. I told them I did that 4 times already. They then said, well, you can ship the guitar back to us and we'll take a look at it (to the tune of $60 at Mailboxes etc. for packaging and shipping).
I reluctantly agreed to this, until at the end of the conversation he says "oh, by the way, there is a SIX TO EIGHT MONTH BACKLOG".
Six to eight months!!?? I can't be without my guitar for 6 to 8 months. He said my only other option is to take it back to another Martin service center.
Two days later I finally recieve a reply to my original email:
"Good morning!!! Sorry for the delay in replying to your original email. I am glad to hear however, that Dale Sandt was able to help you...blah blah blah...
Consumer Customer Service"
Well, I emailed back Sandy saying that no, Dale Sandt was NOT able to help me, and I'm still here stuck with a Martin guitar that played fine for the first two months of ownership, period. Every moment since then has been an exercise in frustration and futility and what will Martin do to make this right?
Two days later I get another email from Sandy:
"Hello again! Martin will stand behind the Limited Lifetime Warranty and as the warranty states any problems due to defects in product or workmanship will be repaired, or at our option replace any defective parts, rather than to replace the instrument. When the instrument is received here, the repairmen in our repair department will do an evaluation to determine if a repair/replacement of the top is feasible, or if a new instrument should be issued. After they do this evaluation, you will receive a repair authorization which will state what they plan to do to correct the situation. At that time you either need to agree to the repair quotation or you would need to contact Sherri Hoff, she is the Customer Service/Repair Manager if you are not satisfied with the quoted repair. Thank you for your patience and understanding in this matter"
So let me see if I understand this....if I agree to the repair, it won't cost me anything but I will have to wait six to eight months to get it back?
So now I'm faced with a no-win situation. I can turn it in for repair, wait six to eight months and get a repaired guitar. I can't sell it and buy a new guitar becasue there is a major crack on top of the guitar. Or I can keep it and continually re-tune it and ajust the action.
My frustration at Martin Guitars and their "policies" is immense. All I want is a decent working guitar, without having to shell out more money and time. A replacement, or simply a credit to buy a new Martin. Is this too much to ask for?
AAAAUGH....I should have bought the Taylor.