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Thread: I'm going to bitch about Martin Guitars...

  1. #1
    octoruss's Avatar
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    I'm going to bitch about Martin Guitars...

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    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...
    Sincerely,
    Sandy
    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?

    Yes.

    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.


  2. #2
    eyeslikefire's Avatar
    eyeslikefire is offline I CAN SMELL EM!
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    Damm octo, that sucks the big one!
    Man why don't you try writing or talking to a big cheese in Martin.
    That shit aint right! Don't stop pesterin them till they resolve the issue. Thats downright bullshit!
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    dude... I feel for ya... I spent $1500 on my acoustic and took it home excited as a pimply virgin on prom night about to get his first taste.... anywho, I was taking it out of the case and the lid fell. the metal pokie part by the latch put a nice ding in the top. No other structural damage than that, but I cried anyway. Still plays great, sounds great... anyway, back to you... I would highly suggest a massive anti-Martin warranty/policy campaign. The more noise you make the more nervous and anxious they'll be to resolve the issue. Be sure to let them see where you're campaigning.
    *My Karma ran over my Dogma!*

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    JR#97 is right on the money... next time you talk/email Martin, give them a link to this thread. It's enough to make me think twice about buying one of their guitars.

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    Fusioninspace is offline Dedicated Member
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    Your best bet might be to use regular mail (not email) to contact Martin and copy in: your U.S. congressperson, your local Better Business Bureu, the Broken Neck manager, the local Mars manager and Mars headquarters customer service. Be sure to put the CC: thing at the bottom and include complete addresses of each.

    Basically, copy the information you posted above. And clearly state that you would like a direct replacement of the guitar and not a repair.

    Keep it clear, to the point, add exact dates and names of people you talked to.

    That's probably your best approach without getting a lawyer involved - it's worked for me on several situations in the past. Expect some mail from the BBB and maybe a phone call or letter from your congressperson.

    good luck!!!

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    JR#97's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Fusioninspace
    Your best bet might be to use regular mail (not email) to contact Martin and copy in: your U.S. congressperson, your local Better Business Bureu, the Broken Neck manager, the local Mars manager and Mars headquarters customer service. Be sure to put the CC: thing at the bottom and include complete addresses of each.

    Basically, copy the information you posted above. And clearly state that you would like a direct replacement of the guitar and not a repair.

    Keep it clear, to the point, add exact dates and names of people you talked to.

    That's probably your best approach without getting a lawyer involved - it's worked for me on several situations in the past. Expect some mail from the BBB and maybe a phone call or letter from your congressperson.

    good luck!!!
    speaking of snail mail... having a letter sent on attorney letterhead gets attention and instills fear. If you know someone who works for an attorney, see if they'll send the letter. doesn't even have to be an attorney or state that they are an attorney.
    *My Karma ran over my Dogma!*

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    I agree the procedure fusion in space is talking about...

    Man, that certainly sucks bigtime. When you spend that much money on a acoustic guitar it has to be perfect. Definetely post a link to this thread in your next email. Companies are very sensitive for bad publicity.

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    octoruss's Avatar
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    Everyone, thanks for the replies. At least the sympathy makes me feel a little bit better.

    For what it's worth, I emailed back to Martin and told them I made postings about the situation on 2 BBSs, and that I would be making regular updates as to how they were going to handle the situation.

    Well, I got an email pretty quickly from them saying I will get a call from them on Tuesday after the holiday....hopefully it will work!

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    Go over their head if you need to. Call their corporate office and tell them you write web reviews on equipment, blah blah. I bet you will see them jump. If you can get a hold of somebody who actually feels responsible for the reputation of the company you will get much better service.

    I was having a problem with Cox communications, the local cable company. My modem was running like shit and after 4 months of tech visits and support calls they said there was nothing they could do to improve my service. I called their corp office in Atlanta and threatened a class action suit because I know others in the area with the same problem. Within one week they had their 2 top techs out to trace my line and locate a broken face plate farther down the line.

    The squeeky wheel gets the grease. Good luck and next time by Larivee

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    Sorry to hear the BS from Martin.

    Tell them they are acting more like Jerry Lewis!
    #15 "And then she said...."
    #25 "That is funny shit...."
    #35 "You know your shit....Bastage!"
    #45 "Ahhh... Something new!"
    #55 "That is refreshing."

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