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Re: Defective blackface gibsons being sold?

Dear Defective Detectives,

In a message dated 11/06/04 8:31:56, Jeffrey.Larson@Sun.COM writes:

If you get one from MF that has a few small scratches on the top surface
of the back right corner, it may be the one I returned. I'll bet MF just
tosses returned items back into the warehouse, or marks them down

as "blemished" and tries to sell them again. Beware.

It's possible -- if a returned item checks out on powerup when it reaches
the Returns Dept. at MF and no "functional" problem is detected. They'd likely
look it over, dust it off and sell it as a "blem" . . . maybe.

But there is no profit in knowingly selling actually "bad" (nonfunctional)
returned gear to an unwitting public when there is a relatively easy
path for MF to return stuff to the manufacturer for an inventory
replacement (something I wish we end-customers could do).

And, mostly, this is what they do. MF has no real repair staff of their
own to speak of. They have a person (or two) who are about at the
level where they are qualified to restring a guitar or bass and make
any reasonable minor adjustments to its settup and/or flip an on/off
switch to some electronic piece of gear looking for the red power light.
That's about all.

Believe me. MF is ALL about profit. Alienating customers by shipping
them KNOWN dead gear is not something they'd do. If Gibson is
shipping stuff that's getting damaged en route (or something) MF
has no staff (and almost no way) to check that 'til they hear from
the end-customer. If they actually inspected (let alone tested) every
piece of kit that came through their shipping bay doors you wouldn't
get the prices from them that you do.

I am no particular friend of Musicians Fiend (sic). They can be
rather callous to customers with back-ordered items (sometimes).
And sometimes they DO sell crap. Some of their "Rogue" and other
third-world "no name" imprint items are real dogs. But, every
now and again you get a real gem among those (those "Artisan"
lap steels for $79 for instance) that turn into minor hits.

I speak with some first-hand insider knowledge of MF's inner workings.
You can trust them to be reasonably honest within the domain of what's
also profitable. The degree of service you may get from them may be
somewhat small (but so are their margins on some things). I'd look for
the answer to the "Mystery of the Defective EDPs" arriving from there
somewhere in the shipping of the units fro m the factory in question.
Bad luck (and an unfortunate bad rap) for everyone all around.