Missed the Point?

Discussion in 'Epiphone SG' started by AudioFreque3000, Mar 14, 2019.

  1. AudioFreque3000

    AudioFreque3000 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2018
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    9
    Hello All,

    It has been awhile since I was up on the forum with my seemingly miraculous repair story. Well, Naysayers (which, there weren't many), you were right and the repair did not hold. As a last ditch attempt to salvage my sanity in the matter, I decided to call Gibson/Epiphone in hopes of, at least, gaining a sympathetic ear. My conversation did not go well with their tech... In turn, I sent them message via Talk 2 Us to share my experience. It was limited in characters I could send, so it is brief and I was upset. Thank you in advance for reading the whole thing.

    Here is what I sent:

    Hello, I just spoke with one of your customer service representatives about a situation I have with a broken G-400 Pro. As I explained to him, it was the victim of a somewhat bizarre accident as it fell out of a guitar stand, while in a genuine Epiphone padded bag; resulting in an across-the-grain headstock break. He stated that there was nothing they could do, nor are willing to do, other than refer me to a 3rd party luthier to see about repairing it. I have consulted a several luthiers and repair services only to find that the cost of the repair would exceed the value of the instrument. This is the first Gibson/Epiphone guitar I have owned, fulfilling a childhood dream of owning an SG guitar. That dream has obviously been ruined and I am soured on the brand as in researching the repair has made me realize that this is truly a design flaw in your instruments as similar headstock break scenarios litter the internet. My call today was to seek a true "guitar hero", but to no avail.


    Here was their response:

    Hello,
    Thank you for your email inquiry. We do our best to help our customers in situations that would constitute warranty evaluation up to repairing and even replacement, however accidental impact damage is not covered under warranty.

    We sell and have sold throughout the years thousands upon thousands of SG body type instruments that never have any issues whatsoever, which is a testament to the design of the instrument.

    As with a guitar which is made from wood and not steel or any type of impact-resistant material, accidental damage situations are not signs of a design flaw, they are simply an unfortunate accident which has caused damage to the instrument.

    We would be very willing to help you if the situation was applicable to the warranty on the product. We hope you can appreciate and understand our position.

    Best Regards, Terry Greene

    Here is my response to Terry's Message:

    Hello Mr. Greene,

    Thank you for the follow-up e-mail. Quite frankly, I was skeptical that I would hear anything from you, but it is at least, reassuring there are still humans on the other end of your customer service. Your response, unfortunately, still leaves me quite cold and unconvinced that we are not dealing with a defect in the design. Car manufacturers also sell thousands of cars every year and sometimes it may take a decade or more to discover an issue that requires a recall and correction. Granted, I am not comparing apples to apples, as cars are for more complicated and safety is the guiding principal, but to say that you’ve sold thousands that “never have any issues whatsoever” makes you appear blissfully unaware of what the rest of the internet is saying, and thereby out of touch with your customers. Do a Bing or Google visual search for “broken headstock” and you will see what I mean. In a regular search, you’ll see many articles, and forum references to the issue, too. Even in your own customer forums!

    As I explained on the phone, this was my second Epiphone SG guitar. The first was riddled with so many issues that I had to return it. It had big problems with staying in tune, neck dive, a hump after the 12th fret, and the finish coming off. I spoke to someone at Epiphone service that acknowledge the version of the SG I bought was really a “beginners” instrument. Which, as a music teacher, should not mean “poor quality” but should mean, “basic, yet durable.” So, I saved up a bit more and stepped into what I felt was a clear upgrade with the G-400 Pro. I loved it right from the start. None of the issues as before – except, for a bit of neck dive. Certainly not top-of-the-line, but fulfilling my childhood desire to have an SG. I acquired the padded Epiphone bag as part of your SG Month promotion and was thrilled.

    Several months later I was showcasing the guitar to my students. After a day of wowing elementary kids with modest blues licks and strumming along to folk tunes, I placed it in the padded bag on an a-frame guitar stand as I had done hundreds of times before with this instrument and a couple of others. I walked away and several moment later the bag fell forward followed by a sickening snapping noise. My heart sank, because I knew, before I even picked it up, what had happened. I knew, because, in researching the issues with my first SG, headstock breaks were common on Gibson/Epiphone instruments. Fool me once. . .

    Again, as I explained to the tech on the phone, I went to exhausting lengths to see about repairing it. Everything luthier and/or service came back with “it would be more to repair than the instrument is worth.” Finally, through the EverythingSG forums, I determined I would be better off to attempt the repair myself using Gorilla super glue than to let the instrument fade into memory. I was successful! The repair held and restrung the instrument with a lower gauge of strings and overwrapped the bridge to relieve tension. It was playable again and I was happy until the dry times of February hit. I believe the repair failed due the seasonal sways of humidity of Northern Ohio. I don’t know for sure, but again, it was in the padded bag when it happened.

    So, my call to your Customer Service department this time was a last ditch effort to salvage something of my dream. I was realistic. I didn’t expect them to say that they would replace it but I also didn’t expect to get an unsympathetic, emotionless response. I wish I had taken the tech’s name. Was it you? I hope not. At a minimum, I was hoping to engage someone who appreciated the situation for it was and would maybe offer to do something that would make me want to buy another Gibson/Epiphone product. Instead, the conversation cemented in my mind that it’s just not worth the potential agony of having to go through this again. The design is flawed. If it was not, your major competitors would have adopted it. The successful minor builders that use a similar designs have modified it by using better quality woods, other modern materials, and incorporating reinforcement techniques.

    So, it’s your move Mr. Greene. At this point, if a child or parent would approach me about a buying a guitar, I could not confidently recommend your products or company. I only hope that changes for the positive at some point because your roots are deep in our musical culture but your legacy is clearly suffering.

    Good Luck,

    He quickly rebounded with:

    Hello,

    I haven’t spoken with you prior to my email response, however, whichever of my coworkers you had spoken to previously did give you the correct response, as did I.

    Any guitar that has suffered impact damage would not be covered under warranty. Below is an excerpt taken directly from the warranty which lists the limitations of the “Limited Lifetime Warranty”:

    This Warranty Is Subject To The Following Limitations

    [​IMG]
    THIS WARRANTY DOES NOT COVER:

    1. Any instrument that has been altered or modified in any way or upon which the serial number has been tampered with or altered.

    2. Any instrument whose warranty card has been altered or upon which false information has been given.

    3. Any instrument that has been damaged due to misuse, negligence, accident, or improper operation.

    4. The subjective issue of tonal characteristics.

    5. Shipping damages of any kind.

    6. Any instrument that has been subjected to extremes of humidity or temperature.

    7. Normal wear and tear (i.e; worn frets, worn machine heads, worn plating, string replacement, scratched pickguards, or damages to or discoloration of the instrument finish for any reason).

    8. Any instrument that has been purchased from an unauthorized dealer, or upon which unauthorized repair or service has been performed.

    9. Any factory-installed electronics after a period of one (1) year following the original date of purchase.

    If I’m reading your last email correctly, it appears the instrument suffered a break after an initial fall, and then was glued together with Gorilla glue, and then suffered a break due to another fall.

    I just wanted to mention to you that not all, but some of the retailers do offer insurance to help in regards to accidental situations that may occur. There are also cases such as “Anvil” and “Gator” that offer protection against impact damage.

    Just a couple thoughts that might help in the future.

    Best Regards,
     
  2. Thumpalumpacus

    Thumpalumpacus Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2019
    Messages:
    191
    Likes Received:
    195
    Who the Hell puts a guitar on a stand inside its gig-bag?

    A Gibson headstock is not the strongest design, but in my multiple years of owning Gibsons, I only had one issue, which I too caused myself. I don't expect warranties to cover my mistakes.
     
  3. AudioFreque3000

    AudioFreque3000 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2018
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    9
    That's a good question, which, I can answer! I'm a traveling music teacher. I am typically lugging a guitar with a Quik-Lok a-frame stand designed for electrics and acoustics, a laptop, and a bag with a Honeytone amp, books, etc. After I am done with instruction and getting ready to pick up and go, I bag the guitar and put it on the stand while I gather everything else. I've done it like that for years and have never had a guitar go over like this. But, you did make me think about why this happened and I think when I set it in the stand, it didn't lean back enough and the heavier headstock cause the instrument to go over. So, thank you, for helping to reflect on the "why".

    I don't expect Gibson to replace the guitar but they could at least be empathetic to my situation. John Greene did NOT read and understand my full message and I think it is indicative of them just not caring about the customer.
     
  4. Chuteboxehero

    Chuteboxehero Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2018
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    56
    I had a G-400 for years before I could afford a Gibson SG. Actually I've had two. Anyhow, both exceptional guitars for the price. As with any Guitar, if you drop one or knock one over or forget one on your trunk before leaving a gig, and somehow they manage to escape without any damage you should consider yourself lucky. As much as it hurts to snap a headstock, it's a stretch to expect Gibson to warranty a repair that's caused by negligence. Also saying it's a design flaw is a bit ridiculous too.

    Edit: Didn't see your 2nd post before I wrote this. The idea of an SG having a "heavier" headstock thus causing it to fall forward off of a stand is creative but it's also complete B.S. Neck dive in my opinion is caused more by the strap post placement than anything else. I'd bet that stand you put your guitar on wasn't meant to hold a guitar in a case securely.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2019
    Dale and steveb63 like this.
  5. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2017
    Messages:
    2,038
    Likes Received:
    2,446
    In 2006, I purchased a new Gibson Explorer finished in natural mahogany. I played it for 6 years without any issues until one day the truss rod adjustment nut started to burrow its way into the wood. I sent it back to the factory under warranty. They determined that it had to be scrapped and built me a new guitar with a natural finish which was not available as a stock color at the time. My experience with customer service was very positive.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  6. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2012
    Messages:
    10,658
    Likes Received:
    8,742
    Location:
    -
    Unfortunate, but not their fault and not a design flaw. It's a MUSICAL INSTRUMENT, not an industrial sledge hammer. I have never broken one myself, I did profit from another's mistake and bought my best playing SG with a snapped headstock which took me 10minutes of bench time and 20 cents worth of glue to repair. The headstock and neck angle are thought by many, including me, to make Gibson guitars the even toned, resonant instruments that are the standard of Rock and Roll!
     
    steveb63 and dub-setter like this.
  7. Thumpalumpacus

    Thumpalumpacus Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2019
    Messages:
    191
    Likes Received:
    195
    I don't know how much he read of your emails, but what I read of them strikes me as more than a touch customer-aggressive.

    The moment you strap a guitar on, or put it on a stand, or hang it on a wall-hanger, or take it to a gig, you're almost always outside the scope of the warranty. It covers mechanical failure, not user practice. Writing long emails doesn't change that basic fact of business.
     
    SG standard and cerebral gasket like this.
  8. Thumpalumpacus

    Thumpalumpacus Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2019
    Messages:
    191
    Likes Received:
    195
    It is a design flaw, though. There needs to be more wood behind the routing for the truss-rod adjustment. It's terribly thin across a good portion of the neck's breadth.
     
    Layne Matz and dub-setter like this.
  9. Chuteboxehero

    Chuteboxehero Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2018
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    56
    I agree on that end. I meant it more as if headstocks were snapping off while being played rather than being dropped. As though they should be designed to withstand impact.
     
    Thumpalumpacus likes this.
  10. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2017
    Messages:
    2,038
    Likes Received:
    2,446
    I like volutes.
     
    Layne Matz and Thumpalumpacus like this.
  11. GrumpyOldDBA

    GrumpyOldDBA Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2018
    Messages:
    551
    Likes Received:
    502
    Location:
    Cleveland
    Sorry to hear about your guitar accident.

    Head stock breaks do happen with Gibsons and Epiphones at times. Most often associated with a shock/fall/major bump to the guitar as far as I know.

    Wood glue ( titebond by Franklin I think is the fairly universal standard for guitars ? ) properly prepared and clamped and set seems to be the only viable long term solution. Some people apparently think a headstock fixed that way is even stronger than the original ( I dunno about that yikes ).

    Good luck with getting this second failure fixed!
     
  12. JESUSG

    JESUSG Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2014
    Messages:
    93
    Likes Received:
    27
    I recommend a hard case.
     
  13. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2009
    Messages:
    7,231
    Likes Received:
    6,879
    Location:
    Michigan
    I recommend buying another Epiphone or two, and moving
    on with your life. The back angle to the headstock is not a
    design flaw IMHO... it is a weak point, but its function is to pull
    the strings tight down in the nut slots, and give our Gibbies and
    Epis the awesome tone we expect from them.

    And it does. The corollary to this is that the guitar owner is in
    charge of protecting his instrument. Like Professor Moody says:
    CONSTANT VIGILANCE... Gibson guitars have a 17 degree back
    angle, which makes them more awesome sounding and more vulnerable
    than Epis, which use a 14 degree back angle. The Epiphone design is
    an attempt at compromise, still getting great tone but not as extreme
    an angle, and not as weak across the grain of the mahogany at that
    crucial headstock joint.

    Trying to blame someone else for your misfortune is not too smart.
    it's nobody's fault... you had an accident. You allowed your guitar
    to fall. Guitars break sometimes, or get stolen. We all know that.
    I've never broken a headstock either, but have had guitars blown off
    their stands by a gust of wind, I've had my bass fall on my acoustic
    because I leaned it against the amp and there was a loose board on
    stage. I had one guitar tumble out of its case onto concrete because
    I was distracted by lovely ladies while packing up. It's part of the job.

    Epiphone guitars are so cheap that the guitarist should have a second
    one as a backup. But I keep my two Epiphones in good quality cases,
    because they are both excellent guitars.

    You choose which guitar you play based on what it sounds like, IMHO.
    And if you want the Gibson tone, or the Epiphone tone, you buy one
    and take care of it.
     
    arcticsg and GrumpyOldDBA like this.
  14. AudioFreque3000

    AudioFreque3000 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2018
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    9
    Thank you, everyone for your input, recommendations, and sympathy. I will take them all to heart. I don’t wholly blame Gibson/Epiphone for my guitar falling over and breaking. I have never expected them to step up and repair or replace it. All of that, absolutely, falls on me. My real sticking point with them and Terry Greene is this:

    The music industry is as much about relationships as it is about the instruments and gear. Right now, I am preaching to a choir of like-minded SG lovers – this, couldn’t be a better example of how we value these relationships. When I fired off that message to Talk 2 Us, I was upset from talking to a tech who could have cared less about the person on the other end of the line. He’s just a tech and maybe he is not trained on how to manage someone who is clearly in an emotional state about losing his beloved guitar. But, Terry Greene, should be. What is the point of Talk 2 Us, if there aren’t really listening?

    Anyone can throw back policy into a customer’s face. In doing so, he neglected the rest of what was in my response – which, I still contend, he did not read to comprehend. I guess I hold too high of expectations of customer service, or maybe, I just didn’t spend enough money or had a good enough guitar to be a bother for him. So, I have been mulling around what I expected, and I have determined that I was hoping for something like the following:


    Dear (First Name),

    We are so sorry to hear of the accident that lead to the headstock break on your beloved SG. Unfortunately, there is not much we can offer to do in terms of repair or replacement as this is not a warranty issue, but if you send us some pictures will can at least have a reference to research some options for you to explore. Gibson/Epiphone has a long history of make fine guitars and other musical instruments. To say this is a “design flaw”, remains to be seen, as we have sold thousands of SG’s over the decades with much positive feedback from beginners to top players around the world. Through those years, we have strived to refine design, manufacturing, and quality of all of our line.

    We would hate to lose you as a customer and even more that you should give up on your dream of owning an SG. Send us the name of your favorite Gibson retailer and we’ll send you a coupon towards the one-time purchase of a shiny new SG, or any other Gibson product you desire. Thank you again for contacting Talk 2 Us.

    Rock On!

    John Greene
     
  15. Norton

    Norton Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2013
    Messages:
    720
    Likes Received:
    336
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    That response would’ve been great. But you kind of broke the chain of responsibility as far as Epiphone in concerned when you tried to “fix” the guitar.

    Gorilla super glue was a bad idea. Not the right glue for that repair.

    And that makes any evaluation of flaw or mistake on the maker’s part really tough if not impossible to determine.

    Sorry man. Broken guitars suck. It’s even worse when you break them, which I have done. But making a solid repair yourself is fantastic.

    You can salvage this guitar and it’ll be stronger than before. Spend some time with stewmac’s YouTube repair vids. Be careful not to glue your truss rod in place.

    But you can fix it!

    You’ll need to remove ALL the residual super glue. Acetone. Nail polish remover. Etc. Got to remove ALL that super glue.

    Get some wood glue. Titebond 1. Nothing fancy. Nothing “special” or improved. OR you could use system 3 T88 structural epoxy.

    Get your better suited for the job glue in place clean up any push out wrap it with wax paper and clamp it clamp it clamp it.

    It’ll never break there again.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019
  16. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2012
    Messages:
    10,658
    Likes Received:
    8,742
    Location:
    -
    Only if you use it as a mallet.:cheers: Seriously, do you wear your Rolex in the shower, much less use it for a hockey puck? I've owned and gigged Gibsons and Epiphones for 50+ years, never broke the neck on any of 'em in normal use.
     
  17. dub-setter

    dub-setter Active Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2013
    Messages:
    483
    Likes Received:
    225
    Location:
    berlin
    yap

    that part of the guitar is a very sensible spot...

    but there is no way that they will accept this as a warranty case.
    (understandable)

    i would recommend to take it to a good luthier nearby
    to have this fixed /glued for you, if possible.

    good luck !
     
  18. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2017
    Messages:
    2,038
    Likes Received:
    2,446
    LOL!
    Reminds me of someone that claimed they knocked a hubcap back in place with a Tele.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019
    Biddlin and Thumpalumpacus like this.
  19. SG standard

    SG standard Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2014
    Messages:
    1,436
    Likes Received:
    1,800
    You drop a glass of beer on the floor, it smashes. You drop a plastic one, it bounces. Does the glass have a design flaw? No, it's just more delicate than it's plastic counterpart, it'll do it's job just fine for a life time if you don't drop it. But either way you loose a glass of beer - accidents are rarely happy.

    I'm not quite sure why you contacted Epiphone in the first place, as it it should've been clear they're not going to fix accidental damage. What, exactly, did you want from them? You're now saying 'they could've been empathetic to my situation' - but I'm sure you weren't just looking for empathy. If you were, going on the attack and accusing them of selling a product with a design flaw seems a strange way of seeking it. Especially as it is untrue. And did you think suggesting you'd no longer recommend their products to the parents clamouring for your guitar-buying advice was going to get you some empathy?

    Jeez, I'm glad I don't have to go to work in Customer Service every day.
     
  20. Thumpalumpacus

    Thumpalumpacus Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2019
    Messages:
    191
    Likes Received:
    195
    Nor have I. But I've also read of other Gibson owners discovering a broken headstock when opening a case after it fell onto the front side.

    Here's a cross-section of a Gibson headstock. As you can see, under the truss-rod routing, there is little wood. This is compounded by the fact that with a one-piece neck/headstock build, the grain of the wood offers less support after the headstock transition (because wood tends to break along grain-lines).

    [​IMG]

    I'm careful with all my guitars, and have only dropped one in forty years. But that picture does not show good design.
     
    cerebral gasket likes this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice