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From an ex-Gibson fanboy - What use is the Gibson 'Lifetime' Warranty?

Wirehead

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Jan 26, 2022
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So the honeymoon with my LP is over and we're now enjoying the ups and downs of life together.

It was my first pukka Lester so I'd sit there for hours staring at the thing and hiding in plain site were a bunch of scratches, tooling marks and gouges in the inlays and some weird scratches on the fretboard running 45 deg across a number of frets (you could only see at certain angles). The fretwire is fine so that suggests that the damage occured (or was not spotted) prior to installation of the wire. I say this because of the direction of the scratching. They simply cannot have been caused by bending or excessive pressure. I contacted the dealer, who contacted Gibson who said - the client's had the guitar for six months, nothing to do with us. End of.

What I can't believe is just how both dealer and Gibson locked down on the matter. To be fair, the dealer did offer some options (for a price!) whereas Gibson's suggestions ranged from insane 'put some lemon oil on it' - on an inlay :rolleyes: - to the practical 'just play it'. So I'm thinking, is it me, my style of play? I checked, documented and photgraphed every guitar I have (some less expensive some considerably more) and every single board is fine - even the SG ;). Ironically, best of all was an old Epiphone LP whose board and inlays were off the scale, so the excercise wasn't wasted.

So. Is it obvious - no, not from above; does it affect playability - no; would I have the kahunas to try and style it out if I'd caused the damage - equally, no. I'm best part of 60 yrs old, work in a professional capacity as a desk jockey ie: not touring or musician, and maybe used it 24 - 48 hrs in TOTAL. I don't really have time for this sort BS (I guess Gibson are saying the same about me), I just thought they've gotten to be No1 (arguably) by being the best. so it will be played, lightly oiled and wirewooled every string change and it'll go away (hopefully before I shuffle off this mortal coil :oops:). Until then I need to live with it. It's not a piece of junk, I bloody love the guitar. I just can't figure out why Gibson are being such a-holes? By their logic, it seems they'd expect your fretboard should resemble that after 6 months of occasional play. It's a shame.

Made me think, having read through the warranty, they have it sewn up good and proper! Damage to wood, clients fault - fair wear n tear; electrics - warranted 1 year; failed tuning peg - not their problem...

I genuinely cannot think of ANY occurence that could ever trigger a warranty after you walk it out of the store, or your obligatory (UK) 14 days distance buying regulations are over. So here's the challenge...Can anyone? (For their next round of cutting costs maybe they should save themselves some ink and paper and get some proper QC at final inspection).
 

DutchRay

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Mar 15, 2015
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569
Broken trussrod, body-neck seperation and faulty electronics are covered by Lifetime Warranty. Most other issues are redirected to the dealer and a good in-store tech can take care of any of those issues.
 

Bamarado

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Jul 8, 2022
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So you mention that Gibson said "the client's had the guitar for six months." Did you have the LP for 6 months before making a warranty claim? If so, I can see why they denied it. The issues you stated are cosmetic, and Gibson can't have everyone who gets a scratch (that they actually did put on their guitar) bringing it in for warranty repairs 6 months after purchase just because they are mad they scratched their guitar (not saying you did this, but plenty of people would). If they cover defects in the manufacturing process, those defects should be brought to their attention before 6 months after purchase.
 

Wirehead

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Jan 26, 2022
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Bamarado/ Dutch Ray - I absolutely agree with you both... so with whom does the burden of proof sit and particularly that the manufacturer isn't even bothered to look into the detail - suggesting lemon oil for an inlay or defend their position?

"defects should be brought to their attention before 6 months after purchase" - I'm not sure I agree. The warranty (stated as lifetime) should be valid whenever a user discovers a defect. Specifically there is no timeframe called out other than 'lifetime' - so that is what it is.

My point being, it is evident that the scratches run across a number of frets on the wood and inlays - start on one and continue across another, if over the top, the fret wire would be marked and the marks would appear stepped out - therefore, it must've happened during production. Bending would cause vertical marks, excessive pressure would cause horizontal - these are neither? So with Gibson effectively saying 'do one' they are stating indirectly - you've done this to the guitar - in that case the burden of proof sits with them.

I substantiated my case with reports via 2 independents, a bunch of logic as to when it occured. I also corroborated this with a pack of photos of my guitar necks (they could say that it only needs to happen the once (agreed)) but how do the scratches continue on under the fret wire? Going full ostrich on a client isn't good.

Playing devils advocate (Dutch), assume I'm Gibsons first line to filter out the idiots, I'd address the 3 issues you highlighted as such: broken truss-rod -> "negligence, accident, or improper operation"; faulty electrics -> are "covered for one year only"; body/ neck separation -> that's a biggie, it shouldn't disjoin once set so I'd play "shipping damages of any kind and/ or extremes of humidity or temperature". Take it up with the courier, it was fine when it left our factory.

The way the whole chain-of-custody is set out in a way that individual transactions cannot be traced through so there are couriers, dealers, if a store client damage, then shipping to you, then the end user themselves. So for a company lauded for its quality, they're not really trying to hard to appease their client base.

I can't believe I didn't spot it (you cannot see them from above) but then the eyes are getting older. A bit of elbow grease will put it right - but I still maintain the way we buy these things virtually ensures no claim can be upheld... unless you spot it when pick it up, hence the goods are 'bought as seen' and not 'sold as seen'.

Just trying to reduce the image size so I can attach it...
 

DutchRay

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Mar 15, 2015
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That's why you should buy from an authorised dealer. And when possible get the guitar in your hands before you pay. Gibson warranty covers factory defects, that's just what it is and it's not different from most other manufacturers. There is no burden of proof here. I worked for a major Gibson dealer for years and I know the European side of Gibson pretty well and most other big brands. We did get regular visits from a Gibson tech to check our stock and fix small things like, bad setup, sharp fret ends or faulty pots, but most of the guitars were first checked/restrung by me before they hit the salesfloor.
 

Bamarado

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Jul 8, 2022
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I get it man, I hate that you're unhappy with your LP. I'm a desk jockey that plays for my own amusement like you, and these aren't cheap toys. But I do get Gibson's side too. Should a gigging musician that travels and plays regularly be able to bring in a LP they spent 6 months beating the crap out of on the road and say "Fix this, lifetime warranty and these are manufacturing defects?" Gibson would need an entire department devoted to nothing but fixing scratches and nicks. I feel any company with any product that offers a lifetime warranty still has to put some limitations on certain things.
 

El Gringo

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Apr 8, 2015
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I think it comes down to how good the relationship is between the customer/client and the Authorized shop / dealer is . Here's why , in order for the Shop owner to forward and move the warranty process forward , one has to convince the Shop owner to go to bat for you . I mean there are issues which are black and white and not opaque one bit at all . I am not saying one way or the other or even judging as I do not know the OP or have seen OP guitar , so on that I am not and cannot offer an opinion . It's a unique and fine line in a relationship between the client and the Authorized Shop owner , who then has to stick his/her neck out . I have been on the receiving end of getting authorized factory warranty work and have been very lucky and fortunate . To explain a little bit I did receive a call at 8:00am at work from the shop owner who spoke to me as if I was speaking to Mom and the BS Detector was on fully from the owner who knows me as I know him and we have a very good relationship , but non the less it is still sticking your neck out with your name and reputation which means everything in this day and age .
 
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El Gringo

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That's why you should buy from an authorised dealer. And when possible get the guitar in your hands before you pay. Gibson warranty covers factory defects, that's just what it is and it's not different from most other manufacturers. There is no burden of proof here. I worked for a major Gibson dealer for years and I know the European side of Gibson pretty well and most other big brands. We did get regular visits from a Gibson tech to check our stock and fix small things like, bad setup, sharp fret ends or faulty pots, but most of the guitars were first checked/restrung by me before they hit the salesfloor.
Your first sentence spells it all out right there , versus buying from scab shops (sorry for the harsh word ) . These things costs lots of money and ask your self do you feel comfortable spending thousands of $ and not having a level of trust ?
 

Wirehead

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Jan 26, 2022
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I can't help but agree with all of you... and I absolutely love that damn thing - not overly flamed, but loads of unique (is it 'mineral markings') dark flecks - though I've learned here they are classed as flaws lolol) - it just spoke to me... My nearest dealer is over 2-3 hrs away so unfortunately I do rely on direct ship - not ideal but I'm gubbed with out it. I never held it in hand (and that is a big issue, agreed). The dealer is 100% Gibson authorised (one of the largest in the UK). I buy from them as I'm not convinced I could spot a fake and then big-boy rules would apply (pays ya money etc.) - and in fairness they have stepped-up offering a fix. I suspect they're offering to help as gesture of goodwill or maybe even out of embarrassment that they may have missed it too. I will sort it over the next wee while as the board smoothes and settles, and once I've convinced myself they're its mojo stripes we'll be good.

Discussing this sort of issue in a public domain is likely to prejudice a case so I've no intention of escalating matters or naming names. Plus, yes Gibson would have queues of people with scratches trying to sort something out. Trust me, it's not about the money, and if it were really bunching my shorts that much I'd sort something out with the dealer and buy another - but I do like it.

Back to the OP - my 'claim' was that it is/ was a factory defect (ie: when the fret board was being finished) - but they've not even tried to explain their logic and the 'put some oil on it' or 'play it' just left me thinking 'huh'? Hence, burden of proof - they've set out their stall but without feeling they owe an explanation. Do they owe me an explanation - dunno - I'd just have liked some kind acknowledgement when spending that kind of money, (which is small beer when compared to what people can and do pay). I've regarded them with such high esteem over the years, that I confess I'm disappointed they've failed to fulfill the dream, what's the expression, never meet your heroes eh?

Having experienced the above, I was genuinely wondering - if that's Big G's attitude what on earth would it take to uphold a claim? The warranty looks pretty bullet proof, and I can't think of anything that could trigger a claim and remain upheld if they put their mind to it.
 

Bamarado

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If a pot stopped working, pickup failed, neck becomes loose because the glue failed, etc....a Gibson tech or tech at the place you purchased should be able to pretty easily tell if these problems are because of a defect or if someone had messed with something causing the failure. I hate to say it, but I think you are completely overlooking the 6 month gap between purchase and when you raised your claim. The issues you are having are not obvious defects in manufacturing, especially after someone has owned the guitar for 6 months. I think most players, especially after purchasing a guitar as pricey as a Gibson, will spend the first 5-30 minutes of having in their hands going over it looking for the exact defects you are having and making sure it's one to keep or needs to be sent back. To just notice them 6 months later, I can absolutely see why Gibson wouldn't accept that as a warranty covered defect.
 

MikeSlub

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Jul 15, 2001
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Hello and welcome to the LPF. A buyer has a responsibility to inspect guitars when buying them. Even vintage dealers have an inspection period that usually lasts no more than 48 hours. I'm curious why you would feel that any guitar manufacturer will fix scratches after six months of ownership and cover them under warranty? Sorry, but I have to defend Gibson on this one. And if your Gibson authorized dealer has offered to fix the scratches, then take advantage of the offer and count yourself among the lucky ones. Best wishes and keep playing! (y)
 

Big Al

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Apr 24, 2002
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You wait 6 months, then start this whole bitch fest 'cause yer fingerboard has scratches??? Did you use a magnifying glass? Lots of blah blah blah but I can just as easily blame you. Strings are removable, and boards can get scratched up. Not that you did anything dumb, but after all this time you cannot prove how they originated, though I do believe you.

I have seen some tool marks on fingerboards and binding and though minor, it is sloppy work. As Mike said, it is on you to inspect the darn thing, that is why you have limited time to make a return when buying by mail. Sometimes as little as 24hrs. Not 180 times that. 6 months?? Stop the crusade, how many sites have you posted this at?

It most likely is an easy fix, have it done and go on from there.
 

ourmaninthenorth

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Mar 28, 2009
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"Burden of proof" "Prejudice a claim...escalation"

The only thing legal about my 40+ year relationship with playing Les Paul's is that my playing is borderline criminal.

In fact I'd be inclined to send any perfect Gibson guitar back, on the basis that it isn't a real Gibson.

The fact that Les Paul's aren't perfect, makes them perfect for this geezer.
 
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