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Thread: Guitar Center: Service hacks must be killed

  1. #1
    Ultimate Tone Slacker ICTGoober's Avatar
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    Default Guitar Center: Service hacks must be killed

    Man..... Ninth Circle of Hell Music has got to eliminate their service hacks right fricking now!

    Here in Wichita, they got rid of the last guy who ruined half the stuff he touched. Now they have a new guy, and he's even more lacking in skills, abilities, knowledge, and tools than the last guy. This clown is a troglodyte, I'm telling you.

    The victim: a newish Martin Shenandoah.
    Client complaint: It's hard to play, and I let GC work on it first.

    I eyeballed the thing, and the first thing I notice is frets 1, 2, and 3 are all much taller and wider than the rest. WTF?
    The second thing I noticed is the bridge saddle is flat on the top - as in flat as a pool table. The middle two strings are on the frets, and the outer E strings are way too high.

    I ask: "How does it sound plugged in?".
    Client: "I can't hear all the strings".

    OK, dismissed the client after picking out new strings, and put the poor thing on the bench to remove the old strings. The hack used epoxy on the 3 frets (which is fine), but it's still oozing out. Cleaned that up with a razor and some thinner. Spiffed up the whole fingerboard with some lemon oil.

    There is a big epoxy run from the 1st fret dripping down the treble side. On the bass side, there is an epoxy run at the 3rd fret. I spot the GC hack's epoxy thumbprint right in the middle of neck behind the 5th fret. Removed all the epoxy, and lightly buffed the finish.

    Leveled the 3 frets down to the 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th, crowned them, polished them out. Took awhile, but it's cool now.

    The bridge saddle is next. Why is it flat? OH. The GC hack installed the bridge saddle upside down in the slot! The curved top is sitting on the pickup, but it's been ground flat. I re-radius (from front to back), and install the saddle properly. Much better, I think.

    Restring with new metal, and tune up to pitch. Adjust truss rod a smidge. Action at bridge measures great. Now for the nut... why is the action so high down there? OH. Because the GC hack put super glue in every slot to clear the tall frets he's installed. WTF AGAIN! Reset the action at the nut by filing out the super glue...

    DAMN! This Martin plays great! Sounds good, too. My client will be thrilled, and I bet he never goes to GC again for service.

    Guitar Center management, if you're reading this: Your service people suck, and that's why a lot of us hate you. Please die.

    Signed, real service guy.

  2. #2
    Ultimate Tone Slacker Silence Kid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Guitar Center: Service hacks must be killed

    They can barely turn a screwdriver. I don't know why they waste energy on offering that 'service.' All the Guitar Centers near me have actual shops next door/in close proximity. They must get a lot of business.
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  3. #3
    Ultimate Tone Slacker Blille's Avatar
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    Default Re: Guitar Center: Service hacks must be killed

    Nice job fixing it. My local GC had a really good service guy that.... Left a few months ago to the better guitar shop where service is way more expensive. The new service person used to ba a floor salesman. He's nice and he tries.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Guitar Center: Service hacks must be killed

    Quote Originally Posted by Silence Kid View Post
    I don't know why they waste energy on offering that 'service.
    Exactly this. They have a two week wait for a basic set up? That takes a skilled tech 15 minutes to do? And then it takes 3 weeks? And then done terribly with intonation off, horrible action and neck bent the wrong way? Just awful.

  5. #5
    Unseen Vasshu the humanoid typhoon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Guitar Center: Service hacks must be killed

    Haha it must be a world wide thing....the last couple of years...all kinds of hacks has suddenly popped up claiming to be guitar techs....
    None of these "techs" has a company, it is a thing they do after their dayjob(these guys must swim in time!!)
    All of the above things sounds familiar...haha sudden death to them all...or may their ass itch and their arms be to short!
    “Time is a drug. Too much of it kills you.”

  6. #6
    Just A Minion ErikH's Avatar
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    Default Re: Guitar Center: Service hacks must be killed

    I saw a dude using a cordless drill to remove pickup rings and such on a Les Paul when a plain screwdriver was sitting right there. Now, unless there is a need to drill new holes for something, keep that crap away. I much prefer a regular plain screwdriver to remove any screws on a guitar. That's just me though. It made me cringe when I saw that.

  7. #7
    Mojo's Minions
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    Default Re: Guitar Center: Service hacks must be killed

    Quote Originally Posted by ICTGoober View Post
    Man..... Ninth Circle of Hell Music has got to eliminate their service hacks right fricking now!

    Here in Wichita, they got rid of the last guy who ruined half the stuff he touched. Now they have a new guy, and he's even more lacking in skills, abilities, knowledge, and tools than the last guy. This clown is a troglodyte, I'm telling you.

    The victim: a newish Martin Shenandoah.
    Client complaint: It's hard to play, and I let GC work on it first.

    I eyeballed the thing, and the first thing I notice is frets 1, 2, and 3 are all much taller and wider than the rest. WTF?
    The second thing I noticed is the bridge saddle is flat on the top - as in flat as a pool table. The middle two strings are on the frets, and the outer E strings are way too high.

    I ask: "How does it sound plugged in?".
    Client: "I can't hear all the strings".

    OK, dismissed the client after picking out new strings, and put the poor thing on the bench to remove the old strings. The hack used epoxy on the 3 frets (which is fine), but it's still oozing out. Cleaned that up with a razor and some thinner. Spiffed up the whole fingerboard with some lemon oil.

    There is a big epoxy run from the 1st fret dripping down the treble side. On the bass side, there is an epoxy run at the 3rd fret. I spot the GC hack's epoxy thumbprint right in the middle of neck behind the 5th fret. Removed all the epoxy, and lightly buffed the finish.

    Leveled the 3 frets down to the 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th, crowned them, polished them out. Took awhile, but it's cool now.

    The bridge saddle is next. Why is it flat? OH. The GC hack installed the bridge saddle upside down in the slot! The curved top is sitting on the pickup, but it's been ground flat. I re-radius (from front to back), and install the saddle properly. Much better, I think.

    Restring with new metal, and tune up to pitch. Adjust truss rod a smidge. Action at bridge measures great. Now for the nut... why is the action so high down there? OH. Because the GC hack put super glue in every slot to clear the tall frets he's installed. WTF AGAIN! Reset the action at the nut by filing out the super glue...

    DAMN! This Martin plays great! Sounds good, too. My client will be thrilled, and I bet he never goes to GC again for service.

    Guitar Center management, if you're reading this: Your service people suck, and that's why a lot of us hate you. Please die.

    Signed, real service guy.
    Maybe it's his own fault

    Maybe he ordered the beginner special 3-fret-refret, XJ, "get me 3 of your biggest ones, the BIGGEST ones I say, so they dont wear so fast... NO, no crown no level no new nut, I asked you to replace THREE FRETS stop upselling me you GC mooks"


    ...prolly not, but you never know. Some people take a few swings at being cheap before experience sinks in.
    "New stuff always sucks" -Me

  8. #8
    Toneologist JMP/HBE's Avatar
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    Default Re: Guitar Center: Service hacks must be killed



    GC Incompetence is widely documented.
    This situation sounds self inflicted.

    We have 3 GC in my area, ive tried 4 times in the last 17 years to deal with them.
    Each successive dealing was worst than the previous.

    They are dead to me, never again.

    Cant wait til they go **** up for good so we can get back to the business of real guitar shops.
    Last edited by JMP/HBE; 11-14-2018 at 10:57 AM.

  9. #9
    Mojo's Minions
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    Default Re: Guitar Center: Service hacks must be killed

    Quote Originally Posted by JMP/HBE View Post


    GC Incompetence is widely documented.
    This situation sounds self inflicted.

    We have 3 GC in my area, ive tried 4 times in the last 17 years to deal with them.
    Each successive dealing was worst than the previous.

    They are dead to me, never again.

    Cant wait til they go **** up for good so we can get back to the business of real guitar shops.
    If other industries and store types are any indication, more likely that first it gets relegated to amazon and ebay and special order directly, then without competition everything gradually starts shipping slower and slower even if you pay premium, and brick and mortar options simply vanish


    ....and suddenly it's like a rare A/C belt for an import with a less popular engine choice, enjoy your 1-3 week shipping regardless of willingness to pay, unless you sleuth around and find the ebay/amazon vendor, happen to live in their general vicinity, track down their phone number, and convince somebody on the other end to just sell you the damn thing in person.
    "New stuff always sucks" -Me

  10. #10
    Mojo's Minions KeeperOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Guitar Center: Service hacks must be killed

    Zero experience with Guitar Center, YEARS worth of experience in tech support & service in a big retail chain in a completely different field.

    It boils down to this:
    Skilled and knowledgeable techs will only work for peanuts for so long before they either demand to be paid what their knowledge, skill and experience commands or straight up leave for greener pastures.

    From their side, big companies are not in the business of investing in knowledgeable, capable and self-sufficient people with proper time-management skills; They will cost substantially more, will be harder to control (because they ACTUALLY DO KNOW better) and even if everything is right, chances are if they're that good, they will eventually leave anyways.

    On the flip side, even your average, run-of-the-mill hack that WILL work for peanuts ('cause he's not worth anything more), he'll get even the basics right (or at least in the ballpark of "right") most of the time and, since most people that go to big-chain stores really don't know any better to begin with, he'll be able to bulls**t his way out of most situations he'll be called to take on while, for the ones he won't be able to, yeah, you guessed it, STILL cheaper for the company than having to pay a skilled person to do it right the first time, every time.

    Now you know how capitalism REALLY works...
    Quote Originally Posted by Blue_Fingers_Jay View Post
    I prefer cheaper guitars, nothing is as cool as a cheap guitar that sounds awesome.
    Quote Originally Posted by That90'sGuy View Post
    Not all guitars are created equal, so make sure it sings and if it does, you'd be silly to pass it up.

  11. #11
    Just A Minion ErikH's Avatar
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    Default Re: Guitar Center: Service hacks must be killed

    That may be capitalism, but they are doing it wrong. If they were doing it right they wouldn't be broke and in the red. I've been to several shops in the area here that compete directly with GC and have skilled and knowledgable staff and techs. Their business is booming because they take the time to make sure the work is done right and the customers are happy. They make money and have repeat as well as many new customers. That's how it works CORRECTLY!

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Guitar Center: Service hacks must be killed

    Where do you guys live that your GCs have techs? When I was a beginner and didn't know any better, and needed the input jack on my guitar fixed + a setup done, the GC in Plano just gave me the business card of a local tech who didn't work for them (he did a decent job on the jack repair, and a fairly poor job on the setup).

  13. #13
    Just A Minion ErikH's Avatar
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    Default Re: Guitar Center: Service hacks must be killed

    Quote Originally Posted by Cynical View Post
    Where do you guys live that your GCs have techs? When I was a beginner and didn't know any better, and needed the input jack on my guitar fixed + a setup done, the GC in Plano just gave me the business card of a local tech who didn't work for them (he did a decent job on the jack repair, and a fairly poor job on the setup).
    There's one at the South Fort Worth store, the new North Fort Worth store, and Lewisville. I take all my stuff to one of two places.... Tone Shop in Addison or Cigainero in Fort Worth. At least for things I can't or don't have time to do.

  14. #14
    Administrator Mincer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Guitar Center: Service hacks must be killed

    My guess is that they pay these techs peanuts and make a lot of money on these 'repairs'. Much more than they would on the sales. I don't know if the techs get minimum wage, or if they get a percentage of each job, but whatever it is, they aren't paying much because you get what you pay for.
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    Ultimate Tone Slacker ICTGoober's Avatar
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    Default Re: Guitar Center: Service hacks must be killed

    It's been awhile, but one of the salesguys who is long since gone told me, "If you need your guitar worked on, we have the best luthier in town". After I (and the guy who was with me) stopped laughing, I said "Really? You think the best luthier in town would work in this ****hole?".

    His reply: "Well, then who is the best luthier in town?", and my pal pointed at me. Salesguy, "You wanna come work here?". "****, NO! It's a ****hole, and I'm trying to do less work (I'm supposed to be retired)".

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Guitar Center: Service hacks must be killed

    Quote Originally Posted by Silence Kid View Post
    They can barely turn a screwdriver. I don't know why they waste energy on offering that 'service.' All the Guitar Centers near me have actual shops next door/in close proximity. They must get a lot of business.
    That's mostly my experience too -I've only taken one guitar ever in to a Guitar Center on prem shop and the guy didn't follow instructions and made a tiny shim under the bone nut (instead of re-cutting) that he glued and then it wasn't completely planed flat on the bottom and consequently not perfectly flush flush to the neck slot. I asked him to do it again and got really angry saying that it was a perfectly accepted professional technique and execution to which I said then "then I don't want it and don't want to pay for it"

    -and then I felt I needed to explain that a guitar nuts ability to pass vibration from the strings through the nut to the neck wood and close the loop to make the guitar vibrate in concert with the Tuneomatic bridge points of contact on the body are when I get my sustain and some of my tone -do it again or give me my money back. He *****ed and did it again and I never went back. I don't think he wanted my business anyways as a discriminating customer is not exactly their target market.

  17. #17
    One of Jerry's Kids Securb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Guitar Center: Service hacks must be killed

    I do MOST of my own work. The work I do not have the time or skill to tackle there are only two people I will let do it. If you send your guitar to GC for tech work don't be surprised when they do a GC job.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Guitar Center: Service hacks must be killed

    Thats my reasoning too -lack of time is usually the only reason anyone else ever strokes my 6 string girlfriends -I don't think there is a luthier task (certainly not on an electric -that I can't do myself well.

  19. #19
    PenultimateTone Member Demanic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Guitar Center: Service hacks must be killed

    Quote Originally Posted by KeeperOS View Post
    Zero experience with Guitar Center, YEARS worth of experience in tech support & service in a big retail chain in a completely different field.

    It boils down to this:
    Skilled and knowledgeable techs will only work for peanuts for so long before they either demand to be paid what their knowledge, skill and experience commands or straight up leave for greener pastures.

    From their side, big companies are not in the business of investing in knowledgeable, capable and self-sufficient people with proper time-management skills; They will cost substantially more, will be harder to control (because they ACTUALLY DO KNOW better) and even if everything is right, chances are if they're that good, they will eventually leave anyways.

    On the flip side, even your average, run-of-the-mill hack that WILL work for peanuts ('cause he's not worth anything more), he'll get even the basics right (or at least in the ballpark of "right") most of the time and, since most people that go to big-chain stores really don't know any better to begin with, he'll be able to bulls**t his way out of most situations he'll be called to take on while, for the ones he won't be able to, yeah, you guessed it, STILL cheaper for the company than having to pay a skilled person to do it right the first time, every time.

    Now you know how capitalism REALLY works...
    But it's not cheaper in the long run. That's why businesses go out of business.

    Sent from my Alcatel_5044C using Tapatalk

  20. #20
    Ben1962
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    Default Re: Guitar Center: Service hacks must be killed

    Quote Originally Posted by Mincer View Post
    My guess is that they pay these techs peanuts and make a lot of money on these 'repairs'. Much more than they would on the sales. I don't know if the techs get minimum wage, or if they get a percentage of each job, but whatever it is, they aren't paying much because you get what you pay for.
    I think most people that work retail like a GC are in transitional jobs or simply to keep money coming in while trying to make a good living in music. The sad thing is the the parents that dont have a clue and know no better and poor little Johnny gets a crappy guitar or service and nobody cares. I moved recently and found a new shop. The tech is really doing a good job with my set ups(especially the nuts). So now, the store gets their money and the tech gets an xtra 20 spot from me. He cares and takes pride in his work and it shows. Worth every damn penny to me and makes his day at the same time

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