Yamaha warranty

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Yamaha warranty

Postby Ryan Mazzocco » Thu Oct 27, 2016 4:32 pm

I'm having some problems with the Yamaha warranty coverage. It's a yamaha F355. Very cheap guitar not hardly even worth messing with, but it belongs to a friend of mine and is all he has. It has a limited lifetime warranty covering the top, back/sides and neck. So here's what happened:
The lower arm of the x brace on the bass side came loose from just above the bridge plate all the way to the edge. The top pulled up and bellied so much that the top delaminated under the bridge and the bridge split all the way across along the bridge pins. The guitar is only a little over a year old. It would cost more to repair than the guitar is worth so I wanted them to replace it. I took my friend and the guitar to the Guitar Center where it was purchased. They agreed to turn it in to yamaha as a warranty claim but yamaha denied it starting that they believed it was caused by improper storage or abuse. Based on what?, you ask... because it's been over a year since the guitar was purchased. There was no other evidence that it had been abused or stored improperly. They just arbitrarily blamed my friend of mistreating his guitar and refused to cover it. Is there any further course of action I can take here?
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Re: Yamaha warranty

Postby Aaron Helt » Thu Oct 27, 2016 6:22 pm

Well, tell Yamaha they better straighten up and make it right, or you'll tell the world on forums. LOL. IMO, there isn't much you can do. Just try convincing Yamaha as best you can. Be persistent. End point is that it isn't enough $$ to make it worth a lot of action on either side.
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Re: Yamaha warranty

Postby David King » Thu Oct 27, 2016 9:52 pm

It would be tempting to tell your friend to stop shopping at Guitar center and stop buying cheap guitars as he clearly can't afford them. At least a used guitar has stood the test of time and last I checked there was no shortage of them at reasonable prices. If he's a true friend and its the only way he's going to get through life then you'd probably better fix it for him.
I suppose you could write up a compelling narrative of what you think happened on company letterhead and ask Yamaha to reconsider. I'll bet you anything GC never even showed it to Yamaha but that's the cynical me.
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Re: Yamaha warranty

Postby Joshua Levin-Epstein » Fri Oct 28, 2016 3:50 am

David is right. Having just read the Yamaha warranty, go to Yamaha directly. It might be as simple as getting someone new on the phone and presenting yourself as a competent owner. I might also go up the food chain at Guitar Center, and that is going above the store manager's head. There are probably "district managers" or some such that deal with customers who are unhappy with a store.

When I was in retail, when that was a somewhat honorable profession, we likely would have just give you a new guitar and trashed the bad one. Of course that was a $100 guitar at the time (but I worked for not much more than that per week).
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Re: Yamaha warranty

Postby Clay Schaeffer » Fri Oct 28, 2016 6:34 pm

Write a song and sing it on you tube - "Yamaha builds crappy guitars" (except they generally don't). As United found out, the web is pretty far reaching.

As David said, going to Yamaha might be your best bet. They usually build a decent product these days and I would be surprised if they wouldn't stand behind it.

Are you certain your friend didn't (unintentionally) abuse the guitar? Those are pretty traumatic injuries to have happen all at once. A loose brace would be repairable, but if neglected and the guitar left under string tension too long the delamination and bridge splitting would make it (economically) unrepairable. What type of strings did he use?
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Re: Yamaha warranty

Postby Ryan Mazzocco » Fri Oct 28, 2016 8:24 pm

I am honestly not certain of anything. We're not actually that close. He's very good friends with my wife's family that we are staying with while on vacation. He's a 19 year old boy from South Africa, orphaned for all intents and purposes, has only lived in this country for about 6 years, is as nice as can be, but emotionally stunted and pretty clueless about how simple things in life work. He hasn't even learned anything on the guitar or spent much time with it, but he's never really had anything besides this guitar,so I think it's more what the guitar represents than the instrument itself and that's what I think he's really upset about. I'm sure it sat for quite some time with the loose brace under string tension and he never noticed which compounded the problem. I don't think he was careless or reckless with it, but just didn't understand that it had a problem. Even when I was showing him the problem it took a few times for him to understand.
I just feel really bad for him. But I'm not sure how far to pursue this for such an inexpensive instrument. I'm fairly certain GC will do nothing. All they want to do is sell their extended warranty program. (They made it very clear that had he purchased the coverage along with the guitar they would have already swapped it out for a new one.) So I guess I'll try contacting yamaha directly. My problem with their answer, which I got from the GC rep, was that it was because they felt it was "probably" from abuse or improper storage. I feel the burden of proof should be on them, Not on us to prove that he didn't abuse it. Call me old fashioned but I also grew up in a world where the customer is always right.
I would be happy to fix it for him but my shop is a thousand miles away and the shipping alone would cost more than the guitar is worth. I just feel bad for him and want to explore every reasonable option to help him out.
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Re: Yamaha warranty

Postby Clay Schaeffer » Sat Oct 29, 2016 11:06 am

If you explain the situation honestly to yamaha they might replace the instrument. On the one hand, the brace shouldn't have come loose. On the other, the additional damage may have been caused by not having it attended to.
If it was one of my creations, I'm not sure how I would handle it ( I don't offer a warranty - i'm not really in the business of selling). How would you handle it?
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