Page 1 of 2
#1
Hello, I was wondering if anyone here has had any experience dealing with JC Harper Guitars, on his website he has built guitars for Sammy Hagar, members of Blue Oyster Cult Buck Dharma, Eric Bloom, and Allen Lanier, Last April I decided to put in an order for one of his Original Buck Dharma signature model guitars, with my own custom options, he said the guitar build time should take around 6 months, after this I emailed him trying to get him to send me a pict of my build, and nothing, seems like he always has excuses, I have a lot of money invested in this build, I ordered the guitar last year in April and its still not finished, I was wondering if anyone on this forum has purchased a guitar off this guy, or maybe has an order placed with him for a custom guitar, at this point Im pretty disgusted with this luthier, every time I email him he tells me couple more weeks, Im wondering if will have no options left but to seek legal action, to try and get my money back. If anyone knows this Luthier or has ordered a custom guitar, and has any info Thanks.

Update: for anyone thinking of ordering a custom BD Signature Guitar through his shop, Well it will be 2 years tomorrow I placed my order for this Custom Build 4/08/14, for a JC Harper Buck Dharma Signature Original Model, with custom options, I was told when I ordered this guitar that it would take a couple months, lol, what a joke, and if the customer is not happy with the way things are going he does not offer any refunds. Soon I think I have no choice but to file a report with the B.B.B. and get myself a lawyer.
Last edited by GuitarFever73 at Apr 7, 2016,
#2
The only one I've ever seen in person was being played by a guy in a 80s/90s cover band. Sounded good in HIS hands.

Sorry to hear you're having an issue.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

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Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Aug 14, 2015,
#3
Update 6/3/16 Well after 2 years, he posted a picture of the body of my Build, but still no pictures of the custom inlay work, which Ive been waiting to see the neck with no such luck, Im past the disgusted stage, I thought this guy was a professional but take one look at his, Facebook page and all he does is complain, yet last time I emailed him he tells me Im complaining, dame right Im complaining, after waiting for over two years for a bolt on neck guitar, I have all the emails, he sent me with lies telling me my guitar was almost done, and it would be ready to ship, I wait thinking its going to ship and hear nothing, only to email him and find out he is not even done with it, I think this guy is a scammer, Soon I will have to file my claim to the BBB and file a lawsuit in small claims court to try and get my money back, all I got to say is watch this guy if your thinking of purchasing a guitar from this guy because its been a total nightmare.
#4
Sorry man. Sometimes you have to wait with custom work. There are some people that have waited almost half a decade for other builders.
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#6
Quote by GuitarFever73
Update 6/3/16 Well after 2 years, he posted a picture of the body of my Build, but still no pictures of the custom inlay work, which Ive been waiting to see the neck with no such luck, Im past the disgusted stage, I thought this guy was a professional but take one look at his, Facebook page and all he does is complain, yet last time I emailed him he tells me Im complaining, dame right Im complaining, after waiting for over two years for a bolt on neck guitar, I have all the emails, he sent me with lies telling me my guitar was almost done, and it would be ready to ship, I wait thinking its going to ship and hear nothing, only to email him and find out he is not even done with it, I think this guy is a scammer, Soon I will have to file my claim to the BBB and file a lawsuit in small claims court to try and get my money back, all I got to say is watch this guy if your thinking of purchasing a guitar from this guy because its been a total nightmare.


I apologize for all the time. No excuses just insanely busy. Got your job scheduled to be completed in the next 2 weeks. Again, sorry for all the time.
#7
Quote by JCHarperLuthier
I apologize for all the time. No excuses just insanely busy. Got your job scheduled to be completed in the next 2 weeks. Again, sorry for all the time.




Stay healthy, doing it all yourself is tough!
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
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#9
Bullshit.
I am a small business owner and I do it all myself. If you quote someone a 6 months lead time and your 2+yrs into it now, you need to give the customer a complete refund and give them the guitar just for being a shitty businessman.

I wouldn't be able to stay in business if I treated customers 1/2 that bad.
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#10
Quote by Robbgnarly
Bullshit.
I am a small business owner and I do it all myself. If you quote someone a 6 months lead time and your 2+yrs into it now, you need to give the customer a complete refund and give them the guitar just for being a shitty businessman.

I wouldn't be able to stay in business if I treated customers 1/2 that bad.


Lighten up, you'll live longer.

I know what you're saying, but the end game here is to get the guy his guitar, not start a pissing contest.

Sometimes popularity outstrips capability, which leads to missed deadlines, but wouldn't you like to have that problem in your business? (More work than you could do?)
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
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#11
I'm not too concerned about wait lists. But if the OP is correct about the FB Posts & emails and if the builder is making build-time estimates that are not realistic given his current workload & capacity, there very well could be a PR/customer service issue that needs addressing.

It used to be said that services & products compete on quality or price. In the Information Age, though, PR & customer service have become a third major competitive ground for businesses, and in some ways, the most crucial one. People will tolerate a lot of things if their overall customer experience is positive.

JC Harper might want to publicly post about having a backlog of work. Make a formal waiting list with realistic build/wait times. If possible, deal with customer complaints via private email as opposed to the public section of the website or FB page.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Jun 3, 2016,
#12
Quote by dannyalcatraz
I'm not too concerned about wait lists. But if the OP is correct about the FB Posts & emails and if the builder is making build-time estimates that are not realistic given his current workload & capacity, there very well could be a PR/customer service issue that needs addressing.

It used to be said that services & products compete on quality or price. In the Information Age, though, PR & customer service have become a third major competitive ground for businesses, and in some ways, the most crucial one. People will tolerate a lot of things if their overall customer experience is positive.

JC Harper might want to publicly post about having a backlog of work. Make a formal waiting list with realistic build/wait times. If possible, deal with customer complaints via private email as opposed to the public section of the website or FB page.


I agree, and communication seems to be the key. The problem I've seen is that if you communicate too much you take away from work time, which exacerbates the problem, which leads to you needing to communicate more, which....

You get the picture.

When I set a deadline, I always give myself 10% over what I expect is worst case. Customers are always happy to get something a few days (weeks) early, but nobody is happy to get it a day late.

In the interests of full disclosure, I'm not affiliated in any way with J.C. Harper, but I made a few calls and he seems to be well regarded and perhaps more importantly, honest. It just appears he got himself a bit overextended, which I'm given to understand he's trying to rectify by expanding his operation and working stupid long hours on his backlog.

I think a couple of weeks at this point is probably worth the wait, but then I'm not the OP.
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
Last edited by Arby911 at Jun 3, 2016,
#13
Tentatively sounds like all's well that ends well in this case, but I couldn't help thinking of the case that went belly up a few years ago. Which builder was it a few years back that disappeared off the map with people's money, and the unfinished guitars were popping up all over the place years later? It was a very dodgy business, he was outsourcing large parts of the guitar builds to South America.
#14
Quote by Arby911
I agree, and communication seems to be the key. The problem I've seen is that if you communicate too much you take away from work time, which exacerbates the problem, which leads to you needing to communicate more, which....

You get the picture.

When I set a deadline, I always give myself 10% over what I expect is worst case. Customers are always happy to get something a few days (weeks) early, but nobody is happy to get it a day late.

In the interests of full disclosure, I'm not affiliated in any way with J.C. Harper, but I made a few calls and he seems to be well regarded and perhaps more importantly, honest. It just appears he got himself a bit overextended, which I'm given to understand he's trying to rectify by expanding his operation and working stupid long hours on his backlog.

I think a couple of weeks at this point is probably worth the wait, but then I'm not the OP.


I have significantly increased the lead times a little while ago, after this particular job.

That is indeed the case with the work load. As I do refinishing as well and a lot of repairs for the locals. Also for full disclosure, I had a couple health issues a while back and then a break in. But that is all behind me and it's clear sailing now with appropriate upgrades for security and also the health is back to being good.
I am also at the moment increasing the size of the shop to be more efficient and to get the room that is needed for help. I've been doing this since 1992 and seems I've become popular, again as it was some 19 years ago when I did work for other manufacturers at that time, and also had to increase space back then as well.
Yes, this job is being completed.
Last edited by JCHarperLuthier at Jun 3, 2016,
#15
I had a couple health issues a while back and then a break in. But that is all behind me and it's clear sailing now with appropriate upgrades for security and also the health is back to being good.


It can b scary and embarrassing, but that is the kind of thing that might need to be disclosed- in general terms only- to let people know why their projects are delayed. I remember another luthier who told his customers he'd been flooded out. Machines were ruined, wood was warped, insurance was slow to compensate. As I recall, even his workspace was damaged beyond repair- he had to find a new place to set up his workshop.

His customers were understanding, even though it took him the better part of a year and a half to get back up & running.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#16
is it me or is it a coincidence that JC pops up to make his eleventh post in six years when there is a complaint?

he just happens to log in and just see one post about him?
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youre just being a jerk man.



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#17
Quote by trashedlostfdup
is it me or is it a coincidence that JC pops up to make his eleventh post in six years when there is a complaint?

he just happens to log in and just see one post about him?

I think he is a swindler regardless on what Arby thinks (I would have guessed he would have the same view I do ) anyone who has taken well over 4x's the lead date to get the project started is a shitty business person and deserves to be out of business. I would have taken legal measures over it long ago myself. And this is why I will never pay in full, upfront especially when you don't know the person or business
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#18
I just didn't pop in. This thread was brought to my attention on my Facebook page as I haven't stopped on here for some time.

Yes I've been a swindler for 24 years now. If that was the case then the business would of been very short lived. And I would never have 5 guitars hanging in Hard Rock establishments around the world. And lots of very good reviews and endorsements.
I do love how some love to judge another's business and situations that are out of one's control that do happen in life. These events were posted at the time, and I also informed my clients via email, of which I continue to post a lot of the day to day things and progress on the Facebook page, whether they are good or not so good. Some view it as complaining I view it as just letting everyone know a lot of my day to day, and some stayed with me and some did not. I have clients that have been with me and loyal for 20+ years. In any event the guitar is being completed and will be delivered.
#19
Quote by JCHarperLuthier
I just didn't pop in. This thread was brought to my attention on my Facebook page as I haven't stopped on here for some time.

Yes I've been a swindler for 24 years now. If that was the case then the business would of been very short lived. And I would never have 5 guitars hanging in Hard Rock establishments around the world. And lots of very good reviews and endorsements.
I do love how some love to judge another's business and situations that are out of one's control that do happen in life. These events were posted at the time, and I also informed my clients via email, of which I continue to post a lot of the day to day things and progress on the Facebook page, whether they are good or not so good. Some view it as complaining I view it as just letting everyone know a lot of my day to day, and some stayed with me and some did not. I have clients that have been with me and loyal for 20+ years. In any event the guitar is being completed and will be delivered.

OK
now you should have stated that you had let all of your clients know this that sheds some different light on the subject. But still 2+ yrs for an order to be filled is pretty ridiculous regardless of having some personal issues, especially when the lead time was only 6 months.

I still won't give you a pass on that at all, that is just crap. I would be willing to bet there were orders taken after his that were finished well ahead of his and that is just not acceptable for good business practices but I think you know that.
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#20
Quote by Robbgnarly
Bullshit.
I am a small business owner and I do it all myself. If you quote someone a 6 months lead time and your 2+yrs into it now, you need to give the customer a complete refund and give them the guitar just for being a shitty businessman.

I wouldn't be able to stay in business if I treated customers 1/2 that bad.


Agree 100%. We don't agree on some items but this one absolutely.

JC Harper - I would think your responses may be more favorably received and understood if instead of explaining your challenges, you made it right with your actual customer that started this thread.
#21
JCHarperLuthier Well see but I won't hold my breath, as for Mr. Harper's Facebook page, I have been watching and checking on it everyday to try and see if maybe my build would be posted, and all that time I only saw the body and it being in finish stages, nothing else, after ordering custom inlays on this guitar, you know your customer is going to want to see the progress of whats going on, I have yet to see the neck on this guitar, anyway this is my first time purchasing from Mr. Harper I have nothing against him I just want what I ordered, so Im just trying to tell my side so others who may like to purchase off him will know my experience, what Im thinking is he takes to much upon himself with his shop, I don't know how many custom builds he has going on but Ive seen other Luthiers who only take on only so many builds per year and put other new customers on a waiting list, until the guitars are done.
#22
Quote by GuitarFever73
JCHarperLuthier Well see but I won't hold my breath, as for Mr. Harper's Facebook page, I have been watching and checking on it everyday to try and see if maybe my build would be posted, and all that time I only saw the body and it being in finish stages, nothing else, after ordering custom inlays on this guitar, you know your customer is going to want to see the progress of whats going on, I have yet to see the neck on this guitar, anyway this is my first time purchasing from Mr. Harper I have nothing against him I just want what I ordered, so Im just trying to tell my side so others who may like to purchase off him will know my experience, what Im thinking is he takes to much upon himself with his shop, I don't know how many custom builds he has going on but Ive seen other Luthiers who only take on only so many builds per year and put other new customers on a waiting list, until the guitars are done.


Have you had any contact with him since he posted here?
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
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Last edited by Arby911 at Jun 25, 2016,
#23
Quote by JCHarperLuthier


And I would never have 5 guitars hanging in Hard Rock establishments around the world. And lots of very good reviews and endorsements.
I have clients that have been with me and loyal for 20+ years. In any event the guitar is being completed and will be delivered.


Don't know.

Don't care.

If you had promised me six months and were doing other folks' work while mine languished two years, I'd have pulled the build long since.
#24
Quote by Arby911
Have you had any contact with him since he posted here?

I highly doubt it I called his BS
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#26
Quote by Robbgnarly
I highly doubt it I called his BS


I have. Let's see, do you suppose your actions made the situation more or less difficult for the guy trying to get his guitar?

There's no question the delay is unacceptable but how about trying to get this situation resolved before the lynching?

And it has to be asked, why did the TS come here, start a thread that was quickly responded to, never return to it and yet respond elsewhere, still having not actually reached out to the source of the problem?
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
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Last edited by Arby911 at Jun 26, 2016,
#27
Arby911I started this tread tp try and get my problem out their so others won't have to go through what Im dealing with, I have never in my life had a problem like this and Ive custom ordered a lot of guitars handmade guitars from private Luthiers over the years and never had a problem like this.
And for your information I contacted him By phone left messages, and emails, and when you get the same story time after time, you start to think
maybe Im being scammed, in this day and age, Id be a fool not to think otherwise. So my next step is to file a report to the B.B.B. and go to
my local news station to their consumer legal dept. and see if maybe they can help me, I really don't want to have to take this to small claims court
where Id have to go to file in Apple Valley CA. where mr. Harper has his shop. but believe me he won't get away with this.
#28
Quote by Robbgnarly
Bullshit.
I am a small business owner and I do it all myself. If you quote someone a 6 months lead time and your 2+yrs into it now, you need to give the customer a complete refund and give them the guitar just for being a shitty businessman.

I wouldn't be able to stay in business if I treated customers 1/2 that bad.
At the very least, a refund less cost of materials, and the guitar. Saying things happen in life can be understandable, but what happens in life that causes an 18 month delay? Anything that causes that kind of delay should be covered by insurance.
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#29
Quote by GuitarFever73
Arby911I started this tread tp try and get my problem out their so others won't have to go through what Im dealing with, I have never in my life had a problem like this and Ive custom ordered a lot of guitars handmade guitars from private Luthiers over the years and never had a problem like this.
And for your information I contacted him By phone left messages, and emails, and when you get the same story time after time, you start to think
maybe Im being scammed, in this day and age, Id be a fool not to think otherwise. So my next step is to file a report to the B.B.B. and go to
my local news station to their consumer legal dept. and see if maybe they can help me, I really don't want to have to take this to small claims court
where Id have to go to file in Apple Valley CA. where mr. Harper has his shop. but believe me he won't get away with this.


Do you want the guitar or do you want revenge?

You can have either one, and I won't judge either way, but you're unlikely to get both.

I was operating under the assumption you wanted the guitar, but if I'm wrong I'll bow out since I've got no skin in the game and was simply trying to help.
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
#30
Arby911 Revenge, what are you talking about, I never asked you or anyone else on here to for help or to call him, , me all I did was state my case about how Im being treated as a customer of JC Harper guitars, so others thinking about buying a custom guitar like I did would know what Im going through so maybe they can ask Mr. Harper more questions, about his currant workload, make sure he tells them how long it may take to build one of his guitars with the state of his currant workflow. Otherwise if you were like me who did not know this Luthier except for what's stated on his website, and what he told me when I placed my order, if I knew about the trouble I was going to have I would have never purchased the guitar in the first place, and I had planned on purchasing two of his guitar models, but after this experience its not going to happen. I don't know what your talking about revenge, I could have filed with the California small claims courts, a long time ago, I went on here because I was not getting anywhere with him, via email or by phone, and after experiencing much of the same time and time again if you have over $2000 grand invested in a build, Im sure you can see why I would be unhappy with the way he does business, I don't want revenge, I paid him what he asked to build this guitar model, and expect him to deliver, I did my part, he fell through on his end. Ive stated that I will file with the BBB and the seek legal action, if he does not produce the guitar soon than he will force my hand thats not revenge, thats how Im going to get my money back maybe you would let him do this to you but not me, I guess I should just sit back and wait and not say nothing and keep hoping he finishes it, Ive tried being nice, speaking to him on the phone, by email and his response is always the same excuses, its not like I just ordered this guitar Ive been waiting well over 2 years, for a bold on guitar not a neck through, had he told me in the beginning when I placed my order that it could take over 2 years fine no problem, but what I was told when I ordered it was 12 to 16 weeks that was stated on his website when I placed my order he has changed this now. Or hell if he could not finish the guitar he could have called me up and offered me refund end of story, but He does not give any refunds. , Ive tried being nice and that does not work. How do I know I could be waiting another 2 years for this guitar, if I had not stir up a discussion on this site about what Im experiencing from him Id still be wondering if anyone else might be in the same boat as me. Im not the bad guy here, and Ive got to tell you just talking about this whole experience with him makes me sick, Ive told this to Mr. Harper so he has known for some time how disgusted I am over this whole deal. I won't be making anymore comments about my problem hear. Im done.
#31
Wow. Ok, apologies for trying to help.
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
#32
Thank You, for trying to help me, but unless your a lawyer, hows this going to help me, Im just going to give him some more time
and if I hear nothing well than Mr. Harper knows what the next steps I will be taking. Thanks Again
#33
WHY are you giving him more time. How badly do you want that guitar?
I've invested over $2K in a build (hell, I've invested over $4K in a build, and considered $5760 for one Gibson Custom shop special order). I've invested a lot more than that in a car restoration. I think a deposit is reasonable, but forking over the entire amount to a one-man operation is just ludicrous. And if you don't have a performance guarantee in writing, you're a victim of cranial-anal implantation. I've been to court before, and if you're working with an "I don't give refunds" guy, it's time for that now. IMHO. Your passion for pain might tell you different. A few small claims losses might encourage him to get his business in order.
#34
dspellman thats my business not yours, you know it all right, by the way Mr. Harper's mother just passed away check out his Facebook
post, so what am I going to do, I have to give the guy some time, Im not a Monster, And I have all the information payment receipts, emails
from Mr. Harper to take him to court if he does not produce the guitar soon.
#35
GuitarFever73Just an update to anyone, following this thread, on June 3rd 2016 Mr. Harper stated on this thread that the guitar was being finished and he scheduled it to be finished in 2 weeks, well its August 18th 2016 and guess what no guitar, no phone call from Mr. Harper or emails from him to me, and people on this thread wonder why Ive had to come on here, Ive said before he has done this to me saying the guitar was almost finished and I wait around like a jackass and don't hear nothing from him only to have to find out its not even ready to be finished, this is without a doubt the worst experience Ive ever had to deal with
If he did not want to build the guitar fine all he has to do is refund all the money Ive paid him, and I'll call it a day, Ive been very patent with him, and have been more than understanding, its time for me to go ahead and file with the B.B.B., Consumer Affairs, my local news station who has a special dept. that helps the public with problems like this, and take him to small claims court, if I have to. This has been a total nightmare.
#36
Unfortunate for all involved. Good luck on your foray through the small claims system.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#37
Quote by GuitarFever73
GuitarFever73Just an update to anyone, following this thread, on June 3rd 2016 Mr. Harper stated on this thread that the guitar was being finished and he scheduled it to be finished in 2 weeks, well its August 18th 2016 and guess what no guitar, no phone call from Mr. Harper or emails from him to me, and people on this thread wonder why Ive had to come on here, Ive said before he has done this to me saying the guitar was almost finished and I wait around like a jackass and don't hear nothing from him only to have to find out its not even ready to be finished, this is without a doubt the worst experience Ive ever had to deal with
If he did not want to build the guitar fine all he has to do is refund all the money Ive paid him, and I'll call it a day, Ive been very patent with him, and have been more than understanding, its time for me to go ahead and file with the B.B.B., Consumer Affairs, my local news station who has a special dept. that helps the public with problems like this, and take him to small claims court, if I have to. This has been a total nightmare.


I don't suppose you paid by credit card, PayPal, or any other third party?
#38
Quote by dannyalcatraz
Unfortunate for all involved. Good luck on your foray through the small claims system.


yeah. that sounds awful. i hope you get it sorted to your satisfaction
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
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Et tu, br00tz?
#39
Update and last, final post on this, on 10/4/16 I called Mr. Harper, and I told him I wanted to know whats going on with my build, so I tried leaving a message but his voicebox was full he did give me a call back to tell me that he is retiring and that he came across my old order, I asked him how far are in the build, he tells me he has the body done, the neck was was not done, and to me he did not sound like he was going to be finishing it anytime soon, the 2 weeks he posted on here was total bull, I guess he got pissed offf because I started this post, and probably did not want to finish this guitar, because I was complaining, I guess he wants his customers just to say hey when you get it done thats fine no hurry take your time, thats fine, I don't know how long he thinks a customer can put up with his bull, also his Facebook page has a sign that states he will be retiring in 2018, and he won't have to deal with anymore PITA customers anymore . So he tells me he is sending me a refund for the guitar, he never asked me if I still wanted him to finish it or how long it would take, So I told him fine send me the refund, so I want everyone on here to know I did get a refund for what I paid him for this build, But if I did not want the guitar I would have never ordered it in the first place, this has been just a hassle and a lot of aggravation and big waste of time in the end after over 2 years of waiting. Ive ordered custom handmade guitars from other Luthiers and never had any problems. Id like to say thank you who understood my problem. Thank You
#40
At least you got your money back. That's more than a lot of people can say in your situation.


Looks like he is advertising finishing a 'no-frills BD model' I'm wondering if it was yours.
Quote by zgr0826
My culture is worthless and absolutely inferior to the almighty Leaf.


Quote by JustRooster
I incurred the wrath of the Association of White Knights. Specifically the Parent's Basement branch of service.
Last edited by H4T3BR33D3R at Oct 11, 2016,
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