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Old 09-22-2009, 06:51 PM   #1
angus
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Anyone heard from Sherman lately?

...because I haven't in months. No response to answered/replied calls, emails or PMs since a one sentence reply July 21. He was supposed to ship my two basses at the beginning of June. Cases had to be ordered that were supposed to take a couple days according to initial statement, but I figured it would be a week or two. It's been a lot longer than a week or two.

It's not hard to get to the post office.

There's obviously more details than that (though none that explain the wait time or the 2 years mostly-unreachable silence), but I'm not here to trash the man or have any intentions to do so, so please don't take it that way. I don't want anything to become uncivil.

Just want to confirm that he's been in contact with other people.

He generally only replies to me when I mention it here. Let's be clear- it's not as though I haven't tried.

Lesson learned, though: don't be a extra nice and pay upfront. It's been almost 34 months since the first bass was paid off, and about 32 months since the second was paid off. The basses were in final sanding in ~Mar/Apr of 2007 minus pickup shell/routing, and pickup shells/routing were completed in Mar/Apr of 2008.

I know he's a member and thus is warranted all of the rights of any other member of this forum, however he is also a business. If you can talk about an experience with Fender or Ibanez or whoever this way, you need to be able to talk about his business this way, as both are businesses that take your money for a service. Again, I don't want anything to dissolve into talking about the man/member, just his business. I think that's fair and is very obviously within the rules of the forum. He's a nice guy when he's interested in your business (though I've been called a dick a few too many times in the past year) and I'm sure he's a fun guy to hang out with, so please don't let this go personal. I don't want that.

Edit: 34 months, not 34 years!
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Old 09-22-2009, 07:21 PM   #2
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Yeah, I'm definitely not questioning the quality of the instruments, as they look incredible. If they looked like crap, it would be a completely different. I have a guitar from him that sounds incredble- the best solidbody I've ever heard, though it took a long time to get him to ship it to me once finished and I've put about $450 into fixing problems with the neck. In the interest of honesty, he offered to fix the neck problem for me but given the circumstances I didn't want to chance being out all three instruments. But now it sounds and plays incredible. The product isn't the problem (although it is if it never gets delivered in any form) by any means.

But that's what is so frustrating- the hard part of the equation is what's good, but the easy part is what is causing all of the issues. It's easy to call people back or email back at convenience, and it's easy to get to the post office. But that's part of owning a business.
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Old 09-22-2009, 08:48 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by psychoticsnoman View Post
If I remember correctly there is a little more to the story behind why it was taking so long for the basses to be completed, but I'll leave that up to you guys.
Yes there is- nobody is hiding anything.

From April of 2007 to ~March/April of 2008, he was waiting for the pickups from Nordstrand, as we had switched from Villex (who never delivered, so the switch made sense) to Nordstrand. However it was confirmed to me by Nordstrand that the bass pickups were not ordered until October of 2007, not April 2007. The order placed in April was only guitar pickups. But then the wait from October to March/April of 2008 was valid as that was down to Nordstrand, so no fault to Mike there. Once the pickups arrived, Mike made the two shells quickly, and the instruments were again in final sanding awaiting finish (his words, throughout the process).

First payment for the first bass was November 2006, final payment for the second bass was February 2007, iirc. It might've been March- I'd have the check the records.

However, since then there is no reason why they haven't been in the finishing booth since March/April 2008 to my knowledge. I was told they were there repeatedly. But that's beside the point...sort of.
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Old 09-23-2009, 01:49 AM   #4
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Mike e-mailed me with updates like three weeks ago. I posted the update pictures on sevenstring.

I know he's busy with the movement of his business to another building. Even so, and whatever the reason may be, that shouldn't be your concern or your problem.

Mike isn't the fastest guy in the world replying to e-mail, but he does always reply to me.

I can also imagine Mike's getting swamped with e-mail quotes from people who don't have the money to back it up

I'm sorry to hear the non communication Angus. Have you tried calling Mike?

Cheers, Sam
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Old 09-23-2009, 02:57 AM   #5
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I mainly call and leave messages, yes. The call-to-response ratio is way over 50-to-1. I've had about 2 answered calls in the last year.
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Old 09-23-2009, 02:04 PM   #6
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I don't expect a discount because the prices I paid were fair, but he did offer to build me an extra guitar with the wood that I sent him for one of the basses (the bubinga that was also used in Crucified's guitar) to make up for the long wait and the issues with the guitar. That was very cool of him. We speced it out, he built it, sent me pictures and updates along the way, told me he would send all three instruments together (even though the guitar was finished) when the basses were ready...and then sold it to someone else anyway.
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Old 09-23-2009, 02:58 PM   #7
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im not shocked or surprised, to be honest, but i dont think this is the "norm" for him. the guitars he tried sending me that never got here, and ended up back at his doorstep like 3-4 times are the only shipments in my life that never reached me. ever. i have no idea how that happens. im just hoping we can get it worked out and shipped in a way that will reach me, so we can get it all overwith. im tired of the whole ordeal, with the anticipation every time it gets sent out, never to get here.

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Old 09-23-2009, 03:00 PM   #8
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Did you get tracking information on those? I was told my first guitar was in the mail a couple times (over the course of a couple months) before it was actually sent. I'd be told it was in the mail, and then later that it was going to the post office soon, etc.

Packages don't go in and out of customs without the recipient being notified by telephone, especially if the shipment was denied customs. Except in extraordinary circumstances, the package will just stay at customs until the recipient deals with the cost of either the return shipment or the pickup. It won't just randomly find it's way home to the shipper.

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i'm quite shocked honostly. this doesnt sound like mike at all
Obviously it can't be said that every customer gets this treatment. In fact, he was fantastic with customer service, in terms of updates, etc, when things were happening. When work stopped being done, when deadlines weren't met, when no progress was made, contact became more and more sparse, responses happened less and less frequency, until the point that he basically ignores all attempts for contact except in extraordinary instances.

But when all is going well, he's great. Full stop.

At the same time, it's not too much to ask when something is this late, his delayed (for no reason other than his own desire to work on instruments that are already paid for) to provide some semblance of response. But it doesn't really happen. When it does, more promises/deadlines are made, and they aren't kept.

But let's be clear- I'm not the only one that this has happened to, but I'm the longest standing of them with an undelivered product(s). I was Mike's 2nd customer for his proper business (though obviously he had other customers for the tribute guitars, etc; I found him through talkbass.com); the first being the gentleman whose 2nd instrument is now on eBay and whose 1st instrument was never delivered. But that was a different scenario with different situations. I'm just a straight paying customer who paid up front trying to be a nice guy and help him get his business afloat. But so far, my money has been floated for almost 3 years with no basses delivered. I even paid for all of the expensive wood. No good deed goes unpunished, as many a wise man has said in the past.
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Old 09-23-2009, 03:13 PM   #9
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Packages don't go in and out of customs without the recipient being notified by telephone, especially if the shipment was denied customs.
I order stuff from the US all the time and not once have I ever gotten a call from customs. I don't know if it would be any different for overseas, but I doubt it. Once my brother got something held up in customs (nunchuks, illegal weapons here apparently...) and they sent a letter that arrived several weeks after.
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Old 09-23-2009, 03:21 PM   #10
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Depends on the country. When I've had stuff shipped here from overseas, occasionally I get calls, occasionally I don't. When I've shipped stuff tt other countries (mostly recently, England, Germany, Hong Kong, Sweden and Russia), they were all notified to confirm a delivery date in order to pay custom duties, with exception to Russia. The one to Germany was held in customs for a while, but the recipient was notified.

The point is it won't make it back the shipper randomly. They'll either contact the recipient, abandon it, or the seller will pay to have it returned. The latter option doesn't make sense in this case if the recipient still wants it and can contact customs. I obviously don't claim to be a customs official/expert. But I know that it won't just return on it's own power.

Oh, and Canada/US customs is a much more relaxed procedure. I don't get called for goods from Canada, either.
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Old 09-23-2009, 04:29 PM   #11
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...the first being the gentleman whose 2nd instrument is now on eBay and whose 1st instrument was never delivered.


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Old 09-24-2009, 03:09 PM   #12
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I feel lucky to have actually received something from Mike.

My guitar had a lot of problems when I got it. I've replaced the pickups--the polepieces were completely misaligned with the strings. Nordstrand were absolute sweethearts to deal with and really helped me out. (I worked with Nordstrand directly.)

I'm still sorting out neck angle and fretwork issues. It's a nice looking guitar, but it's not the quality I would have expected for what I paid for it.

I got the same kind of runaround from Mike, too. It's infuriating.

There are better guitars and better businesses.
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Old 09-24-2009, 03:14 PM   #13
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Sorry to hear that, man. Issues are to be expected with instruments occasionally, and that's ok if they get sorted out, but the runaround is hard to excuse. Though I've been excusing it for a couple years now.

Glad to hear Nordstrand had your back- they're an incredible group of guys. They're always slammed so I know they aren't perfect about delivery dates and the like, but at least in the bass community, you'll never hear a single bad word about them anywhere, and they are extremely friendly and helpful.
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Old 09-24-2009, 03:19 PM   #14
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Issues, sure. But shipping a guitar with obvious, obvious flaws? Either I didn't get his best work, or... that was his best work. Doesn't bode well.

Really... I can't say enough nice things about Nordstrand. They did what they said they were going to do. The replacements they made were spot-on on the first try. They really went above and beyond in fixing something that likely wasn't their fault.
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Old 09-24-2009, 06:25 PM   #15
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Update: I did finally speak with Mike today (he picked the phone up), and we sorted through the issues. He said he had the cases now, and will ship the two basses & associated hardware out to me on Monday. I was very glad that he picked up, and I sincerely hope that we can get things amicably settled.

As I said, I have no harsh words for the man himself- just trying to get everything sorted out as it should not have dragged on this long without any contact.

I'll keep everybody updated, but thumbs up to him for answering. Hopefully everything finally turns out well.

Sorry for interrupting you right before dinner, Mike.
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Old 09-24-2009, 09:39 PM   #16
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Been there.

I hope you actually get what you've been promised.
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Old 09-24-2009, 09:49 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qucifer View Post
Issues, sure. But shipping a guitar with obvious, obvious flaws? Either I didn't get his best work, or... that was his best work. Doesn't bode well.

Really... I can't say enough nice things about Nordstrand. They did what they said they were going to do. The replacements they made were spot-on on the first try. They really went above and beyond in fixing something that likely wasn't their fault.
Your credability doesn't hold much weight with me. If the guitar had all of these issues, why did you refuse my offer for a return call tag being issued so I could address these so called issues? You were also offered a full refund if you weren't happy with the instrument. You declined.
Two of my customers also offered to buy the instrument from you, and you declined.

As for the pickup spacing issue. They are a great bunch of guys over there, but thay make mistakes too, just like everyone else in the world.
I sent a full scale PDF of the F/b layout to Mike at Nordstrand. Somehow, their printer must not have been set to 100% when they printed it out. The same thing happened with the first run of 8 string pups that I received from them. I specified 74mm (bridge) & 72mm (neck) and received 70mm, & 72mm.
Mistakes happen.

As for "giving you the run-around". I was always honest and up front with you on the issues I had with the first instrument, and started a second one which took 3 months to complete. Not once did I give you the run-around.I always returned your emails and phone calls in a timely manner.


You fist told me that the bridges were located in the wrong place, the recanted saying you were wrong and that "you must be losing your mind".

I'm sorry that you feel you had a bad experience. If you refused to send it back for me to look into these issues, refuse a total refund, and refuse offers from other people to purchase it from you, there is not much else for me to do then is there?

The bottom line here is I did everything in my power to make you happy, but apparently I couldn't do that.
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Old 09-24-2009, 09:56 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by angus View Post
Update: I did finally speak with Mike today (he picked the phone up), and we sorted through the issues. He said he had the cases now, and will ship the two basses & associated hardware out to me on Monday. I was very glad that he picked up, and I sincerely hope that we can get things amicably settled.

As I said, I have no harsh words for the man himself- just trying to get everything sorted out as it should not have dragged on this long without any contact.

I'll keep everybody updated, but thumbs up to him for answering. Hopefully everything finally turns out well.

Sorry for interrupting you right before dinner, Mike.
glad everything is sorted out, looking forward to an epic double ngd.
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Old 09-25-2009, 06:59 AM   #19
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Those are true, but he waited for a very long time, had many problems and wouldn't like to get his money back after waiting for a long time. Why should he go all thru this and than sell it without enjoying it?

And I am sure he didn't send it back, since it might take another year? I like Mike and I have respect to his work, but the issues are there. It's business and things are not always running smooth. Waiting longer than a year or and half and getting a not properly working guitar is not a nice feeling.
With all due respect DB, how do you know if the guitar has all these problems being that the guitar is in NC, and you reside in Berlin? Have you held , or played the guitar? You are basing your post on hearsay.

FWIW, a couple of members from this forum had the chance to play that guitar, as well as a two very, very skilled local jazz guitarists, neither pointed out these flaws, and in fact asked me to remove the F/B on the original build and install a new truss rod as they will purchased the instrument.

You can jump on the hate wagon all you want, but without first hand experience, you kind of are inserting your foot in your mouth.

Have a nice day.
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Old 09-25-2009, 08:29 AM   #20
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Sorry Mike, but i can't see any assumptions here. I don't hate you or your work as I stated before, and have no clue how the instrument was or played.

But as I can see, you react pretty harsh on him and me, so it looks like you feel pretty defensive on this situation. The PU you delivered was not right, right?( Not properly working instrument comment was this) So this is problem Nr1, You didn't deliver in the time frame you promised, right? That's problem Nr:2, and you didn't spend a word about the Threadstarters points either.

I know how you where frustrated of being alone and having too much work. I am a Vet and I know how frustrating it is when you have to work too hard and have no time etc.

But those issues do not interest your customer. I am a guy who enjoys your conversations, and have many things in common.You make wonderful instruments and your experience in luthiery is bigger than allmost the whole, board. But the problems are there Mike, and you know that!

Cheers!
I don't think my posts were harsh, or defensive at all...just being real.
I'm certainly not going to sit back and let two people tear down a perfect track record of 36 years, especially when I offer to make things right.

I have nothing against you either, but your closing sentence above makes me question...How do you know this? Thats kind of an unfair accusation to make when you haven't seen, or played the guitar in person. You made that statement as it was fact.
Would you appreciate if was posting that you botched a proceedure on animal in your care when It wasn't my animal, or involved in it?
I can say with certainty that you would be somewhat upset if I made that statement.

Luthiers are people, not machines, and problems/mistakes can happen.
If someone is unhappy with the instrument they receive, then lets make it right. Either send it back for me to address the issues, or return it for a refund, which is what I offered to Michael. It's nothing personal on my end.
I don't want someone to have one of my instruments if they aren't happy with it, nor do I want them to be stuck with it.
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Old 09-25-2009, 08:38 AM   #21
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so on that note, wanna get started on shipping those guitars?

well do it differently, to make sure it really gets here this time, even if we have to change shipping method or shipping company. im still excited to bring it to its home

edit: email or pm? MG or SS?

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Old 09-25-2009, 09:10 AM   #22
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Your credability doesn't hold much weight with me. If the guitar had all of these issues, why did you refuse my offer for a return call tag being issued so I could address these so called issues? You were also offered a full refund if you weren't happy with the instrument. You declined.
Two of my customers also offered to buy the instrument from you, and you declined.
To be honest with you Mike... I don't trust you enough to send my instrument to you. I may never get it back.

You promised things over and over and never delivered... I have an MP3 of your voicemail from February where you promised you'd have my guitar ready in April... and never delivered. And then, I never heard from you until May. Shall I share it with the group?

Where's that ATA flightcase you promised me?

Mike, I would have taken a total refund. But you never answered my request to do an escrow... and I don't trust you enough to send you an instrument unsecured.

And, it doesn't matter to me if I'm "credible" with you or not.

I'm just speaking the truth about my experience with you.

Quote:
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As for the pickup spacing issue. They are a great bunch of guys over there, but thay make mistakes too, just like everyone else in the world.
I sent a full scale PDF of the F/b layout to Mike at Nordstrand. Somehow, their printer must not have been set to 100% when they printed it out. The same thing happened with the first run of 8 string pups that I received from them. I specified 74mm (bridge) & 72mm (neck) and received 70mm, & 72mm.
Mistakes happen.
That's all fine and dandy. But you let it ship to a customer like that, and you never mentioned it until **I** brought it up!

Quote:
I'm sorry that you feel you had a bad experience. If you refused to send it back for me to look into these issues, refuse a total refund, and refuse offers from other people to purchase it from you, there is not much else for me to do then is there?
Again, without some kind of escrow arrangement... that's just a bunch of words. I even offered to EAT THE COST of the escrow, and you never responded.

Quote:
The bottom line here is I did everything in my power to make you happy, but apparently I couldn't do that.
Yes, apparently you couldn't. And it's important that future customers know what to expect. I never asked for anything other than professionalism, and a world-class custom instrument.

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Originally Posted by Nick View Post
i believe this is called being shermanated
You all can kiss his ass all you want. But I've been through the experience, and I know what the deal is.

And for what it's worth, Mike... I'll STILL take my money back if you'll do an escrow arrangement. I'll turn around and use the money to buy another Oni.

Last edited by Qucifer; 09-25-2009 at 09:20 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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Old 09-25-2009, 09:27 AM   #23
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^^ So why not sell it outright to those who contacted you about buying it if you would still take your money back? Money is money, am I not right.
None of these "other customers" contacted me directly.
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Old 09-25-2009, 09:35 AM   #24
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To be honest with you Mike... I don't trust you enough to send my instrument to you. I may never get it back.

You promised things over and over and never delivered... I have an MP3 of your voicemail from February where you promised you'd have my guitar ready in April... and never delivered. And then, I never heard from you until May. Shall I share it with the group?

Where's that ATA flightcase you promised me?

Mike, I would have taken a total refund. But you never answered my request to do an escrow... and I don't trust you enough to send you an instrument unsecured.

And, it doesn't matter to me if I'm "credible" with you or not.

I'm just speaking the truth about my experience with you.



That's all fine and dandy. But you let it ship to a customer like that, and you never mentioned it until **I** brought it up!



Again, without some kind of escrow arrangement... that's just a bunch of words. I even offered to EAT THE COST of the escrow, and you never responded.



Yes, apparently you couldn't. And it's important that future customers know what to expect. I never asked for anything other than professionalism, and a world-class custom instrument.



You all can kiss his ass all you want. But I've been through the experience, and I know what the deal is.

And for what it's worth, Mike... I'll STILL take my money back if you'll do an escrow arrangement. I'll turn around and use the money to buy another Oni.
Not true on the not getting back to on the escrow return Michael. I have the email to prove it, with the return email saying, "Mike, You and I are done" which was the last contact between us.

I also have the emails of you saying that you will give the guitar a bad review before even receiving it.

To be honest, I don't trust you either, but my offer still stands on the refund if the guitar returns exactly the way you received it, including the screws you broke off in the guitar.
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Old 09-25-2009, 09:37 AM   #25
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Not true on the not getting back to on the escrow return Michael. I have the email to prove it, with the return email saying, "Mike, You and I are done" which was the last contact between us.

I also have the emails of you saying that you will give the guitar a bad review before even receiving it.

To be honest, I don't trust you either, but my offer still stands on the refund if the guitar returns exactly the way you received it, including the screws you broke off in the guitar.
Escrow. Escrow is the ONLY way I will proceed with you.

You never responded to me about escrow.

You know what escrow means, right? It's a service that holds your money, and gives you a chance to review the guitar before accepting it and releasing the money to me. It means we don't have to trust each other.

http://www.escrow.com/

And what kind of professional talks about his customers like this?

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including the screws you broke off in the guitar.
Yes, everyone... one of the strap button screws sheared in the hole when I was putting straplock buttons on the guitar.

So, Mike... you tell me how much you'll deduct from my refund, based on one of the strap button screws being sheared off?

Let's agree on a price for the escrow transaction...
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