Kiesel --- Never Again!

Discussion in 'Standard Guitars' started by MetalHead40, Mar 7, 2017.

  1. MetalHead40

    MetalHead40 SS.org Regular

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    So before anyone even says it, yeah I just copied and pasted my post from another forum I'm a member of. Couldn't see re-writing anything different because:

    a) Its what happened.
    b) I wasted enough time on the whole debacle as it is.

    I'm not looking for sympathy, just trying to tell my story so people can make informed decisions based on others experiences.

    Sorry, just had to put that out there because I've seen guys get bashed for copying their original post in another forum and putting it up here unchanged.

    So a while back I received my Kiesel A6H build, and despite the fact that it was indeed a stunning guitar aesthetically, regrettably I returned it for a refund. I can honestly say that this was one of the most horrible customer experiences I've encountered, and I'll never even remotely consider another Kiesel product again.

    There were several reasons I finally had enough and asked them to refund me:

    1) Horrible experience with Mike Jones, my sales guy. This is explained in detail below for those interested in a lengthy read.

    2) Action problems related to the bridge saddle heights. (Pics of this below)

    3) Failure by the techs to address my concerns despite a very detailed letter I sent in with the guitar and a promise made by their sales manager.


    Here is the conversation with Mike Jones, my sales guy:

    Bear in mind I only contacted Mike about 4 times over the course of 3 months, so its not like I was hounding the guy.

    The 4th time I contacted him because I had received an email from Kiesel stating that my guitar was complete and ready to ship. I had asked they ship it on a particular date and after getting their message that it was ready, I called Mike just to confirm they were shipping on the correct date.

    Well here is how the conversation went (This is all 100% direct quoting):

    Me: Hi Mike how you doing, I just wanted to check the shipping status of my guitar.

    Mike: Oh unfortunately we can't check on status of guitars in production.

    Me: Oh no, I'm calling because I received an email that my guitar is complete and ready to ship.

    Mike: Oh, Ok. Let me check on this. I'll have to check and call you back later because with NAMM coming up, were not allowed anywhere near the back where all the guitars are kept.

    Me: Ok, but they emailed me and told me my guitar was ready to ship, so I guess I'm a bit confused here.

    Mike: It may be done, but with NAMM coming up its not uncommon that they steal parts off customers completed guitars if need be to get our NAMM guitars ready to show.

    Me: Oh! Well why don't you check on this, and please let me know today if you could.


    So about 1.5 hours after hanging up with him I think .... on this, what's he talking about "stealing parts off customers finished guitars". So I call back for the 2nd time.


    I get Mike on the line for the 2nd time this day and here is how it goes:

    Me: Hey Mike, I called a little while ago checking on my completed guitar.

    Here he cuts me off real aggressively:

    Mike: You know your being really rude!

    Me: Excuse me?

    Mike: Yeah, I told you I would check on this and call you back. Now your calling back bothering me about your guitar, and its really starting to irritate me!

    Me: Dude, Did you really just say that to me?

    Mike: (In a completely aggressive tone) Yeah, I did. Because I told you we are not allowed near the guitars and also because there is a chance like I told you that even if your guitar is done and ready to ship, they may need to take parts off it to get ready for NAMM.

    Me: So your telling me that even though my guitar is complete, ready to ship, and I have paid for it in full several days ago and thus essentially now own the guitar, they might need to take parts off of it.

    Mike: Yep, That's exactly what I'm telling you.


    At this point I'm ....ing beyond pissed, and I tell Mike to have a good day and hang up.

    I immediately email the billing person that emailed me several days prior informing me the guitar was complete and explain how Mike Jones just treated me. 15 minutes later Mike Jones calls back and no apology whatsoever tells me the guitars done and its shipping Monday. I thanked him and hung the .... up.

    So that should have been when I told them to keep the guitar and refund me, but unfortunately I didn't.

    Now for the action problem I had that led to me sending the guitar in after speaking with the sales manager and their lead tech.

    I sent the guitar in to have Albert their lead tech look at it after speaking with him on the phone. Talking to him gave me the impression he absolutely just did not care about anything I was saying. Spoke to him the first day and he couldn't think of anything that would cause the issues, so I asked if he could think on it and call me or email me by end of day. He said "yep, absolutely let you know before I leave today". Never heard back. Called him the next day and said "Hi Albert this is Mike, I spoke to yesterday about my Aries 6 issues. He says " Yeah?", and there's just this awkward dead silence. Just came off like he didn't care at all. Like why are you bothering me with this. He told me to just send it in because he still couldn't think what would cause the issues I described.

    Now I sent it back with a VERY detailed letter explaining my issues and asked specifically that they call me after looking at it and before sending it back because if they couldn't get the saddle heights corrected by shimming, or by replacing the .125" bridge with the thicker .175" baseplate version, then I would just want them to keep the guitar and give me a refund.

    The sales manager said they would absolutely call me after looking at it and before sending it back to me because he personally put a note in the tech's work order. It never happened. They ignored my detailed letter and the "supposed" tech notes the sales manager put in the work order because after about a week I called just to see if they had looked at it yet and the same sales manager that promised they'd contact me after it was looked at said "oh, its done and FedEx is picking it up here today and its on its way back to you".

    I asked if he could stop the delivery and he said he couldn't. Which I didn't believe but....maybe that was true, I don't know. I asked what they did to correct the bridge saddle heights and he said they adjusted the truss rod. I told him that I already did this in addition to making all sorts of other adjustments and that's not where the problem was stemming from. He said well, just try it out and we can go from there.

    I knew for a fact that the issue could not be fixed with a truss rod adjustment, so after all the bull.... I had been dealing with I decided to refuse delivery when the FedEx guy came and it went back for a refund.

    Here is how the guitar came brand new from the factory set up:

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    The saddles were completely maxed out on the 6th and 5th strings and then almost maxed out on the remaining four. I couldn't get the saddles anywhere near adjusted to match the fretboard radius. It played REALLY bad. Action was horrible. This was set up by them as requested by me in drop C with .012-.054 strings. No way the saddles should have been had to be set at that height, but even a fraction of a mm lower and there was fret buzz all over the fretboard. I thought if they replaced the .125" Hipshot with the .175" taller version that this could have corrected things. Or hell, even if they had shimmed the neck, or both?


    I'll just finish by saying the guitar was absolutely drop dead gorgeous, it came out exactly how I had hoped aesthetically, had no fit to finish flaws that I could find, had a great fundamental tone to it, and I truly wanted to keep it if they could have worked with me. Unfortunately however, the impression I got was they really could not have cared less.
     
    unheard, Dredg, V_man and 17 others like this.
  2. Phantom

    Phantom SS.org Regular

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    Damn... that sucks
     
  3. MikeNeal

    MikeNeal SS.org Regular

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    jesus, any pictures of the neck height in relation to the body?

    i wonder if the neck was really high in relation to the body, or if the problem runs way deeper then that.

    glad you got a refund
     
  4. Chokey Chicken

    Chokey Chicken mouth breather

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    Really hard to see these stories when my experiences are very much the opposite. Such a shame. Damn insane that they'd talk to you like that. Kind of asinine that they take parts to get their show guitars ready.

    Boo all around. Sorry you had to go through all that.
     
  5. SpaceDock

    SpaceDock Shred till your dead

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    Wow, can't believe the saddles. Was the neck angle or pocket depth totally boned or what?.? Why would they need to set the saddles like that?
     
  6. Glades

    Glades SS.org Regular

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    Thanks for the heads up bro!

    I was ready to place an order with them here pretty soon. But after hearing this, my money will be going elsewhere. That's no way to treat a paying customer.
     
  7. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire 8 string hoarder

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    I don't know how crap like this happens since I had an easy time dealing with kiesel for my vm8. It came set up perfectly too. Sorry to hear about your bad experience.
     
  8. MetalHead40

    MetalHead40 SS.org Regular

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    ^^^
    Thanks, me too!

    Not sure if this shows what your talking about. Its the only pic I have that shows the neck in reference to the pocket.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. MetalHead40

    MetalHead40 SS.org Regular

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    I have worked in customer service in numerous fields over the last 20+ years and have felt like telling many customers how I really felt, but never would I actually say it to them.

    As for taking parts off a customer's finished guitar for any reason, yeah, that just blew my mind. My mistake was not telling him they could keep the guitar right then and there. I waited 3 months and my curiosity as to how the guitar had came out got the best of me I guess.
     
  10. diagrammatiks

    diagrammatiks SS.org Regular

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    interestingly enough not the first time I've heard some questionable stuff about mike.

    also wtf those saddles. how did it leave the factory like that. wut.
     
  11. Jeffbro

    Jeffbro Banned

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    Action looks ridiculously high. Did you try to lower the saddles?

    There is no way that high of action had fret buzz. It's physically impossible unless the neck is warped or has truss rod issues.

    Either way the tech who set this up should quit now.
     
  12. ihunda

    ihunda SS.org Regular

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    Thanks for sharing. This is unacceptable.
    I actually have been triing to order something from kiesel last week and never got a reply from sales@kiesel.com so I guess this is a blessing in disguise!
     
  13. Mattykoda

    Mattykoda SS.org Regular

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    I legit said "oh my god" when I saw that first picture. Wow. Just wow. It's like they wanted a TOM bridge in a hipshot. Glad to hear you got your refund as others have not as been as fortunate.

    * paging konstantine.... and holloway for a laugh
     
  14. jbcrazy

    jbcrazy SS.org Regular

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    This is disappointing. It's okay to make mistakes... but treat your customers well. There's no excuse for that treatment.

    Hope they improve on this. Kiesel makes some beautiful instruments and Jeff seems really cool as well.
     
  15. MetalHead40

    MetalHead40 SS.org Regular

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    With the saddles that high the buzz was almost non-existent. But with the saddles that high the action was completely screwed up. Like I said, the fretboard radius could not me matched by the saddles which meant the 6th and 5th were maxed out and the rest of the saddles ran down hill from there. Made for a real crappy feeling playing experience. Also, with the saddles jacked that high the intonation screws were almost impossible to turn.

    I did lower the saddles and the result was fret buzz city on the 6th and 5th just by lowering them slightly.
     
  16. that short guy

    that short guy SS.org Regular

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    It might've just been the angel of the picture but it kinda looks like the neck isn't sitting deep enough in the body. Maybe just the angel but there shouldn't be that much visible neck wood underneath the fretboard where the body and neck meet.
     
  17. that short guy

    that short guy SS.org Regular

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    Also sorry to hear that you had a horrible experience with them, especially considering that the experience I had was nothing but great. I really hope it's just a fluke and not a sign of what's to come from kiesle
     
  18. Grand Rabbit

    Grand Rabbit SS.org Regular

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    Drop C would probably be most effective on a multiscale or something with a 27" scale length, right? Idunno, but that's some communication break down right there. 1.5 hours later and only your 2nd call of the day is not 'rude' by any stretch of the imagination. Rude would be calling every fifteen minutes... sounds like he needs to check his ego, working for the illustrious Kiesel.


    However, a lot of Kiesel guitars come out spectacularly. It's unfortunate that yours got botched, because, with their resources, I'm sure they could have fixed the action on it in a few hours or less if they had just took the time and patience to do so. Things like this are what ruin a company in the long run.


    I still stand by Kiesel as being a great option for a custom guitar, but their customer service is not very effective. The person you talk to on the phone about placing your orders has very little to do with the rest of the operation, and the best they can do about checking on guitars is to look up information in their data banks. Beyond that, they're just sitting ducks waiting for angry customers to give them a verbal thrashing... sounds like Mike lost his cool and dealt some out, unfortunately so.
     
  19. curlyvice

    curlyvice SS.org Regular

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    Yikes. That's brutal man.

    The guitar never should have been sent out set up like that, that's an abysmal setup and there is clearly some kind of structural flaw regarding the neck/neck pocket.

    What irks me the most though is not the actual guitar, but the customer service (or lack thereof) on their end. That's absolutely no way to treat a customer.
     
  20. Herrick

    Herrick Hello Mangs

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    It's like they really didn't want your money. They all but said, "Fuq you just get a refund".
     

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