Be careful with Steiner Kraus Guitars. Also Mörk Verden who is Steiner Kraus? It's all confusing.

Discussion in 'Sevenstring Guitars' started by KIMERA666, Jul 27, 2019.

  1. KIMERA666

    KIMERA666 SS.org Regular

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    I’m writing this post to warn you about the lack of professionalism and ethics of Steiner Kraus guitars. Back in June 2018 Steiner Kraus started offering DIY kits of his models, so I contacted him regarding a kit of his valkerye model. On June 13th, 2018 I purchased a valkerye DIY kit 7 strings with tremolo, during the following months there was a good communication with him and his company, which included pictures of the build progress up to November 2018, after this date communication with him or his company hasn´t been efficient.

    On January 5th, 2019 Steiner Kraus replied one of my messages saying that the build will be completed in 9 days, despite the fact that this was meant to be a build that would take a couple of months. On January 14th, 2019, He called me via Facebook messenger telling me that he was sorry for the delay and that the build was in progress. On February 7th He replied another of my messages saying that he will be "... spending today here to get organized with all my customers and send pictures off... Including yourself". No pictures were sent. On March 20th he replied to me "… finishing up all 7 strings this week. Will have a shipping day for you on Friday morning". No information was given that week, no shipping information or pictures.

    On April 26th He replied " … very sorry for the delay. I am currently just out of town for a family funeral and will be back at the shop Monday. Thank you for your patience"; "... Yes. I completely understand your frustrations. I’m working as hard and fast as I can to expedite this guitar for shipping. I will be back to work in a couple days as I had to head out of town for a funeral. My earliest eta for shipping will be next Thursday/friday". As you can guess no shipping information was sent.

    On May 2nd He replied " … here’s where we are at I have to get all guitars including yours out for this month of May. I have had many problems with different employees not being able to provide their skills and abilities to the business and it has left me as a one-man show which I am fine with however as you can see it has caused some major delays", "There have been a lot of outside activities taking away from my time in the shop collecting wood placing orders ordering materials and reaching out to customers “to which I replied "Ok, if those are the issues you are having then you should have told me that a while ago, If you are honest with the reality of the situation then I can adjust my expectations ,instead of being given a false hope that it would be done soon. The last picture that you sent me, the body was practically done, has there been any more progress done to the guitar, like the neck or is in the same state? “ and He answered " There will be completed photos of the Guitar online this week.", I replied "Are you sure it will be done this week?" , "I know that I’m nowhere to be a known musician , but this build is something that I have really wanted for a long time and despite not being an expensive product, I have worked really hard for every dollar that it costs", He replied: " Absolutely and I completely understand and you will not be disappointed with what you will be receiving" and gave me your word that the build would be "Done. Completed and Shipped by May 21st."

    May 21st came with no information. On May 24th I asked for a refund, to which He replied, "There isn’t going to be a refund. Your going to get the guitar." After this date, being tired about this situation I kept asking about my product or a refund. On June 11th He wrote me regarding the pictures he initially sent me in November “... Nothing has happened to it. I will have our situation with the shipping of your guitar resolved this week”.

    June 13th He wrote me“ all orders from 2018 are going out the door within the next 13 business days.” June 26th He called me saying that he was sorry and that by next week he will be sending me pictures and a shipping date, and that my kit was supposedly finished. Again, days came and no pictures or shipping information were given. I kept asking about a refund and about all the guitars that he is publishing on his social media to which he replied me on July 13th “Put in for a charge back with your credit card company and get your refund. If it bothers you to take a look at my social media of me posting guitars that is quite simple and don’t look at it.”To which I replied “Like if that will work after a whole year... ””and why shouldn’t I see your social media posts if that might be the only way I would get a real update”.After this message he has been ignoring my messages and emails.

    As of today, over a year after paying for the product, no real information has been given about the state of the build; no pictures or real updates have been sent since November 2018, He has committed over and over again with different dates that he has failed to achieve. No product has been shipped or refund has been given.
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    lewis, elkoki, Mathemagician and 4 others like this.
  2. Hollowway

    Hollowway Extended Ranger

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    Damn, that sucks. I've been there, myself. I have 3 instances where the exact same thing has happened, and never got the instrument. It's basically scared me off customs in 99% of the cases.
     
  3. Zado

    Zado SS.org Regular

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    The funeral of a member of the family is an evergreen
     
  4. Vede

    Vede SS.org Regular

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    That really blows.

    The company appears to have an active social media presence. I’d suggest you hound him there - twitter, Instagram, and FB - until he gets nervous enough that his other customers will see something negative that he’s forced to restart communications.
     
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  5. Lorcan Ward

    Lorcan Ward 7slinger

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    The old "its shipping next week" leave me alone builder excuse to try get you off their backs. The amount of times I had to deal with that and months would go by with no guitar and emails ignored.
     
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  6. Lemonbaby

    Lemonbaby SS.org Regular

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    Besides his name indicating the origin, he's writing many Insta posts in German while you seem to live in Colombia. Aren't there any luthiers you could have visited in his shop within reasonable travel time? Just wondering why you picked a total noname outfit halfway around the globe to build your custom guitar (kit)...
     
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  7. Azathoth43

    Azathoth43 ל ו ו י י ת ן

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    I've seen so many posts like this on this site throughout the years. It's why I'll never have a custom guitar built. Too risky. Really sucks for you. Hope you get some sort of resolution.
     
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  8. Andromalia

    Andromalia Pardon my french

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    The golden rule for custom orders from unknown companies is to ask for a delivery date inside the delay for a card chargeback. No delivery, you ask for a chargeback and he gets to pay the fees.
     
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  9. KIMERA666

    KIMERA666 SS.org Regular

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    Because back then He was offering what I wanted for a reasonable (not unfair) price, and had different builds in progress for well know artists.... but yeah, I should have know better.
     
  10. Edika

    Edika SS.org Regular

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    I hope you finally get your guitar man but I wouldn't hold my breath.

    What confuses me here is that you bought from him a DIY kit that he is building for you?
     
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  11. coffeeflush

    coffeeflush SS.org Regular

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    Man this sucks.
    Scares me and many others from going for custom builds.
     
  12. USMarine75

    USMarine75 Plays Authentic ® Contributor

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    All of these examples are why I just buy from known custom shops like Fender, PRS, Mayones, ESP, Framus, etc. If you need exotic and have the cash then companies like Daemoness. Too many horror stories...

    Plus wtf I've seen and played a few of these smaller luthier's guitars and frankly my stock MIK Schecter Loomis blows them away in every category except uniqueness. YMMV

    Good luck I really hope this ends well.
     
  13. Hollowway

    Hollowway Extended Ranger

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    What good would that have done? There are plenty of instances where people bought instruments from luthiers in driving distances from themselves, and got burned out of the money. I had it happen myself. I went to collect one, and I was threatened by the guy. I called the cops, and they said there was nothing they could do, it's a civil matter. So, I could sue in small claims court, and win a judgement. But, that doesn't force the guy to pay. So then I'd have to sue again, not in small claims court, to try to force a payment. All at my time and expense.

    The simple fact of the matter is that people are going to get screwed, and there's nothing we can do about it. Maybe this guy was not super well known. But what would have been better? Ran - who has been around for over a decade, and suddenly dried up with all of the deposits? Or Siggery, who had a similar track record? Or BRJ, who had dealers, and a solid reputation? There is no answer. As @Andromalia said, the ONLY recourse we have is to buy exclusively from luthiers who can ship an instrument within 6 months. And there are precious few of those. Big shops, like @USMarine75 talks about - Fender, ESP, PRS, etc - are likely safe. But even seemingly big shops, like Ormsby, have no guarantee of liquidity. If something were to happen to Pez, like a family illness, etc., he could end up having to abandon his business.

    I try to only buy from luthiers who can ship in 6 months now, so I can claim a chargeback. I've inquired about a couple of in-stock builds with luthiers who have suggested I commission a build. I tell them I've lost thousands in previous deals, and they then respond with, "Are you suggesting I am a scammer?" So, the luthier side has it hard, because we can't tell who is going to stay healthy, who won't go under, and who will be an ethical businessman, and the customer side has it bad because we're the one left with no collateral when nothing shows up in the mail.
     
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  14. Andromalia

    Andromalia Pardon my french

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    Canned answer: "No, but when I first go to bed with a girl, I use condoms, always and without exceptions".
    If the guy still doesn't get it at that point, it's a lost cause.
     
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  15. USMarine75

    USMarine75 Plays Authentic ® Contributor

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    Sorry, do what now? I cant hear you over the screaming of my 4 kids...
     
  16. Emperoff

    Emperoff Hasta la vista, Baby Contributor

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    Ouch... This again... :(

    I've had my share of these (one of them almost broke my relationship). So never again.

    Look... There's a concept people don't seem to grasp. If you go to a noname builder to build you a guitar because no one else can do what you want at that price... Shouldn't that tell you something?

    Sorry if this comes out rude, but if you can't afford the custom guitar you want, you shouldn't be even considering it. Resorting to a cheap unknown guy to do the job so you can have it is a potential source of issues. Roter or Bernie Rico Jr. come to mind...

    If you can't spend 4000$ on a custom guitar, then maybe the custom guitar market isn't for you. It sure isn't for me, and that's why I buy used customs instead.

    Something I learned the hard way, is that you might spend a truckload of money thinking you know what you want, and then not being entirely satisfied after receiving the guitar two years later. And that is assuming everything goes well.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2019
  17. Sogradde

    Sogradde SS.org Regular

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    From his Facebook page: "Steiner Kraus Guitars is a manufacturer of electric guitars located in Calgary, Canada."
     
  18. Hollowway

    Hollowway Extended Ranger

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    This is 100% hindsight. Steiner Kraus is not a “nobody.” And there is no way you can tell who is going to disappear with your money. Look into the history of customs on here, and tell me who you could tell wouldn’t deliver their instruments. BRJ used to charge over $3000 for customs, and was a pretty big name in custom guitars. Until he imploded. Sherman used to charge $4000-7000 until he disappeared with peoples’ money. Decibel charged $3000+ For their instruments. In all of these cases none of us could have guessed they’d never deliver guitars.
    I agree with you about customs not being the right market for everyone - I’ve been burned enough I’m in the exact same camp you are. But I don’t think you can blame the victim for not knowing ahead of time who was going to disappear. Well established luthiers scam people quite frequently, as we’ve all seen. You could go with a major company like ESP/Schecter, but you’re going to be held to their options/body styles.
     
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  19. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    The red flags are there if you let yourself see them. But hype and "great deals" are too good.

    BRJ was known for being a dipshit, he had run BCR into the ground, not once but twice, and was shady as all Hell. He had scammed a number of dealers and was recruiting fly-by-night artists with free guitars (or the promise of) and telling folks to stay quiet. The BFR run was one of those "too good to be true" moments that really was. A number of folks chimed in early on, but were drowned out by hype and enthusiasm.

    Sherman was another problematic actor, and when some "trusted" folks started protecting him and then all of a sudden went silent, it was probably a sign. Granted, unless you were on here frequently, especially in the mid aughts, you wouldn't have known anything was up.

    Darren had built, what, two guitars? He didn't even have a functioning wood shop when he started taking orders. But of course, he had some friends on here, who strangely enough pulled some shenanigans in the BRJ BFR shit show, hype his wares. A great website, and some slick mockups, does not a builder make.

    But time heals all. BRJ still goes to NAMM, and you'd be crazy if you think he doesn't have some involvement in the newly revamped BCR. I've heard rumors of Sherman working with others, but they might be bogus. Again, if you weren't here almost 15 years ago you wouldn't know. Darren is still smooching with artists waiting for the few who remember to forget so he can make a triumphant return.

    Folks do this to themselves.

    It's not really an issue of "good" vs. "bad" builders, where on one side is a guarantee of receiving what you ordered and on the other you get completely hosed. It's just a set of circumstances that gives you some odds. What are the odds that "builder x" will deliver? Are you okay with those odds?
     
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  20. Emperoff

    Emperoff Hasta la vista, Baby Contributor

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    I'm not blaming the victim. That would be like somebody being robbed and blaming the victim for not knowing they were in a dangerous place.

    But you got my point anyway. I could elaborate more, but Max did it perfectly for me so I don't have much to add. When you want something so bad, you just don't see the signs. Same as when you're in love.
     

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