Thursday, March 4, 2010

Guitar Center Service plan - Is it for you?

Beware when buying a "Fancy" new inexpensive guitar!
Guitar Center is offering Pro coverage for a fee. I would recommend this type of coverage for consumer electronic goods. Products like amplifiers, keyboards, mixers, recording equipment, and some guitars and basses. The reason I can see where this plan would ultimately benefit the consumer if say a PC board fails. Trouble shooting to component level usually carries a bench fee of a minimum of $25. Then you can probably bet on about $40 to $60 per hour labor fee's not including parts. Electronics in general have a bathtub shaped curve.The bathtub curve consists of three periods: an infant mortality period with a decreasing failure rate followed by a normal life period (also known as "useful life") with a low, relatively constant failure rate and concluding with a wear-out period that exhibits an increasing failure rate. What does all this mean to you the Bassist, guitarist, musician and consumer? It means the plan would probably serve you well as insurance during the initial two years of ownership if the product fails. A lot of guitars and bass guitars are now equipped with special pre-amplifiers and EQ devices. These devises are built into the product and finding the exact replacement part is difficult. Why the replacement parts are difficult to find is another story but safe to say - it's difficult! I have personal experience with trying to get replacement parts for a Ibanez George Benson guitar that was burnt in a fire yet salvageable. I waited for the better part of four months to receive the parts - Granted, the local music store might have had a huge hand in slowing the process but I was willing to pay upfront for the parts. Regardless, it was a painful waiting period for me and my customer. The Pro coverage should help alleviate this type of circumstance. Therefore, if you are seriously considering buying a "Fancy" new mondo pre-amplified juju mojo flux capacitor
amplifier, guitar, or keyboard - Buy the plan. However, I doubt the plan will help you with that expensive Martin or Gibson VOS Les Paul along with a Fender Custom shop instrument. Those instruments should last on their own merit and don't really have internal power supplies etc... Just spank the plank type of instruments. But what about the workmanship? Well, those VOS and Custom shop instruments should have had intense scrutiny and top notch quality assurance and also you should have inspected that instrument from top to bottom prior to purchase. To me, the plan is not applicable in this case.“Providing a reliable product protection solution for our customers is a priority for our company,” said Kenric Knecht, Guitar Center’s director of training and Pro Coverage. “With NEW’s Pro Coverage plan, we can be confident that our customers have exceptional service support so they can maximize the use and enjoyment of their
Pro Coverage will be offered at all 214 Guitar Center store locations and online at The plan offers customers convenient services to repair or replace covered products, including acoustic and electric guitars, basses, percussion instruments, keyboards, and pro-audio and DJ gear. Product parts covered under this plan include
volume pedals, internal power supplies, power meters and switches, LED and LCD displays, pickups, mechanisms, and more. Wooden cracks in acoustic guitars and drums as well as defects to the headstock, neck or body of acoustic guitars caused by defects in workmanship or materials are also covered. The plan ensures that new and used products are protected in the event a product fails due to a mechanical or electrical breakdown, normal wear and tear, or due to a power surge. A no-lemon policy and toll-free 24/7/365 customer service are also offered through the plan, which covers 100 percent of parts-and-labor repair costs. Shipping, handling and shipping insurance of covered products (up to 150 pounds) to and from the customer’s home to the manufacturer or service center are also included with the Pro Coverage plan. “Musicians invest time and money in their instruments whether it’s their hobby or profession,” said Rob DiRocco, NEW’s vice president of sales and marketing. “We are thrilled to be working with a reputable retailer like Guitar Center to provide their customers with the most convenient product protection and customer support available so they get the most out of their purchase and eliminate the possibility of costly repairs.”
The fact that Guitar Center has 214 locations means they do something right. Love them or hate them, you get the price because they buy in volume and the only way we get something of decent value in this country is when the retailer has the power to buy in volume. At the risk of hurting my own business I recommend that you at least seriously consider this two year plan.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Guitar Center is not going to honor the repair plan. I would highly advise you not to buy from them, especially the $79.99 repair plan. They will tell you that they will send you the info and package label of where to send for repair but you will never get it. You can call them and a very courteous person will answer every time apologizing and con you on sending what you need for the return but it will never happen. You can keep calling until you are blue in the face but they will give you the same story over and over again. After the third time calling back, they won't ask you if you want to do their rating survey, they know better. It's not worth the frustration. Go somewhere else. It's seems like the store and answering service are in cahoots. It's a shame but I'm not kidding. Been there, done that. No more.

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