ESP Guitars: A solid company!

You gotta love good customer service, especially these days.  I want to personally commend ESP Guitars for treating a customer right!  The story begins in July of 2015:

I ordered a beautiful ESP LTD TL-12 from American Musical Supply (AMS), a large online music retailer.  This gorgeous 12-string guitar is a thin line model, and I fell in love with the look of it, so I bought one.

For a case, I had to order directly from ESP, since no one seemed to have the correct case online except direct from the manufacturer.

The guitar was shipped promptly from AMS, and sounded great.  However, after a few gigs with it, I was having what I thought was tuning problems.  Anytime I played high notes up the neck, the guitar sounded out-of-tune.  I was confused by this, so I started to investigate.  I tuned an open string using the onboard tuner, then played the 12th fret octave note, and it was sharp.  I mean really sharp.  I became convinced that the bridge of the guitar was actually installed incorrectly on the body; that it was about 1/4″ too close to the neck.  This would cause all notes to become incredibly sharp moving up the neck.

I contacted ESP directly about the issue.  They said I could send the guitar to them for replacement, but suggested I send it back to AMS instead, since AMS would send me a return label for free shipping back to them.  So that’s the route I chose; I sent the guitar back, and asked for a replacement.

Within a few days, the replacement guitar arrived – and it was exactly the same.  Frustrated, I called AMS again that same day, and arranged for a return and refund.  I wasn’t going to take a chance on another defective guitar.  I must also commend AMS for their excellent customer service and return/refund policies.

After this return, I called ESP again; I wanted to return the now useless case, since it is specific to the TL guitars and I had no use for it.  Laura at ESP asked for my order number, which I promptly sent by email.

The next day, Jeff Moore, Senior VP of ESP Guitars, called me directly.  Needless to say, I was a little taken aback.  He graciously explained to me that I was 100% correct about the issues with this line of guitars; that they had a run of defective guitars with incorrectly-installed bridges that made it past quality control and went out to distributors.  I was very pleased to know that my unlikely diagnosis was in fact, the right one.  He was extremely apologetic, and offered to take back the case for a full refund.  But then, he made a generous offer:  He would personally select and inspect a new, properly-built guitar for me, and send it to me for 20% off, and no shipping charges.  I took a day or two to think about it, and then took the deal.

I’m happy to say that the new guitar is, indeed, excellent.  These guitars play beautifully, and having one that tunes and intonates properly is a joy.  The new guitar also came with an upgraded Fishman pickup and preamp system, whereas the previous model had one by B-Band.  The Fishman is far superior, and was an unexpected bonus.  I love the new instrument, and I’m playing it at every gig now.

Of course, the real focus of this blog post is to commend ESP for truly taking care of a customer.  It’s rare that a company will admit such a blunder.  And then to take the added step of offering me a significant discount on a replacement was certainly appreciated.

Thank you ESP Guitars – keep up the good work, both in providing quality instruments as well as top-notch customer relations!

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