I just recently had the most awful experience with Musicians Friend. So for the rest of this review I will refer to them as Musicians Enemy. I wanted to pass it along to everyone so that they can avoid this company at all costs.
A few weeks back I purchased a new Les Paul Axcess from Musicians Enemy. I have done business with this company for years. The prices are high but they get the cool guitars (Musicman) that you can't find in most stores. Plus you have 45 days to check out the merchandise. If you don't like it for any reason you can send it back. In the past I had no issues returning items.
However, over the last year or so I order several items that were defective or I just didn't like the equipment. What most people don't know (including me) is that Musicians Enemy just changed their policy on guitars over $2000. These items must be returned within 10 days. In addition, they have some magic formula that calculates your ratio of returns to orders. If you go above a certain number/percentage of returns, they will no longer honor their 45 money back policy. Of course they never told me that when I ordered an Axcess guitar for $3499.
I was never told that I could not return it if I was unsatisfied with the instrument. Why would I even question it since I have returned items for years? A few days later I get the guitar and low and behold as is to often the case with Gibson – there is something wrong with the electronics/pickups. The neck pickup was dead, had no life or tone.
I own 4 other Les Pauls so I know how these guitars are supposed to sound. I immediately call up Musicians Enemy and tell them that I want to return the guitar. Before I was asked why, I was put on hold and then the rep came back and said that I can no longer return items unless they are defective. I was amazed because I never had an issue returning items in the past. I told her that this was news to me and they should document this somewhere so that people are aware of these “revised” polices. I then told her that the guitar is defective anyway so there shouldn’t be a problem. I also indicated that this undocumented policy was not fair and that I will take all my future business elsewhere. So she sets up the return and they mail me a pre-paid label.
At this point I thought the issue was resolved. However, today I saw a very large package on my porch when I arrived home from work. Upon closer examination I realized that the Axcess guitar was sent back to me. I immediately called Musicians Enemy to find out why the guitar was shipped back to me. The rep indicated that the guitar was checked and was found to be functioning properly. I then realized that they probably had an 18 year old kid plug it in just to see if it makes noise. Which it does but that doesn’t mean it isn’t defective.
At this point, I start to get extremely aggravated. I let her know that even if the guitar wasn’t defective (which it is), they have no right to arbitrarily change their return policies. After going up the chain of command multiple times, I reached a supervisor who basically told me that I was stuck with the guitar. They would not accept a return on it. So I realized the only course of action would be to dispute the charge on my credit card and file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau (which I did).
To add insult to injury, after I get off the phone, I opened the box and confirmed yet again that there is something wrong with the electronics or neck pickup. It sounds like a single coil pickup with no life/tone. The bridge pickup is fine…the problem is with the neck pickup. So please be very careful when you deal with Musicians Enemy. I will never do business with them again.