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Old 05-01-2019, 09:35 PM
1Hullabalulu 1Hullabalulu is offline
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Join Date: May 2019
Posts: 5
Default Mcpherson(aka Kevin Michael) versus Blackbird Lucky 13 guitar, service and product

Comparison of Kevin Michael (McPherson) carbon fibre guitar, Blackbird lucky 13 carbon fibre guitar, Blackbird Clara Ukulele and the Customer Service of both companies

Well I'm just a poor musician in Australia but I bit the bullet despite customs fees and I bought a Kevin Michael guitar, a Blackbird carbon fibre guitar and a Blackbird Clara ukulele for my Mum.

I live in a rainforest and it's humid here so they seemed the perfect products for me.

The Kevin Michael guitar developed a minor fault and the companies customer service was faultless,
They were/are 100 percent behind their guitars as far as customer service is.
They made sure that the replacement didn't cost me in any way, they treated the issue as very important, and even threw in extras with the replacement (2 x guitar cases soft and hard, strap, whole set of picks) . I would most definitely buy from this company again. In a fact after dealing with this company I WANT to buy from them again, and recommend the company to other musicians.

A company who believes in their product always has great returns and warranty policies.

I had already chosen the Kevin Michael guitar (for the majority of my playing) over the Blackbird lucky 13, simply over its playing feel, it's light and feels and sounds better then the Blackbird guitar (which is more clunky feeling) In my opinion. Also the make of the Kevin Michael as you look closer is more perfect then the Blackbird is. And when I received them both the Kevin Michael was clean inside whereas the Blackbird was sooty and dirty inside from manufacture. But I find good customer service rubs off onto the guitar and makes playing of it even more pleasurable so all in all Kevin Michael is the guitar for me.

So onto the Blackbird company. Whom I discovered DID NOT have good warranty policy.

> (‪‬)
> 1 - At the Buyer’s expense, the Buyer returns the product claimed to be defective, through his authorized dealer/distributor, to the manufacturer at the Buyer’s expense with shipping expenses pre-paid both to and from the manufacturer;

The lucky 13 blackbird guitar is stout and sound, and very solid. So I have no complaints with that.

However the Clara ukulele which I had also bought from Blackbird had developed a major fault in which the front of it didn't have enough bracing under the bridge and the whole face of it was buckled and unplayable within 4 years.
They were already aware of this fault when I contacted them and this was their answer

>>> We add a bridge patch now (you have one of the earliest ones). It solves the problem and we can retro actively fix yours. That said, we do need it back here to make the upgrade. If possible to send back.

So whilst admitting their defect, they believe the consumer should deal with ALL postage costs when sending it back for repair/replacement. I was happy to pay return but unaware that they wanted me to pay again postage to get it back to me UNTIL I'd returned it to America and they sent me the bill for the return.

I tried contesting this because as as far as I know ACC (Australia consumer law) is that anybody who sells into Australia should comply with ACC which states that the company pays for returns. However correspondence with them was difficult. And left me with an aversion to their actual product as a result.

Whilst refusing to pay return postage ($110 USD) Blackbird then offered me an upgrade which costs $420 USD. This I did not understand as I had already found out they were ....well, scabby. Naturally I was suspicious. Also IF their replacement proved defective I would I have to foot postages yet again.

Blackbird Quoted
>>>>>> Given your climate, I would actually recommend a sunburst Clara with clear coat finish which is better suited for extreme weather. I should have thought of this earlier but we would include this significant upgrade for FREE (normally $425 upgrade).
>>>>>> A refund after all these years is rather unprecedented but perhaps after 1000s of instruments we will need to make an exception. We can offer a refund less 20% restocking fee.

I opted for a refund on the actual product, I'd already paid 2x postages for the same product and I wasn't prepared to pay three. Blackbird charged me the 20 percent retail fee, which they deducted off the refund (due to having already made me a replacement) (the original instrument being non repairable it seems)

All in all this company (Blackbird) looks after themselves and made NO loss from this, in fact they still profited, for their own defective product. Whilst all my available options whichever way I turned , were losses.

(To get nitty gritty) even the upgrade would have been a loss for me as then I would have had to repay customs fees (I'm Australian) whereas just a replacement avoids this (considered paid the first time).
I ended up getting refunded USD $920 (pay pal charged me an extra $33 fee) so I actually got back USD $886.58

It's been an expensive lesson for me and perhaps I could have done it all a better way but in future I'll always check a companies warranty policies before I buy. As this is a reflection on their product.

A company that does not have good returns/warranty policies is not confident in their own product. And they have no motivation to ensure that their future product is better, this then makes me unconfident in the product as a consumer.

Mcphersons guitars ARE confident in their products and they look after consumers. So I leave it up to you, the consumer, to decide which company is best. Kevin Michael (the prodigy of McPherson) as a brand name has now been discontinued and the same guitar is now under the umbrella of the companies main name Mcpherson.

Also by the way I have a cheap factory made ply Takamine which hangs off a pole on the balcony which has lasted for 10 years. Go Takamine. But that can be another review for another day

Thanks for reading
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