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*Flawed Tokai part 2........*
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supreme
Guitar God


Joined: 04 May 2006
Posts: 77
Location: The Lowlands

PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2006 10:42 am    Post subject: *Flawed Tokai part 2........* Reply with quote

A few things have happened since the original thread was locked and I was asked to open a new thread by ned. Please don't talk about the persons on this forum, but about the topic if you want. You can also ignore this thread.


This is the original thread with more info and pictures:


http://www.tokaiforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=5954



First, I wanted my Made in Korea Sheraton back with the 200 pounds paid on top but it was gone instantly....which doesn't surprise me because it was flawless, everything was OK and in mint condition. I needed a guitar with a heavier rock sound, so that is why I traded it in, it was a killer blues/jazz machine.

So that is not an option anymore sadly.

Second, the cheaper Goldtop I got offered was also unacceptable, I had mentioned to Bob Murdoch (the UK importer who tried to find a replacement) as a last resort a SAME VALUE Goldtop with humbuckers would be OK, if there were no Customs. The Goldtop offered is cheaper, so I asked the shop owner on May 31 for a set of strings, a strap and speedknobs with the Goldtop to fill in the price gap.....he didn't accept it or rather didn't reply to that email to date. So that deal was off too.

Yesterday I got offered 400 pounds by the shop owner to settle it and never mention anything anymore.......which is a pathetic offer as far as I am concerned. Considering also he never answered the questions about the lies which I asked about many times....he said he would reply to them some other time.....never did.

I have tried to solve it fair and civilized for more than 2 weeks now, but I got ignored so here are the details of his shop:


Tim Muddiman
Music Market
71-73 Kettering road
Northampton
nn1 4aw
uk


I was told on the phone by Tim (who seems to be an official Tokai dealer because he sells many new Tokais, so not just a shop who happened to have one Tokai) that the Tokai was new (true, it was unplayed, no play-wear) and had no issues (lie, it had many flaws as you can see on the pics, more flaws than any guitar I have ever seen). Most importantly I was told it also played OK and even a performing friend tested it and was very impressed according to Tim (the guitar played awful and at normal action frets rattle, strings buzz and get muffled....I think something was wrong with both the frets, nut and probably the neck and 2 shops that inspected it said a similar thing). This phone conversation with Tim made me decide to go ahead with the deal because he sounded sincere, trustworthy and not like he was lying.

To me this is the most important thing after sound (which was OK)....the way it plays and stays in tune, if that had been OK, I actually would not have cared about the many cosmetic issues (eventhough still unacceptable and reason enough to send it back).
I confronted him many times about the lies, asking him to answer all those questions......he never answered them saying he would reply later, blablabla. He was not helpfull in solving this at all, in fact he intentionally stalled things, the way I see it.

Like I said, I let 2 respectable shops inspect the guitar and they both said that at least a few issues (like binding and color marks) were already there BEFORE the final finish was sprayed over the guitar. It would be ludicrous to say that they were the result of play-wear. The cuts alongside a few frets were the result of bad cutting and the holes in the left upper corner of at least 5 inlays could not be the result of play-wear either. Just in case some would want to suggest it was probably a used guitar.....again, there was no playwear whatsoever when I received the guitar.

Probably this week, maybe next week, I am also going to let a professional guitar tech inspect it and document all the flaws (which will cost me money of course). When I have the document I will post the scan of it here.



*See next post for the last part which will appear in 1 minute because I am now copy/pasting what I typed out the last 2 hours*

_________________
Only a MIJ Les Paul is good enough.....on second thought, maybe not after receiving my Tokai LC70-80 with many issues....
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supreme
Guitar God


Joined: 04 May 2006
Posts: 77
Location: The Lowlands

PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2006 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now, Bob (from Tokai UK Importer) also lied to me, so:


Bob Murdoch
Tokai Guitars (UK) Limited
6 Abbey Way
North Anston Trading Estate
Sheffield
S25 4JL


Bob the importer was first helpful, was also very nice until he decided he wanted to replace it with a cheaper model and most importantly, after he got caught on a lie about this ordeal by another forum member here (who is a retired lawyer).

To make a long story short the forum member here (who can reveal himself if he wants) thought it was unacceptable that I was offered a cheaper replacement so he emailed Bob. Bob then told him that he had offered me a "perfect Custom for mid June" and implied I did not accept.......which is a flat out lie. He never mentioned to me any mid June Custom up to that point, in fact he said he has no Customs, period....I have all the emails to prove it.

Now the interesting part is, like that forum member discovered that the cheaper Goldtop I was offered probably was going to arrive in the UK not that much later than the "mid June perfect Custom"..........so why did they offer me a cheaper Goldtop and not the Custom? Why did they want to shove a cheaper Goldtop down my throat while a Custom was going to be available not long after the cheaper Goldtop arrived in the UK?

I had told Bob as a last resort a SAME VALUE Goldtop would be OK, if there were no Customs. However the offered Goldtop was cheaper and there was going to be a Custom available almost around the same time as the Goldtop which wasn't in the UK too. What's going on here?

And I say "they" because Bob and Tim are in touch with each other and I was under the impression they were friendly and teaming up against me, because Bob was making up excuses for Tim's refusal to answer the questions about the lies. And the way it seemed to me, Bob didn't seem to be on Tim's case (a seemingly Tokai dealer who lied to a customer).

The forum member (who also got all the email correspondence from me between Bob and me) asked Bob for the email he allegedly sent me where he offered me the "mid June Custom".....Bob never replied to him....he can't send him that email because he never offered me that in any email up to that point, the end.

When I confronted Bob about this lie and the other forum member catching him (I also included the email correspondence between them 2) he totally ignored it. I asked him a few times more about that mid June Custom lie, he always ignored it....not denying, not confirming (easy to prove with that alleged email he sent...).

So yes, Bob lied behind my back and thanks to that other forum member he got caught and we both have those emails to prove it. After this I obviously didn't trust Bob anymore and I stopped being the nice guy to him too eventhough still asking for a proper replacement which I deserve. I wasn't asking for anything more or less than a matching replacement. He was very irritated because he got caught.

After this confrontation and also mentioning the fact that the forum member was a retired lawyer, suddenly everything went into top gear and I got offered a matching, same value Custom by Bob (probably that elusive mid-June Custom that he lied about and didn't mention up to that point to me). I accepted it because I was sick of this all and asked him to contact me when the Custom arrives from Japan, so I can send him the flawed Custom the day he got the new one in his hands. I also asked him not to make up excuses for Tim, which he did in his last email I was replying to. After this I was going to let Bob off the hook and not even mention the fact he lied.

The next day however, he demanded in a harsh way I should send the guitar back right now and that I was being rude asking those questions (again he defended Tim indirectly). I was being polite to Bob until I caught him on a lie and from then on I asked the questions I have a right to ask which he didn't like that much......he lies behind my back, makes up excuses for Tim who also lied but I was being rude asking about it.....hmmm,ok.

When I asked him again to answer the questions about the Custom lie, why he is not being tough on Tim (making up excuses for him) and why he didn't answer my question if he was going to deal with Tim in the future, Bob emails me today saying he retracts his offer and I should accept the 400 pounds offer by Tim dealing with the shop (who do not respond, don't answer questions and as a final offer want to give me 400 pounds to settle it, which is pathetic). I just emailed Bob that his documented offer is legally binding and I expect the black Custom to come my way.

That is what has happened to date. They both now lied, refusing to answer the questions or prove they did not lie (I gave them many opportunities to do so, I was being fair and civilized for 2 weeks and nothing happened). Both are not doing anything at the moment it seems. That is why I release this all so people can make up their own mind. I am not telling you what to do, your choice how you deal with it. As far as I am concerned, go ahead and do business with them.

I am now preparing to send the guitar to the Tokai factory in Japan with all the emails (from Tim, Bob, the other forum member and me), this thread, etc. printed out and see what happens then. Hopefully next week, but first I want the guitar to be inspected by the pro guitar tech and the flaws documented.

_________________
Only a MIJ Les Paul is good enough.....on second thought, maybe not after receiving my Tokai LC70-80 with many issues....
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sscanlan
Guitar God


Joined: 21 Mar 2006
Posts: 81

PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2006 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

64 View and no replies???

I for one thank Supreme for taking the time to up date us on his story. I hope you get it sorted mate. If the dealer was a decent guy he'd be able to sort you out with a satisfactory end to this saga. Does the small claims court beckon?
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chrisheyes
Guitar God


Joined: 05 Feb 2005
Posts: 714
Location: NW England

PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2006 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry to here about your trouble Supreme. I hope this all gets resolved quickl. You appear to have tried to do this down the amicable route but
obviously your weren't dealt with fairly.

Good Luck
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QuattroSte
Guitar God


Joined: 14 Mar 2005
Posts: 211
Location: Wicklow, Ireland!

PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2006 2:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WOW

Supreme. I apologise for comments made in the other thread. I was trying to be a smart ass and funny rather than offensive.

I think you have been messed about enough. I am not sure what the response will be, but I do hope Tokai Japan listen to your complaint and that you get looked after accordingly. Very sorry for your trouble man.

Regards
Ste.
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jawilluk
Guitar God


Joined: 28 Mar 2006
Posts: 433
Location: London

PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2006 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Supreme, If you have all this documented then you really should have no problem getting what you wanted. But for all the hassle you've been through you should also get considerable compensation for your time and trouble. Let us know who finally sorts you out and we can then form our own opinions of the others involved.

Thanks for the info.


Last edited by jawilluk on Tue Jun 06, 2006 5:47 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Ozeshin
Guitar God


Joined: 13 May 2006
Posts: 2076

PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2006 3:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here in Australia the Department of Fair Trading has far reaching powers.
If this happened in Australia it's relatively easy to book a hearing date with the commisioner to have your case heard.
Surely there will be a UK equivilent?
Considering the majority of the Australian justice system is modelled on the UK system there must be a Dept of fair trading or it's equivilent?
I'm guessing that hefty fines for both dealer and distributor would result and you sure as hell would be getting that new black custom.
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supreme
Guitar God


Joined: 04 May 2006
Posts: 77
Location: The Lowlands

PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2006 4:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cheers for the comments so far.

A small case court would fit this, however I have been told I need to be in England in person for that a few times, which at the moment and coming months just is not possible. Also I need to give the defendant (the shop) at least 1 month to rectify things to show the judge I gave him enough chances, it has been 2 and a half weeks now. If this went to court, I would win it with ease but it still would take time and money (include travelling expenses and legal costs).

In my last email to Bob I said I still have a right to receive the black Custom that he first promised then retracted (which he has in about a week). If I get that guitar, as far as I am concerned this case is closed. Which is fair and the way it should have been done from the beginning.

If he doesn't accept that, the flawed guitar is directly going to Tokai Gakki together with everything that shows how these 2 lied to a Tokai customer. I don't think they will be that happy about this treatment.

Regards

*edit* I meant small claims court instead of small case court.
_________________
Only a MIJ Les Paul is good enough.....on second thought, maybe not after receiving my Tokai LC70-80 with many issues....


Last edited by supreme on Wed Jun 07, 2006 10:38 am; edited 1 time in total
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joukov
Guitar God


Joined: 06 Apr 2006
Posts: 280
Location: Helsinki, Finland

PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2006 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

supreme, I'd hold my breath until the beginning of July for that Tokai Custom, Coda Music says on their Internet pages that they are getting their LS150's at the end of June. I quess that "your" LC arrives at the same time? Good luck.
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Schocker
Guitar God


Joined: 30 Jul 2003
Posts: 130

PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2006 6:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I find Supreme's experiences disappointing but not surprising, which is more a reflection of my opinion of customer service in the UK than those involved in this particular case. That said, neither Tokai UK nor Music Market has very much to feel proud about in their handling of his problem.

As Tokai owners, we are justifiably proud of our guitars; Supreme is justifiably not! He has every right to expect the quality which has made us all such fans of this company's instruments. When I give my opinion of Tokai's quality, I do not want to have to add, "...er, yes, but..." in apologetic tones. From what we can tell, quality control at Tokai is on the whole very good but only by taking issue with the exceptions will this be maintained.

However, I am even more appalled at the conduct of the official UK distributor and one of the retailers in its chain. Although my Tokai happened to come from one of the (then) few dealers in the UK, nearly all my other MIJ guitars have been privately imported direct from Japan by me. One of the reasons why people are sometimes wary of doing this is because they feel there's less likelihood of "things going wrong" if they buy in the UK. Well now! It would seem we can all rest safe in the knowledge that if we buy from a shop here and there's an issue with our instrument then we'll be satisfied with the service. NOT!!!

What is a shame is that even if your actual sales outlet is good, you know they're still reliant upon the UK distributor. I would like some reassurance from someone representing them, please. (Do they read this forum? If not, why not?)

If I believe in a product, I will recommend it in glowing terms to any relevant party I know and anyone who has tried my Tokai has been extremely impressed. Some have made purchases as a result, others have the idea simmering in their grey-matter... However, if I have doubts about the quality of service (and indeed product) they are likely to receive, I'm going to think twice before risking my reputation and their money. Why should I now feel inspired to tell anyone anything other than to buy their Tokai direct from Japan? "You'll save a load of cash and the customer service is impeccable." Well?

Supreme, as I've said before, I hope this matter is resolved to your total satisfaction. I remain convinced that you will love a good Tokai and I only hope you get the opportunity to prove me right. Good luck and keep us informed, please.
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bruno
Guitar God


Joined: 19 Feb 2005
Posts: 675
Location: Portugal/Set?bal

PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2006 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

supreme, taking into account everything that has been said, about this subject, I wouldn't accept any guitar from none of those dealers (you know my position on this matter and we won't further discuss it, but the dealers are the first to blame), they failed twice:

-did not deliver the goods
-failed to solve the situation

take the subject directly to tokai, like you were planning... that would be the thing to do, why not clear all the doubts, take it to the top...

good luck, once again
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vaporboy
Guitar God


Joined: 23 May 2002
Posts: 77

PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2006 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Should have bought a Korean one and saved a basketload of $$$$ - just kiddin'
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Deadman
Guitar God


Joined: 04 Mar 2006
Posts: 568
Location: England

PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2006 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Take it to the papers Supreme. While you're at it get The CAB (Citizen's Advice Bureau) and Trading Standards on your side.
I'm absloutely disgusted at your treatment. Sod buying any Tokais through Tokai UK now.
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sneakyjapan
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Joined: 12 May 2003
Posts: 1871

PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2006 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think thats the right thing to do too, all you guys in England should contact these sellers and let them know you`ve heard about their treatment of a customer and inform them how you feel about it.
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mike martin
Guitar God


Joined: 24 Jun 2003
Posts: 276

PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2006 9:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

heya supreme
sorry to hear your probs with the tokais
whats the score asking you to take ?400 in compensation , surely you should have gotten the cost that the lc was on sale for, as that is what you paid, your guitar +?200 .also are you in the uk , if so there is the sale of goods act , check with the citezans advice beaurea about that, also even if you are not a uk resident im sure that the sale of goods
act would still apply.hope you get everything worked out to your satisfaction,
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