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  1. #1

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    I shipped this guitar to another forum member in California. Fortunately I took photos before shipping. The guitar had packing material in the case and all the usual care before shipping. The case is a hard shell wood Heritage case. There was abundant bubble wrap and other padding around the case. The box was sturdy and had fragile marking on every side.

    When it was unpacked the ebony tailpiece placard was lose in the case. It obviously was knocked loose because it was secure before shipping. Worse, there was a gouge in the top near the pickup.

    UPS attempts murder on Heritage Super Eagle-26305-jpgUPS attempts murder on Heritage Super Eagle-100_0590-jpg

    I filed the claim and included 20 pics with how it was packed and how beat up the box was. They denied the claim because they said I put the guitar in the box without a case or any padding. Then I had to appeal and show the case and packing material. They then wanted a photo of the box label to assess the strength of the cardboard.

    UPS attempts murder on Heritage Super Eagle-100_0573-jpg

    They wanted the receipt on this 15 year old guitar. I explained that doesn't exist now and won't reflect the current value. So I submitted comparables from Reverb and eBay.

    I also needed to submit a quote for the repair. I got that from my luthier extraordinaire Pete Moreno.

    I'm now waiting for UPS to decide whether they will cover it. Tentatively they said yes and will compensate for value lost. We'll see.

    Today I picked up the guitar from Pete. I couldn't be happier. He put a couple of "buttons" under the area of injury, thin discs of wood, to add support. He has the Heritage antique natural stain in his shop. He wet sanded the area and and lightly did the rest of the top. He carefully filled the defect in the top and matched it perfectly. He then did a little more wet sanding and sprayed the top with clear lacquer, sanded and buffed it and needed.

    This guitar originally came from Jay Wolfe. It's a cross braced guitar that is really built as an acoustic with a thin top. It has the legendary HRW pickup, which sounds pretty good. The original buyer had it in Florida. About 8-10 years ago a friend of mine in New York bought it. Later I got it from him. The famous and very fussy Patrick saw the photos and hated it because of the cloud inlays. A few months later Patrick was visiting. I showed him the guitar and he played it and played it. He loved the tone of it so much he had to buy it. The next day he did. He took it to Aaron Cowles and had the tailpiece currently on it installed, the last one like it Heritage had, and had it set up, which Aaron was famous for. When Aaron was done he drove it to Heritage to have a SD 59 pickup installed.

    Patrick died a few years later and I bought the guitar back. I traded it to Rhoadsscholar, who recently passed. He put the HRW back in. Later he traded it back. Several years later I had an inquiry about selling it. That led to shipping it to California.

    I can tell you the guitar feels and sounds the same as before the trip to the West coast. And the repair looks amazing.

    Mostly I wanted to show off Pete Moreno's work. Here are today's photos. It's hard to see that anything ever happened.

    I also want to emphasize that if you are going to ship with USPS, UPS, or FedEx take abundant pics as you pack. Filing a claim is not for the faint hearted.

    What I believe happened is that something or someone fell on the shipping box while it was resting on its side. A heavy person could have stepped on the box. But it was high impact, enough to knock the placard off the tailpiece and push the top down despite a hardshell case and damage the top. Fragile stickers didn't prevent this.

    UPS attempts murder on Heritage Super Eagle-20200916_175800-jpgUPS attempts murder on Heritage Super Eagle-20200916_175346-jpgUPS attempts murder on Heritage Super Eagle-20200916_175724-jpgUPS attempts murder on Heritage Super Eagle-20200916_175757-jpgUPS attempts murder on Heritage Super Eagle-20200916_175338-jpgUPS attempts murder on Heritage Super Eagle-20200916_175333-jpgUPS attempts murder on Heritage Super Eagle-20200916_175303-jpgUPS attempts murder on Heritage Super Eagle-20200916_175237-jpg

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  3. #2

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    Wow, is all I can say.....wow on many levels.

  4. #3

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    Great write up as usual.
    MG, you should drive back to Pete’s and give him a hug.
    That’s a spectacular repair. Pete is a magician.
    Joe D

  5. #4

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    a horrible story made right by a master...thank goodness for pete! and your own diligence mg

    save and a beauty!


    cheers

  6. #5

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    Stunning repair but so sad that UPS has not changed their ways and the insurance you buy from them is not worth the paper it is written on. UPS is a horrible company plain and simple. Even the private UPS drop off hub owners despise UPS. Not to mention the drivers hate working for UPS. I deal with UPS deliveries daily and the drivers are never happy and always under the gun. A company rotten to the core.
    Thank God for Pete Moreno !!!

  7. #6

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    What an epic story.. Sorry for all the trouble you've had but excellent advice to heed.

  8. #7

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    Cool guitar.
    Sadly, Pete was unable to make that pickguard any less ugly.
    Thankfully, better-looking replacement pickguards are available, even from Heritage.
    Last edited by Hammertone; 09-16-2020 at 11:43 PM.

  9. #8

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    What a sad story, and an heroic save. Yeah, from what i hear and read, UPS has gone downhill.

    As you say, MG document, document, document!

  10. #9

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    I had an amp head and a cabinet on the way from Germany, both new items. They shipped them separately via UPS. The cabinet arrived on Monday, somehow with a tolex tear on the front. Okay, fine, they offered to send me a new one. The Diezel head was delayed for unknown reasons and was said to be delayed awaiting export approval. The today the tracking was updated to this.




    I guess someone now has a new amp head. I’m waiting to hear if they are going to try sending another. I have had far, far more issues with UPS than any other shipper.

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hammertone View Post
    Cool guitar.
    Sadly, Pete was unable to make that pickguard any less ugly.
    Thankfully, better-looking replacement pickgaurds are available, even from Heritage.
    This one also has a black ebony L5 style pickguard.

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThatRhythmMan View Post
    I guess someone now has a new amp head. I’m waiting to hear if they are going to try sending another. I have had far, far more issues with UPS than any other shipper.
    That puts the TF in WTF.... what a horrible story. I hope UPS makes this right.

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Grass View Post
    I
    Mostly I wanted to show off Pete Moreno's work. Here are today's photos. It's hard to see that anything ever happened.
    What a nightmare. That repair is nothing short of amazing. Pete is a miracle worker...!

  14. #13

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    Once a guy shipped me a vintage Pro Reverb and it arrived w the speakers having shattered the particle board baffle.
    UPS shipped the amp back to the seller AND sent him the money from the claim.
    Took me 6 months and a ton of angry threatening emails to get the jerk to pay me back.

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hammertone View Post
    Cool guitar. Sadly, Pete was unable to make that pickguard any less ugly. Thankfully, better-looking replacement pickguards are available, even from Heritage.
    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Grass View Post
    This one also has a black ebony L5 style pickguard.
    Praise Jeebus! This story gets happier by the minute! Swap it in while you can!

  16. #15

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    What an amazing recovery/repair from a terrible UPS shipping experience. Between your obsessive packing, photos and persistence, you won the day. Pete just added the final touch...with his magic touch.

    You should change the name of that Super Eagle to Super Phoenix. It certainly has risen beautifully from the shipping ashes.

    Play it in good health.

  17. #16

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    I try to be objective and fair. If I were UPS I would deny your claim for the very same reason that you returned a Guild Artist Award 1958 Reissue to a Reverb seller a few years ago: you should have known better to wrap the tailpiece, especially one with a part that is likely to work loose. You can't pin this on UPS just as the Reverb seller could not blame the carrier he used for that pinhead-sized lacquer indentation on the top caused by an unwrapped tailpiece that you said he should have wrapped. It is squarely on you just as it was squarely on him. You failed to pack it properly.

    Accept your karmic return and responsibility because you demonstrated before that you do know better.

    It is not fair to knock UPS for our own failure to anticipate a problem. Fair is fair.

    But Pete Moreno is a fantastic luthier. What a treasure. You are fortunate to be in his neighbourhood.

  18. #17

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    Great work by Pete Moreno - a genuine miracle worker. I have to agree with Jabberwocky - leaving the bridge in place was not a good idea...... I have always followed the helpful advice on packing at Archtop.com and to date haven't (thankfully) had any issues

    archtop.com: shipping your guitar

  19. #18

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    For what is worth, Insuring your instrument through companies like Heritage Insurance Services is not prohibitively expensive. It covers for events like this and other things and they pay.

    I am glad it worked out ok this time.

    Food for thought....

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jabberwocky View Post
    I try to be objective and fair. If I were UPS I would deny your claim for the very same reason that you returned a Guild Artist Award 1958 Reissue to a Reverb seller a few years ago: you should have known better to wrap the tailpiece, especially one with a part that is likely to work loose. You can't pin this on UPS just as the Reverb seller could not blame the carrier he used for that pinhead-sized lacquer indentation on the top caused by an unwrapped tailpiece that you said he should have wrapped. It is squarely on you just as it was squarely on him. You failed to pack it properly.

    Accept your karmic return and responsibility because you demonstrated before that you do know better.

    It is not fair to knock UPS for our own failure to anticipate a problem. Fair is fair.

    But Pete Moreno is a fantastic luthier. What a treasure. You are fortunate to be in his neighbourhood.
    There was wrapping around the tailpiece. Importantly, the midsection of the box was crushed.

    There were three investigatos at UPS who analyzed the box, injury to the top, and the placard. The gouge on the top was not from the placard. It was from direct pressure, likely high impulse over the top of the guitar. The placard couldn't have caused the damage. They determined the pressure that caused the damage was from a downward force on the pickup.

    They tried to blame me at first then acknowledged the mechanism.

    At that point I needed a repair quote. Pete looked at the case and guitar then said it looks like someone jumped on the box.

    Don't shoot from the hip, sir.

  21. #20

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    Mark,

    OUCH! Blunt force on the top, for sure. UPS will--with coaxing--make it right. That'd be my bet.

    A horror story, for sure.

    Great guitar, by the way.

    GT

  22. #21

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    There are three constants when buying from Mark:
    incredible photos
    Really hard to resist price
    great packing and fast shipping

  23. #22

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    UPS still working on claim.

  24. #23

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    The only way I’d ship via UPS is by dropping off at a shipment center and there UPS does the actual packaging. Then if a problem arises they own the issue. The shipping rates are indeed enormous at these UPS shipping centers but that’s the only time I’d ever ship UPS. I’ve actually used UPS on half a dozen shipments when a buyer was paying for an expensive shipping and packaging of delicate stereo items. Several of which were outside the USA but those items each shipped successfully.