Update by user May 12, 2017
I have my money back. My ordeal is over.
In the process I have been accused of blackmail for posting negative reviews.
Honesty is not blackmail. Anyway, I am just glad it's sorted and I can get my life back..
Original review posted by user May 12, 2017
This retailer is a swindler who took the best part of a thousand pounds for a guitar which was sent to me with a faulty nut. This left the high E string running right along the fret board and it slipped over the edge when fretted.
He seemed a relatively reasonable guy at first, agreeing to pay for a repair, acknowledging the fault. However, I declined the repair - as is my statutory right - despite his protestations and quite abusive manner. I returned it to him through a courier in the same packing. Foolishly, I did not check my bank account for a couple of months but when I did I noticed he had not reimbursed me.
When I contacted him regarding the refund he claimed not to know why the guitar had been returned and where it had even come from! A completely bizarre claim as it was all arranged through UPS, via email exchanges and it had been signed for! Anyway, at this point he refused to pay the refund and became very aggressive indeed. He threw a series of malicious allegations at me - claiming I had not packed the guitar properly and it had come back damaged.
(I photographed the instrument prior to returning it following a horror story from a friend so I look forward to being able to expose this lie in court). He also got extremely precious about the set up of the guitar as I had lowered the action in an attempt to mitigate the effects of the badly aligned string (to make it tighter with the guitar neck). He tried to claim this amounted to additional 'damage' to the instrument and that I had 'no right' to adjust the set up and it should have come back with exactly the same action as it went out. As if adjusting neck relief is irreversible!
Ridiculously, he then insisted that my 'messing' with the set up had caused the initial problem with the nut/string alignment (even when this problem was actually visible on pre-sale photos on his website, as I subsequently discovered. These will be useful in court as well). He also said he needed to be compensated for having to re-set the instrument. That he had actually signed for the guitar, had it in his workshop for two months while not raising any of these bogus 'damage' issues with me AND kept my money into the bargain(!) was a matter of indifference to him.
On the contrary, HE was the injured party and I had tried to 'swindle' him. In the end, he offered to pay me 80 per cent of my money - based on the spurious grounds that it had come back damaged. Now, really. If any retailer believed that the customer had ordered goods, damaged them and returned them asking for a refund, would they really 'negotiate' the extent of this refund?
They would politely tell the customer to take a walk. Essentially, it became clear from his increasingly desperate attempts to offer this partial refund that he did not want to lose on the sale altogether. (I have read subsequent reviews on other sites of 'Richards Guitars' where customers have also had to fight tooth and nail for refunds. These reviews also revealed that a previous guitar company of his had gone bust so perhaps the money is indeed everything to him - even at the expense of a demolished reputation).
Anyway, he has reimbursed me 80 percent of the total I paid and thus has stolen £194. Presumably, he is deviously calculating that I will not think such a sum is worth chasing up through the courts and he can just keep it. However, theft is theft and he is mistaken. I will not drop this if it costs me the full grand the instrument cost in the first place.
Please do not be fooled by this shark and the bogus testimonials on his website (it's impossible to leave any negative feedback on there and he clearly cherry picks the ones he cites). Go to somewhere reputable and professional instead.
Review about: Eastman Guitars Guitar.
Reason of review: Return, Exchange or Cancellation Policy.
Monetary Loss: $194.
Preferred solution: Full refund.
I liked: Truly dreadful.
I didn't like: That he ripped me off.