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BUSTED

It certainly could have been worse but the damage is done. The vintage value is generally cut in half when there's a neck break even on an SG where breaks like this are common. Off it goes to Dan Erlewine (and Elliot) for the best repair money can buy.

Not me, a gorgeous 64 SG Standard. It was well packed by the shipper (it was being shipped to me) and Fedex put a forklift through the box and broke the neck. It is repairable but, as I’m sure you all know, a neck repair, no matter how good, pretty much cuts the vintage value in half. Fedex, of course, wanted to see the packing job so I repacked it as it was and they picked it up. I could have packed it in a wooden crate and they still would have broken it. Here’s the real rub. ¬†Read Fedex’s fine print under “terms and conditions”. This sounds like legalese to me: There’s a section called “Declared Value and Limits of Liability (Not Insurance Coverage)” I’m not sure what the difference is but it can’t be a good thing. In this section it states that (and I quote) Guitars and other musical instruments that are more than 20 years old, and customized or personalized musical instruments [are limited to $1000]. What does that mean? I can’t declare a value beyond $1000 but I can insure it? I’ve “declared” guitars for $25,000 and they’ve had no problem taking my money. They can see it’s a guitar box. I’ve probably spent $2000-$3000 on Fedex “declarations” this year. I pack really well so I’ve never had to make a claim (except when they lost a non vintage guitar which they paid) but it sure is good to know that I’m wasting my money. I’m guessing a good lawyer would make mincemeat of this policy. So, what does insurance mean as opposed to “Limits of Liability”. ¬†Well, here’s what the site says: Carrier does not provide insurance coverage of any kind. That says to me that by limiting their liability, that they are, in essence telling you that they will charge a serious premium for a valuable item but they don’t have any intention of paying if they break it beyond their stated amount ($1000 in this case). Let’s call Fedex and see what they say, shall we? Greg, in the claims department explains that their liability is indeed limited to $1000 but if I’ve been paying for $25,000 worth of (insurance? coverage?) whatever it is they offer, I should be able to get a refund and he told me to call the billing department. Excuse me a moment while I call them…The nice lady in the billing department said they can’t give me my money back because I declared those large amounts, so it’s my own doing. I said that wasn’t an acceptable answer but nice try, so now I’m on hold for her supervisor. I just spoke to Jane Rubin who was very helpful. She understood the problem and I explained to her that perhaps when you fill in the online form for over $1000 in liability (no matter what you’re shipping) that a pop up come up and tell you to read the fine print or link you to it with a warning that would go something like “BEFORE YOU WASTE YOUR MONEY PAYING FOR A SERVICE WE DON’T OFFER, READ THIS DISCLAIMER!!” or something to that effect. However, when I told her I would like to be reimbursed for all the times I’ve typed in more than $1000, she told me to send her a list of invoices where I had done so and she would see about getting me reimbursed. That would be nice. It doesn’t help me the next time I need to ship an expensive guitar but at least I won’t be paying for a worthless “service”, Stay tuned

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