Rickenbacker International Corporation - Forum

Reform Nameplate Policy
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Author:  LoyalRickGuy [ Fri Mar 24, 2006 11:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Reform Nameplate Policy

I am the original owner of a 1990 mapleglo 370 which I received from my loving wife for my 40th birthday and have enjoyed this wonderful guitar for the last 16 years. Recently my origianl truss rod cover (TRC) name plate was destroyed (long story), but I have been unable to purchase a new one from Rickenbacker because when I returned my original name plate it was rejected by the factory as "not able to verify originality", which was understandable due to it's condition.

Because of my dilemma I have done a lot of research and am well aware of Rickenbackers TRC nameplate policy and the reasons given by Rick as to why they evoked this policy. Unfortunately Rick’s policy is unfair to the honest Rick owners who have for whatever reason lost or destroyed their original TRC and need a replacement.

According to other Rick owners (Rick Forum) & vintage guitar dealers, the only current option for the true and loyal Rick owners is to search ebay for an indefinite time (weeks or months) until the exact name plate surfaces which you hope matches your guitar, then pay the current black market price of $100 or more, and then take the full risk that the name plate is original. Not exactly the way a company protects it’s customers and creates customer loyalty. Also the very nature of this practice further supports the black market trading of name plates (real or fake) which is what Rickenbacker is trying to discourage.

Here is a more reasonable policy that Rickenbacker could adopt which other companies have used successfully to protect their proprietary parts & trademarks, and would protect them and support their loyal Rickenbacker customers at the same time. A win / win for everyone !

Very simply - if you are the owner of an original Rickenbacker guitar or bass, and have lost or destroyed your original nameplate, the only exception to Rickenbacker’s exchange policy would be to have the guitar owner present their original guitar to an authorized Rickenbacker dealer for verification which would require that the dealer send in a simple form with the order to the factory with the guitar’s serial number & description, AND the owner’s picture ID information (name / address / phone), and the form signed by the owner under penalty of perjury. These forms would be entered into a simple data base at Rickenbacker for quick monitoring if multiple purchases surfaced using the same guitar, or owner.

It's simple, and it works. Hope Rickenbacker reads the Forum from time to time and would consider this policy reform.

Happy Strumming, Steve

Author:  jingle_jangle [ Fri Mar 24, 2006 11:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Reform Nameplate Policy

Hope Rickenbacker reads the Forum from time to time and would consider this policy reform.

Nah. They ignore this Forum.

Seriously, there are so many holes in your plot that there's very little chance of it working properly. The best--and only--way is to leave the whole thing in the hands of RIC, which in this case is Mr. John Hall himself.

John once showed me a box of TRC exchanges. Fully 10% of them were counterfeits. Some were laughably crude, others were close. Are you going to leave it up to a dealer to certify a TRC or that the guitar is genuine and you are the original owner? What's to say you didn't sell off the TRC or put it on a Tokai fakenbacker?

My final question, and then I'll let you go, is this: You say "long story", but what the heck would destroy a TRC so badly that the factory could not verify for sure that it was the real thing, and not lunch the entire bass?

I'd love to hear details of this happenstance!

Author:  RICandVOX [ Sat Mar 25, 2006 12:03 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Reform Nameplate Policy

Hope Rickenbacker reads the Forum from time to time and would consider this policy reform.

Rickenbacker staff (including the CEO) definitely check out this forum and often times, have responses to questions about RIC policy. In addition, contact with the customer is done on a personal basis via e-mail or phone and not on this forum. I have received feedback from the company in each one of those methods.
As with any kind of policy reform, there would be many questions like if you find the lost TRC, do you return it or your replacement? Do you take the recovered TRC to the dealer or send it to RIC? Is each owner allowed only one claim or is it one claim per guitar? After all, many Rickenbacker owners have several models and it's possible to have multiple TRC issues.
In the end, this is all up to RIC and they will do what's best for the company and the customers. There's a RIC TRC somewhere for your guitar. I hope you can get it, one way or another. Good luck.

Author:  LoyalRickGuy [ Sat Mar 25, 2006 12:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Reform Nameplate Policy

Thanks Jingle Jangle:
I am looking for suggestions. What would you suggest for someone like me who simply need a new nameplate for his original guitar. That's all this is about. I'm stuck and need help.
Thanks, Steve

Author:  JohnHall [ Sat Mar 25, 2006 1:04 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Reform Nameplate Policy

First off, we've looked at many ways of dealing with this problem and each has its advantages and disadvantages. We regret having to do anything at all like this but the current option is the best balance of all factors. Actually, the plan as you describe it is essentially the plan we follow with our distributors in other countries since we have to delegate things to them for efficient local service.

Second, for every person like you who doesn't like this policy, I get a thank you from another for not allowing these out there to devalue the value of their instrument.

Finally, one thing you've either misunderstood or overlooked is that you can use ANY legitimate nameplate you can locate to trade in and order the style that you require. The point is to take one plate which has the potential for misuse off the street each time a new one is ordered.

Author:  LoyalRickGuy [ Sat Mar 25, 2006 5:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Reform Nameplate Policy

Dear Mr. Hall:

I cannot thank you enough for your kind response. After several weeks of unsuccessful communication with customer service in trying to find a positive resolve such as you have suggested, I can now proceed with locating an original nameplate of any type that I can now return to the factory in exchange for the correct nameplate for my guitar.

At the end of the day all I was trying to accomplish was to return my valued 16 year old birthday guitar back to it's original glory. Thank you for your assistance and good spirit.

Best Wishes,
Steve Hosa

ps: As a follow-up thought, since you mentioned that the dealer verification process is used outside of the US, and assuming you have not found an increase in fraud or forgeries as a result, would you re-consider adopting this same policy in the US at some point since currently your US customers are assuming the burden and responsibility of paying the inflated street price of $100. or more partly to assist Rickenbacker in getting these nameplates off the market, and at the same time are at risk of purchasing fake nameplates in the process at a total financial loss to the customer.
Thanks, Steve

Author:  RICandVOX [ Sat Mar 25, 2006 7:39 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Reform Nameplate Policy

As you now know from personal experience, Rickenbacker staff (including the CEO) do read posts on this forum and when possible and appropriate, give responses to questions and concerns about Rickenbacker products.

Recently my origianl truss rod cover (TRC) name plate was destroyed (long story)
Like jingle_jangle, I'm interested to hear how your TRC was destroyed beyond identification. Many members of this forum would like to hear the story, no matter how long. Keep in mind, someone reading your TRC dilemma may have an extra TRC or know where you can get one. You just never know. Best of luck in your search!

Author:  beatlefan [ Sat Mar 25, 2006 7:40 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Reform Nameplate Policy

I bought a '99 4001v63 off of ebay a while back. It did NOT come with the trc, for whatever reason... I would have GLADLY paid the black market price for a replacement if RIC would have them available....BUT, you must look at the "what if" scenario.... What IF I had simply taken off the trc and called RIC and ordered a "replacement" , to put on that "Tokai" ? It's just too easy to lie about it....so I can see their concerns....

..but I do wish they could come up with a legitimate way to get a trc to someone who really needs one...

Author:  JohnHall [ Sat Mar 25, 2006 7:57 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Reform Nameplate Policy

..but I do wish they could come up with a legitimate way to get a trc to someone who really needs one...
I think that's exactly what our policy does.

Author:  jingle_jangle [ Sat Mar 25, 2006 10:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Reform Nameplate Policy

Dang. This curiosity is burning a hole in my brain.

Loyal, just HOW did the damage to your TRC occur?

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