I bought a new 'American Professional' Fender this year and, straight out of the box, it needed to be repaired due to poor quality control. These guitars have had another Fender re-package and re-name in line with another Fender price increase. The word 'Standard' has been changed to the more acquisitive 'Professional', no doubt to instill a sense of inadequacy in 'Standard' instrument owners and tantalise them into 'upgrading'. Classic Bernaysian advertising. The quality is more or less the same between 'Standard' models of recent years and 'Professional' series of the present.
The good news is there isn't exactly a shortage of used instruments around (although in response to Fender's price hikes, many private sellers of used Fenders are now taking the p!ss with their asking prices too, dusting off that old Fender in the attic and calling it 'vintage'!).
Anyway, after years of being a loyal customer (I bought my first new Fender 30-odd years ago after saving for months) I've had enough of yet another US corporation being increasingly greedy selling products whose design hasn't improved a great deal since they came out in the 50s. The whole 'America is the best' palava from the USA in general - politically and commercially - is wearing a bit thin post-911, post-Iraq, Libya, Syria, Clinton, Trump etc. Give us all a break guys....
Whilst the customer service was good, it honestly ruined the enjoyment of having to send a new, expensive instrument off for a month for repair right after buying it. Considering that the America-is-great advertising hype is being used on American made instruments to justify the huge price tags, it beggars belief that they can't even get the basics of the instruments right before they pack them in their American cardboard boxes.
Still more good news is the fact that there are other companies out there who, for less than the cost of a new American Fender will make you a hand-made, high-spec instrument using beautiful woods and active German electronics and set up to perfection using Plek technology. With Fender - mass produced guitars that come off assemly lines in tens of thousands - a large percentage of your money is being spent on a name and an advertising mythology constructed around it since the 50s.
Poor old Leo Fender - the man who originally made the instruments - died a long time ago, and in any case had sold Fender to CBS by 1965. Fender is now owned by various other corporations, including two Japanese companies, one being Yamaha.
ETHICAL BOYCOTT: With the US Government interfering in sovereign states around the world and stirring up war with any nation who wants to go their own way I've also made a decision to stop giving Fender Guitars my money on ethical grounds. The US government's support of Israel whilst it continues to murder unarmed Palestinians and attack sovereign nations in the Middle East is an example of where some of your money goes, via taxation, to the US government when you buy Fender. If Fender are serious about customer service then perhaps they might make a public statement condemning US government foreign policy, particularly as they operate in a global foreign market, not just a US one.
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