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View Full Version : Frozen Uke! Watch out for finish damage!



Doc_J
01-11-2010, 04:42 PM
Wow. Everyone gets unlucky once in a while. Today it was my turn.

I ordered a uke last week from Bounty. Nice G-string C-1. Really good price with free UPS shipping.

Well, it took a week to get here, and it did not fare well. My guess is it froze in the transport from California to Georgia in this record cold. Finish cracks all over it.

I called Bounty and e-mailed them these pictures. They are going to get back to me. Said they would make it good.

Here the ugly pics.

Lesson learned: It can be too cold to ship a uke.

Any thoughts on how to avoid this? or how you would fix it? (Don't think I'll need to fix this.)
Anyone else get finish or other damage in this cold spell?

Melissa82
01-11-2010, 05:21 PM
Ouch, it hurts just looking at that. I hope they get it all cleared up for you.

heyjude
01-12-2010, 03:01 AM
It's not the freezing that hurts it, it's the quick warming up when it's taken out of the case or box. The finish expands faster than the wood underneath it. I just received a KoAloha that was shipped from sunny California to Ohio, 10 degrees outside temp. I let it set in the box for a couple of hours before I unpacked it and then waited another half hour before I opened the case. No problem as the uke slooooooowly came up to room temp. Did the same thing two weeks prior for a KoAloha shipped from Hawaii. No problems with that one either.
Think about it. The ukes at room temp and is put in its case, then into a box with some padding around it. Then it it's exposed to cold it get cold slowly because it's all wrapped up. Then if it gets taken into a warm environment and unwrapped quickly you can actually hear and watch the cracks run across the finish. Ouch is right.
Jude

SailQwest
01-12-2010, 03:20 AM
It's not the freezing that hurts it, it's the quick warming up when it's taken out of the case or box.

It also might have happened in transit, being in a cold cargo hold, then warming up when it's back on the ground.

A couple of years ago I purchased a Kanilea from a seller in Hawaii. When it arrived in the Virgin Islands and I opened it up, the finish was cracked all over the body of the instrument. What a disappointment!

Apparently the cracking happened in transit from 80* Hawaill to 80* Virgin Islands (it was January). I sent the uke back for a refund and my understanding was that the dealer was probably going to have Kanilea refinish it.

Sic_Rob
01-12-2010, 03:49 AM
That picture is heartbreaking. Please let us know if what the seller does. If he doesn't do the right thing UU folks should know but I'll bet they take care of it for you. YAt least you can play it while you wait to hear back. Good Luck!

Doc_J
01-12-2010, 05:05 AM
For the record, the outside Atlanta temperature was 41F when the uke got delivered from UPS.
In addition, the box wasn't even that cold, having spent an entire day in the delivery vehicle.

Still the uke was left in the box to warm up to room temperature. Unfortunately the uke was in transport during this recent record cold spell.
My guess is that it spent many nights in the subfreezing cold, bouncing around on a UPS cargo truck across the US.
Don't know how cold it got, or how much thermal cycling it had prior to delivery.
It probably never should have been sent UPS Ground.

I haven't played it, fearing it might do more damage.

I'll update you all on the dealer's resolution, once they get back to me.

MartinLil
01-12-2010, 05:14 AM
Waiting those hours before you can open a uke up is so difficult. But to open it up to those cracks is really horrible. If I were you, I'd be playing the hell out of it. You can't damage it more and so what if you put some scratches on it? It's got to be refinished anyway. I'd say jam on that thing until your hands fall off!

Fitzy
01-12-2010, 05:32 AM
Man, this thread has me a bit worried. I was planning to buy a uke tomorrow from MGM, but the temps here in Massachusetts have been crazy cold. Now I'm worried abut the same thing happening to me. Am I being overly paranoid? I certainly don't want to wait until May to buy!

Doc_J
01-12-2010, 03:31 PM
Update: The good folks at Bounty Music (ukes.com) were very friendly, helpful, gracious, and understanding about the cracked finish uke I received from them.

They gave me several options, (1) have another one sent, (2) go to a local luthier and have it fixed, (3) take it at a reduced price, (4) return it (and they would also refund my return shipping). You could not ask for more options.

I decided to return it, as it is a new uke. With winter weather still here I did not want another uke sent now.

When the weather is warmer, I will definitely be giving Bounty Music a call.

haolejohn
01-12-2010, 05:11 PM
They are good folks.I bought my first uke from bounty music when I lived on Maui. They were great then and they are still great now. I had a uke crack as well from this weather. I'm a little sad b/c I just found out about it but the manuafactor is going to take care of me so I'mnot as worried.

paraclete
01-13-2010, 04:56 AM
Ugh... I'm awaiting a uke that's coming FedEx ground from NJ. I hope it gets here intact.

Skrik
01-13-2010, 05:29 AM
If that were a Telecaster, the finish checking would be called Mojo, and you'd have to pay extra for it.

wickedwahine11
01-13-2010, 05:42 AM
I'm so glad to hear it all worked out for you in the end.

theukuleleman
01-13-2010, 10:43 AM
thats awful waiting all that time for this!

buddhuu
01-13-2010, 12:16 PM
Update: The good folks at Bounty Music (ukes.com) were very friendly, helpful, gracious, and understanding about the cracked finish uke I received from them.

They gave me several options, (1) have another one sent, (2) go to a local luthier and have it fixed, (3) take it at a reduced price, (4) return it (and they would also refund my return shipping). You could not ask for more options.

I decided to return it, as it is a new uke. With winter weather still here I did not want another uke sent now.

When the weather is warmer, I will definitely be giving Bounty Music a call.

Let's just name-check those people again - BOUNTY MUSIC!

Always great to see a retailer giving good service. That's the way to build customer loyalty and a reputation.

Glad you were treated well and have a happy resolution. :)

Nu Uke
01-14-2010, 01:50 AM
If that were a Telecaster, the finish checking would be called Mojo, and you'd have to pay extra for it.
HA HA ... RIGHT! It takes years to develop that kind of mojo. ... much fretting yesterday as I waited for my new Mainland to arrive, knowing it was suffering the slings and arrows in that cold UPS truck. Gave it a couple hours in a cool room in my basement. When it warmed to "room" temp I tuned it up and it seems fine. I'm almost afraid to take a look at it this morning, however. Now that I've got it, Can someone please direct me a thread, I'm sure there's been one, concerning humidity controls for those of us with dry, winter heated houses here in the NE? Thanks.

Plainsong
01-15-2010, 01:38 PM
My new Kanilea dlx superconcert was sent out by MGM right before Christmas. He sent it home to Charleston, SC. Mom didn't open the box, and she sent it on to Helsinki shortly before my Bday on the 30th. Thanks to a postal fail, it only just got here yesterday. I think it's easy to do the math on the temp differences between Hawaii, Charleston, Helsinki, but that was a long cold trip. It did cross my mind to have her keep it until Spring. Oh the humanity!

They insisted I open it at Customs, but luckily the box was room temp by then. I did have to wait a few hours before playing. The trip from the car to the apartment got that case cold pretty quick. The result? It's fine. These things happen, and I and everyone else who has UAS during this weather can empathize. I'm glad Bounty is going to make it right. Sucks in the meantime. :(

/back to lurk mode

Edit - I talked it over with MGM, and with Kristen Souza, and the general thought was what's said here, just be careful with the acclimation, and it SHOULD be fine. Doesn't really help the poor OP and his GString though. :(