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  1. #1

    FOUND (most of it): Teuffel Birdfish

    So I have had the misfortune of a guitar go missing en route to me from Toronto to Las Vegas. It is a Teuffel Birdfish, serial # 169, with charcoal tone bars. I have had even more misfortune or trying to deal with UPS in regards to the disappearance. I have gotten reports that is was "damaged beyond repair and disposed of" mind you it was in an ATA case and bubble wrapped, reports that it "is a 'Fallout' and tripped a sensor on their conveyor that the box was empty and merchandise missing", reports that is was on the truck to be delivered to me Monday 6/20 (never happened), and even continued tracking scans after it supposedly disappeared. Whenever I question UPS on possible scenarios like it was removed by customs for inspection and possible repacked into a different box, I am met with belligerence and refusal to help further. The seller is opening a claim today at his end with Purolator, the originating shipper but UPS has told him separately they believe the guitar may have been stolen. Very nice for a package traveling under the max allowable declared value. They really take things seriously!


    Anyway I believe the guitar to have gone missing in either Detroit or Chicago so would ask any of our members in the Great Lakes region to keep an eye open. If you do encounter it, please let me know so that I may contact the authorities. It is a fairly rare piece as there were only 4 ever produced in this color according to my communications with the luthier Ulrich Teuffel. 1 went to Japan, 1 went to Mexico, 1 went to Kirk Hammett of Metallica, and the 4th one is/was supposed to be mine. Here are some pics of what it looks like. In addition to the serial number and tonebar color to identify it, there is also a "tan line" on the back of the neck around the 5th fret from sitting on a stand.




    Last edited by Big Daddy B; 07-01-16 at 12:02 PM.

  2. #2
    Les Paul Forum Member ourmaninthenorth's Avatar
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    Re: Have You Seen Me?: Missing (presumed STOLEN!) Guitar

    What a truly terrible situation...I wish you well, and hope for the best outcome possible.

    Shakespeare walks into a pub, the Landlord says "get out, you're Bard"

  3. #3

    Re: Have You Seen Me?: Missing (presumed STOLEN!) Guitar

    Thank you sir. I am hoping to get as many eyes on it as possible as UPS seems to not be bothered to do the same. At the end of the day, claim or not, I just want to find my guitar.

  4. #4
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Have You Seen Me?: Missing (presumed STOLEN!) Guitar

    How could someone possibly sell that? It is so unique and identifiable that even showing it to someone is a risk. I guess they just looked at the case (baggage handler) and figured it was a regular guitar inside and scooped it.

  5. #5

    Re: Have You Seen Me?: Missing (possibly stolen) Teuffel Birdfish

    Quote Originally Posted by Foggy72 View Post
    How could someone possibly sell that? It is so unique and identifiable that even showing it to someone is a risk. I guess they just looked at the case (baggage handler) and figured it was a regular guitar inside and scooped it.
    To be perfectly honest, I feel it is probably lost in their network somewhere but they are flat out refusing to look for it any further at my request despite me explaining to them some perfectly plausible scenarios. I do have a telecaster that was to be delivered by them (hopefully) tomorrow. I requested it held for pickup at the local service center so I can go down there and poke around a bit. See if they might actually have the box in their possession even if they can't release it to me yet because of the damaged/missing notes. Hopefully they will at least work with me if it is there to identify the contents to see if it actually is damaged/missing or not. At that point I would be happy to tell them to lock it up in their cage until we get the formalities settled with UPS and Purolator management.

    here is the tracking info which makes absolutely no sense:
    Las Vegas, NV, United States 06/20/2016 5:38 A.M. Destination Scan
    Las Vegas, NV, United States 06/17/2016 8:28 P.M. Arrival Scan
    Commerce City, CO, United States 06/17/2016 6:04 A.M. Departure Scan
    Commerce City, CO, United States 06/17/2016 2:25 A.M. Arrival Scan
    Hodgkins, IL, United States 06/16/2016 12:55 P.M. Damage to package contents was reported. We will notify the sender. / We're investigating the damage claim.
    Hodgkins, IL, United States 06/15/2016 6:20 P.M. Merchandise is missing. UPS will notify the sender with additional details. / All merchandise missing,empty carton was discarded. UPS will notify the sender with details of the damage.
    Hodgkins, IL, United States 06/15/2016 4:19 P.M. Departure Scan
    Hodgkins, IL, United States 06/15/2016 9:18 A.M. Arrival Scan
    Detroit, MI, United States 06/15/2016 4:43 A.M. Departure Scan
    Detroit, MI, United States 06/14/2016 10:46 P.M. Arrival Scan
    Detroit, MI, United States 06/14/2016 10:14 P.M. Departure Scan
    Detroit, MI, United States 06/14/2016 4:19 P.M. Import Scan
    Detroit, MI, United States 06/14/2016 2:10 P.M. Your package was processed at our facility.
    Detroit, MI, United States 06/14/2016 1:21 P.M. Warehouse Scan
    Detroit, MI, United States 06/13/2016 5:18 P.M. Warehouse Scan
    Las Vegas, NV, United States 06/13/2016 1:23 P.M. The receiver must pay the duties or taxes due on the package.
    Detroit, MI, United States 06/13/2016 12:40 P.M. Additional documentation is required for clearance. We're working to obtain this information. / Brokerage released the package. It will be processed through a clearing agency before final release to UPS.
    Detroit, MI, United States 06/10/2016 6:25 P.M. Warehouse Scan
    Detroit, MI, United States 06/09/2016 5:22 P.M. Warehouse Scan
    Detroit, MI, United States 06/09/2016 5:18 P.M. Import Scan
    Detroit, MI, United States 06/09/2016 12:44 P.M. Your package is awaiting release from the clearing agency. / Your package was released by the clearing agency.
    Detroit, MI, United States 06/08/2016 6:26 P.M. Warehouse Scan
    Detroit, MI, United States 06/08/2016 5:12 P.M. Import Scan
    Detroit, MI, United States 06/08/2016 1:33 P.M. Arrival Scan
    Detroit, MI, United States 06/08/2016 11:34 A.M. Additional documentation is required for clearance. We're working to obtain this information.
    Windsor, ON, Canada 06/08/2016 10:36 A.M. Arrival Scan
    Windsor, ON, Canada 06/08/2016 10:07 A.M. Your package is awaiting release from the clearing agency.
    Concord, ON, Canada 06/08/2016 7:00 A.M. Departure Scan
    Concord, ON, Canada 06/08/2016 6:35 A.M. Departure Scan
    Concord, ON, Canada 06/08/2016 2:46 A.M. Export Scan
    Concord, ON, Canada 06/07/2016 11:50 P.M. The package is awaiting clearing agency review. /The package is at the clearing agency awaiting final release.
    Etobicoke, ON, Canada 06/07/2016 10:38 P.M. Origin Scan
    Canada 06/07/2016 9:31 P.M. Order Processed: Ready for UPS

    my unanswered questions:
    1. Why was someone from UPS Customs in Montreal calling me at 5:54 am on Thurs 6/23 and didn't leave a message. I had paid my duties already. Was it because the merchandise was located in Customs?

    2. How could the item be damaged beyond repair if it was in an ATA case and even if it was, why is UPS unwilling toprovide any details or documentation? This could be why Purolator is hypothesizing it is stolen.

    3. Is it possible the item was removedat customs and repackaged and there are now 2 boxes, one with the guitar in itand one with a label but no contents out there concurrently? This would be possibly supported by the tracking which shows package movement after comments were entered. Notice how the intial comment was entered 2 hours after it departed Hodgkins on a day and a half truck ride to Commerce City, CO. UPS wouldn't try to move a damaged or missing merchandise package further thru their network would they?

    4. The item was shipped with the maximum declared value allowed by Purolator out of Canada. Wouldn't that make it a "hand carried" item by UPS? That is what my local UPS store is telling me. That being the case, then Purolators' theory that the tracking showed as continued because they were actually scanning the paperwork and not the actual box seems unreasonable. And if that is actually what happened, seriously UPS would not inspect a package insured for $5K anywhere along the way even after problems were reported?

    None of this is adding up!
    Last edited by Big Daddy B; 06-29-16 at 01:02 PM.

  6. #6

    Re: Have You Seen Me?: Missing (presumed STOLEN!) Guitar

    Potential positive update: Purolator called and told me UPS has advised them they have found something resembling my guitar (and possibly case) at their lost and found in Kentucky and will be routing it to me. Sounded as if based on the circumstances there was likely a separation from the box so not sure if the stand and gig bag are still with it but all that can be easily replaced, I just want to get the guitar. Purolator told me UPS is forwarding it to me now. I asked if they are overnighting it (like I should even have to ask) but the Purolator rep was unsure. She was going to request that on my behalf. I advised them to hold it for pickup at the UPS counter in Vegas since I have to go there tomorroe morning to pick up another package, that way I can open it in front of them and record any missing/damaged components.

  7. #7
    Administrator MikeSlub's Avatar
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    Re: Have You Seen Me?: Missing (presumed STOLEN!) Guitar

    Fingers crossed for you.
    Mike Slubowski

    * "Gibson guitars are like potato chips - you can't have just one!"

    * "So many Gibsons to love, so little time..."

  8. #8
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Have You Seen Me?: Missing (presumed STOLEN!) Guitar

    So what happened? Any updates?

    Here's to hoping you get your guitar!

  9. #9

    Re: Have You Seen Me?: Missing (presumed STOLEN!) Guitar

    Delivery per UPS website should occur in the next 3.5 hours. Stand by. The new box is 27 pounds lighter than the original box so guessing the metal display stand is MIA.

  10. #10

    Re: Have You Seen Me?: Missing (presumed STOLEN!) Guitar

    The birdfish has landed. UPS showed up with it. Thankfully no damage to the guitar as it was a $9K purchase, however I will need to file a claim as they managed to lose the stand ($1150) and the leather gig bag ($865). The ATA case is present however they shipped it from Kentucky unboxed so it endured scratches and dents it did not have to so I may include pricing for a replacement case as well in my claim. The main thing is the guitar arrived safely and I am very relieved for that! Thanks to anyone that helped keep an eye out!!

  11. #11

    Re: Have You Seen Me?: Missing (presumed STOLEN!) Guitar

    Damn man, that's a crazy story. Glad the guitar is fine...everything else is much easier to replace.

    As a side note, I once had a guitar of mine go missing. They tell me they found it a while later, and are shipping it to me. It arrives, and it's not my guitar! Crazy stuff.

  12. #12

    Re: Have You Seen Me?: Missing (presumed STOLEN!) Guitar

    Quote Originally Posted by lpjunkie View Post
    Damn man, that's a crazy story. Glad the guitar is fine...everything else is much easier to replace.

    As a side note, I once had a guitar of mine go missing. They tell me they found it a while later, and are shipping it to me. It arrives, and it's not my guitar! Crazy stuff.
    Was the one you received better or worse than the one you were expecting? ie. did you order a mexican strat and get a true historic?

  13. #13

    Re: Have You Seen Me?: Missing (presumed STOLEN!) Guitar

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Daddy B View Post
    Was the one you received better or worse than the one you were expecting? ie. did you order a mexican strat and get a true historic?
    No. I was supposed to received a several thousand dollar boutique build, and an old beat up $150 Harmony showed up thrown in a cardboard box with no case. FedEx said it was lying around the depot, so they thought it might be mine. I told them it's possible that there has been more than one guitar built in this world.

    They came and picked it up an hour later. Some poor sap was missing his POS Harmony I guess.

    They eventually found my guitar in Salt Lake City, UT with a cracked top. What was most odd was that it was being shipped from Philly to Baltimore one day ground. Go figure.

  14. #14

    Re: Have You Seen Me?: Missing (presumed STOLEN!) Guitar

    Quote Originally Posted by lpjunkie View Post
    No. I was supposed to received a several thousand dollar boutique build, and an old beat up $150 Harmony showed up thrown in a cardboard box with no case. FedEx said it was lying around the depot, so they thought it might be mine. I told them it's possible that there has been more than one guitar built in this world.

    They came and picked it up an hour later. Some poor sap was missing his POS Harmony I guess.

    They eventually found my guitar in Salt Lake City, UT with a cracked top. What was most odd was that it was being shipped from Philly to Baltimore one day ground. Go figure.
    Man oh man - all these issues with lost guitars - Glad you got her back in the end - note to self, insure for true complete value!!!!!!

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