In our continuing series on TTM Guitars and Lance Benedict, we look at the similarities of deception and false advertising that Benedict orchestrated in 2009 and how it mirrors the scheme he’s running in 2019. Let’s examine the similarities:
- The scam seems to be that consumers are lured in by an endorsement deal and promise of worldwide exposure for which they pay for a guitar in advance. Once the money is received by TTM, the consumer never receives the guitar or their money back and all customer contact is scarce or broken off completely.
- Benedict cites multiple reasons for the delays, in many cases over 1 year. These reasons include; they can no longer refund money due to the “statute of limitations on refunds”, “being bought out and no longer in control of finances”, or that only if the customer agrees to remove negative internet reviews he will then supply the refund.
- This scam is an identical business model to his 2009-2010 scams that led to Benedict’s bankruptcy and consumers being fleeced of thousands of dollars with no recourse.
- Lance Benedict created TTM Guitars in 2007. Buying guitar parts from China, assembling them in California and fraudulently promoting his product as Made in the USA.
- He began swindling consumers on eBay through direct buying, accepting money and never delivering their guitars. Consumers waiting over a year for their guitar. When asking for their money back Mr. Benedict would stall, make excuses and in most cases never deliver the product or refund the money to the consumer.
- When customers began to realize the “Made in the USA” guitars were merely Chinese parts assembled in the USA, they began pursuing legal action against Benedict.
- 2010 Benedict published a contest to give away a free TTM guitar which he never did actually give away although he did collect personal information from all applicants.
- When customers began to pursue legal action TTM filed bankruptcy in 2012 to avoid any judgments.
- Fast forward to 2017, he announces TTM Guitars is back and will be manufactured in the USA.
- He convinced a young man to invest his inheritance money into TTM and offered him a position in artist relations, shortly after he made the investment he was transferred to the “paint department”.
- The current business model of TTM guitars seems to be identical to the past prior to bankruptcy –
- Requesting payment in advance and not rendering service.
- Clients waiting over a year for their guitar with no delivery in sight.
- Waiting for refunds and getting a variety of creative excuses, the latest of which was received by one customer asking for his money back after a year is “there’s a new board of directors, we have been bought out” or he promises refunds to people if they remove all negative comments about him and TTM Guitars off the internet.
- If there was a Board of Directors or a sale of the company, he would have had to modify his incorporation papers with the State which we found no record of.
One employee interviewed stated he was hired for three months and never received any payment for his work, a direct violation of California labor law
If you’ve been a victim of TTM Guitars and Lance Benedict, it’s always good to consult with an attorney or your local police to see if any criminal and/or civil penalties can be
You can also file a complaint with California Attorney General’s Office and you don’t have to to be a California resident. International residents can apply too at: