Gut wrenching for you Mick. Makes you wonder what the heck the carriers do to these packages - the Prophesy has its own hard case too . .
To be fair, the first epi came in a box within a box which didn't show any signs of damage, other than a slight crumple in each corner. There was no packing between the boxes at all. but like you said it has a nice hard case, so not sure how it was damaged. I have a gut feeling there's more to it than just courier damage, but that's another story. The packaging for my replacement epi was no worse, and it arrived in one peice. By the way I got them to send me a Heritage Cherry Sunburst one this time, and must say I like it a lot, looks much better than it does in the photos imo.
The Harley Benton L-450Plus Honey Burst arrived with absolutely no damage to the boxes, and was stuffed tight with giant bubble packing between edges of the two boxes. Unfortunately this doesn't offer much protection if for example the box is laid flat, and other stuff chucked on top of it, then the first thing that's going to get crushed is the switch. When I first looked at the switch I could just see what looks like a short internally threaded toggle, with nothing screw into it. (Aha, I thought), I just need to find the knob and screw it on.
Hunted around and found it rolling around in the box inside a piece of round polystyrene packing, but there was a plastic knob with a bit of brass in the end of it, but not enough thread to screw in. And on taking a closer look at the switch, it's been pushed inwards, and the toggle all slopping about all over the place.
TBH, would be nice if they could just send me the switch, then I'd be quite happy to fit it myself, I doubt they'll let me do this though.
Thomann emailed me back today, and are requesting photos of the packaging, and the damage to the guitar, so in their words "We will then be able to have this situation checked for you". Is this normal procedure for them?
That all said, and after having a good look over the L-450Plus, I must say I'm really impressed with the build quality and finish of this guitar, it's a gorgeous looking beast.