I have given up on dealers. Does anyone else feel the same?
I have never gotten as heavily into “stereos” as a hobby because I have always found audio (and now video) salespeople difficult.
No, I love music and have worked to put together a system that sounds great. I also loved movies and never imagined that we could really get a home theatre and worked for that also, so if you see my house my first sentence may not seem accurate.
Now I realize that in my 35 years of being a consumer if I listed ten complaints all at once, it would look like I always have had trouble, rather than once every three years. But I wonder how common this is. I bought, 25 years ago, components from a Famous Company (I’ll call FC).
About 1995, when I went to a stereo show, I wanted to hear speakers to go with it. The salesman for B and W asked me what components I had and I told him the name, but I forgot the model numbers. He wouldn’t play them for me. I will never buy B and W speakers.
In 2000, I bought a DVD player and separate Surround Sound unit from a dealer I had used for a long time. The DVD never worked right, and the dealer had me do all sorts of things, but eventually would not take them back. He did allow me to trade it in. In other words, give him more money. When I had trouble with the Surround Sound Unit, he did the same sort of thing. I contacted the manufacturer and that thought they worked it out with him. He told me he would come and fix the unit if I bought $2,000 worth of other equipment. Then he wanted me to trade it all in for “new” and better equipment.
The $2,000 figure is interesting. I went to the two other stores that sell FC and the dealers basically said that they would come and fix it for $2,000 BUT both said that I also had to trade it in (not with them) and buy totally new equipment. Now I understand a “new” dealer not wanting to help without money, but I will never understand why my old place would want to see me walk away.
When I bought a new, expensive, CD player (trading in my old stuff which complicated this) it took a few months to get a new one that worked. I did it with a new dealer and soon he said that he was washing his hands of the problems and I was to deal with the manufacturer directly. When I asked for my money back, he said to ask them. I bring this up because the week I got a new one working well, the dealer called and told me that CDs were now worthless that a new “server” type thing was coming out and they cost $4,000. Yep, he said CDs were worthless.
My favorite story took place about 1991. I went to a store to buy a CD player, in the realm of $700. This store also had high end stuff, including the Wilson Audio Music monoliths which sold for $150,000. He also sold the new Krell CD players which were $5,000 and $11,000 a little out of my bracket. He didn’t want to play the Sony $700 ES unit, but wanted me to buy one of the Krell units. I asked if I could hear it on the Wilson Speakers. He said no, not unless I buy the Krell $11,000 unit. (He had the speakers on when I walked in, it’s not like he had to set them up.) he would not even play the Sony for me, I had to buy it. He then said he had no return policy for it. Never having heard the unit (or the Wilson’s) I left and bought the unit elsewhere.
To this day I call that experience: The Silence of the Wamms.