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Old 02-28-2004, 07:48 PM   #1
hahnfld
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Default My (bad) experience with Audiovox warranty service. (long)

Back in September I received an Audiovox SIRPNP1 via the Friends and Family program (I am a writer, and have reviewed Sirius products in the past -- and found out about F&F via Sirius PR). At first, I was pleased with the radio and the service, but after a few months the radio started making a horrible high-pitched noise whenever it was turned on. At that point I decided I would send it in to Audiovox for warranty service. I had no idea what I was in for!

I went to Audivox's web site and plugged in the model number (SIRPNP1) and up popped a warranty service form and an address to send the radio to. I filled it out, printed it up, and packed up the radio. I sent it via UPS to Audiovox at the address listed on the form. Meanwhile, I contacted Sirius and told them that my radio was sent in for warranty service and I asked if I could switch my subscription back to my old radio until the other one came back. After consulting her manager, the Sirius customer service person politely walked me through changing the receiver for my subscription. I was not charged a fee for the receiver switch.

A few weeks went by and I started to wonder about the status of my radio. I pulled out my copy of the warranty info from the web site and called the number. I was rudely told that I had called the cell phone division -- and that I would need to call the audio products division for info about my radio. So, I looked up the number for the audio products division and called them.

Here's approximately how the conversation went:

Audiovox: "We have no record of your radio being received."

Me: "Well, I sent it in three weeks ago and I have the tracking info right here from UPS saying you received it."

Audivox: "Who signed for it?"

Me: "<name here> at 555 Wireless Blvd."

Audiovox: "That's not our address,"

Me: "Well, I'm looking at your web site right now and that's the address that comes up when I type in the model number of my radio."

Audiovox: "Well, I don't know anything about that address. I don't even think that's an Audiovox office -- but we have many offices now."

So after going back and forth I was put on hold and the same guy came back and said he would try to track my order and call me back. This guy was the *only* polite person I talked to at Audiovox.

Meanwhile, I called back the cell phone division (which, according to the Audiovox web site, is at 555 Wireless Blvd.) and the same person answered insisting that she could not help me at all because they don't deal with radios. Then she said that maybe I could call back the next morning. I called back the next morning and she said she would contact shipping when they got in and that I should call back. A few hours later I called again. This time I was put on hold for a long time while she contacted shipping. Then she came back and said that their shipping department doesn't speak English and that she couldn't talk to them. But she did say that anything incorrectly sent to them would be sent to the other Audiovox office.

So the following week I finally got a call back from the audio products office saying that they thought that if my shipment was sent to the wrong place it would probably be redirected to them on a pallet arriving in a few days.

Then a few more days pass and I finally hear back from Audiovox (via an answering machine message) that they got my radio but that they can't do anything with it because it's out of warranty. OUT OF WARRANTY?!? The radio was backordered by Sirius from Audiovox for three months in SEPTEMBER! There's a 1 year warranty!

So I call them back and politely explain to them that the radio wasn't MANUFACTURED more than a year ago, and that it couldn't possibly be out of warranty. I'm told that anything sent without a proof of purchase is considered to be out of warranty regardless of manufacture date. They say they can't even look at the manufacture date without a proof of purchase. I explain to them that the radio was received free of charge from Sirius and that I did not purchase it -- and I have no proof of purchase. (When I received the radio, I don't even think I got a packing slip in the box!) They tell me all they can do is ship the radio back to me or repair it for a fee. They make absolutely no effort to be polite or accomodating.

In a few days I get an invoice in the mail from Audivox to pay for the service if I want to have the radio fixed.

So, fed up with Audiovox and with nowhere else to turn I call the Sirius accomodation line to see if I can get a proof of purchase. There's just a message to call Sirius directly. So I call Sirius directly, tell the customer service rep my whole story, and ask if I can get a proof of purchase. The customer service rep symathetically says she can't give me proof of purchase, but that I could have Audiovox call her and she can explain the situation.

I call back Audiovox and tell them once again about the Sirius Friends and Family program and give them the phone number they can call and the name of the customer service rep at Sirius. I'm told that they can't call anyone, and that they can't do anything for me.

Now becoming upset, I call again and ask what I can possibly do to get the radio fixed. The guys says they can't accept anything but a dated proof of purchase or maybe a dated packing list.

So I call Sirius again, and finally get ahold of someone in accomodations. She says that she can handle the warranty service, and all I need to do is send the radio in to Sirius... and Sirius will even send me labels for return shipping!

So I call Audiovox and ask for my radio to be shipped back (after being treated so rudely before, I'm surprised they didn't try to charge me for return shipping!). A week later two boxes arrived in the mail. The first one, from Audiovox, contained my broken radio. The second one, from Sirius, contained a sealed new SIRPNP2 and shipping labels. The broken radio went back to Sirius a few days ago.

Moral of the story: My impression is that Audiovox doesn't care much about their customers. After publishing an incorrect warranty address on their web site and making me jump through hoops to find my radio, they still wouldn't acknowledge the obvious fact that the radio I sent was manufactured less than a year ago and was obviously under warranty service. Furthermore, instead of politely explaining their policies and helping me out, almost all of their customer service reps (except for one) were rude and unhelpful.

Sirius, on the other hand, helped me out twice -- first with switching my service back to my old radio, and second with getting me a replacement radio. I know some people have had some problems with Sirius customer service -- but they have been extremely helpful to me. Thanks Sirius!

I will not be purchasing Audiovox products in the future.

Matt
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Old 02-28-2004, 08:07 PM   #2
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That sounds like my experience with Palm. It took me 8 weeks of phone calls to replace my dead charger and ended up with a replacement Palm to fix one that died inadvertantly.


Really sad.
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Old 02-28-2004, 08:10 PM   #3
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That's a sad story, sort of, but at least it has a happy ending. I have to send my H2A in for service next week, so I hope Kenwood's customer service is better. I'm glad that Sirius got it sorted out. It was nice of them to send you a new radio even before you sent them the old one.
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Old 02-28-2004, 09:01 PM   #4
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That is a terrible story. However, you made two mistakes. One is you didn't call SIRIUS from the start, since it was a F&F promotional radio. Two, you never called Audiovox directly to get anytype authorization for repairs, which at that time they would have told you, what you needed in order for them to do the repairs. I would NEVER trust a web site without confirming with someone in person that I was sending my unit to the correct address.

Fortunately SIRIUS did come through and take care of this for you, which is what should have happened from the get go anyway since this was a F&F promotional unit.

Back when we were having the reset issue with our PNP2's, I contacted support and I was told just what to do in order to receive service on my unit. They CLEARLY told me up front I had to have a receipt for when it was purchased. They also gave me the address to ship it too. I had previsouly gone to the web site, but I had a very uneasy feeling about the whole setup and I can see my gut feeling was right. Besides that, in my past experience of sending items in for repair, these companies usually give you a reference number to put on the outside of the package.

So the lesson for everyone should be, always contact support directly on the phone to insure the address and other information needed to correctly get warranty work done. If you have a F&F promotional unit, contact SIRIUS first, not the manufacture.
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Old 02-28-2004, 10:21 PM   #5
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Thanks for the tip Dab. I'm on the phone with Sirius right now.
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Old 02-28-2004, 10:33 PM   #6
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My co-worker and I have been tag-teaming Audiovox for a few weeks now just trying to buy a pair of SIRSWB FM direct-connect boxes. In the multiple times I've called them, I've only had one polite CS rep (who told me to "go spit" in a much friendlier fashion). I think my wife's '01 car will be in the junkyard before I am actually able to acquire one.

I have a PNP2 in my car also, and it's been flawless. However, the one in wife's car just crapped out two days ago so now I get to deal with them next week. From the sounds of it maybe I should save myself the stress and just buy a cheap PNP1/2 off eBay.
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Old 02-28-2004, 10:54 PM   #7
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Sorry to hear of the hassles you had to go through, but am quite pleased to hear that Sirius came through for you in perfect fashion. Customer service at Sirius is apparently improving with the F&F promotions concerning repairs which is good.

Nobody should ever send a radio for repair with a Return Authorization number of some sort. This is the normal way to start a repair process with a manufacturer. Since you apparently didn't get one of those, the process was almost guaranteed to be a rough road. It is bad that AudioVox's website didn't clearly indicate the the proper process to follow.
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Old 02-29-2004, 07:42 AM   #8
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Well, I can tell you this right now. The Jensen is being replaced soon. NO WAY will I ever consider an Audiovox after reading this. Life is too short to willingly deal with people who value customer service as much as is illustrated above.

Not all of us have the option of buying (getting) our units through Sirius.

I will either get the Clarion or the Streamer, if things continue as they are now. And I may well be looking for install advice at that time.

This forum is a GREAT exchange of information.

And I bet Mr. Muller is reading all this with interest. I would be interested in the H2A if it were not for my poor vision, which makes it not an option.
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Old 03-01-2004, 12:19 PM   #9
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The customer service I've received from sirius on the few occasions that I've called them has been very impressive. I think they really set a standard when it comes to customer service. It's a rarity to come across a company that actually gives a crap about their customers.

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Old 03-01-2004, 12:43 PM   #10
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If anyone needs to get warranty service on their Friends and Family Promotion receiver, please check the how to in the radio's and recievers forum.
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Old 03-01-2004, 02:00 PM   #11
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You wouldnt even mind the wait for repairs and the hastle if the phone reps were pleasant. Too many times I have had bad experiences both locally and long distance with people as I try to get something fixed. Its a shame those handling phone calls couldnt try to conduct themselves in a professional, pleasant manner.
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Old 03-01-2004, 02:31 PM   #12
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Years ago when I running a dealership we used Audiovox radios exclusively. They made factory look a likes that were cheaper than the factory radios. But the real reason that we used them was the warranty. Back then they warranted their radios for 3 years, no questions asked. When we had a customer come in with a radio problem, we would install a factory refurbished radio in their car and send them on their way, this was better than how the auto-makers handle radio problems. They want you to remove the radio and send it in, while the customer rides away with a hole on their dash Customers weren't too keen on that.

I think that Audiovox makes good stuff, not great, but worth the money.
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Old 03-01-2004, 02:37 PM   #13
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I would still buy an AudioVox even after hearing this report. Getting anything repaired is a hassle, regardless of the company in my experience. Worst case I'm out $100.
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Old 03-01-2004, 08:31 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manco
I would still buy an AudioVox even after hearing this report. Getting anything repaired is a hassle, regardless of the company in my experience. Worst case I'm out $100.
I agree with you Manco, the Audivox Tuner, Cradles and Boombox have been GREAT. No offense, but the fact is this person did not follow proper procedure and now wants to paint this horrible picture of Audiovox. I just don't see it that way and though I am sure it had to be a terrible situation to go through, I give it very little weight.

Manco is so right most of the time sending stuff off is a hassle, but you better follow the procedure or you'll end up having delays for very long periods of time.
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Old 03-02-2004, 07:53 AM   #15
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Default Re: My (bad) experience with Audiovox warranty service. (lon

[quote="hahnfld"]Back in September I received an Audiovox SIRPNP1 via the Friends and Family program (I am a writer, and have reviewed Sirius products in the past -- and found out about F&F via Sirius PR).


I'm curious...is there a column you write in the Press or other local GR paper?


[quote="hahnfld"]Moral of the story: My impression is that Audiovox doesn't care much about their customers. After publishing an incorrect warranty address on their web site and making me jump through hoops to find my radio, they still wouldn't acknowledge the obvious fact that the radio I sent was manufactured less than a year ago and was obviously under warranty service. Furthermore, instead of politely explaining their policies and helping me out, almost all of their customer service reps (except for one) were rude and unhelpful.


Sorry about your bad experience, but I have to agree with Dab and the others. You should have phoned Audiovox first. I had the exact same situation with my F&F. I went to Audiovox's website, went over their warranty info, and noticed the words "proof of purchase". Common sense told me I had none since I got the unit free. I then called Audiovox to be sure. Found out they couldn't help me so I called the original F&F phone number. Sirius then sent me a new PNP2. Problem solved.

Moral of the story: Phone first
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