• 04-28-2005, 04:41 PM
    Lerxst
    if you collect old "Stereo Reviews" please read
    Hello to all. I've been a member of AR for many years (and have contributed in the reviews section) but admittedly have been absent for a while. Need some help and I know some of you guys (or gals) might be able to assist.

    I'm currently involved in something of a warranty battle with Panamax. I have a Max 1000, which I bought close to 20 years ago. It has a "lifetime" warranty, of which I have a copy. Recently it went "belly-up" and they are "generously" (ha) offering to replace it with a product with a three year warranty. They won't repair it, and they say this is my only option. There are some other issues as well, but they say it was never offered with an insurance policy. Their argument is that since they have changed their product lines, and no longer offer a "lifetime" warranty, once I receive the replacement I'll have to make do with their current standard, which is three years. I have several "colorful metaphors" for what I think about this, and none of them are printable on a G rated site.

    To try and make this short, I need a copy of one of their old ads which used to appear in Stereo Review, which stated that the lifetime warranty was backed by a million dollar (or some similar large amount) policy. They're denying the existence of this ad and are requiring proof. I know I saw it, b/c that's why I bought the Panamax in the first place. I'm sure they *have* proof in their archives but of course they're not going to dig it up to help my case. The ad in question was probably circa 1985. Should be an easy search, SR had an ad index in the back.

    If someone can find this, I'll gladly give you my postal address to send a copy, and will be eternally grateful. Will even send the first researcher $10 for his/her trouble. (obviously can't reimburse everyone if I get more than one bite on my line. Might go broke trying to get a $200 vindication...) Thanks in advance.

    Dr. Marion Grant
    mwg2@mobis.com
  • 04-29-2005, 10:29 AM
    bacchanal
    I don't know exactly what your warranty states, but usually "lifetime warranty" doesn't mean "lifetime" warranty. That and a lot of times when companies go "belly up" the warranty holder is SOL.
    What exactly are you expecting to get? They're a company that is no longer around, yet they are offering you a new product...and you're upset about that? Seems like a best case scenario to me.

    I did find this...which pertains to the new warranty...3 years for product, $5mil for connected equipment. doesn't sound like you have an issue with connected equipment.

    Panamax is so confident that their product will protect your hardware they are offering a Lifetime $5,000,000 Connected Equipment Warranty. The warranty says they will protect your equipment or will repair or replace it up to $5,000,000. With a guarantee like this, it difficult not to feel good about your equipment being connected to their unit.

    http://www.laaudiofile.com/max1000plus.html
  • 04-29-2005, 11:38 AM
    paul_pci
    Finding this ad may be easier than you think, but depends on where you live or where other friends and family live. Specifically, all you need to do is go to a high quality university research library (in other words not a local state college) and they will likely have the entire span of Stereo Review on the shelves. Flip through the right issues and photocopy the ad in question. For instance, I did a quick search at UCLA and University of Wisonconsin-Madison and they both have the journal.

    Of course, as the other poster suggested, in the end, having the ad in hand may be of no real consequence.
  • 04-29-2005, 01:55 PM
    Lerxst
    more info
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by bacchanal
    I don't know exactly what your warranty states, but usually "lifetime warranty" doesn't mean "lifetime" warranty. That and a lot of times when companies go "belly up" the warranty holder is SOL.
    What exactly are you expecting to get? They're a company that is no longer around, yet they are offering you a new product...and you're upset about that? Seems like a best case scenario to me.

    I did find this...which pertains to the new warranty...3 years for product, $5mil for connected equipment. doesn't sound like you have an issue with connected equipment.

    Panamax is so confident that their product will protect your hardware they are offering a Lifetime $5,000,000 Connected Equipment Warranty. The warranty says they will protect your equipment or will repair or replace it up to $5,000,000. With a guarantee like this, it difficult not to feel good about your equipment being connected to their unit.

    http://www.laaudiofile.com/max1000plus.html


    Panamax is still around. I *do* have a connected equipment issue, just didn't think that was important for the post, and it was too long already. Most of my stuff is OK but a Carver amplifier is also kaput.

    Clarification... I acquired their product specifically because of the "lifetime" warranty. They have told me they choose not to stock the parts to repair it, and have discontinued the product, because they couldn't afford to keep up the "lifetime" warranty. Now they say that since the product is no longer available that gives them the right to terminate my lifetime warranty in three years, if I accept their replacement. I don't think so. And their original offer was to *sell* me a product at half-off to fulfill the warranty. In other words, make a profit at all costs including a disgruntled loyal customer. (I've recommended their products to people, and have subsequently bought a newer product for my second system. Wouldn't have done so if I'd known about their "warranty switcheroo" policy.)

    What you found is their current information. What I'm looking for is what they advertised in 1985 (or thereabouts) which was considerably different. Their company's current reputation is based upon what they *used* to do, not what they're doing now. I got their product when the company was first starting out, and eager to make a reputation for itself. I'm still alive, I expect my warranty to continue after my product is repaired, just as the warranty (which I still have right in front of me) states. It doesn't state "will repair or replace once during your lifetime, and then you're out of luck." Guess they have the option to kill me and resolve the situation. So if I turn up dead anytime soon, launch an investigation. Until then, I fight on.
  • 04-29-2005, 02:00 PM
    Lerxst
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by paul_pci
    Finding this ad may be easier than you think, but depends on where you live or where other friends and family live. Specifically, all you need to do is go to a high quality university research library (in other words not a local state college) and they will likely have the entire span of Stereo Review on the shelves. Flip through the right issues and photocopy the ad in question. For instance, I did a quick search at UCLA and University of Wisonconsin-Madison and they both have the journal.

    Of course, as the other poster suggested, in the end, having the ad in hand may be of no real consequence.

    It will be significant, all right, as I'll be giving it to the BBB and if that doesn't work, using it in small claims court. As for the university research library, unfortunately I don't have that option. Closest university to me is the University of South Alabama in Mobile. Nearest *big* library would be in Birmingham, over 300 miles away. Hence why I'm looking for collectors.

    But thanks for the idea. This is all over a $200 product and probably a $400 repair of an amplifier-- haven't had it checked out yet--, but when a promise is made to me, I expect it to be kept, just as I keep all of mine, whether that promise is made by a company or an individual. Period. Have also received a rather insulting email from one of their customer service supervisors and that *really* set me off.
  • 05-02-2005, 10:09 AM
    bacchanal
    Well their current policy still covers the equipment issue, and you have a copy of the original warranty right? That should be enough to submit to the BBB right? The ad would be nice, but it doesn't seem completely necessary.

    Good luck, and let us know how it turns out. Maybe someone will turn up with your ad yet.
  • 05-03-2005, 05:43 AM
    20to20K
    I probably have it...at my parent's house.
    I had a subscription to SR during most of the 80's and I kept almost every issue. They're in a huge box in my parents house along with Audios, Hi Fidelitys and Sport Illustrateds.
    In fact I've been meaning to see how much my Olympic Hockey issue would be worth. If your ad appeared in 1985 I'm pretty sure I have it...next time I go up to see them (which may be in 2 or 3 weeks) I'll look for it...if you're still interested I'll send it to you.
  • 05-11-2005, 05:22 PM
    Lerxst
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by 20to20K
    I had a subscription to SR during most of the 80's and I kept almost every issue. They're in a huge box in my parents house along with Audios, Hi Fidelitys and Sport Illustrateds.
    In fact I've been meaning to see how much my Olympic Hockey issue would be worth. If your ad appeared in 1985 I'm pretty sure I have it...next time I go up to see them (which may be in 2 or 3 weeks) I'll look for it...if you're still interested I'll send it to you.

    Email sent with postal contact info. Thanks for the help, if you can provide some!

    To further illustrate my troubles with Panamax, I am doing a direct cut/paste below of a reply from a customer service *supervisor*. I received no less than 4 (four) copies of this email, which was an internal memo from her to the CSR I was dealing with at the time. You may begin to see my frustration... as you can see from the cut/paste, she attempted to recall (I assume that means *erase*) her response four times before she realized it was too late and it had been sent to me inadvertently... (X4)

    Donna Oates would like to recall the message, "one more time - Wayne, this is a simple response I'm sending. We all need to stop wasting time with this guy who WILL NEVER BE HAPPY. Review PLEASE.".

    End C/P. Does this make things any clearer as to why I've taken on this minor issue as a major crusade? And I've actually *recommended* their products to others. Of course, that was before I knew about their warranty switcheroo...
  • 05-12-2005, 06:15 AM
    Florian
    In my opinion, give them hell !!!

    Go for it....

    -Flo
  • 05-14-2005, 01:29 PM
    Lerxst
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Florian
    In my opinion, give them hell !!!

    Go for it....

    -Flo

    Thanks for the moral support! Every little bit helps... was beginning to wonder if *I'm* crazy simply for expecting a company to do exactly what they promised (in writing).

    Latest installment of this farce is that after I send my unit in for inspection to be verified as kaput, I don't even have the option to have it repaired independently at my own cost. (They choose not to stock the parts any longer and have already told me they won't repair it...) It will be defaced with a "WARRANTY VOID" stamp upon return to me. I take very good care of my equipment and there isn't a scratch on it after close to 20 years... Not too interested in having a stamped reminder of all this nonsense in my equipment rack...

    Aaaarrrrrrggggghhhhh!
  • 05-14-2005, 02:28 PM
    Florian
    How about a lawyer? Even better TV or Newspaper.....bad publicity is the best act to show a stupid company what customer care means.

    -Flo