Buying PSB? Read This!

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  • 03-14-2004, 01:26 PM
    IAmCanadian
    Buying PSB? Read This!
    If you’re thinking about buying PSB please read on about my recent PSB customer service experience. I own PSB Stratus Bronze fronts that I purchased 14 months ago, along with PSB Century 300i rears, and a C5i center that I recently purchased. A while ago the veneer on the front right speaker began to peel up and curl in such a way that it could not be glued back down and still cover the cabinet. Wanting the speaker fixed, my customer service nightmare with PSB began, throughout which my wife and I kept a journal. It reads as follows: (information in brackets is added to original content to avoid confusion)

    Jan 28:Email K. Pritchard @ PSB (with info regarding problem) given info to call.
    Call 1-800-263-4641 ext. 4201 (as instructed)
    Talk to J. Wideman @11am and give situation re: speaker veneer peeling.
    He calls back later that day with directions to ship to Pickering location.
    Tells us he will put a rush on the repair and that we would hear from PSB the next week regarding the status of the speaker.

    Feb 03:Ship out speaker, email J. Wideman about it.

    Feb 04:PSB receives the speaker and signs for it.

    Feb 18:Email J, Wideman about status of speaker because have heard nothing.
    No Reply.

    Feb 21:Leave message @ 1-800-263-4641 ext. 4201 about situation and inquire about status of speaker.
    No Reply.

    Feb 23:Morning, call 1-800-263-4641 ext. 4201 and talk to L.
    Tells me she is looking into it, going to talk to the technician assigned to them. Will call us back.
    No Reply @11:30am.
    4pm we call back L., put on hold, then told she will call back in a few minutes.
    No Reply.
    5pm we call back L., not answering phone, try till 5:20. (office open till 5:30)
    Call service manager at a PSB dealership, ask him to try to find out about speakers, give him info. (Great guy, we did not even buy the speakers from him)

    Feb24: @1:30pm try calling L., no answer.
    2pm talk to L., informs me she is waiting to hear from PSB international, referred to some email she received from them. Apologized profusely for not calling back and the run-around. Will let us know by end of the week about repair.
    4pm PSB dealer calls back with more details, says he talked to Paul Barton himself. They are replacing the cabinet of the speaker. If we don’t hear back from them (PSB) by Friday, call him back to call Paul Barton again.

    Feb 27:Try calling L. from 12:15pm to 1:30pm, no answer.
    Call Dealer back, he will call them and find out what he can, he will call us back.
    Dealer calls back, tells us they said it should be in by next Thursday (which is March 04, this dealer has been so helpful and selfless, will definitely buy future products from them ‘The StereoMan’ in Woodstock Ontario).

    Mar 04:No speaker.
    Call L. from 2pm to 2:30pm, finally get in touch, ask about speaker status, she says she will call back in 30 minutes.
    No Reply.
    Call L. back @3:20pm, say s no one has returned her calls about out speaker. I ask her to please find out about the speaker as we were told last week it would be here by now. She said she would find out for us and call us back.
    No Reply.
    Call L. back @4:20, leave message about contacting someone else to find out about our speaker (as we still don’t know the status of the repair or what is happening to our expensive speaker).
    4:20pm call and leave a message with Paul Barton himself (the owner and designer for PSB Speakers) asking for info on our speaker. (ext. withheld)

    Mar 05:Paul Barton calls back and leaves a message on our voice mail @9:30am.
    He informs us that he will find out what is going on and that PSB will get back to us today.
    No Reply.
    4:30pm we call L., she stated she spoke with Paul about getting our speaker. Put on hold to call (warehouse?), gets no answer. Asks if she can call us back while she goes and checks on speaker, we ask to wait on hold instead. Informs us that the speaker is ready to ship. Will ship it Monday (March 08) by Purolator and that we should have it by Tuesday, maybe Wednesday. We informed her of our busy schedule and she said she would call us when it was shipped to make arrangements.

    Mar 10:(Wednesday) No speaker or call from PSB.
    4:20pm leave message with L. and Paul Barton about terrible service and current situation and ask to be called back.
    4:30pm (after calling every number we could get a hold of) we talk to another PSB representative C. She tells the speaker has been shipped and gives us a tracking number.

    Mar 11:No speaker or call back from PSB @5pm.
    Call Purolator and they have no idea where our speaker is, launch investigation.
    Call PSB and leave messages regarding situation.

    Mar 12:Finally, Purolator finds our speaker, we get to pick it up at 6:30pm. When we got it home and pulled it out of the box we found that the speaker has been damaged. We examined the inner packaging, and find it has no piercing, so the damage must have occurred prior to shipping. It consists of a puncture hole in the upper right side of the speaker, from an accident that must have happened with a lot of force because the veneer crinkled into a wavy form above the impact mark. So we again find ourselves in the same situation we were six weeks ago. We have a damaged PSB speaker that needs to be repaired.
    We called both Paul Barton @ PSB and Purolator to inform them both of the damage.
    We also call ‘The Stereo Man’ and speak with their service manager, with whom we spoke to before, and tell him what has happened. First he says he’s appalled that it took so long to get the speaker back when he was told we should have had it back weeks ago. He then can’t believe that we ended up with a damaged speaker to boot. He informs us that he will now deal with PSB for us, calling them Monday morning (March 15), and that his solution will be as painless to us as possible to make up for what has happened so far. All this from a store that never sold us the speaker to begin with. Great guys.

    I will post another update Monday when we find out what the next step is going to be.
  • 03-17-2004, 02:09 PM
    IAmCanadian
    Mar 15: Got numerous calls from Purolator claims service this morning. They are sending out an investigator to determine who is responsible for the damage.
    Sent email to PSB to document informing them of situation.
    No reply from PSB @5:00pm.

    Mar 17: Purolator has made an appointment to inspect the speaker and its’ packaging this Friday (March 19).
    Still waiting to hear back from ‘The StereoMan’, an informed and expected delay.
    No reply’s from PSB yet @5pm.
  • 03-17-2004, 02:19 PM
    markw
    Yeah, but how does it sound?
    Just funnin ya, friend. That truly sux.

    I would have expected a bit better handling of the situation, particularly since you're local to them. Heaven forbid someone in the states had to go through this.
  • 03-17-2004, 03:59 PM
    IAmCanadian
    Actually, that was quite funny. I needed that :)
  • 03-17-2004, 05:30 PM
    mtrycraft
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by IAmCanadian
    Actually, that was quite funny. I needed that :)


    So now we have a cliffhanger here? :)

    Not a good story for sure. Glad you kept such records. You should email this to Paul Barton. He needs to know so he can take appropriate action. Make sure you fill in all the names and specific complaints about each of those persons lack of common courtesy.

    Certainly want to praise the dealer who is helping.
  • 03-18-2004, 01:30 AM
    markw
    Do keep us informed.
    Inquiring minds want to know. That, plus we like happy endings.
  • 03-19-2004, 10:17 AM
    IAmCanadian
    Mar 19: Purolator conducted their inspection of the packaging today and found that the damage must have occurred before packing.
    ‘The StereoMan’ has arranged for our speaker to be shipped back to PSB under their banner. I will deliver the speaker to them today or tomorrow so that they can send it. It will cost me $72 dollars and change to have them take over our service issue, but that amount will be credited to any future purchase we make at their store.
    No reply from PSB as of yet, which is understandable considering that they are dealing with ‘The StereoMan’ now instead of directly with us, but we kinda expected some kind of apology or acknowledgment of the terrible service we experienced. I am thinking of sending a copy of this journal to Paul Barton along with the speaker to see if that works, lol maybe even the address of this thread.

    Tune in next week for another exciting episode of ‘My Dog Ate My Homework and the Cheque is in the Mail’.
  • 03-19-2004, 11:15 AM
    bhd812
    I was going to look at psb 6t's to..well damm
  • 03-19-2004, 12:02 PM
    markw
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by IAmCanadian
    Mar 19: Purolator conducted their inspection of the packaging today and found that the damage must have occurred before packing.
    ‘The StereoMan’ has arranged for our speaker to be shipped back to PSB under their banner. I will deliver the speaker to them today or tomorrow so that they can send it. It will cost me $72 dollars and change to have them take over our service issue, but that amount will be credited to any future purchase we make at their store.
    No reply from PSB as of yet, which is understandable considering that they are dealing with ‘The StereoMan’ now instead of directly with us, but we kinda expected some kind of apology or acknowledgment of the terrible service we experienced. I am thinking of sending a copy of this journal to Paul Barton along with the speaker to see if that works, lol maybe even the address of this thread.

    Tune in next week for another exciting episode of ‘My Dog Ate My Homework and the Cheque is in the Mail’.

    Actually, afteral this grief I'm surpried that PSB didn't simply replace the speaker. Look at al the bad publicity it would have avoided.

    After all, what could a replacment cost them financially?

    What did NOT replacing them cost them prestige wise?
  • 03-19-2004, 01:28 PM
    RGA
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by markw
    Actually, afteral this grief I'm surpried that PSB didn't simply replace the speaker. Look at al the bad publicity it would have avoided.

    After all, what could a replacment cost them financially?

    What did NOT replacing them cost them prestige wise?

    I agree with you. Companies like this simply don't GET IT. They piddle around and around fixing things...even though all those emplyees did absolutely nothing but run around PSB offices looking for speakers and yacking and doing zilcho - they manage to piss off someone who bought there speaker and probably will never buy another from them.

    PSB could have saved thousands of dollars in wwasted workforce time, maybe had you as a second customer 5-10 years down the road, not lost possible sales by having you post this thread - and ALL they had to do was take the speaker check the cabinet and send you a completely new replacement. It costs them little.

    But PSB and Energy have been taking a hit on word of mouth repairs lately. There's a guy on AA who recently posted a horror story himself with Energy Veritas. $4000.00Cdn speakers. They replaced a tweeter with soemthing that had some problem again. Heck they sent these drecks to Hi-fi Choice for review.

    When I see this I assume the company is in trouble.
  • 03-19-2004, 01:34 PM
    bhd812
    I am going to look into the 6t's still. there price is something that has me looking, either know I read this story i still will give them a fare chance against other speakers i have on my list. but if they do make my final 5 choices and after I have autioned the 5 in my house personally. this thread will be on my mind and will have a big advance against them. it also depends on what the other brand of speakers are to .

    keep replying your findings
  • 03-19-2004, 08:08 PM
    RGA
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by bhd812
    I am going to look into the 6t's still. there price is something that has me looking, either know I read this story i still will give them a fare chance against other speakers i have on my list. but if they do make my final 5 choices and after I have autioned the 5 in my house personally. this thread will be on my mind and will have a big advance against them. it also depends on what the other brand of speakers are to .

    keep replying your findings

    No offense to you or the original poster but I would be VERY surprised if you could not find a better sounding speaker in this geenral price range.

    I have only heard three of their speakers but the Stratus Gold --frnakly I'm not convinced it is even a good speaker...it certainly isn't for the money they charge.


    The Alpha B was good for the money though probably would have made my top 5 for the price - but there were three very good ones ahead of it when I was looking in that range.

    PSB doesn't help themselves selling in the Sony store either IMO.
  • 03-20-2004, 12:28 AM
    bhd812
    what other speakers were you looking at and what did you finally buy if i may ask?
  • 03-20-2004, 09:51 AM
    Haoleb
    Next time, buy Axioms :)

    If that happened, they would probbly send you out a NEW speaker before you even sent the old one back. for free. all within less than a week. I was gonna buy the 6T before i found out about axiom m80's. glad i didnt!
  • 03-20-2004, 01:16 PM
    thepogue
    1 Attachment(s)
    please dont think aobut sending it...
    PLEASE SEND IT!! everyone who buys after you will appreciate it!! lets face it NO company CEO wants this kind of thing to take place "on their watch"! I mean I'm sure all the players get paid very well...so please please....sent the email and help a brudda out!

    also don't forget to update us!!!!

    sorry fer yer luck mate!
  • 03-20-2004, 08:15 PM
    mtrycraft
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by bhd812
    I am going to look into the 6t's still. there price is something that has me looking, either know I read this story i still will give them a fare chance against other speakers i have on my list. but if they do make my final 5 choices and after I have autioned the 5 in my house personally. this thread will be on my mind and will have a big advance against them. it also depends on what the other brand of speakers are to .

    keep replying your findings


    The speakers are excellent. This gaf of a tragedy may be isolated. Let's hope.
  • 03-22-2004, 09:51 AM
    bmw-k
    I have auditioned the PSB Stratus Gold i's - with the exception of their physical size, they were excellent speakers with an increadible smoothness throughout their range.

    I have a set of PSB Stratus Silver i's and found them to be the best value (for my ears) at the pricepoint. A little smaller than the Golds, wonderfully musical, very powerful bass. I found them to be more than a match for any Monitor Audio speaker, and at least on par (better imo) than Paradigms.
  • 03-22-2004, 01:13 PM
    Woochifer
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RGA
    I agree with you. Companies like this simply don't GET IT. They piddle around and around fixing things...even though all those emplyees did absolutely nothing but run around PSB offices looking for speakers and yacking and doing zilcho - they manage to piss off someone who bought there speaker and probably will never buy another from them.

    PSB could have saved thousands of dollars in wwasted workforce time, maybe had you as a second customer 5-10 years down the road, not lost possible sales by having you post this thread - and ALL they had to do was take the speaker check the cabinet and send you a completely new replacement. It costs them little.

    But PSB and Energy have been taking a hit on word of mouth repairs lately. There's a guy on AA who recently posted a horror story himself with Energy Veritas. $4000.00Cdn speakers. They replaced a tweeter with soemthing that had some problem again. Heck they sent these drecks to Hi-fi Choice for review.

    When I see this I assume the company is in trouble.


    Geez, all I see on here is inneuendo and assumptions. If this post is indeed an accurate account, then it's a comedy of errors and they've indeed dropped the ball, but let's not jump overboard and use this as an excuse to start impugning PSB, Energy, all their employees, and their management based on a single incident. Your assertion that PSB could have saved "thousands of dollars in wwasted workforce time" presumes that you know what their billable rates are and how much labor it takes to address a customer service inquiry like this. What's your source of info on this or are you just exaggerating and being rhetorical?

    And when you say that Energy and PSB have been taking a hit for repairs lately, what's your source of info here, aside from a couple internet board posts? It's pretty obvious that you don't like the Energy Veritas (calling them "drecks" is an oh so impartial description and BTW, who the F cares if they get sent to Hi-Fi Choice or any other magazine or whether you think they're "drecks"? This is a thread about build quality and customer service, right?), and you read one complaint about a defective unit on another board, and suddenly they're a company in trouble?! How the hell do you make that leap of (il)logic? Friends of mine who've worked in stores that moved hundreds of Energy speakers never noted any significant build quality or design problems.

    I had a problem with Adire when I placed my subwoofer order and they had it sent to the wrong address. It took them several days to return my e-mail and phone calls, and I wasn't a happy camper. But, they eventually resolved it after a couple of weeks. However, even though I was lukewarm on how long it took them to resolve my ordering issue, it would be a huge illogical leap to then assume that they are a company in trouble just because of my own experience.
  • 03-22-2004, 01:25 PM
    Woochifer
    If this story is true, then PSB really blew it in your case. But, I also have to ask why didn't you just return the speakers to your dealer (you mention that the dealer helping you out didn't even sell you the speakers in the first place) and let them take care of it, since it's probably still under warranty? That's why manufacturers like PSB distribute only through authorized specialty dealers, because they will provide better aftersales support than a mass merchant like Best Buy will. And with the dealer markup, the service is what you're paying for and your incident is an occasion to make use of it.
  • 03-22-2004, 05:51 PM
    RGA
    I said nothing about the Energy sound - I did say that Energy sent Hi FI CHoice speakers that were falling apart - NOT DUE to shipping. A thread at AA was talkling about the same thing and poor customer service by replacing a broken tweeter with a NON current tweeter with its own set of problems.

    The cheapest part of the business is the product materials. A $300.00 B&W costs them ~$30.00 to manufacture. Basically it would be around 1/10 what it ends up being retailed for with everyone taking their cut along the way. Which is why I say even if Energy spent a whole $700.00 in parts on their top of the line $4000.00 speakers - doubtful - it would be cheaper for them to replace it.

    Since I live in Canada and worked in an office here as an accounts payable clerk I get a general sense of the costs for similar jobs. This person phones how many people. Custopmer service emplyee probably makes $13.00-$18.00 per hour(and that is JUST the cost of payroll add in medical and all that BS and it's probably closer to $22.00), and that is the cheap employee. His or her time running around asking people who probably make 50% more money an hour plus the phone calls - did the company pay the long distance? Was it long distance? There easily in the $400.00 range and we have not gotten in to the shipping charges and the fact that this issue STILL isn't resolved.

    Then there is the incalcuable fact that this person probably won't make his next speaker a PSB or Energy like the other thread. Good service increases your chance of future sales. Theoretically, his next speaker might have been a $7k version 10 years from now...next time maybe B&W or some other will get that sale. Theoretically, PSB and Energy are in the hole $7k or whatever the upgrade speaker would have been. This is all hypothetical lost sales but even people in this thread who are bouncing two or three products may just as soon drop them from consideration maybe won't buy a $300.00 Aphap B or $4k Veritas.

    Another poster mentions it could be an isolated instance then again it may not be. I'm not talking about the quality control here either. Every company no matter how good or how expensive or how careful are going to put something out that fails in some way before expected. IT HAPPENS.

    What does not always happen is the gross issues provided by this poster. The company is showing a high level of incompetance in dealing with customers - so why should anyone trust them in any other endeavor? Part of buying new is to get service when you need it - otherwise you may as well buy used. Certainly if you want a better sounding product your money goes further sonically...but you risk it with no warranty. In this case the warranty is almost more of a pain in the ass than anything else.
  • 03-22-2004, 10:10 PM
    Woochifer
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RGA
    I said nothing about the Energy sound - I did say that Energy sent Hi FI CHoice speakers that were falling apart - NOT DUE to shipping. A thread at AA was talkling about the same thing and poor customer service by replacing a broken tweeter with a NON current tweeter with its own set of problems.

    Falling apart, or just a defective component? Big difference there. If this is true, then Energy very well might have a problem.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RGA
    The cheapest part of the business is the product materials. A $300.00 B&W costs them ~$30.00 to manufacture. Basically it would be around 1/10 what it ends up being retailed for with everyone taking their cut along the way. Which is why I say even if Energy spent a whole $700.00 in parts on their top of the line $4000.00 speakers - doubtful - it would be cheaper for them to replace it.

    Good gawd, where do you get this information? Is this something that the factory told you? I doubt it, since materials costs and value added breakdowns are typically proprietary information.

    And you totally neglected the labor costs, which is really what would go into a repair job on a defective cabinet (assuming that a replacement unit is unavailable). And in any industry economic model I've ever done, the labor costs almost always make up the majority of the output value of a manufactured commodity. Material costs vary depending on whether the input is raw commodity or a value added component.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RGA
    Since I live in Canada and worked in an office here as an accounts payable clerk I get a general sense of the costs for similar jobs. This person phones how many people. Custopmer service emplyee probably makes $13.00-$18.00 per hour(and that is JUST the cost of payroll add in medical and all that BS and it's probably closer to $22.00), and that is the cheap employee. His or her time running around asking people who probably make 50% more money an hour plus the phone calls - did the company pay the long distance? Was it long distance? There easily in the $400.00 range and we have not gotten in to the shipping charges and the fact that this issue STILL isn't resolved.

    A lot of fuzzy math going on here, and just because you worked in a Canadian office doesn't mean that you know anything about how customer service is handled by PSB or what their costs are. Heck, you don't even know if that service call ultimately gets routed overseas to some foreign call center. Even if your final tally of $400 is true (again, this seems like a number fished out of thin air, based more on assumptions and wishful thinking than hard facts), it's still way below your assertion of "thousands of dollars in wwasted workforce time". Your point may be valid, but don't waste it on needless exaggerating and made up nonsense.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RGA
    Then there is the incalcuable fact that this person probably won't make his next speaker a PSB or Energy like the other thread. Good service increases your chance of future sales. Theoretically, his next speaker might have been a $7k version 10 years from now...next time maybe B&W or some other will get that sale. Theoretically, PSB and Energy are in the hole $7k or whatever the upgrade speaker would have been. This is all hypothetical lost sales but even people in this thread who are bouncing two or three products may just as soon drop them from consideration maybe won't buy a $300.00 Aphap B or $4k Veritas.

    Now, you're REALLY stretching things, and just bringing all kinds of other tangents in. Is this fuzzy computation of future value a part of your "thousands of dollars in wwasted workforce time" or is it just more spinning of the subject?

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RGA
    Another poster mentions it could be an isolated instance then again it may not be. I'm not talking about the quality control here either. Every company no matter how good or how expensive or how careful are going to put something out that fails in some way before expected. IT HAPPENS.

    What does not always happen is the gross issues provided by this poster. The company is showing a high level of incompetance in dealing with customers - so why should anyone trust them in any other endeavor? Part of buying new is to get service when you need it - otherwise you may as well buy used. Certainly if you want a better sounding product your money goes further sonically...but you risk it with no warranty. In this case the warranty is almost more of a pain in the ass than anything else.

    And that's exactly why I asked whether or not he considered returning the speakers to the dealer and letting them deal with the warranty issues. People I know who've worked in audio stores handle warranty orders as part of their customer service. Depending on the type of problem, a lot of dealers can either do the repairs in-house or send it to a local repair center, and at least troubleshoot it and make the initial diagnosis. The dealer's supposed to deal directly with the manufacturer, and handle the warranty fulfillment on behalf of the customer. That's part of the reason why these specialty audio manufacturers hand pick their authorized dealer networks, because they have good track records at handling aftersales support. With this arrangement, a customer should not ever have to deal with the factory while a unit is under warranty. If there are any hiccups in the warranty fulfillment, the dealer should be the one to break the logjam. I know if any issues ever arose with my Paradigms, my dealer would handle it, and Paradigm's website and warranty say that any support issues should first be directed to the dealer. I have a very hard time believing that PSB would setup their customer service any differently, and suggest that customers address all warranty issues directly with the factory rather than first going through the dealer.

    When I had a defective driver on a Boston speaker, I took it back to the dealer. They did all the initial testing, paperwork, and coordination with the repair center, and handled the transport and notifications for me. If there were any problems along the way, they were not my issues to deal with. Two weeks later, my speakers were returned as good as new.
  • 03-22-2004, 11:53 PM
    92135011
    With regard to that particular Energy speaker, I think what happened was that one of the drivers wasnt working or something, if i recall correctly. I read that review, which received really bad marks since they could hear anything from it. What happened was that the first day they it didnt work, then the second day it worked, and the third day didnt work.
  • 03-23-2004, 05:00 AM
    skeptic
    "The cheapest part of the business is the product materials. A $300.00 B&W costs them ~$30.00 to manufacture. Basically it would be around 1/10 what it ends up being retailed for with everyone taking their cut along the way. "

    This has been a basic truth about the retail price of electronics equipment, at least audio equipment versus the cost of the parts that go into them since time immemorial. There was a time when many if not most audiophiles built their own equipment or at least some of it. Amplifiers, preamplifiers, tuners could be built from kits if you didn't want to become educated in electronics and build your own. Even tube manuals had schematics for typical amplifier designs in the back and magazines like Radio Electronics always published excellent designs you could build from scratch. As for loudspeakers, many people built their own and even today you can buy pre packaged kits with enclosures in every state of completion from basic plans to completly finished cabinets. Heathkit used to offer kits for building you own Altec Lansing and AR3a louspeakers which performed reportedly identically to the factory assembled versions when the instructions were followed.

    Considering that any idiot can mount drivers in a box and call himself a speaker manufacturer, it seems a shame that most people are too busy, too lazy, too unwilling to spend the time and effort to build anything on their own. Unless you have a special unique product that can only be purchased from a manufacturer such as a magneplanar full range unit, it seems a shame that people waste so much money on audio equipment. IMO, when people stopped tinkering with equipment, this hobby died. Now they change out a speaker wire and think that they have made a great discovery.
  • 03-23-2004, 05:49 AM
    3db
    Its an unfortunate incident
    However, this will not deter me from purchasing future PSB products. So far, this is the only complaint I've heard of poor PSB service except those purchasing PSB from non-authorized dealers.

    I'm speculating that PSB has probably more than one company service rep and this one person that handled The "Canadian" may be an incompetent, uncaring ???hole. And one person doesn't make a company.

    Hey, this person may be in fact a factory plant from eithe B&W or Paradigm bent on destroying PSB :) J/k

    Seriously, any company including B&W and Paradigm are not impervious to hick-ups like that and to draw conclusions that PSB is dreck (This translated from German means dirt) from this one episode is unreal, unfounded, and unsubstantiated BS in my opinion.
  • 03-23-2004, 05:54 AM
    3db
    One question that does spring to mind just now is this; Were the warranty registration cards filled out on these speakers?
  • 03-23-2004, 01:40 PM
    IAmCanadian
    Wow, I guess I have to clear a few things up regarding my posts here. First I would like to say that when I started this thread I never told anyone to stay away from, or never buy, PSB speakers. In fact we are very pleased with the sound and value of our PSB speakers, we DO own FIVE of them, building on our original Stratus purchase. I don’t think I have criticized their performance at all, I only offer up my experience so that others can take it into consideration, maybe ask important service related questions upon purchase. I by no means implied that others are guaranteed to have similar experiences, I am just reporting mine, and even if no one cares what I have gone through, it has been very therapeutic.
    I purchased my speakers from an authorized dealer, but they were no longer able to assist me. When I wanted to add another speaker to my setup, I went to the nearest town that has an authorized dealer to buy my PSB C5i center channel. When I experienced their excellent customer service I brought up our speaker problem, and he suggested we send them back to PSB for repair. As I have noted above, I later turned to this dealer for help, which they promptly offered. I still have the original receipt and completed warranties so there has been no questions as to the legitimacy of my purchase.
    I understand that not every PSB customer is treated the way I have been treated by the company, I am only posting my experience, which is real. I have all the dates times and names of all the people I have been in contact with. And since I only had one phone number, for the longest time I was dealing with L. who is just one person. It is entirely possible that I just wasn’t as important to her as other things and that’s why I got the service that I did. I have called Paul Barton himself and had him call back saying that he was very busy but that he would get to the bottom of it, and have someone call me back. The problem was that no one did. If someone uses this experience to not purchase PSB themselves, then perhaps they were uncertain about the purchase in the first place, because this thread alone should not be reason enough to not purchase a product. Now that doesn’t mean that I will personally buy from them again, but that is just me, and this is the first time I have said so.
    I know mistakes do happen, and that things like this can occur even with the very best of customer service staff. I DO think that someone over there should have called me back to apologize for the poor service, as there is really no good excuse. I’m not asking for free speakers or something outrageous, just a simple "We’re really sorry this happened to you” would be acceptable. But that hasn’t happened.
  • 03-23-2004, 02:39 PM
    topspeed
    Don't apologize for other people's incompetence.
    I think this is a great thread and very helpful to anyone interested in audio products. You should neither apologize for your content nor for the doughnuts that you had the misfortune of dealing with. It only takes one person to screw up an entire company's reputation and every CEO knows this. We're all big boys and girls here and can certainly decide for ourselves whether or not this thread will effect our decision making process.

    The old adage in sales is "If you don't take care of your customers don't worry, someone else will."

    Keep up the good work.
  • 03-23-2004, 08:43 PM
    RGA
    Woochifer - See Skeptic.

    Look at any dealer selling kits versus fully made...the kit is usually not the deal it should be.

    You are correct I left out the cost of the repair(the biggest costs probably dwarfing the others) plus the cost of the replacement cabinet which is likely the most expensive part of the entire speaker...but I did say the issue was not resolved. You are correct that fixing the unit probably would take more man hours that building a new one. But that only supports cumulatively that the cost of a new box, the time involved and the labour to fix it probably dwarfs the price of just sending a new product out the day they saw the clunker come back in. Routing the call overseas would cost more money(and now it is you who is making assumptioms)...a lot of call centers are in Canada for the cheaper labour.

    If the speaker's retail is not 10 times the materials cost I'd be very surprised. I did read that the 303 in cost of parts is $30.00.

    It's not terribly difficult...go and look at speakers with Vifa or other KNOWN drivers and you can track down the prices. I have seen 1k speakers that have total driver costs under $70.00 - again retail...companies buying in big numbers probably get that down at least 50%. Add up the cost of the 4 meters worth of cheap wood and a crossover and we're at what $150.00 and I think this is really really a high high figure. Yes labour is costly but most of this stuff is built in China these days...less so speakers perhaps...but machines and drill presses can probably dole out a speaker within ten minues...depending on the size of the company - probably far less for big guys like B & W, JBL and Paradigm.

    I agree with Skeptic on this for the most part. I would be oipen to kits - but I want to hear the speaker first...then if I liked it I would buy the kit.
  • 03-24-2004, 06:19 AM
    3db
    To I'm a Canadian
    I hope I didn't come across as slamming you as that wasn't my intention at all. I was just annoyed with all the perceptions on poor quality of PSB speakers in general that were based soley on your bad experience. I do feel your pain and no one should haveto jump through hoops like that. Thats just poor Customer support no matter how you look at it. In fact I was soannoyed with your dilemna that I went hunting for a "contact us" link on PSB's web page to give them a "wake up" email and linking in your post. But I got side tracked at work as usual.
    Will resume the hunt again today. Good luck!!
  • 03-26-2004, 05:59 AM
    IAmCanadian
    Mar 25:
    Took speaker into ‘The StereoMan’ today and talked to the service manager. He told me that he had been called so much by Paul Barton and C. (near the end of the first journal she is mentioned) regarding my speaker and that he had better be getting a Christmas card from them now. He said that Mr. Barton is very concerned about our experience, and has arranged everything so that a new cabinet is waiting in Pickering Ontario (their main office/repair depot) for our speaker to arrive. Now this service manager has never given me any reason not to trust him, but I have been put on guard from my previous experience and I will wait to see what happens. I typed up a five-page letter that I was going to mail out to Mr. Barton yesterday; it included the above journal plus some added detail. The point of it was to completely inform Mr. Barton of our experience (my wife and I) and point out that we were made to feel like we were inconveniencing them somehow. Anyway, I didn’t send the letter after the talk with the service manager, but have decided to sit on it for a bit more and see what happens now.
  • 03-26-2004, 07:21 AM
    46minaudio
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RGA
    Woochifer - See Skeptic.

    Look at any dealer selling kits versus fully made...the kit is usually not the deal it should be.

    You are correct I left out the cost of the repair(the biggest costs probably dwarfing the others) plus the cost of the replacement cabinet which is likely the most expensive part of the entire speaker...but I did say the issue was not resolved. You are correct that fixing the unit probably would take more man hours that building a new one. But that only supports cumulatively that the cost of a new box, the time involved and the labour to fix it probably dwarfs the price of just sending a new product out the day they saw the clunker come back in. Routing the call overseas would cost more money(and now it is you who is making assumptioms)...a lot of call centers are in Canada for the cheaper labour.

    If the speaker's retail is not 10 times the materials cost I'd be very surprised. I did read that the 303 in cost of parts is $30.00.

    It's not terribly difficult...go and look at speakers with Vifa or other KNOWN drivers and you can track down the prices. I have seen 1k speakers that have total driver costs under $70.00 - again retail...companies buying in big numbers probably get that down at least 50%. Add up the cost of the 4 meters worth of cheap wood and a crossover and we're at what $150.00 and I think this is really really a high high figure. Yes labour is costly but most of this stuff is built in China these days...less so speakers perhaps...but machines and drill presses can probably dole out a speaker within ten minues...depending on the size of the company - probably far less for big guys like B & W, JBL and Paradigm.

    I agree with Skeptic on this for the most part. I would be oipen to kits - but I want to hear the speaker first...then if I liked it I would buy the kit.

    RGA while I agree the parts a inexpensive its more to it than that..Factorys to build these products. The cost of these factorys has to be figured in.Tooling such a CNC routers,saws,and other tools can be huge,and need to be repaired/replaced often.The cost of blades bits and other items need to be figured in..Labor cost,Insurance,SS,and electric bills need to be figured in.R&D has to be figired in also..Im sure there is more..
  • 03-26-2004, 08:06 AM
    topspeed
    Send the letter.
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by IAmCanadian
    Mar 25:
    Took speaker into ‘The StereoMan’ today and talked to the service manager. He told me that he had been called so much by Paul Barton and C. (near the end of the first journal she is mentioned) regarding my speaker and that he had better be getting a Christmas card from them now. He said that Mr. Barton is very concerned about our experience, and has arranged everything so that a new cabinet is waiting in Pickering Ontario (their main office/repair depot) for our speaker to arrive. Now this service manager has never given me any reason not to trust him, but I have been put on guard from my previous experience and I will wait to see what happens. I typed up a five-page letter that I was going to mail out to Mr. Barton yesterday; it included the above journal plus some added detail. The point of it was to completely inform Mr. Barton of our experience (my wife and I) and point out that we were made to feel like we were inconveniencing them somehow. Anyway, I didn’t send the letter after the talk with the service manager, but have decided to sit on it for a bit more and see what happens now.

    Any owner with his name on the company will value that letter because is will allow them better insight to where the system broke down. It's always easier to fix something when you know exactly what's broken. You'll actually be saving him money and time by detailing the failure in customer service. Don't worry, you will not be insulting him. In fact, you will be helping him as well as other PSB owners. Send it.
  • 03-26-2004, 02:18 PM
    92135011
    If that Mr. Barton knew what he was doing he would offer some kind of compensation, such as a free upgrade to the next model up on their line. It is the least they could do to maintain proper reputation.
    I have a friend who bought an e-machines computer at Costco about 5 years ago. The computer had a 3 year warrantee and had broke down at 2 years and 11 months. He brings it back to Costco and asks them whats up with it. Costco says that it's beyond repair and offers him a new model of the e-machines right after that. Now that's service.

    No one wants to wait around filling out numerous forms and checking validity.
  • 03-26-2004, 02:26 PM
    markw
    Some things are simply worth repeating.
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by topspeed
    Any owner with his name on the company will value that letter because is will allow them better insight to where the system broke down. It's always easier to fix something when you know exactly what's broken. You'll actually be saving him money and time by detailing the failure in customer service. Don't worry, you will not be insulting him. In fact, you will be helping him as well as other PSB owners. Send it.

    What he said... times two!

    Ya can't pinpoint and fix a problem if you don't know where it is.
  • 03-26-2004, 03:28 PM
    erics0531
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by 92135011
    I have a friend who bought an e-machines computer at Costco about 5 years ago. The computer had a 3 year warrantee and had broke down at 2 years and 11 months. He brings it back to Costco and asks them whats up with it. Costco says that it's beyond repair and offers him a new model of the e-machines right after that. Now that's service.

    Costco recently changed their return policies on computers. Now it's 6 months, no questions asked. After that you are at the mercy of the manufacturer's warranty. But that *still* is a lot better than 99% of retailers, I had to return several laptops there over the past year, one of them 4 months after I'd bought it, and never had any difficulty whatsoever.

    Their return policy is the only reason I bought some speakers there sound unheard.
  • 03-29-2004, 02:15 PM
    IAmCanadian
    Important! Please Help!
    March 29:
    I don’t know how to report what has happened as I am at a loss for words. I have to warn you that I am very upset right now, and that may colour what I am about to right. We were called today by J.Earl, who is the PSB regional manager for Ontario, and he informed my wife and me that they cannot repair our speaker as they went out of production 6-8 months ago. This raises a few very important questions... WHY TELL us to send it back in the first place? Why TELL the service manager at “The StereoMan” to send it back to Pickering Mr. Barton if you know you can’t repair it? WHY tell us that this will all be over quickly to make us happy considering our previous customer service? WHY has no one ever told us this and many other pertinent facts about our situation? Earl informed us that we had one of two choices: Fork out ONE THOUSAND MORE dollars for a Stratus Silver or take a replacement from their lower line of Image series ON PAR! We didn’t know what to say and so we told him we would have to think about this.
    We immediately called the service manager at the PSB dealer that was handling the repair and he was like “Who said WHAT?”. We had to tell him numerous times as he was as surprised as we were. He said the Image series option wouldn’t do us justice as we have a Stratus c5i center that we JUST purchased. Besides that, my wife and I turned down the Image series in favour of the Stratus because we liked it MORE, and were willing to spend MORE for the difference, now were being asked to settle for less or spend A THOUSAND DOLLARS MORE?!?!?
    I am out of my mind and I don’t know what to do. What should I do? Anyone, I value your opinions, what should I do next? I can’t believe this nightmare is just getting worse. I don’t know what to do. Please help.
  • 03-29-2004, 02:24 PM
    thepogue
    first things first...
    i know you dont want to...but i've got to understand the pricing here....IF (and i know you dont want to) i mean IF you did give him a grand and move up...how much would he be giving you for your speakers....(100% value?...150%....???)

    i know this sounds weird but i need to get the facts right before i tell you to drive there and kill..er...i mean tell you what to do next....

    so once again in the grand sceme of things how much is he giving you for the faulty speaks?


    and brudda...relax...we'll get the bum! waiting...
  • 03-29-2004, 02:30 PM
    IAmCanadian
    He is giving us 100% value of our Stratus Bronze speakers when we bought them. They were 12.5 months old when we sent them in for repair the first time. We have seen them 6 days since. The stratus Silver price is 2400.
  • 03-29-2004, 02:31 PM
    IAmCanadian
    We will have to add the extra tax as well, another 15%.
  • 03-29-2004, 02:39 PM
    IAmCanadian
    They came with a 5 year warranty from the PSB authorized dealer we bought them off of. The veneer peeling was a problem that must have occurred during the drying process, and was a manufacturer’s defect. The second time it was shipped to us damaged from them. Why warranty something for five years if that’s NOT THE PLAN???