THIS IS LONG... SORRY. But before you decide to buy a V1, it may be worth a read. Make your own judgment of right & wrong. I have long moved on but just wanted to tell my story.
Several months ago, I purchased a V1 & I received the unit with a slightly mis-aligned speaker. I had purchased the Beltronics GX65 simultaneously and used the 30-day trial to make up my mind on which unit to keep & I decided to go for the V1 & send the GX65 back (Though the V1 annoyed my GF to no end, I liked the idea of the arrows... to feed my male ego of superiority I feel knowing that I have more info about the source than my beltronics & escort brothers/sisters :-)).
Then I posted pictures of the V1 here in this forum, got you guys opinion that the speakers are indeed mis-aligned & then contacted V1 & that marks the beginning of my bad time:
1. Send V1 an email with a description of my problem and attached the same pictures I posted here. Got the following reply:
“We do not open attachments for securityreasons.
My critique: No salutation, no name, no recommendation on what is the preferred means to convey my concern… nothing.
2. On my own accord, I uploaded the pictures on to flicker and send them another email with hyperlinks with the belief that they must be familiar with Flicker. I got a reply asking me to mail the unit back insured, which I did. I only mailed in the V1 & kept the supporting components as I figured only V1 needed repair.
3. A few days later, I got a phone call from (let’s call Miss X to protect her identity) requesting $40 for repair. I explained to her that I cannot pay for something I did not do and she went back & forth with her supervisor, but the final decision was that their technician confirmed that the unit had been dropped & their quality control is impervious and the unit could never have been shipped out with miss-aligned speaker.
My critique: (a) The speaker’s were miss-aligned the day I opened the unit. (b) I was testing the V1 & GX65 with the knowledge that one has to go back & so I especially treated both units like my babies; always carried them in my well-padded Headroom’s headphone bags (which I use to carry my $800 GS1000). (c) I work in a Class-III medical device company that make life sustaining medical devices and we build everything in USA under strictest quality control just so we can ensure a patient doesn’t die with a malfunction of our device and still we cannot guarantee 100% non-defective products… It is humanly impossible to do so & on that basis, I am sure V1 can ship a miss-aligned speaker unit. (d) $40 for anyone who buys a high end radar detector is not an issue. What matters to me is justice… I refused to be faulted when I know I am not.
4. I explained to Miss X that I would like to return the unit back under the 30-day return policy & would like to mail the components I have with me back to V1. She informed me the $40 penalty will apply, which I agreed to.
My critique: I was very well aware that not only I was going to pay $40 for repair of an item I did not spoil, I was not even going to have the item to show for it. But at this point, the V1 had lost all its value to me and I didn’t want anything to do with that company.
5. Her supervisor then told Miss X to tell me that my 30-days starts from the day the unit is shipped out from their facility & not when I received it & so my 30-days was expired the day they received the V1 back for repair and since I had not shipped back all the components, I do not qualify for the 30-day. Again Miss X went back & forth with her supervisor and the final verdict was that I need to ship back all the remaining components & it should reach them tomorrow. That meant I needed to ship next day air!. After more negotiating, her benevolent supervisor agreed that they will accept the day-after as well & that only meant I needed to shipped 2nd day air. I agreed helplessly.
My Critique: Retrospectively, it is simply amazing to think of a company that goes out of its way to harass its customers. The little I say the better here.
6. We hung up & for some reason I called back (I can’t exactly remember why), but another lady (I don’t know who, but lets call Miss Y) picked up the phone & oooh boy.. was she combative or what. OUTRIGHT ACCUSED ME OF LYING & CHEATING :-). She 100% KNEW that I am a cheat.
My critique: Just when I thought it could get no worse, the best example of V1 customer service just unwrapped itself. If Miss Y could loudly shout over the phone calling V1’s customer a liar & a cheat the very first time she has ever spoken to that customer and without being worried of being fired: (a) what does that tell you about the company’s ideology towards customer service? (b) How does her co-workers put up with her :-)?
7. Here is the letter I send to Miss X:
I have shipped back all the reminder components via 2nd day AM and should arrive Friday on or before 10:30AM according to UPS: 1Z716W670712645894.
Not to beat a dead horse, but I would request a favor if possible:
I personally did not see any signs of impact damage/evidence on the V1 when I unboxed it and I am confident that was the case when I shipped it back as well. Your engineers said that the miss-aligned speaker was a direct result of it being dropped and I would like to revisit that assessment because:
(a) The speakers were miss-aligned when I un-boxed it.
(b) I did not notice any sign of impact damage when I un-boxed the unit.
(b) Far from dropping, I did not even bump the V1 and/or the Beltronics GX65 (which I have returned and already received credit for). I had always carried both the units in my padded headphone bag.
Since you have been very understanding and came across as an honest person, i am willing to take your word on this matter and would request that if possible you go and personally have a look at that unit and judge for yourself whether the miss-aligned speaker was indeed due to an impact damage.
I have resigned myself to this whole purchase as being a poor judgment on my part and have no intention of altering anything that we agreed upon over the phone. I believe in fairness and truth than the small $$ I am loosing and that is the only reason i am writing this email.
My critique: I send this email, because only Miss X was trying to help me arbitrating with her supervisor. Since I was superbly confident that the unit was not dropped and was in near pristine state when I send it, I was hoping that she PERSONALLY can go & have a look at the unit and hopefully see that I am correct. Instead, I got the below reply.
8. Reply from their supervisor:
“Dear Mr. Me,
Thank you for your e-mail. We will await the arrival of your package on Friday. Thank you for being prompt about the return of the items.
You confirm that the unit showed no signs of damage when you received it. We do not accept damaged packages, so the unit was not damaged during return shipping to us. When a unit is received at our company, it is inspected when the box is opened. The damage to the case was obvious when the package was opened. The units are inspected by the technicians. The technician confirmed thatthe unit had been dropped. Possibly someone was admiring your unit without your knowledge and dropped it.
My critique: (a) I did not see any signs of impact damage when I first opened the V1 and that is why I am so superbly confident that the speaker miss-alignment (that I noticed on day-1) was not due to a drop, but a manufacturing mishap. But see how the supervisor twisted that around to enforce his point of view. (b) “Possibly someone was admiring your unit without your knowledge and dropped it”. Hmm.. is brilliant Mr. supervisor theorizing or poking fun at me?
9. I send the following reply:
“Dear Mr. ,
Please understand that this was my first V1 and I do not have any previous reference to compare with. When I opened the box, other than the miss-aligned speakers, I did not notice any "impact" damage, that is any ding, scratches, cracks or otherwise. The unit looked brand new to me except for the misaligned speakers.
I understand that I may have lost credibility in your eyes by waiting till end of the 30-day evaluation period to report this, but like I stated to Bridgette, I had ordered and received the Beltronics and V1 on the same day and I wanted to fully utilize the 30 day evaluation period to compare both the products. Please understand that at that point I was not sure which product I would eventually settle with and my rationale was that instead of loosing at least 10 days of my evaluation time in shipping the V1 back and forth, I could first compare them and only if I decided to keep the V1, I need to get the speaker alignment corrected. Looking back, I now understand that you would have preferred I had contacted you immediately, but that does not change the fact that the speakers were misaligned when I unboxed the unit. All I have with me to prove my claim is provide you a proof of Beltronics order confirmation indicating that I purchased their unit on the same day as I purchased the V1 and a snapshot of my credit card statement indicating that I did indeed return the Beltronics after my evaluation and was credited back the purchase amount.
“Possibly someone was admiring your unit without your knowledge and dropped it.” I would have entertained that possibility (even though I was the only one who handled the unit) if not for the fact that the speakers were misaligned when I unboxed it. I am totally perplexed as to the obvious damage to case you are referring to when your technician opened the returned unit, but if you have personally inspected the unit for drop damage and confirm that the unit was indeed dropped, I can understand why you would correlate the two and I rest my case. I cannot agree with it, but I can surely understand your point of view and will accept it. I only request that you personally inspect the unit and confirm that there is indeed a drop damage and that it could not have been shipped out with the speakers misaligned.
On an ending note, I want to convey my grief in the manner one of your support representatives (NOT Bridgette) treated me over the phone. She was plain rude, accused me outright of lying and hung the phone up on me while I was pleading with her to give me a fair hearing. That was very sad and completely unprofessional experience to say the least and if you have recorded that conversation, I would kindly urge you to listen to it and hear it for yourself. Disagreements should not be an automatic entitlement to insult others. Comparatively, Bridgette, was extremely understanding and took her efforts in arbitrating between her supervisor and me. Though I was denied my case, I was nevertheless left with a fair customer service experience in dealing with Bridgette.
I do not want to peruse this any further and have shipped back the reminder of the items to reach you on Friday. I have chosen the path to pay for the repair + incur the additional cost of expedite shipping + not having anything physical to show for it instead of paying for the repair and getting the V1 back. If at all possible, please think about what would cause you personally to make such a decision.
My critique: Knowing well the character of the supervisor and that no good is going to come of it, I still tried. I wanted him to go “PERSONALLY” and see for himself the “drop” damage and confirm it. Again, pretty sure that he would not see one.
10. Reply I received:
“Thank you for taking the time to write to us. I apologize for the one experience you had with one of our employees and appreciate your positive comments about other experiences.”
My critique: Again, a positive spin to a very poor customer experience: “..apologize for THE ONE experience you had with ONE OF OUR EMPLOYEES and appreciate your POSITIVE comments about OTHER EXPERIENCES..” Lets see… (a) No confirmation that anyone PERSONALLY inspected & confirmed the damage. (b) No mention of the arbitrary “must mail by 2nd day air” childish, & vengeful behavior.
11. End of month, my credit card showed the money refunded minus the $40. End of Story.
CONCLUSION (IN MY OPINION): If a couple employees at V1 decide to harass you; good luck. If they don’t, you may very well have a satisfactory experience. $40 + 2nd day shipping was the price I had to pay for not having anything to do with V1. I now have an Escort… & their customer service may leave something to be desired, however, I am pretty sure they won’t ever beat Valentine One. No company that operates well will allow their employees to harass their customers, let alone scream lier & cheat over the phone.