Business Ethics in the Audio Industry
I wonder if anyone else has run into problems with audio manufacturer/retailers that raise ethical (if not legal) issues. In mid-April, I ordered a Schiit Freya on Schiit's website and authorized credit card payment. The website said that shipment would be delayed until April 30th. After that, I received another email message from Schiit saying shipment would be delayed until May 15. I made one further inquiry after that, and Schiit responded that I would have to wait a little longer. Then, just yesterday, I received a message from Schiit saying that the Freya had been replaced by two new models, and I could choose between them. Either way, I'd have to pay $100 to $200 more than for the Freya I had ordered in mid-April.
Before yesterday, there was no sign on Schiit's website or anywhere else that the Freya was being discontinued in favor of the new model (with two options). Nor did any of the email messages I received from Schiit indicate that the Freya was being discontinued and that I would have to pay more than previously agreed for what I had ordered. The messages only ever referred to shipping delays.
Do you consider this a fair business practice on the part of Schiit? I feel like it's a bait-and-switch, which they tried to justify by noting that my credit card charge was reimbursed three days after the initial order, as per company policy. But I assumed that was only because of the delay in shipping, and that the card would be charged once shipping occurred. I don't know whether this rises to fraudulent misrepresentation, but it certainly seems to amount to a dishonest business practice. I'd be interested to hear what others think about this.