Following is my abysmal experience with Cary Audio’s customer service and technical support.

Last year I revamped my system. After researching and comparing phono preamps, I picked up a Cary PH-302 MK1 and wasn’t disappointed. It produced the sound I wanted. Around this time I replaced my amp with an ARC Ref 110 with KT120 tubes that was approximately half as powerful as the old one. Afterwards when spinning vinyl for lack of a better expression was “running out of amp” -- meaning that when I cranked up the volume, I couldn’t get to where I wanted to because the gain on the MK1 is 38dB for MM and 54dB for MC. I didn’t have this issue with any of my other gear: all had much higher outputs.

I contacted Cary regarding the above and received an email from Jam Somasundram, Director of Engineering and Product Development. He stated that the gain could be increased and “highly recommended” converting my MK1 to MK2 status. I received another email from Dan Wemmer, Service/QC Manager, quoting the cost to increase gain by 6dB would be $200 plus shipping -- to upgrade to MK2 was $800.00 plus shipping (approx. $85 each way). The upgrade consisted of a new face plate, new chassis that added to the back switchable loads for MC cartridges, new manual, and increased gain to 60dB for MC cartridges. In other words my old unit would be the same as the current model. I was planning to switch from MM to MC so it made sense.

I sent my PH-302 the first week of August 2011 to Cary for the upgrade to MK2.

I got it back the first week of September. I replaced my Grado Reference 1 with a Soundsmith Paua.

The Paua wouldn’t dial in properly with the MK2’s preset loads. I contacted Soundsmith. Peter Lindermann suggested changing two of the presets to 1k ohms and 2.5k ohms.

I sent my PH-302 MK2 back to Cary at the end of October 2011 to have the loads changed. Cost $132 plus shipping ($85 each way).

It came back in December. The 2.5k ohm setting really brought the Paua to life, but disappointingly I was still suffering from too little gain. I was a bit discourage because so far I’d spent $1262.00 on the Cary alone and had only achieved dialing the cartridge in. I still liked what the Cary brought to my system and had invested more than I’d intended to. I needed to see if there was another solution to increase the gain in my phono section before taking a bath and replacing with another phono pre.

For the next few months, I researched various ways to increase gain. I sent queries to SUT manufactures, Soundsmith, and various others who do mods and upgrades to audio gear. There were lots of ideas but no consensus.

In April, I ran across a thread on Audiogon of a member in Australia who had modified his PH-302 MK2. I got in touch and we exchanged emails. I got the notion that if I upgraded the electronics this would improve the sound and the gain issue might be mitigated.

I’d read glowing reviews of mods performed by Chris Johnson’s company Parts Connexion in Canada. I got in touch with Chris, outlined my issues like needing more gain, related that Cary had raised it to 60dB when my unit was upgraded from MK1 to MK2, and wanted to take my PH-302 to the next level in the hope that this would assuage my gain concerns. Chris said Parts Connexion would check my PH-302 MK2 out and see what could be done. I shipped it to them in May 2012.

The first email I received from Chris was to report that the MC output gain was 52dB not the 60dB that I’d stated Cary had raised it to. I asked him to recheck to make sure because I had a hard time believing that it hadn’t been changed. After all Cary had serviced my unit twice. Chris emailed back that it was 52dB.

In early June 2012 I sent Cary a letter expressing my dismay along with documentation of my dealings with them to increase gain. Included were the emails from Parts Connexion detailing the actual output. I also stated that I’d wasted a lot of my time and others trying to resolve the gain issue because Cary had failed to do the job.

A week or so later I received an email from Steve Witek Cary’s Quality Service Manager. He was gracious enough, apologized, said that mistakes unfortunately happen, and then laid the blame on me for not notifying Cary that Cary hadn’t done the work. Why had I waited 11 months?

I was kinda floored, I emailed back to Steve and asked how was I supposed to know that Cary hadn’t done the job. I don’t have that kind of diagnostic equipment. Isn’t Cary the expert here? I pointed out that my PH-302 MK2 had been serviced twice by Cary. One of my questions to Steve: why hadn’t it been bench tested either time to assess if it was performing to factory specs. My experience has been that testing gear is one of the first priorities other manufacturers undertake before anything is done.

Throughout our email exchanges, Steve never acknowledged that Cary had serviced my PH-302 MK2 twice. He only ever referenced the August 2011 date. Nor did he ever answer my questions as to why my unit was never bench tested before or after the work was done. If the quality service manager can’t answer this, then who can?

Steve’s next response was to cherry pick the emails that I’d sent him in an attempt to concoct a scenario that I’d known all along that Cary hadn’t done the job and was going behind their backs to other companies.

To circumvent the above, I forwarded the emails I had sent to Parts Connexion regarding this issue in which I explicitly stated my belief that Cary had done the job.

Steve’s reply was not to acknowledge the point of these emails, but again resorted to cherry picking: he pulled out the price estimate from Parts Connexion of $100 to rewire to achieve the 6dB gain. Steve decided this to be the amount that Cary would reimburse me for the work that they had failed to do. He didn’t bother to take into account the $1262 spent on the PH-302, time lost, or CARY’S ORIGINAL ESTIMATE OF $200!

I emailed expressing my irritation, disappointment and pointed out to Steve that he “didn’t seem to take responsibility for anything.” In that same email I included:

“A good piece of gear is only one part of the sum. Quality reliable support is just as important. At least it is for people like me who buy for the long haul and look for ways to obtain and insure maximum performance.”

Where were the checks and balances?

Would I have purchased the PH-302 knowing what I do now, NO. Do I still feel that it is a good piece of audio gear: YES. Will I consider purchasing other Cary products, NO. The reasons being that there are plenty of manufacturers out there that offer equally good products along with exemplary service void of excuses who do the job right the first time. I know this because of first hand experience.

Did I accept the $100 restitution -- NO

Like stated at the beginning, this is my experience dealing with Cary Audio. I know there are a lot of satisfied Cary customers. It was my intent to join those ranks. If you are someone contemplating purchasing a Cary product, then I hope this serves as a cautionary tale.

Has anyone had a similar experience as mine?

Regarding the MC output issue. Parts Connexion raised it from 52dB to 58dB which totally took care of this problem. I’m spinning vinyl now with a huge grin. Chris and his engineer did a bunch of other mods and upgrades. THEY DID AN AWESOME JOB!!!!
I used to own Cary/AES Sixpac mono amps & that time Dennis Had was at the helm of the company. Thru my local audio club I/we even visited the Cary factory (little over an hour of driving where I live) & got a good tour, good listening session all done by Dennis Had himself. At that time there used to be a Billy something who was the Finance person. he did not have a good reputation at all. I also remember meeting a very cut & dry (but I was told fairly competent) tech called Jason. I do not recall ever meeting a Jam Somasundram....
Then all of sudden I noted that Dennis Had was no longer at the helm of Cary. whoa! he was the fellow who founded Cary Audio & how come he was suddenly out? I never fully understood what happened there - was there a power struggle & Dennis Had bowed/was kicked out? Or, did Cary decide to go the HT route & Dennis Had decided he had enough of audio in his life & moved on? OR, did the vulture capitalists simply take over the company?
Anyway, the Cary Audio that existed back then, say 5-6 yrs ago, does not exist today & it comes to me as no surprise that they don't care about the customer.
The audio industry as a whole is putting nails into their own coffins. As it is, this audio hobby is a niche hobby. On top of that you have far more than necessary audio manuf who care a damn about taking care of the revenue-paying customer which will only hasten the demise of these manuf in times like these. Do these audio manuf really need to behave like this to hasten their own demise??? How unnecessary!
I had a similar experience with Cary Audio about 8 months ago. I had a $1,500 Cary CD player that I sent to them which was in need of repair. It would turn on and light up, but the drawer would not open. I spoke with a technician at Cary who estimated the repair should not cost more than $300 at worst case scenario. After shipping it to them, it took them over 3 months to get around to looking at it, and half a dozen phone calls from me to get them going. They then told me that the repair would cost nearly $800 plus an inflated return shipping charge. That was far more than the player was worth, so I declined the repair. They later offered me $50 for the player if I wanted to let them keep it for "parts". It then took another two months and 4 more e-mails until they finally sent me the $50 check. Before that incident, I had to order a small, cheap remote control for another Cary player I had, which they inflated the shipping cost to a whopping $30 to send it in a small box that did not cost them more than $8 to ship. I complained about the excess shipping fees, but they refused to budge. My $75 plastic remote ended up costing me $105! No more Cary products for me!
I owned the Cary SLP-05, Cary MB500 mono blocks, Cary A306 amp and a Cary 303-300 cdp so I've had lots of their products at various times. In my dealings with them for customer service on the phone and email I found their consistency of communication, followup, and accountability to be spotty at best. On sending one piece to them for service, I got a higher than expected bill and they never let me know ahead of time of any increase in cost from the original estimate until after the fact. So that left me with a slightly bad taste in my mouth. Like you, I think they make quality gear, and I'm sure others here have received good service from them, but they need to improve on their accountability when they come up short in things like commmunication and follow up with the customer. I dealt with some of the same people as you.
I needed a cold solder jount repaired on my CAD 120's amp. The unit was out of warranty( 3 years) and Cary still honered it and did the repair for free. I was going to get the MKII upgrade since they had the unit there, but Steve told me that since I have the SLP98P pre that it has enough gain and that the upgrade wouldn't be that much of an improvement. I went ahead and had him upgrade the unit with Cardas caps and new high speed hexfred diodes. The unit was completed a week before schedule and sounds better as promised. I've never had any trouble with their company, products, or services.
I've always had good service from Cary when I needed it & I've owned a few of their tube amps, tube pre-amps & various CDP's. Can't say they were the most reliable or stable I've owned but all good sounding pieces w/a couple exceptions. Unfortunately, I think the days of seeing any new hard-wired point to point tube products evolving is over.

I find your comments about Billy from Cary Audio offensive ! You slander folks from the security of hiding behind your screen moniker - totally un-cool.

I have nothing but good to say about Billy and the folks at Cary Audio, I worked for Billy and Denis (now retired) many years ago it was a great experience that I learned a lot about the Audio Business from.

Peter Noerbaek
PBN Audio
Sorry to see this thread devolve into acrimony, but I anticipated passionate posts about Cary. I own an AE-3 pre and like it a great deal I was hoping to buy a SLP-05 someday. I knew Dennis had retired, and I don't think there was anything more to that. I didn't know they would have issues with QC or accountability problems. I guess I will have weigh risk and benefit if I ever amass the fortune I will need to buy the bigger pre (even used).
I just looked at a post i left a little over two years ago.I had an issue with Cary and i was embarrassed for them and their unwillingness to offer support for their product.This was an easy resolution for any reasonable person.I even took the time to write a handwritten letter to the president of the company.That letter went entirely unacknowledged,and a follow up phone call was met with a rude and unhelpful attitude.This attitude seemed to permeate every level of this company i encountered.
I have gone out of my way to praise great customer service and support,especially when it is unexpected.
When it is bad i feel the same obligation to alert potential customers to what may await them down the road when you need help.
I also had a very bad experience with my Cary 306 cd player. Long delays for service and next to zero follow up. I will never purchase another Cary product again. I always thought I was the only one, but it does appear to be a wide spread issue.
Correct me if I'm wrong, because it was a long time ago, but I thought that Dennis Had left Cary and started Wavelength Audio. Is that correct?
I just went to the website, and sure enough, they're still selling flea powered amps for a lot of money, but no mention of his name. Did he bow out of that company too?

You are way out of touch - My good friend Dennis Had retired from Cary a few years back - he's enjoying now retirement with among other things rebuilding Maganvox amps selling them on ebay as Inspire Amplifiers by Dennis Had. Wavelenght is a totally different company headed by Gordon Rankin.

Good Listening

I had one repair experience with Cary equipment. No complaints. However, my local Cary dealer handled the entire transaction with Cary. Its possible that made a difference and may be something to consider for others needing repair on Cary stuff. I hope the folks at Cary are watching the thread. This kind of stuff really drives repeat customers away. Its not that hard to get service right. You just have to care about your customers.
07-10-12: Pbnaudio

I find your comments about Billy from Cary Audio offensive ! You slander folks from the security of hiding behind your screen moniker - totally un-cool.

Sorry to offend you Peter as that was not my intention. I was merely communicating information that was obtained from people I trust in the audio industry, people who treat their customers right & do much to help people in the audio hobby.
I was looking up the meaning of "slander" & this is what I found - "Oral communication of false statements injurious to a person's reputation OR A false and malicious statement or report about someone". Since this information was obtained by me thru people I trust & have 1-1 dealings with, I did not think that the info was false or had any reasons to doubt it.
The character of famous audio brand companies is defined by the character of the People who run them esp. those at the helm of those businesses. I think that you will agree. It's better, IMO, that the public know what kind of character they are dealing with before they buy that company's product(s).
I find it even more offensive (than you find my comment offensive) that Cary Audio has given so many people the run around, has taken so much of their money & not done business in a clean, upfront manner with their customers!! It is completely, totally, definitely UNacceptable!
Thanks for the correction. As I said, I wasn't sure. Now I remember Gordon Rankin, and reading about him many times. Interesting to hear what Dennis is doing now. Do you know if Gordon is still in charge at Wavelength? I didn't see his name anywhere on the website.
I was in contact with a tech about six months ago and he was extremely helpful and always answered my questions concerning my SLI-80F1. I hope this isn't the case concerning Cary's customer service as I like their classic products. This is the sort of thing that can bring a company down.

I have known Billly for almost 20 years I consider him a honest, forthright and stand up guy. I have dealt with Cary for as long and the few times that service was required it was always handled in a timely and expeditious manner.

What I'm stating above is from personal experience and not form what others are telling me - I would never publish negative statements about anyone form hear say - to me that's just not the right thing to do.

Roxy - I don't know if Mr. Rankin is still with Wavelength - I would assume as I have not heard otherwise.

Really appreciate everyone taking the time to post their comments. Very nice to be a member of such a passionate community!

Unfortunately this proves that Cary has some serious QC and CS issues to resolve.

I couldn't imagine posting or reading a thread like this of the other manufacturers that I deal with or have had dealings with like ARC, Grado, Soundsmith, Tyler, Rogue, Modwright, and Thor.

Like Brownsfan posted: I also hope Cary is paying attention to threads like this. A company does need to take care of its customers especially in such a tight knit one as audio.

Thanks again,

The truth is only a couple of people who contributed to this thread had direct interaction with Cary that was injurious to them. Unfortunately the experience of a few is not always the experience of the majority, but get broadcast. Maybe I am naive and giving them to much benefit of the doubt. It is difficult to assess what is really happening with most people.
The one thing I know is that their products have limited distribution and dealers here in the USA. I knew one dealer in PA that couldn't compete with Upscale Audio who evidently enjoyed discounts (possibly volume) and exclusives. I haven't looked in a while now to see who else is selling new.
Part of the problem may arise from people buying used and then needing service. I can see how that would be an issue for manufacturers in better audio these days not just Cary.
I agree that threads like this are difficult to assess; however, I think there is enough negative here from enough people that it would at least give me some pause if I was considering Cary.
Part of the problem may arise from people buying used and then needing service. I can see how that would be an issue for manufacturers in better audio these days not just Cary.
how exactly is this an issue, Mechans?
IMO, it should not be an issue. All manuf know that their product is not going to be with the original owner during the product's entire life. If they did, they/manuf would be stupidly naive! So, the manuf obviously have a warranty plan that takes into account that their products continue to give good service/output when sold several times over. The manuf warranty is either transferrable or not. If a unit that needs service is out of warranty have the present owner ship it to the factory, factory takes a good look at it for a nominal fee, diagnoses the problem, suggests the fix & quotes the $ amount for the fix. Then the factory should honour their word & do what they said they'd do for the money they said they'd charge. Once repairs/service completed, ship the unit back to the owner @ owner's expense. That's it - we're done. Both parties are happy & it's win-win. Not the crap that Fossilsx15 went thru!
If the unit gets severely damaged during multiple sales, so be it. It'll take more money to get it fixed. Factory quotes the higher fee to fix a badly damaged unit & the present owner decides if he/she want to engage.
I'm not seeing the issue, Mechans.....
Is this repair of a unit supposed to be any more complicated?

My post was in regards to accountability, QC, and CS.

Before I posted, I scoured Audiogon and surfed the Internet to see if others where having similar issues with Cary as I was. I did find others not only for audio but AV as well.

I also surfed Audiogon and the Internet for complaints like mine against the other manufacturers I deal with and have dealt with to make sure that my frustration with Cary Customer Service wasn't making me unfairly vindictive. With these other manufacturers I didn't find any that weren't resolved. I'm not saying that they don't exist, but I didn't find them like I did with Cary. To me this kinda looks like a pattern. This is why I posted.

You say that only a couple of posters that contributed to this thread had actual experience with Cary? Really? Re-read, I think the majority had experience. FWIW, I have no dog in this fight.

You misread my last post entirely. Which by the way was an explanation of how I came to post.

I'm really happy others have chimed in and the accounts have been both pro and con and that means to me there's an inconsistency.
Go to AVS and search for the Cary Cinema 11a/v thread. A read of some of those posts will convince you Cary has some QC/CS problems. Most of us bought the 11a for its excellent sonic quality, but it is a very buggy piece, and Cary has done little to address those bugs.

In sharp contrast is Oppo's very responsive customer service.

I own quite a few Cary products and I have never had a problem with getting help or advice from Cary. I am old school; therefore, I generally pick up the phone instead of using email when contacting Cary. I have a lot of friends who use Cary products and they have not had any problems with Cary’s customer service or suffered quality issues.
People who are willing to spend "Cary" kind of money on their audio gear are by nature perfectionists. Otherwise, we would go to a big box store, plop down our $500 bucks on a "lifesyle" home theater, and be done with it for the next 10 years. We pay a lot for our gear, and we expect a lot in return. Sometimes, we may have unrealistic expectations. Other times, I think it is clear that we are due a bit better than we get. I love Cary stuff. I just replaced my 500 MB amps with 500.1 MB amps, and I still can't quite bring myself to put the old ones up for sale. I have no problem buying Cary stuff in the future. BUT--- This is not the first time I have heard complaints about Cary CS, and while my repair was handled to my satisfaction, my dealer, who handled the interaction with Cary, was more than a little frustrated with Cary and let me know about it. I think the rule of thumb if you are running a company like Cary is this. If there is a perceived problem, there is a problem. Fix it.
For me, companies like ModWright and Audio Magic get it. Superb products backed up by superb CS. Look at Steve McCormack, who is still providing support for his old DNA amps and follows these forums providing support for gear he sold 25 years ago. I think we could all wish that all of the manufacturers followed the lead of those three guys!
Here's the a consumer of audio products, I've always had the impression that Cary makes "the good stuff". Don't know why but the Stereophile issue proclaiming a Cary amp as possibly the greatest amp EVER (I know, I know, they do that all the time....;) left an impression of excellence that stayed with me UNTIL I READ THIS THREAD!! Questionable customer service will never get my money, period! Audio manufacturers are wierdos sometimes. Can't think of many companies (in ANY industry) that don't understand that good CS is neccesary for success.
You said it well Brownsfan. I owned a McCormack DNA 500 and emailed with Steve McCormack. He was always very willing to communicate openly and be of any assistance. There are none better than Dan Wright of Modwright. I owned one of his players. Companies like Modwright and guys like Dan Wright and Steve McCormack just plain "get it" when it comes to customer service. I always had a good feeling with them.
If you have trouble with Cary, you'll most likely be the type that has trouble with everyone. Some people expect too much. They fixed an item for me that was no longer under warranty, and picked up the shipping on the way back. They were always helpful over the phone any time I had a question. I've owned lots of amps and pre's and Cary has always been the best.
So you're saying that since YOU never had a problem with them, there is no problem. That's simply ignorant.
I think it is important to have a balanced view. I think I have my eyes open on what to expect from Cary on repairs, and it may not be on the same level as the best companies. But, when I make a purchase, it is a multifacited value proposition analysis. The stuff is a good return on investment new and holds its value well for resale. My experience with Cary CS is acceptable, but not superb. I will almost certainly purchase Cary stuff in the future without giving it a second thought. I'd encourage Cary to raise CS to a level equal to the level of their design. But if they don't, I'm still going to go with the best overall value.
It depends on what one considers a problem. As I said, some people expect too much. Good luck gettin' it. Seeing that I retired 9 years ago at 49 (could have been sooner) no, I am not simply ignorant. You will not accomplish what I have at that age by being that way. It just ain't gonna happen.
I could care less about when you retired, how rich you are, or what a genius you consider yourself to be. Your comment that other customers who received bad service would probably not be satisfied with any company was ignorant.
Your disregard for the misfortunes of others is likely a manifestation of your narcissism.
The only way you can be misfortunate in this hobby, is by not having enough to be in the game in the first place. It doesn't take a genius or a hater to figure that out. Or does it?
Misfortune in this case is obviously a relative term. Loss of a loved one, serious illness; they are true misfortunes. Still, within the context of this hobby, receiving bad service from a manufacturer that you are depending on to repair your component can certainly be considered a misfortune.
Of course, once again you feel the need to infer that you are one of the lucky ones that can afford to be "in the game". Be assured that there are many on these forums who have great, well tuned systems that did not cost a fortune to assemble.
I'm not a hater...and you're not a genius.
I'm surprised you figured that out so quickly. It doesn't take a fortune to assemble a great well tuned system. I never said it did. I never said I was a genius OR a narcissist(hater) YOU did. I never attacked anything you said in this forum, like you did to me. Oh well, (yawn) I guess if I ever need any repairs to my system I'll just buY new then have the old repaired. That way I won't have to worry about little things like CS. I won't have to wait for the item to be repaired either. Imagine that...ME WAIT? Happy listening my friends.
Threads like this are important. A one-off bad experience may be just that,
or a reflection of a continuing pattern of problems or poor service. I have no
experience with Carey equipment and can't make any judgements about
the company's products or service. But companies are only as good as the
people who run them and the ethic of going the extra mile to keep a
customer happy usually pays dividends in customer good will, whether the
business is large or small. I have been playing around with this stuff since
the late 60's- I have had manufacturers replace equipment, rather than
repair it; send technical reps to my house to see problems first hand, and
provide upgrades for free or nominal cost while performing a repair.
I'll relate two recent experiences on this front: First, I called Audio
Research the other day for some parts for an amp I bought new in 1974.
They still support the product and were very gracious in helping me track
down what I needed. This was not something that was going to yield much
profit for them but it reflected well on the company and the customer
service rep even called me to follow up on one item to make sure I had
what i needed. (I don't really use the amp anymore but maintain it for
sentimental reasons).
Second, my Lamm line stage crashed a few months ago and Vlad was
literally on his way to Europe for Munich and other travels. If you know
anything about Lamm, you know it is pretty much a one man show.
Knowing I would be out of a line stage for a couple months, I bought a
Joule Electra, used, with the intention of using it only as a temporary stop
gap. The folks at Joule could not have been nicer- providing tech support,
helping me verify the vintage of the unit (over a weekend no less) and
answering questions from prospective buyers, knowing full well I wasn't a
long term customer of theirs.
These kinds of experiences ultimately make a big difference to customers
and usually cost the manufacturer very little. Given the economic conditions
of the world today, and the difficulties the so-called 'high-end' audio
business has been experiencing long before that, customers, particularly
long term customers, are more likely to buy from a company that provides
that kind of support.
Your posts are always upbeat and informative, and thanks for that. It was a pleasure doing business with you and glad the Joule worked out for your temporary pre. I do miss that piece. Were you able to sell it yet?

Mark- it went to a delighted new owner who was local, came over to check it out and was kind enough to post positive feedback. I lost a few hundred bucks on the deal which was fine, i considered it a 'rental fee.' And the support from the company was truly impressive, even though I gather it is not a very big operation. If you go over to my system thread, you'll see the new phono stage, which is absolutely wonderful. I don't want to hi-jack this thread, but thanks for chiming in. I think the support other users give each other here is also what gives Audiogon its real value, apart from being a place to buy and sell equipment.
My over all personal experience with Cary customer service was positive, I never had any issues.

So just like all humans, even Cary customer service can make mistakes.

The theory above stated that one bad experience constituted a possible problem with the company. So then one Good experience should also constitute no problems with the company.

No company can please all customers 100% of the time. Most hi-end companies are really not that big, maybe a handful of office personnel. So please, try and understand things from all sides.
My SLI-80 just went back to Cary for repairs .... I shipped it on Wednesday and got it back the following Thursday... I would say this is great customer service and they kept me abreast of the problem and the repair along the way.

I must say having just read this thread I feel a little sad that things appear to have slipped a bit at Cary.....I own/have owned an AES3,V12 and three 300BSE Sigs. My first contact with Cary was some 15 years ago when both Dennis Had and their very good service guy Kirk helped me with an amp failure and two upgrades (I'm in Australia)....they were both outstanding, Kirk in particular.
One thing this thread leaves me wondering, for those who have been happy with your Cary experiences, were they recent?

If not, isn't it possible that service has slipped since the company changed hands? This certainly has happened before.
My experience was late September of 2012 ...........Excellent Customer Service in my opinion.

Thanks for the clarification!
Guys, I got an e-mail today from Cary announcing some improvements in their customer service experience. I'm thinking maybe they noticed this thread. Very good move from a very good company. As I suggested, stepping up the customer service experience to match the level of their gear just makes good business sense.
I've never understood why otherwise excellent companies shoot themselves in the foot this way.
Never a problem with Cary. Fantastic products and great customer service.
QC (quality control) should extend not only to the products a company sells but also to the customer service provided. With the email that Brownsfan received, maybe it means that going forward, Cary will maintain "consistency" in their customer service quality. It's obvious from the thread that some have received good customer service from Cary, but in other cases their quality should have been better. Consistency of quality in all matters from any company/vendor/manufacturer is what matters most to consumers, especially for expensive products like the ones being discussed. To the topic of this thread, maybe now some customer sevice "checks and balances" will be put in place at Cary.
I have an admittedly vague memory of reading that Dennis Had felt that people who buy used are not his customers. Did the people who had bad experiences buy used? Did the peopel who had good experiences buy new?