I'm very upset. Let me tell you why.

I'm mainly a home audio person; however, whenever someone in the family gets a new car its customary to at least replace the factory system with better aftermarket stuff. Anyway, my sister totalled her little Honda and so we took the stereo and speakers out before it went off to the junkyard. Well, in my haste, I forgot to take the wiring harness out that went with the CD player. Not the wiring harness adaptor, but the little device that plugs directly into the back of the unit. Anyway, upon realizing this all to late, I had to go get another. The dealer I bought it from said that I needed to contact the manufacturer since they didn't carry that part. I called up Clarion and they informed me that this little part, that was nothing more than 16 color coded 18 to 22 gauge wires terminated to a piece of plastic with thier own pins, was going to cost me $17.95 plus $7.95 shipping and handling. Personnaly, I was expecting $10 at the most, if not free. I've had driver stage vacuum tubes go bad in my tube amp and the manufacturer sent me one free of charge. And when they sent me the wrong one, they sent another one free of charge. Given the cost of materials for that little harness I was bit upset since I felt I had no choice and ultimately ordered the stupid thing. After ordering I decided to call up one of the local dealers to see what they could do, although I doubted they would be able to help any. The little punk kid who answered the phone put me on hold for a minute or so and then came back and informed me that "they didn't have them in stock, but could get me one for about $50." FIFTY DOLLARS FOR A F#!@*&$ HARNESS that's got less than a quarters worth of wire and a chunk of plastic that surely, no matter how elaborate the production method, couldn't cost more than a dollar. And furthermore, I don't see how a piece of plastic and wires that weigh less than 2oz could cost $8 to ship. The only reason I'm upset is because it seems like someone is marking things up ridicously to take advantage of people in specific situations. Anyway, that's what I'm upset over. Maybe its nothing and I should go do something else, but I'm still not very happy over it. I don't consider myself cheap or anything, but when something clearly cost so little to make and then its sold for such a mark-up I get upset. Anyway, I'll stop rambling.
Ezmeraldall- vent away. Imagine my frustration when I had a tweeter broken on a pair of Eclipse car audio separates and was told they did'nt sell the tweeters separately; had to buy one whole side (tweeter, woofer and xover. (luckily the car phone installer who broke it paid). "I feel your pain" What you have apparently run up against is two things- 1. Cost to ship, inventory, account, etc. well exceeds actual cost to manufacture. The $17.95 + 7.95 probably represents the cost of all of the overhead (plus a tidy profit) as much as it does the cost of the part. 2. Business will charge what they can get, you need it and they got it. BTW, Clarion? Sorry, couldn't resist taking a shot. Hope your day has improved.
It's called capitalism and "supply and demand". The fact that it is a little piece of plastic doesn't matter. You need it they have it... Also the manufacturer is the one who invested the time/funds to design and build the gear. No matter how simple it may appear, it had to be designed probably on a CAD machine and then produced. The cost of producing one plastic piece could be hundreds or even thousands of dollars depending on the complexity. I am sure that after a while the economies of scale have caught up and the unit you are venting about may only cost the manufacturers mere pennies. I guess to me it just sounds like you want something for nothing. I am not tryint to be a smarty pants or anything like that, I am just asking that you perhaps look at it from another angle. Best regards, Mike
I can only imagine how much of your life is pissed away on garbage. It's unimaginable to me that you could whine to the world over $26. Probably the best thing you could learn is how cheap you stupidity was. Imagine if you built Challenger Rocket engines and you forgot to test the rubber o-rings for freezing temperatures or were the rocket scientist at Corning who forgot to test the effect of silicone on the body. Cheap price to pay for screwing up. Best wishes, Bill
Ezmeraldall- wow, just checked back in and found a couple of angry responses. Hope mine wasn't interpreted the same way. Just trying to point out another way to look at it. Hope you feel better having gotten it off your chest.
Hee Ezmeralda11, I agree with you. Of course there are worse things in life, but about the last thing you need is to spend that kind of money on a stupid piece of plastic with some wires, so I can totally feel your frustration. I just bought a new car, and had the cd-player and speakers move from the old to the new car. But instead of connecting the radio to the continuous output of the battery, he connected it wit the switched output. In other words: every time I turned off the car, I had to install all the stations again... Anyway, I fixed it myself, but I totally can feel your frustration!
Lakefrontroad - get your information straight - thats DOW-CORNING that "who forgot to test the effect of silicone on the body". "Cheap price to pay for screwing up", hmmmmm....
Mark, Lakefrontroad's message with "Corning" came through just fine... do we have to be so picky that we would have to mention that in your post, "thats" should really be "that's"?
What did you want for free now? How is it Clarion's fault that they should ship it for free? $7.95 is not enough to cover the hourly wage for someone to find the part you need in the (prob large) warehouse, looking up in the log books/ computers for you correct part, routing your request to the right people to execute your order, packaging, postage, the operator who has to answer your (dialed toll-free) call. Did I mention that employee benefits and insurance have not been factored in yet? If you've never owned a business and have always gotten things for free from the govt, it would be hard for you to understand the cost of running a business. This has nothing to do with supply/ demand- what you have is a "custom" order, and it is difficult for any large company to accommodate.
My pet peeve? The ridiculous price of plastic fairings and replacement parts for motorcycles that the manufacturers know you will probably need. It does cost money to run a business and you should consider the points above, but companies do take advantage of these situations, IMHO. One approach would be to write to the President of the company explaining the situation and tell him that you will never, ever, ever, buy their products again, EVER based on their dealers' tactics and their avaricious approach to pricing spares. You will feel better and might get the new part for free.
I agree with CWLondon. My wife is an avid letter writer whether it be the Mayor of Miami or the CEO of Yves Rocher and has gotten a lot accomplished with her well thought and placed letters. Her letter to the mayor appeared in the Miami newspaper for all to read and her products were replaced as well as a future business relationship established with her favorite toiletry line. I myself received needed parts for my Castle speakers expedited from the UK at no charge by the speaker manufacturer almost before I could blink following an email. On the other hand I attempted to order some replacement belts for an inexpensive Radio Shack stereo, and was never able to get through the red tape and phone banks to even find the cost of the parts. I ended up making and installing my own belts with the aid of a local repair shop and donated the stereo to a local charity/thriftshop. It otherwise would have ended up in the trash which would have been a shame, it after all did produce music:-) Little parts do cost more than one would think as the dies are very expensive and wear out after X amount of parts are made, these parts are however mostly used in full production units and need not be marked up as much when sold individually to replace those in a unit that has already been profited from, IMO.
Please: I don't mean to be rude... but yes, you may get the part for free, but again, this is another "welfare tactic" to get things for free. Live up to your own mistake and buy the thing- (also to CWlondon). If they do accommodate, it would be a purely PR reason... your impact to their business is minimal. Like parents who back down to their bad kids in public to keep them quiet. Like Mc Donald's paying a million dollars to the woman who spilled coffee on herself because she was a moron/opportunistic/ scam artist- did she deserve the money?
Woops,we're way off audio. Me,I'd just get the part as soon as possible so I could have my tunes. As in don't leave home without them. I recently bought a floor sample 2 line cordless phone/ans machine.- No box or book. Took me a while,but I got it solved sans manual.The book would have been 9,and 8 for shipping. Worth mentioning within a thread /on the subject; but hardly worth 'A' thread. But hey, we're here to listen,so you can get different points of view.
Yes MR. Lake... a lot of small stuff will eventually kill you. Like broken shoe-lace before going to work, (i guess, you do not work, but have somebody else(employees) making you rich?) The trouble with you people (mr. Lake in particular) is that your cities haven't been bombed, and your mothers haven;t been told to shut-up!
Feel lucky you have a car. Some don't.
All this over a platic piece that costs less than $30.00. Please stop the madness. Lets let it go, enough has been said... Back to pure audio anyone? Best regards, Mike
It's strange that the initial post has caused so many angry responses. I wonder if any of these people know what this piece is. I agree that the company is completely overcharging you because they know they have you. And the shipping is also rediculously high for such small, light piece. Having been in a similar situation, I feel your pain.
What I am seeing more and more is that the people that face the customers have little to no training in dealing with frustrated people and they are either allowed or able to apply judgment to a situation and make the winning call to win over a pissed off customer. I would imagine that Ezmeralda11 would have had a better outcome if she were dealing with a manager. I usually ask to speak with a manager when I see I am getting no where. It works sometimes.
correction in caps :"people and they are either NOT allowed or UNable to apply judgment to a situation and make the winning call to win over a pissed off customer"
Actually this price sounds about right. When I was doing engineering R&D for Motorola, a consumer products' D.M. (direct material cost) was spec'd to 10% of retail list price. So this is standard practice. D.M. of your harness was likely at least $1.79 for the wire, connector, pins & assembly labor. You could build it yourself for somewhat less, but probably not worthwhile depending upon what your time is worth. Would cost you even more considering the individual shipping charges of the individual pieces. $7.95 is also about right for a 1 pound UPS delivery charge. Interesting the amount of responses that your thread has generated though...
Angela - Often with large companies it is very difficult to get past the 'front line'. Of course you could fight, but I'd probably just end up taking the hit. Bob - you don't think a 900% mark-up is high... even if it's industry standard? Also, it would be difficult to make one of these without having access to a plastic cast. Finally, harnesses can't weigh more than a couple of ounces - $3.00 priority mail. Anyway, just my opinion.
The problem is that the practice you are complaining about is relatively standard in car audio. The manufacturers make interfaces and connectors that do not conform to any standards. This is done on purpose, the wacky connector can therefore only be gotten from the orig. manufacturer, who can charge an abnormally high price for it. Those of you who have BMW's know what I am talking about, the BMW trunk is hard wired for CD changer with a weird connection that can only be connected to the $500.00 factory-supplied unit, made by Alpine or Pioneer and which would cost only $200 if not for the connector. I always thought you could become rich if you spent the time to analzye the pin configs of these connectors and created your own adaptors.....so if you are really mad, get even. But I symphatize.
Ezmerelda.One thing you miss is the cost of processing an order.The 7.95 only offsets the cost it does not cover it.
What do you pay the picker the packer.Its not just the mail.The package the shipping materials.You are all missing the point.The cost of the mold to make it is in the thousands.
One more thing what do bombings and telling mothers to shut up have to do with audio dragon man.
I'm sure that the cost of the mold is amortized through the sale of the original part. The point about processing is probably a good one, however, as they probably have to keep a (minimal) staff around to handle these requests. Still, why is it so hard to believe that a company will try to maximize its profit when it has a captive market? This is why it's best (for the consumer) to adopt standards.
Hmmm, let's see now... a good pair of 8ft bi-wires for only
$795.00, I gotta have some! That's an incredible deal!.