PSA: Be Careful Dealing With Uptone Audio


Just a cautionary note for anyone wishing to purchase anything from Uptone Audio.

 

Over the past 3 or so years I have owned an ISO Regen, two LPS 1’s and two LPS 1.2’s. When they work they are OK. However, when they do not, you cannot really count on any meaningful support from Uptone Audio – under warranty or not – and even more so if you are not in the US. One of my LPS 1’s failed during the warranty period after less than a year of use. It would not output anything. I contacted Alex Crespi of Uptone who arranged for a replacement. I shipped the faulty LPS 1 back (costly). I received a replacement in about a month. The replacement I received had dings on the case that were not there in the first place. I just chalked it up to shipping issues. Two months later, the replaced unit failed again. It would not light up. It had more than a year left under warranty. I contacted Uptone again who requested I ship it back again for replacement. However, they discouraged it and proposed a credit of US$185 towards the purchase of a new LPS 1.2 in lieu of the warranty on the unit which faltered so quickly after it was replaced. Upon further questioning and correspondence with Uptone, it came to light that they had not repaired the unit I had sent in for warranty replacement with new parts. Instead they had replaced the board with parts culled from used and returned units previously sent in for trade in or repair purposes. In short, the warranty is tantamount to having your unit replaced with a used one which may or may not have been faulty in the first place, which they claim to have “tested”. It is no surprise that the unit faltered so quickly after their supposed warranty replacement then. As such, their so-called warranty replacement is pretty much flawed. Alex got defensive and quoted some self-derived metric about the failure rates of their products being extremely low and put the cause of successive failure in my units down to my bad luck. He also said that I had electrically damaged the unit which is baffling since I had used it only with their supplied OEM Meanwell switching power supply which still works fine up till today. To date, in the last 20 or so years of being in the hi fi hobby, these Uptone products are the only ones to have malfunctioned so badly.

 

Wishing to cut my losses and to avoid having to ship the faulty unit back to the US at costly charges when the “warranty” replacement would most likely fail again shortly, I paid the remainder towards a brand new LPS 1.2. Alex made it clear that he would not assist with repair of the faulty LPS 1 and I disposed of it.

 

I received a shipment of the LPS 1.2. However, when I unpacked it, the unit had a clear rattling noise when removed from the box. Upon closer inspection, there was a slight scratch on the front chassis plate and the screws were badly stripped. It was pretty clear that Alex had shipped me a used unit or one that had escaped their seemingly lax quality control. I contacted Uptone immediately and requested that they make arrangements for their carrier to collect the unit from me for return to them and replacement of a brand new unit to me. Alex admitted to their negligence citing size slippages and disparities in their OEM case specifications which caused the misfit and rattling noise and worn out Torx screwdrivers stripping the screws. He was certainly aware of the issues affecting the unit I was shipped. However, he refused to do anything about it. He suggested that he would send me some screws and that I open up the unit myself and mount some electrical tape inside the case to stop the rattling noise. Again, he seemed to be fully aware of the issue and how to fix it. Unfortunately, I am not technically inclined nor do I own a Torx screwdriver. To render those fixes I would have to pay a technician to do so. This is rich considering that I had paid for a new and finished product and was shipped a used and/or damaged one. I wrote back to insist on a replacement unit being sent to me and that Uptone arrange to cover the return shipping costs to themselves. Again, Alex refused steadfastly and got hostile, saying that I was taking advantage of them. How exactly am I taking advantage? I paid full price for a new and finished product – that is all I expect, no more and no less. Alex also stated that he did not wish to lose any money on this sale even though Uptone offers the best customer service possible. His final offer was that I return the LPS 1.2 to them at my own cost and that he would refund me the US$250 I had paid meaning I would have to write off the US$185 credit value on the disposed LPS 1 which he is contractually obliged to repair but had refused to assist me with.

 

In this whole experience with Uptone, Alex strikes me as someone who is simply full of excuses. He pays lip service to providing good customer service but it is really just marketing talk. When it comes to the crunch, he fails to deliver but instead makes excuses and puts the blame on anyone but Uptone and himself. Outrageously, he even believes in his own self manufactured press. I recall earlier correspondence with him on why the Uptone ISO Regen would disconnect from my DAC for no reason, requiring that I unplug and replug the DC cable from the Uptone LPS 1.2 for it to work again. Not knowing that I was powering it with a LPS 1.2, he began by questioning the power supply I used. When told it was a LPS 1.2, he blamed the issue on the Silanna chip Uptone used in the ISO Regen – after all, it was an Uptone supply and he could not blame that anymore. I mean you manufactured this product, sourced and supposedly tested the parts and then sold it to the customer as a finished product for good money. The sheer lack of responsibility, ethics and professionalism!

 

As an example of Alex being purely a marketing act, you can see on the Computer Audiophile forum how he derides Sonore’s optical module and Optical Rendu, since Uptone now makes a competing product. Recall, Uptone came into existence making derivative products such as USB fixers and power supplies to be used with Sonore’s series of streamers – the hypocrisy of it all.

 

I appreciate that others may have had a good experience dealing with Uptone Audio but unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case with me. Uptone strikes me as a bucket shop. There are lots of cottage industries and artisanal products in hi fi and that is fine and good, so long as they are run with honesty, integrity and professionalism and not at the expense of unsuspecting customers. Pete of Triode Wire Labs is a great example of a fine one man show company who provides great customer service. Uptone is definitely NOT - YMMV!


mikey8811
This is a very helpful data point @Mikey8811.  Sorry about your experiences and appreciate all the time you put into your narrative above.  
Great post @mikey8811  You nailed it, including the counter example of TWL's exemplary service as a reference point. 
Thanks @mikey8811 for the well described issues with Uptone. Seems like you had some unfortunate issues and I will staying clear of Uptone. Good luck to you in the future.
I have a bunch of Uptone products and never had any issues with them or Alex. Any questions Alex responded right away, he even called me personally once to talk about my order and audio in general. And gladly helped when I had some USB issues.

BTW several of the plugs on my TWL power cables developed cracks with a year of purchase. Does that make Pete’s business a bucket shop as well.

Sht happens sometimes, how sad the OP seems to have an agenda.
I have no dog in the fight, don't know the buyer or seller, and really don’t care one way or the other. And of course there is always a possibility of another side to the story, but OP does seem on the surface to have been treated poorly.
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No offense taken, dude.
Just wish you'd take your problems elsewhere.
@ianrmack no bitching. If you had read my post about Cardas I was asking for alternate contacts because time was pressing and I hadn't heard back from Cardas. Angela sent an email shortly after apologising for the delay in getting back.

@jaybe no agenda.

Cracks in connectors are pretty different from a device totally not working and an alleged replacement repaired with used parts from another return which failed soon after. Ditto for a supposed brand new unit with faults right out of the box.
Just stating my experience from correspondence with Uptone without embellishment. And as I said YMMV.

It seems that a lot of this happens with Uptone products from the experience of others too.
"I've owned both the lps1 and lps1.2 and though neither have failed on me, your story is not uncommon. Have many friends whose units failed. They sent it back for a new one, and the new one failed as well few months later."

"Same problem with the silanna chip for Regen.
Lps1 send back - new one failed within 2mths
Lps1-2 back in the US still waiting for parts.

Failure rate is quite high.
Have a few frd who encountered problems with mostly lps1 already"


http://www.xtremeplace.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=292759.0
 


Ha!. In general, if you take the whining, crying, and insult slinging off of here, you would remove a fair amount of content.

No need in acting like this site is a peaceful place that has experienced an assault of negative vibes. That ship has sailed, Karen.
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Thanks thanks for the heads up, now I know who to avoid, I work hard for my money and I don’t want to go through what you went through. It’s very simple, warranty means replace or repair with the retail store full support. I have dealt with stores before where warranty has expired but continued to help and support you. What happen to those kind of people?
Thanks so much for your in-depth explanation and thanks for sharing your experience. I will make sure I will never deal with this company.
In the UK the customer is always right no more needs to be said.

I feel very sorry for the OP that is a dreadful experience.

If a new unit is faulty first you should have the offer of a repair or new replacement. The choice should be the customers.

In this case all that was offered is a nasty stressful experience.

OP please learn from this experience and thank you for letting everyone know what to expect from Uptone Audio.

There are much better dealers around i am sure, maybe start a post asking for recommended dealers in and around your area. Good luck.

Make sure you get your money back and move on and do not look back.
Thanks for the heads up.

@jaybe You sure came to the defense of Uptone vigorously. If what the OP says is true, then the only agenda I see is caution. If anyone's agenda is dubious I'd say it's yours.
This guy has been posting the same thing all over the Internet. On every single forum. It’s everywhere.

My experience with Uptone over many years has been totally different. Alex Crespi is a class act guy. And I don’t blame him for not falling for people who like to game the system.
Copy / Paste, Alex reply:

——-

I just now replied over in the Audiophile Style forum. Below is what I posted. I guess I can expect that Mr. Cheah--who never even purchased any products from us directly (other than the new upgrade we sold him at below our cost)--is beginning a multi-forum campaign to defame our reputation. So I'll get out in front of this with the complete facts.
==========

WOW. 

As anyone who has ever conducted business with me knows, honesty, integrity, and giving clients the benefit of the doubt--even to the point of loosing money--is how I conduct business.
Yet once every few years, despite best efforts, there are clients for whom no effort is enough. And Mr. Y.A. Cheah (mikey8811) in Malaysia is our example for 2019.

Leaving aside his specious summarizations that UpTone is unprofessional or not to be trusted--which hundreds of others who have dealt with me would dispute--there are facts of our interaction which he misrepresents. I could spend a couple of hours unpacking his long post and replying point-by-point, but instead--for full transparency-- am going to paste the entirely of our 10 month long exchange.

First a few intersting facts that may not be apparent from the e-mails:
a) With the exception of the new UltraCap LPS-1.2 we sold to him as an upgrade ($250 including FedEx shipping), all of the UpTone products Mr. Cheah possesses were obtained by him second-hand. We find no record of him ever having purchased ISO REGEN or LPS-1.2 units from us. So although he has never purchased anything directly from UpTone, we of course still honor our generous 3-year transferrable warranty and treated him with respect throughout more than a dozen e-mail exchanges. I think in total we have lost more then $600 with this gentleman.

b) Checking the order record for the second-hand 2017 LPS-1 he had, we see that it was originally bought from us without any "energizing"/charging supply, and the unit he originally sent to us looked like it had been severely over-voltaged, though I never said anything to him about that.

c) As noted in the e-mails, the LPS-1 board we used for his first replacement was from a customer trade-in, not from a repair.

d) The LPS-1 he shipped to us arrived poorly wrapped and packed loose in a envelope; As I recall, the dings suffered by the casework were so extensive that we substituted other 'B'-stock casework before shipping his replacement.

e) I was very clear that the heavily discounted $220 upgrade (what we receive after taking away our FedEx cost)--which is actually below our cost for a complete UltraCap LPS-1.2--would be in lieu of any repair to the original LPS-1. Despite that, he persisted in taking my time to provide him with part number details so he could attempt repair of the original unit locally.

e) In the end he was dissatisfied that the black end-panel screws on the new UltraCap LPS-1.2 showed some silver in the points of the Torx bit sockets, and that if the unit is shaken (who does that?) the 0.1mm too-short PCB in his unit would move slightly in the case. So we offered to refund his $250 if he would send it back. Instead he chose to open a dispute with his credit card company. So now we have lost another $250.
=================

Below is our ENITRE e-mail chain--with not a single word changed. Please read from the bottom up to be in ascending date order. I will attempt to remove all private details such as e-mail and physical addresses.
Anyone is free to ask me questions. I have zero to hide. Please judge for yourselves.
Thanks,
ALEX CRESPI
--------------

October 28, 2019

No. You can pay for the return of the new and perfectly functioning LPS-1.2 and we will refund $250 upon receipt and inspection. That is our only and final offer to you.

Goodbye,
Alex Crespi

UpTone Audio LLC
---------------

On Oct 28, 2019, at 8:37 AM, Yeong Aun Cheah wrote:
Dear Alex

You have shown yourself and Uptone to be a manufacturer who produces shoddy product who further refuses to be responsible for said product it has shipped.

Please make arrangements for FedEx to collect the UltraCap LPS 1.2 from me for return back to you at your expense.

I will gladly return it.

Also, in lieu of the warranty value you have imputed to the faulty UltraCap 1 which is still under warranty, please make payment of US$185 to me.

Sincerely

Yeong Aun Cheah
-----------------

On Mon, Oct 28, 2019 at 11:20 PM Alex Crespi <[email protected]> wrote:
Dear Y A:

You have shown yourself to be a person with expectations beyond what is reasonable. We will not loose ever more money in dealing with you. If you will ship the new UltraCap LPS-1.2 unit back to us, we will refund your $250 and this relationship will be over.

Goodbye,

Alex Crespi

UpTone Audio LLC
Mariposa, California
Phone: 1-209-966-4377
--------------------

On Oct 28, 2019, at 8:09 AM, Yeong Aun Cheah wrote:

Dear Alex

You shipped me a unit that is not up to par.

It is perfectly reasonable of me to expect a replacement at no further cost to me.

It seems that you are not willing to be responsible for something you manufacture which escaped your seemingly poor quality control standards.

You sell a finished product which is not up to scratch and you wish for a customer to open it up himself and put a strip of electrical tape inside? This is rich.

For all your talk - it is simply marketing. Your response is plainly unprofessional and unethical.

I reasonably expect a replacement at no further cost or inconvenience to me, failing which I will be forced to take action against Uptone.

Sincerely

Yeong Aun Cheah
-----------------

On Mon, Oct 28, 2019 at 10:55 PM Alex Crespi <[email protected]> wrote:
If you wish we will mail new screws to you. When you remove the face plate you can put a strip of electrical tape across the inside so that the edge of the PCB will contact that—effectively making the board longer and insuring that the end plates press the edges of the board to eliminate movement. Beyond that we are done. I an not shipping you another unit. There is nothing wrong with the new one we sent.

Good day,

Alex Crespi

UpTone Audio LLC
-----------------

On Oct 27, 2019, at 9:48 PM, Yeong Aun Cheah wrote:

Dear Alex

Thanks for your reply.

While I appreciate your reassurance that the unit is indeed new and the rattling noise doesn't affect the functionality, I have the following reservations.

Firstly, I have plugged in the unit since I wrote to you and upon subsequent inspection after it heated up, the rattling noise still remains.

Secondly, the heads of the Torx screws are pretty scratched - it is very obvious to the naked eye. The scratch as I mentioned is faint - I noticed it only upon looking closely at the unit after hearing the rattling noise.

I understand that there are lapses in the assembly of units and faults but if my setup configuration changes and I should intend to sell the LPS 1.2, then a buyer will not. For buyers of audio equipment concerned about miniscule things like vibration, the rattling would certainly be difficult to explain away. Ditto for the cosmetic effects of the scratched Torx screw heads. This would be to my detriment.

As such, I would appreciate that you replace the unit with a new properly assembled one.

Kindly make arrangements for FedEx to collect it from me to be sent back to you and send me a replacement when available.

Sincerely

Yeong Aun Cheah
-------------------

On Mon, Oct 28, 2019 at 10:22 AM Alex Crespi <[email protected]> wrote:
Dear Y A:

Glad to hear that the package with new UltraCap LPS-1.2 was successfully delivered to you.

I guarantee that the unit you received was 100% new. We assembled 50 new units immediately upon receipt of the aluminum cases, and then packaged them up. You received one of these units without our looking to make any differentiation versus all other customers.

Perhaps the Torx T10 screwdriver tip my assistant was using to assemble was a bit worn. After many uses we throw away the bits if they start to mare the black of the Torx-star screw. But those screws are b now means “stripped.” I can not see from the photo the scratch you mention, but it must be very small as we do let scratched units go out. We do try hard to pay attention to these details.

Any rattle you hear is only from the entire circuit board not being held firm in the slots by pressure from the front/back plates. The PCB has close +/- tolerance for length, and sometimes a few are just 0.1mm short—enough to keep the end plates from holding it steady. We have a trick to fix that (a bit of electrical tape along the inside of the front plate is enough thickness), but perhaps we missed your unit or the temperature is different in your environment—when it warms up it may become tighter. In any case, there are no loose parts inside and your unit will function perfectly.

With kind regards,

Alex Crespi

UpTone Audio LLC
Mariposa, California
Phone: 1-209-966-4377
-------------
@thyname Regarding your preceding post, I believe it is in bad form and may also violate Forum rules to "out" the name and location of a member. Unless you have his permission to do so. Do you?

It’s good to have both sides of the story. In this case, it would be far better for Mr. Crespi to step forward on this, and represent himself.

I also find sharing of email chains distasteful, but that may just be me.
I don't have any permission. There are more email exchanges shared on that WhatsBest forum Myles Astor shared above. And probably the forum rules are violated by me sharing that other forum, but perhaps, defamation / revenge posts towards a specific industry participant, is also a violation of forum rules? Especially when the OP has posted them in every single audio related forum there is in the Internets?

This is clearly a revenge post / campaign. It's very simple to see this. And he already got the money back. It's just $250 for f***k's sake. Why go full steam with revenge ?!
@jcarpopo01-08-2020 6:54pm@ianrmack You're a very angry and accusatory person. Move on”
Seriously, GFYS....I’ve been here since 2001 with a spotless record.

I tried to tell the OP to move along and now it comes out that he is waging an internet war against a business that supplies fellow hobbyists.

This is a loser thread.
@thyname  I understand your position. I don't disagree with it. 

I've been in the same place and at about this point in time, the questions I ask myself are: Is it worth it? Is it my role? How am I letting it affect me? Etc. Etc.
I can appreciate both sides of the story.  In spike of initial good intentions expressed and demonstrated by both parties, sometimes things just don't work out.  I think that this is the case in this instance. 
After reading this somewhat troubling thread, I thought I would share my direct experiences with Alex Crespi and Uptone Audio.  I have purchased multiple products from Uptone over the last few years.  Alex has always been very responsive and professional in his emails with me.  Last fall, my LPS-1 power supply stopped working.  It was still under warranty and I contacted Uptone about a repair.  Alex indicated that they would repair it free of charge but that they were just launching a new product and probably would not be able to look at it for a few weeks.  Fair enough, so I sent the unit to Uptone right away.  After 4 weeks, I contacted Alex and he gave me the option of purchasing a new LPS-1.2 at a substantially reduced price or repair the LPS-1 as originally planned.  To save money (I am retired), I chose the repair route.  Alex readily responded that he decided to give me a brand new LPS-1.2 power supply FREE OF CHARGE!  I was not expecting this at all and received the new, updated P/S days later.  It's been functioning perfectly ever since and was an immediate audible improvement over the previous version.  Thus far, I have nothing but positive things to say about Uptone and Alex Crespi!
@david_ten Yes, I too find the sharing of email chains distasteful but clearly Alex Crespi is unprofessional enough to not.

@thyname since you condone this behaviour, please know that Alex has your personal data too and will not hesitate to use it for his marketing purposes. By the way, I have not gotten my money back. I do not think I will.

Please also be aware that this is by no means a vendetta. I couldn’t give a spoke about what happens to Alex Crespi or Uptone. They have cheated me once and never again. I do however believe in karma and that what goes around comes around.
There is no upside for me in this at all. I paid good money for an item that was clearly used and damaged. That is an incontrovertible fact. I will also not see my money back.

The purpose of this post and those on other fora was simply to make others aware of the situation so that they may avoid similar pitfalls. I stated this clearly at the outset. I also stated clearly that YMMV. It is fortunate that some of you have had good experiences dealing with Uptone but that has clearly not been the case with me.

Ditto for many others on other fora who have responded to say that their LPS 1’s and 1.2’s have broken down in a similar manner. Warranty replacements/ repairs sent back to them have also suffered the same fate as mine - faltered shortly after they received them. This is no surprise given Uptone’s practice of using used parts from returns and repairs rather than new ones to render warranty service. This is telling about the quality of their product and warranty service.

Be very cautious when purchasing from small companies, especially one-man-show’s like Uptone. I have never found myself at such a loss when dealing with larger, more reputable companies as they are professionally run and inevitably care about maintaining their reputation. Of course there are exceptions like Pete of Triode Wire Labs that I mentioned in the opening post.

The other takeaway from this is to pay by Paypal or American Express rather than any other credit card. Both these payment methods offer a greater degree of consumer protection which include the covering of costly courier fees on returns. This is important when dealing with less professional merchants/ manufacturers located in other countries. For products like those that Uptone sells - with relatively low average selling prices - courier fees on returns of under warranty items which fail repeatedly, will make the entire economic premise untenable for customers located internationally. Many respondents on Asian based fora have agreed given their own experiences with Uptone products. I presume those in Europe and other countries will find the same too.


You bought everything used and likely very cheap. And you already knew you are in Asia (obviously) that would make warranty repair shipping costs to and from to US costly. I am not sure what your expectations are, perhaps a bit too high? There is always risk when buying used stuff, especially from foreign countries (to you). And it sounds to me like Alex tried very hard to accommodate you, and spend hours (all those emails back and forth) trying to do so.

You are saying these lengthy posts of yours in all forums you are member of (I have seen at least four so far) are not vendetta. I fail to believe that.
@thyname No, I did purchase the LPS 1 for a low price at all.
I would have expected an item repaired under warranty to have lasted for more than 2 months and that through the 2 year lifespan of that warranty period,  1 return would be sufficient. That is a very reasonable expectation. I reiterate that in my 25 or so years in this hobby nothing has failed so badly as these Uptone items, period.
How exactly did Alex try to accommodate me on this latest LPS 1.2 purchase? By doing nothing and just saying he provided good customer service? Either you are very benevolent or have fairly low expectations.
In fact from your posts, one may say that you have an agenda too.
I have said my piece. Believe what you will.
I read the entire email chain on the What's Best Forum. From January 2019. It was painful. I would personally would have hated if dealt with you, honestly.

Here is the gist:

1 - You bought a previous generation 2017 LPS-1 used from someone in US. Which failed. It was originally purchased without the power supply.

2 - Your replacement LPS-1 also failed. Maybe a coincidence ? Maybe...

3 - He offered you a LPS-1.2 (current generation) for $250 all in to you (shipped to Malaysia) in lieu of any repair on your LPS-1. This condition was clear on your communication.

4 - When you did not like the LPS-1.2 you received, he offered to refund you all the money if you ship it back to him. Not sure why this pissed you off. It sounds totally fair to me.


@thyname the feeling is mutual - it would be painful for me to deal with you too. I am glad we never have to.
1. I purchased a used LPS 1 - it was current generation then and had another 2 years left to the fully transferable warranty offered by Uptone.

So is it a crime to purchase used? If Alex is averse to honouring his own transferable warranty, he shouldn’t have specified it that way. But likewise, with NO resale value on used LPS units, there will be a lower demand for new units. You cannot have your business model cake and eat it too.

While I am unsure of its provenance, it was sold to me with the OEM Meanwell power supply that Uptone provides. Whether the original purchaser bought that at the same time, I do not know. Why the fuss? He subsequently says I overdrove it but not at the time and I have been using the same Meanwell all the while. That Meanwell still works so I do not think it is the issue but just a scapegoat.

I used the LPS 1 with said Meanwell power supply that meets Uptone specifications. That is a fact.

2. It failed and I sent it in for a repair.

Uptone sent me back a replacement repaired with a used board culled from a return and NOT a new one. This is in the correspondence you cite unless Alex decided to leave it out selectively as he is wont to do when it doesn’t suit his version of events.
That replacement LPS 1 failed after 2 months of use most likely because it was repaired with used parts.
Other posters on other fora have concurred that their repaired LPS 1’s also failed very soon after. That is a fact too.
This is no coincidence - it is a pattern very likely due to Uptone’s warranty repair practices.
3. Like @jc4659 , I initially considered just having it returned for repair to save money but decided against it given the costly courier fees and the unreliability of the warranty repair given my experience with the previous one and Alex’s admission that he employed used parts.

4. Unlike @jc4659 ’s case however, Alex offered me a trade in value of $185 in settlement of the remaining 1 year of warranty on the LPS 1. As such, I paid a total of $435 being $250 in cash and the $185 in credit to absolve him of the warranty. This is the price for a brand new LPS 1.2 - no more, no less.

As I would not be receiving any further assistance with the soon-after-replacement-now-faulty LPS 1, I disposed of it.

Do NOT think for one moment that Alex did me any favours or went out of his way.
5. I did not just NOT like the LPS 1.2. As you can see from the posts on Computer Audiophile and WBF, the LPS 1.2 I was shipped was clearly used and/or damaged.
6. I had paid a total of $435 for a brand new LPS 1.2 but clearly did not receive one. I contacted Alex straightaway and requested that he arrange for a carrier of his choice to collect the LPS 1.2 and resend me a brand new one I had paid for.
7. Alex refused and offered me a refund of the $250 if I sent the LPS 1.2 back to him at my own expense. This would put me out of pocket for the $185 in credit (for the LPS 1) plus the courier fees.
In what alternate universe does this work out as an equitable offer to me?
All I requested for was to be sent a brand new LPS 1.2 for which I had paid a total of $435 - no more, no less.
All this is patently clear in my original post and the email correspondence that Alex posted albeit somewhat unprofessionally.
These are all irrevocable facts.

That you have chosen to read it with your own slant favouring Alex and Uptone is your prerogative. But do NOT presume to judge the situation through your biased view.
As I have said all along this is my experience dealing with Alex and Uptone. Others like @jc4659 obviously received better treatment.

As such, from my experience, Alex is all marketing talk with no delivery.
There is no point in furthering the discussion with you since you are biased. We will just have to disagree.
Again...

(1) you agreed on paying $250 all in for a new LPS-1.2 in exchange for voiding any warranty claims / work on your your broken LPS-1. No?

(2) Yet, when you were offered a full refund for your LPS-1.2 (you were to only pay shipping back to him), this is what you asked:

-----
On Oct 28, 2019, at 8:37 AM, Yeong Aun Cheah wrote:
Dear Alex

You have shown yourself and Uptone to be a manufacturer who produces shoddy product who further refuses to be responsible for said product it has shipped.

Please make arrangements for FedEx to collect the UltraCap LPS 1.2 from me for return back to you at your expense.

I will gladly return it.

Also, in lieu of the warranty value you have imputed to the faulty UltraCap 1 which is still under warranty, please make payment of US$185 to me.

Sincerely
------
So you instead of just shipping the LPS-1.2 back for full refund, you want him to "make arrangements for FedEx to collect the LPS-1.2"? Then, you still ask for the $185 money for the LPS-1, to which you already agreed to void any warranty claims before?

Finally, come on... I understand "gaming the system" stuff, but this goes way too far. Let's be real
You are the one that needs to be real.
I am NOT gaming anything.
Do the math yourself - I did not pay just $250. I paid $435 for a brand new LPS 1.2 with the $185 being an imputed credit to void the warranty if I were to have received a brand new LPS 1.2.
The total consideration is $435 and NOT $250 for a brand new LPS 1.2.
So since Uptone reneged on the contract by shipping me a used LPS 1.2, they will need to refund me a total of $435, since the warranty on the LPS 1 is no longer void but reinstated with the value of $185 that Alex quoted himself.

It is basic contract law.
Based on your terminology, it is Alex who is gaming the system to get out of a warranty he doesn’t wish to honour.
All I expected was what was promised to me - a brand new LPS 1.2 and that was certainly NOT delivered.
Case closed

So we offered to refund his $250 if he would send it back. Instead he chose to open a dispute with his credit card company. So now we have lost another $250
So, you still feel abused, despite getting the unit essentially for free.

Thanks for posting, I have great respect for UPtone now.
Bob
"So although he has never purchased anything directly from UpTone, we of course still honor our generous 3-year transferrable warranty and treated him with respect throughout more than a dozen e-mail exchanges."
Is that supposed to be a honorable thing? Not treating someone who is asking for coverage under previously advertised warranty like garbage. One would think it goes without saying.

At the same time, and I am like jetter with no dog in this fight, it came accross as buying used item is not a desirable in company's view and people who do it are somehow lower class. I know, it was not written that way, but it has that ring to it.
I have no dog in this either but the way this looks is the customer bought  a used LPS 1 still under warranty which the company tried to fix with a used part that ended up not working so in lieu of trying to fix it again he was offered $185 credit on the old unit toward a new LPS 1.2 plus $250 ending any warranty on the old unit. Instead the company sends a used LPS 1.2 not a new one and customer says no wait a minute I bought a new one so no deal. In this case the customer should return the LPS 1.2 and receive  either $435 or $ 250 and a working LPS 1. 
I’m thinking mikey8811’s story is slightly more believable, at this point, although in the end it seems Alex was the one harmed.

So he bought a used LPS1. Alex at Uptone Audio seems to focus on this, but it really doesn’t matter what mikey8811 paid, or if he got it free, it still had two years warranty. He sends it back, paying the shipping, and is without the unit for this time. He then receives back an LPS1, that is supposed to be repaired, but I agree, it really wasn’t. Just installing a used board from a product somebody else sent in isn’t "repairing," it is "substituting" somebody else’s problem over to you. Especially as Alex says it is imperative to use the specified power adapter, which we don’t know was used with the unit the substituted board came out of. As evidence of this questionable practice, upon receiving the LPS1 back, it then quickly dies. And it is still under warranty.

This is where it is interesting. mikey8811 is now at the same point, a non-working LPS1, but he’s out for the shipping cost.

The price for a new LPS1.2 is $435. So, and this is important, Alex of Uptone Audio says he’ll send a brand new LPS1.2, mikey8811 can keep the non-working LPS1, but he will also pay $250. It is my understanding that Alex did indeed send a new LPS1.2 unit.

Now, mikey8811 is not "all in" for $250. He’s essentially at $435. The warranty wasn’t "void" as thyname stated. He had an LPS1 that should have been fixed properly for no charge, and really mikey8811 shouldn’t have had to pay the second shipping charges for the clearly defective LPS1 that he was sent. The value of that unit was put at $185 by mikey8811 agreeing to this new deal that Alex offered.

At this point, mikey8811’s actions do become a bit questionable though.

OK, the torx screw complaint is very technical, and Alex does seem to be willing to take care of this. Saying "I don’t have a torx screwdriver" is fairly ridiculous, they are common enough that is should be possible to just borrow one from somebody if you don’t want to spend the small amount to purchase one. "I am not technically inclined" has to be pretty complete if a person can’t unscrew an old screw and screw a new one in.

However, ultimately I’d decide in mikey8811’s favor, based on the advice from Alex to put some electrical tape inside to stop the board from rattling. That does not inspire confidence.

So at this point mikey8811 deserves his investment back. That is $435, as previously agreed in the deal offered by Alex. But mikey8811 instead gets $250 back by disputing the charges with his credit card company and still has the unit. So he didn’t get the unit for free, it is worse than that. Now Alex has been swindled out of $65, which is the difference of the $185 to the agreed price of the unit at $250.

It would be fair for mikey8811 to keep the LPS1.2 and pay the $65 difference. Otherwise Alex should agree to refund the other $185 for the warranty he didn’t have to honor, which was the deal he offered, but mikey8811 should then return the LPS1.2. I’d be interested to hear what ultimately happens.


When running a business one needs to factor in these situations . After selling 20,000 used compact discs you learn some times crap like this is going to happen . 1 out of 500 transactions is about what I experienced selling used cd's where I had to just bite my lip and just refund customers when they thought I did not describe the condition accurately . 
Had Uptone just pleased this customer this type of global red flag on their company never would have happened . I slightly side on the ops point of view . 
No @the Treble with tribles , the warranty on the old LPS-1 was void when the OP agreed to pay $250 for the new LPS-1.2 in lieu of any warranty claims / work on the LPS-1. You did not read the entire email exchange. It was explicitly stated so on UpTone’s email, to which the OP explicitly agreed to.

And then for some reason the OP disposed of the LPS-1 (??!) and still asks for the money back on it. And then, the LPS-1.2 is somehow on a new box, but not new, at which point it becomes “he said / she said”, as we would never know.


I’ve had nothing but excellent service and support from Uptone and Alex over the past 4 years. I’ve got several amber Regens (all of which have worked perfectly and improve data integrity/SQ) and an LPS1.2 powering my DAC’s USB ethernet receiver.. which was a huge step up in reliability over a Corning optical USB cable. Certainly, the LPS 1.2 is the way to go, being more flexible, more robust, and having several design improvements over the original LPS1 (which was a brilliant product), but it was a first gen product which has been improved on.

I just wanted to put out a good word for Alex and Uptone (based on my experience).
@thyname you just don’t understand contract law. If the amount were large enough, I would have sued Uptone. In which case, I hope you would be his counsel. Either way legally, it is a clear cut case.
@the_treble_with_tribbles , all I ever asked for was a new LPS 1.2 that was properly assembled and for Uptone to cover the return shipping fees on the used one they sent. I would have thought that was a reasonable request since we had agreed on that.
@gdnrbob I have not received my money from the chargeback. It does not look like I will. That is why I advised buyers to use Paypal and American Express and not another credit card like I had.

Like I said, there isn’t any upside for me here. I will end up with a used LPS 1.2 for which I paid $435. That was Uptone’s intention after all. Uptone will certainly not honour the warranty on it. But that it no big loss given my experience with their dubious warranty service that others also seem to have experienced.
Post removed 
I just looked at most of these posts. There’s a bunch of folks that have way too much time on their hands. To the OP maybe you should just buy new, you must  “not value your time much since you’ve wasted so much of it. To try and save a few bucks 
Statistically, my worst buyers are from Asian 3rd world countries--i speak not to @mikey8811  experience but to the risk of seller to those people within the countries. 

Most of my buyers have a level of reasonableness over a product. A new or used product should arrive in the condition as the seller describes, but on occasion, an issue mat be found with the product that may affect the user experience by a mere 1%, but in these countries, the buyer will demand that 1% be fixed albeit the cost to the seller might be substantially higher than 1%. The buyer has the right to make that request, but this results in the seller being highly penalized for an issue that has no materially impact on the buyer, but the buyer insists. I think the consideration for the seller is highly discounted, and we really should all be looking to have a mutually beneficial transaction. 

I know the situation above is much different than my scenario, perhaps as a whole, but sellers need to simply take big caution with some buyers, and hedge against those transactions.
Who ultimately is in the right here, buyer (OP) or seller?
Case in point: @mikey8811  seems to have spent an absurd number of hours informing the public of his relatively unique situation with Alex, and now I am sure he is causing an exponentially more costly problem to Alex. @mikey8811  thinks he is owed some money so he is willing to spend equally or more money of his time to inform the public, and time out of money from Alex and the possible affect to his business.

Next time you feel you are owed, you just need to leave a bad review or post a comment, and I bet if you started a GoFundMe, you'd get your money back faster than the cost you are spending to yourself and all 
"Statistically, my worst buyers are from Asian 3rd world countries.............but sellers need to simply take big caution with some buyers, and hedge against those transactions.’
Not knowing much about actual numbers and marketing approaches, but I was under the impression that Asia is a thriving audio market when compared to other continents.

Is it really not worth taking a risk selling there just because some buyer may want to get what they paid for under the terms they paid for it?
@glupson  

Is it really not worth taking a risk selling there just because some buyer may want to get what they paid for under the terms they paid for it?

I think the NBA has already vetted this calculus ;-)
Wow 3200 views on this thread.....how is this affecting Uptone? All over a $250 sale!
.....how is this affecting Uptone?
Live and learn.