Warranty...good,bad and the ugly

A few months ago I bought a Mac 402 new and had it shipped,Mac voided the warranty because of their policy on buying over the phone and having it shipped,I posted that info several months ago with lots of comments.I now see that there are several having issues with Wilson finishes and warranty stipulations..I had a Pass amp which was bought used over this site about 2 years ago,it developed an issue and even though I wasnt the original owner they still covered the warranty and even paid shipping on the repair(amp had about 6 months left on the original 3 year warranty)..Why dont all companies operate this way and just simply cover their gear from the time it was intially purchased reguardless of how many owners it has had,where it was purchased,who set it up etc etc..Seems rather silly and bad business...any ideas????
Because so few companies care about their customer base like Pass Labs does. I bought a piece of Pass Labs gear on Audiogon and I had a problem with it as well. I told Pass Labs that I bought it second hand on Audiogon. Not only was the unit OUT OF WARRENTY, they fixed it for free and shipped it back at their expense. Pass Labs sets the customer service benchmark pretty damm high. You bought a NEW McIntosh unit from a dealer and had it shipped to you and they voided the warrenty? Does not seem like something they would do. You should speak to someone higher up in the company.
McIntosh has been around a long time. They must be doing something right.

Their warranty policy is undoubtedly intended to preserve dealer territory, and discourage long distance sales.

I spent 15 minutes perusing the McIntosh website, including downloading a product manual, and nowhere could I find a Warranty policy statement.
I bought a few Mac pieces new over the years, and always thought it was -absurd- that they cover their products for all of one year. Now, I never had a problem with mine, so they are well enough made, but why not stand behind your product?
Lets try it another way..Im interested in overall opinions on gear and the warranty they have or dont have and why companies do or dont stand behind these high priced purchases ,not really on my situation with a void warranty because my amp wasnt purcashed at the store...General opinions on warranty or lack of ....
It'd be great if each company honored their warranties regardless of how or when a product was purchased, but the fact is each company has its own warranty policy based on a business decision they've made.

We can debate it, but what's the end game? Nothing is going to change as a result.

The companies with excellent and liberal product support are well documented in these threads.
Yep, they are well documented but that does not mean we cannot document that again. I was interested in a Pass amp and have no dealers in my area. I asked them if they could work through a local dealer but they said no, they would try and support their established dealers. They did offer to bend over backwards for me to arrange a demo unit, help me find a dealer and pretty much do whatever it took to make me happy. I was not only impressed by what I hear of thier customer support but this is also very impressive dealer support. I am currently looking at saving a little more and going with the xa line or VTL mono blocks when the time arrives.
I spent 25 years (years ago) in the stereo business.Mac is trying to protect their dealers by protecting their dealers profit margins.Bluntly - their aim is give you a powerful disincentive to not buy from anyone except your local dealer and also give their dealers the confidence to try and make each sale of Mac equipment profitable.
How you as a consumer feel about this says something about your retail showroom experiences over the years - maybe no one ever turned you onto a really musical piece of gear as part of the shopping experience or maybe (like a lot of folks) the pleasure of buying great sounding stuff is incomplete unless you also got the worlds cheapest price?
The problem is that brick and mortar retailers need to make a profit and more of a profit than folks who only ship stuff out and maintain no showroom facilities.
Do you like to listen before you buy? Is the experience and reputation of your local dealers of any importance to you? I also understand that it's pretty late in this game - most likely only a few major cities will be able to support a "hi-fi" shop - a lot of music oriented dealers aren't going to make it thru the current downturn.
Personally - never have owned any Mac gear. Have always respected the build quality.
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Jab, sounds like we have the same dealer. One of the local dealers here will not negotiate any on the price, even pieces that are clearly negotiated elsewhere. I won't go into their other annoyances but I've called other dealers in nearby states and they always tell me how many people call because the local dealer here is turns them off. There are two McIntosh dealers here and the shop I'm talking about was just recently added as the 2nd one. The first dealer will come off about 7% and the new one won't come off any. Fair is fair but full retail price is economic suicide on resell.
A little off the subject, but I need to get this out.

I own a Cary CD player that its disc drawer gave me problems.
Two times I had to ship it to Cary for repairs.

The player was suppose to be new (I bought it from a gent off of Audiogon)the seller had some sort of relationship with Cary, and the first repair he paid for.
The second I had to pay for.

Both times Cary charged about $500 for the repair and the repairs were only 4 months apart!
When you buy a product you are also buying the warrantee (or not) Warrantees add to the cost of a product just like parts do, the better the warrantee, the more expensive. Some companies feel that cheaper warrantees allow them to price their products to better compete in the marketplace, leaving the buyer to self insure, so to speak. Bryston doesn't give you a 20 year warrantee, it is included in the purchase price, rest assured. They feel that the extra cost associated with maintaining such a liberal warrantee is what their customers want. It is their business model. Warrantees are like tube,circuits, wire and all the other stuff that goes into making an audio product, subject to mark-up and profit like anything else. Bryston's 20 year warrantee isn't free.
Mac has always been clear about their warranty limitations. I think the pricing of used audio equipment often fails to reflect the real costs and benefits of buying something used, outside dealer channels, or with no warranty (as you did). Unless I misunderstood your post, Mac didn't refuse to support the product - which would be an unforgiveable sin, in my view, but believe it or not, some companies don't support not-the-original-retail-purchaser items at all; Mac only declined to give you a free warranty you didn't pay for (by buying the product through authorized channels, where the expense of the warranty is included in the asking price.)
this should be a matter between the shipper(seller) and the shipping company...get a refund now.
Lloydc..The closet Mac dealer was 400 miles from me..I did buy it new from an authorized dealer in November 2008..I was told that there would be no issues on warranty,"simply fill in the card and send it in" a direct statement from the McIntosh dealer on the phone as Im giving him my credit card info..Trust me,if I had a dealer anywhere near I would have gone in and listened to the product and bought it avoiding shipping ....Mac refused my warranty via a letter stating that it was not bought at a store and carried at of that same store.Their warranty does not cover any product shipped even if its through an authorized dealer which it was..I called McIntosh directly and was told thats the policy,"sorry but thats that"...My post was not to complain,already did that and Ive cost McIntosh at least 3 sales so far and still counting... So what goes around comes around...Im just curious why companies do such actions..One company I personally know of that doesnt is Pass Labs.Needless to say McIntosh will never get any money from me again and Pass Labs is my next purchase..After reading the Wilson post on bad paint and the issues that arise from getting service it made me really wonder about all this high priced gear and the lack of customer service behind it
economists would call the behavior of companies like mcintosh the exercise of market power: their brand and position is so strong that they can afford to extract as much value as they want from customers. makes perfect business sense...until they alienate their customers
Well hearing about Mcintosh's weak warranty might just keep me from buying a new piece from them... the value of buying new is lost if you are treated as second class when you have issues.

I am currently looking at Mac and Pass labs.... My disition is getting easier though.

Missioncoonery, how much did it cost to get you unit fixed?
A few years ago, I owned a 1990s vintage McIntosh amplifier that had a broken faceplate as a result of shipping. The McIntosh parts dept, was exceedingly helpful and timely in sending me a replacement (which I paid for). I thought the service was very good.
I am really glad I stumbled across this thread. I was about to buy some mac gear but will definitely avoid it. Thanks for the heads up.
The point some people are missing about warranty policies is that some gear rarely needs warranty service. How many threads are there about new McIntosh's being defective?

Personally, I believe McIntosh should cut the original poster some slack, but his real issue is with the dealer who lied to him. It would be fairer to state the dealer's name and warn people about doing business with him than it is to criticize the manufacturer who clearly states what their policy is.
Onhwy61, if McIntosh's are never defective (which is something I buy, although this does not reflect my own experience), it is really bizarre that the company behaves this way: offering a full warranty should be pretty cheap if the product doesn't break. But beyond that, I think it's appalling that they did not protect a customer from a dealer's misbehavior, no matter what their official policies say. But as I said before, some companies are so strong in terms of their brand name (McIntosh produces good audio, but more than everything else it's a "lifestyle" product) that they can get away with modest customer support.
04-16-09: Ggavetti
... no matter what their official policies say...

I spent about 15 minutes unsuccessfully searching the McIntosh website for their warranty policy.

Can anyone provide a link to the McIntosh warranty policy?
Tvad, go to any product page and look for the link "Buying Advice".

Ggavetti, of course McIntosh products probably breakdown just like other manufacturers, but it doesn't seem to be a common problem like with certain others. Their reputation for being well designed and well built seems to be deserved.

Again, Misseoncoonery should name the dealer who lied to him.
i agree, they're amazingly well built. i had bad luck with mine (ma-2275) but I bought it from audioclassics, and it was replaced immediately (but that's an audioclassics policy).

by the way of warranties, i was disappointed by Shindo. I bought a second-hand (8 month old) pre-amplifier that cost me $6000, there was a problem with the phono stage, and they told me the warranty does not extend to second-hand buyers, no matter how old the unit is. i think this is pretty bad for high-end gear, and i will definitely make sure not to buy second hand gear that does not have warranty in the future.
Guys...I think some are missing the purpose of this post..Im not bashing McIntosh,Ive already done that.Ive talked to McIntosh directly and know their warranty policies.They dont cover anything bought over the phone or internet even if its from an authroized dealer,period..They also DONT have a transferrable warranty so if bought used you have no warranty through McIntosh..Thats all behind me,nothing I can do about it...Im looking for opinions about the overall market and the warranty of gear (or lack of)...lets talk about companies that have great warranties & companies that dont..Tvad wrote that we can debate about it but nothing will change..I think if we as buyers know what companies will or wont do, we CAN make a difference... with our wallets!..We stop buying their gear and things will change..They either make warranties better or go out of business..
So we should forget sound quality, features, looks and now buy based upon warranty and repair services? If the warranty is that important, then you're saying you expect problems with the item right from the purchase date. If that's the case, then why buy it to begin with. A good warranty is a nice to have feature, but not the reason to purchase.

Missioncoonery, maybe I'm reading too much into it, but from the way you wrote the original post, you still have issues with McIntosh. One more time, who was the dealer who took you down the path? Make a difference and put him out of business!
no one's factory warranty covers damage in shipping.
Lets just forget this post..obviously im not making my post clear...
I had NEVER had a piece go bad, with the exception of a power company glitch taking out my amp, until fairly recently.
I bought a CA840c CD player and it was defective out of the box. My DEALER sent off for a new one and loaned me there DEMO for the duration. The 2nd was ALSO a no-go and we cracked the case right AT the dealer and wiggled an obviously loose edge connector back into place. Solved.
Cambridge could have cared less. When I sent them a nice note suggesting using 'shock watch' sensors (CHEAP when bought in bulk) on all single shipments I was blown off.

The 'cynic' view?
1. Some dropouts are acceptable to manufacturers.
2. Let insurance worry about the rest
3. Executive bonuses for large companies depend on profits
4. Some gifted hobbyists who go into business don't know what they are doing. no matter how good what they build sounds
5. Low production volumes are expensive to maintain.
6. If you follow Missioncoonery's thought, you'd better be willing to PAY for it. Bryston is perfect example. Using premium long MTBF components and top-notch design ain't cheap.
Roy Johnson from GMA told me a couple of years ago that the reason he changed his lifetime warranty regardless of owner was due to shipping damages. The speaker's cabinet may look perfect but the inside XO and woofers get jarred pretty good. Bryston changed their's due to some black market units...as long as you have a copy of the original receipt from an authorized dealer, you are good to go for 20 years on most of their products.

I guess I'm a little confused by Missioncoonery's reluctance to name the "dealer" who sold him a bill of goods. The only thing that comes to mind is that you are still doing business with him, or he is your brother-in-law. Seems like if that's not the case, why not expose this guy for the benefit of others?
O.P. Talk to your dealer about the warranty repair. Send the unit to them, and have them deal with Mac, problem solved.

Nelson Pass is an amazing individual. He builds great stuff, stands behind it, and offers his schematics for others to play with.
guys guys..there is no repair!!!My Mac amp is fine..I just got screwed out of my warranty..Im over that ,trust me..thats not what the original post is about..its about manufactures and their standing behind their product..not me bitchin about Mac..and no I didnt buy my amp from my bro in law,jesus
Thiel stands by and beyond their warranty.
guys, you're priceless. why isn't there a tv series, the "Audiogon Follies". you have no idea how funny this is. this thread is priceless.the dialogue is funnier than most comedy shows.

keep it going, i'am laughing so hard, i'm peeing in my pants.

04-16-09: Mrtennis
guys, you're priceless. why isn't there a tv series, the "Audiogon Follies". you have no idea how funny this is. this thread is priceless.the dialogue is funnier than most comedy shows.

keep it going, i'am laughing so hard, i'm peeing in my pants.

The warranty on your laptop won't cover for that. ;)
My recommendation is to not deal with companies that are trying to force the old economy model onto you the consumer. It is no longer a secret wholesale price world and then a big bump up to a retail price for the consumer. The consumer is in charge and can buy from all over the world. Macintosh should be avoided until they learn that their profits come from customers, not dealers. That said, my experience has been great with Krell, BAT, B&W, and Revel. I have gotten fantastic service under warranty. I find most products very reliable but when you need someone to pay attention to an issue, those companies that do so are to be rewarded. I have had some wonderful experiences with dealers but most of my dealer experiences have been negative because a customer simply doesn't buy enough from them on a regular basis. They simply forget you. If you come in a couple of years after buying and want to upgrade they act as if you have the stink on you, and the equipment they sold you is now worthless. It really is worse than car dealers. That is why Audiogon is thriving and we have these forums. Dealers are competing with each other and the customer is merely the playing pieces on the board. It is funny how bad company behavior is always part and parcel to the music business with rare exceptions.

I wanted to buy a $22K tube amp and there was no way from the manufacturer or any dealer for me to audition the amp in my home, in my system. No one would consider any arrangement whatsoever. At any price.
Explain that to me. Would I ever consider this company's products in the future? Not a chance.
Onhwy61, thanks for the tip.

However, what is stated is still not the warranty.

For the Consumer's Protection
In order to ensure the highest level of customer satisfaction,
"new" McIntosh products may only be purchased over-the-
counter or delivered and installed by an Authorized McIntosh Dealer.
McIntosh products that are purchased over the Internet, by phone or mail
order are presumed to be "used" and do not qualify for any
McIntosh Warranty. McIntosh does not warrant, in any way, products that are
purchased from anyone who is not an Authorized Dealer or products that
have had their serial number altered or defaced.

Where's McIntosh factory warranty that states the length of the warranty,
terms and conditions?

Do a Google search for "McIntosh Warranty". Nothing comes up. Why is it so
difficult to find a McIntosh Warranty statement?

I have no agenda regarding McIntosh. In fact, I respect the company and its
products, but the lack of transparency regarding their warranty policy is
From Stonedeaf:

Mac is trying to protect their dealers by protecting their dealers profit margins.Bluntly - their aim is give you a powerful disincentive to not buy from anyone except your local dealer and also give their dealers the confidence to try and make each sale of Mac equipment profitable.

While not disagreeing with your point, a lot of dealers are in fact selling thru eBay in 'violation' of this 'policy'. I've daily seen new Mac gear offered on eBay as 'open box', etc.

Let's say a Mac dealer has an Amp that sells for $3K retail brand new. Well, they're not 'moving' at that price, so they put it on eBay for $2,300. They make a smaller profit, but that's better than none from a unit collecting dust. And this was before the economies 'collapse'.
>>keep it going, i'am laughing so hard, i'm peeing in my pants.

Try Depends.
Perhaps it is because some OEM stuff produced for these companies reaches the market through the back door. While many companies do the industrial design on their products (aesthetics) many leave all the rest to an OEM including the details on where to stick their logo.

Another issue is that products with very large markups may be dealer priced differently for each overseas market (according to competition) - creating an opportunity to import from a lower priced region (an alternate back door).

Canadians have long enjoyed paying about 15% more for their vehicles than Americans despite the vehicle coming off the same assembly line. The same happens in Europe where prices differ significantly between one country and the next for the same vehicle.
Audiofeil, you aren't a Depends dealer, are you? ;-)