WORST Experience Ever in Dealing With Woodbridge Stereo NJ

WORST STEREO EXPERIENCE OF MY LIFE!  I have been buying and selling high end hifi equipment since I was 16, about 15 years now.  This shop is dishonest, very poor with communication and abandons its customers.  Ill make the story as short as possible.  I bought a pair of Dali Ikon 8 speakers from these guys via Audiogon (8/10 condition).  They came damaged.  I paid extra for the speakers to be shipped by Fedex and they were shipped by UPS.        Once the speakers arrived damaged, they basically told me I am on my own and to file a claim with UPS and that when they had the speakers back in their hands, which they have had no for almost a week, that I would be refunded.  The store owner Tom, refuses to call me back and three guys point fingers at each other for who is responsible for getting me my money back.  Only after dispute through paypal, Audigon and my credit card company do they now want to refund me my money.  They are holding my money hoping they will get refunded via UPS for damaged speakers that clearly were packed well and some genius left the binding post jumpers and grilles in place, which were of course destroyed.  So rather than refund the customer his money, Woodbridge Stereo believes it is better to leave the customer stranded and keep their money for as long as possible regardless of original agreement to refund upon receiving the speakers.  OF course after received my money, store owner Tom refuses to call me back after leaving 5 messages via voicemail and operator who promised to have him call me.  I am sure he will probably contact me now.  PLEASE, STAY AWAY FROM THIS STORE!!!! TAKE MY REVIEW SERIOUSLY.  I have 100% feedback on all websites I used and have a total of over 1000 100% feedback score reviews combined.  I have NEVER been left negative feedback,  These guys have an 85% score on Audigon.  You have been warned.

Thx for heads up; not good



IMO, the store screwed up the delivery badly by chintzing it with UPS instead of using FEDEX as you expressly requested.

IF YOU HAVE THE CORRESPONDENCE along with proof for extra payment, then leverage thatmaterial omission in your claim against the store for a refund now, and let them duke it out with UPS 
Very unusual, I always have had very good dealings with Tom and Woodbridge. There may be more to the story than meets the eye, but if the basic facts are that the goods were damaged in transit and returned to them so they could pursue the UPS claim, I would expect that Woodbridge would refund the money paid.  How long has it been since they received the damaged speakers?
Thank You for sharing- chris_michael.

It is imperative to post both positive & negative experiences when dealing w/ these dealers/retailers.  There is no excuse/exception for poor Customer Service.  Manufacturers fit into this discussion as well.

Keep us posted on your situation and resolution.
Thanks for sharing your experience. It is the shipper that files a damage claim with UPS, not the receiver.  It would appear they just pushed that back on you so they didn't have to deal with it.

There are SO many shops and online dealers that bend over backwards to take care of their customers. They deserve our business, and dealers that operate like Woodbridge need to either wake up or find some other vocation.
Thanks for the heads-up.  Sounds like the transaction was a little bit of a gamble based on their rating.  No excuse however - good luck, hope you get it resolved.
Yes, thank you for the warning!

OP Question...  What does this statement mean from your original post?
" They are holding my money hoping they will get refunded via UPS for damaged speakers that clearly were packed well and some genius left the binding post jumpers and grilles in place, which were of course destroyed."
Well at least you have a chance to get you money back Ryan Scott at Vapor Audio took my clients money on a 17000 transaction. Never made or delivered the speakers and in 2 1/2 years of excuses has only refunded half of the money. What a shame it's a big hustle out here!
+1 @jafant   Totally agree that we should recognize and celebrate those dealers/manufacturers who go out of their way to satisfy the needs of their customers, providing a positive buying experience.

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Shameful, indeed- calvinj
Thank You- hifiman5
Once upon a time this was a great store.....I remember a guy named Igor who was very knowledgeable and helpful.  Too bad about this place.  There was my favorite store called HiFi Haven in New Brunswick when  I was going to school at Rutgers.  This place was more like a social audio club ,,,,many good times there.  If the saleman "Jerry" is on this site...let himself be known.
Wow.  Someone should alert Woodbridge about this thread and let them respond here.   These are very serious accusations and while I have no doubt about Chris' experience, it would be interesting and proper to hear the store owner defend himself.  

Thank you for the post. 
Once upon a time this was a great store.....I remember a guy named Igor who was very knowledgeable and helpful. Too bad about this place ...  This place was more like a social audio club ,,,,many good times there.
I had the same experience. In its heyday, this place was like the bar in "Cheers." Everyone knew your name, and there were a lot of characters there. Igor was a great guy who, sadly, died just last year. The store once had an expert full-time, fully-staffed service department. It was run by "Little Mark" and when Woodbridge bought out the old Purdue Radio Co., its tech Ray came with the deal. If you needed an amp repaired, a tuner aligned or a tape deck set up, Woodbridge could do that for you.

I had nothing but excellent experience with the store, and mainly stopped doing business there because they abandoned the Audio Research line.

I know Tom to be an honest, straightforward guy. While it's true I haven't spoken with him or been in the store in years, I'm a little dubious about the claims made by the OP. There are two sides to every story. There's obviously something amiss here, but it isn't clear to me what it is exactly. I hope someone from Woodbridge chimes into this thread with their version of events.

Very sad story! Just another example of why "cash and carry" is the best method. I know it's not always possible, and most long-distance purchases involving shipping turn out fine, but I'll bet Chris Michael wishes he had picked up his speakers personally. 
bcowen is correct, it's the person who ships either UPS or FedEx that MUST initiate the claim, not the receiver. Once a claim is received then the shipper contacts the receiver and will come-out to see the package and verify if there's a claim that can be made. A dealer like Woodbridge would know this and for them to try any other way tells a lot about them.
Years ago after sending my Vandersteen Model 3s to California for upgrading, a UPS fork lift operator gashed through the carton, damaging the speaker.  I received a courtesy call from Vandersteen to inform me of the damage.  They had already filed a damage claim with UPS who ended up paying Vandy to fix the speaker.  When I received the upgraded speakers, Vandersteen included a receipt from the UPS transaction for my records.  That, ladies and gentlemen, is how it should be done!

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UPS you can only use for products such as golf or baseball balls, bowling balls, dumbbells, tires and steel pipes.
Other than that probability of destruction is far beyond 50% and close to 100%.
Hopefully you did not pay with wire transfer and all you have to do is charge back. No phone calls or working on UPS claim necessary. Once you're money back, they can initiate claim.
If you paid with paypal, request return label, ship and than you'll get your money back.


"UPS you can only use for products such as golf or baseball balls, bowling balls, dumbbells, tires and steel pipes.Other than that probability of destruction is far beyond 50% and close to 100%."

Hyperbole!! I just received my Modwright Truth CD player and separate carton for 9.0 power supply. UPS transported them 3000 miles and both were received in great condition.
hifiman5, it's good to have great luck
i only remember few components arrived not damaged via UPS.
my count is 90% range of damaged electronics even in double box.
Some of them had been pierced by some pipe, some of them cracked glass... Vast majority of them is from dropping and insecure loading.

Not to get off target, but I would be interested to know if as czarivey says that I have just had "great luck" or if he is "snake-bit" as regards results with UPS.  Please share your experiences with "big brown".
I would say about 90% good experience with either UPS or Fedex Ground overall, but the % drops significantly as the weight of the item or its fragility go up.  Most important point is to remember that both shippers use highly automated, high speed, multi-level conveyor belt systems to sort packages and direct them to the right truck.  The items should be packed with the idea that it could be dropped 6 feet onto concrete!!!  Which does happen.  I received an EMC-1UP with the 1/4" steel shipping bolt securing the CD sled bent at a 45 degree angle one way and then 45 degrees back the other way.  In that case, it was shipped from manufacturer in new packing and UPS paid.  In other cases they have not.  Worst claim experience was with Bax Global who hired a subcontractor who destroyed a SOTA table bolted to the factory shipping board and then bailed on the claim because they said they received it 1 day too late (31 days instead of 30).  Of course, they were 4 days late delivering the table but that didn't count. 
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to date, I have 100% positive experiences w/ FedEx, UPS & USPS.
Like so many other factors in life, I would like to think that these employees are more professional in my area, compared to our parts of the Nation.
Thanks! for sharing your story- swampwalker.
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My experience with both FedEx and UPS is in the 90% plus success rate. I agree with Swampwalker that the majority of those issues are with the larger, heavier items. Neither UPS nor FedEx has been better the other at avoiding damage IME.
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As others have stated, I personally have had no better or worse between UPS, Fedex, and USPS - also with any problem being in proportion to the weight of the package. I have never dealt with Woodbridge, so tried Googling the name and noticed the OP also posted on Yelp. It is the only Yelp review of Woodbridge.

It appears Woodbridge responded to the Yelp post, but rather than addressing the complaint, they just touted their customer service history and accolades. I would consider the tactic to be diversionary, as if they did have a practical / legitimate reason for the problem, they would have addressed it directly. Their response is like reading brochure.
I’ve had UPS destroy a brand new Motorcycle Helmet and not just any old helmet but a brand new $700.00 Arai RX7 Corsair. They hit it so hard they fractured about 10 inches of the Carbon Composite Shell.. Then they tried to deny my claim saying it wasn’t packaged properly.. Really, double factory boxes .. Please.. I had to make a special trip to their inspection headquarters and get rude before they’s cut me a check.. UPS SUCKS
When Fedex delivered my $800 sliding compound miter saw (about 60 lbs), there was a hole ripped into one side of the box and it was obviously retaped - and a poor job to boot.  Yes, it was factory packaging from a very reliable and reputable seller, so i have no doubt it was Fedex's doing.

Luckily being a great etailer they sent a replacement right away - even before I was able to return the damaged one, which they arranged to be picked up.  I have had similar problems with UPS and USPS as well.  The bottom line on all 3, though, is that MOST packages get through fine, so the difference will really come down to how any problem is handled by the seller/vendor.

As the receiver, your main line of defense is to refuse the package because of obvious damage, but many times it's not possible either because you're not home or there's no spec from the seller that a sig is required, etc. so they just leave the package at your door in whatever condition it's in and hope you'll just take it.

Even if you refuse the package, a satisfactory resolution will still depend on how the seller/vendor handles the situation from their end.  Yes, you may likely get your money back from PayPal/credit card/et al., with proper documentation, but if you have to go that route, it can be a long, drawn out process.
My experience with all these carriers over the last 20 years has been hit and miss with Fed Ex seeming to deliver an above average % of undamaged equipment.  Freight is always a safe bet , I've most please with that shipment type.  Strapped to a pallet is tough to beat, although I've seen my share of tore up boxes there too.

I drove for UPS many years ago and have to say packages could get man handled on the belt or in loading for sure.  For my part of that trip if it was heavy and marked fragile all over it, I assumed it was and I delivered it like a newborn baby.  I'm OCD so wasnt an issue for me...  :o) 
Feedback is there for a reason. Why would you ever deal with a company with 85% positive feedback? A good deal means more than just a good price.
I live in Philly and delight in having everything shipped to my home rather than schlepping to the store to get it.  Therefore I have had thousands of of deliveries, many of which have been breakables.  I do not see (here)  a difference between UPS and FedEx (ground), in either damage or loss.  
That said, neither seem to observe "this side up" or "fragile" warnings.  If package show damage, I only open with video running or at least photos.  I try to avoid busy times, like Christmas, when inattention and rushing are likely to be higher.  I try to buy from sources closer to me, to avoid truck transfers where damages are more likely to occur.   And, I am aware that the final leg deliverer may be more or less competent than others.
I have experience with UPS, Fed Ex and Woodbridge Stereo / Video.
I've had much better experience with Fed Ex than UPS, fortunately Fed Ex hasn't damaged a package of mine yet. I've received multiple damaged packages from UPS - including a severely dented motorcycle gas tank, damaged Snell speakers and a damaged Meridian 861 processor (both of which were very well packaged). UPS's claim process has changed over the years, going from an inspector visiting our home (for the set of Snell speakers) to me having to submit documentation and the item being returned to UPS for inspection. It has been my experience that the UPS claim process is now configured to avoid reimbursement for damage claims whenever possible.
It is the shipper who must file the claim, unless a release is provided to the UPS to allow UPS to deal directly with the receiver (which I arranged for the Meridian 861 processor).
Woodbridge Stereo / Video:
I've purchased from Woodbridge Stereo / Video when it was formally Woodbridge Stereo, when owned by Mark C and had employees Tom A, Igor, Mark F, and Craig. I've also used their technical services when I had a Nak Dragon cassette deck. I've only stopped patronizing them because they've migrated from while I've migrated to the sharp edge of high end equipment.
On a side note - I was very sad to hear of Igor's passing. I vividly remember his love for Ducati motorcycles and music. I don't think I'll ever forget one of his expressions (sorry I can't share it on this forum),
My experiences have ALWAYS been very positive with the store and their staff.
I now belong to an audiophile club which Tom A is a member and when I attend meetings (which unfortunately is way too infrequent) I occasionally get to see him. I will say that Tom A is VERY knowledgeable, and I learn / learned much from him. This isn't to say that I always agree with Tom A but in my experience, he is an educated insightful business man with a keen intellect and has always conducted himself as such. I have NEVER experienced or have been aware of Woodbridge Stereo / Video or any staff member conducting themselves unprofessionally.
I would be remiss if I didn't say Tom A has the ability to set up systems like no one else I've met (in almost 30 years). The systems Tom A has set up sound better then ANYTHING I've ever heard. I've been to many shows, showrooms and homes and listened to many systems (I'm old) and the systems that Tom A set up have sound AMAZING! The guy is talented. These systems included equipment from Wilson, Martin Login, Infinity, Audio Research, Pass, Meridian, Esoteric, Classe, MIT, Audio-Quest, Rel - which immediately come to mind (there was many more I'm sure I'm leaving out). I'll always remember the sub-woofer demonstration he did for me, read Rob Harley's (of The Absolute Sound) JBL sub-woofer review with his reference system to get an idea of what one properly set up can do. Still, if you haven't experienced it - you have no idea - literally! Anyway, Tom A's set ups must be experienced to be believed - he is a gifted individual.
My name is Thomas Foti and I have no financial or undisclosed affiliations with Woodbridge Stereo / Video or any of the personal associated with the store. I was a customer of theirs for many years until they moved away from (as I moved more towards) very high end equipment. I'm an engineer by education and profession and I'm extremely critical when investing in equipment.
... I am in a battle now with a manufacturer who evaluated and  brought up to spec a pair of used speakers I bought from an individual in Canada. I paid in advance for everything including insurance; the Mfg. chose the shipper (UPS) and one of the speakers arrived damaged. Since then - it has been nothing but heartache. The speaker was returned to Canada and hey had held my speaker hostage for over 6 months wit the belief that they were "negotiating" with UPS to repair the speaker. I now that I have it back (I directed them to send the speaker back to me, not repaired, because in my estimation, they were asking far too much to repair it, and UPS refused to pay the amount they asked for) - now they refuse to release the negotiated refund (changing from US Dollars which I paid in an International Money Order, to a reduced amount in Canadian Dollars). FYI: I had the speaker evaluated and the crossover repaired by a competant local audiophile shop (the crossover "shook loose" and was damaged) for less than 1/2 the amount the Mfg. was asking UPS for...  
I believe that I should be receiving from the Mfg. the settlement $$$ from UPS (less their time and expense to settle this for me?, and  less OF COURSE for a new shipping box for the transport of the speaker to me) - but the Mfg. will no longer converse or email with me, infact they say they will not even figure out how much they think they should refund to me (after all their time and effort) unless I send them a paper saying I will not bad mouth them...
Obviously this company/individual does not understand nor believe in the concept of Customer Service - but can they literally steal my money from me by such a demand?
While the situation, and their attitude in dealing with it iis unconscionable - I believe they are still responsible to honestly finish dealing with me, without such a demand. 
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I just reread the post and caught the "85% score on Audiogon." Seriously, 85% score and yet you chose to do business with Woodbridge Stereo? I never buy anything, from anyone, with less than 100% feedback. I may be overcautious but I have never had a bad experience here on Audiogon. I know that even good sellers can have a few bad experiences with buyers, I just choose not to do business with them.
To date, I have only had positive experiences with UPS & Fedex.  As for USPS, I shipped a pair of relatively light in-wall speakers just one State away.  Instead of two-day delivery, they ended up going up and down the East Coast for 10 days before ultimately arriving at the correct destination.  Since the buyer was a professional CEDIA-certified audio installer he, of course, took it on the chin and had to deal with an angry homeowner-customer.  To remedy the situation, he bought another pair of speakers at full price and had to pay for Fedex overnite to keep his customer happy.  On the plus side, the speakers I sold him arrived in fine shape and the installer was able to use them on another job!  USPS -- never again!
I have also had generally positive experiences with UPS and FedEx, and have bought and shipped heavy amps and preamps without encountering too many problems.  That being said, when I did have problems with damage or lost shipments, UPS and the shipper tended to play "hot potato" with taking responsibility.  This game always leaves the customer waiting for a resolution and a refund, feeling frustrated.  Not a great system for customer service!  (Stopping a credit card payment may get someone's attention .) 
UPS vs FedEX. I will tell you my experience with heavy audio equipment transported to my home by both businesses. I ordered a 15 in subwoofer from HSU, California to Oklahoma. I gave the official plat address to my residence.  I have lived here for over 15 years and have received numerous packages in the past. It was shipped by Fed EX. It was tracked so I knew what day it was supposed to be delivered. I took off work to be at home during this day. It was to be delivered during “normal” working hours. After 6PM, I called Fedx to inquire what was the normal working hours. They said it had been attempted to be delivered and no one was home. This was a flat out lie. The door bell was operable; I checked. No notice was left and no door bell was rung nor knock on door. This scenario repeated itself for 2 more days. After calling every day and inquiring where it was, they said that it would be returned to sender. I raised holy hell and finally got the truth. The driver was a sub and did not know how to find us, GPS worked fine. He had never been to my house. We are in a residential suburb of a large metropolitan city. They sent a regular driver to deliver it and every part of the box was damaged from all of the taking off and putting on the trucks and mishandling of the heavy, 85 lb, box. I refused it and sent it back to HSU. All official notifications on website tracking said “attempted to deliver, no one home”. It was never corrected to the truth about the actual inept delivery actions. HSU did not believe me even after they spoke to the Fed X reps themselves. I sent them photos of the damaged package and after 2 weeks I received my money back. However, they said that in instances in the past FED X is very difficult to get money back for shipping or damage. The paper work is endless and they always say it is not their fault.

During the same month I ordered 3 fragile, expensive and heavy audio amplifiers. 2 Pass Labs from Reno HiFi in Nevada and 1 Emotiva in Tennessee. All 3 were delivered on expected tracking date to the same address listed above and in perfect, flawless exterior condition by UPS. I told the shippers to send by UPS, not Fed X,  since Fed X were idiots and liars.

I will never have Fed X deliver anything of value to either my home or businesses in the future, if at all possible. And, of course, never ship anything by Fed X to anywhere else.
firstonetallguy brings up a very valid point regarding problem resolution and my experience mirrors his. FedEx is the worst if something goes awry during shipment/delivery. Even USPS is better (but still sorely lacking).

I have had UPS contact drivers and respond to me same day, often within hours when issues arise. FedEx has never offered nor agreed to do this, claiming that it is not possible and offered no resolution whatsoever. The last thing a customer needs when the carrier fouls up a delivery is a lack of cooperation in resolving their problem.

On a complete side note, I just purchased a used set of video color correction panels called davinci resolve from a post production facility in Tennessee. The seller was so adamant about not shipping due to breakage he is driving them here to NYC.
Here’s what they look like https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/products/davinciresolve/control

These are shipped all over the world (built in Australia) but he’s had bad k luck with US carriers when buying new and went though 3 sets before getting one non smashed.
I live in jersey ao thx for the heads up.
I've started to ship, and receive, heavier and more expensive gear via a freight carrier. 

The item ships strapped to its own dedicated pallet and, in my experience, arrives in perfect condition. The cost is roughly double, but you get what you pay for.