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Thread: Big Ear or Big Ripoff?

  1. #16
    Yarddog
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ted View Post
    Commitment?

    I can understand your being angry about the customer service, but I cannot understand your feeling ripped off. Big Ear sold a product with a 1-year warranty and the product failed outside that 1-year warranty. They have no commitment to fix the product for free under an expired warranty. It would be nice of them to do it, and some places would, and it sure seems like they could use some help in the customer service department, but they are under no obligation to do it - and filing a complaint with the BBB because they wouldn't fix something out of warranty for free is a dishonest abuse of the system.

    It is too bad the product failed just out of the (short in my opinion) warranty period and people buying these things would be smart to take a lesson from your experiences and more seriously consider the warranty period when buying custom audio plugs.
    Exactly so, even by the OP's admission...a warranty period is a warranty period, so why the cryin'?

  2. #17
    GREGFUESS
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    Dissatisfaction

    Quote Originally Posted by Yarddog View Post
    Exactly so, even by the OP's admission...a warranty period is a warranty period, so why the cryin'?
    The reasons for feeling ripped off is that the Big Ear CEO, who apparently handles these types of things (to his credit, though maybe to thwart warranty issues also) has lied about several issues in handling this repair request.

    1) He stated that he would handle the repair under warranty, except that the failure was due to "micro fine ear wax". He then backed off that promised when confronted with the fact that there is no such thing as ear wax.

    2) He attempted to deceive with the promise of honoring his warranty, by making up a condition unknown to my audiologist. With a masters degree in audiology and over 10 years experience with hearing aids, she has never heard of micro fine ear wax. She implied that wax wouldn't damage a hearing aid that fast. My hearing aid has received the same care as the Big Ear, and they are 10 years old.

    3) While he received the ear buds ~3 weeks after the warranty period expired, they stopped working nearer the warranty expiration date, but they couldn't be returned because we were traveling.

    4) My impression from the way I was treated was that this could easily become an $80 annual cost, with the purchase price of $350 being just the down payment, based on the abusive and insulting way in which Glen Hood communicated with me while coming to him with a problem regarding his product.

    So what am I complaining about? A review of the above should speak for itself.

    Greg

  3. #18
    GREGFUESS
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    Bbb

    Big Ear extended its warranty by stating that it would honor their original warranty except that the problem was ear wax. There was no ear wax in the device, and subsequently the "micro fine ear wax" was discovered to be a hoax.

    So the complaint to the BBB is valid and justified. When a company, Big Ear in this case, is dishonest, and then invents problems to avoid honoring their promises.

    For example, Glen Hood stated that the device was at his laboratory for repair. When I asked what laboratory he used, he was evasive and responded that he used three, requiring another email to ask the name and location of the laboratory that has my device, so that I can ask about the damage.

    Mr Hood refused to allow communication with the laboratory. These devices are not rocket science, it is a speaker in an ear mold. Speaking to the laboratory to find out what the issue is is a reasonable request. Being refused the opportunity to speak to the technician raises all kinds of integrity issues about the condition of the device, considering the previous claims of "micro fine ear wax".

    The treatment dealt out by Big Ear constitutes a valid claim within the BBB system. I am open to changing my mind, but haven't heard a basis for change yet.

  4. #19
    Rally Rat nytrashman's Avatar
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    big ear has certainly shown they don't care about customer service (kind of reminds me of BMW) and are only concerned about the sale, not what happens after the sale. i think if it were me i would pay the $80.00 and have them repaired, provided you were 100% happy with the product to begin with, and then if they fail again within a year trash them and look elsewhere for a product from a company that understands the meaning of customer service. i know this doesn't help you much and i'm sorry but it's all the advise i have to offer.

  5. #20
    GREGFUESS
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    Quote Originally Posted by nytrashman View Post
    big ear has certainly shown they don't care about customer service (kind of reminds me of BMW) and are only concerned about the sale, not what happens after the sale. i think if it were me i would pay the $80.00 and have them repaired, provided you were 100% happy with the product to begin with, and then if they fail again within a year trash them and look elsewhere for a product from a company that understands the meaning of customer service. i know this doesn't help you much and i'm sorry but it's all the advise i have to offer.
    Appreciate the thoughts, NYTrashman. I considered sending the payment to get the thing back in working order, this was my first inclination. But then it occurred to me that since it is out of warranty, why not let some other outfit mess with it. Obviously Big Ear, Inc has proven the quality of their workmanship, why encourage them in their poor customer relations by paying them for what they stated they would stand behind?

    So I or someone else will get the thing going, without being extorted by Big Ear.

    BTW, reviewing their website in the reviews section, it is impossible to post a review of less than 4 stars. Makes me wonder if the reviews posted are even legitimate, since legitimate comments of a more factual nature cannot be posted.

  6. #21
    Registered User
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    Just a few random thoughts....I was looking at earphones at one of the rally's, I think it was in Johnson City, anyway I stopped by the booth of Big Ear and talked with them briefly. Just my thoughts, but I did not like their attitude, seems like they never gave a straight answer to my questions, and and acted like they were the experts on everything, and I was a fool for asking questions, and I was an idiot if I purchased anything else. I guess I should mention that I'm a salesman, so I may be a little sensitive to poor sales tactics. Well to say the least, I did not buy Big Ears. My suggestion would be to forgot about them, chalk it up to experience, and buy some earphones from Arizona Al. Al does a great job, stands behind his product, and is less money.

    Steve

  7. #22
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    Big Ear Shipping Department

    performs about like the rest of the company. Big Ear, Inc CEO Glenn Hood stated on Oct 8 that the unrepaired ear plugs would be returned to me. Several emails to Glenn Hood have not been responded to, despite his solicitous responses when he thought he was getting ~$80 for a "repair". A note was sent to the "customer service" department, and I will wait a few days to see if there is any response there.

    Anyway, three weeks later, they haven't arrived. Unfortunately, for ~$350 this is devolving into a small claims court case. The joys of caveat emptor.

    Greg on a borrowed computer.

  8. #23
    GREGFUESS
    Guest

    Ear Plugs

    Any thoughts on how to get Big Ear to return the plugs? Any recommendations appreciated.

  9. #24
    Kris G
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    I read these posts with interest as me and my husband had nothing but problems with Big Ear. The first set they sent me simply did not fit. Even though they were custom molded at one of their vendor sites the set they sent me were obviously made for someone else, they didn't fit my husband either, so who knows who they were made for. Also, this was after 3 months of waiting for them. Then when I finally got a remolded set that fit, the connector cord would cut out, and only work if I physically held it tight against the plug-in on the tank (this was on my Harley, that I had prior to my BMW). Big Ear was out of the connection piece, but kindly told me where I could go buy one like it online. That cost me $50. Finally sent a replacement six months later. So, now I was 9 months into this and still did not have a working unit. It would cause a near migraine with the cutting in and out. Left ear never did work well. Calls and emails ignored. Oh well, no more Harley, no more Big Ear. VERY satisfied with our Scala G4 com systems!

  10. #25
    Jack Herbst
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    I too have had nothing but problems with static in the left ear. I bought the ones (more money) that were supposed to be more quite. What a joke. Every ralley I have been to, including the BMWMOA in Redmond Or. I walk up to the Big Ear booth to state my problem and they say to call a different number because Big Ear has reorganized and a different company is now handling complaints/repairs????? This was also the case at the Big Ear booth at the Bavarian Mountain Bash in Sipapoo New Mexico.

    I am sure these are manufactured and repaired some where in the Orient. Hence the reason for such costly repair. Do I think this company is a ripoff. Your damn right I do.

    Jack

  11. #26
    Rally Rat nytrashman's Avatar
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    found this on ADV, maybe try contacting him and see if he can help you

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=632378

  12. #27
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    I realize this thread is about ear buds, but will interject that my experience with the BBB is , that you are wasting your time! It is an inbreed organization , funded by the people that participate and if you have reached the point of using them, having tried all the ways a reasonable person might try, then you are better served by a small claims court effort or(I hate to say this-it really pains me and is against every fiber of my existence!) but you might need a lawyer. The tendency is, that the business,acting as the "expert" in all matter pertaining to them has all the knowledge of what is the right way to serve you and that the consumers ignorant approach is just plain wrong. The experience of two separate occassions in two different cities has taught me to not waste my time with them.

  13. #28
    GREGFUESS
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    Bbb

    The BBB works, period. Several years ago, I had my house (built in 1930) insulated with the latest and greatest, cellulosic material. Attic, walls, under the crawl space, everywhere that could be insulated.

    The material curled (crowned is the word the floor guy used) the red pine floor boards. I was worried that the original floors were ruined, and took the insulator to the BBB for not warning me of this possibility after repeated assurances that they had done similar homes, and for correcting the damage they caused.

    They refused to accept the responsibility for the floors, but did refund the full cost of the insulating work, which was enough to have the floors repaired.

    Similarly, Big Ear was not budging on my devices prior to the intervention of the BBB. They were not returning the devices repaired or not repaired. They had stated that they would return the devices unrepaired, but they hadn't done so after 3 weeks. Asking after the status of the devices, they refused to respond to or acknowledge any communication from me at all.

    On the day that I reported Big Ear, Inc to the Colorado Springs, CO police department for theft, they responded to the BBB notification with a proposal to send me the repaired devices for $25. While this sounded like a ransom since they had refused to communicate with me after having promised to return them unrepaired and not doing so. But I have them back, and in 2.4 years, or sooner since they only lasted a year this time, I will try someone else.

    But the BBB (or maybe a call from the police?) came through again. They work if you keep up with them.

    But I sent the $25 to get the devices back, which I did thanks to the BBB.

  14. #29
    Registered User markgoodrich's Avatar
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    Interesting thread. I've no dog in the Big Ear fight, but can vouch for the service of Westone. Had some custom earphones made through an audiologist several years ago, twice one or the other phone has gotten clogged with ear goo. Sent 'em back to Westone, they replaced the whatsits (filters?) and sent the phones back overnight, no charge.

    Am now using a pair of Arizona Al phones. They work fine. I switched because the Westone right phone kept falling out after I bought a new helmet. Al carved out a bit of foam which freed up my ears inside the helmet...he explained that if the helmet flattens the ear, it changes the shape of the ear canal...in other words, I could have just modified the helmet foam very slightly and the Westones would not have fallen out. I had no issue with paying Al for his phones, given he solved my problem.

    I guess the point I'm trying to make is Al and Westone are both quality customer service acts.

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