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Thread: Big Ear or Big Ripoff?

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  1. #1

    Angry Big Ear or Big Ripoff?

    I returned my Big Ear in ear speakers that are used for MP3 and Bike-to-Bike communications because the left speaker quit working. These were purchased at the 2009 rally in Johnson City, TN and received in September of that year. They were returned to Big Ear last month with the non-functioning left speaker.

    Because the timing of the return was right at a year, I assumed that this would be warranty work. What Big Ear is saying is that "It was a impacted ear wax problem. Not the big globy earwax[,] the micro fine ear wax". So they want $80 to fix the devices. I have worn the same pair of hearing aids for 10 years, and have never had an issue, even with "micro fine ear wax."

    Has anyone else had this type of issue with their in-ear speaker system? I am hesitant to accuse Big Ear of ripping me off because I have never heard of "micro fine ear wax", but they do exclude ear wax, and so presumably this includes even the "micro fine" variety from their warranty.

    I would appreciate any thoughts on this topic. I am at a loss as to how to respond to Big Ear, whether to say goodbye to a $350 pair of ear buds that have worked reasonably well, or to pay the $80 without their providing some kind of proof that this is what the problem was.

    Best Regards


  2. #2
    Take a toothpick used or not used and clean out those little tiny holes that the sound comes out of. It wouldn't take to much gunk to start muffling the sound. I've been there, it does happen.

    I think 'micro fine ear wax' was a nice way of them saying your speaker buds are clogged with wax.

    There's got to be bud's that are $300 cheaper that do the same thing. Are these just regular headphone earbuds?

  3. #3
    RK Ryder
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    London, Ontario
    They're still in business? I thought that they had gone under. I tried contacting them throughout July and August and only got directed to a website. I'll call them tomorrow. I think that I am on my third set from them since Johnson City. My plugs are still way too noisy to enjoy the ride. I have been very disappointed with their service and product.

    If I were you, I'd push to have this repair done as a goodwill customer service.
    Retired and riding my RTs, the '87 K100 & the '98 R1100 !
    Niagara Riders #298 & Knights of the Roundel #333

  4. #4

    Ear Plug Maintenance

    I treat the devices just like I do the hearing aids, the same pair I have had for 10 years. Never heard of a "micro fine wax" issue. Google doesn't seem to be able to identify this stuff, either.

    The sound canals are maintained clean and clear of wax, because as pointed out above, wax can and will fill the canal and muffle the sound. There was no wax in the canal when the device was returned, and the device wasn't working.

    Sound reduction, as also noted above, is not as advertised, but not bad either. Volume does need to be increased with speed, though usually not until about 70 mph.

  5. #5

    Goodwill Recommendation


    Appreciate the thought on the goodwill basis. Any ideas on how to motivate Big Ear to do this? I sent them a copy of the post, and asked for their reply, but they haven't responded, thus the post. Recommendation on motivating this outfit would be appreciated.

  6. #6
    Better Business Bureau.

    I've had to use them before and they got the company I was dealing with to reply me in no time.

  7. #7
    Registered User nytrashman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    westchester co. NY
    found this on ADV, maybe try contacting him and see if he can help you

  8. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Eastern KY
    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.

  9. #9


    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.

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