Denon: A Pathetic Support Story - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 25 Old 01-08-2013, 03:37 PM - Thread Starter
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So, I was all excited to upgrade my 6-yr old Marantz SR-5001 receiver to a current gen receiver capable of decoding the latest hi-res audio codecs. So I found the best deal available online and ordered a refurbished Denon AVR-3313CI, hoping to get a great movie watching experience over the holidays. The receiver arrived just after Christmas, and I proceeded to enthusiastically unpack and setup the receiver like a kid unwrapping his Christmas present. After setting up the receiver, I got a firmware update notification, and without much hesitation. To cut the long story short, after failing a couple of times, the firmware update kicked off, only to get stuck midway. Tried to call Denon support, but they were closed over the holiday break till after the New Year's. Frustratingly, I let the receiver plod away on the hopeless upgrade limbo for more than 36 hours.

Now, after I finally could talk to the Denon support on 01/02, a full four days after the receiver went into limbo, I was instructed to pull the plug and try to reset the receiver. Again, long story short, the receiver lost all video output, and I was instructed to box up the bad boy and ship out for replacement. I was promised to receive a shipping label by the next day. Two days passed, and no signs of a shipping label coming. I called up Denon again, and at 4:30PM PT, was greeted by a recorded voice on the phone that the D&M support was closed and to call back during business hours of 9AM-8PM ET. mad.gifrolleyes.gif

I called back the following day, and was told that the request to generate shipping labels was sent to one particular lady, and that she was out on vacation eek.gifrolleyes.gifmad.gif. The support requests would be processed after this "all knowing" person could get to it in due course of time. I patiently waited over the past weekend, hoping for better luck as the new week dawns. Come the new week, I patiently waited till the end of day on Monday to see if I'd be blessed with the shipping labels. No such luck., and again, at 4:30PM PT, I called Denon support, to once again be greeted with the recording that the D&M offices were closed, and to call back during their business hours of 9AM-8PM ET. rolleyes.gifmad.gifmad.gif

I called back again this morning, early in the day, hoping to catch this elusive lady and appeal to her good graces to get my shipping labels. No such luck. I was once again given the sorry excuse that the request to generate shipping labels was pending processing by this mysterious lady, and apparently nobody else in the entire company could help expedite the process. I gave them the ultimatum that if I don't hear back from the support by tomorrow morning, I would directly call Denon Corporate and report the whole sordid story with their support channel.

So, after paying good money for a supposedly reputable brand of receivers, I have had nothing but frustration so far for almost three weeks now. Looks like Denon has outsourced support to a flimsy operation (the support agent's email ended in s2g.net) that is either utterly incompetent or severely understaffed, or Denon has produced with a crap load of faulty equipment, resulting in an overwhelming number of support/replacement cases.

Easily the worst and most frustrating experience with a piece of electronics I've had so far.
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post #2 of 25 Old 01-08-2013, 04:20 PM
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I'm not sure your story would be all that much different with any other manufacturer's receiver. You might have had better luck sending it back as defective to the store you bought it from. Which is probably what you should do at this point.
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post #3 of 25 Old 01-08-2013, 05:28 PM
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Before shipping it all back, I'd try a microprocessor reset. May not help for a botched FW update but it is worth a try.

Turn off the receiver using the power button.

Hold the INFO and BACK buttons under the front panel.

Turn the receiver on using the power button WHILE holding the INFO and BACK buttons.

Release the INFO and BACK buttons when the front display starts to flash.

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post #4 of 25 Old 01-08-2013, 05:40 PM
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So, I was all excited to upgrade my 6-yr old Marantz SR-5001 receiver to a current gen receiver capable of decoding the latest hi-res audio codecs

I have a Marantz SR-4001 that I gave to my father over the holidays. It accepts hi rez audio if you let the player decode it first and send as Lossless PCM. Your Marantz SR5001 can do the same thing. I think it shows up as multichannel PCM on your receiver display.

At least you can enjoy that while waiting for your Denon to be repaired or replaced.

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post #5 of 25 Old 01-08-2013, 09:04 PM
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So you bought a refurbished Denon online, proceeded to screw up the firmware update and D&M is at fault?
Do you know for sure that you have factory warranty? And did the online store (Accessories4less?) not have offer warranty for this unit?
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post #6 of 25 Old 01-08-2013, 09:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Yup.. that's exactly what I am doing - back on the trusty old Marantz SR-5001 for now. The SR-5001 is a sweet sounding receiver, but it is getting a bit long in the tooth in its feature set. Although I can have the PS3 decode the lossless codecs, I am more interested in the network features, Audyssey and multiple HDMI ports available on the newer receivers. Together with Audyssey, hopefully my speakers will perform better.
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post #7 of 25 Old 01-08-2013, 09:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosh70 View Post

So you bought a refurbished Denon online, proceeded to screw up the firmware update and D&M is at fault?
Do you know for sure that you have factory warranty? And did the online store (Accessories4less?) not have offer warranty for this unit?

If he purchased a refurb from AC4less it comes with a 1 year mfrs warranty as they are an authorized Denon vendor.

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post #8 of 25 Old 01-08-2013, 09:28 PM
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Originally Posted by raaj View Post

Yup.. that's exactly what I am doing - back on the trusty old Marantz SR-5001 for now. The SR-5001 is a sweet sounding receiver, but it is getting a bit long in the tooth in its feature set. Although I can have the PS3 decode the lossless codecs, I am more interested in the network features, Audyssey and multiple HDMI ports available on the newer receivers. Together with Audyssey, hopefully my speakers will perform better.

Yep I get that, only 2 HDMI ports on the 5001. Your PS3 can do all the networking and streaming features for you.

No Audyssey on the SR5001 though.

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post #9 of 25 Old 01-08-2013, 09:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosh70 View Post

So you bought a refurbished Denon online, proceeded to screw up the firmware update and D&M is at fault?
Do you know for sure that you have factory warranty? And did the online store (Accessories4less?) not have offer warranty for this unit?

Boy, you've got some nerve to say it's my fault the receiver conked out in the middle of a firmware update. rolleyes.gifmad.gif I proceeded to screw up the firmware update?? Am I the one that coded the firmware, or did I feed the update from my own server? Who is the imbecile that programmed the firmware without a time-out check that rolls back firmware updates that get stuck for an inordinate amount of time?

I bought the receiver from an authorized Denon dealer (Accessories4Less), so it comes with the stated warranty. When the company sells a product, they need to stand behind it. I was even advised by the Denon support that they have TWO servers handling firmware updates for its entire US/CAN customer base, and asked me to try updates at night to make sure I can receive the best throughput. rolleyes.gif

And to top it off, D&M support has ONE and only ONE person who handles warranty replacements, and if she ever goes on vacation, there wouldn't be any other person capable of handling issues for a week?? What about their support phones shut down 30-45 mins before their stated operating hours?

If you've got nothing useful to add to the discussion, don't say anything. mad.gif
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post #10 of 25 Old 01-08-2013, 09:55 PM
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Originally Posted by raaj View Post


If you've got nothing useful to add to the discussion, don't say anything. mad.gif

What discussion? You posted your experience after buying a refurb receiver and we should all feel sorry for you?

Gimmee a break.
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post #11 of 25 Old 01-08-2013, 10:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Yosh70 View Post

What discussion? You posted your experience after buying a refurb receiver and we should all feel sorry for you?
Gimmee a break.

Feel sorry for me? My gripe and frustration is with the ridiculousness of Denon's support process. The fact that the receiver was bought refurbished should have no bearing on it, as I am just as entitled to a warranty replacement as someone who bought a new, full-priced item. I am not the lone Denon customer on this forum having problems with firmware updates - brand new or refurbished receivers alike.

If you insist on being a condescending jerk, be my guest.
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post #12 of 25 Old 01-08-2013, 10:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Ross Ridge View Post

I'm not sure your story would be all that much different with any other manufacturer's receiver. You might have had better luck sending it back as defective to the store you bought it from. Which is probably what you should do at this point.

Thanks. I bought it online from Accessories4Less, or else I would have taken it back to the store if I had bought it locally. If Denon takes too long, I might try going to A4L.
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Originally Posted by jevans64 View Post

Before shipping it all back, I'd try a microprocessor reset. May not help for a botched FW update but it is worth a try.
Turn off the receiver using the power button.
Hold the INFO and BACK buttons under the front panel.
Turn the receiver on using the power button WHILE holding the INFO and BACK buttons.
Release the INFO and BACK buttons when the front display starts to flash.

Thanks, I've tried both microprocessor reset described above, as well as the network reset, multiple times. After the firmware fiasco, the receiver rebooted fine, but has no video output, and is no longer going to the Initial Setup screen, as is expected, nor is the receiver responding to a SETUP command via the remote, or front panel button - but the receiver is controllable through the Web Controller interface. At this point, it is pretty much hosed and hopefully will be replaced soon under warranty or as a defective unit - either by Denon or A4L.
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post #13 of 25 Old 01-09-2013, 12:41 AM
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Originally Posted by raaj View Post

Thanks. I bought it online from Accessories4Less, or else I would have taken it back to the store if I had bought it locally. If Denon takes too long, I might try going to A4L.
Thanks, I've tried both microprocessor reset described above, as well as the network reset, multiple times. After the firmware fiasco, the receiver rebooted fine, but has no video output, and is no longer going to the Initial Setup screen, as is expected, nor is the receiver responding to a SETUP command via the remote, or front panel button - but the receiver is controllable through the Web Controller interface. At this point, it is pretty much hosed and hopefully will be replaced soon under warranty or as a defective unit - either by Denon or A4L.

It would probably be quicker to send it back to Accessories4less for replacement. I'm not sure how they handle their warranty though. They might want you to go through Denon. Denon's support is horrible now compared to 5 years ago. Everyone is cutting back on customer support in these bad economic times. I'm just glad I have a Super Service Center within 240 miles of my location that can handle a big repair job. That way I can do everything using the internet and have the repair authorization sent directly to the service depot.

I guess that is the chance you take with refurbished stuff. I've had several Denon receivers and the ONLY one that did not require repair service was the refurb I bought from Dakmart. The other three Denon receivers I bought new died within three years of purchase and these were flagship receivers.

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post #14 of 25 Old 01-09-2013, 05:00 AM
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Originally Posted by raaj View Post

And to top it off, D&M support has ONE and only ONE person who handles warranty replacements, and if she ever goes on vacation, there wouldn't be any other person capable of handling issues for a week?? What about their support phones shut down 30-45 mins before their stated operating hours?
If you've got nothing useful to add to the discussion, don't say anything. mad.gif


Hmmm...I sort of take that as a good sign. Would you have preferred they said all fifty of our warranty return processors...?

Just because there is a knob doesn't mean you should turn it.
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post #15 of 25 Old 01-09-2013, 07:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Hmmm...I sort of take that as a good sign. Would you have preferred they said all fifty of our warranty return processors...?

Ah.. the proverbial silver lining ! smile.gif
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post #16 of 25 Old 01-17-2013, 10:27 PM - Thread Starter
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All right.. time for an update.

Denon shipped me a replacement from their depot in NJ, and I enthusiastically brought it home after work and opened it up, all eager to set it up and hopefully watch a cool movie on the eve of my birthday and heading into a long weekend. Well, it turned out that the rain of turds hasn't stopped yet. Here is what I received in the box:



I am lost for words, and contemplating my options going forward. I am not even sure what those panels stapled on top of the receivers are there for. Accessories4Less states:
Quote:
What does Factory Refurbished mean?

Factory refurbished products consist of products that were originally sold new, or sent out as demo units, and then returned, sometimes without even being opened. Once these units get back to the manufacturer from retailers or consumers, they are tested and then refurbish to original factory specifications by Manufacturer-trained technicians. The testing process assures that the product meets the same stringent quality standards that are required for new products.

Although every effort is made to make sure that all units are in "like new" condition, they may have very minor cosmetic blemishes.

Is this patched up quilt of a receiver supposed to represent "very minor cosmetic blemishes" and meeting original factory specs? There are a couple more nicks on the body panels, which I am willing to overlook, but the stapled, crumpled patch panels on the top make me wonder why they are there, and suspect what else is screwed up inside.

Returning the receiver to A4L might hit me with a 15% restocking fee ($120) on top of about $70 in shipping. Quite a crew cut. Are these "very minor" cosmetic blemishes, or should it have been represented as "scratch and dent"?? The original shipment from A4L was just like new, but this replacement from Denon can only be called a "scratch and dent".

Any suggestions on the best way to approach Denon and/or A4L?
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post #17 of 25 Old 01-17-2013, 11:28 PM
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Suggestion for you, next time dont buy a refurb and buy local. Problems solved. How much did you save anyway...
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post #18 of 25 Old 01-17-2013, 11:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Suggestion for you, next time dont buy a refurb and buy local. Problems solved. How much did you save anyway...

Saved anywhere between $300-$500 if bought locally, considering California taxes. On an AVR, it sounded like an acceptable trade off, especially as my AmEx would give me a 2nd year of warranty. I thought I was buying a "refurbished" product which the vendor says has been restored to original factory specs, accounting for "very minor" cosmetic blemishes. The original unit I bought from A4L did not have any blemishes and was indistinguishable from a brand new unit, but croaked during a firmware update. The replacement unit sent by Denon is what was pictured above - straight out of the box. Does it meet your expectation of "very minor" cosmetic blemishes, or should it be rightly labeled "scratch and dent" condition??

Scratch and dent merchandise typically carries the same full manufacturer warranty as a brand new one, and refurbished merchandise is expected to be restored to manufacturer specs unless otherwise noted, in return for a reduced warranty coverage.
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post #19 of 25 Old 01-19-2013, 10:16 AM
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Absolutely no doubt everyone would like to get as pristine a unit as possible. That said, I think the bottom line is the savings of $300--500 worth more or less than that wrinkled panel?

What would I do? I think I'd make sure the unit works otherwise and if so I'd cut my losses -straighten the panel and carry on.

I've had good results from a couple of refurb items I've purchased in the past but it comes down to if your expectation is "new" then it's probably best to buy new. And, if getting something worked out on a bad situation is imperative then buying local even if cost is more may be worth it. Just depends on how much risk you can tolerate and how much patience you have if something goes the wrong direction.

Just because there is a knob doesn't mean you should turn it.
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post #20 of 25 Old 01-19-2013, 10:37 AM
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If the replacement unit works fine, swap over the tin from the AC4L unit , 5 minute job.
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post #21 of 25 Old 01-19-2013, 11:43 AM
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Buying a B stock refurb is a crap shoot...
One might get a unit that was returned for the user not liking it, or the wife said it was too much $..
Or the unit could indeed be defective and then was the fault obvious to the refurb tech, or intermittant and not found..

No difference than going to Vegas, some win and some lose but in today's tough times saving a few $ is the most important thing.. confused.gif
Each must decide for themselves...


Just my $0.02... wink.gif
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post #22 of 25 Old 01-19-2013, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by raaj View Post

Saved anywhere between $300-$500 if bought locally, considering California taxes. On an AVR, it sounded like an acceptable trade off, especially as my AmEx would give me a 2nd year of warranty. I thought I was buying a "refurbished" product which the vendor says has been restored to original factory specs, accounting for "very minor" cosmetic blemishes. The original unit I bought from A4L did not have any blemishes and was indistinguishable from a brand new unit, but croaked during a firmware update. The replacement unit sent by Denon is what was pictured above - straight out of the box. Does it meet your expectation of "very minor" cosmetic blemishes, or should it be rightly labeled "scratch and dent" condition??

Scratch and dent merchandise typically carries the same full manufacturer warranty as a brand new one, and refurbished merchandise is expected to be restored to manufacturer specs unless otherwise noted, in return for a reduced warranty coverage.


To answer your question regarding the unit you recieved as a replacement. Of course its not acceptable. Id be raging shitstorm. I was just saying maybe the extra 300$ might have been worth it. Also Frys and many other stores here will wheel and deal with you, i picked up a 1200$ msrp unit for 800. I think the 3313 was basically the same price. But i also dont have sales tax here, so you saved some but with tons of hassle. Sorry about your luck.
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post #23 of 25 Old 01-20-2013, 02:42 PM - Thread Starter
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I've had good experience buying refurb equipment so far, except this one time. I see refurb equipment as pieces that have gone through manufacturer refresh to original specs to address any issues, and the customer is paying less because he is accepting a shorter warranty and a piece that had been used by someone else before with some minor cosmetic blemishes. Of course there is a sweet spot of the compromise before the price paid starts to become not worthy of the niggles. On the other hand 'scratch and dent' is a totally different proposition, as it is made amply clear that the piece is scratched and dented or otherwise subjected to rough use before - so price is lower.

To post a quick update on this case, I spoke to Denon support about the crumpled panels and the customer service rep asked me to put my fingers between the panels and the chassis body and tank the patch panels right off. I asked him to confirm that doing so would not effect the warranty on the future and to document that i did so after being instructed to do so by support and proceeded to yank the panels off. They popped off easily and i was relieved to find that there was no damage underneath that was being covered up by the panels.



I still need to power up and setup the receiver, and hope it goes smoothly from her on in.
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post #24 of 25 Old 01-20-2013, 03:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raaj View Post

Saved anywhere between $300-$500 if bought locally, considering California taxes.

Accessories4less normally sells the 3313 for $800.00. The receiver can be bought brand new from authorized dealers for $100.00 more. I know $100.00 means different things to different people but I can't see refurb with a shorter warranty for this amount of savings.
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post #25 of 25 Old 01-20-2013, 03:40 PM
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Hello,
I will say the Denon has not been the same since Bain Capital purchased them. As a Stockholder, I would love the spending cuts replete with slashing something like 70% of Denon USA personnel and moving all but the most expensive AVR manufacturing to China, but as a long time admirer of Denon as AV Company it is disappointing.

That being said, I do not disagree that what happened probably would have happened at most of the others, but Denon used to be a cut above in this respect.
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