As a follow up to the story below, I'm basically screwed and I just wanted to post this as a warning to others. I purchased my 7550 from Randy Kurney
who sent it directly to JAM Industries (Erikson Consumer) for a simple firmware upgrade. What followed was an absolute disgrace to all parties involved. This was to be a B1 unit, which was described as being out of the box once for a quick demo (Randy worked directly for JAM/Erikson as a marketing rep). As described in the attached document provided by Randy, a B1 unit is defined as new in all ways; box, packaging, etc. ....even down to still having the film on the face and no fingerprints. Given the described condition, I was comfortable paying a hefty premium for what was basically a brand new unit with the full 2yr warranty.
See the attached images for the first unit I received. The box was in terrible shape and there was virtually no packaging; a 60lbs receiver left to flop around in the box. The receiver itself was in very poor cosmetic condition, so much that I didn’t even bother to plug it in to test it out. There was a large dent/scratch on the lower door (touched up with a marker!), several scuffs on the top side, several scratches and the black lens/face was also partially broken away from the main body. I contacted Randy and he stated this was NOT the unit I had purchased. JAM offered no explanation, however they did offer a replacement. I made it very clear that if they could not locate the true B1 unit I bought, that I wanted an absolutely perfect B1 as replacement and a refurbished unit was out of the question (I’d take a refund instead as I could purchase a used or refurbished receiver for MUCH less than I paid).
Pictures were provided of the second unit prior to shipment, albeit poor quality and from far away. One thing I noticed is the face was covered in smudges and fingerprints, however I was assured there were no marks. JAM promised to double box, but they of course did not; in fact, the factory box had one of the bottom flaps broken open and the UPS guy left it on its side on our front doorstep. My wife intentionally stayed home to accept the package and he didn’t even knock, likely to avoid a refusal to accept given the condition of the box. We live on a busy road with a lot of foot traffic so it’s a good thing it didn’t go missing. When I opened the box, I saw it had most of the factory packaging, which was a good start. The box was beat up and the Styrofoam bumpers were broken, but that was the least of my worries if the unit itself was good. I unwrap everything and wipe it down, only to find there is about a 2” square area in the upper left corner that is scuffed from the Styrofoam bumpers (due to no protective film). I wanted to send it back right away but decided to try to polish the scuffs out with some plastic polish I had on hand, as again this would again be the least of my worries considering the “service” I was receiving thus far. Thankfully the scuffs came out so I carried on with setting up the unit. I later notice what I thought was a packing slip on the box... well it turned out to be a repair work order from November for this very unit. After all this, I ended up with a refurbished unit. So I paid a huge premium for a new/B1 unit and end up with a damaged/repaired/refurbished unit as a replacement, even thought I specifically told them this was unacceptable beforehand.
The unit performed fine, so I was willing to accept it, but obviously would be looking for a partial refund from either Randy or JAM. It’s of course a bit complicated since I bought the unit from Randy, however it seemed to be JAM that “lost” my original unit and replaced it with a less than par unit (twice). It naturally became a “he said, she said” game and neither party will accept responsibility for anything. In fact, while Randy indicated I would also have a full 2yr warranty, the Erikson Canadian national sales manager informed me that since Randy is no longer an employee of Erikson, I had no warranty whatsoever... nice (funny how they took it in for the firmware upgrade though). He also claims the original unit that was sent to me was indeed the unit Randy sent them – I asked him for the serial number to confirm but he stated that they do not track serial numbers. I have a hard time believing this, but who knows, they seem like a pretty mickey mouse operation. Backing up a bit, Randy never did provide a receipt for this transaction despite being asked dozens of times – it’s pretty clear now that this was intentional as he knew darn well the warranty would not be valid and he didn’t want a paper trail. He also tried to get me to pay via Western Union in the beginning, however I insisted on credit card for a couple reasons; accumulating points and some piece of mind with protection. He has not replied once since the second unit arrived, which leads me to believe he may be more at fault here than I originally thought.
My last hope was going after Randy through my credit card company so I mailed them a very detailed letter/package explaining the situation. They mailed me a letter back stating that I needed to reply back by a date that was a week prior to me even getting the letter. They requested three things from me: 1) a receipt (I already informed them the vendor refuses to supply one), 2) a detailed letter explaining the situation (already provided this with my first submission) and 3) a letter from another vendor stating that what I received is not what I paid for. While I could re-explain #1 and provide further detail for #2, I knew right away that there was no chance of anyone “getting involved” and writing/signing a letter of this nature, but I asked a couple places anyways (including the Erikson sales manager) and of course people agree verbally that I got ripped off, but nobody wants to put anything on paper.
As a side note, the Erikson sales manager stated on the phone that he would give me a full 2yr warranty on my unit (in an effort to resolve as best he could) and that all I had to do was send him the serial number. It has been over a month now and this hasn’t happened yet, but he does usually respond when I inquire so I trust he will eventually come through on his word; I will update this story if/when that happens. Sad part is, I don’t think I’d ever want to send anything to JAM for repair anyways.
Long story short, if at all possible, I would advise that people avoid:
Randy Kurney and the various companies he represents (Power One, Absolute Sound etc. see LinkedIn Profile
JAM Industries/Erikson Consumer (and therefore Harman Kardon within Canada by default)
This whole mess made it very clear to me why very few Canadian vendors deal with Harman Kardon as it’s a customer relations nightmare if you ever have to deal with a warranty issue through JAM. That being said, I think Randy was likely more at fault here than JAM.
My mistakes were not sticking to my usual protocol of insisting on pictures prior to purchasing online (took Randy’s word for the condition based on the B1 description he provided) and not trusting my gut; when he asked for payment via Western Union it made me think twice. Unfortunately I ignored my instinct since I really wanted a 7550 and this was probably my only opportunity to get a true B1 given how long they were out of production. I should have looked elsewhere for a good used unit and saved myself $400-600. I paid a hefty premium and the best I am going to get out of it is a 2yr warranty (if Erikson ever gets back on that).
Demo_Stock_Classification_(B-stock)_-_Erikson_Consumer.pdf 31k .pdf file
7550 Refurb.jpg 510k .jpg file
First Unit 1.jpg 57k .jpg file
First Unit 2.jpg 86k .jpg file
First Unit 3.jpg 65k .jpg file
Second Unit 1.jpg 149k .jpg file
Second Unit 2.jpg 151k .jpg file
Second Unit 3.jpg 72k .jpg file
Edited by Kevin S - 6/14/12 at 7:59pm
Originally Posted by Kevin S
I finally got a hold of one of these... with the help of a board member, I was able to track down a B1 unit (for those that aren't familiar, see attached document), which is basically a unicorn since these things are long out of production. It's a long story that is still ongoing, but JAM Industries literally stole my B1 unit (that was sent in for a simple firmware upgrade) and replaced it the first time with a beat up completely unpackaged piece of junk (loose receiver and accessories thrown in a box), then later replaced it with a much nicer (still had to polish out scratches from the face) refurbished unit despite the fact I made it very clear that would not be acceptable - they were dumb enough to leave a repair work order slip on the box (which was literally broke open when left on my door step). It's a long story and I am trying to communicate with the vendor on how to resolve this (ie. partial refund since I did not get what I paid for), but surprise surprise he's not getting back to me.
Anyways, the question I have is has anyone else had issues with their unit intermittantly refusing to output any sound on startup? It's happened 3-4 times in the ~3 weeks I've had the unit where you turn it on and there is no sound output no matter what you try (internet radio, network, TV, FM, BluRay etc.). The only thing that fixes it is turning the unit off/on, sometimes several times before it will work again. I'm trying to figure out if this is related to the network/internet features as I've only ever noticed it happening when "starting up" in one of these modes (internet radio or network). I am wondering if I should send this thing back once and for all since the repair work order noted that they "fixed the surround board and adjusted the bias". Is this possibly the same "surround board" issue it was sent back for in the first place? It also makes me nervous that they claimed to have "fixed" it rather than replaced it.
Long story short: AVOID ANYTHING TO DO WITH JAM INDUSTRIES AT ALL COSTS! I should have never bothered having the firmware upgraded. Next time (if I ever buy HK again) I will buy one in the US and not worry about the warranty as it's completely worthless since JAM is the only option for the entire country.
Demo_Stock_Classification_(B-stock)_-_Erikson_Consumer.pdf 31k .pdf file