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Thursday, May 22, 2008

SkullCandy continuation.

Many things happened last Thursday. If you have been following along, I had a pair of SkullCandy FMJ earbuds that went bad after 4 months. As part of the lifetime replacement, I had to cut the jack end and ship it to them and eventually I would get a replacement. The situation got hairy when (last Wednesday) I received an email informing me of the lack of stock and that it would be replenished "soon". As you can expect I was not too thrilled about this and sent a fairly straight forward, yet jaded, email to the company expressing this. They responded in a "Hey, don't get nasty, we just don't have your color. What do you want?" (this is all documented, see previous SkullCandy thread).

I felt I had to respond with my reasoning. The fact that I was trying their product in the face of other (and more known brands) and that it has failed me (so far). Also, I expressed that I felt like all their "update" emails were nothing but automatically generated form letters and that I would like the earbuds in blue. To this I received the following response:

Ya its all good man i can see how you could mistake it for mass emails. But ya I updated you to blue and ill make sure those go out tomorrow(5/15)


What can I say? It sounds like things are moving along nicely after a slow start and hopefully a freak accident in the product control portion of the manufacturing.

The story does not end there. The next day (this would be Friday the 16th), I receive a call from an employee of SkullCandy (apparently there is an Internet Relations section) who has been watching this whole exchange of information. It is a little unclear if he was just watching the emailing back and forth or if he is actually reading this blog. He informs me that customers are SkullCandy's #1 concern and they would be nowhere without them. As Homer Simpson once said to Mel Gibson : "You had me at hello."

I was asked if there was anything I could recommend that would make SkullCandy's service even better. I simply offered the suggestion not to make the customer feel like they are a bothersome cog in some elaborately complicated process (which it isn't). I should have probably offered the suggestion of streamlining the RMA process where it doesn't take weeks and weeks go get a pair of headphones back. Incidentally it has been a week since I have had these conversations and this is the only email I have received since in regards to my RMA :

Your RMA request #15815 has been updated to Shipped .

Your product has been shipped. You can expect to see an email from FedEx within the next day. Thanks!

The Skullcandy Team

I really, really want to like these guys. They are really trying. The Internet Relations guy is even sending me an extra set of earbuds, free, just to show his appreciation of my business. I am just afraid that it is not enough.

My previous earbuds were made by WestOne (which I had for two years and are now in my friend's care). This company fixed my headphones twice. In both cases they were mostly my fault and not the manufacturing (I accidentally stepped on the earbud cracking the plastic and the second time the driver rusted). The second time the earbuds weren't even under warranty and they still replaced them for free (and in under a month).

There was no FedEx email. It has been more than a month since my initial RMA notice and still no earbuds. This is a lot of effort to go through just to replace a pair of headphones, which they themselves recommend I toss after I snip them from the connector. In all honesty the 2nd trip to WestOne, I had to call them to remind them to fix it and release (apparently the package had somehow gotten lost on someone's desk). Maybe this is the industry standard at most, if not all,headphone manufacturing, but it shouldn't be tolerated.

As I said, I really want to like SkullCandy. I bought them for that reason. This whole incident has made me sad and given me hope. The results, nonetheless, is me without heaphones. Even if I get them tomorrow, I will still worry about how soon before they break again. Even with a lifetime warranty and 2 earbuds, do I dare spend the time and effort to get them fixed (again) or just go out and get some new ones? Which would be more efficient? What would you do?

If you guys are out there......

(help me out here)


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