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Refunds on unsuccessful amp repairs

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Jordan, Mar 30, 2009.

  1. Jordan


    Feb 22, 2004
    About six months ago, my favorite power amp, a QSC PLX 2402, developed a problem that required taking it to my local music store for a repair.

    The shop, in an attempt to cut costs, started sending their repair work to a TV repair shop. Three months later my amp was "fixed".

    The problem was (is) that the amp won't turn back on unless it is cold (has been sitting off for a while). If it is warmed up and try to turn it back on, the led lights are dimmed/flickering, and it makes a clicking noise, but there is no sound/amplification.

    To my dismay, the amp still exhibited the exact same problem.
    I took it back to the local music shop and resubmitted it for repairs with the same problem description.

    Now, three months later, I receive the amp back with a note from the tech saying that he was unable to fix the problem.

    Neither the store nor the tech made any attempt to amend the $120 bill, and after 5-6 months of being without my favorite power amp, I am back to square one.

    The tech's random task employee overheard me at the checkout counter and added that when they received the amp, it wouldn't power up at all, even when cold, and that they replaced something that supposed fixed the problem.
    I have never experienced that variation of the problem, but it still does the exact same problem as before. So he supposedly fixed a problem that I've never had, and I had to pay for it, and am left with the original problem.

    Before I go to the trouble of complaining to the store manager, am I out of line to request a refund?
    On one hand, I understand that the tech spent time and money to unsuccessfully troubleshoot my amp. But at the same time, I feel pretty cheated to have wasted 6 months and $120 to have nothing accomplished.

    I have a gig next Friday that I would really like to use that particular amp with, but can't. That really frustrates me.

    Also, if anyone is familiar with what may be causing this problem, let me know. I guess the best thing to do would be to ship it to QSC and then wait for another x months. :atoz:

  2. wallybill


    Apr 4, 2007
    Tuscola, Il.
    I believe that they should refund the money if they can't fix it. Unfortunately they have the story that they did fix "something". I'd complain, but unless you are a regular customer with the music store, I bet you just got screwed out of $120. How about telling us where you took it - so we can avoid them.
  3. absolutely no problem asking for a refund, otherwise anyone who doesnt know how to fix amps could make a killing not fixing amps. the only thing i would think is semi-fair is him keeping the bench fee for having a look. i would still argue for you to ask for a refund on that as well
  4. mrkreuzschlitz


    Jun 30, 2008
    Dacula, GA
    This'd be a great opportunity for one of the QSC guys to pipe in.
  5. Jordan


    Feb 22, 2004
    To be fair, I haven't brought my complaint to the local music store manager yet. There is still a chance that the problem will be rectified at that point. I just wanted to get a few outside opinions before I bring it to their attention, as I'm not really sure of how this usually works. I was pretty shocked that the tech just gave up the second time around. The symptoms seemed specific enough that I imagined that a real amp shop should have been able to troubleshoot it -- especially given the six months time frame.

    The LMS did offer to ship it to a real amp repair shop, but that would require another $50 deposit on my part. I'm a little apprehensive to go that route again.

  6. Hi.

    ^^1. Yep, the QSC gyus will try to help You, that's for sure. You just have to be patient.

    As for the refund of the repair bill, that's always a tricky one. All it takes to the tech is to say that the diagnostics took 1,5-2 hours (way, way too long IMHO). That alone would pump the price to that $120. You can try to get a refund, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

    That's just the sad, sad reality nowadays. Competent techs are few and far between, and if You find one, prepare to wait 6 months. For the diagnostic, no less.

    An educated guess, without knowing that exact amp, about the problem is that the bi-metal thermal sensor is acting up (if the amp is old enough to have one) or that the more sophisticated temperature sensing circuitry has bitten the dust. Literally ;). Both problems are really easily tested by shorting/opening the sensor or fooling the circuitry to monitor the symptoms.
    If a faulty transistor/Fet/whatever causes the overheating, that is usually audible.

  7. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    I believe in a perfect world you should be entitled to your money back, but in the real world it ain't gonna happen. It would probably serve you better to just let it go than aggravate yourself trying to get it back. I've had similar experiences where I was deternined to get justice, wound up losing, and on top of it all caused myself unbelievable amounts of stress and anguish that were not worth the 100 or so bucks I was fighting for. They could always say that the money was a diagnostic or service charge anyhow. Most repair places charge close to that much just to look at something.

    For future reference - I always go to the manufacturer first and take their suggestions as to how to service something. Did it with GK recently, the place I brought it to did exactly what your guys did (fixed something that wasn't broken), and I eventually wound up shipping it back to GK and getting it fixed correctly with no charge.
  8. Interceptor


    Mar 29, 2005
    Madison, WI
    I've got an almost identical story, only the brand names are different.

    After the second trip back to the subcontracting repair facility (part of a big appliance retailer) I still did not have a working amp. I eventually fixed it myself. I lost about $200 in the deal.

    The whole experience recalibrated my equipment purchasing! I now only use gear I can repair myself. I am pretty handy at electronics repair, so the real limit is to equipment I know I can get all the parts for.

    Good bench techs are a dying breed. If you find one, ask them what gear they trust and like to work on, and be nice to them.

    The reasons why techs are becoming scarce is fewer electronics programs exist today than was the case 30 years ago, and the same "minds" have been wooed over to the computer business which pays much more.
  9. hrgiger


    Jan 11, 2009
    Ask for a refund, and if refused, show it to the guys at the music store and if refused, tell them you are going home with your busted amp, and are going to make a youtube video telling everyone what happened and showing your receipt and your busted amp, and the front of their stores.
  10. Coupla' questions:

    1. You're a customer of the music store, right? They're receiving payment and choosing to subcontract to the repair shop?

    2. What's the store's guarantee/warranty policy on such repairs? How about the repair shop?

    Based on the info above, it sounds like you're entitled to a refund. Unless there's an explicit policy in place which would prohibit it, you should receive either your $$ back, or store credit. Either in lieu of, or perhaps in-part, perhaps the store could coordinate repairs - either with QSC directly, or an authorized repair facility?

    Just some options to consider...good luck with everything.
  11. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    There's two ways to give an amp back to the customer. One is fixed, along with a bill. The other is with an apology that they couldn't fix it, and no bill. But the time to get all that sorted is when you take delivery, at which point it should have been powered up to be sure of which condition you were getting it back in. Too late now, but hopefully an expensive lesson learned.

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