Buyer Dispute

I would like to have some opinions of a remedy for this issue:

I purchased a pair of B&W 804D3 loudspeakers through Audiogon in August 2021. They were shipped in original containers by freight. The boxes arrived damaged with some holes in the boxes, but no damage to the speakers accept for one very small spot, which could be repaired with a drop of stain. However, neither tweeter was functioning. A multimeter revealed an open circuit across both voice coils. The seller said that they worked before shipping but offered to send me replacement tweeters under the previous owner' warranty which I agreed to. However, and here is the rub; Because of supply chain issues, Bowers and Wilkins did not, and still does not have the tweeters in stock. I have been waiting 6 months for the seller to provide the replacements from B&W, but they continue to be out of stock. In short, I paid nearly $7,000 in August 2021 for speakers that I still cannot listen to.

Any opinion on a path to resolution?


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You should go back to the seller and renegotiate.  The long-term tweeter unavailability falls into the "act of God" concept.  You've upheld your part of the deal and the seller hasn't.  It may not be his fault, but, so what!

If you have been provided the tweeter order information, all you can do is wait. 

Agree with carlsbad and russ69. You need to stick with the deal you made unfortunately, as long as you have verified that the tweeters have indeed been ordered. It's a bad situation for you, but it's not the fault of the seller. I'm sure that he feels badly about it too.

I would make sure a pair wasn't available first. Used, new, repaired. I would make sure there wasn't an XO problem. Both were wiped out behind shipping? NO!

Maybe one (I'd doubt it) oscillation from a power amp is a lot more likely.. AND I would be looking real close at the tweeter XO circuit.. NOW not when you get a tweeter. Don't blow up another set behind blown caps, too.

Best to stay out of trouble, instead of get out of trouble..


Neither tweeter was working? It is highly unlikely that they were both working prior to shipment and both were rendered inoperable during shipping. In short, there is no guarantee that is the problem. The seller is responsible for delivering operable speakers, you accepted the offer of replacement tweeters but for whatever reason, the seller hasnt been able to fulfill his/her obligation. If the tweeters come in, you install them and they dont work, what next? New crossovers?


I would ask the seller for a full refund.

What ridiculous answers, biased in favor of Sellers.  The buyer is the injured party here.  Seller did not deliver a working product; it was defective. 

btw, Buyer’s supposed acceptance of a changed deal was without consideration; it is not an enforceable modification to the agreement.  Seller would have needed to obtain new tweeters anyway, to sell those speakers as anything other than damaged/not working.  

the burden of Supply-chain issues - delivery of a presumably promised working product - falls on Seller.  Seller has had the benefits of Buyer’s funds for 5 months; Buyer got nothing but grief, so far. 

the value and price for broken speakers is a substantially different proposition. A full or partial refund is due immediately.

When I received the speakers, neither tweeter was working, and there was no continuity through either voice coil. It is hard for me to understand how shipping could result in this failure mode. Regardless, I contacted B&W to ask if their ZZ28738 drivers are so delicate that shipping would cause a VC failure. Their response was predictable. They had not experienced this.

@kirbymydog you have been so patient…you have displayed good faith. I would ask for a full refund and move on.

That would be my choice for a solution. Unfortunately, the seller refused my request, preferring the warranty solution. 

I paid by PayPal. Yes I am considering opening a dispute. Things might be a little different I if the D3 tweeters did not cost $960 each. 

To the OP, inform the seller of this thread and ask him to comment herein.  IMO he owes you a working loudspeaker or your money back.

OP contact the manufacture and see if they are available, FIRST. Ask what is the wait time and is there an alternative. Don't wait. I would also ask the manufacture's tech department what they think. Don't bellyache to the tech, just ask what would cause TWO tweeters to blow? 

1. oscillating amp

2. WAY to high of volume.


Blown tweeters and possible crossover.. ASK THE TECH!!! You'll see..

It's not a broken wire for god sakes X 2!!!! Fix your speakers or dump them broken, but don't wait..

There is only so much time to file a dispute.

Second, there is no warrantee if they been sold 2 times. There is a friggin' reason they were sold TWICE, RIGHT? He's trying to get you to do something illegal. That is what is really happening. Make him aware, he gets to pull that one off and can sell you the tweeters if he gets them before you do.

Understand YOU dictate the terms not the seller. Refund the money for the tweeters UNTILL they show up and 300.00 for installation. That is a good compromise until they actually come in. 6 months my A$$

I'm not gonna say "Sucker" just yet.. But we're getting close.

If it's in the states, I'd fly there, no kidding, if he's still there.. :-)

Come on dog, time to feed the chickens!


Thank you for replying.

Now this will really bake your noodle. The seller works for an authorized B&W retail store. He was selling these for a client. Here is the original Audiogon description.

 “These speakers were purchased from my local dealer new in May 2020.  They are in perfect condition and are an amazing pair of speakers.  I decided to upgrade them to the store's demo pair of 802's.  The store personnel delivered and set them up originally, and they returned to box them back up for resale”.

This is easy.  Ask for your money back and have the seller arrange for shipment pick up at your home. Sorry you had to go through this hassle.  

IMHO, you purchased a working pair of speakers. That's not what you received. Return for full refund. 

This smells, I would ask for a refund. If he balks, I would explain your next action would be to contact the store owner and immediately open a dispute with Paypal.

Demo speakers with blown tweeters. Nothing weird about that. The seller probably wasn't aware they were blown. On the other hand I had to return a pair of demo speakers once because of a blown tweeter. The dealer said; We thought so, did you mark which one was bad? 

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Misrepresentation by seller. Did he state tweeters inoperable, no, you have legal grounds for full immediate refund.


Don't let anyone tell you those tweeters suffered open circuit due to rough handling!  They were shipped with damage already incurred. Per oldhvymech may be other issues with crossovers, I'd not accept this state of affairs.

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How about asking the seller to agree to paying to have these speakers brought in to a local tech to check under the hood while waiting for replacement tweeters? Have him pick the tech. This way you’ll be certain the new tweets don’t blow when you install them.  

I did accept his offer to replace the tweeters under warranty. It never occurred to me that Bowers would not have the drivers in stock, and I’m sure it did not occur to the seller either. But let’s take this predicament to the extreme; what if the drivers continue to be unavailable for 12 months, or 18 months or even more. What then?

what if the drivers continue to be unavailable for 12 months, or 18 months or even more. What then?

That's a good point. If you weren't aware of the long lead time when you accepted the last deal, I think it's a new ballgame and you could/should ask for a refund.

soon all of it will be unavailable history unless some radical stand up action will be taken by the people for the people

other than that there was times when everything was repairable including torn socks or underwear and it seems to come back rapidly fast.

You say the seller works for a B&W retail store? If he has a new pair in stock or demos of yout speakers, have him pull the tweets out of his units and send them to you. This is not as crazy as it sounds. I knew of a dealer years ago who did this very thing to satisfy a customer. A stretch? Maybe. But it doesn't hurt to ask providing I've got your details correct.


A good idea. The sale was not sanctioned by the store. It was more of a private sale. The seller just happens to work at the authorized B&W store which allows him to submit a warranty claim.

$7k, wow.  Talk to your seller, you need your money back.  File a dispute, with the seller’s understanding…If she/he is not on board…to f’n bad…This is not your problem. As others have said, this can only spiral further, get out before it gets more complicated.


File with PayPal and make sure Agon knows what’s going on as well.  You have been way to patient in my opinion! The seller isn’t going to own up to anything or buy you a set of tweeters either.

So sorry you have to go through all this.

All the best!


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A good idea. The sale was not sanctioned by the store. It was more of a private sale. The seller just happens to work at the authorized B&W store which allows him to submit a warranty claim.

OP, why do you assume you are getting the straight story on the origin of the speakers? Could they have been faulty returns to the store where the employee thought he had them fixed and bought them from the store himself. Second, sometimes you have to squeeze to encourgae people to do the right thing. For instance, if you have written proof where he was stating that he would breach B&W warranty terms, you own him and the dealer. I assure you, the employee nor the dealer want you to escalate this to B&W corporate. Somebody will get fired and someone else may lose the line.


First cordial discussions, Paypal dispute, notify A’gon and IF after all this a successful resolution fails and things get UGLY.

The picture that MAY be emerging, worst case scenario, is that this individual knew exactly what he was doing, selling defective speakers that he obtained cheaply from his place of employment. Thinking you are a newbie and won’t notice the bad tweeters. If he gets really nasty about this, maybe the best course of action will be to go over his head directly to his place of employment.

Many years ago I bought an expensive pair of monoblocks on eBay (before it went totally to sh*t) advertised as and I double checked with the seller that they were as new, pristine, never repaired. Someone I knew had purchased an item from this guy before without a problem. One of the monoblocks ran scary hot for an A/B amp, the case had discoloration signs of having been overheated. Opened it up and saw a hack of an amateur repair job, totally obvious. Wrote to the seller who lived on the other side of the country and his reply was "tough luck, you bought it". This particular character had used his (nonaudio related) work email in his correspondence, and I said I was going to call the president of his company, who I named (thank you internet) telling him I thought his company was guaranteeing the product he was selling since he was using his work email which had the company name in it..

Money paypaled back to me literally in 20 seconds. The next email from him was that I was a prIc*, all I had to do was ask for a refund in the first place, which of course I had. What a jerk.

Unfortunately, I did eat the shipping cost back to him. I was just so glad to get a refund I failed to consider shipping back.

Advise the seller of your intention to seek legal advice. Its a small claims dispute.

Consult with a lawyer after about a week (time for seller to respond). This is what they are trained to deal with - they will cut through any confusion and advise appropriately. 

For example - it will be noted that replacements are acceptable and offered but due to circumstances its simply a waiting game.

The lawyer will ask you lots of questions, so *be prepared* with a detailed timeline amongst other relevant matters and documents. The technical things you will explain to them in human words.

You paid for what is known in the car industry as a lemon. Happens sometimes, you know.

Not to take this thread in a different direction (and without prejudice to the merits of the argument about the sellers obligations), but it's worth commenting on the matter of the unavailability of the tweeters from Bowers and Wilkins. We're taking very expensive speakers here and we are not talking about an ancient/obsolete model. It is entirely unacceptable that Bowers and Wilkins does not have spares. Supply chain issues is a lame excuse - the company should have a stockpile of spares available off the shelf. If one needed a critical part for your recent BMW or Mercedes, would it be acceptable for the car to be grounded for 6 months plus?...

I may invite him to join the conversation first, which was suggested by Onhwy61. But will hold off naming names for now.

Yo-yo yay a …I completely agree that Bowers needs to step up. Thus far I have communicated with both B&W in the UK and US on the availability issue. I have gotten various responses. My most recent request was for the international spares team leader but have not received a reply. Encompass, their distributor in the states has been useless. They have the tweeter listed, and provide a ship date about every two weeks at the end of which it simply turns over another two weeks. Very frustrating. I wonder if they have supply issues with their newly released D4’s?

At $7K I would have sent them back to the seller from jump street and moved on.



You are being very kind and patient, HOWEVER, you need to recognize that it is hard to have two faulty tweeters go bad in shipping. The guy is lying to you. What could possibly have caused both to stop working? An thermonuclear electromagnetic pulse. I predict that 6 or 7 months of effort to get a pair of tweeters will result in the discovery that isnt your problem. Then you are going to need crossovers. Another 6 or 7 months go by and then you might have a pair of working speakers. Its your deal though, best.

Your generous willingness to resolve the problem has exhausted reasonable time to correct the situation. You should not have the buck passed on to you, and have to deal with a middleman, with whom you have no contract with.

@kirbymydog Don't wait any longer, file with Paypal and notify Agon asap. If you paid your Paypal transaction via credit card, you should also dispute with your card issuer.

I suggest filing the PayPal dispute via phone even though you may have to schedule a callback. This will allow you to explain the filing delay due to your attempt to get the replacement tweeters. Via online form, you'll stand a good chance that the software will deny your claim due to the delay, but their people generally will try to assist. In a similar situation, I was shocked to find PayPal willing to eat the cost of the claim and make good both me the buyer, and the seller. But you need to pursue a full refund. They might even let you keep the broken speakers too...not kidding. Cheers,


@kirbymydog Wow, you're one of the most patient and understanding buyers I think I've ever seen.

You're sold non-working speakers misrepresented as working when shipped. You accept offer of replacement tweeters which have not arrived for over 6 months, and don't appear to be arriving any time soon. Your assuming no issues with crossovers in having caused original tweeters failure, which I might agree with since both tweeters are defective. This points even more to seller lying to you.


I'd have been done with this sale right from the get go, inoperable tweeters would have been the end for me. Looks like you've fallen in love with these particular pair of speakers. Become a realist, you've been had by dishonest seller and a speaker company that keeps no spares on hand. I'd be long gone out of this deal!


You may need to get some interim speakers for now. You could open a dispute with  PayPal but in the end you loose the deal on the speakers. Everything in audio is going through the roof in price. I can’t imagine what these all aluminum speakers cost now. You might be giving up a once in a lifetime deal due to current prices. Last thing is try to find some tweeters on eBay or AGon or something else to get them going. There might have been a pair of these speakers or another model with the same tweeter that has serious cabinet damage. That’s how I got a hinge and sub platter for my Linn TT. Not cheap but cheaper than new. I hope this helps and this all gets resolved soon.