How much should I expect with a warranty issue from a large retailer/distributor?

I have a "new" Rose HiFi 150b, that I love, but it has technical issue. The XLR outputs produce a softer/duller/quieter sound on the left channel.

I noticed the issue as soon as I received my new amp with XLR inputs, with XLR-out being a primary reason I picked the 150B. I could not afford to get the new amp until 4 months later, then spent 2.5 months pin-pointing the issue to the 150b.

So, by the time I called the retailer, it was outside of their 90-day replacement window, so I got sent to the distributor. The distributor wants me to send the unit across the country (NC to NV), at my expense, and then they will fix and return, at their expense. They state they may or may not have the parts in stock.

I feel strongly that the XLR-out issue was there from the very beginning and desire the unit to be replaced. Am I expecting too much? Bullet points below provide more background:

  • Purchased the unit from Crutchfield. Best price + I live in NC mountains, so no opportunity to buy local.
  • MoFi is the US distributor of Rose HiFi, so I am dealing with them on the repair/return.
  • Talked to Rose HiFi, their high-level techs agree the "audio board" is defective, apologized multiple times, but their hands are tied - sent me to MoFi.
  • Crutchfield will only replace in first 90 days, they sent me to MoFi.
  • I really do not want to send a new-ish $4,500 piece of delicate kit on two cross country bumpy rides. Ouch!
  • I asked MoFi if they could send me an "Audio board" and I would pay a local tech to install it. Rose-HiFi’s suggestion. MoFi ignored this idea.
  • Crutchfield has an "open box" unit on their outlet website, asked if I could trade for that; they didn’t much listen to that.
  • Again, as soon as I got the new amp with XLR inputs (Accuphase E-380, new), the problem was apparent. RCA works fine. I am CONFIDENT the XLR outputs were broken when brand new.
  • I have escalated with Crutchfield, the nice front-line tech support person I spoke with said he would talk to their "merchandising" team to see if there was anything else they could do. Waiting patiently.

So, do I just need to box it up, pay $100 shipping, and wait a month as MoFi suggests? Or do I dig-in and try to get Crutchfield, MoFi, Rose HiFi to replace? If I dig-in, what is best approach, and with who? Or maybe I am expecting too much?

I hope I have not learned an expensive lesson in dealing with an Internet retailer, like Crutchfield? Maybe they will step-up. Will report back either way.




... Purchased the unit from Crutchfield. Best price ...

You acknowledge you chose Crutchfield for "best price." Now, you want "best service" by having them accept a return past the return period.

Do you see the problem here?

Good Luck, I have had issues with Crutchfield long ago, and I will not buy from them again.


Yes, hindsight is 20/20, but you had 90 days to return it.

I assume you have all the original packaging, it will ship fine.

Pay the $100 and get on with your life.

I'm surprised they have a 90 day policy, most retailers are 30 days at best.  

I agree with most of the others who have commented so far; this is not a mark against Crutchfield, MD, or HiFi Rose IMHO. 

spending a $100 sound like the quickest way to have this solved. Trust the original packaging.

u have factory packaging

u pay for shipping, they fix, they pay for return shipping, sounds ok to me.

try every feature before you pack it up.


IMO, give up trying to find a reason to justify a replacement, just be glad you have a warranty.

Being 6 months past the return window, I think any dealer, mfg,  or distributors would have handled it the same way.    Send it in and have peace of mind for $100



- This a a simple warranty repair issue and no misguided ex-parte interpretation on your part for a demand for a new unit.

- The unit’s Terms of sale and any potential warranty returns on your unit were established in clear and unambiguous terms - and acknowledged & accepted by you - when you bought it.

- There won’t be any clauses enforcing your demand for a new unit swap UNLESS the distributor unilaterally assesses it as their preferred pathway forward based on exceptional circumstances as determined by them alone (ergo,…not “you”)

IMO: Its now defaulted to the next logistics step requiring your express shipping it back to the distributor for warranty repairs. And “ YES” …. it’s on your dime …that’s normal. . Read your docs on terms of sale and warranty repairs.

Further complaining and kvetching are futile . It’s a hard and fast NFW for you wishing/ hoping a new replacement unit . The ONLY albeit very unlikely way that might happen if the distributor unilaterally actually offers to do so , after first assessing the returned for repair item.


Pay the insured shipping cost and just pack it up for a warranty repair. ….full stop .

OP here...

I like clarity and consensus.  Thanks all.  Now where is my packing tape....



Sometimes you’re the hammer. Sometimes you’re the nail.

Good luck. Hope the rest of this saga is happy trails for you.

Cmon that ain’t bad. Spend the 100 bucks. Get it fixed. Pack it up and ship it. U have all the original packing. Get it over with. It’s a no brainer. 

The warranty lies with the mfr, not distributor or retailer. In this cast a S Korean co.

The USA has exceedingly strict warranty laws with intl companies. Warranty breaches can suspend trade here or even shut them down. Many don't know how tough these laws are until hit with the threat of litigation, others do. One letter from a lawyer, usually a litigator, will get you everything you want, with the ones that do. But only if you know someone who will write it for a favor; if you have to hire one it will cost you far more than what any of this is worth. If you want it just to work I agree with others: just spend the shipping. If you are angry and want to cause trouble spend more and have fun torturing them. 

In the European Union, the contract is between the endpoint seller and purchaser of the goods so the retailer is legally obliged to handle warranty issues. A much better system IMHO.

Given the situation in the US, it appears there's no alternative but to return the item to the distributor.

I had excellent experience with Crutchfield and Cambridge Audio CXN V2 streamer.  It developed an intermittent static crackle in left channel.  Cambridge email support was excellent back and forth to diagnose as potential bad DAC chip.  Finally called Crutchfield to replace under warranty.  They emailed ship label no questions asked.  I returned the unit, two weeks later had a new unit in service, no more static crackle!

Note I registered the original unit with Cambridge which extended the warranty period to two years. The replacement was beyond standard 1 yr warranty but within 2 yr period.  Very satisfying experience. 

That is typical of most retailers online or otherwise.  You could just use the RCA's or send it back on your nickel.  Your choice.


About the only way to stretch the warranty date, is to keep the dealer apprised from the beginning.  Unfortunately, you did not do it within the time frame.   Not your fault, but it happens. I’d spend the $100 on FedEx and hope for the best.  I would also continue to send emails to the manufacturer.  And be as polite as you can stomach. I have had some good results doing this.

All the best.

I am empathetic to your situation, but before you get to upset with Crutchfield, you have to consider what exchanging the piece means to them.

Let’s assume Crutchfield were to take the unit back and exchange it for you.

They would then have to send it in for repair and they would pay the $100.00 shipping cost.

When they get the unit back, they can’t sell it as “NEW”. They would have to sell it as “REFURBISHED” piece.

Refurbished equipment is generally sold at a reduced price. Chances are they would have to sell below their cost.

That being the case, they’ve now lost money on selling you a piece of equipment, plus the shipping cost.

The second question is, how long will it sit on a shelf before it sells?

Inventory that sits on a shelf costs a dealer money.

A business can’t lose money on sales and expect to stay in business.

As someone else pointed out, and you stated, you bought the “best price”.

With the best price comes the gamble of service after the sale.

Large corporations like Crutchfield are not going to bend over backward to make it right for you. While $4,500.00 may be a lot of money to you, in the big picture, that $4,500.00 purchase is peanuts to Crutchfield. A quick google search revealed Crutchfield annual income is $120,000,000.00. Your purchase represents .0000375% of that. How much do you really expect them to care.

Good luck.

From my personal experience, little to nothing if you are dealing with a Chinese manufacturer or distributor.

seems fair to me you only have to pay shipping one direction. what are you complaining about that's great service specialty as they have been upfront and actually replying to your emails/calls. I'd be happy with their service, better then so many others. 

one note; they cannot tell if replacing your unit is a viable cost effective repair path until they have the unit and asses the issues. example, could be a bad solder joint at the XLR connector 2 min fix, could be more but they wont know until they have the unit.  


FWIW, I bought a HiFi Rose 250 DAC/Streamer from Crutchfield last year and found that it did not respond to its remote. Crutchfield sent out a new remote, no charge, and we confirmed that it was the streamer, not the remote. I returned the unit & got a full refund -- including shipping both ways.

I realize that anecdotal evidence isn’t worth much, but those who criticize Crutchfield in this conversation could not have had experiences remotely like mine. I’d buy from CF any time, based on the superb service they provided.

By the way, this was an open-box unit that I’d bought at a discount. (That was the reason I didn’t merely exchange my unit -- it was the only one in stock at a discounted price.) So in this case, Crutchfield’s response was even more impressive.


OP here….

I’m not here to complain. I’m new to spending this much money in this hobby. Am just trying to understand what’s customary, and maybe about successes or ideas folks may have had in these situations  The input has been clarifying.

That said, I am disappointed that new gear never worked as designed, but also understand the practical matters of this situation; timing, costs, business models, …

Thanks again for the responses.  Will report back next week.  Interest developments, I think.

This is why warranties come with time periods. You're lucky they offered to do what they did; good luck! 

I think it's disappointing that such an expensive gear fails. If I had that much money or the tenth of it, I would want to hear it on day one. I would find out by day 3 that it's not 100% working. 

Some companies have great reputation, reliability and service. Seems like this one with its distribution chain is a bit messy. I can't imagine a similar story with e.g. Parasound or Simaudio. (I should be open to imagine anything though :) 

It is disappointing that some equipment fails… not a common occurrence.

However, this is one of the reasons one has a choice of channels. When young I would do things to shave money off of purchase… but with that comes risk. Now I buy from a dealer. He brings the equipment to my house, sets it up, makes sure it is performing correctly. Because of this if I have any doubts or questions, I will not hesitate to call him. If there is a problem, he will come to my house and fix it. The peace of mind is great.

Out of warranty free service for the cost of shipping?  Sounds like a great company!

OP here.  I am within the “warranty” period, just not within the “replacement” period.

Update! Crutchfield has agreed to send me a customer return unit in return for my “broken” unit. They pay for shipping both ways. This is what I had hoped for, and feels fair.

+1 for Crutchfield.