Praise for Audio Refinement, Boltz and Wharfedale

In the past three weeks, I have had need to contact the customer service offices of these three companies. All three did an outstanding job of solving my issues so I thought to take a moment to share with the Audiogon community the praise each has deservingly earned.

Audio Refinement: I have experienced an as yet unexplainable condition when trying to connect two subwoofers to my Pre-5 for use with both stereo and 5.1 sources. I contacted Audio Plus Services (Audio Refinement's US distributor) and was quickly transfered to technical support. Though we were not able to identify the source of my problem, the gentleman I spoke to was pleasant, courteous and extremely knowledgeable about the Pre-5. He provided me with several options to try to solve my dilemma in an extremely helpful manner. This call was today so I have not yet attempted the proposed solutions since I just got home, but I was so impressed with this service call that I just had to let you all know.

Boltz: I recently ordered the add on unit to increase capacity of my 600 cd rack to 1200. Upon arrival and assembly attempt, I discovered that three flange nuts were missing and that the new side plate had a 3/8 inch wide white streak on the steel side plate that was underneath the clearcoat finish. I called the company fully expecting to have to argue and fight then disassemble all those nuts, rods and bolts to return it to them at my expense before they would send a new unit. Imagine my surprise when the person I spoke to told me that the required flange nuts and a new side plate would be shipped out that day. No argument, no questions...nothing. I was also impressed when they asked, if it wasn't too much of an inconvenience, for me to place the white-streaked side plate in the new box when it arrived and give them a call to arrange pickup because the guys in the finishing department would like to see it to determine how it happened so it wouldn't happen to anyone else.

Wharfedale: Last weekend during a rather high volume listening session, I listened as the midrange driver in one of my Pi-40's suddenly spit then gave up the ghost. Strange that a mid should go and not a tweeter, I thought, so I swapped drivers to be certain it wasn't the crossover (it wasn't) then examined the dead driver. The + input lead had broken where it passed through the kevlar cone to enter the voice coil due to the fact that the surrounding support was no longer attached to the cone. I fully expected this one to cost me as I contacted IAG America (Wharfedale's US importer). I was promptly transferred to their service department, explained what had happened and gave them the driver model number. Their response: "OK, if you'll give me your name and shipping address, we'll get that out today. You should have it by Tuesday." No argument, no charge.

I just thought that this kind of service deserved some acknowledgement and that all of you would like to know that there really are a few companies out there who haven't forgotten what customer service is all about.

To Audio Refinement, Boltz and Wharfedale, thank you for remaining loyal to your customers even after the sale...And to a few other companies, take note of these three examples of the way a business should be run.
Awesome - thanks for sharing these stories, I really enjoyed reading them tonight after a week when I had little of this sort of good news to report! They reminded me of the great service I've had from some manufacturers over the years - most notably from the folks at Mondial Designs and Rogue Audio. Thanks again for sharing.
I should report that I have an HT system that includes Wharfedale Diamond 8.4s, 8.3s, and Diamond Center. I had a similar experience with customer service. In short, I noticed a drop in performance of one of my woofers and called Wharfedale expecting to pay for it up front (assuming one of my college roommates damaged it). The customer service rep was more than helpful, informed me that the speakers are warranted for 5 years and told me that I'd have a new driver in 2 days. Service seemed unconcerned that the driver damage was due to what was probably human abuse.

I think this is a great way for a company to operate - Wharfedale makes a big deal about manufacturing drivers in house and probably saves a bundle in the process. Sending me a new driver probably cost the company several dollars but resulted in my purchasing an additional pair of 8.4s and the matching center channel (I owned only the 8.3s at time of damage).