Uber expensive repair at United Radio


Anybody’s experience with United Radio (East Syracuse) as a service center? I will never do business again with these guys. They charged me $1,971 to repair my Classé Audio C-M600 monoblock amp...Forteen hours @$120/hour to replace two 16 pins chipsets...They provided me a discount on their regular hourly rate, which is normally set at $140/hour...
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The OP may or may not have a point about his experience with United, BUT I do believe that there are now numerous examples of the ’repair’ shop trying to gouge the customer. Just yesterday I called up my car dealer for a simple oil and filter change. Since I have a newer vehicle, I prefer to go to the authorized dealer for service. The dealer tells me that they won’t just do an oil and filter change, they have to check that the headlights work, the windshield wipers work, the turn signals work and the tires have the proper tread life remaining. Therefore, the cost of the ’service’ is about $650-, of which the oil change portion is about one quarter. ( which is still pricey). So, what happens when i ask how much are they charging for checking that the headlights work, I get a laugh as a response ( I kid you not!). DO you guys think this kind of attitude/business plan and CS is acceptable, after all I knew the estimate up front?
snratio
Ya probably could have hired the engineers who designed it to fix it for 1/2 that rate. Hourly rate to me was quite high. Low overhead business.
You do not know what you are talking about. Proper electronics repair requires a suite of test equipment and personnel capable of using it. Neither come cheap. Then there’s rent, insurance and all the costs associated with running a real business that has earned its reputation over a period of decades. So it’s a very different overhead requirement than you starting up as an Amway rep.
Minorl and abg2018, thank you for some good insight and personal experience.  I think you have added to my understanding of what goes into a service request.  Given how little the owner of the gear can actually know about the actual cost of the repair, it is easy to suspect that one has been taken advantage of by the shop.  It helps to know that that might not be the case.
@minorl 
I fully understand what you are saying. However, an experienced technician should easily find its way through the amp troubleshooting process and identify the faulty component(s). After a few years of experience, my technicians knew exactly or had a pretty good idea of the cause of any malfunction, on any specific manufacturer’s equipment.
When I had my repair shop, my most experienced technicians were working on the more complex gear. They never spent more than a work day to fix sophisticated telecommunications equipment. The rookie technicians were working on the less complex gear.

In a situation where the tech is having difficulties troubleshooting the gear, they could always ask a senior tech to help them out. Worse comes to worse, we contacted the manufacturer’s engineering department to get additional support.

United Radio is the exclusive Classé Audio service center for NA. They have access to the amp’s schematics and Classé Audio’s engineering department which is still located in Montreal, Canada. 






@abg2018
This was the first time I encountered an audio gear failure in 40 years into this hobby. I also filled you the UR forms and shipped the amp in. I received no e-mail or calls of any sort regarding my repair. I had to do all of the follow-ups myself via e-mail with Classé Audio CS, which was the intermediary between me and United Radio’s service department. The Classé Audio rep was very responsive and nice to work with.

United Radio via Classé’s CS provided me with a repair date which they missed by a few days. United Radio also made a mistake when shipping back the amp to Canada. They used a shipping company which does not provide customs brokerage services for Canadian customs clearance and over and above this, they indicated on the shipping documents that Livingston was my customs broker agent, which is false. Don’t have and never had any account with Livingston...

Dang, UPS, Purolator, DHL and Fedex all have a brokerage service, why not ship with one of these carrier? So my amp got stuck a few days at the Canadian Customs before somebody from the shipping company asked me the name of my customs broker.

United Radio should have asked me my preferred shipper/broker for the return of my equipment.