What happens if I need help with an audio component?

I would like to recommend that all future audio component reviews include a section on how to get presale questions answered, technical questions answered, and non-working components repaired. 

For example, if a retailer cannot answer my presale question, is the manufacture available to take my call?  Once I install the component, and, if my retailer is unable to answer my install or operational question, is the manufacture available to help.  Once I own the component, and, it stops working, what do I do. If my retailer is unable to help, is the manufacture available help.

Of course, in most cases, we hope, the retailer where I purchased the audio component will provide the assistance I need.  This sometimes works and sometimes does not.  Obviously, if I purchase a preowned audio component, I have to contact the manufacture and hope they can help.

I have 4 examples.  1) I was considering purchasing a new Benchmark DAC and the online retailer was unable to answer my gain setting pin questions inside the DAC.  I called Benchmark Media, and they immediately answer this question and several others (grade = A).  2) I purchased an Aurender Music Server and was unable to transfer my iTunes albums to my Aurender.  My retailer attempted to help but was not able to.  I called Aurender Customer Support, and they walked me through the transfer process and answered all my follow up questions (A).  3) I purchased a brand-new Ayre integrated amp, and it stopped working after 6 hours.  My retailer returned it to factory and the amp was repaired at no cost.  AND, in addition, my retailer loaded me an amp while my amp was being repaired (A). 4) My friend purchased a preowned power amplifier, that was out of warranty, and it stopped working after several months.  In this case, there were no USA repair centers so the amp had to be shipped to Switzerland at his expense.  You need to know where a component can be repaired if it stops working.

In summary, I am asking that all future product reviewers take some time to investigate and report on the process for getting answers to these questions.  This should include a discussion with the products retailers to understand what support they offer, a discussion with the product's manufacture to what they offer, location of repair centers, etc.   Of course, everyone wants the retailer to provide full support, and most do.   In many cases, the factory needs to get involved to solve an issue.  There are many examples on the Audiogon Forums of members having some or all the issues mentioned above.  I am asking that product reviewers take some time to investigate and report on how someone gets answers to these questions.   Thanks.




Please see this great example of customer support:

@mgattmch posted this on Audiuogon Misc Forum:  "Shout out for Devialet great customer support. Yesterday I spent the best part of 2 hours trying to get my Devialet Dione sound bar to pair with the remote control. In desperation I called the 1-800 customer support number, expecting to be on hold for a long time. I was connected to a Devialet technician very quickly, much to my surprise he was in Sydney Australia! The tech support guy very patiently walked me through several steps to get the remote control paired with the sound bar, not an easy task. Fortunately for me, I found myself working with a tech support person who was not going to give up until the problem was resolved, and it was, after about 15 minutes on the phone. Outstanding customer support from Devialet!".

Outstanding.  Thanks....

I am asking that product reviewers take some time to investigate and report on how someone gets answers to these questions

If you were a "product reviewer" what would motivate you to do so?  Looks like extra work without any compensating benefit.