Wednesday, January 20, 2010

h2OAudio to the rescue; or you can tell a product by it's support.

It's commonplace these days that as consumers we hear tons all the negatives that go on with products, whether they be technological/mechanical defects (this Mavic wheel exploding during a criterium because of design defects) or severe issues with a management process (The Tonight Show dumping CoCo). So I wanted to take a moment to point out one of the bright spots of dealing with a company when a failure does occur.

Just before the end of 2009, I purchased a waterproof case and ear buds for my iPod Nano G5 from h2OAudio to use as part of my triathlon swim training. I received them the day before I went to CES, so I didn't get a chance to try them prior to my trip. Upon return, I plugged them in and followed the instructions for getting started with the new kit. Because of the pressurization the earphones undergo, there are directions to let them play a half an hour at a high volume in order to make sure the drivers are producing sound properly.

Unfortunately not only were not not producing sound properly, they weren't producing sound at all.

After the preparation steps and a short email discussion with their support team, it turns out my headphones are defective, and need replacement. Thankfully, all I had to do was email my invoice to the support department, and my replacement unit is on the way! I don't have to send back the originals first, cover shipping and handling, or deal with any of that other bunk in order to get a functional product.

Anyone who has ever swam a significant number of laps on a regular basis can tell you how useful these can be to make the mental aspect of training less difficult.

In order to comply with the full disclosure doctrine I'm following with this blog, I have to mention that I was sponsored by h2OAudio for the later part of 2009, and I purchased these headphones at a discount. But my support experience was done through their normal channels, so I received no special treatment by the support professionals who handled my claim.

I can't wait to get the replacement buds in and really give them a thorough testing at the BU pool.

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