Warning About Panamax Surge Protectors and their Warranty

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Gordon Gilbert

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Jul 29, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/29/99
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I thought I'd share my experience with dealing with Panamax after
suffering an equipment failure related to their product. My system
was working fine until one day I turned it on and the Panamax Max 1000
Surge Protector/Line Conditioner started buzzing like crazy. All my
electronics seemed to power up regardless of the buzzing, although I
think the meter on one of the amplifiers was flashing slightly. The
problem seemed related to the power sensing cord that is used to power
up all the equipment plugged into the switched outlets. As long as it
was plugged in, it buzzed. As soon as I removed it (which turns off
some of the switched outlets immediately), it quit buzzing. Well, I
knew it needed repaired. I didn't actually play anything on my system
because it was buzzing like crazy. I WRONGLY assumed that all my
equipment was working ok. I turned everything off and applied for an
RMA to have it repaired on Panamax's web site. The site makes you
choose whether there was equipment damage or not. I didn't think
there was damage. I didn't think to check my powered subwoofer (which
of course does not light since the amp is internal). I sent the unit
in and I got it back a little over a week later. I didn't use my
equipment during that time. I thought that was the end of the matter.

I hooked up the repaired unit and turned my system on. No buzzing.
That's good. Funny, I didn't hear my sub turn on (it usually "thumps"
slightly as it turns on). I verified it wasn't on when I tried a CD.
I tried turning it on and off. Basically, it wouldn't turn on. I
checked the outlet. I tried a different outlet. I check the
continuity of the power cable. The sub was damaged. It was far too
coincidental that they both quit working at the same time. The
Panamax should be responsible under their protection warranty
(guaranteed to several million dollars I believe). Well, don't
believe everything you read. Or more specifically pay attention to
the small print when they say things like payable at their discretion.

I contacted Panamax about the damaged subwoofer. They told me it was
too late to file a damage claim because I had already had the unit
repaired. Therefore, it was too late for them to inspect it, etc. and
the bottom line was they decided they were not going to honor their
equipment damage warranty because they didn't "have to" and didn't
want to in this case. I told them they repaired it and therefore they
should have a repair record of what was wrong with it and it sounded
to me like they were trying to get out of their warranty by a
technicality. They never replied back.

Basically, I'm very disappointed in Panamax. If they won't even
cover a $100 subwoofer repair (estimate; I haven't gotten it back
yet), don't expect them to honor a much larger damage claim. They
only have to honor their equipment damage policy at their own
discretion, which of course they immediately dismissed in my case.
I'm therefore stuck with a bill paying for damage their unit is
responsible for. I can guarantee you I will NEVER buy a Panamax
product again. Any two-bit $20 surge protector offers equipment
protection in the $20,000-40,000 range. They might not honor their
warranty either, but it's better to spend $20 than $250-300 for the
unit. Their more expensive unit neither protected my subwoofer nor did
their damage policy. I therefore am warning potential future customers
what they might expect if their Panamax unit fails to do its job. I
hope others have better luck dealing with Panamax than I have had.

--
- Gordon Gilbert | g...@sssnet.com -
- Visit The Audiophile Asylum for CD and DTS CD Reviews with -
- Sound Quality Ratings at http://pages.sssnet.com/glg -

nigel_...@my-deja.com

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Jul 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/30/99
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Gordon:

This is no longer a warranty issue, where your equipment was not
protected by a surge, this is a case of product liability, where your
equipment was damaged BY the Panamax surge protector. Legally, they are
liable for damage caused by their product malfunctioning. It's like if
you bought a new refrigerator, that caused you to replace your toaster
oven.

You have legal recourse, including but not limited to suing them in
small claims court, which would allow you to do so without hiring an
attorney.

I would suggest that you name the CEO of Panamax as one of the
defendents in small claims court, and see how quickly they resolve this
issue. Before you have any of your equipment repaired, make sure your
repairer keeps track of what was damaged, and can write a notarized
letter stating that it was most likely due to the surge protector
malfuncitoning, or something of the like.

Lastly, look up "panamax" and "buzzing" in the www.deja.com archives, I
think you'll find a posting from someone else about a related issue.

Regards,

Nigel

In article <37A120A6...@sssnet.com>,


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Share what you know. Learn what you don't.

GoobAudio

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Jul 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/30/99
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Gordon:
Sorry about your equipment problems. If the Audio Asylum is your
work, I enjoyed it and envy your efforts and creativity. Which
software did you use to build your pages?

Loved the CD reviews. It is all about music after all. Love Tori
too and envy the girl that gets her.

Gordons link = Sound Quality Ratings at
http://pages.sssnet.com/glg

My page may be interesting, but is no where near as nice as
yours.
Chill'n
Philip E. Abbate P.E.
(((((((O))))))) (((((((O)))))))
Share what you know - Learn what you don't
http://members.xoom.com/philsaudio/

Gary S. Wiener

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Jul 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/30/99
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My father has had 3 of the Max 1000s in his system. Two have been fried for no
apparent (nice sunny days -- electricians find all wiring to dedicated circuit
in order) reason. Panamax has replaced them. Thank goodness nothing happened
to any of his equipment. Of the 10 or so pieces of equipment in his cabinet,
the Panamax has been the only product to give problems. I avoid them too.

**Remove NOSPAM from address to reply via email**

Powell

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Jul 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/30/99
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<nigel_...@my-deja.com> wrote

> I would suggest that you name the CEO of Panamax as one of the
> defendents in small claims court, and see how quickly they resolve this
> issue.
>

Hehehe.... really?

> Before you have any of your equipment repaired, make sure your
> repairer keeps track of what was damaged, and can write a notarized
> letter stating that it was most likely due to the surge protector
> malfuncitoning, or something of the like.
>

Good luck getting that piece of paper stating *Panamax at fault*
from the repair guy. If you go to small claims court, at best, you'll
get a judgement. No money, just a judgement. Now spend money
trying to collect. At worst, Panamax will send written notice to
contest... now you need a $140 per/hr attorney. Welcome to the
real world, Alice :).


Greg

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Jul 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/30/99
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If you file a claim in small claims court they HAVE to respond. Yes you
would get only a judgement in court they still may not pay, but they may pay
your damages just to make it go away, not worth the hassle to fight it.
Depending on what state you live in they can move it to a higher court, jury
trial, lawyers, and the like, then not worth the expense to you, so you will
have to drop it. It is a crap shoot, but it may cost you nothing to try!

Greg

Powell wrote in message ...

Powell

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Jul 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/30/99
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Greg <nosl...@email.msn.com> wrote

>It is a crap shoot, but it may cost you nothing to try!
>

That's true only if you place no value on your time... forgetting
the aggravation factor for the moment.


Ami...@naboo.com

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Jul 31, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/31/99
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Gordon Gilbert <g...@sssnet.com> wrote:

> Basically, I'm very disappointed in Panamax. If they won't even
>cover a $100 subwoofer repair (estimate; I haven't gotten it back
>yet), don't expect them to honor a much larger damage claim.

I've had my sub quit working like yours once. Removed six screws to drop the
internal amp out and replaced the fifty-cent fuse inside and all was well. Total
time for diagnosis and installation: 5 mins. I hope they don't charge you $100
if this is the cause.

mdryoon

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Jul 31, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/31/99
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Gordon Gilbert wrote:
>
> I thought I'd share my experience with dealing with Panamax after
> suffering an equipment failure related to their product. My system
> was working fine until one day I turned it on and the Panamax Max 1000
> Surge Protector/Line Conditioner started buzzing like crazy. All my
> electronics seemed to power up regardless of the buzzing, although I
> think the meter on one of the amplifiers was flashing slightly.
<snip>

> I didn't actually play anything on my system
> because it was buzzing like crazy. I WRONGLY assumed that all my
> equipment was working ok. I turned everything off and applied for an
> RMA to have it repaired on Panamax's web site. The site makes you
> choose whether there was equipment damage or not. I didn't think
> there was damage. I didn't think to check my powered subwoofer (which
> of course does not light since the amp is internal). I sent the unit
> in and I got it back a little over a week later.

No offense, Gordon, but since you told Panamax that no equipment was
damaged when you returned it for repair, Panamax can reasonably think
that you're trying to con them into repairing a subwoofer that wasn't
damaged while the subwoofer was hooked into a Panamax product.

Richard Yoon (remove _eats_SPAM_ to reply via e-mail.)


Larry A. Little

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Jul 31, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/31/99
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This brings up a good point -- is it really worth it for a company to argue
to the bitter end on the assumption that the customer is trying to "con"
them? It seems to me they could have gotten a LOT more than the cost of the
repair back in simple good customer relations -- companies constantly forget
just how valuble good word of mouth is. By trying to nickle and dime this
customer all they did was make me want to avoid them. Even if Panamax did
suspect that they weren't responsible for the repair, would it really have
cost them so much to just take care of it? The unit did, after all,
malfunction, so it was certainly within the realm of possibility that the
unit caused the fuse to blow.

By saying "sorry, you should have told us earlier," it just seems like
they're trying to weasel out of the resposibility. Given that potential
customers read these forums, I'd be willing to bet that they lost a lot more
money because of this incident than they ever would have had to spend on the
repair.

Larry

mdryoon wrote in message <37A2F074...@earthlink.net>...

Chuck

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Jul 31, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/31/99
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Larry A. Little <lali...@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:7nutsc$p17$1...@fir.prod.itd.earthlink.net...

> This brings up a good point -- is it really worth it for a company to
argue
> to the bitter end on the assumption that the customer is trying to "con"

Forget all this about Panamax. The Monster HTS2000 power conditioner is now
audibly the best.

mdryoon

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Aug 1, 1999, 3:00:00 AM8/1/99
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"Larry A. Little" wrote:
>
> This brings up a good point -- is it really worth it for a company to argue
> to the bitter end on the assumption that the customer is trying to "con"
> them? It seems to me they could have gotten a LOT more than the cost of the
> repair back in simple good customer relations -- companies constantly forget
> just how valuble good word of mouth is. By trying to nickle and dime this
> customer all they did was make me want to avoid them.

Why should Panamax pay to repair Gordon Gilbert's subwoofer when he
said it wasn't damaged while hooked up to his Panamax until after
Panamax repaired his unit? Just how is Panamax supposed to know that
Gordon Gilbert was telling the truth?

> Even if Panamax did
> suspect that they weren't responsible for the repair, would it really have
> cost them so much to just take care of it?

Add up all the people who act like Gordon Gilbert, and it might.

> The unit did, after all,
> malfunction, so it was certainly within the realm of possibility that the
> unit caused the fuse to blow.
>
> By saying "sorry, you should have told us earlier," it just seems like
> they're trying to weasel out of the resposibility.

If Gordon Gilbert wanted Panamax to repair his subwoofer at no cost
to him, then Gordon should have reported that his sub was damaged
while hooked up to his Panamax before Panamax repaired his unit.

Panamax wasn't the one who was irresponsible in this case.

> Given that potential
> customers read these forums, I'd be willing to bet that they lost a lot more
> money because of this incident than they ever would have had to spend on the
> repair.

If that means that Panamax won't be a person's patsy just because the
person "mistakenly" didn't report damage until after Panamax repaired
his unit, then more power to Panamax. Panamax shouldn't have to pay
for Gordon Gilbert's own mistake.

Gordon Gilbert

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Aug 1, 1999, 3:00:00 AM8/1/99
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mdryoon wrote:
>
> "Larry A. Little" wrote:
> >
> > This brings up a good point -- is it really worth it for a company to argue
> > to the bitter end on the assumption that the customer is trying to "con"
> > them? It seems to me they could have gotten a LOT more than the cost of the
> > repair back in simple good customer relations -- companies constantly forget
> > just how valuble good word of mouth is. By trying to nickle and dime this
> > customer all they did was make me want to avoid them.
>
> Why should Panamax pay to repair Gordon Gilbert's subwoofer when he
> said it wasn't damaged while hooked up to his Panamax until after
> Panamax repaired his unit? Just how is Panamax supposed to know that
> Gordon Gilbert was telling the truth?

Why should they pay for it? Because their unit is responsible that's
why!!!! If someone thinks they're ok after a car accident, but finds
out 3 weeks down the road they have neck injuries, does that mean the
insurance companies aren't responsible because you told the hospital
you didn't think you were hurt? If their unit is responsible for the
damage, they should pay for it. It's just that simple. I already
told you everything else powered up that "lit up" and that I shut the
thing down pretty quickly because I didn't think it was good to run
the stuff while the unit was buzzing itself silly (and one of my amp's
lights was flickering a bit, which isn't normal, so I knew something
wasn't stable). I didn't find out the subwoofer wouldn't turn on
until I got the unit back. The web site FORCES you to make a
statement whether anything was damaged or not. Because I didn't find
the damage instantly, suddenly they're clear and free of
responsibility? I don't think so. I wasn't making some HUGE bogus
sounding claim. I'm talking about what turned out to be a blown
fuse. Even having the authorized Definitive repair center do the
work, it still cost only $35. Their excuse that they can't examine
the unit is totally bogus. They HAD the unit repaired (not replaced,
repaired)! That means they darn well know what was wrong with it.
Any shop that doesn't keep any record of a repair (especially a
warranty one) are akin to morons. Their excuse is totally one of,
"Here's a loophole for us to get out of the claim." They know what
was wrong with the unit and they know they're at fault.

Frankly, I find your position very insulting. You're basically
accusing me of being a liar. Now why the heck would I lie about a
lousy $1 fuse? There is no way on earth that it's just coincidence
that the sub quit working the same day the Panamax unit started
buzzing like a beehive. The unit caused the internal fuse to blow and
I'm darn lucky there wasn't more damage than that. And just how do
you think you can prove ANY piece of equipment was damaged by the
Panamax? Do I need real time footage of the thing connected when it
blows to prove it was connected to the Panamax at the time and that it
was connected within their warranty claim guidelines? Do you
seriously think that if I was trying to rip Panamax off that I would
wait until *after* the repair to the make the claim when I know darn
well the Panamax unit is damaged and so I could claim just about any
piece of stereo equipment I might have was damaged by it that I wanted
to? Bullcrap. The unit already was damaged. If I wanted to rip them
off, I would have told them right off the bat there was damage and
LOTS of it. You and I both know they're still responsible.

> > Even if Panamax did
> > suspect that they weren't responsible for the repair, would it really have
> > cost them so much to just take care of it?
>
> Add up all the people who act like Gordon Gilbert, and it might.

Act like Gordon Gilbert? If you're accusing me of being a liar, why
don't you just spit it right out instead of acting like the weasel you
are?

> > The unit did, after all,
> > malfunction, so it was certainly within the realm of possibility that the
> > unit caused the fuse to blow.
> >
> > By saying "sorry, you should have told us earlier," it just seems like
> > they're trying to weasel out of the resposibility.
>
> If Gordon Gilbert wanted Panamax to repair his subwoofer at no cost
> to him, then Gordon should have reported that his sub was damaged
> while hooked up to his Panamax before Panamax repaired his unit.

Like I said, I did not KNOW the unit was damaged until I got the unit
back (at which point I could connect my system back up and thoroughly
test it). Yes, I should have dragged the 80+lb subwoofer unit across
the room to the nearest wall outlet and tried it all by itself. It
didn't occur to me at the time, so I'm ##%#ing screwed, right? That's
your attitude. No, actually your attitude is accusing me of being a
liar. I only wish you were here to say that to my face.

> Panamax wasn't the one who was irresponsible in this case.

You're right. YOU are the one being irresponsible by insinuating I'm
a liar without a shred of proof or even logic to back it up. I gave
Panamax a free plug for their product on my web site for years. Do
you think I get off just putting down companies for the heck of it? I
don't warn people about products and companies I actually trust.
Quite the opposite. Panamax violated my trust in their company to
honor their warranty. I guess I should have figured a company that
has a $6 MILLION (or something like that) protection warranty would
never actually pay anything remotely like that. If they won't pay for
a blown fuse that their product is clearly responsible for, they
probably won't pay for anything else either.

> > Given that potential
> > customers read these forums, I'd be willing to bet that they lost a lot more
> > money because of this incident than they ever would have had to spend on the
> > repair.
>
> If that means that Panamax won't be a person's patsy just because the
> person "mistakenly" didn't report damage until after Panamax repaired
> his unit, then more power to Panamax. Panamax shouldn't have to pay
> for Gordon Gilbert's own mistake.

Judge DICK YOON_eats_SPAM has proclaimed his judgement! Oh no!

> Richard Yoon (remove _eats_SPAM_ to reply via e-mail.)

--
- Gordon Gilbert | g...@sssnet.com -
- Visit The Audiophile Asylum for CD and DTS CD Reviews with -

- Sound Quality Ratings at http://pages.sssnet.com/glg -

Larry A. Little

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Aug 1, 1999, 3:00:00 AM8/1/99
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It's because of attitudes like this that customer service is in the toilet
these days. Why is it automatically your first assumption -- and
Panamax's -- that Gordon is lying? Why couldn't they have approached the
problem from the point of view that maybe he was telling the truth? Sure,
Gordon made a mistake by not testing his equipment out before getting the
Panamax fixed. However, once he figured this out and called Panamax back
they could have at least investigated the possibility that the power
conditioner could have caused the problem. They certainly could have had
Gordon find out what the problem with the sub was before making a decision.
Instead, however, their course of action was to simply fall back on a legal
loophole and flatly deny him coverage.

Believe me, Panamax keeps records of the repairs they do -- if they didn't
then how could they ever track potential problems in their products? They
could have looked up the record and seen if there was the possibility that
their unit could have caused the fuse in the sub to blow. If this
possibility existed, they could at that time make a judgment call on whether
or not to cover the damage. Once again, they chose the legal path of
denying the claim because they easily could -- they dodged responsibility on
a technicality rather than on the specifics of whether or not their unit was
to blame.

No one is saying the Panamax should be a "patsy" and blindly pay off any
claim that anyone makes, but they could at least look into each case in
terms of it's technical merits instead of looking for the easiest way out.
Imagine what would happen if their attitude was to err on the side of the
customer. Imagine what would have happened if Gordon had said "they were't
sure if their product caused the fuse to blow, but they went ahead and
covered it anyway." What they'd lose in claim coverage they'd gain back in
more units sold. The good word-of-mouth would spread from customers, to
dealers, to more customers.

Instead, Panamax has a reputation for having legal loopholes to get out of
any claim -- Gordon's story isn't the first one I've heard. Once again,
with a little investigation on their part they could make an informed
decision, not just a "legal" one.

Larry

mdryoon wrote in message <37A40028...@earthlink.net>...


>"Larry A. Little" wrote:
>>
>> This brings up a good point -- is it really worth it for a company to
argue
>> to the bitter end on the assumption that the customer is trying to "con"
>> them? It seems to me they could have gotten a LOT more than the cost of
the
>> repair back in simple good customer relations -- companies constantly
forget
>> just how valuble good word of mouth is. By trying to nickle and dime
this
>> customer all they did was make me want to avoid them.
>
>Why should Panamax pay to repair Gordon Gilbert's subwoofer when he
>said it wasn't damaged while hooked up to his Panamax until after
>Panamax repaired his unit? Just how is Panamax supposed to know that
>Gordon Gilbert was telling the truth?
>

>> Even if Panamax did
>> suspect that they weren't responsible for the repair, would it really
have
>> cost them so much to just take care of it?
>
>Add up all the people who act like Gordon Gilbert, and it might.
>

>> The unit did, after all,
>> malfunction, so it was certainly within the realm of possibility that the
>> unit caused the fuse to blow.
>>
>> By saying "sorry, you should have told us earlier," it just seems like
>> they're trying to weasel out of the resposibility.
>
>If Gordon Gilbert wanted Panamax to repair his subwoofer at no cost
>to him, then Gordon should have reported that his sub was damaged
>while hooked up to his Panamax before Panamax repaired his unit.
>

>Panamax wasn't the one who was irresponsible in this case.
>

>> Given that potential
>> customers read these forums, I'd be willing to bet that they lost a lot
more
>> money because of this incident than they ever would have had to spend on
the
>> repair.
>
>If that means that Panamax won't be a person's patsy just because the
>person "mistakenly" didn't report damage until after Panamax repaired
>his unit, then more power to Panamax. Panamax shouldn't have to pay
>for Gordon Gilbert's own mistake.
>

Gabe

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Aug 2, 1999, 3:00:00 AM8/2/99
to

> If someone thinks they're ok after a car accident, but finds
> out 3 weeks down the road they have neck injuries, does that mean the
> insurance companies aren't responsible because you told the hospital
> you didn't think you were hurt?

The hospital will examine you so that the insurance company has a
record of the injuries and then if complications arise in the future
you can prove that they are directly linked to the accident. The
correlation to what you did was to deny being taken to the hospital and
tried to claim injuries after refusing to go be examined. The
insurance company will refuse to pay you in the latter case.

It is the same thing with a break in in your car. You go to the
insurance company and tell them what is missing and they examine your
car. You can't come back three weeks later and claim that your $1,500
competition amp was stolen and you just realized it (even though you
never owned one).

> If their unit is responsible for the
> damage, they should pay for it. It's just that simple. I already
> told you everything else powered up that "lit up" and that I shut the
> thing down pretty quickly because I didn't think it was good to run
> the stuff while the unit was buzzing itself silly (and one of my amp's
> lights was flickering a bit, which isn't normal, so I knew something
> wasn't stable). I didn't find out the subwoofer wouldn't turn on
> until I got the unit back.

That is why you check everything out by hooking it up without the line
conditioner. Go buy a cheap $5 suppressor and hook up all your stuff
to
see if it works. It's called troubleshooting. You wouldn't seriously
disconnect your entire system and leave it without checking it if your
line conditioner had been damaged by lightening would you? Of course
not you would check each piece of equipment to see if it were damaged
by the strike.

> The web site FORCES you to make a statement whether anything was
> damaged or not.

Of course they do. They expect you to check your equipment before you
make your claim like any normal rational person would. It is a good
policy to avoid people who make claims after they realize that Panamax
might have bought them a new set of Krell Monoblocks if they had
claimed that they had a set and were damaged.

> Because I didn't find
> the damage instantly, suddenly they're clear and free of
> responsibility? I don't think so.

I believe that myself and most other people believe that this is the
case. The responsibility is on you to determine if anything was
damaged before you make a claim.

> I wasn't making some HUGE bogus
> sounding claim. I'm talking about what turned out to be a blown
> fuse.

Do you know what it would cost Panamax if everyone expected them to pay
$35 after they returned their product to the customer and the customer
claimed that there was additional damage. And if its only $35 why not
fifty, if it it is fifty why not 300? Then you have people claiming
that there $50,000 FPTV was damaged when lightening struck their
trailerhome but they just now realized it.

No one is claiming that you are a liar. We are merely suggesting that
you should check your entire system if one piece is damaged.
Especially if it is the part were the power comes from. You had to
learn the hard way but at least it only cost you $35.

Gabe

Gordon Gilbert

unread,
Aug 3, 1999, 3:00:00 AM8/3/99
to
Gabe wrote:
>
> > If someone thinks they're ok after a car accident, but finds
> > out 3 weeks down the road they have neck injuries, does that mean the
> > insurance companies aren't responsible because you told the hospital
> > you didn't think you were hurt?
>
> The hospital will examine you so that the insurance company has a
> record of the injuries and then if complications arise in the future
> you can prove that they are directly linked to the accident. The
> correlation to what you did was to deny being taken to the hospital and
> tried to claim injuries after refusing to go be examined. The
> insurance company will refuse to pay you in the latter case.

You seem to be conveniently forgetting that they DID examine the
Panamax unit! They did not trash the thing and send me a new one. I
got the exact same unit back (I know this because they had me write
the RMA # on the top in permanant marker and I got the same one back
in my handwriting) which means they repaired it, which means they
examined it, fixed it, and darn well know what caused the damage and
whether or not it could have been responsible for damaging my
subwoofer.

You tell me. What would they have done differently if I had told
them ahead of time? Examined the unit? They already did that! They
HAD to in order to repair it. Like I said, the only difference is the
technicality to get out of the obligation. Even if I had told them
ahead of time, their warranty leaves them plenty of room to not pay if
they don't feel like it.


> It is the same thing with a break in in your car. You go to the
> insurance company and tell them what is missing and they examine your
> car. You can't come back three weeks later and claim that your $1,500
> competition amp was stolen and you just realized it (even though you
> never owned one).

Again, your analogy implies deceit on my part. It also again ignores
the fact that I DID return the unit to them for repair. I have a
record of owning my subwoofer for the past 5 years, photos of it
connected to my system, etc. So you can't say, "even though I never
owned one."

A better analogy would be I removed the altnernator from my car and
sent it in for warranty repair. I get screwed because I didn't go out
and buy a replacement altnernator first to test all the systems in my
car to see if the alternator damaged something (ok, the analogy sucks
a bit in the damage part).

I mean what would they have done different? Tell me to send them the
subwoofer too? They don't repair subwoofers. I've got the repair
bill from the authorized Definitive Technology shop. I hardly made it
up. That was a 250 Volt, 5 Amp fuse, by the way. The only reason I
can think of that it blew and nothing else did was that it was plugged
into a delayed turn-on outlet on the Panamax and the other amp that
was also plugged into that outlet wasn't on at the time because I'm
waiting for my active crossover to be returned for the main speaker
woofers that that amp normally powers. When the delayed outlets
kicked in, the Panamax must have kicked a surge through the delayed
outlets and blown the subwoofer fuse. Nothing else makes sense since
the unit worked the last time I used the system previous to the
Panamax unit going bad and it was turned off during the time
in-between. So, no, a surge was VERY unlikely. They would not have
found surge damage. They would have (and did) find whatever was wrong
with the Panamax unit itself. I don't believe it was lightning that
caused the surge in the delayed outlets, but the Panamax unit itself.

> That is why you check everything out by hooking it up without the line
> conditioner. Go buy a cheap $5 suppressor and hook up all your stuff
> to
> see if it works. It's called troubleshooting. You wouldn't seriously
> disconnect your entire system and leave it without checking it if your
> line conditioner had been damaged by lightening would you? Of course
> not you would check each piece of equipment to see if it were damaged
> by the strike.

The reason I didn't check more carefully is because it was fairly
obvious there wasn't a lightning surge (no lighting during that time
is a good clue). Everything except the subwoofer turned on even with
the buzzing going on (I might have noticed it didn't turn on except
that the Panamax was buzzing very loudly). If it was a surge, the
Panamax unit is supposed to fail before any equipment is damaged. The
Panamax circuit breaker wasn't even tripped! It just started buzzing
like crazy as soon as the switched outlets turned on (and stopped when
those outlets were switched off again).

> > The web site FORCES you to make a statement whether anything was
> > damaged or not.
>

> Of course they do. They expect you to check your equipment before you
> make your claim like any normal rational person would. It is a good

Again, it wasn't a surge claim. Why would I expect to find surge
damage if there was no lightning, no tripped breakers and everything
else lit up normally even if it was buzzing? I mean you wonder why I
didn't check everything, but the only thing I didn't check was the
subwoofer. I made a bad assumption there (it really didn't occur to
me to check it since everything else was working), but I don't see how
that relieves Panamax of the responsibility for damage their product
causes.
Either their product damaged it or it did not. Their unit still
caused the damage whether I find it right away or not. Cause ->
Effect. Because I do not find the effect right away does not mean the
cause changed.

> policy to avoid people who make claims after they realize that Panamax
> might have bought them a new set of Krell Monoblocks if they had
> claimed that they had a set and were damaged.

You seem to think I just told them I have a subwoofer and would not
provide proof of either the sub's existance, my ownership of it for
the past 5 years (i.e. my receipt), or that it was indeed damaged
(i.e. the repair center's testimony). You're acting as if I just
made up that I even have a sub and claimed it was damaged and demanded
Panamax give me a new one? NOW SERIOUSLY, if I was dumb enough to try
to pull that off, don't you think I would have done it before they
repaired the unit? Again, why the heck would I tell them nothing was
damaged and then make a claim? What would I possibly have to gain by
telling them afterwards if it wasn't the truth? If I were trying to
scam them, I would have had a MUCH better chance of pulling it off if
I told them ahead of time. So, you just assume I'm so stupid that the
thought of ripping Panamax off didn't occur to me until *after* I got
the unit back? You'd rather assume that than I'm telling the truth?
I knew darn well they had inspected the unit and would know what was
damaged. The only thing I didn't know was that the subwoofer wasn't
working. If I had gone out and bought a $5 surge protector to use my
system for the week I didn't have the Panamax, they STILL would have
told me it was too late to make the claim. Nothing would have
changed. If I had told them before I sent them the Panamax, they
still would have gotten the unit and still have had to repair it. The
only difference is that they would have had to file the claim. They
might still have rejected it because their warranty is full of loop
holes. They could have said there was no lighting surge, therefore
their warranty doesn't have to cover it. But their unit itself was
responsible not lightning!

> > Because I didn't find
> > the damage instantly, suddenly they're clear and free of
> > responsibility? I don't think so.
>

> I believe that myself and most other people believe that this is the
> case. The responsibility is on you to determine if anything was
> damaged before you make a claim.

Most other people? You're full of crap. There have been exactly TWO
(including yourself) people that have said that. Everyone else has
agreed with me. The real question you should be asking yourself is
if YOU would trust Panamax to honor their warranty claim if you have a
problem with one of their units. Yes, I should have checked
everything first regardless, but if they're going to weasel out of a
$35 repair over a technicality, what do you think they're going to do
when you have to make a $50,000 claim? Their warranty, I believe,
goes up to $6 MILLION!!! Can you even imagine them honoring a $6
MILLION claim? They make that claim knowing that the odds they'll
ever have to pay it are just about zero and if they ever did come up
against it, they could always use their "at their discretion" loophole
to get out of it.

> > I wasn't making some HUGE bogus
> > sounding claim. I'm talking about what turned out to be a blown
> > fuse.
>

> Do you know what it would cost Panamax if everyone expected them to pay
> $35 after they returned their product to the customer and the customer
> claimed that there was additional damage. And if its only $35 why not
> fifty, if it it is fifty why not 300? Then you have people claiming
> that there $50,000 FPTV was damaged when lightening struck their
> trailerhome but they just now realized it.

I didn't make the price claim. That was the Definitive Technology
authorized repair facility and I can darn well get written testimony
from them (if the repair bill isn't good enough) that the unit was
indeed damaged. How many people would just "happen" to have defective
stereo equipment sitting around that they're waiting for their Panamax
unit to fail so they can get it fixed???? Do you know how STUPID that
sounds?

Your "$50,000 FPTV" analogy up there again assumes that some person
is making a false claim to the degree that they're claiming equipment
was damaged that they don't even own!!! For sake of man, do you
seriously think I made a claim thinking I wouldn't have to provide
any proof that I owned the sub during that time period that it was
damaged and that an authorized repair facility could provide testimony
that it was indeed damaged? Why not $50? Why not $50,000? Because
that's not what it cost to get it fixed! Man, I can't believe the
ignorant things coming out of your fingers. Trailer park? $50,000
imaginary televisions? Where do you come up with this stuff? No one
said Panamax should pay damage claims when there's no proof the
equipment was damaged or that they even own it!

> No one is claiming that you are a liar. We are merely suggesting that
> you should check your entire system if one piece is damaged.

No kidding. How long do you think it took me to figure that one
out? Hindsight is always 20/20. I made a bad assumption and Panamax
took a weasel stance. I still would not do business with Panamax
again. I buy from companies that go the extra mile for the customer.
For example, Carver (Corporation) may have gone under with their
management, but I cannot complain one bit about how they handled a
problem I was having with one of their ribbon speakers a few years
ago. They sent someone out to do the repair and when it didn't work,
they replaced the next part until it was fixed. There was even a
doubt that the damage might have been caused in shipping and that the
shipping company was actually responsible, but Carver didn't try to
shove that in my face. They simply did the job and I happily told
everyone what great service they provided me. They even offered to let
me do the soldering work if I wanted to without voiding the warranty!
And all I had to do was fax them a copy of the receipt.

mdryoon

unread,
Aug 3, 1999, 3:00:00 AM8/3/99
to
Gordon Gilbert wrote:

>
> Gabe wrote:
> >
> > The hospital will examine you so that the insurance company has a
> > record of the injuries and then if complications arise in the future
> > you can prove that they are directly linked to the accident. The
> > correlation to what you did was to deny being taken to the hospital and
> > tried to claim injuries after refusing to go be examined. The
> > insurance company will refuse to pay you in the latter case.
>
> You seem to be conveniently forgetting that they DID examine the
> Panamax unit!

But not the subwoofer, because you told Panamax that it wasn't
damaged until after you got your repaired Panamax back.

> They did not trash the thing and send me a new one. I
> got the exact same unit back (I know this because they had me write
> the RMA # on the top in permanant marker and I got the same one back
> in my handwriting) which means they repaired it, which means they
> examined it, fixed it, and darn well know what caused the damage and
> whether or not it could have been responsible for damaging my
> subwoofer.
>
> You tell me. What would they have done differently if I had told
> them ahead of time?

Panamax might have been obligated to inspect your claim about the
subwoofer that your Panamax allegedly damaged. Then Panamax would
much more likely have paid to repair or replace your subwoofer.

> Examined the unit? They already did that! They
> HAD to in order to repair it. Like I said, the only difference is the
> technicality to get out of the obligation. Even if I had told them
> ahead of time, their warranty leaves them plenty of room to not pay if
> they don't feel like it.

But you didn't even give Panamax the chance to pay to repair or
replace your subwoofer under the terms of Panamax's warranty, which
is clearly and sensibly written. Requiring customers to report
equipment that was damaged while hooked up to a Panamax when getting
an RMA number to return a defective Panamax makes sense.

Put yourself in Panamax's position. As far as Panamx is concerned,
you could have hooked up your subwoofer directly to a wall outlet
while Panamx was repairing your unit, and a surge could have damaged
your subwoofer then, and not while it was hooked up to your Panamax.
You gave Panamax reason to believe that nothing was damaged by your
Panamax, because you originally said so. Now, Panamax is supposed to
believe you because you apparently gave Panamax a contradictory
damage report after you got your repaired Panamax back? Why should
Panamax believe you now, Gordon?

Suppose you bought a car that was under warranty, you never used the
air conditioner while your car was under warranty, the first time you
used the air conditioner was after the warranty period expired, you
found out that the air conditioner was defective, and then you
returned your car to the car dealer to get the air conditioner fixed
under warranty. Do you think the car dealer is obligated to repair
your air conditioner under warranty when you didn't report that it
was defective until after the warranty expired? You're trying to do
something similar to Panamax with your subwoofer, Gordon.

> I mean what would they have done different? Tell me to send them the
> subwoofer too?

Read and live up to your end of the warranty. Click on
http://www.panamax.com/support/warranty/warranty_full/standardwarranty.htm
and read "Connected Equipment Warranty." It doesn't seem like you
read this part of the warranty, Gordon.

> Again, it wasn't a surge claim. Why would I expect to find surge
> damage if there was no lightning, no tripped breakers and everything

> else lit up normally even if it was buzzing?\

It seemed like your Panamax was operating out of spec, which is
covered under the "Connected Eqiupment Warranty."

<snip>


> I made a bad assumption and Panamax
> took a weasel stance.

<snip>

Stop blaming Panamax for your own reporting error. If anyone is
weaseling, Gordon, it's you, because you made the reporting error,
and now you want Panamax to pay for your own error. It's your own
fault that Panamax can't trust that your subwoofer wasn't damaged in
some other way. Learn your lesson and get over it.

Gordon Gilbert

unread,
Aug 3, 1999, 3:00:00 AM8/3/99
to
mdryoon wrote:
>
> Gordon Gilbert wrote:
> >
> > Gabe wrote:
> > >
> > > The hospital will examine you so that the insurance company has a
> > > record of the injuries and then if complications arise in the future
> > > you can prove that they are directly linked to the accident. The
> > > correlation to what you did was to deny being taken to the hospital and
> > > tried to claim injuries after refusing to go be examined. The
> > > insurance company will refuse to pay you in the latter case.
> >
> > You seem to be conveniently forgetting that they DID examine the
> > Panamax unit!
>
> But not the subwoofer, because you told Panamax that it wasn't
> damaged until after you got your repaired Panamax back.

But not the subwoofer? I didn't get the subwoofer repaired and then
try to foot Panamax with the bill. They could have sent anyone they
wanted to over to inspect it. I didn't get it repaired until after
they refused to cover the damage their unit caused. Your argument
that it could have gotten fried in that period between when I sent
them the Surge unit and I got it back is NO different than saying the
thing got fried in my bedroom system not connected to the Panamax
unit, but because the Panamax unit went defective, I then took
advantage of that and told them it was connected to the Panamax to get
them to pay for it. What is the difference? I "might" be scamming
them either way. I can't "prove" I didn't unless I film the entire
history of that thing running with the Panamax and making them watch
it all (all 5 years of it). Face it, either way I can't prove my
claim other than the damaged subwoofer and damaged Panamax unit and
they were free to inspect the subwoofer and did inspect the surge unit
(else they couldn't have repaired it). Your entire argument is moot
on any grounds other than legal, which is of course, why I'm here
warning people that I think they're a lousy company.

> > They did not trash the thing and send me a new one. I
> > got the exact same unit back (I know this because they had me write
> > the RMA # on the top in permanant marker and I got the same one back
> > in my handwriting) which means they repaired it, which means they
> > examined it, fixed it, and darn well know what caused the damage and
> > whether or not it could have been responsible for damaging my
> > subwoofer.
> >
> > You tell me. What would they have done differently if I had told
> > them ahead of time?
>

> Panamax might have been obligated to inspect your claim about the

I already said this. They would have been obligated to file the
claim, but they could just as easily have gotten out of it on any
number of technicalities, not the least of which is that how am I
supposed to prove that I not only had the subwoofer connected to the
Panamax when it was damaged, but that I had all my equipment connected
to the Panamax correctly (i.e. nothing plugged in anywhere else, etc.
?)


> subwoofer that your Panamax allegedly damaged. Then Panamax would
> much more likely have paid to repair or replace your subwoofer.
>

> > Examined the unit? They already did that! They
> > HAD to in order to repair it. Like I said, the only difference is the
> > technicality to get out of the obligation. Even if I had told them
> > ahead of time, their warranty leaves them plenty of room to not pay if
> > they don't feel like it.
>

> But you didn't even give Panamax the chance to pay to repair or
> replace your subwoofer under the terms of Panamax's warranty, which

Panamax's equipment warranty is for items damaged by an outside
surge. We're talking about product liability here. Their unit caused
the damage and therefore they are liable for the damage.

> is clearly and sensibly written. Requiring customers to report
> equipment that was damaged while hooked up to a Panamax when getting
> an RMA number to return a defective Panamax makes sense.

What if you had a marginal damage problem? Everything seemed to work
ok when you tested it, but shows up later after you filed the RMA?
That's not the case here, but that could happen and you're saying it's
ok because saying no on that RMA form is like signing a waiver with
the insurance company. If you sign the waiver, you get your car
fixed, but forfeit any future injury claims, etc. You pretty much
need to hire a lawyer to resolve injury claims without getting screwed
(except by your lawyer of course) and to claim the liability damage
here, I would have to pretty much take them to court, which of course,
is pointless for $35.

> Put yourself in Panamax's position. As far as Panamx is concerned,

Ok, I'll put myself in Panamax's position. I see an opportunity to
please a customer and maintain good customer relations, to get praise
(and future sales) instead of a complaint (and cost possible sales).
I see that it's worth giving the customer the benefit of the doubt
instead of assuming he's trying to rip my company off. I ask him to
provide proof that the sub was damaged (written proof by repair
facility), proof he owned the sub during that time (receipt), and to
examine the surge unit if not already done so (in this case they
repaired it so they know it was damaged and they know what was wrong
with it). That's about all reasonable proof anyone could provide
regardless of whether they submitted the claim on the RMA form or
immediately after getting the surge unit back and connecting all their
equipment (I told them the same day I received it).

> you could have hooked up your subwoofer directly to a wall outlet
> while Panamx was repairing your unit, and a surge could have damaged
> your subwoofer then, and not while it was hooked up to your Panamax.

Again, see the first paragraph argument. The unit could have just as
well been damaged elsewhere in my home or not connected properly,
etc. How would I prove it one way or the other? What new information
do they gain? Either way they get to inspect the subwoofer and the
surge unit. They chose not to even look into it.

> You gave Panamax reason to believe that nothing was damaged by your
> Panamax, because you originally said so. Now, Panamax is supposed to

Yeah, well I was in a car accident once a year and a half ago (drunk
driver hit me from behind the day before Thanksgiving) and I gave the
doctor reason to believe my neck was ok because I originally said so
(and you can't test whiplash, in case you didn't know). A week later
I had a neck ache that lasted approximately 3 weeks. I didn't sue, so
I didn't get a dime for it (other than my car repaired), but the point
is damage isn't always obvious and you don't always find it right
away.

> believe you because you apparently gave Panamax a contradictory
> damage report after you got your repaired Panamax back? Why should
> Panamax believe you now, Gordon?

Why should they believe me any more if I told them it was damaged in
the first place? Either way I "could" be lying! If I wanted to
deceive them I would say odds on end I would be more likely to try
ahead of time just for the reasons you gave. If you were running a
business, would you give your customers the benefit of the doubt or
would you say, screw 'em because I have the legal right to do so? I
see. Screw'em eh?

> Suppose you bought a car that was under warranty, you never used the
> air conditioner while your car was under warranty, the first time you
> used the air conditioner was after the warranty period expired, you

Invalid comparison because the warranty period didn't expire. The
very unit I use to make sure my system is "safely" connected to my
power grid is the very unit that failed and had to be repaired. What
if I connected my subwoofer to a power outlet (or even a "cheap" surge
unit) and it was damaged by a surge while I was testing it? I would
then have NO claim what-so-ever. In fact, the only time I could
safely connect my unit to test it properly and under their equipment
warranty is when I had a functioning Panamax unit. Should I have asked
them to send me a loner before I filled out the RMA claim? "Look, I
won't test my components unless you guarantee a surge won't occur
while I test them without your surge unit to see if they still work
ok." They'd laugh their asses off, but if a surge DID occur, I would
lose my valid claim. I didn't use my system during this period for
precisely that reason. I bought the Panamax unit to protect my
equipment with its equipment coverage and by using it during that
time, I would be risking my equipment. I also bought the unit to
protect my equipment, not damage it.

> found out that the air conditioner was defective, and then you
> returned your car to the car dealer to get the air conditioner fixed
> under warranty. Do you think the car dealer is obligated to repair
> your air conditioner under warranty when you didn't report that it
> was defective until after the warranty expired? You're trying to do

But it's not the warranty we're talking about here. Again, it's a
matter of equipment liability. Their unit failure caused the damage
(all the evidence points toward that, anyways). Liability applies
even if there is NO warranty what-so-ever. If a UL approved toaster
burns your house down, that company is liable for the damage
regardless if your toaster was under warranty at the time or not! The
difference here is hiring a lawyer to make a claim for a $200,000
house is a bit different than a $35 repair/inspection because it pays
to do one and it doesn't pay to do another.

> something similar to Panamax with your subwoofer, Gordon.
>

> > I mean what would they have done different? Tell me to send them the
> > subwoofer too?
>

> Read and live up to your end of the warranty. Click on
> http://www.panamax.com/support/warranty/warranty_full/standardwarranty.htm
> and read "Connected Equipment Warranty." It doesn't seem like you
> read this part of the warranty, Gordon.

It seems you don't understand equipment liability. I'd take another
look at that page, though, but I'm getting a "host unreachable error"
as of 8:39 PM on August 3. I'll have to check again later.

> > Again, it wasn't a surge claim. Why would I expect to find surge
> > damage if there was no lightning, no tripped breakers and everything

> > else lit up normally even if it was buzzing?\
>
> It seemed like your Panamax was operating out of spec, which is
> covered under the "Connected Eqiupment Warranty."

They repaired the Panamax unit. I have no complaint about that. But
their "duck & run" attitude by immediately taking the easy way out and
not even considering my claim is what I consider a poor business
practice and attitude for that matter. I'll simply take my future
business elsewhere.

> <snip>


> > I made a bad assumption and Panamax
> > took a weasel stance.

> <snip>
>
> Stop blaming Panamax for your own reporting error. If anyone is
> weaseling, Gordon, it's you, because you made the reporting error,
> and now you want Panamax to pay for your own error. It's your own
> fault that Panamax can't trust that your subwoofer wasn't damaged in
> some other way. Learn your lesson and get over it.

Bullcrap. Again, I couldn't prove anything anymore before rather
than after. Either way there's a sub to inspect and a surge unit to
inspect. I can't prove it was connected properly or during the time
the unit failed. There is NO possible way to do that. It's a matter
of whether they believe me or not either way, but they didn't even
make that decision. They saw their legal loophole and they took it.
I'm simply telling the general public what they did. It's up to them
to decide if they want to take their chances with a company that won't
give you the benefit of the doubt or that takes their legal way out of
covering damage the first chance they get. Is it worth risking your
equipment with a company like that? I never even got to see if the
Panamax unit was safe against surges; their own defective unit caused
the damage. I would have been better off with a $5 surge protector
from Radio Shack. It, at least, probably wouldn't have caused any
damage itself.

> Richard Yoon (remove _eats_SPAM_ to reply via e-mail.)

Larry A. Little

unread,
Aug 4, 1999, 3:00:00 AM8/4/99
to
I don't think even Gordon is implying that Panamax "owes" him anything --
he's the first one to admit that he "legally" has no recourse. The problem
comes down to the issue of good customer service vs. standing on legal
technicalities.

Why is it so important that he didn't notice the damage until after the
Panamax unit was repaired? There would have been no more proof of the
Panamax causing a problem BEFORE he turned the unit in as there is now. He
could just as well have been lying about the sub being damaged by the
Panamax if he had made the claim before -- he could be lying about the sub
having been plugged into the Panamax unit at all. There's nothing magic
about "when" he noticed the damage that makes his story any more or less
believable.

Stop dancing around the only relevant question at this point, which is "Do
you think Gordon is lying?" If Panamax thinks he's lying, than I guess you
could say it's a dead issue. If Panamax thinks he may be telling the truth,
however, then they should pull the Panamax repair records, review the sub's
repair record from the repair shop, and make a determination at that time as
to whether or not they should compensate Gordon. Personally, I think he's
telling the truth. Of course it's a judgement call, but this is what good
customer service is all about -- there are ALWAYS grey areas. The fact
remains that Panamax could quite easily cover his claim without setting any
"business destroying" precedents.

Even if Panamax was not sure about the cause of the sub's blown fuse, it
would only be $35 spent toward good customer service. This to me seems like
a no brainer. Gordon will most certainly never buy Panamax again, so
instead of being out $35, they're out at LEAST one customer -- they're
probably out a few more because of these posts. Let's say for arguments
sake that the repair was more, however. They could at LEAST investigate the
matter rather than standing on legalities. This is nothing more than bad
customer service. They don't care whether or not Gordon, as a Panamax
customer, is satisfied. All they care about is that they don't have to pay
the $35.

This is where some people have been touting the line "if they paid off every
case like this they'd be out of business." The problem really doesn't come
down to whether or not they pay -- it comes down to the fact that they
aren't even investigating the problem and they don't seem to care about a
VERY unsatisfied customer. Once again, nobody is saying they should pay off
on every claim -- but they should at least investigate them. They aren't
even considering the idea that maybe their product did cause some minor
damage. They are acting like lawyers, not like a customer oriented company.

As far as the earlier hospital analogy goes, if someone refused treatment
and then later tried to make a claim, they would ABSOLUTELY still have
grounds to make a claim as long as there was reasonable evidence that the
accident did cause the injuries. This actually happens all the time with
neck and back injuries which don't necessarily show up right away.

Larry


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