Is Denon's warranty policy legal?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Alan_MD, Dec 23, 2002.

  1. Alan_MD

    Alan_MD Extra

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    I am ready to pull the trigger on the Denon 3803, and was thinking about their warranty policy. On the website they state this:
    "...The warranty on DENON Electronics products is NOT VALID if the products have been purchased from an unauthorized dealer/on-line E-tailer or if the original factory serial number has been removed, defaced or replaced in any way..."
    I found this site which talks about warranty law:
    "The implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose is a promise that the law says you, as a seller, make when your customer relies on your advice that a product can be used for some specific purpose. "
    "In order to disclaim implied warranties, you must inform consumers in a conspicuous manner, and generally in writing, that you will not be responsible if the product malfunctions or is defective....Some states do not allow you to sell consumer products "as is" At this time, these states are Alabama, Connecticut, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia. In those states, sellers have implied warranty obligations that cannot be avoided."
    Sorry for the long post, but my impression is that just because Denon says the warranty is invalid if not purchased from an authorized dealer doesn't exactly make it so. Am I wrong?
     
  2. Wayne Ernst

    Wayne Ernst Cinematographer

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    Alan,

    I'm not a lawyer, so I won't comment on that piece. However, I have read through some extensive discussions on this topic in the past with regards to the Denon warrany "policy." A very good point was brought up which focused on the distribution of the Denon products. It appears that it was Denon's "poor control" of the product distribution process that led to the warranty issue. How can Denon let so many receivers get into the "grey" market? One poster suspected that Denon was "dumping" their products from time to time at "bargain basement" prices. These units were the ones that show up as cheap items from many vendors such as on Yahoo!. In many cases, the vendors were offering the 3802 for $699, while your local retailer had the same receiver for $999 + tax.

    It seems to me that Denon ought to have some tighter control of their product distribution process - rather than try and control it at the warranty end of it. If Denon is truly dumping their products from time-to-time into the market at cheap prices, and then refusing to honor the warranty because the item was not purchased from an "authorized" source, then this is total B.S.

    I truly love Denon products - you can even classify me as a Denon "Fan boy" if you like. However, I do find their warranty policy to be a bit frustrating. I'm sure it'll play a big part in the next decision I make for a receiver purchase.
     
  3. Roger Li

    Roger Li Extra

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    You arec orrect that many states that have adopted a version of the Uniform Commercial Code or other similar laws recognize certain implied warranties such as the warranty of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. These implied warranties come with many restrictions, such as you will not be sucessful in asserting a claim for the impled warranty of fitness for a particular purpose without demonstrating that you relied on the experise of the seller in selecting a product (e.g. Buyer: "I need paint that can withstand 400 degree temperatures, : seller: "to meet that requirement, you should buy our model XYZ paint.")

    I am sure that if you look at the warranty card that Denon provides, all of the inplied warranties are waived, and you are limited to the express warranties set forth in the agreement. Court will generally enforce these diclaimers.

    In any event, even if Denon's discalimer of all warranties if you buy from an unauthorized dealer is not valid in your state, you recourse, if the unit breaks, would be to sue Denon. This can be a long and sometimes costly process, so even if you "win" in the end, you may end up much wose off than if you would have bought from an authorized dealer and taken the product to be repaired under warranty.

    DISCLAIMER: The above is not intended to be, nor is it, a legal opinion. It is not based on legal reaserach with regard to warranty law in your state. You should consult an attorney in your state familiar with consumer protecting laws before making your decision.
     
  4. Seth_L

    Seth_L Screenwriter

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    I'm also not a lawyer, but my understanding is that they can limit your warranty with what it printed on the warranty card. If the restrictions are printed on the warranty card and you can get a copy of the card/verbage before buying, then yes it's legal.

    However, there are brands that claim to have a restricted warranty that have no such limitations printed on the warranty card in the box. In those cases they must honor the printed warranty.

    Seth
     
  5. Michael Mathius

    Michael Mathius Supporting Actor

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    Allan if you can use an American Express card for the purchase then Amex will usually cover it and would also add an addtional year to the warranty.

    Just something to think about before you spend your hard earned money.

    BTW I own that receiver.

    Michael.
     
  6. Wayne Ernst

    Wayne Ernst Cinematographer

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  7. Alan_MD

    Alan_MD Extra

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    Thanks for all the good replies. I guess the bottom line is Denon can do whatever they want with their warranty, it is just up to me if I want to buy their product under those terms. The issue came up when I looked into getting the 3803 from soundpros.com. They apparently are not an authorized dealer but will back up the warranty. And they have the best price from a non-grey market online retailer I have found.

    I would really like to buy from a friendly neighborhood brick an mortar, but the closest one to me is an hour away. The AMEX is a good idea, except that I got rid of mine because of the fees, which tend to cancel out any savings on the product.
     
  8. RussKon

    RussKon Stunt Coordinator

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    many other brands besides denon have the same policy. whatever the source of this "gray market" equipment, the manufacturers would be foolish to offer warrantees....alot of the "gray market" units that you buy online are really factory seconds and/or refurbished units...

    even though the listed price may sound attractive, you might actually be buying a used piece of equipment...

    let the buyer beware......
     
  9. Jeffrey D Smith

    Jeffrey D Smith Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm a betting man. I bet if as long as your unit has a serial number they will service your unit.

    Ok, I'll admit this. My best friend has a Denon 2801 that he did not buy from an "authorized" dealer. He got it off Ebay. They honored the waranty no problem

    YMMV.
     
  10. Wayne Ernst

    Wayne Ernst Cinematographer

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  11. Peter Patentcad

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    Even if Denon's policy is legal in most states, it is onerous at best. It puts the onus on the consumer. I recently purchased a Denon 4802 (which is an outstanding unit by the way) but I must admit that their policy almost made me reconsider the decision in favor of a Marantz. Most consumers don't do the amount of homework I did, would purchase a Denon from an 'unauthorized' dealer (unwittingly) and would be screwed if they ever made a warranty claim. That's just flat out wrong, and furthermore, it's just stupid. There are other ways Denon could encourage people to buy from authorized dealers: how about offering those who buy from an authorized dealer an ENHANCED warranty package as an incentive, instead of penalizing innocent consumers who are only trying to get the best price. Last time I checked shopping for a good deal wasn't illegal or unethical. What Denon is doing is probably illegal in some states and is unethical in all of them.
     
  12. Seth_L

    Seth_L Screenwriter

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  13. RussKon

    RussKon Stunt Coordinator

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    seth,

    how many times have we seen posted comments on this an other forums about serial numbers gone or scratched out???

    i work at an electronics distributor and the units that were refurbished were marked on the boxes...they units themselves looked perfect in the boxes...not too hard to change that marking or get different boxes.....

    i'll be honest...i bought a pair of all-weather speakers on ebay...advertised as "new in the box"..when they arrived they sounded great...but low and behold...no serial numbers..i lucked out..the speakers worked fine...

    how in the hell do you think that some of these e-tailers can sell the products at such great prices???

    additionally, if the online source was an authorized dealer then there would be no problem with the whole warrantee issue....

    as for seconds....what does it hurt the manufacturer if it sold on a gray market where there is no warrantee offered and is considered "illegal"???? the manufacturer just claims that those are not "legitimate products" and the consumer is left out in the cold ....meanwhile the factory has unloaded a whole bunch of seconds to an internet dealer...it happens in alot of different industries....why should audio be different????


    get you head out of the sand and realize that many internet "deals" are not what they seem...

    why do you think that they call it a "gray market"...???
    "somewhat illegal".....

    russ
     
  14. NickSP

    NickSP Supporting Actor

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    I would like to add something with respect to serial numbers and gray market products. The most common way to get a product into the gray market is thru an "Authorized Dealer". There are some authorized dealers that maybe selling their goods to these unauthorized dealers on the condition that they remove the serial numbers so that those receivers don't get tracked back to the authorized dealer who sold them in the first place. Denon and many other manufacturers in order to stop this practice have tightened their warranty claims. Gray market also means that these may be products that were stolen and have their serial numbers tampered with.
    Just my $.02.
     
  15. Peter Patentcad

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    >>get you head out of the sand and realize that many internet "deals" are not what they seem...

    why do you think that they call it a "gray market"...???
    "somewhat illegal".....
     
  16. RussKon

    RussKon Stunt Coordinator

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    peter,

    anybody can put up a web page and sell products...just because they have a web site doesn't make them "legitimate"....

    the same people that would scoff at the idea of buying a piece of stereo equipment from somebody's trunk in the parking lot have no problem buying from an unknown person on the other side of a fancy website....

    denon as well as other brands (pioneer elite, paradym) is trying to maintain some standards of quality of their product in the marketplace
     
  17. Jason Brent

    Jason Brent Second Unit

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    You can place me in the category of 'potential customers' that have looked elsewhere, in large part by the warranty issues.

    I agree that dealer service is worth something. But at almost double the price?!? No way.
     
  18. Alan_MD

    Alan_MD Extra

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  19. Jamey F

    Jamey F Stunt Coordinator

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    Agreed. I would add it wouldn't maintain quality any better than making sure those firestone tires were sold through authorized vendors maintained their quality. What it does is allow Denon an oversite of companies selling their products that isn't intended by our way of capitalism. This smells of minimum advertised pricing like on CD's to stay in favor of the manucaturers. I haven't bought several items in the last few years because of it. Either don't sell these items to unauthorized dealers or warranty them. As previously stated, if Denon wants to add warranty because they like the dealer selling them, or it is an additional cost to the receiver that they (the dealers)are paying for then great. Now I can already here those that would say that is what they are doing, but what I suggest is slightly different. Denon is saying buy at these locations or no warranty. We (Denon) couldn't care less if we made it or not. Only the dealer matters, not us, the manufacturer. I don't think that is right. If they make it, it should offer at least a minimal warranty 90 days or better. Otherwise it is no better than making a chair and saying we won't warranty that you can sit in it without breaking just because it came from a dealer that's not in our favor. Even if this dealer has a good track record of sellign similar products. Ahhh....dugh.
     
  20. Jamey F

    Jamey F Stunt Coordinator

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    Many of our friends/family aren't internet savy. My father uses the internet several times a day, but only on a site or two. Hardly ever does he use it to gain information about a product. I have asked dealers before if they are authorized, but they have lied. It should be the burden of the consumer to purchase a product that they want. Some care should also be taken to choose the dealer. Ultimately I believe if a manufacturer is selling products to vendors, the product should carry a warranty, REGARDLESS of who sells it. You're buying the product, not the dealer. If you think you are paying for the dealer's service then that is in addition to the product, not instead of it.
     

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