No warranty from non-authorized online retailers?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Rande, Nov 6, 2001.

  1. Rande

    Rande Auditioning

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2001
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hope this subject is not verboten......(relative newbie)....Is the 30+% premium worth it to buy A/V receiver brands such as Onkyo, Denon, etc. from authorized sales/service dealers? Is forfeiture of warranty, via purchase from non-authorized online vendors, considered to be a major risk? Opinions appreciated.....
    ------------------
     
  2. John Morris

    John Morris Guest

    Rande: It depends on the amount of money being saved, the brand you are buying, and your willingness to take a risk. It also depends on the need for personal services like setup help and advice. If you used a local B&M store to demo the products, I think it is only fair to allow the store to try to come close in price to an online authorized dealer's price. Afterall, their help, and the ability to touch and demo the products may be of some value. If you're sure you know what you want and the item is costly, I usually look to one of the online authorized dealers like OneCall or Oade Brothers. Although they don't always offer the absolute rock bottom pricing, they do offer very good ones, excellent service, and a valid warranty to boot.
    Finally, if you are having no luck with the local authorized merchant, try calling the manufacturer and explaining that you have had a bad experience with their local guy and that you want permission to shop nationally for their product. Tell them that if they refuse, you will just buy their competitors item. Many times, I've been given the name, phone and permission to buy from the manufacturers wholesaler at a reduced price. Other times, they have sold me that item directly for a price approaching the non-authorized pricing. Other times, they said go and buy the competitors item...
    Good Luck with your search!
    ------------------
    Take Care,
    merc
    ----------------
    [​IMG]
    God Bless America!!!
     
  3. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    3,181
    Likes Received:
    0
    Also bear in mind that it may in fact be illegal for a
    company to void your warranty due to the purchase from
    a non authorized dealer. Warranty laws vary greatly from
    state to state. Some states really stand behind the consumer
    more strongly than others.
    I didn't buy from an Authorized dealer, infact I didn't even
    know there was such a thing till after my purchase. If Onk
    ever denies me warranty work then we will just go to court.
    Thats my outlook on the situation.
    ------------------
    [​IMG]
    Brett DiMichele
    My Home Theater Site!
    [email protected]
     
  4. Joe Schwartz

    Joe Schwartz Second Unit

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2001
    Messages:
    449
    Likes Received:
    0
    What if I receive an item as a gift, and I don't know whether it was purchased from an authorized dealer? I'd be surprised if the manufacturer refused to honor their warranty in such a case.
     
  5. John Morris

    John Morris Guest

    I have NEVER been refused service on an item which I purchased anywhere. Just recently, I've gotten free repairs on Panamax and Panasonic unit. Not once did they even ask about where I purchased my units.
    ------------------
    Take Care,
    merc
    ----------------
    [​IMG]
    God Bless America!!!
     
  6. JohnnyG

    JohnnyG Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2000
    Messages:
    1,522
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  7. Ron Katcher

    Ron Katcher Agent

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2001
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree, generally, with John that no manufacturer has to give a warranty, at least as a matter of law. However, once a manufacturer touts their product as being warranted (in advertising, on the packaging, etc.) they are making it part of the bargain. If the manufacturer does not make it clear that the warranty is contingent upon an "authorized" purchase, they run the risk of not being able to disavow the warranty. This is where both state and federal law (at least in the US) come into effect-- most states as well as the US Code have specific provisions dealing with failure to abide by the terms of a written warranty (the U.S. law is called the Magnuson-Moss Act).
    The actual warranty document-- typically buried within sealed packaging and placed at the back of the users
    manual-- oftentimes has the condition of purchase from an "authorized dealer" stated. None that I have seen, however, define the term "authorized dealer." Moreover, most manufacturers do not go out of their way to advise of this policy beforehand or give buyers a reasonable way to verify who is or is not authorized. This is where the waters get murky. I have a hard time giving the manufacturer the benefit of these disclaimers when it appears to me that most do nothing to limit so-called unauthorized sales and many-- in my opinion-- actually end up encouraging it through lax sales and distribution channels. In the event a warranty refusal were ever legally challenged, I think a judge or jury would be hard-pressed to deny a consumer coverage when the situation was caused or at least contributed to by the manufacturer, who made a profit on the sale. I do think B-stock and the like are exceptions to this and a customer purchases these at his/her own risk.
     
  8. Danny Bonnell

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 1998
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    0
    Actually- they are "required" by law to give a warranty per se...its basically a "fitness of merchantability" warranty, or something to that effect. It basically means that as a manufacturer, if you offer a product for sale to a consumer, you are bound to guarantee the said product is to perform as it was intended to perform. So if you buy an amp, and 2 hours after you plug it in, it quits working- unless the manufacturer has plainly stated the amp is intended to work for 1 hour only- then the manufacturer is required to make it right. The amp has no clue whether it came from Sears, Oade Bro's, Uncle Miltis, or some sweatshop under a house- it was still manufactured to last a reasonable amount of time and perform in a reasonable manner.
    As posted above- some states enforce this very strictly, some don't. And its not only electronics, or stereo equipment- it can be flooring, appliances,- what have you.
     
  9. Ron Katcher

    Ron Katcher Agent

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2001
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    0
    The last poster is partially right... sales of merchandise to a buyer in the ordinary course of business can give rise to certain implied warranties, including a warranty of merchantability. This is a warranty that essentially means, at the time of delivery, the product is fit for the purpose for which it was intended.
    Three things about these warranties: (1) they are disclaimable by a seller at the time of sale (provided the disclaimer is written and obvious); (2) it applies to the condition of the property at the time it was delivered; thus, were such a warranty to apply, it covers situations like DOA and (probably) not intermittent failure occuring after use (unless it can be causally connected to a condition that existed at the time of delivery); and (3) This warranty flows from the Seller to the Buyer-- meaning in a retail situation, the Seller and the manufacturer are often not one and the same.
    [Edited last by Ron Katcher on November 06, 2001 at 04:35 PM]
     
  10. Brian Johnson

    Brian Johnson Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2001
    Messages:
    739
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ya'll sounds like dose big city lawyer types.....fussing & a fuedin...juss wanna know if my denon at buy a crazy eddies is gonna be covered or not. Back to reality.....A recent post stated he spoke with denon & as long as its factory sealed(and they advised to take pictures of the factory seal) it will be covered the same as buying from an authroized dealer. Or...I could be wrong [​IMG]
     
  11. Jah-Wren Ryel

    Jah-Wren Ryel Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2000
    Messages:
    131
    Likes Received:
    0
    There is an ongoing thread about this in alt.home-theater.misc and one guy actually called the FTC to see what the law was. He reported that the the FTC said that the warranty is a contract and that if the verbage in the warranty specifies an authorized dealer, then the manufacturer can deny warranty service because the terms of the contract have not been fulfilled.
    I think the same guy also came across the idea of buying a third-party warranty. He stated that he talked to a warranty company called "Mack" who apparently regularly issues warranties for grey market goods and don't have a problem with it.
     
  12. JohnnyG

    JohnnyG Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2000
    Messages:
    1,522
    Likes Received:
    0
    Regarding 'fitness for merchantability', I believe it's much simpler than that. If it's a lawnmower sold to cut grass, than it must cut grass. If it's a stereo amplier, it must amplify. AFAIK, that's basically where it ends. If a lawnmower cuts grass for 5 minutes, then dies, I think at that point it becomes a manufacturer's warranty issue.
    In general, a good example might be how Toshiba Canada handles all this. Included with the TV is warranty card that specifies that the set comes with a 90-day warranty. If you buy from an authorized dealer and return the warranty card, the warranty will be extended to a full 2 years. Definitely not ambiguous.
    ------------------
    John Golitsis
    Next Big Thing Electronics
     
  13. Jeffrey_Jones

    Jeffrey_Jones Second Unit

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2001
    Messages:
    283
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have found that online retailers are commonly authorized dealers and still very cheap. My experience with J&R, https://www.jandr.com, has been fantastic. The best prices on Onkyo equipment anywhere, they will work an even better price on package deals, great customer service and they are an authorized Onkyo dealer.
    I just received my new Onkyo 898, the Pronto TSU-2000 with charger and all new high-end Monster interconnect from J&R for under $1400. I avoided paying Washington's 8.5% sales tax and they even threw in free two day shipping.
    Even when you don't buy from an authorized dealer, you will be able to find a way to get if fixed under warranty without going to court. Happy hunting.
    Thanks,
    Jeff
     
  14. Anthony GT

    Anthony GT Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 1999
    Messages:
    106
    Likes Received:
    0
    I always wondered where the unauthorized dealers get their merchandise? I mean, if the manufacturer is producing a product and they sell it to their "authorized" dealers, where are the "unauthorized" dealers getting the product?
    They are probably getting it for a reasonable discount since they usually offer a better price.
    The retail world is a strange and wonderful place. Well, maybe not wonderful.
    Anthony
     
  15. Joe Schwartz

    Joe Schwartz Second Unit

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2001
    Messages:
    449
    Likes Received:
    0
    My guess is that the "unauthorized" online dealers are actually retail shops who are authorized dealers, but are restricted to sell within a particular geographic region. By selling online, they're selling outside their region, which they aren't authorized to do.
     
  16. Ron Katcher

    Ron Katcher Agent

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2001
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    0
    What I find most curious is that there are manufacturers who appear to jump up and down about unauthorized internet sales yet their products are easily found for sale and then there are others-- such as Paradigm, Definitive Technology, etc.-- whose products one is hard pressed to find anywhere but at an authorized B&M. This leads me to believe that manufacturers who TRULY want to eliminate unauthorized sales can do so effectively and the others merely posture and passively allow it to occur.
    To not lose sight of the original post's question: Where the difference is minimal, I would go the route of authorized sale. Where the difference is significant, say > $150, I would go with the cheapest seller. After all, manufacturers who actually have to honor a warranty would not be around long if their failure rate justified a substantial amount of repairs and replacements. In a way, it is you betting against yourself-- you are betting there will be a problem and hence a need for warranty service; the manufacturer is betting that you won't, thus its warranty doesn't cost it anything for your unit.
    [Edited last by Ron Katcher on November 08, 2001 at 04:48 PM]
     
  17. JohnFR

    JohnFR Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2001
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    0
    My understanding is that most manufacturers will honor the warranty so long as the product is new and was meant to be distributed in the US. Make sure you're getting the US model.
    Frankly, the consumer has no reliable means of determining who is, or who is not, an authorized dealer anyway.
    You might do a search because this topic has been discussed many times before, esp. regarding Denon.
    JR
    [Edited last by JohnFR on November 08, 2001 at 05:06 PM]
     
  18. Frank Frandsen

    Frank Frandsen Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 1998
    Messages:
    112
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ron,
    Your right on about Definitive Technology. It is next to impossible to find them anywhere on the internet. Even their authorized dealer network is sparse considering all the tacky ads they plaster over the home theater periodicals.
    FF
     
  19. ace peterson

    ace peterson Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2001
    Messages:
    340
    Likes Received:
    0
    I had a warranty quabble with my JBL PB12 sub which I bought online from consumer direct. Like 4 months later it quit working and at first was told by JBL that my warranty was void because I bought it from the "unauthorized source." But after a letter to JBL customer serice, they are honoring that warranty for the full period.
    So based on my experience, I think it is OK to get cheaper stuff from unauthorized sources. I would not buy a new Denon receiver from an unauthorized source, though. Man, if that thing blew up, that would be bad.
     
  20. JohnnyG

    JohnnyG Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2000
    Messages:
    1,522
    Likes Received:
    0
    UNauthorized dealers usually buy their product from an authorized dealer at or near cost (the dealer lives off volume rebates). I just had some guy in here yesterday that runs an electronics booth at a couple of flea markets and wants to buy TVs from me. The manufacturers have no problem with me selling the sets to him, but then his customers are buying from an unauthorized dealer. Mind you, I'm most likely not going to bother with it because it's a potential hassle that I just don't need.
    ------------------
    John Golitsis
    Next Big Thing Electronics
     

Share This Page