Music Technology Inc / bad service, defective, poor quality
Music Technology Inc. in Springfield, Virginia undertook to refurbish and rebuild our Technics 1700 reel to reel tape recorder and bring it to new condition according to factory specifications. They charged us $4235.30 inclusive of shipping but did not do most of the repairs they promised to do. The unit was in a working condition when we sent it to them but its performance was not up to factory specs. The unit came back to us after repairs with the same defects it had when we sent it to them.
The unit arrived with absolutely no physical damage. The package was opened in front of Fed ex officer and the outer box was discarded.
We communicated with MT technician Tim Leinbaugh (tapetech), who repaired the unit, within one week of arrival of the unit after having run it for a few hours and realizing that it had some defects in its performance. We realized that some of the defects we listed prior to shipment to MT still existed after the repair.
The defects that existed after we received the unit back which were communicated to MT in our emails are as follows:
Auto reverse not working,
Recording levels incorrect,
VU meters are slightly different in response,
Capstan motor board has a loose joint (causing speed increase defect),
Capstan motor is loud,
Recording at different speeds yields poor quality recordings.
So we informed Tim of these and he asked us to ship the unit back saying that MT will pay for the shipping. All these are documented.
In order to return the unit for MT to have a second look into our complaints, we packed the unit in the box and called MT to give us a return label to ship it back. The office manager who spoke to me was very rude and said that we have to send it back at our cost. I tried to tell her about what Tim promised but she would not listen. She did not let me speak to Tim or the owners. She hung up on me saying that owner will contact me at his convenience.
Owner never contacted us but we got an email from Tim (tapetech) on 9/30/2013 saying that the problems may be due to new defects which are not covered by MT warranty and we will be charged for the repair of defects. The owner says that we will have to pay for shipping it back and MT will pay for return shipping.
To this email we replied on 10/1/2013 saying that we had mentioned these defects in the original list we sent to MT and these are not new defects. Again we tried to call the owner the next day but the woman did not allow us to get through. MT ignored all the valid points that we gave and stopped all communication with us.
MT tried to make out that their shop policy clearly states that the “customer pays inbound freight on any warranty”. This was posted on their website after we complained about the defects. It was not there earlier, nor was it told to us at the time the estimate was given to us at the very start, nor at the time they gave us their invoice. In any case why did Tim say MT will pay for inbound freight?
MT ignored all the correspondence regarding the genuine complaints we had regarding the unit after it came back after repairs but admitted that they may have calibrated the unit using the wrong calibration tape. In that case too why shouldn’t they pay for the inbound shipping as it was their fault? As for the other defects, MT was trying to make out that they may be new defects, although we had pointed them out even at the very start and paid for their repair.
They promise something, increase their estimate from $2600 to $3825 to $4000 plus shipping, for which we paid. Then the deck comes back to us with almost all the defects still remaining. Then they promise to pay for shipping it back to them. Then they withdraw that saying that it is against their shop policy. These are the unethical business practices MT has practiced against us. Since we could not pin our faith on such a company, we consulted our credit card company and they said to get a second opinion from a reputed repair shop. So we took the unit to a service shop that specializes in repair of Technics units in California on 10/8/2013. After inspection of the unit he gave a report that confirmed that MT has not repaired the unit according to factory specs. In addition to these the California service shop to whom we took the unit pointed out that the tape rubs against the forward and reverse play heads in fast forward and rewind, tape tension is twice the amount it should be which causes the tape to get damaged.
So we filed a charge back.
For the information we provided the credit card company when we filed the charge back, Doug the owner of MT in his rebuttal provided some contradicting and untrue statements to the credit card company saying that we did not give MT a chance to look into our complaints. He even denied to the credit card company that we even communicated with them until 9/30/2013 whereas we did communicate with them from 9/I2/2013 until 10/1/2013 until they stopped communicating with us.
We replied to the credit card company pointing out all the untrue statements Doug had made in his rebuttal. However, the credit card company, CITI Cards, decided on 11/22/2013 that we should send the unit back to MT to look at it. This is after more than two months since we made the complaints about the defects in the unit when it came back to us on 9/5/2013. CITI Cards said that the MT had said that they are willing to assist us with our dispute and therefore they cannot obtain credit from the merchant. MT was willing to assist us with our dispute by filing a highly questionable shipping damage claim whereas there was no physical damage to the unit.
We explained to the credit card company on 11/23/2013 that MT was given all the chances to help us out with our concerns but they chose to ignore everything So Citi Cards did another charge back as we had already got the unit repaired by the California service shop. However Citi Cards denied charge back saying that they have no jurisdiction over the matter. We communicated with consumer affairs who said that we have the choice to take the matter up in courts.
So we filed a small claims court case in Fairfax county, Virginia against MT. I was able to get a judgment against MT for breach of contract.
However, since the California Service shop only charged me $550 to do the work that was not done by MT after taking $4000 from us, I was awarded $424 by the judge.
Subsequently we have got similar jobs done by other companies on similar units at a cost of around $700 to $1200 whereas MT charged us $4000 and did not do the job as promised. When such high charges are made promising the Sun and the Moon, please be aware that only the cost of damages are awarded and these unscrupulous companies thrive.
All future customers of MT keep away from them if you do not want to be ripped off!!!