More on my story…since I last posted I’ve called the company many times with some success on getting a hold of them, so I think their customer service is getting better, but it's just not there yet.
Last night I called and John (the company owner) answered the phone and told me the whole story on what is going on. I still blame him for the problems, and it's no excuse for the time frame it has taken, but sounds like it’s been a wild ride the past couple of months and the corporate drama that goes along with it between the CA and TN offices.
First, he told me Livewires TN and Livewires CA are two totally different companies now. They use to be one, but John from CA and the other owner from TN had issues running the company together and had a falling out. Because the TN office registered the website, they took ownership of it and started changing it around. If you take a look at the new order form, now all orders go to the TN office and they have dual and triple drivers. John was forced to find a new manufacture for the Livewires and it delayed orders. I’ve read on this website that the manufacture stopped making Livewires for CA because of payment, but I also heard the manufacture went out of business, so I’m not sure what to believe, but something went on that is a little suspicious. I asked the TN office if their manufacture went out of business and they said no, so that leads me to believe that the CA office had an issue with the manufacture the TN office was using. I can understand some mix up if now your two different companies, trying to use the same trademark name and using the same manufacture, but who knows. John said he has worked with the new manufacture and they are getting up to speed on the many orders that have come in and assured me (yes, I've gotten this before from him) that he found a manufacture that has a process that is better than what the TN office use (I think that was a little self gloating there).
I expressed my concern when I get my Livewires back and they don't fit, that I'll have to wait weeks or months to send them back. He said that with the new process, they are making the ear buds a little bit bigger for a fuller fit and in some cases customers may need to take some very, very fine sandpaper and sand them down to make them fit snug. He said an audiologist could probably do this for less than 50 bucks if you don't feel comfortable doing this on your own. I asked him about what if they are too small to begin with, and he said they are making them bigger on purpose for this reason. He also said the material used for the new manufacturing is much thicker and will not crack like the old manufacture (TN plant). He said the armatures are the same that are put into every Ultimate-Ears since there are only a couple of makers of armatures out there.
I also told him his customer service sucked and it was impossible to get a hold of anybody in the office, including him. He said there are many times where his voicemail is full and so many people are calling the CA office there isn’t a line to answer the phone. I told him this was no excuse and he agreed and said all of the customer service will change soon and be much better than before. He is very aware of the many angry people that use this forum and he rattled off about 3 other forums that have issues with him, so he's reading or at least aware of what we are saying.
The website for John's new company Livewires are The Official LiveWires - Custom Fit In-Ear Earphones
. I think it looks more professional than Live Wires Custom Fit In-Ear Monitors / Headphones
but quality is not about what your website looks like, it's about your product, commitment to customers and customer service. He apologized many times about the delay and said in the future this will not be a problem and said "there are a lot of people that are really mad at me right now and we need to fix that", so at least he recognized that there is a lot of buzz out there about Livewires but they are getting a bad rap becuase of the turn around time and customer service. I asked him if he's going to be in business in a year if I have problems with them, and he said with the new manufacturing process and everything that has been set up in the past couple of months, he has no plans on leaving, but if the buzz is out there for the old Livewires site, he's going to have a hard time competing. I suggest he start over with a new name in the budget custom ear monitor world and be done with it, but he is taking the TN office to court to fight the trademark and rights to the product, so we'll see what happens.
It's a mess. To add insult to injury, when I did ask for the date for my buds to ship I was given Mar 19th, 3 days after the initial ship date. I asked why did it slip and he said, probably Sara gave the 16th as the ship date from the factory in MN to CA. They are working on drop shipping everything from the MN plant and doing only marketing out of the CA office.
So, now my date is probably March 22nd to receive them here in the middle of the USA (2 day ship time from CA on the 19th). We'll see if they actually keep that date, but probably not since they have broken the other two dates they have given me. All I can do is keep calling them asking them whey they are going to ship. John said that I might receive them sooner since they are ramping up production in the new plant and could see a bump in the ship time. We'll see. I'm not holding my breath for this one. I should of asked for a extra cable for free for my troubles, or knock some of the price off of my buds. If John really wanted to make good on his order, he would refund some of the money back to his customers that waited over a set amount of time for their buds, but I don't run the company...
Hopefully these buds will fit the first time and will keep for years to come so I don’t have to go through this again. If I do, maybe Livewires (TN or CA, which ever one wins the court battle) will have their act together.