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Headroom cancelled my HD800 Pre-order! Strong-arm tactics by Sennheiser.

post #1 of 72
Thread Starter 
Received the enclosed from Jorge at Headroom on 2/4:

Quote:
Hello struts,

Thanks for your HeadRoom pending pre-order for Sennheiser HD800 headphones.

Unfortunately, we have been informed today by Sennheiser corporate that HeadRoom can not legally
send, sell, or ship the HD800 headphones internationally OR else risk losing our HD800 allotment and our HeadRoom authorized Sennheiser vendor/dealer status.

Although we're not happy one bit about this overseas policy enforcement, we remain at the mercy of Sennheiser on this issue and we must comply with their directives.

Please accept our most sincere apologies for your inconvenience.

THANK YOU,
I have to say I was both suprised and dismayed to find Sennhieser behaving in this way, it smacks of restrictive trade practices to me. I mean I didn't order a pair of German headphones from the US just for the helluvit, because I like my headphones to come with a nice heavy carbon footprint, or because I am so fond of paying import duty and 25% sales tax that I even want to find a way of doing so on EU-manufactured products. I simply wanted to get them when they first became available and since I had not seen a clear statement on European availability from Sennheiser I decided to order from what I assumed would be one of their highest volume channels.

I have since exchanged emails with Sennheiser locally and let them know exactly what I think of this. I have placed a pre-order with Sennheiser Nordic and have been assured I will receive a pair from the first batch that ships here. However the delivery I have been told to expect is end-April which is after the US launch IIRC, and I am just incensed on a point of principle that someone should try to dictate to me where I can spend my own money.

Questions:
  1. Anybody else out there had a pre-order cancelled on them?
  2. Are you as upset as I am?
  3. Any lawyers out there know if this is legal under EU competition law? (Sennheiser is a German company I believe and therefore subject to EU law even if Headroom isn't)

Apologies if there is already a thread going about this, a quick search didn't turn anything up.
post #2 of 72
Sounds like they are getting lessons from Grado.
post #3 of 72
And what's the EU price of that?
post #4 of 72
That is quite a standard term for a lot of things. Thus forcing one to get from local distributor....
post #5 of 72
UK £999.99
post #6 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by struts View Post
Received the enclosed from Jorge at Headroom on 2/4:


I have to say I was both suprised and dismayed to find Sennhieser behaving in this way, it smacks of restrictive trade practices to me. I mean I didn't order a pair of German headphones from the US just for the helluvit, because I like my headphones to come with a nice heavy carbon footprint, or because I am so fond of paying import duty and 25% sales tax that I even want to find a way of doing so on EU-manufactured products. I simply wanted to get them when they first became available and since I had not seen a clear statement on European availability from Sennheiser I decided to order from what I assumed would be one of their highest volume channels.

I have since exchanged emails with Sennheiser locally and let them know exactly what I think of this. I have placed a pre-order with Sennheiser Nordic and have been assured I will receive a pair from the first batch that ships here. However the delivery I have been told to expect is end-April which is after the US launch IIRC, and I am just incensed on a point of principle that someone should try to dictate to me where I can spend my own money.

Questions:
  1. Anybody else out there had a pre-order cancelled on them?
  2. Are you as upset as I am?
  3. Any lawyers out there know if this is legal under EU competition law? (Sennheiser is a German company I believe and therefore subject to EU law even if Headroom isn't)

Apologies if there is already a thread going about this, a quick search didn't turn anything up.
Try and get it shipped from UK as we are paying only 15% VAT as of now.
post #7 of 72
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by vkvedam View Post
Try and get it shipped from UK as we are paying only 15% VAT as of now.
Thanks for the helpful suggestion vkvedam, however I just want to make it doubly clear that I did not order from Headroom for price reasons, only to ensure the earliest availability. With the import duty and sales tax I would have had to pay when ordering from Headroom it would almost certainly have worked out a fair bit more expensive even if the list price in the US were lower, which I have no idea if it is - especially in these turbulent forex markets. However, whatever my rationale, IMHO it should be my choice, NOT SENNHEISER'S.
post #8 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by SleepyOne View Post
That is quite a standard term for a lot of things. Thus forcing one to get from local distributor....
X2.
There are warranty issues as well.
post #9 of 72
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moontan13 View Post
X2.
There are warranty issues as well.
But nothing so serious that it applies to the HD600, HD650 and all the other Sennheiser products that Headroom distributes...

Whose side are you on anyway?
post #10 of 72
Same thing here with HR and TTVJ - cannot blame the distributors though; it's Sennheiser's call.
post #11 of 72
Their strong arm tactics can catch their own throat soon. With updated Grado lineup that space age Sony knockoff can suffer in North American market.
post #12 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by QQQ View Post
Their strong arm tactics can catch their own throat soon. With updated Grado lineup that space age Sony knockoff can suffer in North American market.
pity Grado does the exact same thing with regards to international orders
post #13 of 72
I can see both sides of this. Sure a legitimate order that just happens to be to another country should be entirely the retailers call - why should the mfr care? OTOH, if you are running a global brand operation and you already have huge issues with gray market goods, warranty laws and knock-offs, it's understandable that you would try to protect the authorized distribution channels and the problems that occur when the channels are bypassed. Sennheiser has no way of knowing the difference between a guy looking to be on the cutting edge with their flagship product, and a guy looking to bypass the authorized distribution channel and have their flagship product show-up on ebay in a country that doesn't yet have all the corporate support structure in place to handle possible warranty claims, etc.

IMHO the real culprits here are the gray marketeers, knock-off artists and wildly different warranty laws that make doing business on a global scale such a pain in the @ss.
post #14 of 72
If you have any friends in the USA, you could try shipping it to them, then getting them to ship it to you.
post #15 of 72
Unless there are going to be massive differences in price I don't fully understand why Sennheiser did this...
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Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › Headroom cancelled my HD800 Pre-order! Strong-arm tactics by Sennheiser.