Yea, shelf life seems annoyingly short.
My overall interaction was rather short lived. I have kept a close eye on them for over a half year now, but never ordered something. They are usually known for their great build quality. The fear of a bad impression didn't happen with my first CIEM's. I had a perfect fit and ordered a second pair of a different model from the same company. Aurisonics scans in the impressions and then using methods similar to rapid prototyping, print out the impressions to use as the shell. It's an unfortunate thing though that any company using a different process will eventually have issues with their methods. with the company I went with for CIEM's, its a matter of getting good impressions made. With most other companies though there are a lot more variables and it's not entirely up to your control. I am really surprised their lack of concern though, they pride themselves on craftsmanship and even an insincere generic email sounds like it would've been better than how you were treated. I would've gone for regular tips after the first tip broke.
Yeah, that was the other part that frustrated me: If I'd been told, 'Not only will vinyl tips be more expensive, but you'll essentially be buying something with a shelf life of ~ year,' I obviously wouldn't have gone with that choice, but the way it was presented was that the vinyl tip was more comfortable -- which is why it cost more. I guess when the left ear ripped I should have put 2 and 2 together and sent them back in pronto, but I (naively) assumed that a company selling CIEM would let you know if regular use meant it wouldn't last.
It's also a little bit frustrating that after sending them in, their first suggestion was that I pay $225 for new vinyl tips without any mention of the fact that if I got them again, I should expect the same thing to happen.
Anyway, I'll keep people posted. I sent a very polite note yesterday saying I understood that I was no longer under warranty but I didn't think it unreasonable to think that they'd last more than 15 months. I didn't make any specific requests inre: whether I thought they should cover it, whether I thought we should split it, whether it should be pro-rated, whatever, but just left it at that and am waiting to hear back from them. So far, nothing.
Also, kenman345, I'm curious about your interactions with 1964 overall. In general, I've found their customer service to be a bit lacking -- but perhaps more from lack of awareness than anything else. When they initially sent these to me and the fit was really pretty egregiously off, they didn't say they were sorry but just instructed me to go pay for another ear mold to be made. (They didn't even offer to cover the shipping on sending in that new mold.) Instead, I just paid the audiologist who made the mold to make some slight adjustments -- and they didn't offer to cover any of that either, or say they were sorry it ended up being a hassle -- they just said, essentially, good, glad it's fixed. It's not even that I think they should have covered that cost -- I haven't given it much thought one way or the other -- but it would have nice to have some acknowledgement on their part that their first attempt didn't work and that they were going to do whatever they could to make it right.