My beloved ATH-CK10 are broken after just a year and can't be fixed or replaced under warranty thanks to some ridiculous requirements from AccessoryJack. What do I replace them with?
I also recommend you avoid buying from AccessoryJack. If you take the plunge, be sure to keep ALL ORIGINAL PACKAGING AND PAPERWORK.
The whole story
A little over a year ago, I exchanged 300 of my US dollars for aural bliss. I bought my ATH-CK10 from AccessoryJack.com since I live in the States where they're unavailable through authorized channels. They sounded gorgeous. AccessoryJack's website assured me that I'd have the full warranty coverage, albeit with a bit more hassle:
Do I have warranty on the products?
All products we sell are New and Genuine in original packing. We do not sell used or fake products. However, the warranty issued, unless otherwise stated, is usually effective in Hong Kong. To take the warranty, you will be responsible to mail us the product and we will help to fix it by authorized professional personnel at distributors. Then we will ship it back to you.
Given that and the legendary build quality of these headphones, I wasn't too worried. I expected to be set for at least 3-5 years.
Early this September, though, less than a year later, the right channel went out. I fiddled with the cable, cleaned the jack, tried multiple sources, and eventually concluded that the problem is actually in the housing. I contacted AccessoryJack to get this fixed in accordance with their policies. It took two attempts and two weeks to finally elicit a response from them.
Eventually they confirmed that I could get these headphones fixed or replaced under warranty, but I'd need to send them the headphones with the original warranty sticker. I'd thrown it away after receiving the headphones and confirming that they worked. After all, I've been an avid online shopper for a good 10+ years and never (ever) needed the original paperwork to get a warranty repair. At worst, I've had to forward a copy of my original order confirmation to a particularly disorganized company.
Since I don't have this paperwork, AccessoryJack politely told me there's nothing they can do.
Now, to be fair, AccessoryJack was relaying this requirement to me from Audio Technica Hong Kong. Maybe this is just how they operate, though ATUS told me it was because AccessoryJack was not an authorized reseller. I'd also have expected AccessoryJack to mention this unusual requirement somewhere on their website or order confirmation.
More than that, I'd expect AccessoryJack to stand behind the purchase. It might be unfair to ask them to take a loss here, but it's also unfair that I'm out $300 and a pair of headphones that were still under warranty because they failed to communicate the requirements. Instead, they basically shrugged their shoulders and said "Boy, that sucks."
I called ATUS to see if they could do anything. They told me that 1) These headphones have long been discontinued, so they can't replace them, 2) They're sealed earbuds so they can't repair them, and 3) I purchased from an unauthorized reseller so I can't get full value in exchanging for a different pair. They did offer to give me a discount on any set of headphones bought directly from them.
That brings me to my current position: where do I go from here?
The ATH-CK10 was my perfect IEM. The sound signature is exactly what I wanted (analytical, detailed, taut and controlled bass, sparkling highs), they were comfortable to wear all day, and they weren't at all flashy.
There's really nothing that piques my interest on the ATUS website. They go from the $550 CKW1000ANV to $120 CKS77BK. Not what I'm looking for.
Is there anything out there that matches the CK10's balance of deeply analytical sound with (what was supposed to be) leading build quality?
Edited by itldob - 10/28/12 at 4:41pm