PB Technology and the Consumer Guarantees Act

I’ve loved me some Ultimate Ears in the past. Sadly, my free sample 5vi earphones gave up the ghost after about 18 months of very heavy use. I didn’t think that was too bad, given daily use, regular weekend runs as sound blockers when mowing the lawn, and even one night left out in the rain on top of the car.

So when they stopped working in January (2.5 months ago), I thought nothing of replacing the $500 5vi model with the cheaper $120 Metro.Fi 200v jobbies. The sound quality is nowhere near as good, but they seemed OK. But about a week ago I started noticing fraying around the plug:

Frayed cord end

I took them back to PB Technologies in Queen Street to get a refund or replacement. You see, based on the consumer gurantees act, I’d think that any normal consumer would expect headphones to cope with normal daily usage without fraying like that. The “technician” responded immediately with “nah that’s damage from misuse”.

Thing is, I didn’t damage these earphones. I use them every day, and treat them well. If I’d left them on the car like the free ones I had, I wouldn’t take them back. I’d say this falls under the “substantially do not meet acceptable quality” section of the consumer guarantees act, allowing me to ask for a refund.

Interestingly, Logitech’s local PR reps contacted me when I posted my issue. Nice of them to offer to help, but I think this is a problem between me and PB Technologies. Stay tuned.

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  1. I have had the same issue with UE phones, I rang them to tellthem I believed they had a products issue and got a thanks for your feedback, we don’t believe there is an issue response. As a result I won’t be buying this brand again, a shame since the sound is pretty good. I have moved to Sennheiser phones – the sound seems as good to me and the connecter is far better designed, the downside is tehy are a little more expensive.

  2. I have some UE 100i headphone that are fine.

    I got mine from Dick Smith, which has the advantage that I’ve always found them more than ready to replace faulty stock.

  3. Incidentally, a colleague is having a similar issue with a parallel importer over an HTC HD2 with a big screen glitch that developed after a couple of days.

    They are saying he did it, thanks for the 1000+ bucks, see ya.

  4. These are just the sort of issues that the Disputes Tribunal was set up to deal with. Costs next to nothing to file a claim. You’ll have your day in Court and if your claim has merit will get your problem fixed/money back/product replaces etc.

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