Court is now in session in the matter of the people vs. Home Theater Suppliers, et. al.

While this may not qualify for a Murder One conviction, a charge of second degree aggravated irritation should stick.

High on the list of counts (grievances) is the now standard practice of not publishing hard copy manuals for even their most complicated products. Often, the manual most needed is 100+ pages in length, causing the owner who actually wants to (permanently) know how to use it, to rush to Office Depot for copious amounts of paper and cartridge ink. While you are there, you must pick-up a magnifying glass for those tiny Asian/European fonts.

HearYe 800
(Photo: Sora Shimazaki-Pexels)

Those unwilling to kill a couple of trees are sentenced to initiate a call to the non-sequitur, "Customer Support"—an experience roughly equivalent to ten root-canals. Be prepared to be transferred two or three times before you reach anyone familiar with the product you bought.

All of this, of course, is an obvious attempt to pass costs over to the purchaser. In other words, in order to properly use the product and all its features, there is additional time and expense required. We, have correctly identified this as "FRAUD".

When the defendant's product ("ACME A/V BOX") fails, buckle up. After sitting through a lengthy deposition to confirm the un-findable product serial number, long-discarded original receipt, seller's zip code and the last four digits of your mother's SS#, you are given the coveted RA# to return the product(s)...if you have the original packing material. We are asking the Court to order ACME to just say: "Send it back and we will fix it...and thank you for your loyalty".

Now to the co-defendant, the shrink-wrapping crew. There is a continuing practice of shrink-wrapping everything so aggressively you are likely to damage it to free it. Disc media, magazines and all manner of accessories come to mind.

Finally, we insist on calling an apple, an apple. Every manufacturer wants you to think they have something "special," but claims uniqueness by giving the same thing a different name. JVC, for instance, has D-ILA while Sony has SXRD—both are simply LCoS display technology. This stuff is tough enough without additional, deliberate obfuscation.

The penalty for "skipping out" on these charges will be otherwise loyal clients exploring alternative purchase options and telling friends why.

Last month, this prosecutor sent his Konica-Minolta color analyzer in for repair. After a $1,200 fix, a $900 re-calibration fee and a seven week round trip to Osaka Japan, plus $230 in return freight charges, normal operation was restored.

I rest my case.

Comments (5) Post a Comment
Chris Posted Mar 2, 2021 6:56 PM PST
I actually feel the opposite in regards to hard copy manuals. A 50+ page paper manual plus then 5 copies of this in 5 different languages. Seems like such a waste of paper. I like that I can now download a pdf manual, I can then do a word search to find the relevant topic instead of going page by page. Also means I don't need to remember where I put the book, I can just re-download the pdf whenever it's required. I agree with the annoyance of brands calling the same technology by different names though, you have to do so much research to figure out what they are actually selling.
Terry Paullin Posted Mar 2, 2021 7:00 PM PST
Chris - your points are all well taken. I may be just a little "old school." I find with very large manuals, starting with an index gets me where I want to go faster.
Norbert Hanny Posted Mar 2, 2021 11:04 PM PST
Dear Terry, very good article! Thanks!
Dave Palmatier Posted Mar 4, 2021 7:03 AM PST
Very good article and lots of truth there. I enjoyed itūüĎć
Norbert Posted Mar 5, 2021 4:22 PM PST
I agree somewhat with Chris, but a keyword search may not get you anywhere since different terminologies tend to be used. So I prefer a printed copy but without 20 pages of safety instructions and disclaimer. They can be supplied electronically. Also download if manuals does not work everywhere. Otherwise a very prudent artical applicable to all products all over the world.

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