I need advice. Heres the deal: I own a Hafler DH500 stereo amplifier. It’s old (dates from the 80s), but is a quite reasonable, good quality amplifier. A while back, it lost its right channel. I did some shopping to find a repair place that would accept it, and found one. It was not easy to find a place that would accept it.
I took it to the shop in late December. A month goes by. Another month. They keep telling me they’re working on it, but they’re having some trouble because they don’t have access to a schematic for it. They put me off with stuff about “call again next week.” But it’s not weeks, it’s months. They are completely unreliable about calling back when they say they will.
After four months of this–it is now April–and reports of repairs efforts leading to smoking and burning smells when the amplifier is turned on, they tell me, “we can’t fix it without a schematic, and we can’t find a schematic.” I ask them if they’ll fix it if I can find a schematic for them, they say fine. I find a schematic for them in less than five minutes at, get this, this website: www.hafler.com. Imagine.
So they say they’ll try to fix it. More months go by. It is now early July. They say, we need the following parts, which we can’t find. I find complete replacement boards on ebay for a good value. I buy the boards, give them to the shop. They say great. Weeks go by. They say “so, oh, well there’s another part that’s bad, not on the board. We can’t find a replacement.” I contact Hafler, and am given a referral to a company in North Carolina (Freeman’s Electronics) which stocks old Halfer parts. I order the proper replacements. All of this takes less than five minutes. The parts are shipped.
Last week, they received the parts. This week, on Tuesday, they said it was all put together and they needed to test it for two days, call back Thursday.
Now it’s Thursday. Oh, guess what, it’s not done yet. “Hopefully next week,” they tell me.
My patience is gone. I’ve shelled out $100 for parts which for all I know they ruined when they caused my amplifier to smoke after trying to repair it without a schematic. God knows that they’re going to charge me for labor. I’m willing to spend several hundred dollars to get it repaired. It’s good piece of equipment, and to replace it with something of comparable quality, but new, would cost me on the order of $1500-2000.
This has gone too far. I’m pissed. I’m depressed about it all. I’m tired of being told “hopefully next week.” I’m annoyed that they couldn’t find the schematic and parts themselves, which were damn easy for me to find, and I know nothing about electronics repairs.
I want my amplifier back. My home stereo has been silent for eight months.
What do I do? Do I try to get my amplifier back? Do I give them one more week? If I get it back from them unrepaired, do I still owe them for their labor, which as far as I can tell as been a complete waste of time?