A Rare Rant: Monster Cables, and Keeping Your Promises
I rarely post about "negative" things. There's enough of that running around the internet to keep us in a permanent state of depression for decades. But I thought my readers might find it interesting to see how I try to act when I'm frustrated. Below is a letter I sent to Monster cable company, of which I and many of my friends are big fans.
I hope the takeaway from this letter is not that I'm upset with Monster, but that if you make a promise to your customers or your audience, keep it. Once you break someone's trust in you, it's difficult or impossible to regain it. Let this be a reminder for us all.
My name is Eric, and I'm a Nashville-based musician. About 7 years ago I started investing in Monster cables because of your lifetime free unconditional replacement policy. I ended up spending about 3-5 times what other cables would have cost to make sure I had a cable I knew I'd never have to replace. Not to mention you guys make rock-solid, clean products.
In fact, you guys make such a quality product, it's only now for the first time that I've needed to replace my cable- a 3 foot instrument cable that I dropped around $20 on about 5 years ago. At the time, I spent almost quadruple over what I could have bought other instrument cables for because I liked your quality and your amazing return policy. It seemed like a good investment.
I stopped by Guitar Center today, and they refused to replace it. I made a few phone calls around town, and I could find no dealer in Nashville (AKA music city) that will honor the lifetime warranty. Instead, they suggested I ship you the cable to replace it.
I checked into shipping, and it would actually cost me more in postage to ship your cable back to you than it would for me to go out and buy a brand new cable from another company. If any of my other longer cables (30' and 50' XLR cables, for instance) go bad and I'd have to ship it to you, I could literally buy two identical cables from your competitors for what it would cost to ship it to you, not to mention I'd be without a cable while I waited for a replacement.
After resigning myself to the fact that I would have to dig into my pockets and pay the postage to ship the cable to you, I then spent about 20 minutes browsing your website trying to find your return information. Nothing. Not a return address, no information about your "lifetime" warranty.
I own a number of Monster products, and I'm very frustrated with the way I feel you've let your customers down with your warranty. We paid a high up-front cost in return for a simple no-hassle lifetime warranty, and I feel we're being taken advantage of.
I believe a simple promise should be a kept: if you said in the past that all we had to do was walk into a retailer, hand them the broken cable and walk out with a new one, you should honor that promise. If it costs too much for new buyers, fine- let them know that you've changed your policy. But don't cheat guys like me who have invested hundreds of dollars in cables and help grow your business.
Again, I love your products. Please keep making them. I really believe in your company. I'm just asking you to keep your word to guys like me. We'll keep buying from you, but only if we think we can trust you.