I have a set of Bose QC2 noise-canceling headphones that I use every day. I bought them in late 2007. They don’t make my BART commute quiet, but they make it tolerable enough that I can listen to music and podcasts.
Within the first year the wire started to fray a little. I walked into the Bose store in San Francisco and without blinking they gave me a new cable. Very cool.
Another couple of years later and my sweaty, bald head had caused the ear cups and cushioned underside of the head band to wear out. I ordered new ear cups ($35 + shipping) from their website and made a mental note to call tech support about replacing the headband when I had a chance.
Yesterday two things happened. First, the new ear cups arrived. And then I noticed the cable fraying again in the same spot - the insulation is pulling away from the jack. So now time to call and ask what should I do. I want to order the cable and the headband.
Tyler has the rep who got my call. The cable was $15 and easy to replace. But the headband piece was not replaceable.
“So you’ve already spent the $35 for the cups. I can certainly send you a new cable, which is $15 plus shipping. But we’re certainly sorry that you’ve had these issues with our product - they really should last longer than the few years you’ve had them.”
I replied that the electronics are fine. But my glands are just outside Bose’s tolerances.
“Here’s what we can do - for $89, plus tax and shipping, and $5 to ship your old headphones back to us, I can send you our newest equivalent model. We just released it in the last year or so and they’re lots better anyway.”
Do I need to ship them right away? I’d like to use them on a business trip next week.
“No problem. Print the mailing label when you get it in your email - it expires in a week. But the label is good for 90 days. If we don’t receive the old set by then, we’ll cancel the whole thing. So drop it in the mail when you get back. You’re all set. I’ll transfer you to our RMA department to send back the ear cups you’ve already received. No problem.”
I didn’t get the second rep’s name, but he finished the transaction before I could tell him the whole story.
I’m going to give Bose the benefit of the doubt that they’ll refurb what they can and dispose of the parts they can’t.
Meanwhile? Super Happy Customer.