Bang & Olufsen's Bang-Up Customer Service

Reader Sharad misplaced the leather carrying case for his Bang & Olufsen A8 headphones. Rather than leave his headphones exposed to the elements, or worse, the inside of a backpack, Sharad sent Bang & Olufsen a fax asking for a replacement:

Bang & Olufsen America, Inc.
780 West Dundee Rd.
Arlington Heights, IL 60004
VIA FACSIMILE
(847) 255-7805

Dear Sir or Madam:

I am the proud owner of a pair of Bang & Olufsen A8 earphones. I received this wonderful product as a gift last Christmas. I enjoy the earphones very much and I use them everyday. Unfortunately, I have misplaced the black leather case that comes with the earphones. I would be very appreciative if you could kindly mail me a replacement leather case, as I am a student and do not live close to any Bang & Olufsen store. You would have a very grateful customer for many years to come.

Regards,

Sharad

Bang & Olufsen was quick to respond:

Hello Sharad:

I just received your fax and you are so in luck! By accident we received from Denmark a shipment of the cases which were supposed to go to a different country and because it would be so expensive to resend them, Denmark made the decision to leave them with us at no charge, so I can send one to you for free. I will be sending it to the address in your fax. Please drop me a line when you receive the case to confirm its receipt. It will be coming to you via UPS.

Yours truly,

Rolland Rahr
After Sales Service
Bang & Olufsen America, Inc.
Arlington Heights, IL

We like any CSR willing to tell someone: “you are so in luck!” Because the case was misplaced and not in any way defective, Rolland could easily have said no. Instead, he seized the opportunity to help and went above and beyond. Bang-up job, Rolland!

Comments

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  1. homerjay says:

    And at those over-inflated prices, I would expect no less! :) Still- that was nice of them, cuz at BMW’s over-inflated prices, clearly you get less.

  2. Rando says:

    Those don’t look like any pair of headphones I’d want near my head

  3. MikeB says:

    @RandoTheKing: Actually, I need a pair like these, I had surgery on my ear a couple years ago and basically do not have a normal ear canal (Can fit my thumb in to the knuckle) so earbuds would get lost in my ear.

    Great customer service.

  4. Amy Alkon says:

    Actually, I think it’s rather cheeky of him to not offer to pay for the case. They could then choose to send it to him free as a nice gesture. But, to expect it free? Kind of crass.

  5. SOhp101 says:

    Do you realize how much B&O products cost? They better bend over backwards and kiss your ass.

  6. JKinNYC says:

    Ridiculously overpriced? Yes. Sound Great? Yes? Most comfortable small headphones that i’ve ever had yes. I use these at the gym because they adjust to fit perfect.

    I’ve twice walked into a b&O store and they’ve given me a spare case and spare foam covers. At this price, they should. But these are still great headphones.

  7. bilge says:

    I’ve never understood “proudly” owning something. I have all sorts of nice crap, but they hardly give me a sense of pride.

  8. mph says:

    I have the same headphones – they are actually pretty great, although overpriced – and lost my case as well. Because of the unique shape, which makes them fit so well, it is hard to find a case for them. I called B&O and they send me a complementary replacement as well without any hassles.

  9. shaunirving says:

    Fax? What’s that?

  10. GothamGal says:

    They are truly wonderful and everything in the store has a no-hassle 3-year guarantee. I have these same headphones and the left channel died after 2 and a half years. I brought them in and walked out with a shiny new pair. They are overpriced, but the quality of their products is superior. I own a stereo system by them and everyone who hears it is impressed.

  11. djxspike says:

    I wandered into one of their stores in the Houston Galleria on a recent business trip and walked around for about 10 minutes with NONE of the employee’s speaking to me or asking me if I needed any help…

  12. Rando says:

    It took me a while to realize this photo is actually blown up, a lot.

  13. ninjatales says:

    First Bose and now Bang&Olufson. Those guys must read Consumerist quite a bit.

  14. Roadgeek says:

    This fellow Sharad has quite the sense of entitlement.

  15. Razzler says:

    @Roadgeek:

    Not really. It’s not entitlement to except exceptional service after having paid exceptional prices – those headphones cost $160.

  16. Razzler says:

    @Razzler:

    Oops. EXPECT exceptional service.

  17. amoeba says:

    Glad that he got a free pair. those earphones cost like $160 + tax. So Bang & Olufsen better replace damage/lost items. I am happy with my apple ipod earphones, How come people spend so much money to listen music?

  18. Zombietime says:

    The ipod earbuds sucks donkey balls. If you’ve ever listened to a good recording through good equipment, be it headphones or a component system, you’ll understand why people spend the money. Granted not everyone can afford krell monoblocks or cary tube preamps but you do get what you pay for.

  19. amoeba says:

    @Zombietime: I rather buy a great sound system than buying earphones. I only listen my ipod when I am working out at the gym. I am a happy girl with my apple earphones.

  20. JKinNYC says:

    @amoeba: Honestly, do your ears a favor and drop $12 on some Sony earphones if you don’t want to buy yourself something better than that. The Apple ones don’t sit right in most ears, which leads to increased volume, which leads to ear damage. Do some googling. You don’t need to drop big cash, but you don’t want to go deaf either.

  21. micahd says:

    Man, I can’t imagine owning those over priced things, their stuff feels slimey… like that directbuy place or something.

    I’d buy Shure or (gag me) bose before even looking at that stuff.

  22. obbie says:

    wow i kinda want to buy some B&O stuff now. one problem im a student also… just like Sharad. perhaps they will just send me some free stuff.

  23. unnes says:

    @MicahD: Not only are Shure (and Bose) products better than B&O, Shure has absolutely the best customer service I’ve ever encountered. If their equipment breaks (or frays, or whatever), they’ll replace it no questions asked, regardless of the condition it’s in, the state of the packaging, or the presence of the receipt. It’s quite remarkable that I can drop or step on a pair of 300 dollar earphones and the manufacturer will replace them for free without even questioning me about it.

    Needless to say, I’m a Shure customer for life.

  24. Alvis says:

    To be fair, I think it would have been more kosher to ask to buy a replacement case direct, as it’s not B&O’s fault you lost it, and hope they come through with a cheap sollution. You got lucky asking for a handout.

    As for headphones in general, best pair under $100 has got to be the Grado SR60s. May LOOK like crap, but sound better than anything else.

  25. ogman says:

    Very cool of them to do that!

  26. SOhp101 says:

    @unnes: I disagree. Bose products are crap, and they make only headphones (not earphones) with very poor sound reproduction.

    B&O and Shure sound great but I find it difficult to justify their prices. I think Sennheiser earphones cost/sound quality is justifiable especially when I’m listening to a music player in public.

  27. WV.Hillbilly says:

    I like the way the guy plays the poor student card but has a pair of $160 earphones.

  28. jamar0303 says:

    Audiocubes.com has great headphones if you don’t feel like paying $160 but still want great design and quality.

  29. rjhiggins says:
  30. Charles Duffy says:

    @WV.Hillbilly: The letter specifies them as a gift.

  31. Sharad says:

    @Amy Alkon: Amy, I have actually lost this leather carrying case before, and I did pay $20 to have one of B&O’s retail stores send me a replacement.

    However, this time I decided to simply ask if they wouldn’t mind sending me a replacement. They were under no obligation to do so, and the fact that they did provide me a new case without charging me is a testament to their great customer service.

  32. Sharad says:

    @bilge: I’m a “proud” owner in the sense that when my friends tell me they want to buy new headphones, I recommend Bang & Olufen’s headphones without hesitation.

  33. Sharad says:

    @Roadgeek: I merely asked B&O for a favor, and they agreed. They were under no obligation to do so, and I have purchased a replacement case from them in the past, and would have done so had they not received the extra shipment of cases from Denmark.

  34. Sharad says:

    @WV.Hillbilly: Remember, I got the headphones as a gift…

  35. rtala34 says:

    I read this story and recently sent my headphones back because the left channel stopped working and the ear hinge came off. Despite the fact that I was well beyond the warranty period (at least five years) they repaired the headphones and replaced the case free of charge. I addressed my request to Rolland Rahr. You get what you pay for