Monster Responds To "Monster Cables, Monster Ripoff"

The Monster Cables Public Relations department sent in a two-page response to our post, “Monster Cables, Monster Ripoff. Without a shadow of a doubt, this is one issue that they are definitely taking seriously. Read their official company rebuttal statement, inside…

Response from Monster Cable on Article in the Consumerist

Monster would like to acknowledge and respond to the publishing of the Monster pricing from an employee at RadioShack in the article titled “Monster Cables, Monster Ripoff: 80% markups.”

The article can be misread that consumers are paying inappropriate prices charged by our retailers for Monster Cable products. The article misleads the reader in citing retailer markups of 80% as if the retailer makes 80% profit margin on products that they sell. Anyone in retail knows that one does not calculate profit by markups, but by profit margins made on the sale as a ratio of what they paid for it. So in the example of the 19ft. HDMI-DVI cable that was highlighted as Retail $179.95, wholesale of $99.40, that’s a profit margin of 44%, which is totally in line with what retailers choose to sell accessory items like Monster Cable. Also the DVI and the S-Video cable cited are both discontinued products using old cable technology. Most of the products listed in the article are 37% to 39% profit margins. This is much less than profit margins on other consumer products like clothing, jewelry, furniture, and accessories to other consumer products.

It’s also misleading when the tone of the article alludes to Monster Cable ripping off consumers, when Monster cannot legally set retail pricing. This is clearly up to the retailer. However in defense of retailers of consumer electronics, it is typical that small items warrant higher profit margins, while large items like TV’s have small profit margins. The consumer clearly wins in the electronics category.

We would also like to point out that Monster makes the highest quality cables in the world, but always with a variety of price points for the consumer to choose from. For example, with today’s most popular digital connection, HDMI, the consumer has a wide range of performance choices with four models of Monster Advanced Speed Rated HDMI Cables, ranging from $49.95 to $99.95. The performance of each of these Speed Rated cables is independently verified by Simplay Labs http://www.simplayhd.com, so our customers know exactly the performance they are paying for. In addition, these prices are in line or lower than other high performance cables offered by Monster’s competitors at retail locations throughout the country.

There is also a comment about digital cables not making a difference and that the only difference in digital cables is the price. This is simply not the case. HDMI Licensing, LLC, the group that develops the HDMI specification, has published two different cable speeds for the current 1.3 specification: Standard Speed at 2.23 Gbps, and High Speed at 4.95 Gbps, which is known as HDMI 1.3 Category 2. For more information, go to http://www.hdmi.org.

In fact, Steve Venuti, Vice President of Marketing for HDMI Licensing, LLC, stated in a recent Widescreen Review article:
http://www2.widescreenreview.com/127venuti.pdf

“…HDMI evolves as it continues to react to the demands of the marketplace. With the introduction of HDMI 1.3 in 2006, HDMI doubled the bandwidth of the specification, and with that, gave manufacturers the ability to design products that can output and receive signals at unprecedented levels…And where there is increased bandwidth, there is increased demand on the cable to deliver the HDMI signal.”

This clearly states that not all HDMI digital cables are the same. Buying the best cables possible will insure that one always gets the best possible digital picture for the components they own.

For those who want to get the real facts on HDMI, please visit http://www.monstercable.com/HDMI/advancedhdmi.asp for the following videos:

1. The Constant Evolution of HDMI with Steve Venuti, Vice President of Marketing, HDMI Licensing, LLC
2. Certified HDMI Cable Performance with Joseph Lias, President of Simplay Labs, LLC

For those who want technical information on why there are different levels of HDMI Cables, one can reference the white paper on HDMI at http://www.monstercable.com/HDMI/whitepaper.asp, where you will learn about why different HDMI cables are needed.

For those who want to get an inside look on the testing of Monster’s HDMI cables, visit http://www.monstercable.com/HDMI/advancedhdmi.asp for an eye opening video of Monster’s quality R&D and testing.

The digital TV revolution is moving fast, as one sees from the introduction of 240Hz displays from TI and Ultra High Definition Displays from Samsung at CES this year. These advanced displays paves the way for vastly improved high definition components that will need even higher speed HDMI cables, all of which are available today from Monster’s Advanced Speed Rated cables.

For those who want to know more about higher definition, Monster and Disney have partnered together on a DVD that educates customers on the various levels of higher definition and how to buy and set up for higher definition TV. The DVD is called The Higher Definition Home Theater Experience, and we would like to offer it at no charge to everyone who is visiting this site by sending your shipping address to the following email: pr@monstercable.com.

Monster has always made the highest quality products at reasonable prices. We stand behind the retailers that offer great service and advice to our customers at a fair profit and we hope that this additional information clarifies some of the confusion that the article might have generated.

Response from Consumerist on Monster Cable Response on Article in the Consumerist

1. As decided in Leegin v. PSKS, this statement, “Monster cannot legally set retail pricing. This is clearly up to the retailer…” is patently false. See “Supreme Court Allows Manufacturers To Dictate Minimum Prices, Screws Consumers

2. Their response neatly sidesteps a giant section of the original post, so I’ll reproduce it here:

The worst part isn’t really the markup. Stereo equipment routinely has markups of 80 to 100 to 200% by the time it hits the shelves. It’s the initial inflated price, and how gadget stores try to push the cables so hard, telling people that Monster cables offer superior picture and sound then what you would get with another cable. But that simply isn’t the case. Our sister site Gizmodo ran a battery of tests and found Monster cables are for the most part, completely unnecessary. (see The Truth About Monster Cable – Grand Finale (Part III), HDMI Cable Battlemodo Resumes, The Truth About Monster Cable, Part 2 (Verdict: Cheap Cables Keep Up…Usually), and The Truth About Monster Cable).

3. So the paragons of the truth about HDMI cables are a Vice President of Marketing, and the Disney corporation?

4. Monoprice.com.

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