Today’s grip comes to you courtesy of Belkin.

A while ago I bought a Belkin TuneStudio. It worked wonderfully and I was very happy with it.

This morning I tried to turn it on to be greeted with nothing.

A couple of hours on the phone with Belkin resulted in them offering another product worth what I paid for the device (£37.50). Given that they list it on their site for $250 (and claim that’s the reduced price) I feel that was more than a bit stingy.

It’s not about the money though – it’s about a mixer. They don’t make mixers any more and so feel that despite being within warranty they’re well within their rights to tell me where to stick it.

Unsurprisingly I’m not okay with that. I need a mixer, not a set of speakers. It doesn’t have to be the same one, but it needs to have most of the features – notably the USB interface and multiple XLR inputs.

As it happens Alesis do one for £59. It doesn’t have the iPod interface but that’s fine with me.

Of course it’s not made by Belkin so they don’t offer it as a replacement. Personally I don’t see why that’s my problem. They sold me a mixer and promised it would work. Seven months later it’s broken and they’re acting as if that’s something I should just accept.

Phoning them results in various reps telling me about “their system” and how they do things. I don’t expect my customers to care about which software I edit in when my levels are messed up. People ordering from Fox Box don’t get a lecture about how I can’t refund them if they paid in cash. I do what I have to in order to make things right – how I go about it isn’t their concern.

Similarly I don’t see why their system is something I should care about.

Anyway, the plan now is to package it up and post it to head office. I’ve got enough semi-functional Belkin junk cluttering up my life. They can take back their sloppy work.

I’m truly sick of big companies feeling like they can just fob their customers off and hide behind their own bureaucracies. Time to make them answer for their false promises.

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