Problems with Tech - support

*Greetings! - To those it may concern, may I start off by saying that I am a novice in the audiophile world and as I just begin to dip my toes in, I am looking back to a Harmon Kardon AVR300 (old) and a pair of Polk Audio R40s which were purchased years ago as a high school gift for me. I never got around to use them and they have traveled with me all around the country because I knew the name was a good one. I recently began making my own IEMS and form this I decided I needed better home audio as well. Skip 10+ years and I am actually going to use them now, I admit it was ridiculous to lug them from Oregon to California to Illinois. But here I am...and I have always been someone who invests in quality and appreciates better things.
I plugged everything in and calibrated/configured things to work through he AVR300 using a cd channel with RCA. After a Few days and much gained knowledge I learned about DACs (like the dragonfly) for portable and consumer grade products to get that better conversion out of the overpriced iPad I own. It eventually dawned on me that polk has been in the industry for many years and might be able to tell me what was in these speakers or how to diagnose it.
I knew the speakers were old and regardless of lack of use and that they were unlikely to be covered under warranty this was not my motivation. I called in and spent 1 hour on the phone with a very helpful gentleman who took time to give me some pointers as well as some of the qualities that sets polk apart form other makers. This was an incredibly gainful interaction. The general internet is wrought with misinformation and either too much or too little details to get anything effective without an arduous attempt.
I determined that I likely need to trouble shoot a couple things after I had already ruled everything else out including circuitboards and chips in the AVR300 as well as proper wiring/connections and compatible ohm standards for the receiver I was using… I had spent so much time I was feeling a bit exhausted of it until I spoke with a representative at {Polk Audio} and I was reinvigorated to get back at it again with a couple ideas on troubleshooting after another hour I determined the tweeters did not emit audio after isolating them. This was great! Now all I needed to do was to know what top replace them with. The rep told me about Crutchfield and a few other good resources for basic questions and that if I needed any more specific info to call in. I felt welcomed and taken care-of and certainly moving towards wanting to be a support of a company which boasts employees like this.

After a few hours I also bought a DAC per discussion which would fit my needs and I was set to go.

I CALLED POLK AUDIO again and had a different representative this time. At this point the story changes drastically,
I called expecting a helpful and benevolent technician like the one I spoke to before and to my surprise I was talking to one of the most toxic people I have ever heard representing a company. He answered the phone in a very tired voice with “tech support” (understandable - he probably works hard and was tired). I explained my circumstance and that I am a novice but certainly tech savvy enough to figure this out and having moved them around the country I felt determined after that previous representative. He told me the speakers were not under warranty as if assuming that was what I was going for, not only that he also began to explain to me that “when you're doing a DIY project” as if to say that all of my efforts were invalid and that I had wasted my time - was “not something we really have information on” his sentences didn’t really make sense and they were also incredibly dismissive. Polk did not carry what I needed anymore as the speakers were quite old but he said that the problem is fixed by “buying a tweeter” I continued to pursue this was a positive attitude and the same sense of helpfulness which was demonstrated prior only to find that this guy was not remotely interested in actually listening to the words I was saying. He had decided at that moment he had nothing to sell me - (that he knew of) and that he would then continue to almost be intentionally not helpful. I would pursue the knowledge given before and he would repeat himself “get a tweeter” this time he might say “a generic 1” tweeter”. Now in my 12 hours learning about this stuff I have come to find that nothing is that simple and there are many considerations to be had when approaching audio or anything of this matter.,
The worst part about this interaction is that I could hear his voice perk up when he knew he not only A: did not have to help me, but also B: thought he did not have the specific part I needed.
I would insist that I had a difficult time getting part numbers and ask if he could just let me know what polk had put inside as far as tweeters. He then would repeat the same “DIY demonstrative sentence again” despite my persistent but respectful and clear communication, it was almost like he enjoyed being so malignant. We went through a couple numbers then he proceeded to tell me that “everything was 8 ohms” and I asked to clarify because I had believed this was the sum total impedance - not the individual he stood by what he said which contradicted what I thought I knew with my little knowledge. After having him barrated me about “DIY” projects and treating me so disrespectfully. I maintained good pose and I asked if there was anyway I could get ahold of the gentleman I spoke with before and he said “who was it” and I attempted to describe him but was cut off and he said basically that there was “no way of figuring this out”. Fair enough but bottom line I wanted to try to use them because they were my dads last gift to me and I had never used them.

I am a medical Student who works very hard for the state and in my education and I have found that generally there are not too many trolls or negative people in the Audiophile world, I make a lot of my own things and I like to buy quality products as well (like polk audio). Also I am in debt up to my neck… having lugged these around for 10 years I thought I should try fix them with the very limited time I have.

- AT around 4PM on Wednesday July 31st I called back into Polk to complete the circle I had started prior, one that would likely persist business.
- I was insulted directly as to my capacity to “fix” this, which is ironic when I asked him to help me understand what he meant by “everything is 8 ohms”
Upon further follow up the agent became almost excited to see that he could basically yank me around and say demeaning things and get away with this because they no longer carried a part… (I DID NOT EVEN NEED THE SPECIFIC PART) I only asked that could tell me what information he does have and not only did he not do this… he would repeat a insulting and demeaning statement about “DIYers” - I had no Idea this was such a looked down on thing. I thought it was a shame that I. Never used the speakers.

This was quite possibly the most toxic interaction I have ever had with a comma y like this and it did not seem at all like a “perception” issue. I had no idea polk audio stood behind that kind of behavior and it Is certainly a disincentive to ever do business with them. In fact, I was so perturbed I am writing about it - which is a rarity for myself as well.

FOR THOSE WHO ARE CONSIDERING POLK AUDIO AS A SOURCE OF BUSINESS AND AUDIO, I RECOMMEND YOU STAY CLEAR you will honestly feel more defeated and insulted just by interacting with them.


  • Clipdat
    Clipdat Posts: 10,943
    That's frustrating. It sounds like you got Kim Jasper on your first call, maybe try calling back and asking for him. I'm sure he would like to know about this unpleasant experience.
  • mdaudioguy
    mdaudioguy Posts: 5,162
    We've heard recently that Polk CS is understaffed. I'm not sure how they could justify spending even an hour on this issue. I actually want to ban myself from the forum tonight for taking the time to read the OP.

    Tear those speakers apart and post some pics here, with just a few, concise words. Honestly, I think that'll be the best way to resolve your "issue." Btw, upon reaching the end of your post, I'm not entirely sure you even laid out exactly what problem you were having.... except that it had something to do with tweeters, I think.
  • codycatalist
    codycatalist Posts: 2,662
    Polk part number RD1503-1 should be your tweeter.

    Found some here:
    Just a dude doing dude-ly things

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  • F1nut
    F1nut Posts: 47,051
    That story has far too many inconsistencies.
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."

    President of Club Polk

  • daddyjt
    daddyjt Posts: 1,597
    Before you cast aspersions on the entire Polk brand and company, answer me this:

    As a medical student, do YOU want to be judged on poor medical service I’ve received in the past? Because I can tell you, I’ve had interactions with your peers in the medical community that put your experience with Polk to shame.

    "Conservative Libertarians love the country, progressive leftists love the government." - Andrew Wilkow

    “Human beings are born with different capacities. If they are free, they are not equal. And if they are equal, they are not free.”
    ― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

  • VR3
    VR3 Posts: 25,590
    You can just buy a used set and get a whole plethora of parts
    - Not Tom

    "No, that's silly talk. Dude, you can't possibly be this audio dumb so quit the act." - Doro
  • mdaudioguy
    mdaudioguy Posts: 5,162
    F1nut wrote: »
    That story has far too many words.
  • VR3
    VR3 Posts: 25,590
    I have called tech support and dealt with multiple people who have a chip on their shoulder and act like the customers are the enemy.

    This seems more the norm than the exception. Kim and Ken were/are great.

    The irony is that when you call definitive tech support, they are as spot on as they ever were.
    - Not Tom

    "No, that's silly talk. Dude, you can't possibly be this audio dumb so quit the act." - Doro
  • rooftop59
    rooftop59 Posts: 7,448
    VR3 wrote: »
    I have called tech support and dealt with multiple people who have a chip on their shoulder and act like the customers are the enemy.

    This seems more the norm than the exception. Kim and Ken were/are great.

    The irony is that when you call definitive tech support, they are as spot on as they ever were.

    And honestly, with what you can get on ebay and your local craigslist, its not worth repairing the speakers. Lots of great used speakers (Polk and others) to be found...
    Living Room 2.2: Usher BE-718 "tiny dancers"; Dual DIY Dayton audio RSS210HF-4 Subs with Dayton SPA-250 amps; Arcam SR250; Musical Fidelity A308; Sony UBP-x1000es; Squeezebox Touch with Bolder Power Supply
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  • river21
    river21 Posts: 3
    F1nut wrote: »
    That story has far too many inconsistencies.

    Thats a good point, and I had a hard time displaying the exact nature of the interaction. As it was bizarre to encounter.

    Your correct and I agree - there are many problems in various industries. Unfortunately this extends to institutions which are lent to take care of our people. But as a doctor they are representatives but that analogy is more likened to saying that "this single representative acted so --- and thus the entire industry is ...." or "all representatives are...--->.

    At the End of the day I laid out pretty clearly I thought how much I appreciated the first rep who told me to call in again once I did my homework. The second Rep, was actually so unpleasant it made me feel ill... I thought call lines are lent to provide support... not look for reasons to dismiss and be toxic. I was polite and insistent but cordial none the less. This was met with a generous dose of IDGAF which in the end... is his right, however in that situation he is my 2nd interaction with this company which I had raised to the level of a company like Bose or SHURE or Apple... its a respected name. When I call in for support on apple products sometimes I might not get what I want but I never have that experience. Same goes for any rep for the companies I invest in.

    It reflects that possibly the reps are not being taken care of... much like the burn out you see in your physicians...Bottom line is that given where I was coming from... it was an ugly interaction and I really hope this at least motivates better behavior regardless of what's going on, I understand the pressure.

    If this is the angle you are speaking to...I also am overworked and sometimes challenged by people who have power over me in a way. Things are unfair and I am in more debt on education with a high juice% than most people I know, with a future that likely involves 20 years of loan repayment, all the while being told that "I will be fine" by people who have very little knowledge of what medical education has become in the last 5 years. I digresss....

    I will post something, thank you for your responses... hopefully I can get a better result
  • river21
    river21 Posts: 3
    End of the day when things do not go my way I don't forget to intubate... ;) or change my quality of care... Maybe you have had different experiences but doctors can lose everything for behaving this way so who every is conducting this way is playing a harmful and wasteful game.