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Mar 28, 2017

Huge Bose fan, hugely disappointed.

Hello Bose team. First of all I must say I just LOVE your products and tell everyone about them. I got 5 colleagues in the office to buy the Quiet 35 after telling them how much I loved mine. After that I got myself a Bose  Quiet Comfort 30 and a Sportsfree, then I got my partner a Quiet 35 and a Sportsfree also. I am still not convinced about the sleeping earphones, but maybe I'll end up buying one if there is a discount, or maybe I'll wait for next generation, cuz I love your products and I love the concept of that one. Besides my love for the products and their quality, I loved the customer support when I first needed it. When my Quiet 35 on/off button got a bit loose and was turning the headphone on in the middle of the night, I got in touch with you and got a free replacement headphone in less than a week, and I had had the headphones for just over a year, slightly past the warranty I believe. 

 

So when the on/off switch on my partner's Quiet 35 broke loose after getting stuck in the "on" position I was confident I shouldn't worry about it because the amazing customer support team from Bose would be able to help me. But I was in for some big disappointment! I live in Japan and I had bought the item from Amazon USA from a third part seller as a used (yet in perfect condition) item. I got in touch with support team in Japan in my broken Japanese and they told me they would get someone who could give me support in English. In less than an hour I got this call from a very nice lady that explained to me that I would be entitled to repair or replacement through the warranty if the item was brand new, but not if it was a second hand item. I kinda expected that and didn't find it unfair, however the solution to my problem was quite shocking: they couldn't repair the product either, they could only replace it for a newer model for ¥30,000 (about USD 300)! 

 

I couldn't justify paying extra USD 300 on a pair of headphones I had bought 6 months before as a gift and that were used very carefully. I also couldn't believe that Bose would not offer me a way to have it repaired even if I wanted to pay for repair and posting costs. Then I did what any reasonable person would do: I looked up for help on the internet. So I found some videos of people who had had the same problem as mine (why, I had the problem myself on my other Bose!) and I also found some solutions. I found a fix tutorial and followed it: I reluctantly opened up the headphone, slightly destroyed the earcup during the process, found the very badly designed on/off switch inside had broken in two, superglued it back together, tied it up with a piece of plant wire from my dead bonsai tree and closed the headphone back. And it worked! The switch feels a bit strange, but at least my partner can switch it off and the headphone doesn't need to spend the day plugged to the charger as before.

 

Am I happy with the results? Well, yes and no. The headphones are working! But the switch is a bit wonky, the previously perfect earcup is now damaged, and I don't know for how long this solution will last. And  now I keep wondering: what if it wasn't something I could have fixed myself? Would I be stuck with a USD 300+ headphones that doesn't turn off? Would I have to spend another USD 300 on a replacement? Let's face it: Bose is amazing but it is also not cheap! I don't want to throw a lot of money on a product that has a design flaw that is gonna cost me the same amount of money to fix it. I don't expect Bose to give me lifetime support either. But the support I got was disappointing... Don't get me wrong, I would still recommend Bose to anyone asking for headphone recommendations, but that passion I had for the brand just died a little bit after this experience and I just felt I needed to register the incident. 

 

Anyway, thanks for the amazing products and for making long haul flights much more bearable!! 

12 REPLIES 12
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Jan 25, 2019

Re: Huge Bose fan, hugely disappointed.

cassiofm, I couldn't agree more.

I, too, have a pair of QuietComfort 35's series I and am very disappointed in Bose customer support. I noticed recently that my headphones would turn on by themselves. Even after toggling the on/off switch, they would turn off for a few seconds then power on again. I checked online to see other people experiencing similar issues as mine, all of which suggested to update the firmware and try resetting the headphones. So, the first thing I did was update the firmware through the Bose Connect iOS app only to find that the issue is still prevalent. I then reset the headphones, unpaired, and repaired with my phone, but I was still experiencing the same results. 

This morning, I called Bose and explained them the issue and they told me the EXACT SAME THING: my headphones are out of warranty and the best that they could do is sell me a new pair for roughly $250 (USD). I'm unsure why I would pay another $250 for a pair of headphones that didn't last very long in the first place. The Customer Service representative then offered me 50% off, which albeit is better than paying $250, is still a lot of money that I would have to spend to replace my headphones. Needless to say, I am very disappointed in Bose and their lack of effort to stand behind their products. This will likely be the last Bose product I purchase. While I love the quality and ease-of-use of their products, I don't plan on paying high prices every year or so whenever I need to replace my current model because their lifespan isn't very long.

So, just know that you're not the only one out there with these thoughts and feelings.

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Jun 15, 2018

Re: Huge Bose fan, hugely disappointed.

@dstrong98The problem of not turning off is not specific to your QC35.  It is a 'known' issue affecting many (who knows how many) since mid last year.  Bose has said their engineers are looking into it but months have gone by and they have not told us or posted anything.  Initially we thought it was an issue involving bluetooth low energy (BLE) that would require a firmware change.  It still may be possible but that seems now less likely and we have no idea if the firmware update from last week addressed the issue as no one here with the issue who has recently upgraded has shared whether the issue remains or not.  A more likely possibility is a problem with the contacts associated with the on/off switch.  There have been those here who have shared for DIY'er a methodology with instructions and pictures on how to fix that.  There is still not any surety that the fix has made the issue go away though again, no one with that fix has shared here that they still have the issue so that approach is still hopeful.  Some have surmised that by stored in the cables in the case top and closing it, that has put undue pressure on the on/off switch - but the guessing continues...

If you are not a DIY'er and don't believe the recent firmware upgrade from last week is helpful, you can call Bose.  They will have you go through a standardized troubleshooting process but we sort of know that will not help.  Not all of them will give you the same recommendations.  People here have experienced the same offer for exchange for a price.  You are welcome to accept or deny that - it is your choice.  I can tell you that there are those here (including myself) who have tried multiple times, and have even escalated to supervisors.  They need to know it is not your QC35 but you are remember of a large 'class' that has the issue.  If you are still getting nowhere, try calling in many times and escalate to a supervisor.  You may even ask for a supervisor in the US and even one at Bose HQ in Boston.  It should not make a difference for this issue whether you are in or out of warantee.  I have been told at least three times of the times I have called that after troubleshooting, if they determine the caller is a member of the 'always on' class, they will offer a free exchange to a QC35ii (even out of warantee).

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Jan 25, 2019

Re: Huge Bose fan, hugely disappointed.

@joelirwin thanks for the reply. I was leaning towards hardware only because problems surrounding power on/off typically make me assume faulty switch, though that's really narrow minded of me. 

 

Specifically, I very much appreciate the latter half of your reply as I certainly feel that everyone experiencing this issue should read what you said. I called Bose Customer Service a couple of times and finally asked to speak to a supervisor whom after describing the whole situation, agreed to exchange my headphones for no additional cost. I'm a firm advocate for handling things at the lowest level possible, though in this case, I felt it was warranted. Given the excessive price point for these headphones, I would expect they last for quite a long time. Less than 2 years of a lifespan is unacceptable IMO which is exactly why I felt like I needed to speak to someone of a higher authority. After mentioning that I am but a single member of a group of people all experiencing similar issues, the supervisor that I spoke to was very understanding and eager to resolve my concern. 

 

So I stress to everyone experiencing the issue currently and to the unfortunate few who will experience this issue, the squeaky wheel gets the grease.

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Jan 19, 2019

Re: Huge Bose fan, hugely disappointed.

I don’t have a broken on/off switch that is obvious from the outside. The button is not loose. The headphones have hardly been used. They choose to turn themselves on whilst the button is in the off position.

 

I am in Australia. I don’t think Bose treat their customers as well here as in the US. After my emails got no response, I rang the Bose customer service line. I was offered as a $370 special help-me-out, aren’t we lovely, “upgrade” deal to the QF35II.  I pointed out I could buy one cheaper on Amazon (having already sent them a link in an earlier email), and told them that I didn’t care what model, I just wanted a pair of headphones that worked. Why pay another $370 for a dodgy product?

 

Moved on to a Supervisor, she attempted a fix over the phone. However, this required my headphones to stay off for 30 seconds. Hah! This took quite some time and all her experience and expertise to achieve. 30 seconds of OFF time. Since i think it may have slowed the frequency of my headphones turning on , here is what I recall of the process. Perhaps it can be extracted from your own Customer Service depts:

* Plug headphones via their USB cable directly into power point for 1 minute

* Using Bose Connect App (latest version, just updated) ensure headphones disconnected 

* Using Bose Connect App reconnect, go to Timer, hit Never.(mine was already on Never, but I hit it again)

(NB: I did this on my iPad. I haven’t found these options on the app on my iPhone. They may be there, but I haven’t looked hard yet.)

 

The end result has been that the headphones still turn themselves on by themselves, but perhaps they do it less often. Since I can’t spend my whole life watching them, I can’t be sure. I always have to turn the button to OFF at least twice to get the light to go off at all. They have to stay on permanent charge because they will have exhausted all power in turning themselves on when you’re not watching, which means they then won’t be ready when you want them.

 

The bottom line is that Bose don’t stand by their product.  Their customer service is terrible. They know these headphones are faulty, but they keep peddling them. I feel like I’ve been conned, big time.

 

 

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Jan 19, 2019

Re: Huge Bose fan, hugely disappointed.

Thank you for your response. Although of course I am sorry to hear that you are also getting the runaround from Bose. I am really shocked that they are so shonky. I had thought they were a quality company with quality goods.

 

I wish I had found this forum before I bought the headphones!

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Oct 18, 2017

Re: Huge Bose fan, hugely disappointed.

You don't get a warranty on used stuff you buy.  Everybody knows that.  If you want a warranty, buy new.  If you want to save money with no warranty, buy used.

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Jan 10, 2019

Re: Huge Bose fan, hugely disappointed.

‘Bose - Better sound through research ... for a limited time’

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Oct 18, 2017

Re: Huge Bose fan, hugely disappointed.

I've had good success with 20 year old Bose speakers.  On the other hand, I would never buy used headphones.

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Mar 28, 2017

Re: Huge Bose fan, hugely disappointed.

I don't think that's the problem. I had problem with the on/off switch on my brand new headphones too, it just took a bit longer to happen. It's a design fault and by the looks of it a solution fault too, cuz offering the new model for a "discounted" price doesn't fix the broken headphones.