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BO north american market activity

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McRib
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McRib posted on Fri, Jan 11 2019 2:19 PM

Don't know if this is the right section or not but: Anyone have news/information with what's going on with North America's corporate division? In Chicago there was one remaining shop-in-shop B2 for the entire metro area. Was like this for many years but worked ok. Over the holidays I found out the B2 shut down just a few weeks ago (supposedly due to disputes between the retailer and BOA). Now, Chicago has zero physical retailers which is kind of BOA's "backyard" market region as corporate in right in the suburbs.

I also needed to inquire about some old cables, so called up BOA, since zero phjysical stores here, and I repeatedly get the "line disconnected" tone. Also found out the local authorized repair center, which also covers the entire Chicago midwest region, shut down a few weeks back, too. What is up here?

I feel like B&O the company is an airliner that's in a medium angle nosedive. At the last second the crew pulls up, saves the plane, but then they drift off again and the nose retips downwards. Repeat again and again...

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Razlaw
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Razlaw replied on Fri, Jan 11 2019 5:16 PM
This week’s quarterly report mentions opening new stores in key metropolitan areas of North America. Hopefully that will include the Chicago area. I recently contacted B and O via their Facebook page through messenger with a service question as the Chicago area service center has closed and they were very helpful and the service issue I have is being taken care of. (The known random loud noise problem in BL20s)
trackbeo
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Just verified from out-of-area, calls to 847-590-4900 (and all -49xx numbers, for any individual you once knew there) are busy signals.

(*Where* is your service issue being taken care of?  Say, maybe NA distribution has "sought sanctuary" in Canada!-)

Jeff
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Jeff replied on Fri, Jan 11 2019 6:48 PM

trackbeo:

Just verified from out-of-area, calls to 847-590-4900 (and all -49xx numbers, for any individual you once knew there) are busy signals.

(*Where* is your service issue being taken care of?  Say, maybe NA distribution has "sought sanctuary" in Canada!-)

Theyre doing like they do on Halloween...lock the doors, turn the lights out, draw the curtains, take the phones off the hook, and hide behind the couch hoping everyone will think they’re not home and just go away. 

It also amazes me that no matter how bad something about B&O is, everything is fine. Whistling past the graveyard. B&O did have a dealer network, until they euthanized them. They are like a kid who kills his parents then throws himself on the mercy of the court because he’s an orphan. The ex dealers I know were both very customer oriented, offered great service and attention to detail, were enthusiastic about the brand, and both were treated very poorly by BOA as a reward for their efforts. 

But then perhaps B&O are so Eurocentric they don’t care about the US market, viewing is all as backwards colonials. 

Jeff

I'm afraid I'm recovering from the BeoVirus. Sad

beojeff
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Indeed. It's become horrible in the U.S. There is no longer any technical support. Emailing BeoCare gives one the feeling that they treat American customers like the "redheaded stepchildren."

There is still a great B&O store in Cincinnati. Ask for Per. He'll treat you well.

I'm surprised that the Chicago area repair service is gone. They were always very good. I seem to recall them being in Arlington Heights maybe? There is someone authorized for B&O repairs in West Chester, Ohio. His name is Ben at BEC Audio Video Repair. I've been going to him for years.

Razlaw
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Razlaw replied on Fri, Jan 11 2019 9:53 PM
trackbeo:

(*Where* is your service issue being taken care of?

B and O is coming to my home to do the BL20 service.

Stan
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Stan replied on Sat, Jan 12 2019 4:27 PM

beojeff:
I'm surprised that the Chicago area repair service is gone. They were always very good. I seem to recall them being in Arlington Heights maybe?

First my dealer, now my repair center Surprise.  Having a local, trustworthy repair center always made buying B&O (new and used) a lot easier.  I think it's going to be very challenging for me to buy any major B&O without a store or a repair center that I can easily drive to.  I guess I've been lucky relative to the rest of the US.  They did a lot of work for me last year - fixed my Bs5, BS9000 and BV8 after a lightening strike.  The Arlington Heights location closed a few years ago, but one of the principals opened a much smaller space in Evanston (Hermit Labs).  It was always very quiet there so I wondered how he survived.  I guess he didn't Sad

I thought I read a while ago that they moved the HQ of BOA to NY or somewhere on the east coast.  Odd story - we recently reconnected with an old friend of my wife's from high school.  Turns out his sister worked at BOA in the early 80s.  Odd because I'm probably one of the few people still around with a house full of B&O.  She thought they had gone out of business.

Stan
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Stan replied on Sat, Jan 12 2019 4:27 PM

Razlaw:
trackbeo:

 

 

(*Where* is your service issue being taken care of?

 

 

B and O is coming to my home to do the BL20 service.

 

Do you know where "B and O" is coming from?

trackbeo
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What he (& I above) *meant* to say was, "It would be most kind of you, if you could query your service tech how his dispatches work and from whom/where.  Oh, and whether all service is done by truck-roll or if there is a depot for walk-in/delivery service?  Thank you."  (We meant to say, "thank you.") 

Vaguely OT: Service for my Asko brand clothes washer (Swedish, but not anymore) was done by a third party service firm; they rep several brands which chose not to employ their own staff in the states.  Accordingly, **every** repair is a 2-trip process: the service tech comes out, disassembles & diagnoses the unit, then views a parts diagram while on-site and talks to a central station.  He verifies or collects payment for the first visit, and completely reassembles the unit.  Later there is a phone call where you approve parts cost (and maybe labor, I forget?).  After the parts have been ordered and arrived, another phone call to schedule.  On the second visit, they disassemble again and repair.  Only the most generic stuff is carried in their vans.  This is the opposite of what some people described for in-home B&O technicians, where they arrive with an expected boards complement for your model, which when swapped are sent back in the same service-set box, for rework or destruction, and the service-set is repopulated (as necessary) to be sent out again.

McRib
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McRib replied on Sat, Jan 12 2019 6:09 PM

i've spoken w hermit through email but never stopped in. bo carefully selects their authorized service centers and those locations basically get a"monopoly" on that region's potential service dollars. so it's a mystery why one would close. and with no outlined replacement, even stranger.

 

Razlaw
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Razlaw replied on Sat, Jan 12 2019 6:27 PM
Stan:

Do you know where "B and O" is coming from?

Yes, Chicago.
Razlaw
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Razlaw replied on Sat, Jan 12 2019 6:36 PM
trackbeo:

What he (& I above) *meant* to say was, "It would be most kind of you, if you could query your service tech how his dispatches work and from whom/where. Oh, and whether all service is done by truck-roll or if there is a depot for walk-in/delivery service? Thank you."

I will see what I can find out when he comes. He is still waiting for repair parts to arrive. I am unaware of any type of walk in service.
Stan
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Stan replied on Sat, Jan 12 2019 9:23 PM

McRib:

i've spoken w hermit through email but never stopped in. bo carefully selects their authorized service centers and those locations basically get a"monopoly" on that region's potential service dollars. so it's a mystery why one would close. and with no outlined replacement, even stranger.

 

Really not much of a mystery.  Here's the explanation from the website:  "Thanks to all our customers over the past two years; you've been wonderful, but there simply weren't enough of you!"

Puncher
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Puncher replied on Sat, Jan 12 2019 11:12 PM

Stan:
"Thanks to all our customers over the past two years; you've been wonderful, but there simply weren't enough of you!"

And that, in a nutshell, is pretty much it! Their greatest fans on this site will continue to defend the company until the very end but they are falling in number, slowly, steadily, with an almost insidious certainty!

Ban boring signatures!

expoman
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Denmark shut down all Chicago offices last spring and let go most employees.  New York B&O play office became new North American office but mainly marketing and sales.  Service and dealer support is all handled from Denmark now.  You have to call during Danish business hours.  New store opening in New York and all focus is there for the moment.  If you want good support call Bang & Olufsen Boston.  Only US store that has been in same location since 1988.  

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