Update: Dolphin Music does care about its customers

[Update May 29, 2007: The title of this post has been changed to reflect some developments since I wrote the post in December 2006. The original title was: “Recommendation: Don’t buy from Dolphin Music.” Read on to see why I’ve changed that title.]

In the five months since I wrote this post, quite a conversation has developed in the comments, below. That conversation included contributions by Jake Seabrook, the Customer Services Manager at Dolphin Music.

The negative experience I had with Dolphin Music that I reported in this post clearly resonated with a number of other people who posted information about their own experiences. Not all negative, though – others reported positive experiences.

What impressed me most was the entry into the conversation here by Jake Seabrook.

From Jake’s first comment – in which he says “I would like to try to address a few of the key issues discussed above and although not offer excuses, offer some explanations” – it is clear that here was a man who had been listening and paying attention to a blog post and the comments to it that were distinctly unflattering about his company.

While listening and paying attention were great to see, what made it especially impressive was Jake’s continuing contributions to the developing conversation. He lived up to the words in his first comment by providing explanations and addressing some specific issues.

Last week, Jake and I had a phone conversation. With Jake’s agreement, that conversation will be available here as a podcast (link as soon as it’s posted).

My conclusion from all this is that this post no longers warrants such a negative title. While it pretty clearly summed up how I felt about Dolphin Music at the time I wrote the post, my feelings have mellowed substantially in light of what’s happened since then.

And while I haven’t purchased anything from the company since before I wrote the post, I would consider doing so again if I needed to buy some equipment right now.

If you’ve arrived at this post as the result of a Google search, please do read the post and all of the comments in order to make your own informed judgement about Dolphin Music.

Now to the original post…

Finally – I have a working Microtrack 24/96 portable digital audio recorder once again.

Nearly three months ago, I returned the device for repair under warranty to Cimply Solutions, the UK company who does warranty repairs for the UK distributor, Dolphin Music.

And what a saga. Weeks went by with no word. At the end of October, I asked Dolphin customer support what was happening. No reply. More emails. No reply.

Eventually, it arrived back on November 17.

While the problem with it – display not working – was fixed, the device wouldn’t recognize any compact flash card I inserted, not even the M-Audio card that came with the device when I bought it from Dolphin Music in June. All that happened was a ‘No media found’ message on the display screen no matter what card was inserted into the device.

More emails to Dolphin. Silence. Then, on November 24, Dolphin agreed to exchange it for a new one. A straight swap.

And it finally arrived yesterday via UPS.

This experience of pretty useless customer service and support by Dolphin Music has not put me off M-Audio products. On the contrary, I still think the Microtrack 24/96 is an outstanding portable audio recording device.

But I’ll think twice before I buy anything ever again from Dolphin Music.