I'll never buy another LG Bluetooth Wireless Stereo Headset, and here's why.

This looked like a wonderful product, pretty slick and pretty sleek, even if it was also pretty pricey. I bought the LG Tone Active+ Bluetooth Wireless Stereo Headset for about $180. For a while, I was pretty enamored with the thing. I loved the way I could set it to play through the retractable earbuds or out loud within my own earshot (without being overheard easily by others). 

Mostly, the product was a plus, even if the neckband pounded the heck out of my collarbone when I ran.

Until it broke without warning.

I wasn’t even using it when that happened. I simply reached into my cushy padded gym bag, while standing on the elliptical machine at the gym (ready to run), and found that it had snapped apart on one side. (See photos.)

This reviewer purchased the entry for the event described here, and the reviewer has no prior or existing relationship (either familial or professional) with the event organizer/promoter.

I took the LG Tone Active+ Bluetooth Wireless Stereo Headset home and searched online for the company’s website. (OK, I had to snap some photos of the small print on the unit, simply so I could enlarge those sections for readability. Talk about tiny writing!)

The LG.com website offered virtually no way to contact the company easily. I tried the email feature, which basically brought up an address-less form. I completed the form and clicked, but it refused to send. I tried the Live Chat feature, which went nowhere as well. Actually, that step took me back to product marketing pages, not to any sort of support feature.

Finally, I took down the LG toll-free number and dialed.

After spending several minutes on hold, a technical service representative answered and identified herself as Julie. She took down my name and address and the product information. Then she instructed me that she would send me an email with a customer case number and a proof of purchase upload portal, so I could send a copy of my receipt for the LG Tone Active+ Bluetooth Wireless Stereo Headset.

Julie (if that’s even her name) assured me that, if my receipt indicated the product was purchased within the past 12 months, my request would be considered for a warranty replacement.

I hunted through my files and found the receipt. I snapped the image and uploaded it to my computer. I signed onto email and found the “Dear Valued Customer” message (which was labeled as "No Reply") with the proof of purchase upload portal/link. I filled in the requested information and uploaded the receipt and a selection of photos of the broken headset. I hit the UPLOAD button.

And nothing happened.

After several tries, I telephoned LG again. I went through the automated telephone system’s steps again. I waited on hold again.

Finally, a technical service rep answered, identifying himself as Ron. I brought him up to date on the situation and all the steps I had taken, including the telephone time with his colleague Julie.

I told Ron that I had been unable to upload my inquiry and my receipt/photos through the LG website’s email or the proof of purchase portal. I mentioned that I had tried unsuccessfully to access the LG Live Chat feature, either.

Ron asked what was wrong with my LG Tone Active+ Bluetooth Wireless Stereo Headset. I began to explain about the piece that was broken. 

And then the truth came out.

Ron cut me off, interjecting that the company warranty does not cover product damage – only product malfunction. He said there was no way LG would replace or repair my broken LG Tone Active+ Bluetooth Wireless Stereo Headset.

I asked Ron why his coworker Julie would have taken me through a somewhat detailed process and sent me on what proved to be a time-consuming hunt for the LG Tone Active+ Bluetooth Wireless Stereo Headset receipt, if the company was not going to help me anyway.

He had no answer, except that he sort of apologized. And I get that it’s not his fault. It’s his company’s non-customer-friendly/bad-business policy.

“So your company refuses to stand behind the product,” I asked (after I happened to mention that I was a journalist with a running-focused website and that I would most certainly be publishing a product review on the subject).

“That’s right,” he said.

By the way they’re still selling the LG Tone Active+ Bluetooth Wireless Stereo Headset on Amazon, although that vendor offers it for about $100 now, probably because of the speed at which this sort of technology turns over. The LG website still lists it for $179.99. It seems you can even pick up a refurbished unit for about $60. But I won’t be doing that.

In fact, I’m likely to steer clear of LG products altogether.
Photo/s by Runderdog: Runleashed and Runstoppable
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