Bose is not your friend

Oh well, it had to happen some time!

One of my Bose L1 speaker systems stopped working mid-way through a gig and I had to put it in for repair.

It was a normal breakdown type of problem – nothing out of the ordinary. It hadn’t been dropped or physically damaged. It hadn’t been driven too hard or mis-used or anything like that.

It’s just one of these things in life – electronic components don’t last forever and equipment breaks down from time to time and Bose equipment breaks down just like any other musical gear.

However the problems started when I took the Bose L1 to my local engineer to fix…

To begin with, the news was good.

My engineer opened up the Bose L1 power stand, tested it, and within minutes was able to tell me exactly what was wrong with it.

It was a simple problem with the a part in the auxiliary power supply.

He’d order the part from Bose and by his calculations, if Bose DHL’d the part to him the next day he’d fit it in minutes and get it back to me the following day.


It’s vital for gigging musicians that they get good, reliable, and QUICK repairs done whenever things go wrong with their gear. Every day that a musician is without his gear is another day of lost gigs, lost income, angry venue owners and disappointed audiences…

But then the Bose nightmare begun…

Bose refused to sell my engineer the part he needed to fix my system!

Just plain refused!

They said that the only people who they want working on Bose systems are Bose themselves.

He would need to package it all up and send it to Bose.

The result?

Bose left me without a system for nearly 2 WEEKS…and in the end my wallet was £200 lighter!

And the most annoying thing about it all?

My engineer had diagnosed the fault in minutes and could have had it fixed for me real pronto…if Bose had only been willing to sell him the part he needed to replace the faulty Bose part.

Just to add insult to injury, the Bose guy my engineer spoke to when he called them was cheeky and very arrogant. My engineer was surprised by the Bose guys real bad attitude.

I wasn’t.

A colleague of mine phoned Bose about a year ago asking a simple question – he asked if it was possible to change the power supply of his 110v Bose L1 power stand to 240v. There was nothing wrong with his Bose system, everything was working fine – it would just save him having to carry around a 110v/240v transformer everytime he took the Bose L1 to a gig, that’s all.

He got the same rude, cheeky, arrogant and unhelpful response from the Bose tech guy. In fact the actual answer he got to his question from the sniffy Bose guy wasn’t even an answer – the arrogant Bose guy simply told him  “Buy a new power stand…” and put the phone down on him!

So, what’s the moral of the story?

Bose equipment is great quality – but that great quality comes at a price and I don’t just mean in a monetary sense.

If you buy a Bose L1 system and it works without a hitch and never, ever breaks down (which is highly unlikely) then you’ll be fine.

But if your Bose L1 system does break down, don’t expect any sympathy from Bose.

Bose tech guys and customer service people are not your friend.

If you have any problems with your Bose L1 system, DON’T expect the normal level of help, assistance, efficiency and politeness that you get from other main brand musical equipment manufacturers.

Instead, expect an arrogance and condescending attitude from Bose that will literally take your breath away.

Bose will make you feel as if you must have done something wrong to make their perfect product break down.

Then expect to be without your Bose L1 system for much, much longer than necessary while you send it back to Bose for a simple repair that could have taken your local engineer a fraction of the time…

Oh, and if you complain to Bose about all this?

Well, expect the usual predictable response of “our products can only be repaired only by our highly trained Bose engineers…yadda, yadda, yadda.”

Yeah right!

This is an amplifier we’re talking about here, not NASA’s space shuttle!

You don’t send your car back to the Ford factory when it needs a new exhaust. Your local garage simply orders the part and your local mechanic fits it. Easy.

Come on Bose, surely you can think of a better excuse than that.

Then once you’ve been deprived of your Bose L1 system for much longer than you needed to be without it, reach for your wallet and dig deep.

So here’s my theory why Bose are like this…

Bose employees are starting to believe their own company hype instead of leaving the hype where it belongs – to the Bose marketing department. It’s always a mistake when you believe your own publicity. Hype is intended for customers – it’s an aid selling products and should be treated as nothing more, nothing less.

When your employees start believing the company sales hype, then they get a distorted and inflated view of how they themselves and their companys products really are.

Don’t misunderstand me. There’s nothing wrong with self-belief.

But when you get an attitude creeping in to a company where they not only believe they are “the best” but they let that hyped up self-belief turn to downright arrogance and condescending attitudes to their customers, then that company is on a slippery slope I believe.

My firm opinion from my recent experience with Bose is that Bose wanted my L1 system sent back to their own repair shop so they could see WHY it failed and hopefully they could then use that information to gain knowledge of potential weaknesses in their systems and help improve manufacturing of the system and future products.

All very commendable.


This doesn’t help me or you, the Bose customer. They’ve forgot about you and I!

In fact Bose are causing you and I more problems than we’ve already got as we sit frustrated with a broken L1 beside us that Bose won’t let anyone else fix.

They are hindering us, not helping us!

Bose leave you in a horrible situation where their product has failed, and you, their customer, have to get by without your equipment while Bose callously use your misfortune to benefit themselves.

They don’t seem to care that your Bose system could have been repaired and you could have been back gigging with it long ago.

The only thing that seems to matter to Bose is their own ego.

And nobody likes a selfish friend with an over-sized ego.

That’s why Bose is not your friend…

Have you had trouble with Bose, either with their bad attitude, unhelpfulness or just plain rudeness? Don’t bother writing about it on the Bose forum – Bose moderate that forum themselves so can filter out posts they don’t like or that criticise them. Instead, contact me at MP3 Backing Trax and I’ll publish your grievances…