My Onkyo TX 3000 stereo receiver went on the blink and I've had it in a local repair shop for the past 3 months. The problem with the device is this. When you push the on/off switch, nothing happens. Usually, once you turn it on, it will be about a 2 or 3 second delay, you will hear a click sound and it powers up. Well, that don't happen. Al the lights comes on, but that click sound never materializes and NO SOUND. Anybody go a clue and is 3 months typically TOO Long for a shop to take to repair???
I would suspect that the person who landed the job of looking at it, has ' lost his way ' a bit on it. It happens to us all sometimes, and it's usually the slightly more obscure makes of this type of high end equipment, that it happens on.
Basically, the failure of the unit to come on with the normal relay click, means that the system control micro, is detecting some kind of fault condition. This is what is being looked for by the system control during that few seconds between you hitting the switch, and the relay closing to complete the power up sequence. Often, it will be an output stage problem, but this is where the fun and games can start. This kind of problem can literally soak up hours of bench time, particularly if the unit has discrete component output stages, and you don't have a schematic.
Having realised that you have spent half a day, and got nowhere, the tendency is to cast it aside to get on with some jobs that will put food on the table. You always promise yourself that you will look at it again on Friday when you're less stressed, and in the meantime, will try to obtain a service manual. Unfortunately, it never works like that, and this week turns into next week, and then next month until it becomes an embarrassment, and you start to dread the owner ringing up about it. Any other professionals reading this will know exactly what I'm talking about. I'm willing to bet that every one of us has been there at some time ...
I would suggest that you approach the shop where it is, and ask nicely what the problem is. Suggest to them that if they are having too much of a problem with it, that they just put it back together, and let you have it back, as three months is not acceptable. If it's not fixed just because they can't fix it, they shouldn't charge you anything. Most of us who are reputable, work on a no fix no charge basis.
If the scenario is as I've described, they will probably appreciate your direct approach and understanding. Providing that the person looking at it is not a nonno, then as a fellow engineer, I have sympathy with him.
I do thank you for your candor and honesty in your reply. I will talk to the repair tech and express these sentiments and in a polite kind of way, ask for my receiver back and get in the market for a replacement.
I'm pretty sure this model is a bit old to have a microprocessor-controlled protection circuit. More likely just an analog DC detect / overcurrent detect circuit.
As far as "no fix no charge" is concerned, in my shop the initial check-out fee is non-refundable except in extraordinary circumstances. Three months time unable to fix might not qualify, but three months getting a runaround would, in my opinion.
Yeah, I know what you're saying, Mark. It's always a difficult one as to whether there should be a standard charge applied to a no-go repair. I tend to work along the lines that if it can't be fixed because there is no service info available, and I've spent time trying to work around that fact, then it is chargeable at the base examination rate. Likewise, if it can't be fixed because of lack of spares. But, except in some special circumstances, if I can't fix it simply because I personally can't get to the bottom of the problem - and no matter how good we think we are, it happens to us all occasionally - then I don't feel that it is justified to charge the owner for my lack of ability in his particular case. I'm probably too soft for my own good, but I always think that if the owner had taken it to my mate down the road, he would have been able to fix it. ( he probably wouldn't 'cause I'm better than him ( !! ) ) but still, the thought is always there.
The trick is to realise early on when you are beat, and not to waste so much time, but none of us likes to admit defeat, and the answer is always just two more voltage checks away, isn't it ... ?
And yes, you're probably right about the protect circuit. In fact now I come to think of it, I have a dim recollection of having one of these, or a similar vintage Onkyo, come across my bench some long time ago, with a similar problem. It turned out to be the delay cap on the protect IC ( one of those little 9 pin SIL things ) that was the problem. It had leaked, and the electrolyte had attacked the timing resistor that was nearby. Cleaning up and replacing those two items cured it.
That's why we charge it as in initial check-out fee. The idea is that the checkout fee applies to all units equally and covers fixed and other operating costs of the shop - Yellow Pages ad, utilities, etc. This is explained up front and the large majority of customers are OK with it, so long as it applies to a completed repair. Since we went to this policy several years ago, our financial standing has improved considerably.
The checkout fee is only refunded on rare occasions. I will write the refund check to avoid an argument, even if the customer is being unreasonable, since I feel any time spent arguing is too valuable, and can be better spent elsewhere, i.e. fixing the next piece o' crap on the bench.
Well said, Mark. I can only think of one instance where we refunded a check-out fee, and it was exactly for the reason that you gave. We make a very deliberate effort to make people understand up front and have little problems. Even if we can't figure out the problem, we put time into ruling things out and making the evaluation, handling the unit, being responsible for it while in our possesion, using the space and time that could have been dedicated to other jobs, and likely using more time than an actual repair. Most of the time, if a tech who is skillful can't figure out a problem, it is because of less than adequate documentation or the nature of the problem is such that it becomes clear that excessive time and cost in parts will be needed to proceed effectively. Just coming to that conclusion has value to the client and uses resources that cost real money.
Does a doctor give you a refund if he can't diagnose your problem? They don't even give you a refund if they screw up the diagnosis and have to see you again, they charge you. The even charge again for redoing work that they didn't get right the first time.
Now there are lots of so-called techs that have no clue how to diagnose and fix a problem and who are happy to charge an estimate fee to just tell the client that the unit is not repairable or give them a ridiculously high estimate. Reputable businesses don't operate this way. We are not in the business of collecting estimate fees and not solving problems. We steer people away from even paying for an estimate at the counter if we think the problem is going to require excessive cost or if it is a product that we are not familiar enough with to give an effective estimate. If they insist on our evaluation, they understand that the fee for our service is not refundable.