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BCR-40U Repeater - Epilog


WROZ250
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Well, it's been not quite a month now since I received a partial refund* for a brand new BCR-40U I purchased back in February.

I received the unit in early March and it was bad out of the box.  I contacted Bridgecom who instructed me to 'open a ticket'.  In fact, they don't do anything until you go through the process of opening a ticket.  Then you wait anywhere from a day to a week for a response.

I had my suspicions as to where the problem lay and informed Bridgecom that I could, with their approval, crack the cover and diagnose the problem and, that I am not only qualified to do this, but have state of the art test equipment (if required). However, they basically insisted that I send it in to them (at my cost ~$90 USD) I sent it insured of course, but even if I hadn't, it would have been about $50 to ship it back.

It turns out, it was a bad duplexer (as I suspected), and so they sent it back and it worked fine, save for yet another issue (I'll get to that).  Less than a day later, it stopped working for no apparent reason.

This time I decided to at least look at the programming and found that the repair tech left in a test channel and, after I removed it with the software, the repeater started working again.

Now to the next problem...

One of the first things I found wrong with this repeater is that if you program in a user with DCS on RX, that is the only user you can have, included the sysop/control user.  Tone squelch users, you can have as many as you want up to the limit of 23 users/coded squelch per channel.  After reading the manual and all of the sales literature, which makes no mention of this limitation, I Contacted Bridgecom (again), and they basically became forthcoming and stated it was a limitation of one of the chips controlling coded squelch system.  It is also important to note, that per the instruction manual, the unit IS CAPABLE of multiple DCS users.  Indeed, I think it was me pointing out that fact they agree to refund my money.

After that last confession and 2 primary failures, I decided enough is enough.  You spend good money for a new repeater you expect better.  So I requested and received a refund, well, sort of.

The refund appears to have been short the tax I paid for the original purchase.  Compound that with the fact that I had to pay to return it twice (once for the repair and once for a refund) at a cost to me of just shy of $200, I am out of pocket about $250 just for 'trying' a (brand new) Bridgecom repeater.

I'm really sad to have to write this, but others should be warned. 

I very much wanted to support a small American vendor/manufacturer, but I've never been so disappointed with any vendor/manufacturer.  Between the failures, slow service, basically false advertising (the DCS issue) and, having to pay to return (again twice) a unit that was defective from day one, it was just too much.

I'm kicking myself today because what I should have done was purchase a used Motorola repeater for less than what I paid for the 'new' BCR-40U.  And I am not talking buying off eBay either, there are plenty of mainstream dealers where you can get a used MTR2000 or even a Quantar for less than the BCR-40U.

Bottom, line, I have to call the Bridgecom BCR-40U a 'Don't Buy'. 
Not just for the defective unit, but also their warranty policies which leaves a customer out of pocket.  I had to pay for their problems?  WTF??

Indeed, given their service/warranty policies, I don't think I'll ever buy anything from them again.

Just my own experience, FWIW!

 

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I had a similar experience with the BCR-40U repeater. I had to ship it back twice. The first time it was a faulty duplexer. The second time was for low power (15 watts) on transmit. I wanted a refund, but they informed me they would charge a 25% restocking fee! 

I bought an Anytone 878UV last year. It would program and work analog mode but would absolutely not work digital! Every time I tried to transmit I'd get a popup error message "Repeater is out of range" along with a voice announcement.  I drove to the tower and got the same results even though I was standing literally in the shadow of the repeater's 900' antenna.

Long story short, I had to ship it back twice, and both times I had the same problem... I asked for a refund but was informed again about the 25% restocking fee!!!

They can afford to give away at least three or more of their 878 bundles every month, but cannot make good on my defective radio???

I'm kicking myself for falling for their lack of integrity.

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When those Bridgecom repeaters came out, I could not verify their marketing claim that they were actually certified for part 95. They were not at the time. Maybe now. They seemed dishonest in their business practices to me.

Sent from my SM-T350 using Tapatalk

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On 4/19/2022 at 8:44 PM, Linus said:

Did you pay with a credit card? If you tried in good faith to resolve the matter, that you did, you should open a credit card dispute. Refusal to return the sales tax is a reason to open the dispute.

I would say that having to pay for shipping or a restocking fee to get a refund on a defective product would also be a reason. Even having to pay shipping to get a defective product repaired would be sufficient reason to do so.

In these cases, the purchaser was not provided with the product they paid for. It should not be incumbent upon them to pay anything for the repairs or to get the repairs made. It is incumbent upon the vendor to provide the (working) product that the customer paid for, and no customer should have to pay extra to get it. If the customer is not provided with the product they were promised at the agreed upon price (without added costs), then it is the responsibility of the vendor to make it right (at no added expense to the customer).

If Bridgecom is making customers pay anything extra just to get the product they were promised in the first place, they need to be reported. The BBB would be a good place to start. Perhaps the District Attorney (or a Consumer Affairs Bureau) in their jurisdiction would be another place to report them. Filing a dispute with the credit card company is another way to begin to resolve this issue. Posting unsatisfactory reviews on Yelp or Google is a way to warn others, and it may get their attention to where they reach out to resolve the matter. Finally, and especially if unable to resolve the matter in a satisfactory way, posting on forums such as this is helpful for others that may be considering doing business with that company.

I'm sorry to hear that there are companies out there that would engage in such wormy business tactics, but I know they exist.

Unfortunately, it's a sad reality.

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