Even though our products are very reliable (they come with a five-year warranty), the reality is that all gear occasionally fails in the field. Shocking, huh?

Although we’d like to say we’ve seen it all, we still get surprised once in a while. We’ve received units from desert environments that were full of sand, and units returned from bakeries that smelled like doughnuts.

The majority of problems are caused by component failures. Many of these component failures are related to user error, such as inserting an audio signal that is too high, mis-wiring the unit, tripping on cables, or spilling food or drink on the unit. [Note to integrators: our products are not soda-proof!]

The leading (non-user) cause? Believe it or not, it’s lightning strikes and other forms of electrical surge. They accounted for approximately 11% of our warranty failures last year. (Random fact: Fear of lightning is called astraphobia.)

According to Wikipedia, lightning strikes 40–50 times per second worldwide, for a total of nearly 1.4 billion flashes per year. It’s fairly typical for lightning strikes to deliver well over 300 kilovolts, which our products cannot withstand (and also why we don’t ship them with lightning rods in the box). We encourage all of our customers to take necessary precautions to protect their equipment with suitable surge protectors and line conditioners.

In the rare event that you need to return a product to us, we’ve added a service FAQ to our website. You’ll still want to contact our Support team first before sending the product back – they will either issue you a Return Authorization (RA) number, or walk you through troubleshooting steps in the event that the problem can be resolved in the field.

If you have recommendations for ways to make our return process smoother, please let us know!