Enclosed is the latest info.
I was contacted by Debbie Schaefer, Coordinator of the Consumer Protection Bureau - Boat US. The Letter to the Editor I sent to Boat US was forwarded to her. She contacted Icom, Harry Dhawan, Icom Technical Support Representative. "He did not deny their was a problem and sent her the link for the repair submission form consumers can fill out if they too are having a problem. He said that consumers must also send them the microphone and it’s cable, and if they find that the microphone is fine, and just the cable is bad, they will replace the cable regardless of the warranty status."
The Icom link to get this information is: http://www.icomamerica.com/en/support/PartsAndService/default.aspx
. This site will provide a search for local service centers (in the US), instructions for returning items for repair, and the repair submission form (I've attached a copy of the form to this message).
I also gained some information from the online Cruisers Forum. One of the responses (#15) states that contacting Icom directly only results in the denial runaround that we have all been experiencing. You have to contact the Service Department, not the Tech Dept nor the Parts Dept, nor the.... My personal experience with this is the denial routine and no offer to refer you or pass your information on to the "correct" department. You can also contact the Regional Service Centers rather than Icom. This would be my choice. The good news: I emailed and spoke on the phone
with Tim Warren at Williams Communications
. This is the Service Center in the southeast US. His email
response: "Gordon, if the cord on your microphone is deteriorating ICOM will replace it at no cost, other than shipping
to me. If you are going to ship the unit to me please send me the model number so I can make sure I have a cable in stock." In a phone
call I explained to Tim that I was in Guatemala
and that there was no reliable way to send it from here (except at a cost higher than the mic is worth). I think we may be flying back to the states next summer and asked if this policy would still be honored. He said that "Yes, it will be". A side note. I dealt with Tim Warren in replacing the first mic that had to be replaced (under warranty). He also helped me to deal with Icom to replace the second mic (out of warranty). I found Tim to be very conscientious and helpful.
The contact information for Williams Communications
: Timothy F. Warren Lead Bench Technician Williams Communications Inc. 5046 Tennessee Capital Blvd. Tallahassee, Fl. 32303 Office: 850.385.1121 Cell: 850.251.0236 Desk: 850.807.4813 Toll Free: 800.649.5783 Fax: 850.575.0346 firstname.lastname@example.org
So although this doesn't help any of us cruising in "Paradise". It does offer a solution to those that can find a way to handle the shipping from the US. Again, my personal experience is that when I replaced the second mic I anticipated this situation with the third mic. I asked Icom if we shouldn't be replacing the third mic at that time since I knew I would soon be somewhere in Central America
. Their response was ".........we will honor the replacement at that time" (sic). I am still pursuing this.