|Good Bye Wouxun|
|To whomever is interested:|
announcing my decision to stop selling Wouxun radios and explaining
why, my honesty and integrity have come into question on some internet
forums. My announcement was made to customers in my customer
database by an email that asked that no contents of the email be
published. This request was not heeded, so I will qualify my
statements and decisions about my dealing with Wouxun of China. If you are interested, read on. If not, please surf on to another web page.|
In 2009, I discovered the Wouxun dual band radio and began to import them into the US. At the time, Wouxun told me I was the first and only customer in the US to order 100-500 radios per order. I repeatedly requested some kind of agreement giving me sole distributorship for their products in the US. They would never agree to do this. I continued to sell their products and in my opinion (and I don’t care what your’s is) I did more to promote their product, and make it a common name in the US radio industry, than any other person in this country.
After a short time, I was averaging sales of about 300-500 radios per month. My relationship with Wouxun China, continued fine until they produced their first dual band mobile radio. I looked at this radio, operated this radio and suggested changes/improvements to this radio (which they ignored) when I visited China. This was long (two years) before the radio went into production. When Wouxun announced the release of the radio, I had collected 3734 names of interested, potential customers for this radio. The release date for this radio dragged on for about two years. They finally released ten samples to interested dealers and of course I bought my ten. THEY WERE ALL RETURNED BY MY CUSTOMERS BECAUSE OF VARIOUS DEFECTS. I returned all these radios back to China at my expense. (And to this day have never been reimbursed) After such a disastrous showing, I knew I was not interested in selling this radio.
I’ll back up a second and tell you that early on, I registered the domain name www.wouxun.us for my business of selling Wouxun radios. During a visit to China, I visited both TYT and Anytone companies among others. Since TYT had a single band mobile (220 MHZ) I decided to sell a few. The radio had not been on my web site for more than a day before Wouxun China started giving me grief for selling other brands on a “wouxun” web site. They would tell me I would “ruin their US business”. They threatened to “take back the domain name with lawsuit”. I’m not the type person to take kindly to threats but to calm the waters, I registered the domain name ImportCommunications.com. This still did not satisfy them so I finally told them in so many words I didn’t give a rat’s rump what they thought about my web site and they would not tell me how to run my business. The downhill run was beginning.
So after the dud of a mobile radio made it’s debut, I knew I wasn’t interested in selling them. For the previous two years, I’d get email after email asking “when will you have the mobile”. I put a small picture of the radio on my front web page. I controlled myself and didn’t describe it as the dud it really was, I simply stated “I would not be selling this radio because samples did not meet my expectations” or some similar plain-Jane comment. Even though by that time I had blocked China from being able to view my web site, boy did that comment tick them off. It seemed (to me at least) that perhaps some other sellers of the Wouxun products were sending captures of my web site to Wouxun in China. Because by this time other Wouxun sellers (and they all were the “biggest dealers”) were coming out of the woodwork.
Wouxun did not like these “bad words” I had on my web site and said I was “ruining their US business”. They demanded I take down the picture and comment or they would not sell me any more radios. That’s the LAST correspondence or business I have had directly with Wouxun-China. They have never sent me an email since then.
With the help of a friend, I continued to purchase radios directly from Wouxun-China under an assumed name. I will not disclose the exact details but if anyone wants to wager a little money that this is not true, I’ll take all bets.
From the beginning, Wouxun has always had problems with their dual band HT radios. The biggest problem for me was a “memory loss” problem. This problem would occur suddenly for no known reason. Such a radio would boot up speaking Chinese and the memory channels would no longer show a channel name, it would only show the channel number. Sometimes, the channels would totally disappear from the programming. Reprogramming the radio by computer would restore the English and channel names but this would not last long. Sometimes it would last a day or week but more often it would reoccur with the next off/on cycle.
Wouxun has known about this problem for a long time and it still exists. It has happened to all of the various versions of their dual band HT I have sold. This problem has existed since the first KG-UV2D radios they branded for me three to four years ago. This problem has happened to KG-UV6D radios delivered to me in 2013 (my last order received).
Wouxun’s warranty policy is their radios are warranted for eighteen months. They expect the warranty to be handled by the dealer selling the radio. My business would accept a defective radio and give the customer a brand new replacement. As broken radios began to pile up, I was not able to get Wouxun to give any compensation for the warranted ones. They did not want radios shipped to them because of some kind of import duty they had to pay. At least this was the story they presented (I have the email if you want to see it). On one trip to China, I took a whole suitcase full of broken radios. While I was in China, they repaired them and I brought them home. There are two problems with this from my view. Number one is that I gave my customer a new radio and what I got in return was a refurbished, but used radio. The second problem came when I started using these refurbished radios as replacements for defective radios that continued to come in. I discovered quickly that some of these refurbished radios would quickly develop the “memory loss” problem. I don’t know if they originally had that specific problem or not but my guess is that some did.
My next attempt at trying to keep from losing so much money because of warranty issues was this. Wouxun China didn’t want defects shipped to them and acted like they didn’t want to take my word that a radio was defective. I offered to saw each defective radio in half and send them a photograph of the serial number on that half of the radio. They would not do this. If I would bring them on a trip to China, they would repair them, that’s all they ever offered except to send me replacement chips to install in the radios. I tried this but it did not work. I had a person skilled in surface mount stuff to install the replacement chips in two radios. This did not fix the problem. I wouldn't waste my time after that.
I attempted to purchase just the body of a radio to use for warranty replacement. Wouxun would only discount about $3 - $4 off the price for just a body. This certainly was not the answer.
I’m going to get off the subject for just a moment. All the time this was going on, Wouxun kept harping at me to RAISE the selling price of my radios. Competition from shops in Hong Kong has forced the selling price of radios down but Wouxun does not understand this. Several things bring this unfair competition about. First, the HK shops pay a lesser price than we sellers in the US. I know this for a fact because some HK shop owners I know personally and visit when I’m in China. Secondly, they pay less freight to have the radios shipped to their location. My average DHL shipping costs for a HT radio is $7.00. Thirdly, and the one I hate the most, is their outgoing shipping. Chinese sellers use a Chinese shipping system known as ePacket which allows them to ship a radio (marked as a toy) to the US for about $2 USD. When it reaches the US, our US Postal Service delivers it to your door at NO extra costs. My average outgoing postage on a radio is about $10 if I do not insure it. I’m at a $10 - $12 disadvantage right off the bat, but Wouxun wants me to RAISE my selling price.
Back to the warranty issue. Since Wouxun has no statement against the sharing of the contents of their emails, I will copy and paste some below. I don’t have all of the probably thousands of emails I exchanged with Wouxun China but I do have a few.
My decision to not support or sell the Wouxun radio is not based solely on the fact Wouxun has an uncorrected defect that has been around for years. I am also tired of losing money supporting their warranty out of my pocket.
www.Wouxun.US / www.ImportCommunications.com
|What causes the memory loss problem?|
|I have not asked permission to publicize the name of the person giving me this information. I will tell you that this person writes programming software for programming radios. I know that MANY of you have used this software. When I told him that Wouxun blamed aftermarket software on this memory loss problem he explained the reason for the problem. This is the answer that I believe to be true. No one has provided me an answer that seems to be more reasonable.|
|> comments are from me .... the other comments are from the software person|
|Date: Mon, 11 Mar 2013 10:44:20 -0700 |
To: Ed Griffin <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: wouxun
1. > So this problem has been a big one for me because even before I had a
> falling-out with the factory, they would not replace radios with the
> problem. I've lost a lot of money replacing them on my own.
Wow, that's a bummer. It is nice to know you're doing the right thing
for your customers though.
> Your comment about "wearing out the flash" has me intrigued. Can you
> explain this to someone that knows very little about the magic that
> you do? Is there a way to recover these radios, short of replacing
> the part? I have at least 200 bad ones.
Flash memory is memory that keeps its contents when powered off,
like an SD card that you use in a camera. Regular memory (DRAM)
requires power to keep its contents, which is why your computer has to
boot up each time you power it on.
All flash memory is rated at a certain number of write cycles. That
means after a certain number of writes, it will "die", meaning it can't
be written to any more. The actual time and number of cycles it takes
to kill the flash depends on both the access patterns and the quality
of the flash. For example, a cheap SD card may be rated for only 1000
cycles before it dies. The new (very expensive) solid state disks use
flash memory as well, but very very nice memory, and are rated for
millions of writes.
I expect that the flash used in these radios is, like everything else,
as cheap as it can possibly be, which means it is probably rated for
very few writes. If they designed the radio to be reprogrammed once a
year or so for LMR type situations, the average ham may wear it out in
a month, as you can imagine.
Another thing to consider is that the radio itself writes to the flash
for certain things, such as tuning the VFO. That is extra hard on the
flash because it's a repeated write to the same cell over and over
The death of a flash device is a mechanical/chemical thing, and can't
be reversed aside from replacing the device altogether. If they sent
you new flash chips and you wanted to have some SMT technician replace
them, it is possible that you might be able to recover the dead radios.
However, it's unlikely to be cost effective, I think, as the equipment
and skills required for that kind of soldering aren't cheap. Further,
most devices like that would need a low-level initialization of the
flash before the radio can "boot up" from it. Not sure if they'd do
that for you before sending them or not.
|Date: Mon, 11 Mar 2013 11:20:18 -0700 |
To: Ed Griffin <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: wouxun
1. > Also... I think it strange that this memory loss problem has not
> shown up in the Baofeng or TYT radios, that I am aware of......
Yes, and given that they are all extremely similar from the programming
and microcontroller side, it _has_ to be something different that
wouxun is doing. Such as using an extra-cheap flash chip :)
|What does Wouxun China have to say?|
|Just so you nay-sayers will know that Wouxun China has been aware of this problem here are a few emails from the factory. Please read these from the bottom to the top to have them in order.|
|Date: Fri, 3 Jun 2011 16:17:43 +0800 (CST) |
From: wouxunsales02 <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: Re: questions
Thank you Ed,
The engineers are checking the loosing memory radios deeply, it is also very odd problem, I will let you know the result once got from them.
About the TDR improving, it is under testing, but when will you place the next order ?
And, we are still not design the leaflet of KG-UVA1 model, do you have any opinion on this leaflet ?
for Danny Chen
About the key lock problem. The customer does not have a computer
cable. He will send the radio to me or I will send him a cable. Since he
did not use a cable to program the radio, I wonder how the problem
happened. It makes me wonder if this problem is like the memory-loss
problem and just happened for no reason. I will let you know what happens
with this problem.
So do you think TDR will be available for my next order? And what about
brochures for UVA1?
At 08:36 AM 6/2/2011, you wrote:
>Thank you for your signed contract.
>About the key-lock problem, is it possible to program it via the software
>? we wonder the settings are incorrect.
>Just read the data from the radio, and then write the correct to the radio.
>The TDR key, we are under improving.
>But sorry, the KG-UVA1 we now do not have any brochures.
>Pls note, about this new model, the marketing price should not lower than
>for Danny Chen>
>A customer does not have a computer cable, so he has programmed his radio
>by hand. Things worked fine for a few days, then he turned on his radio
>and the Key-lock is on. Press & hold will not turn the key-lock off. Menu
>button will not work to use for a reset. Trying Dealer Mode does not work
>because radio comes on with key-lock still on.
>Is there any secrete "hold key / turn on" that will reset the radio?
>When I place my next order, will you be able to include the TDR active/not
>Do you have any brochures for the KG-UVA1?
|Date: Thu, 7 Jul 2011 16:40:07 +0800 (CST) |
From: wouxun <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: memory loss
|Date: Fri, 12 Aug 2011 15:09:41 +0800 (CST) |
From: wouxun <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: Re: Dealer Agreement
At 03:07 AM 8/10/2011, you wrote:
>Just applied the chip for you with my supervisors, we will send you along
>with this shipment.
>But at this stage, we still not plan to add the socket on the board.
>By the way, attached is the Dealer Agreement with our signature and
>company chop for your record.
>Well, remember to raise the marketing price of KG-UV2D to $120 as required
>on this agreement. Thank you.
>Hope our further cooperations will be getting better and better.>
>for Danny Chen
>I forgot to say.... Please send me some chips to repair memory loss. I
>will attempt to repair some myself. Did you discuss with superiors adding
>a socket for the chip? I may try to find some sockets to use with my repairs.>
>Send at least 4 chips for 420-520 radio and at least 2 chips for 350-470
>At 04:04 AM 8/9/2011, you wrote:
> >Hi Ed,
> >Well, we will ship the goods to you on next week, i will show you the
> >tracking number once available.
> >The new 6D models is not ready to sell at present, also when the cost is
> >confirmed i will let you know.
> >About the mobiel radio, frankly speaking, no one else are more longing for
> >it than us, but we must ensure the quality, which is the most important.
> >Pls do not worry, we will try our best to launch the mobile asap.
> >Once again thank you for your attention.
> >for Danny Chen
> >--------------Original Message-------------
> >Tofirstname.lastname@example.org> >Cc??
> >Date??2011-08-09 08:19:50.0
> >Hi,> >
> >Do you have an expected shipping date for my order?> >
> >Also when is the release date for the new dual band HT? What is my costs?> >
> >What is the news on the mobile radio? I get 25 emails per day asking that
> >question.> >
|Date: Wed, 29 Feb 2012 15:24:20 +0800 (CST) |
From: wouxun <email@example.com>
Subject: new PI for reference.
Could you pls return one radio body with the losing memory problem which we reparied by an additional component on the board ?
Our engineers will take a deeper inspection. Thank you.
for Danny Chen
I am getting more and more radios returned because of memory loss. I have
gotten about 6 in the past 3-4 days. Some of these are the ones with the
colored bezel on the front.
I need to order about 25-30 radio-body only for warranty
replacement. (UV2D tx&rx 136-174 & 420-520). I need a very good price on
these because I lose money having to replace radios under warranty.
I need to order
20 - UV2D rx 136-174 & 216-280 tx 144-148 & 222-225
280 UV2D (tx&rx 136-174 & 420-520)
What good price can you give?
I will try to check email very late tonight to see if you have responded.
|Date: Thu, 21 Jun 2012 18:37:37 +0800 (CST) |
From: wouxun <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Thank you for your kindly email.
Yes, the mobile radio KG-UV920R will be ready on the end of June or beginning of July.
But only small quantities available at this stage. Each dealer will have max.10pcs order.
Well, what is your opinion on the best end price for the mobile ?
By the way, about the radio you wanted to return, pls note, as the tough import clearance in Chinese customs, we really DO NOT suggest you return to our repairing.
We can send you the components for your repairng if required.
for Danny Chen
Subject£ºRe: 6D PRO / MOBILE
At 08:00 AM 6/15/2012, you wrote:
UV2D radio # 1L03CT6330 has been returned because it loses memory. I am
going to return this radio to you for inspection. I thought this problem
had been corrected with the latest models.
Is there anything special I need to use for China customs when sending this
back? I will send it by Priority Mail in a small box, as that is the least
I still have 1-2 radios per week returned because of memory loss. These
radios average being 6 months to 12 months old.
>Subject??Re: Fw: Re:
>News: A customer is returning a 2D radio because it loses memory and
>reverts to speaking Chinese. This is a new radio, sold in March 2012. I
>will send this radio to you as soon as it comes in.
STILL THINK THERE'S BEEN NO PROBLEM - STILL THINK WOUXUN DID NOT KNOW?
|July 2016 addition......... the following email was received, with a request for me to post it. This person IS NOT a customer of mine. These are his words.|
Here is my story I would like to share with you. Maybe you can post it.
WOUXUN KG –UV920P-A
After a nine month battle with Wouxun, their radio failed and they refuse to replace or refund their product. Do not buy their radios; they will not stand behind them. Customer service is absolutely poor.
I bought this radio in January of 2014 from a dealer that was retiring and was liquidating his inventory. The radio was a Fall 2013 version which was the newest at the time and had a one year factory warranty. I was advise that if there were any issues that Wouxun would take care of it.
I received the radio, installed it and programmed it up. Everything was working fine for approximate 6 weeks. Then one day I tried to transmit on the radio and no one was hearing me. The receive was fine but no one could hear me. So I put it on a meter and the radio was transmitting way less than a half a watt, after a friend of mine examined the radio it was determined the driver went bad and the radio had no transmit power.
So I contacted the dealer I bought the radio from and he put me in contact with Wouxun direct so they can fix the problem.
After several emails back and forth I was not getting anywhere with them to fix the radio. When I was at the International Wireless conference in Las Vegas in March I even tried to talk to the people from Wouxun to see if we could fix the problem, basically we couldn't understand each other and they took my contact information.
Sometime after more than dozens of emails later, they agreed to send me a replacement PCM at a cost of $45 shipping that I had to pay. (Great warranty right). I received that in about three weeks, I got the package and got everything put back together and reinstalled in my truck. The radio now does not program with the software. I tried every software that they have on their website. NO luck!!! Ugh!
So here goes the emails again. Dozens and dozens more, they try to work through so many solutions that do not work as usual.
Well sometime in June they refer me to another Wouxun dealer state side, they wanted me to ship the radio to them, which I did at $15 my cost. Once that dealer received the radio they did verify that there was a problem with the radio and it needed another PCM.
Now this was in June, They got the PCM from Wouxun in October. Installed it and I guess still had problems communicating with the radio. Then…as per the work order, they got it to program with some sort of software on a disk. So they shipped me the radio back and software on this disk…um OK. Oh, the radio now has bent volume knobs by the way. It was not liked this when I shipped it to them.
Soooo.. I get the radio try to program it again and it does NOT program still! So I try loading this "special" software they sent me that suppose to work. Right! After I load this software onto my PC, it looks like nothing more than the regular software that they have online, but the stuff they sent me looks like a blank excel sheet. All the lettering is missing from the software. Oh, and it still does not work.
So I email Wouxun again and explain everything to them, they copy the repair facility to try to figure out what's wrong. The repair facility stated it was programming fine when they had it on the bench and I had to use the software that sent me, which is not even the right software since I sent it to Wouxun and they said it was the wrong version. So someone is lying here!… Bottom line is that this repair facility did not want to get in the middle of this since they did not sell me the radio. Wouxun more or less dumped this on their lap.
So after several more emails back and forth Wouxun said that I could pay for another PCM to be shipped to me. I said hell no!! I am not dumping anymore money into this thing. I have paid way too much to get this fix. I either need a total new replacement or refund.
They denied me and said no that they could not help me anymore. So I'm SOL and out of $335. Great!
Bottom line, their radios are junk and even though there is a warranty, they do not stand behind it. No wonder why so many Wouxun dealers are dropping the products. Even when I talk to some of the dealers, they have issues working with the company and Wouxun expects the dealer to absorb most of the repair cost and replacement.
They are a cheap product!!!!! Stay away!!!!!!!
PS - I have all the emails saved about this as my proof.