Get ready, because I’m on my soapbox. Do you want to know how not to treat your customers? Here’s how. First, I need to back up and explain some stuff. A few months ago, I purchased the Aputure V-Mic D2 – it looked to be a great, cheaper alternative to the Rode VideoMic Pro. I didn’t want to pay Rode prices, and I didn’t like that the VideoMic Pro had a non-removable cable, so I went for the D2. Fast forward 9 months, and after my mic has been working great for the past 9 months, it suddenly stops… Right before a wedding… With no time to diagnose it. Well, I had to just roll with the stock camera mic in the t5i (ouch!) whether I liked it or not. After the shoot was over, someone helped me diagnose it. They plugged in the removable cable to a cable tester and immediately told me my cable was bad. I examined the cable, and it became clear – no wonder it when bad – this is the thinnest cable I’ve ever seen in my life. Naturally, I contacted Aputure to ask for a new cable to be sent. They replied saying that the warranty for my cable is only 6 months long, and suggested either “checking your local audio store” or buying a new one directly from them for $15 USD (and free two-month shipping from China). My options are to go searching on my own for a fast replacement, or pay $15 for their thin trash cable and have no microphone for two months. Fantastic. Well, as you might imagine, I picked the first option. I knew I wanted an angled cable, and preferably a coiled cable. I started searching on Amazon, and all I could find was a replacement cable for Rode mics that said it was for iPhones (I had my concerns that it may not work for my DSLR).
Then I Found It
After searching aimlessly for Amazon for a while, I reached out to a trusted videographer. He recommended searching B&H (duh!), where I finally found what I was looking for. Even then, I stumbled across one obscure cable that was the only one of it’s kind. If you ever are in my situation, it’s the Pearstone CRSM-830. Technically, I paid about $16 for the cable (where Aputure’s solution was $15), but I received a much higher quality cable, and I received it in just a few days.
Aputure, You’re Trash
It’s time for me to proclaim something: Aputure, you’re garbage. Dramatic? Sort of. Yes, I fixed the problem. Yes, my mic works again. Yes, I still love the mic and am satisfied with it. So what’s the issue? Consumers expect at least a one year warranty. Sure, I should have checked the warranty before buying – that’s on me – but the fact that they don’t even stick with the standard is shocking. In addition, I wasn’t asking for an entirely new microphone – only a cable. A cable that I bet costs about $0.50 to manufacture, and they can’t spare that just to keep a customer happy? How about “as a one-time exception, we will send a replacement.” How about being happy to have a customer and treating them well for using your brand so they are likely to buy from you again? Seems like quite an idea to me. Finally, if you’re going to charge for replacement parts, do it properly like Rode. Charge what your cable is worth (not $15), and offer it with fast shipping from either Amazon or B&H (or both). There is another cable that’s also required for the mic, and it is definitely proprietary (as far as size and the angled ends). I looked it up, and Aputure wants $18 to replace it, with the same two-month shipping “deal.” For those reasons alone, I can’t recommend Aputure products to anyone. If you’re desperate for a cheap mic and don’t care about the warranty or customer service, absolutely check out the D2. However, if you value your experience after purchasing the product, and are thinking someone will be there to help you, take your business elsewhere. Is Rode any better? I don’t know. I’ve never had a Rode mic. They certainly are more popular, but that doesn’t necessarily make them better. In the end, though, I’m positive there are other companies that will treat you better.