my letter to etymotic

To: Etymotic Research Inc. Customer Support

I recently placed an order with you for accessories for my Isolator ER-6i headphones. I was very disappointed when UPS added an additional brokerage charge of approximately US$27 (plus taxes and duties) to the order. Since the value of the the order was only $43, your courier’s brokerage charge was almost two-thirds the value of the goods ordered.

Please consider using another courier for Canadian orders. USPS/Canada Post’s brokerage charges are much smaller, of the order of $5.

I would also like to note that none of your agents in Toronto seems able to stock these spares. I visited all three of the dealers mentioned on your website:

  • Long & McQuade had no stock, and didn’t seem particularly keen on ordering any for me.
  • Carbon Computers, though very helpful, only had eartips for the ER-6, and didn’t know that they wouldn’t work with the ER-6i.
  • CPUsed sold me an incomplete bag of ER6-14 eartips; only 6 tips for the full price of 10. When they weren’t assuring me that they’d work with the ER-6i, they were trying to sell me a set of Shure E2C headphones, which they said were better.

Up until now, I have been widely recommending your products. Until I know that you’re serious about supporting your Canadian customers, however, I cannot recommend your products to anyone in this country.


  1. I would like to hear how they respond to this, as I was looking at ordering a pair of those very earphones about a week ago.

    I’ll keep an eye on your blog to see how things turn out.

  2. This is the response I got:

    Hello Mr. Russell:

    Thank you for taking time to write us regarding your experience purchasing accessories for the ER-6i. I am sorry, however, to hear that the experience was a negative one. Our standard method of shipping products is via UPS, and I know that it can be challenging to receive shipments internationally when additional customs and brokerage fees are applied. If you ever require additional accessories in the future, you may want to consider phoning the order in to our Customer Service Department and requesting that the accessories be shipped via U.S. Mail. We are happy to accommodate such requests, but it is important to note that we are unable to track such orders. This does add an element of risk, as we cannot claim responsibility for lost shipments sent via mail.

    Normally, I would recommend purchasing through one of the international dealers listed on our website, but based on your letter, it appears that this avenue did not yield a successful result. I will make sure that the letter detailing your experience with these particular resellers is shown to our Sales and Marketing Departments for review.

    Thank you again for writing, and we appreciate your feedback.


    Rick Carlson
    Customer Service Representative
    Etymotic Research, Inc
    61 Martin Lane
    Elk Grove Village, IL 60007
    888-389-6684 toll free

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