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Old 09-28-2012
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ICOM VHF repair (cheap)

I bought an ICOM M422 new from Defender about 5 years ago. It started acting strangely a few months ago in that it would receive transmissions for a few seconds to a minute after turning it on and then it would not receive unless the squelch was nearly turned off. I was able to confirm that the radio was transmitting loud and clear. My dilemma was to fix a 5 year old radio that already had a RAM mic mounted in the cockpit or buy new. I called the main US ICOM facility in Washington and they said to send it in. To check the radio would cost $42 and they would tell me what the repair would cost beyond that plus return shipping. On their website I found another regional ICOM repair facility much closer. After speaking with one of their technicians, he told me that ICOM had a bad batch of filters and he was pretty confident that was the problem. Here is the kicker, he told me ICOM would cover it free of charge even though the radio was out of warranty!!!!! I mailed the radio to them and just got it back today, in less than a week, which is a miracle in itself here in the Islands...
Total cost was about $15 for shipping to them. They covered the return shipping.

One could look at this many ways. Why did ICOM's main location wish to charge me a minimum of $42 plus return shipping when a regional repair place didn't? If ICOM knew they had bad parts in an important safety device, why didn't they contact registered owners? You could also say that fixing a 5 year old radio (two years out of warranty) for free is very good customer service.

Bottom line, I'm happy to have my radio back and working for such a small investment. If you have an ICOM that is having similar problems, it might be worth a few calls and some postage.
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