I give a lot of talks, both in company and in public, about learning from failures. My classic case of design and communications failure is Bose. Yes, they made the most comfortable noise-cancelling headphones on the planet. The Quiet Comfort 2 headphones also had a design fault which the company refused to acknowledge. If you fell asleep on the plane while wearing them, the plastic holding the earpads would very quickly crack. Took about 9 months on average. And Bose would never repair them. Within the warranty period they were replaced. Out of warranty, they wanted 50 Euros for a small piece of plastic - plus proof of purchase. Bose doesn't understand social media, or how to handle sites like Get Satisfaction. When I posted on the site I got a curt response from the US company acting on Bose's behalf. They sent me on a wild goose chase which ended up with the same response. We don't fix our products. We simply replace them. They certainly don't admit to making a design fault.
They had a clever idea in the headphone case. Initially people came up to me and asked me what brand of headphones I was wearing. Bose thoughtfully put a courtesy card in the headphone case which explained the brand and where they could be ordered. When I tried to repair the headphones with RescueTape (brilliant stuff by the way), I changed for being a brand ambassador to being a brand alternative influencer - buy anything but Bose. Don't ever repeat my expensive mistake.
Today the phones broke again. Now they're beyond repair and its time to go through the official deboxing. Bose have the next generation QC-3 headphones for a ludicrous 398 Euro on their website. You can bet I won't be upgrading. If you've been thinking about buying Bose headphones, or any other Bose product for that matter, I urge you to reconsider.