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Screwed by Autolamps

9 February 2000
Well, it only took over a month but I got my HID issue resolved.

I had the Autolamps kit and one lamp was of a different color than the other. Jay Hong on this site, Larry Garcia, owner of NSX Modified and everyone else I showed, noticed it right away. Also, the beam pattern was not very good on one of the bulbs. I never turned on the HID bulbs before properly and carefully installing them and I never unnecessarily tampered with them.

I have tested my headlamp projects (with another kit) and found that the problem was not with my headlights. Other HID vendors - with years of experience, readily admitted to having some color consistency issues.

I tried everything that they asked me to. I broke a bulb while trying different things Autolamps asked me to try. I tried fixing it - I told Autolamps this and knew that I would not get refunded for the bulb.

In Autolamps review of the kit they told me that I tampered with one ballast and both bulbs - ?

I have NO idea of what they are talking about with the second bulb and the ballast. They had photo evidence of course, I should have taken photos before I shipped the damn kit to them.

What's the retail price of the items that I apparently must have damaged? $625 - $60 of tha being shipping and handling! That's more than the price of the kit plus my $40 cost to ship it back to them.

Ballast is modified by Autolamps to begin with and the tampering he claimed I made was with the cutting of the silicone wire protection and reheating of that wire (???!). The wires were not cut in the image that he sent me. So I have to lose the full retail value of the ballast for this?

I really feel screwed here. I take pride in living my life ethically and I would never purposely deceive or even mislead anyone in a business transaction. I am coeditor of NSX Driver and I am an active member of the NSX Community and I feel that I have a responsibility to give the vendor the benefit of the doubt before making a post like this. I gave more than enough information and tried everything Autolamps asked me to (even having Larry Garcia reinstall the kit for me) before sending the kit back. Larry even told me that he had this problem with another kit until the bulb was replaced.

Now I'm out over $500 with no HID kit. On top of that, I have heard some not-so-great things about Nick, the owner of Autolamps from others who have dealt with him. If I had known, I would have never listened to his request to "analyze" the kit for me.

I'm assuming that you charged the kit to your credit card... well DISPUTE IT! They are great at dealing with things like this.


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Sorry to hear about your horrible experience w/ Autolamps.
I've been in that position before and it just makes you feel like you've been screwed backwards and forwards even though you've done everything you could to be helpful. I haven't had any problems with my HID kit, but let's hope I don't run into problems later down the road.

I agree w/ Jeff. Assuming that you paid with your credit card, check with your credit card company(if the person is not helpful, ask for the account manager on duty) about defective item purchases. Explain to them the situation and let them know that you have been ripped off.

[This message has been edited by johndoh (edited 26 September 2001).]
Thanks guys.

I am aware that I have other recourse options and I am looking into them now. Funny thing is that the owner told me that he's was out of the country and couldn't look at my kit until just recently. The credit card company thought that was interesting considering that their normal policy is that disputes should be handled within the first 60 days.

I don't know if he knowingly put himself outside of the 60 days or not but considering his reply to me, I wouldn't put it past him. The CC company of course, doesn't care about the 60 days given the nearly 30 day wait he put me through while he held on to my money.

Why no one else at his company could help me is beyond me.
Most companies say that... but I've never had dispute problems that have gone back much farther. I've disputed claims 5 months after they've happened. Just be sure to tell the CC company his strategy.
In all fairness, although I know that good faith or even good business practice is *not* being used in dealing with me - I do not want to protray the person as an outright liar since he is not defending himself on this board.
Well Justin, I was deciding as to whether or not to order the HIDs right now for my winter project. It seems like others have had good results with their kit. But it's the customer service afterwards that's important, in case I have questions or problems. But now, I guess I'll put my order on hold until we see what happens with yours. How is everyone else's experience with them, after you've ordered?

This is a perfect example of where negative comments are affecting the credibility of a particular vendor. This is unfortunate because in all cases, negative comments always outweigh positive comments at least 10 to 1. In any market, you can't please everybody, but I do know that excellent customer service brings repeated customers and referrals. I've worked in customer service for 7 years and I believe that any issue should be addressed and fixed as quick as possible before they blow up and make a bigger mess.

In a tight community like this, a disgruntled customer can have a really damaging affect, especially to companies that are trying to reach new markets. I've been told that Autolamps does guarantee a full refund if you are not 100% happy but I am not sure why they have not honored that yet. Of course, there are cases where certain customers have blatantly abused the product and it is obviously so. However, based on Justin's comments that date back early August, I believe he's sweated and worked hard to try to get his problem fixed and that he purposefully didn't break his kit or tampered with it. It's been 2 months now and he's in a worse situation now. I just hope a happy resolution is reached very soon.

Personally, I have not had any problems with their product or service. Their email responses to me have always been very prompt(always within 24hrs), courteous and helpful. I am very happy with the build quality and the cost of the kit.
So what's the deal? Is the color on this kit off or what? I really like the HID lights on the audi's- and I would hope that someone that has installed this kit can say that the results are equivalent. I mean is the $600 worth the difference at night relative to $30 for some aftermarket bulbs?

I really hope so, I was planning on going with this kit but if what I am hearing is that it's just not worth the hassel all things considered then maybe I'll just throw in some bulbs and call it a day.

I also see a kid selling the phillips kit on ebay for $450 all day long- anyone have any experience with that? It would seem to me that the NSX specific kit would make things a lot easier for the extra buck and a half.
Based on the posts here, I do not doubt the value of the HID lights as many here are happy with them. I think there have been alot of positive comments here about the value and quality of the kit. What I am concerned about is what happens when I receive a kit and something is wrong with the light color, beam pattern, etc? Most of us won't know until the kit is installed. Will it be easy to resolve the problem or will I run into problems like Justin has?
Originally posted by ravetek:
I also see a kid selling the phillips kit on ebay for $450 all day long- anyone have any experience with that? It would seem to me that the NSX specific kit would make things a lot easier for the extra buck and a half.

You're correct on that. Also, the kit he is selling won't fit on the NSX. Keep in mind that most(if not all) HID kits for 9006 will not fit on the NSX. Autolamps has built a custom kit for the NSX.

I'd be more than happy to show you my installation and the HID kit. I know Chris Wilson has been wanting to look at my HIDs as well. Perhaps we can set up a group lunch sometime soon or coffee or whatever for whoever wants to take a look.
The bulb base will fit the NSX and wire through along the factory wires - I don't think that particular base was developed to work for the NSX *only*.

There are other kits but I've only seen two that fit well in the NSX and the Autolamps one is the only one that I know of that does not require any modification of the dust cap.

There are other bulb options from Autolamps now. There is a new brighter bulb (Utilinon?) that you may want to look into. Those bulbs are several hundred dollars more last time I checked.
The last thing I want to do is badmouth anyone. At the same time, I think it is important to share any bad experiences. Afterall, vendors also get the benefit of good experiences voiced on these public forums.

With that said, Autolamps has made an offer to resolve the issue and I have accepted. I don't have any reason to think that he won't follow through on the resolution. Once it is done, I will consider the matter resolved.
As the author of the NSX install procedures and working with Autolamps and Lud to help me develop the kit for OUR cars, I have been patiently sitting on the sidelines for weeks listening to what’s been going on. Justin has been personally emailing me all of his correspondences with Autolamps. I did not want to comment publicly on this subject because I did not want my comments to be perceived as biased. I want to make it clear that I am just a NSX owner here in N.J. USA and that I have never profited from this project in any way shape or form.
I want to explain the history of this project for everyone. I first tried and was successful on installing a first generation HID kit from Taiwan. I had to cut up my endcaps, bulb retainer clips etc… I found after all my hard work (many hours) and the cutting up of my NSX; the kit was not beam pattern correct! I had no useable beam pattern at night; I mean the lighting was terrible. I certainly did not want others to go through that because it was NOT WORTH IT! With all of that hard work I had no idea of who to turn to for support. At that time I decided to research thoroughly the subject of HID conversions, which to my shame I did not before I originally bought. I then did a search on the Internet for HID, and found the Phillips lighting forum. A lot of ideas and information was exchanged there regarding HID conversions. And like some forums out there you do not know whom to believe. I found countless other people spending thousands of dollars searching for blue HID lighting and getting outright screwed with junk like mine. There was a lot of confusion on the forum and some dealers out there (I will not say any names) just turning their backs on people and not providing any real support. Anyway these people on the forum got what I got, basic 9006 halogen bases glued onto HID bulbs, junk to say the least. Well, there were still a lot of difficult questions that no one could answer or provide support concerning HID conversions except one company, Autolamps. Every time there was a dispute or false information or a question that no one could answer, Autolamps always stepped in and straightened it all out with clear FACTS. I took notice to this and decided to ask Autolamps if they could help me with my problem. I knew from past posts and answers on the Phillips that this company seemed to be the experts on aftermarket-HID conversions. From many others on the Phillips forum, even moderators, I found out that the founder of Autolamps used to work for Phillips and was personally involved in the development of HID technology and was well respected as a leader in HID conversions. Well that was enough for me to except them as an authority and give them a chance. I was weary because of my last experience. But I wanted HID in my well-deserved NSX!

Autolamps explained to me what the problem was with my junk kit. They told me what to say and ask for from the manufacture from Taiwan. I then worked with the manufacture of that kit with the guidance of Autolamps and had to ship my bulbs to Taiwan to get them repaired. The beam pattern situation was corrected and repaired. So after the repair via the manufacture I sold that kit.

Now it was time to try the Autolamps kit. For the money and free shipping and most importantly support there was no doubt that this was the next kit to try. So I ordered a base 9006 kit from Autolamps. Well with all that said I took this base 9006 kit and found that I could make this a NSX standard Plug and Play kit. I found that the base could fit behind the stock end caps without any modification, WOW, was I excited! Now the only problem was to get the high volt wire in the headlamp assembly without any drilling. Well we all know that this was accomplished by using the stock wire harness route. This was an exciting time for me and was just what I needed to keep up on my cathexis with my NSX while it was sitting in the garage with snow outside.

Gentlemen, I personally took my car apart a dozen times taking digital photos and risking scratching etc. so others could install this kit with minimal risk. I did not get paid for it but I did it because like other NSX owners that have helped out in other areas for the NSX, and continue to do so, (which I thought very admirable), I to wanted to join that list in the NSX community. Just for an example as we all are aware of, LUD the biggest contributor of all, for giving us NSXPRIME. And by the way Lud would not let me use the words “plug and play” unless it was in fact plug and play. So after he read, professionally edited the “install article, it was approved as “plug and play by Lud. I want to say as I have before, I found it very rewarding to work with Lud and his expertise, I also found it very rewarding to work with Autolamps and their expertise. Now let me remind everyone that Autolamps DID NOT raise the price of their base 9006 kit for us NSXers. They have to make modifications to their base 9006 kit to work for us and compared to the base 9006 kit which they will sell in much higher numbers I thought this to be very admirable of them since there profit margin will be lower with the NSX kit. But Autolamps being the friend that they are to the NSX community they kept the price the same as the base 9006 kit.

Gentlemen I want to make this very clear that I feel Autolamps is and will continue to be the leader in HID conversion technology. They have supported my efforts to develop this kit for the NSX without raising their already low price of $600 dollars. The fact is you cannot make everyone happy. But the numbers speak for themselves; there are many, many NSX owners that are happy with the kit compared to one person’s bad experience. We have all read about the happy customers, and like many out there we are all waiting for Lud’s personally opinion of his kit and install.

I thank Autolamps for making good on this unfortunate situation with Justin. And I say publicly as I said personally through emails to Justin while he was having tough times with his kit, if Justin goes with another kit from Autolamps, he can ship me his headlamp assemblies and I will personally install and test in my own car the lights to make sure all goes smooth. That’s how much confidence I have in this kit! Thank you Autolamps for your support thanks to Lud for NSXPrime and thanks to all who have ordered this kit.

[This message has been edited by dochartung (edited 02 October 2001).]
I have had excellent results in dealing with Autolamps-online. I bought a kit for my Supra and they treated me with the highest respect.

I just bought my second now (for my NSX). Although there are some issues (one bulb was damaged in shipping) they always tend to make things right. I would like to thank Janet Beaven at Autolamps for her patience with my "anal retentive" personality! :)

i purchased a 4100k kit from autolamps (now hid-online.com) last month.
works perfect. sorry to hear others have not had the same experience.