Report: #1057239

Complaint Review: Strobe Tech

  • Submitted: Fri, June 07, 2013
  • Updated: Fri, June 07, 2013
  • Reported By: Industry Insider — Oklahoma City Oklahoma
  • Strobe Tech
    1812 Alpine Dr, Suite B
    Clarksville, Tennessee

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Billy Winchester, the sole proprietor of Strobe Tech LLC and Tower Beacon LLC has been ripping off his loyal customers for years. He has an in-house repair lab in which Strobe Tech refurbishes, rebuilds, and remanufactures the parts that his technicians pull off of broadcast towers and bring back to the office. These corroded parts (mostly circuit boards) are then cleaned up, in an effort to make them appear not used, and have some of their board-level components replaced. The previously-faulty parts are then "laundered" into the inventory and sold to unsuspecting customers for the same price as new parts, with no labeling or anything on the invoice that would tell a customer they just paid full price for refurbished items.

The easiest way to confirm that this is true, if you are not one of their customers, is Strobe Tech's 90-day warranty (plainly visible on their website's home page) on parts that have a 1-year warranty, when purchased directly from the manufacturer. Why does having Strobe Tech install these parts reduce the manufacturer's warranty by 75%?

The easiest way to confirm this, if you are a customer, is to simply go back through your invoices from them. Well over 90% of the invoices that are sent out contain these used parts, but the words "refurbished," "remanufactured," or "rebuilt" only appear on less than 1/10th of 1% of their invoices. The only way for this situation to exist is for them to be willfully deceiving their customers by omitting these terms.

This practice is a clear violation of the Federal Trade Commission's standards on labeling. The crime is officially known as deceit through ommission. This practice also violates the rules set forth by the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance, Consumer Affairs Division.


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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 06/07/2013 11:02 AM and is a permanent record located here: The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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Updates & Rebuttals


#1 UPDATE Employee

Clearly Marking Rebuilt Circuit Boards

AUTHOR: hoplite01 - ()

 I am the sole technician in Billy Winchester's company, StrobeTech, that repairs the boards mentioned in this report. I must also say that I believe I am risking my job by posting here. I repair most of the boards that our climbers bring back. Virtually all of the boards have components replaced when they come through the lab. Some of them need nothing more than to have basic maintenance done, like replacement of the trigger capacitors and the programming jumper wires.

I am contending the fact that the boards are not marked as repaired, refurbished, whatever. Every single board that I repair to a fully working state has a sticker with my initials on it and the date I finished repairs and testing. I am not disputing any of Mr. Winchester's sales practices as I have no access to his inventory control system where the parts are labelled used or new. I do know that about 95% of his stock of Flash Technology, EG&G, and H&P boards have been repaired by myself.

Corroded boards are not repaired. I send them to a junk bin. I do take pride in my solder work. I enjoy returning the repaired boards to a condition as good as factory or better. I say better because I have found cold solder joints on boards that have not been previously worked on. I do not replace the conformal coating on boards I repair either, leaving a very visible "scar" on repaired boards. I do clean them thoroughly with alcohol to remove all debris and excess flux from the repair.

This is my rebuttal the the boards not being marked in any way. They are marked with my sticker with my initials, RJM, and the date XX/XX/XX. However Mr. Winchester decides to sell them is on him. As I said, as Mr. Winchester's sole electronics repair technician, my anonymity is a moot point.

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#2 Author of original report

Customers Never See Parts

AUTHOR: Industry Insider - ()

The reason Strobe Tech has never been caught is that they are a tower climbing company. This means the parts they fraudulently install at customer sites are never even seen by their customers, because they end up hundreds of feet off the ground, in broadcast towers. The only parts the customers get to see are the ones brought down by the techs, but even those are efficiently stuck right back into their vehicles to be wisked back to the office for yet another round of refurbishment. FYI: many times, the parts that are pulled out of the lights are of a much higher quality than the second-hand "new" parts they slap back into the lights. WONDERING WHY YOUR LIGHTS ARE SO EXPENSIVE TO MAINTAIN?!?!

In addition to selling refurb as new, they also engage in a much more heinous crime; selling old parts that have NOT even been refurbished for the same price as new. Winchester will literally take old capacitors, spray-paint them, and add them to his inventory to be installed for EVEN MORE THAN BRAND-NEW CAPACITORS FROM THE MANUFACTURER!!!!!

Do not let this continue. Contact the TN Dept. of Commerce / Consumer affairs division now and file a formal complaint.

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