Crappy Headset Business

More bad shopping experiences.  Recently, I bought Plantronics MX10, an phone amplifier that connects to computer for multimedia works and VOIP, along with a Telex H-51 headset.  Actually, I got the Hello Direct Virtuoso before that but returned it in favor of MX10.

When I received it, I realized that MX10 requires headsets with a special type of connector called Quick-Disconnect (QD).  Note that Quick-Disconnect headsets are two to 9 times more expensive than normal computer headsets.  After a bit of grumbling, I ordered a Symphony headset from because it was cheaper than Plantronics headsets of comparable quality.

When I got the Symphony headset, I hooked it all up but couldn't hear the dial tone.  Hmm.  I tested the headset by hooking it up directly to my phone.  There wasn't any problem with the headset.  I tried everything, even talking to Plantronics' very nice clueless tech person.  Only conclusion I could make was that MX10 was defective.  So off it went back to Amazon.

Today, the replacement MX10 arrived.  I hooked it all up again but same symtoms.  I switched to a different phone and was rewarded with very distant dial tone.  Amplifier that weakens signal?  I called tech support this time and got the disgusting insider news:

Headsets and phone amplifiers from different manufacturers are not compatible with each other although they all use Quick-Disconnect connectors.

Huh?  That means Plantronics amplifiers like MX10 works only with Plantronics headsets and Symphony headsets will work only with Symphony amplifiers.  The fact that they use same connector form factor is just meaningless.

Totally disgusted, I packed up everything except the Telex H-51 and scheduled a UPS pickup tommorrow.  Since I ordered a telephony enabled modem with my new computer, I am gonna use that instead of fancy but insane phone equipment.  I don't know why I haven't thought of this before.  After all, I have written a sophisticated telephony app for a client nearly ten years ago.  Maybe I'll even write a telephony app that will put these crappy companies out of business.