Monster Cable response to blog post is scary

February 20, 2008 at 9:27 pm 4 comments

Helena Bouchez

Note to Monster Cable Company: Hire someone who understands social media, immediately!

The company recently sent a two-page rebuttal to The Consumerist regarding the article “Monster Cables, Monster Ripoff: 80% Markups,” written and posted on Feb. 7 by Ben Popken, editor of this blog about consumerism. In a nutshell, a Radio Shack employee sent his store’s entire inventory list to The Consumerist, which included the wholesale and retail prices of every item in stock. The blog posted a list of Monster Cable items along with their wholesale and retail prices and then proceeded to rip on the company for over-inflating not just prices, but product performance assertions (especially on HDMI cables made for HDTVs, etc.).

Fair? Maybe. Maybe not. What matters more is that Monster Cable’s response, posted on Feb. 19, may have compounded the damage and also scared away potential customers by its lengthy, defensive and jargon-laden comeback.

The comments on Monster’s post offer insight on how the company might have turned this lemon into lemonade. As Hawk07 wrote:

“If it’s certified to be an HDMI cable, it’ll have the same quality regardless of who makes it since a digital signal is a digital signal.

“I would challenge the President or a videophile of his choosing to have 10 HDTVs setup using content of their choice (blu-ray or a live HDTV feed) and see if they can tell the difference between their top HDMI cable and a generic one bought for under $10.

“If they can pass that test, I think it would certainly give their company a lot more credibility. It’s also deceitful for them to try and pass a white paper off as credible like they did above. Either that, or their marketing department doesn’t know the difference between a white paper and an independent study.”

For a big picture view of just how important it is for companies to get their arms around social media asap, it might try reading Business Week’s Feb. 20 piece, “Social Media Will Change Your Business.”

Incidentally, if I were in PR over at Monoprice (Monster’s biggest competitor) I’d be dancing with joy right now, as Monoprice was mentioned in about every other comment on both posts, a combined 369 to date. Score one for Monoprice – and boo for  Monster Cables.


Entry filed under: Media Relations, Missteps, New/Social Media. Tags: , .

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. El Cid  |  March 16, 2008 at 8:33 pm

    It is not true that HDMI certification has anything to do with performance standards. There are in fact differences between different HDMI cables, particularly when dealing with 1080p transmission, but the difference between performance or failure has nothing to do with brand or money.

    Sending 1080p over HDMI is actually very difficult and dicey, particularly over lengths.

    The only objective rating system out there being proposed yet by an actual laboratory that tests the cables, and doesn’t just echo a meaningless certification, is Jeff Bocaccio’s DPL (Digital Performance Level).

    That said, in situations in which you can easily change out HDMI cables, you should go with some really good, reliable, but cheap local cables.

    If you have to run a long length, especially for 1080p, find some suitable device pair which converts the HDMI signal to Cat5e or Cat6, or soon RG6 Coax cabling.

    The HDMI cable design has certain advantages in short form (analogous to USB), but really starts to have problems when dealing with tremendous amounts of data (1080p) along with the constant 2-way paranoid Hollywood-imposed signal checks being sent back & forth between display & source, and as length increases.

    Just because Monster’s full of it doesn’t, unfortunately, mean everything reduces down to HDMI certification and “digital is digital” declarations.

    • 2. JoBob :)  |  December 12, 2012 at 12:29 pm

      I ran a 75 ft. HDMI cable (from Monoprice) thru my attic to a TV in another room from a 4×4 switch (from Monoprice) before I knew you could do this thru Cat5e or Cat6e. When I was ready to do the next room, I bought the Cat6e materials (from Monoprice… of course). They all work like a charm. Monoprice ROCKS!… Got my new iPhone 5 case from MP for less than $5, so Monoprice can tell Otterbox to take a hike too 🙂

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