Beware of Wouxun and other Chinese Radios

I just received this email from Ed Griffin at Import Communications concerning Wouxun Radios and his dealings with them over the years. I have no reason to doubt the truth in his email.

This makes me wonder why anyone would spend any more than $50 for one of the cheap handheld radios. I consider them throw-aways because if they break, they cannot be practically fixed, and you just throw them away.

Paying almost $300 for a Chinese transceiver is insane. If it breaks, there is no support. Don’t be stupid. Buy quality American, Japanese and European built equipment. Not the Chinese junk unless of course it is $50 or less.

Here is Ed’s email in its entirety:

I'm Saying Good Bye to Wouxun

Dear Customer,

About five years ago we pretty much put the name Wouxun on the US map as the first major importer of their radios, selling three hundred to five hundred per month. Wouxun.US, our web site, still averages over one thousand hits per day.

Wouxun-China has always been a pain in the rear to deal with but I have now had enough. When their flop of a dual band mobile came out, I made a simple announcement on my web site that I would not be selling it because it did not meet my expectations. Even though I didn't say it was the piece of junk it really was, Wouxun still took offense and decided they would no longer have dealings with me. For the past two years, I've continued to sell their radios, buying them directly from the factory under an assumed name.

I wired payment for five hundred radios on Oct 1st, 2013. These radios were supposed to be in stock and shipped right away (before the Hong Kong Electronics Show). After waiting until mid-December on this shipment, I gave up. I asked that the order be cancelled and a refund issued. I didn't know if I'd ever see that money, but they did send it back. Of course they did not pay the transfer fees, so I lost $115 in the process. I guess I'm still lucky considering.

From the beginning, Wouxun has offered no warranty support for defective radios. Although they were willing to repair any radio, they wanted me to bring them to China so they would not have to pay any kind of duty or return shipping. I actually did this with one batch but like so many things, they just don't get it. To my customers, I was replacing a defective radio with a brand new radio. When Wouxun made the repairs, I got a used radio in return. They could never understand that this was a problem to me. Perhaps I'm lucky that I'm only sitting on five hundred defective radios.

ALL Wouxun dual band radios have an internal defect that the factory refuses to address. They know there is a problem, they know how to fix it, but they will blame the problem on everything in the world except what it really is. Without warning, any of their dual band models can "lose memory". One day when the radio is turned on, it will revert to speaking Chinese and the display will show channel numbers instead of channel names. Often the programmed channels themselves will be gone. Reprogramming the radio may restore it for a short time but often it's cured for only one off/on cycle.

I've been told by experts that there is a chip in the radio that gets new data written to it each time the radio is turned off. They say a decent chip will make this cycle a million times before failure. I have many radios returned with this problem that have been in service for as little as two months. Wouxun is aware of the chip but they blame the problem on after-market programming software or anything else they can think of. This problem has existed for years. Before I knew exactly what caused the problem, I suggested they place this chip in a socket for easy repair. That's never happened. They won't spend an extra ten cents to end the problem.

Starting January 1st, I will no longer offer any kind of support or warranty on any Wouxun radio. I assume Wouxun will make repairs to items returned to the factory, but since I've had no contact with them in two years, don't take my word for it. Wouxun.US, aka Import Communications, will continue to sell Wouxun accessories as long as there is a demand. I will warranty these items out of my own pocket as I always have. But no radio support or warranty after January 1st.

All existing KG-UV6Dv2 radios in stock will be sold at a very reduced price to get them out of my way. The link below will direct you to the sale page.

For the past year, I've been working with Anytone to make a dual band HT that is more suited to the US market than most Chinese imports. This radio is now in production and I have a deal with Anytone to be the only US distributor. (bulk orders / dealer inquiries are welcome) This model is the AT-3318UV-A and has some features that everyone will welcome. The AT-3318UV-A is now on sale at an introductory price. Please check it out at the link below.

The AT-3318UV-A model will be followed by the AT-3318UV-C, a true dual band radio. It will receive two signals at the same time and it will even cross band repeat. This radio will sell in the price range of the KG-UV6D.

The X1M-Pro, an all band, CW & SSB QRP transceiver continues to evolve. It is developing a good following so take a look at it on my web site.

Getting something like twelve hundred hits per day, I plan to keep Wouxun.US active. (unless someone makes an offer I can't refuse) So Wouxun.US and will continue to bring you the best products we can find. I will continue to try my best to offer good prices and service and look forward to keeping you as a customer.

As always, thank you for your past support.

Ed Griffin

Clearly from reading the above, there is no support or repair for Wouxun and probably other Chinese made radios regardless of the name on the radio. Buyer beware.