Monster Cable: Good products, dick company

no_monster_cableI have never once questioned the quality of a Monster Cable cable.  The cables and power products are top notch. They have never failed me and I’ve used their products for years. But I won’t spend any money supporting the company anymore. It’s a shame too, ’cause I really trust the products, but I refuse to support the company with my hard earned cash.

That’s who I am. I simply cannot support a company that constantly sues the little guy and hustles overpriced digital cables that offer little to no benefit over $10 options. My decision is solely based on these dick moves by Monster Cable and I’m sure many of you also follow similar sentiments about the company. Thankfully in the vast Internet connected world, there are equally good products available from companies with dramatically better track records.

There is a correlation between cable quality and price, not so much in the digital realm, and generally I don’t mind spending extra cake on the better stuff. Before HDMI took over my A/V setup a few years ago, I would occasionally pick up an analog Monster Cable products in lieu of making the cable myself. The analog cables are priced slightly higher than other high-end cables, but convenence factored in since Monster Cable products are readily available at multiple retail locations. Never once have I used a Monster Cable A/V cable with any thought I wasn’t getting the absolute best quality, which is something I cannot say about bargain brands or Web site specials.

However, I haven’t purchased anything Monster Cable in years. There is something about the company that didn’t sit right with me after a Monster Cable training session during my six year stint at Circuit City. I can’t put my finger on it writing this years later, but it was something about the way the Monster Cable tool spoke about the competing brands and whatnot, along with giving away thousands of dollars of Monster Cable gear so easily. Anyway, that’s about the time when Monster Cable lawsuits began popping up online, showing the company’s darker side. 

These lawsuits over trademark infringements have been heavily covered by us and others. Most know about how Monster Cable sues other companies that use the name Monster somewhere. Isn’t it curious though that Monster Cable seemingly only goes after companies smaller than itself and leaves others alone? For instance, Monster Cable filed suit against a mini-golf company, deer salt block products, and recently a Florida-based transmission company all within the last few months. But why not go after Monster Energy drink? Or Pixar for its Monsters, Inc movie? Or even Curious, eh?

Who in their right mind anyway would think that a deer salt block was manufactured by Monster Cable anyway? No one. The same goes for mini golf along with a transmission company. These types of lawsuits are what clog up the legal system and wastes both party’s money.

The fact that the company wants to protect its trademark isn’t the part that sits funny with me. That’s all well and good in this free country of ours. It’s that the company takes a bully approach that’s seemingly designed for quick out of court settlement by sheer intimidation. This tactic was blown wide open when Monster Cable sued Blue Jeans Cable unknowing that its founder was previously a lawyer.

Long story short, the founder, Kurt Denke, sent a well written long legalese letter asking for specific details including engineering drawings and pointing out the errors in Monster Cable’s patent infringement claims. Monster Cable backed down. Thanks to Internet coverage of the entire ordeal, Blue Jeans Cable probably owes Monster Cable money anyway for the great advertising.

But no worries.

The digital revolution and death of brick and mortar retail stores probably isn’t helping Monster Cable’s business. Plus, many consumers simply cannot afford a $140 HDMI cable these days. Hopefully us geek-types are doing our best to educate friends and family that most online cable outlets sell similar HDMI cables for $14 and offer comparable quality ’cause it’s a digital signal.

Gizmodo even ran tests a few years ago with the help of Monster Cable and concluded that “The only people who should buy Monster cable are people who light cigars with Benjamins.”  That’s because the cheap options generally perform just as good under real world situations. This is something most of us have been preaching for years and is also one of the main reasons the industry has moved away from analog and into the digital era.

Brick and mortar stores must be the cornerstone of Monster Cable thanks to pushy salesman. It’s much harder to convince consumers to drop $100+ on an HDMI cable online where there are so many bargain options available that are just a click away. Monster Cable is probably feeling the effect of retail sales slowing.

I simply cannot support a company with such business tactics. I’m sure many of you feel the same way. There are plenty of alternatives available. Monoprice is a great source for almost any cable or AV accessory. Even Blue Jeans Cable is a great, but also a tad more expensive, cable outlet. High-end? Check out Analysis Plus for their analog cables. APC and Tripp Lite manufacture great power conditioners and surge suppressors. Simply put, there is no need to support Monster Cable with such a wide range of other options available.

I’m at a point with Monster Cable where I would rather buy a cheap cable from Amazon and not sleep at night wondering if I’m not getting 100% quality than support a company that gets off suing the little guy and connin’ unknowing consumers into purchasing extremely overpriced digital cables.