It has been 77 days (2.52 months or 0.21 years) since March 7, 2023. That’s when I shipped my Lab599 TX-500 transceiver to the US repair center for service because the display had gone bad. A few days later I received an email reply that the unit had been received and that repairs would begin the following week.

I have no idea if that’s adequate time for repair before I should become concerned that there is some issue with the process, but communication ground to an immediate halt. That email was the last I’ve had from the repair center. I keep saying “repair center” because my TX-500 was manufactured in Russia (before the war), but there is someone in the US who handles repairs for them.

With nothing but silence after several requests for some update, I eventually directed my question about the status of my transceiver to the support email in Russia and have had one reply (April 18) saying that the US service fellow had pneumonia and requested my further patience. Well yeah, what else can I do except be patient, they have my hardware and are ignoring all requests for updates?

I’ve decided to forget about it. Write it off as having been ripped-off and move on with life. If it ever happens to find its way back home I’ll discard it. You learn from these things and I discovered something important about the value of reliable support after the sale, especially when it’s something more than a trinket. I’m more than twelve-hundred bucks into the TX-500 with accessories and I can’t even get them to send it back to me un-repaired so I can scrap it for parts.

The TX-500 was a perfectly capable and enjoyable portable transceiver that I had previously praised for its unique design and ingenuity. Obviously, I no longer recommend the transceiver to anyone due to what I see as poor service after the sale.

What’s more, since I purchased it from Ham Radio Outlet I don’t think I’ll be giving them any more of my business either. I admit that to be unfair collateral damage given they weren’t involved in the after-sale support for this equipment, but when you feel ripped-off some scorched earth emotions are bound to surface.