Purcahse from The Madson Line at your own risk

I’ve been having some really terrible problems with my powerbook lately. I’m fairly certain this is the result of a faulty power supply from The Madson Line. I’m no electrical engineer, but I am very experienced with computers, and I’ve been a programmer for a while so I know a thing or two about logically deducing the sources of problems. In this case, I’m fairly certain a power supply from The Madson Line caused physical damage to my Powerbook that I’m still dealing with. If you read the letter below I sent to them, you’ll see that it’s pretty much impossible to find contact information for this company on their own web site. I’ve included the contact info I’ve dug up so that anyone else looking for it might be able to find it from the search engines. Also, I’ll update this entry with the outcome of my customer service request.

The Madson Line contact information:
Phone: 800-851-1551 (verified)

Address I was told to send defective product to:
1110 West 9th St
Upland CA, 91786

Another Address I found (unverified):
Madsonline 100 Ebbtide Building 2
Sausalito, CA 94965

Letter to customer service:

Dear Sir or Madam,

In mid August, the power adapter for my G4 17” Powerbook began to show signs of imminent failure due to cord fatigue. Given the poor reputation of this Apple product, I decided to look for alternatives. I found a favorable review of The Madson Line 65W adapter, and decided to give it a shot.
When I received the new power adapter from The Madson Line, I immediately began to have problems. The first problem was that while the plug was charging my Powerbook, and the plug was rotated to certain angles under normal usage, an audible arching sound could be heard. While this condition was alarming, it was also intermittent, and so I didn’t think much of it. I was hopeful that this $100.60 product (after shipping) would perform better than the Apple power supply.

About two weeks after I began using the new power supply, two new issues appeared. First, while the Madson Line power supply plug was rotated to certain angles while plugged into the Powerbook, charging actually stopped. It was at this point that I realized this power supply was likely faulty, and I went ahead and ordered a genuine Apple power supply. The second issue turned out to be much more serious. Shortly after the latest charging issue, my hard drive began to have read errors, and the operating system crashed several times. This quickly led to a situation where I was unable to boot my operating system. Running apple hardware tests indicated a hard drive failure, so I quickly spent $200 on an external hard disk and managed to recover most of my data. Eventually, I purchased a new hard disk to replaced what I believed was a faulty drive. Unfortunately, even after the drive replacement and switching over to utilizing the Apple power supply, I am still having hardware issues and operating system crashes which I currently believe may be mainboard related. It is now over 2.5 weeks since the initial hard drive failure, and I am still living with the consequences. I am a small business owner, and even though I can’t afford it right now, I am forced to purchase a new laptop so that I can continue building my fledgling business without constant risk of data loss.

While I cannot prove it, it seems likely that The Madson Line power supply has caused my issues. As such, I decided to contact your company to request at a minimum that I receive a full refund for the faulty product. It was with great surprise that I was unable to locate any contact information on your web site, http://www.madsonline.com/. In fact, if you click on ‘RMA Information’, ‘Tech Support’, or ‘Sales Inquiries’, you are redirected to a completely unrelated page.

It’s almost as if you don’t want anyone to be able to contact you if they have problems with your products. After much difficulty, I was able to find a phone number to contact your organization (800-851-1551). I suppose it shouldn’t have been a surprise when the man on the other end was caught off guard when I asked to return the faulty power supply. The man said he had to make up an RMA number because he didn’t have a log book in front of him. After explaining my situation , not including the hardware problems I experienced, the man said I would only qualify for a product replacement because it had been more than 30 days since purchase. I informed the man that I only wanted a refund because I believed the product had caused hardware failures for me, and I had purchased a replacement power supply already. After all, how long can you use a laptop without a power supply? Again, it shouldn’t have been a surprise when the man said he was tired from long day, and didn’t want to discuss this over the phone, and I should just send in the product with a letter stating the situation. I understand that people are tired from working long hours, but I’ve been going through hell dealing with hardware problems for 2.5 weeks.

I request the following from your organization (all numbers include tax):
1) A full refund for the faulty power supply – $100.60
2) Reimbursement for the external hard drive I purchased to recover my data – $216.99
3) Reimbursement for the internal hard drive I was forced to purchased in an attempt to fix my laptop – $128.32
4) Reimbursement for whatever it costs to repair my laptop – Unknown cost at this time

I eagerly await your reply, and will follow up on my blog with the results of my customer service inquiry:


Sincerely yours,

Chris Kohlhardt

update: I received a letter postmarked October 10th from MadsonLine. The tone of the letter was mostly apologetic, but not exactly taking responsibility for my claim that their product ruined my computer. I’m probably giving them way too much of benefit of the doubt, but it’s certainly possible the problem I experienced wasn’t from their product. They did include a check for a full refund at least, so that’s something. I’m still not terribly happy with the way I was treated on the phone. Very surprising was that the person who I thought was rude to me on the phone turned out to actually be the owner of the company. How can you run a successful business when you treat your customers like that?
Anyway, I think this is still one company whose products I’d steer clear of in the future.

5 thoughts on “Purcahse from The Madson Line at your own risk

  1. Hi, I have been using a madson line power cord for two different Apple G4 Macs, and have had no problems at all; in fact it’s great. I’ve been using it for over a year literally almost constantly, and am about to buy another one after my last Apple power cord broke after the standard six-month grace period. I think it’s definitely possible that the power cord was the problem, since it sounds like it was defected from the beginning, and that is more likely than that spontaneously happening to your computer; even though their power cords are crap, Apple does make good computers. It sounds like you may have gotten some kind of virus, almost; when using a faulty/spastic power cord, which I heard and saw arch against my computers innards, I only wore out my battery.

  2. bell,

    I don’t think this was a virus issue as I had completely reinstalled the operating system several times during the course of my troubles. I still stand by my statement that people should ‘steer clear of the madson line’.


  3. I don’t understand why you would continue to use the power supply if you could hear arcing. Surely you know someone else with another Powerbook and could have borrowed their power adapter to test it out. Perhaps it was a problem with the plug on your mac or a faulty dc board. Anyway I think it’s partly your fault for continuing to use the power adapter. It’s nice to have some one to blame for the demise of a several year old powerbook. Electronic componants do fail, sometimes all by them selves.

  4. Bob,

    When I received the genuine Apple power adapter, the arching did indeed stop. As such, I’m fairly positive that the arching was a result of The Madson Line product.

    Why did I keep using the faulty Madson Line power supply when it was arching? I was desperate. My startup (http://www.gliffy.com) was in the midst of releasing a new product which turned out to be critical to the survival of the business. There is no way I could simply stop working while I waited for a working power supply to show up.

    Anyway, the point is that the customer service I experienced was less than ideal.

  5. I TOTALLY agree with Chris Kohlhardt and I’ll give you one even better: DO NOT, under ANY circumstances, purchase anything from this guy. He’s a nerdy procrastinator who’ll have you waiting for months. I ordered a charger unit from this guy on June 4, 2015. SIX MONTHS LATER, I was still waiting. Thank God I ordered through PayPal, who I filed a complaint with and was told today to expect a full refund. 6 months of emails going back and forth, with him “explaining” what the hell was taking so long. Only when I pressured him, he would respond with lengthy details about the building process, needing days or weeks to wait for certain parts, etc. One of my last emails to him referred to the fact that building a CAR took less time, to which he wrote back saying, “Yes, it is a very good analogy.” REALLY??

    This guy takes himself WAAAYY too seriously and doesn’t realize he’s not the ONLY source of Mac charging units. PLEASE STAY CLEAR of this sham artist!!!

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