The radio was purchased through Crutchfield. A site which has good name recognition, prides itself on customer support, and has slightly higher prices than can be found elsewhere.
I posted on their support forum, so that there would be a record if other people had the same problem. They were quick to reply, but the replies were not that helpful.
If I had been willing to return the radio over such a minor issue, I am sure they would have paid more attention to coming up with a solution. However, to me it wasn't worth the shipping costs, hassle, and time without a working radio to send it back. Especially if they didn't have a fix for the problem.
Based on my experience, I don't think I would purchase from them again unless they were the lowest price. It was not a negative experience overall, but it definitely wasn't worth paying a premium.
Now for some feedback on the radio itself after about a year of use.
- The display is very difficult to see in bright daylight. The screen just isn't bright enough.
- There is terrible glare on the screen that makes it even harder to see. The angle of the display makes the glare worse from the driver's seat. The older version of this unit didn't have this issue. Alpine created the problem with the newer version.
- There are also a couple quirks to the user interface that are annoying. Mainly, once you choose the shuffle all option, everything is shuffled until you tell it to stop. Including podcasts and audiobook chapters.
- There is no good way to mute the unit when listening to radio stations.
The iPod interface is still one of the best I've encountered. It is fast, responsive and easy to use. I'm not going to buy a new radio any time soon, but I'm not sure if I would buy it again if I had the choice. I'm a little disappointed in Alpine on this one.