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Leica Service

glenerrolrd

Workshop Member
Here we go again with the party line out of NJ about customer service . First lets establish some scale of operations (as I spent a full day walking thru the customer service fiasco that happened back in 2008 with the M8 ). Leica NJ service department had less than dozen technicians . The customers service department was three including the manager .

How many customer service orders would you guess they have . A few thousand at most my guess would be closer to 1000 . You could hire a few college kids from the local college and track those service orders on a MacBook . Those same temporary hires could communicate with customers thru emails . Its not any harder than that . What business would run without logging customer orders the day the repair item is received .

They are installing SAP and finally after almost 10 years of using it at Wetzler they have figured out how to roll it out to NJ . It takes a lot of effort to implement SAP even for a small operation like NJ . Typically it requires using temporary labor and incurring plenty of overtime .

The customer service problems in NJ are caused by both a lack of relevant experience and an unwillingness to spend even small sums to get the problem under control . Almost forgot and a complete absence of any performance information ..eg. Number of open orders , average days to complete,orders over 30,60,90 days in shop ....all things that could be done with an excel spreadsheet . :banghead:

So by all means start doing S repairs in NJ and see what happens to the business .
 

glenerrolrd

Workshop Member
Surprised it isn t common knowledge regarding the Leica S lens failure . The weakness in the AF system is a small gear (?) that is bought from an outside supplier . It sometimes can not handle the torque generated by the AF system and strips . Leica claims the parts are defective .

Leica has increased the speed of the AF with the newer releases of the S firmware . When a lens is mounted on a S body the system checks for lens firmware ,installs it and then runs a routine that focuses the lens . This is how they keep the lenses adjusted without the micro adjustments you see on Canon,Nikon etc. The AF system can fail when you are using a S2 or S 006 but its most common when using an S 007 . I believe that only the most recent release of the S 006 firmware pushes the AF system like an S 007 .

Lenses that have not been used for a while and are mounted on a S 007 can fail during the firmware update . It stands to reason that the lenses with the heaviest elements and most movement required during focusing will introduce the highest load on the AF system. This is why so many 120/2.5 lenses have failed before they are even used . Lenses that have been sitting for a long while are often stiff and contributing to the problem .

We tested 8 of my Leica S lenses on a S 007 last week and 2 failed immediately . The 24 and the 120 . They are on their way to Germany .

My understanding is that the fix is straight forward ,done in Germany and thought to be a one time defect .
 

sjg284

Member
Honestly with the flustercuck that is Leica US service, I question why I'd buy anything via the official importer anymore.

As I travel Asia annually, I can take advantage of local tax rebate and/or local deals, especially in HK. Buying in HK you often end up with the "international warranty" which.. if it means I need to send direct to Germany.. all the better from a US perspective.

If it makes anyone feel better, I am having a worse experience with T-Mobile at the moment.

Sometimes I worry it's just an "American Customer Service" issue generally.

The customer is always wrong, we don't have to communicate to you proactively, it's your job to chase us, we don't return emails, we don't return voicemails, and good luck navigating our call tree. Oh you got a human to pickup? Wrong department, they are going to transfer you back to the call tree.
 

doug

Active member
And now for some Leica DEALER service comments:

Tony Rose (popflash.com) heard of my 280's service (or lack thereof) and has volunteered to take this to whatever level it takes to get the lens repaired. If he delivers he's earned my business. It's been SEVEN months now, and not even an estimate for repair.
 

glenerrolrd

Workshop Member
And now for some Leica DEALER service comments:

Tony Rose (popflash.com) heard of my 280's service (or lack thereof) and has volunteered to take this to whatever level it takes to get the lens repaired. If he delivers he's earned my business. It's been SEVEN months now, and not even an estimate for repair.
This is great news ! My dealer (Leica Miami ) really does a great job in supporting me and without them I would have given up on Leica . Hopefully Tony will be able to get Leica to understand how much this impacts their business.
 

k-hawinkler

Well-known member
So, sending a lens like the APO 280/4 or Vario 105-280/4.2 for service to Leica in Germany would result in a reasonable (less than 1 month) turn around time with a technically good outcome? Should that be my expectation? :facesmack:
 

scott kirkpatrick

Well-known member
I've needed Leica service at least three times and sent things to Germany, with good results and ability to track the work. The only repair that took an unusually long time was when I had a damaged rear element on a lens replaced (my fault, but passport warranty). The lens was still quite new, not being shipped in volume. However, be aware that shipping expensive goods across borders requires some complicated paperwork, if you are not to wind up paying duty on the full value of your camera or lens when it returns. In Israel, that is 20%, more or less. So it is important to establish that this is an instrument that you already have paid for, going out for repair and coming back to its original owner.

I think for R lenses, you are justified to send to Germany, since these are serviced but no longer manufactured.

scott
 

algrove

Well-known member
So, sending a lens like the APO 280/4 or Vario 105-280/4.2 for service to Leica in Germany would result in a reasonable (less than 1 month) turn around time with a technically good outcome? Should that be my expectation? :facesmack:
K-H

Watch out. I had Leica Miami send a R 180/2.8 to Germany only for a CLA. Somehow the lens got put aside and even though that dealer was on top of it a mess ensued with it taking like 3 months and only after Dale Photo got on top of it.

If it were you or me it would be 6 months or longer I am sure. Basically Leica customer service sucks IMHO. That is why I have moved on.
 
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My experience too – I've had a two-month repair (lens) and two 5-month ones (Frankenfinder and M-E sensor).

Using my 35 and 50 Leica lenses on Sony A7rII now (with Kolari M-lens mod). RX1rII has replaced my M+35mm as a carry-around companion.

Awful service is my main reason for forgoing Leica. For me it's an even more serious problem than overpricing and behind-the-times sensors. Who, after all, would buy a car if the brand were known for delayed servicing?

Hope I can resist if/when Leica offers an up-to-date M.

Kirk
 

doug

Active member
My experience too – I've had a two-month repair (lens) and two 5-month ones (Frankenfinder and M-E sensor).
I'd consider a two-month lens repair to be unusually quick, three or four months has been typical for the 280/4 APO. When my R8 developed a sticky aperture actuating mechanism it took a year and several round-trips between Sacramento and Leica USA to fix it.
 

doug

Active member
So, sending a lens like the APO 280/4 or Vario 105-280/4.2 for service to Leica in Germany would result in a reasonable (less than 1 month) turn around time with a technically good outcome? Should that be my expectation? :facesmack:
IDK about other lenses but Leica in Germany no longer has parts for the 280/4 APO R lens. My lens is coming back un-repaired with profuse apologies from Leica. Kudos to Tony Rose (popflash.com) for his persistence and for digging for responses from Leica. He has earned my business.
 

dgktkr

New member
IDK about other lenses but Leica in Germany no longer has parts for the 280/4 APO R lens. My lens is coming back un-repaired with profuse apologies from Leica. Kudos to Tony Rose (popflash.com) for his persistence and for digging for responses from Leica. He has earned my business.
Doug,

Can you remind us why you sent in your 280/4 APO R? What was wrong with it?

dgktkr
 

doug

Active member
Doug,

Can you remind us why you sent in your 280/4 APO R? What was wrong with it?

dgktkr
I did a stoopid and dropped it. Dented front rim, focus has several tight spots suggesting a deformed cam. Still usable but the focus tight spots are a problem with active birds.
 

Woody Campbell

Workshop Member
I'm reaching the end of my rope with Leica. I started this thread four months ago. I still haven't heard a word on my 50 mm Sumicron ASP. (other than the email acknowledgment of receipt) a lens that I sent to NJ for service in April.

I now have a personal moratorium on buying Leica gear. I have no interest whatsoever in the soon-to-be announced M10, unless and until the service issue is fully addressed. I'm selling my Leica gear selectively.

I've been working hard with a Sony A7Rii for the last couple of months - working on getting a look out of it that resembles my Monochrom. After substantial effort it's getting there. There is some fabulous new e-mount glass. The Sony system has terrific flexibility.

I know that Leica's senior management is aware of the service problem but they are doing a terrible job of communicating. Their website page on service is simply a lie (at least for people in the US): https://us.leica-camera.com/Service-Support/About-Service-Support

Leica's reliability and service issues are killing the Leica brand in the US. It will take years for them to recover even if they do get their service and reliability act together.

Just my 2 cents.

Woody


Well finally I can chime in with my experience. Late last year I bought a second Monochrom body so that I could carry a two-body/two-lens setup and to have a backup in case there was a service issue with my existing Monochrom. After my new body arrived I sent the old one in to NJ for service, including a sensor replacement. It came back in April completely refurbished and in excellent working condition. In the meantime the frame line lever came of of my new Monochrom and disappeared, probably on the streets of NY So . . .

In mid April 2016 I sent to Leica NJ for service the following:

The new Monochrom with the missing frame lever with instructions to replace it with a chrome lever if possible (a little vanity on my part).

My 135 APO Telyt for a CLA and 6-bit coding. The lens was apparently performing well but it's a nuisance not having it coded.

My 50mm Sumichrom Asp. The is one of the earliest copies of this lens - its been in continuous heavy daily use for three years. I sent it in asking for a CLA and asked them to check that it was in spec from a flair standpoint. I had read the early flair controversy on the lens but never sorted out whether there was really a problem because I was satisfied with the lens. The front segment of the lens mount had developed a slight amount of play. My back up 50mm is a pristine 50mm rigid Sumichron from 1962 so I could suffer the absence of the Asp. in good humor.

Not a peep until the end of May when I received 3 email acknowledgements of receipt that ended with "Thank you and have a nice day", which irritated me sufficiently that I sent back a fairly tough reply.

Nothing further until early July when I received estimates back from Leica by email for the 135 APO and body, but not the 50mm APO. I received a separate email note on July 13 that the lens had been sent to Germany for repairs.

The Monochrom and the Telyt arrived back on my doorstep on Sept 1. I have no idea of where the 50mm Asp. since Leica doesn't reply to emails and the voice mail box in NJ is full so you can't leave a message.

The Monochrom is perfect and a pleasure to shoot with. The Telyt seemed fine with minor issues; it was returned detailing a significant amount of work, and shooting over the past several days suggests that it deserves it reputation as the best 135 every by any manufacturer.

So there you have it, the good and the bad of Leica. Expect a 4 month turn around on repairs and maintenance, at least until they get the M sensor replacements and S autofocus issues sorted. The good part is that for me the Monochrom and M lenses are without peer in their niche. Bottom line: if you're relying on this stuff for serious work on a daily basis you need to plan on a serious backup strategy, which makes an expensive system even more so.
 

algrove

Well-known member
Woody
I'm in your camp except that where I mainly post street images online (or print smallish) I now use the Fuji XT-2 and where I want large prints (landscape) I use the XF+100MP.
 

D&A

Well-known member
Aside from actual length of time to service equipment or how well its performed, what many companies don't get or don't want to put any effort into is timely communication with their customers and I am not only referring to Leica. As we have seen on a number of threads here on Getdpi, whether its service related, a delay in a product release or any other number of company to user related issues, the lack of approprite timely communication with their customer base is often appaling. Instead of realizing a loyal customer assures their future survival, they often act as they are doing us a favor or its somrthing not necessary to address.

A while back in my conversations with a well known popular company who was having such issues, it was told to me that they weren't too concerned as the majority of their customers, no matter how much they expressed displeasure and threatened to not support the company with future purchases, would ultimately modify their stance once they got their repaired product back or in some cases desired new products released in the future due to their popularity.

Personally I think this is the wrong approach and in the long run will not serve any of them well, especially as more options are made available elsewhere as pointed out by others.

Dave (D&A)
 
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pesto

Member
Leica's reliability and service issues are killing the Leica brand in the US. It will take years for them to recover even if they do get their service and reliability act together.

Just my 2 cents.

Woody

As one who has been trying to sell one of my S system lenses for months now, I would say that this is a bit of an understatement.
 

algrove

Well-known member
Dave

Boy, are you right how the wrong the approach mentioned at the end of your post could very well be for a camera company. Especially today, there are just too many good to excellent OTHER choices out there for any company to feel secure with constant customer complaints.

Once I got tired of the repair BS, initial M240 body fixes needed (cable release threading and lockups which were denied to my face while at Solms CS after traveling from Florida USA) and other serious issues like sensor failures and then S lens failures, I sold 30 R lenses and 60 M lenses not to mention about 8 M bodies.
 

k-hawinkler

Well-known member
Dave

Boy, are you right how the wrong the approach mentioned at the end of your post could very well be for a camera company. Especially today, there are just too many good to excellent OTHER choices out there for any company to feel secure with constant customer complaints.

Once I got tired of the repair BS, initial M240 body fixes needed (cable release threading and lockups which were denied to my face while at Solms CS after traveling from Florida USA) and other serious issues like sensor failures and then S lens failures, I sold 30 R lenses and 60 M lenses not to mention about 8 M bodies.

Thanks Lou. Pretty amazing numbers. One question I have, how many cents to a $ initial investment did you recover on average? Is a guess of 50% too high or too low? TIA.
 

algrove

Well-known member
Thanks Lou. Pretty amazing numbers. One question I have, how many cents to a $ initial investment did you recover on average? Is a guess of 50% too high or too low? TIA.
I think it was way better than 50% (with some more than my cost and others not much under cost) as many I sold while demand was high except for the last 30 M lenses. Ever since Leica ramped up production most M lenses became even over-stocked at dealer levels and then the numbers hit me much harder. Some dealers even express there is much less demand as many Leica users have switched to Sony or other less pricey brands. With many of those other brands 2 bodies is less necessary than with Leica where lengthy repairs (or problems) seem to occur. I still like and use 2 bodies for street use so lens changing is less necessary. Just think, two M bodies are around $15k and 2 XT-2 bodies are just over $3k. That is a HUGE difference. As a matter of fact, I have not come close to spending the nearly $12k difference in all nine XF lenses detailed below. Two XT-2 bodies and 9 super lenses cost less than just two M bodies with plenty to spare. For some there is no comparison, but for others who truly search their mind as to how they use their files, then this comparison is meaningful. Failing eye sight caused me to search for alternatives in addition to the service and new product miscues as I started to miss too many decisive moments.

Every time I buy a Fuji XF lens I am amazed at how little I spend for a new lens compared to Leica M lenses. For my needs (small 13x19 prints or online images) the Fuji lenses perform as good as the Leica M's. Many Leicaphiles object to this comment, but often they are Leica users who have never owned and/or used Fuji XF primes (or even zooms for that matter) combined with say an XT-2. At first I thought a $500-800 lens could not match a Leica $5000 M lens just due to price, but once I pixel peeped up to 200% in C1 I was very pleastantly surprised. Not only do they compare well, but keep in mind they all autofocus (yes one can manual focus Fujis too) in less than 1 second.

For street, I like primes like the 16/1.4, 23/2, 35/2, 56/1.2, or 90/2 with 4 of those weather resistant. For other needs and again most are weather resistant (street can be included at the 2 lower FL lenses noted), 10-24(15-35), 16-55 (24-82), 50-140 (75-210), 100-400 (150-600) and 1.4x and 2x, these lenses sure make a complete kit. Sure they are APS-C, but I have found out that the format is OK with me. Keep in mind the crop factor is 1.5.

K-H sorry this got to darn long, but I wanted you to understand much of my rational for switching.

Louis Foubare
 
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