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Thread: They Really are Idiots.....

  1. #1
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    They Really are Idiots.....

    Just bought a 35 Summilux Asph....

    Never intended to buy one.

    Actually sent my 35 Asph Cron to Leica NJ in January for 6 bit coding...included a letter of authorization for the work and a check to cover the cost and the shipping....as I was instructed by them in an email.

    Received what I thought was a Repair Estimate...receipt of lens...1/30/2013.
    Marked approved and had a notation that I had included the correct fee for the work and return shipping.

    So today I receive a final notice from them stating I did not respond to their Repair Estimate...and now a 7 week estimate for the work. They cashed my check in February....

    I have had Leica equipment since 1984....and this is without a doubt the worst FUBAR I have seen from them.

    So tomorrow I will pleasantly request they refund my payment for work and return the 35 Asph Cron ... which I will send to my dealer to offset the cost of the 35 Lux Asph.

    YES, just venting....never had this poor service in the past and definitely not with my S2-P.

    So my caution is to question any correspondence you receive from Allendale....

    So disappointing.

    Bob

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    Re: They Really are Idiots.....

    Well, try shipping a lens from Canada to NJ, waiting months to get it back, and your 28 cron gets coded as a 21 something!!! Another couple of months and got it back.

    Final straw was a 24lux (3year standard PP warranty) that had a small area of coating rubbed off -- sent it into NJ, no updates for weeks, then find out the lens went to Germany, a few weeks later get an estimate for $600, and when asked why it was not covered under warranty, apparently I had not sent in the damn card, even though at the time I sent the lens in, it had only been released for just over a year!!!!

    Got it fixed, paid the bill, sold the lens, and the rest of my Leica kit. Just cannot put up with kind of arrogance.....

    All of this was after a whole discussion of why I had lost 2 16GB cards of images of Sandisk extreme cards, and Leica insisted on teaching me how to format cards in the camera, there was no issue with the M9.....and surprise surprise, a few weeks later, there was a quiet announcement of an issue and a firmware fix.

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    Re: They Really are Idiots.....

    I really am committed to some of their products....

    But am not willing to put up with this level of disservice.

    Bob

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    Subscriber Member weinschela's Avatar
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    Re: They Really are Idiots.....

    Certainly the OP is entitled to be annoyed if not angry. But my experience has been quite different. I recently (Nov last year) brought them a lens to be coded and asked that someone have a look at my M9 sensor. The lens was properly coded and the sensor replaced at no charge. It took three weeks but all was done well. Much earlier, regarding my original M8, I had other lenses coded without issue and a battery replaced (without even having to send in the defective one). Having also had experience in the past with Canon repair and Nikon repair (not NPS or the Canon equivalent) my view is they are all comparable. Mostly they are okay but they screw up sometimes. That is a sample size of exactly one. But so is the original post, so I am not sure it is right to say Leica are either idiots or wonderful based on samples of one.
    Alan

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    Re: They Really are Idiots.....

    The OP's experience is typical of my dealings with Leica, unfortunately.

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    Re: They Really are Idiots.....

    What a crock for something so expensive.

    I do everything through my authorized Leica dealer, Sam at the Classic Connection ... who will not hesitate to call the President of Leica USA if they pull any idiotic stunts. I think he has him on speed-dial. I buy everything from him, and have done so for well over 20 years. Loyalty begets loyalty.

    I've never sent in any warranty cards, or anything like that. Sam has all my records and pulls copies of the original paperwork when needed ... maybe not something he'd do for everyone, but if I added up what I've spent with him/Leica over the past decades, I expect to be relieved of doing Leica's paper work for them.

    I didn't screw around with getting any coupons or certificates for the S lens swap to CS versions either ... he handled it, and I now have the S-70CS with three others coming.

    If it is non warranty work, he has a fast and reliable source (who fixed my M90/2.8 to focus perfectly in under 2 weeks door-to-door).

    I agree with Bob, the direct Leica S service has been the best I've ever experienced from anyone. Of course, I also have the S2P, and at that price point difference they better roll out the red carpet, and throw perfumed rose petals on it. When my S2P went down, they had a loaner S2P delivered by early the next morning, and picked up my S2P. At that point I didn't care if it took them all year to fix mine

    Perhaps Leica should seriously consider a "Pro" service for the M products if they want more working photographers to embrace the system ... it is pure USDA Prime Bull to feel the need for two $7,000 bodies to feel secure in using a M for paying work. Not that an advanced enthusiasts feels any different after shelling out that kind of cash.

    The S wasn't the only game in town, but for dedicated rangefinder shooters the M is. Leica has us by the short hairs, and their spotty M service seems to reflect that fact.

    -Marc

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: They Really are Idiots.....

    The issue with Leica s service out of NJ are well known ...use them at your own risk . I have had at least 25 service repairs since the M8 was introduced and I learned my lessons the hard way . Maybe my experience can help .

    1. Customer service doesn t work at all in NJ . The frequently lose orders ,don t read instructions and never ever follow up on in process items . You are not special in anyway and their actions speak for them .

    When placing an order always provide a credit card number (over the phone ) and follow up ever two weeks with a phone call . If you don t see paperwork with a service order on it ..it hasn t moved out of receiving . Watch your credit card for a charge . If you don t see one its not finished .

    2. Service only reads you written documentation on whats to be fixed if it suits them . Please ...how could you know whats wrong ? (sarcastic comment) . Parts are a big issue and if the service is complex and parts aren t available ..they will ship it to Solms .

    3. Solms ..if it goes to Solms it will get a repair order and you can track it thru leicas website . Solms can rebuild almost any lens including replacing the front element ,built in hoods etc . Dale sends most of their used R lenses directly to Solms and the work is astonishing .

    4. Lens coding ....a crap shoot on quality . Viewed as low skill done in batches . Doesn t mean it will be done in a sloppy manner ..just it depends on when and who gets your lens . I ve had reasonable luck with coding anything except summiluxes. If you have a summilux send it to Solms .

    5. DAG ..incredibly capable with all mechanical work (not electronics ) . DAG shaved my 19 R lens and fixed my Leitax chipped mount in a week . The machining was so smooth you would have to know what to look for . He is the guy for Zeiss 6 bit coding and most all RF calibration work .

    6. Warranty work ..honestly I never had issues with straight warranty work . With 6-8 M repairs all were done in 4 weeks and were perfect . Like a new car they get the frequently incountered problems and can fix them fast including the sensor and electronics .

    I ve never heard the issue with the cards before that surprises me . You do have to have an invoice from an authorized dealer . FYI the warranty on the M cameras has up to now not been transferrable . This means if you sell a camera you meant to return the new buyer has no warranty (although you used to be able to buy a warranty online thru Solms ) . Those two week old cameras don t have a warranty . Leica can of course choose to do the repair without demanding a dealer invoice and they have done that in the past .

    Here is what I do :

    1. All new M warranty work to NJ with constant follow up.

    2. All S and R repairs to Solms thru my dealer Dale (add $150 for shipping).

    3. All calibration and mechanical repairs to DAG .

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    Re: They Really are Idiots.....

    I agree with Marc . I will send most of my repairs thru my dealer Dale in Miami . They can resolve issues and make sure the items are not hung up with a credit card issue for example .

    Used stuff I will go to DAG . I budget $150-200 on any used lens for CLA and have been a lot happier since I started that practice .
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    Re: They Really are Idiots.....

    Thanks for all the good input guys.

    I have had fairly good luck in the past and thought that something as simple as 6bit coding should have been a quick turnaround....

    So I called Sean at Camera West and have a 35 Lux on the way...will probably get here before my 35 Cron is returned from Allendale...not to mention me seeing the $300 for the service not performed.

    Calibration and mechanical issues - DAG has always had preference from me.

    It is the other stuff and this brings up the question of dealing with an S series camera and Leica after the warranty is out?

    Bob

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    Re: They Really are Idiots.....

    Quote Originally Posted by docmoore View Post
    Thanks for all the good input guys.

    I have had fairly good luck in the past and thought that something as simple as 6bit coding should have been a quick turnaround....

    So I called Sean at Camera West and have a 35 Lux on the way...will probably get here before my 35 Cron is returned from Allendale...not to mention me seeing the $300 for the service not performed.

    Calibration and mechanical issues - DAG has always had preference from me.

    It is the other stuff and this brings up the question of dealing with an S series camera and Leica after the warranty is out?

    Bob
    I've had non-warranty repairs done on my S2P, and the service was the same ... plus S2P owners get a discount.

    -Marc
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    Re: They Really are Idiots.....

    Never, ever deal with a company in NJ. I have had such bad luck.

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    Re: They Really are Idiots.....

    Maybe the difference with me was that I went to New Jersey and dropped off the camera and lens myself, talking it through with the people at the front desk and then a repair person. Allendale is a little more than an hour from my house. Worth it if you don't have a well connected dealer as an advocate for you.
    Alan

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    Re: They Really are Idiots.....

    Thanks Marc,

    Very nice to know.

    Bob

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    Re: They Really are Idiots.....

    I have had mostly good experience with Leica NJ, but again, I often dropped off in person, and then it has taken a long time in the past. But usually if you try to get in contact with them in person, they are far more helpful. That said, since moving abroad I have dealt exclusively with Leica Solms, and their service has be impeccable. They have consistently done more than is expected. For example, I sent in an M7 to change out the DX coder (from the old gold contacts to the optical reader...a repair they will do for free at any time)...not only did they do the change, but they did a full CLA on the camera and replaced the leather for free. If you can build a relationship with a given person, that also helps a great deal. I mostly deal with Andrea Frankl, who is in charge of professional service. If you are a professional, I highly recommend registering for the service. It is free, entitles you to a twice yearly check for all of your equipment (something I rarely use, but it is great for sending in a few problem items for a check) and any repairs are at a discount. They are also usually faster in turnaround time. It is not lighting quick because of the shipping, but they usually do the repairs within a week.
    Out of warranty is still going to be very expensive, but, I find that they often comp the repair if it is something they consider "defective" or their fault. But if you are going to pay 7000-25000 dollars for a camera body, it does not make much sense to send it to someone who will do lesser work just to save some cash...or at least it doesn't from my perspective.

    It is really unfortunate to read about your experience though. I would definitely suggest you talk to a customer service manager and explain to them why this is not acceptable!
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    Re: They Really are Idiots.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Richardson View Post

    It is really unfortunate to read about your experience though. I would definitely suggest you talk to a customer service manager and explain to them why this is not acceptable!
    Hi Stuart,

    You are correct on all points....

    I did place a call today to the person who set up my sending the lens to Allendale, multiple emails and specific charge that I forwarded my authorization and check. She was aghast that this was so poorly handled by them...wanted to comp me the service.

    I explained that I had already committed to my dealer for a new lens...would appreciate their returning mine as I no longer would be using it...and pointed out that the policy of we screw up, but we will send you a nice pen set so now you love us and will fill out all the surveys in our favor was rather beneath the core audience that Leica needs. I reassured her that I realized it was not her error but rather seemed to be a systemic problem at NJ not Solms. Perhaps they needed to institute a system to improve their internal processing of clients work.

    Nice lady...

    So I do not expect major changes there....perhaps I should have suggested a short course in Six Sigma Quality and Dr W. Edward Deming....one of the areas that the Japanese are kicking Leica's collective ______.

    Oh well, interesting week...looking forward to the Lux.

    Bob

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    Re: They Really are Idiots.....

    Well, the 35/1.4 ASPH FLE is quite a consolation prize!!
    Probably the best 35mm I have ever seen (well, the 35mm S is pretty spectacular, but that is a different ballgame...perhaps sharper, but slower and you could fit 5 FLE's inside it!
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    Re: They Really are Idiots.....

    Stuart,

    I hoped to focus on the S lenses and was more than satisfied with the Asph Cron 35....which is why I was getting it coded. Loved the way it imaged with the MM....nice small and intimate lens.

    You are right ... I have the 35 S but have used it only a little....

    Now my funds for the 120 S have been diminished....

    Win some, lose a lot more....

    Bob

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    Re: They Really are Idiots.....

    I have had good experiences with Leica NJ, and have been genuinely impressed with their willingness to make things right. That said, it's not good to let them be on their own for more than 5 business days. Poor Carmen and Sarah are programmed into the phone, and I will call them weekly until the service is finished. I know I'm being pest, but too often they'll mumble a bit while reading the computer screen and say things like, "why did they do that? Well, that's not right..." It's usually followed-up by a flurry of keystrokes, or a polite, "John, let me call you back in 15 minutes".

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    Re: They Really are Idiots.....

    Quote Originally Posted by John Black View Post
    I have had good experiences with Leica NJ, and have been genuinely impressed with their willingness to make things right. That said, it's not good to let them be on their own for more than 5 business days. Poor Carmen and Sarah are programmed into the phone, and I will call them weekly until the service is finished. I know I'm being pest, but too often they'll mumble a bit while reading the computer screen and say things like, "why did they do that? Well, that's not right..." It's usually followed-up by a flurry of keystrokes, or a polite, "John, let me call you back in 15 minutes".
    HA HA HA!

    Like you were listening in...Carmen is a delightful, harried soul...dealing with the chaos in NJ. If I allowed it I would have had a dozen calls responding to this matter this afternoon.

    My comment to her was dont make it right...do it right THE FIRST TIME....probably not something that will make a difference...culture is hard to change.

    Good insight into a mildly disfunctional "family".

    Regards,

    Bob

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    Re: They Really are Idiots.....

    Anyone recall the name of that HBO television program where a video crew follows a professional spots team into the locker room (so to speak) and also takes an intimate look at the players, coaches etc. before and after important games leading up to the "big one"? Wish HBO would do the same as a week in the life of Leica N.J. I think Carmen, Sarah and the rest of the gang there would be interesting individuals to follow for a week, dealing with our phone calls, letter, inquiries, small foul-ups and all the other chaos that I suppose sometimes ensues

    Dave (D&A)
    Last edited by D&A; 22nd March 2013 at 19:27.

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