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Two tales of Customer Service

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Todd Terry
Two tales of Customer Service
on Jun 27, 2018 at 8:13:05 pm

I thought this was an interesting comparison... just thought I'd share.

I have two pieces of equipment out with their respective manufacturers being serviced right now.... a Zenmuse X5 camera from DJI, and a "Flapjack" lighting instrument from Fotodiox.

DJI

The DJI camera is a little 4K micro-four-thirds gimbal-stabilized camera. It's the same camera used on their larger drones, but we use it handheld with an Osmo Pro handheld stabilizing rig. The camera developed a problem with communication with the monitor and the app that DJI uses. I spent almost two hours in on-line tech chat trying to track down the problem, before they finally told me to send it to DJI for diagnosis and repair. Yesterday I finally got their "diagnostics" and the list of several hundred dollars of repairs they want to make.... including gimbal motors, gimbal struts, gimbal assembly... to fix the problems caused by "impact."

Mind you, there was absolutely nothing wrong with the gimbal. It left here performing flawlessly. The only problem I was having was the camera's communication with the app... which was not addressed at all in their report. And there has never been any "impact" of any kind... I use this in a handheld rig, not a helicopter.

I spent much more time with tech support then, both online and on the phone, mostly trapped in a web of circular logic (and non-English-as-a-first-language tech support), and supposedly they will be looking into it... within 48 hours.


FOTODIOX

We use several "flapjack" lights made by Fotodiox. If you are not familiar with these, look 'em up as they are awesome. These are very thin round LED instruments, really give beautiful light. One of mine developed a problem with its dimmer so we sent it in to the company to check it out. It arrived there this morning. By noon I got a response back. They agreed on the problem, but noted that since I bought this instrument a year ago from some random third-party eBay seller it was not actually under warranty. But then they basically said "We understand frustrating problems though, and are sending you a replacement... here's the UPS tracking number."

Mind you, this not only happened, but happened with an hour of the unit's return.

Wow... now that's customer service.

I love DJI's products, they are crazy-innovative and super cool... but sadly their customer service ranks right between Bank of America and Comcast. Maybe below. And the sad thing is that they know that... not only has it happened to me numerous times, but there are dedicated forums filled with hundreds of users fighting to get even minimally responsive customer service.

Sigh.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Rich Rubasch
Re: Two tales of Customer Service
on Jun 28, 2018 at 12:38:36 am

Yup, DJI is the worst. And pretty much all they do is make stabilizers with motors but they are constantly replacing them! We did the same repair on a Ronin. They wanted me to send it in and when we got it back it actually had a different problem! Then they wanted me to make a video to show them exactly what was happening even though it was pretty easy to explain.

Totally get it!

Rich Rubasch
Tilt Media Inc.
Video Production, Post, Studio Sound Stage
Founder/President/Editor/Designer/Animator
http://www.tiltmedia.com


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Tom Sefton
Re: Two tales of Customer Service
on Jun 28, 2018 at 6:10:13 am

Yup - DJI are rubbish in Europe too. They produce (or perhaps used to as I believe it has been discontinued) a remote follow focus kit. It was sold for use on all lenses but constantly was burning out motors that they would wriggle away from replacing under warranty.

Co-owner at Pollen Studio
http://www.pollenstudio.co.uk


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Rich Rubasch
Re: Two tales of Customer Service
on Jun 28, 2018 at 3:07:39 pm

DJI is an electric motor company that sells gimbal products....but they want to sell motors. IMO.

Todd, how is the image from that X5? I like the complete kit but a bit pricey at $2100. A Ronin-M and the new Blackmagic camera might be a a better option. and more flexible.

Rich

Rich Rubasch
Tilt Media Inc.
Video Production, Post, Studio Sound Stage
Founder/President/Editor/Designer/Animator
http://www.tiltmedia.com


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Todd Terry
Re: Two tales of Customer Service
on Jun 28, 2018 at 4:23:01 pm

The BM camera might be an option... but I already own all this other equipment so I'm not looking to buy anything new.

All that being said, when it works the image from the X5 is absolutely spectacular. I use it as part of the Osmo Pro setup, or I'll also separate the head from the handle (I have a long cable that does that) and put the camera head in various places... even on the end of a 10' boom/jib that hangs out the back of a vehicle for automotive running footage (and I have the handle, monitor, focus wheel, and all camera controls riding inside with me).

I actually can't say enough good things about the X5... as I said when it works. Right now the camera works fine (and the gimbal is flawless) except the issue that I'm having is that the camera is not talking correctly with the app that you have to use to control it (it keeps incorrectly recognizing it as the wrong camera, and about half of the functions don't work). I honestly think its an interface or an app problem, but DJI wanted the camera back for diagnostics. This is a problem that came on suddenly during a shoot when we changed batteries.. and looking at the forums I see quite a few other people have exactly the same issue.

For what all it does I think the whole setup is a bargain, and I have mine as tricked out as you can get with a lot more than the base kit in it (which is why I don't want to buy another camera). I have the Osmo Pro rig, plus a couple of other lenses, the wired adapter, the focus handwheel, and the CrystalSky monitor. The CrystalSky monitor is actually pretty awesome (it's basically an Android device with a 2K screen and is 4x brighter than a phone or tablet... you can view it just fine in direct sunlight). The CrystalSky is a bit pricey ($500-$1000 depending on model), but honestly is totally worth it.

So... I'd be perfectly happy with the rig I have.... if it only worked.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Todd Terry
Re: Two tales of Customer Service UPDATE
on Jun 29, 2018 at 4:59:30 pm

An update... to the side of my post that had good customer service.

My package from Fotodiox just arrived.

Remember I sent them a light that had a problem with the dimmer. They determined it was not under warranty, but sent me a new light anyway.



I had sent them just the defective instrument head in a little box... but they sent me back a brand-new full kit. Light, case, batteries, power adapters... the whole shootin' match.

Man, I cannot say enough good things about this company. The next time you need lighting, please give them a look.
Not only are their lighting instruments fantastic... but you absolutely cannot beat the service. Dumbfoundingly good.

Hear that, DJI?

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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