How to P$#@ Off your customer – Sekonic non-service

I’m an ardent photographer. I’ve been the owner of a Sekonic L-358 light meter for a number of years and found it a good machine. I started shooting with studio strobes earlier in the year and tried use the meter to fire them, as it’s designed to do. No joy, either with a cable or with the wireless system.

The meter sat around for a while and I eventually the note to get it fixed reached the top of the to-do list and I sent it into the importer MAC Group. They have a form on their service site that i filled out (important for later!) and I send it off via UPS.

A month later, a tickler comes up to check (I’m getting VERY good at implementing David Allen’s GTD) and lo, nothing heard, no meter back on my desk. So I call MAC. Usual hold and voicemail crap, but eventually I get through.

‘You don’t have it?’

“No I wouldn’t be calling if I had”

‘Oh, I see it’s a grey import, we just rejected it and sent it back. We won’t touch it’ ‘We’ll give you 15% off a trade in for a new meter’ ‘We don’t have an email or phone number to contact you.’ Not true, it’s on the form, which they must have as they did, five weeks after receiving it and doing nothing with it, deign to send back to me – at the address on the form.

“I was asking for it to be repaired as a charged item, not a warranty repair”

‘We can’t do anything with them, they are different, the boards are not the same, the frequencies are different.’ First I had heard about the frequency of light being different in different parts of the globe…….
I quote, directly off the US Sekonic web site “Optional Plug-in Radio Transmitter Module Simultaneously trigger your flash and measure the exposure.
Wirelessly — compatible with all PocketWizards”

I pointed out that as she could hear, I had an accent from a different part of the world too. I asked them what I could do. She would call me back. Want to run a sweepstake on how long that will be? Three days and counting so far.

So Sekonic, I bought, at retail prices, in good faith your product. Now, because you choose some arbitrary geographic limits – presumably for YOUR pricing and / or business practice convenience – I’m supposed to throw it away? Actually no, I’m supposed to give it to you, sorry trade it in, for circa $37 and buy the identical item for circa $260 plus the cost of the wireless trigger (a mere $50).

Let me think about that for a millisecond or less. I buy a product from you, you decide that – even though it is repairable for $90 or so – that I should buy a new one. I’m sure I’ll feel like a valued customer if I did so.

Sure I’m going to buy from you! After all, you cherish me as a customer that has spent thousands of dollars on your products (turns out they make/import other products I’ve bought too) by kicking me at the first opportunity you get. Sure I’ll do more business with you. Like hell!

So I’ll make my usual plea, vote with your checkbooks. I will. Even if it means (same importer / manufacturer) replacing my newly acquired PocketWizard studio system to fire the flash heads I have. You don’t deserve to succeed, let alone thrive.

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