Author Topic: Keysight (lack of) calibration & other services  (Read 15592 times)

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Offline Oldtestgear

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Keysight (lack of) calibration & other services
« on: July 16, 2021, 10:08:38 am »
This warning applies to ALL customers of Keysight that are NOT either an Incorporated Business or VAT Registered.  I have a few instruments that I bought new through Keysight distributors & have never had a problem with Keysight UK untli now.
In 2018 I bought a 34470A plus a DSOX4024A (the scope thanks to a 30% trade in offer by Keysight) plus a U1241C later in the year. I get the 34470A calibrated at approximately 18 month intervals until now. This month I checked the price & then filled out the online forms to arrange collection plus get a pro forma invoice in order to pay the almost £200 cost. 

It seems that Keysight Corporate were very happy to take my money for instruments but are completely unwilling to actually supply any form of service because I am not a suitable customer for their products. I did send them an email explaining my reasons for buying their equipment plus my 40 years experience in the electronics industry.  This elicited a phone call from Germany apologising for their behaviour but still refusing to actually calibrate my 34470A.

This is the cut & paste from their message:

Dear Phil
I'm really sorry but I need to provide you with the following information as we are no longer able to service your equipment:
Keysight products are designed, manufactured, and tested for professional and industrial use. They are not designed or tested for use by Consumers. While we thank you for your interest in our products, we are unable to supply them to you nor are we able to provide support for those products.
Should you have questions, please call 0800 0260637 or send an email to contactcentre_uk@keysight.com

Best regards
Keysight Technologies UK Limited


You have been warned!
 There is a similar post in the Buy/Sell/Wanted section relating to spare parts & buying from Keysight but htis specifially relates to SERVICE & CALIBRATION.

Cheers

Phil
 

Offline perdrix

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Re: Keysight (lack of) calibration & other services
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2021, 10:30:26 am »
Hmmm ... Shouldn't this be in the Test Equipment?

Either way it's appalling!

David
 

Offline chekhov

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Re: Keysight (lack of) calibration & other services
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2021, 10:40:18 am »
Now people need a "Right to calibrate"  :box:
 
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Online tggzzz

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Re: Keysight (lack of) calibration & other services
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2021, 11:15:17 am »
Sigh. I used to say "HP is alive and well, but is now called Agilent Keysight". That's becoming more difficult.

Sounds like an opportunity for someone to set up a shell company :(
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
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Offline Grandchuck

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Re: Keysight (lack of) calibration & other services
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2021, 12:01:23 pm »
I suppose it is very difficult to factor in 'good will' to a business model?
 

Online tggzzz

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Re: Keysight (lack of) calibration & other services
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2021, 12:04:17 pm »
I suppose it is very difficult to factor in 'good will' to a business model?

That was a central part of Bill 'n' Dave's HP Way. It worked and paid dividends for decades - and allowed HP to become a large company.
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
Glider pilot's aphorism: "there is no substitute for span". Retort: "There is a substitute: skill+imagination. But you can buy span".
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Online tggzzz

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Re: Keysight (lack of) calibration & other services
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2021, 12:06:03 pm »
On HPAK groups.io, Dr David Kirby made the interesting suggestion "So in summary, I would say if one argues with Keysight, they will probably back down. Otherwise say you are a consultant and use it professionally! You don't need to be either VAT registered or have a limited company to use something professionally."

I wonder if that would work,
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
Glider pilot's aphorism: "there is no substitute for span". Retort: "There is a substitute: skill+imagination. But you can buy span".
Having fun doing more, with less
 
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Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Keysight (lack of) calibration & other services
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2021, 12:23:40 pm »
So just make up a company name.
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Online tggzzz

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Re: Keysight (lack of) calibration & other services
« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2021, 12:39:15 pm »
So just make up a company name.

VAT number or limited liability company number might be an impediment.
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
Glider pilot's aphorism: "there is no substitute for span". Retort: "There is a substitute: skill+imagination. But you can buy span".
Having fun doing more, with less
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Keysight (lack of) calibration & other services
« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2021, 02:38:15 pm »
So just make up a company name.

VAT number or limited liability company number might be an impediment.
Was that actually mentioned in Keysight's Email? The OP mentions it, but was that actually stated by KS, or just an assumption?
Also, other calibration houses are available, you don't need to use Keysight to calibrate KS gear.

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Online TheSteve

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Re: Keysight (lack of) calibration & other services
« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2021, 02:44:42 pm »
So now we need to determine if this is a global thing or something localized to a region to maybe get around some consumer protection laws.
VE7FM
 

Online Kleinstein

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Re: Keysight (lack of) calibration & other services
« Reply #11 on: July 16, 2021, 02:56:45 pm »
There is a chance that KS is trying to get a system of limited sales channels limited to some customers or regions. The is a chance there is still a local UK KS distributor and calibration service, just at a different company. This may be mainly a brexit related problem as handling customs gets more complicated without a VAT number.

At least for the DMM and a DSO the calibration should not be limited to KS, though it would be nice to have more competition.

Currently, with a shortage in parts I can even understand them to perfer buisiness customers: for one, there are less consumder protection laws and a company is more likely so send in the meter for calibration than a private customer.
 

Online bdunham7

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Re: Keysight (lack of) calibration & other services
« Reply #12 on: July 16, 2021, 03:00:23 pm »
So now we need to determine if this is a global thing or something localized to a region to maybe get around some consumer protection laws.

I'm pretty sure that this is either a result of a legitimate interpretation of a boneheaded "consumer protection" law or a boneheaded interpretation of a legitimate consumer protection law.  I don't know which law specifically, but I seriously doubt Keysight is intentionally shunning paying customers just because they don't like them. 
A 3.5 digit 4.5 digit 5 digit 5.5 digit 6.5 digit 7.5 digit DMM is good enough for most people.
 

Online bdunham7

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Re: Keysight (lack of) calibration & other services
« Reply #13 on: July 16, 2021, 03:33:31 pm »
I'm really sorry but I need to provide you with the following information as we are no longer able to service your equipment:
Keysight products are designed, manufactured, and tested for professional and industrial use. They are not designed or tested for use by Consumers. While we thank you for your interest in our products, we are unable to supply them to you nor are we able to provide support for those products.

If you want to pursue this with them, try pointing out that they already sold the product to you and withdrawing the requisite and expected support, service and warranty after the sale is a predatory and deceptive trade practice that you believe violates UK consumer protection law.  Invite them to rectify their error before you are compelled to consult either a solicitor or the appropriate government agency. Hopefully that will make someone's head explode in the legal department.

Otherwise you need to utilize a friend with an incorporated business.  If this is truly a legal snare for them and they otherwise have good intentions, they won't care what the business is--it could be a laundromat or a TV repair shop.
 



A 3.5 digit 4.5 digit 5 digit 5.5 digit 6.5 digit 7.5 digit DMM is good enough for most people.
 

Offline Conrad Hoffman

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Re: Keysight (lack of) calibration & other services
« Reply #14 on: July 16, 2021, 04:20:48 pm »
They said for professional use. I'd make the case that you're a professional, having worked in the business for a few decades. We have some high end LCR meters here and I was appalled to find they wanted in excess of $3k to calibrate them. Each.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2021, 04:22:20 pm by Conrad Hoffman »
 

Offline Cerebus

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Re: Keysight (lack of) calibration & other services
« Reply #15 on: July 16, 2021, 06:26:10 pm »
My guess is that they can't tell their arse from their elbows and understand the difference between professional and consumer supplies in UK law. Consumer purchases give you additional protections as far as fitness for purpose is concerned when you're 'sold' to, professionals are supposed to be competent enough to satisfy themselves as to fitness for purpose and so don't get those protections. What 'consumer' would be looking to calibrate a 7 1/2 digit DVM I really can't imagine (Yes, I know one might be a amateur, but needing a 7 1/2 digit DVM indicates the same kind of competence to make your own purchasing choices as a fully fledged professional).

It should be sufficient to say to them that you can confirm that this is a professional purchase of goods or services as far as the law is concerned. That absolves them of liability. If they are so stupid to not accept that then it's an indication that the rot has well and truly set in, and that they are no longer themselves fit for purpose. As soon as this kind of bureaucratic nonsense sets in it's time to abandon any company that adopts it as a supplier because, while the current example probably won't bite most people in the arse who are buying professionally, who knows what silly rule they are going to make up next that flushes your investment in Keysight gear down the toilet?

I wonder what Keysight think this will do to the resale value of their equipment if people get wind that spares and service are going to be unobtainable if you are arbitrarily labelled as a 'consumer' rather than a professional. Whoops, looks like people did get wind, because I would not be at all surprised if the largest concentration of purchasers of secondhand test gear on the planet are here, reading this.

I'll hazard a guess that a lot of people get to buy Keysight gear professionally because they can sell the beancounters on it having a useful resale value after they've taken the full measure of tax write downs off the taxman. I've had use of this argument myself when getting the company to shell out for a, then, frightening expensive logic analyser from HP. When the beancounters find that Siglent et al have the same specifications, a fraction of the price, and Keysight gear now has no secondary resale value I wonder how much will get bought new 'professionally' in the UK? Hey @EvilDanaherCorporation, what support will your many brands give to amateurs and students buying your kit?

I'm struck by the double stupidity of this. Surely everybody knows that the best way to build a future for a professional brand is to get it into the hands of students. One of the ways to make sure that students won't use your gear is to make sure that there's no support available if you're anything other than a employee of a tidily documented corporation with a purchase order burning a hole in your pocket.
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Online dietert1

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Re: Keysight (lack of) calibration & other services
« Reply #16 on: July 16, 2021, 07:11:57 pm »
A speculation:
Imagine the ownership cost of a NIST traceable josephson array. Now imagine some hobbyist getting a perfect calibration, let's say the black edition HP 3458A and that person starts distributing precision calibration all over the world for the price of postage. In another thread i read the statement: "When i tried to get an official calibration i recognized how my private equipment was superior to the central metrology lab of my state."
That can't work. Maybe precision calibration is a value that needs supervision, similar to IP.

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Online bdunham7

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Re: Keysight (lack of) calibration & other services
« Reply #17 on: July 16, 2021, 07:37:09 pm »
It should be sufficient to say to them that you can confirm that this is a professional purchase of goods or services as far as the law is concerned. That absolves them of liability.

Without knowing the exact laws and interpretations in play, you have no idea whether that is true.  I know of cases of all sorts of goods that are legally restricted to sale only to qualified customers. The required qualifications can be a specific professional license, a general business license, a specific regulatory business license or some other very specific requirement.  Some manufacturers and wholesalers restrict their sales to businesses that have a resale license, even if the goods are not for resale. (cleaning supplies for a restaurant, e.g.)  The decision to make these restrictions can be based on legal requirements related to the products themselves, legal requirements due to the nature of the seller's business entity and licenses or simply a desire on the part of the seller to not be encumbered by the various requirements of selling direct to consumers. 

Unless you know why Keysight made this decision, you shouldn't assume idiocy or malice on their part.  My best educated guess is that they are worried about some right that has been endowed to 'consumers' by some law or decision, such as a mandatory warranty or something like that. 
A 3.5 digit 4.5 digit 5 digit 5.5 digit 6.5 digit 7.5 digit DMM is good enough for most people.
 

Offline perdrix

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Re: Keysight (lack of) calibration & other services
« Reply #18 on: July 16, 2021, 08:12:20 pm »
"... my private equipment was superior to the central metrology lab of my state."

Let me think: Fluke 732A, 3458A, Datron 4808

Yes better uncertainties than 99% of cal labs in the entire country :(

David
 

Offline Cerebus

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Re: Keysight (lack of) calibration & other services
« Reply #19 on: July 16, 2021, 08:57:29 pm »
It should be sufficient to say to them that you can confirm that this is a professional purchase of goods or services as far as the law is concerned. That absolves them of liability.

Without knowing the exact laws and interpretations in play, you have no idea whether that is true.  I know of cases of all sorts of goods that are legally restricted to sale only to qualified customers. The required qualifications can be a specific professional license, a general business license, a specific regulatory business license or some other very specific requirement.  Some manufacturers and wholesalers restrict their sales to businesses that have a resale license, even if the goods are not for resale. (cleaning supplies for a restaurant, e.g.)  The decision to make these restrictions can be based on legal requirements related to the products themselves, legal requirements due to the nature of the seller's business entity and licenses or simply a desire on the part of the seller to not be encumbered by the various requirements of selling direct to consumers. 

Unless you know why Keysight made this decision, you shouldn't assume idiocy or malice on their part.  My best educated guess is that they are worried about some right that has been endowed to 'consumers' by some law or decision, such as a mandatory warranty or something like that.

And what did I say? "My guess is that they can't tell their arse from their elbows and understand the difference between professional and consumer supplies in UK law. Consumer purchases give you additional protections as far as fitness for purpose is concerned when you're 'sold' to, professionals are supposed to be competent enough to satisfy themselves as to fitness for purpose and so don't get those protections."


There are no UK laws restricting the sale of test equipment or calibration services therefore. None. Nada. Zip.

Don't call me out for an expressly stated guess and then substitute your own guess that is substantially the same, especially when I think it's fair to say that a UK resident is probably in a better position to know what laws are in play relating to the sale of goods than a resident of the USA.
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Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Keysight (lack of) calibration & other services
« Reply #20 on: July 16, 2021, 10:18:26 pm »
There are no UK laws restricting the sale of test equipment or calibration services therefore. None. Nada. Zip.
The only actual legal restriction I can think of is the sale of leaded solder.

There are also no licensing requirements for most businesses, certainly none that are likely to be buying KS gear

KS saying that they are "unable" to supply or support their products is simply not true. They are not willing to.
Anyone can go to RS, Farnell etc., or even Keysight's own ebay store and buy their stuff.
This needs escalating.
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Offline Keysight DanielBogdanoff

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Re: Keysight (lack of) calibration & other services
« Reply #21 on: July 16, 2021, 10:46:06 pm »
So now we need to determine if this is a global thing or something localized to a region to maybe get around some consumer protection laws.

I'm pretty sure that this is either a result of a legitimate interpretation of a boneheaded "consumer protection" law or a boneheaded interpretation of a legitimate consumer protection law.  I don't know which law specifically, but I seriously doubt Keysight is intentionally shunning paying customers just because they don't like them.

My understanding is that it's "a legitimate interpretation of a boneheaded 'consumer protection' law." I believe there are some restrictions around "industrial equipment" [probably not the correct legal term] being sold to non-industrial parties (aka individuals). I do not know the details but @oldtestgear I'm looking into it with Peter.
 

Online bdunham7

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Re: Keysight (lack of) calibration & other services
« Reply #22 on: July 16, 2021, 11:36:37 pm »
Don't call me out for an expressly stated guess and then substitute your own guess that is substantially the same, especially when I think it's fair to say that a UK resident is probably in a better position to know what laws are in play relating to the sale of goods than a resident of the USA.

I didn't 'call out' (strong language there!) your guess regarding what particular aspect of UK consumer law may be involved.  I refuted the logic of the specific statement that I quoted.  That was not a guess, it was a definitive statement about what you think would legally constitute a 'professional' and provide the seller with absolution from liability.  I am, as you note, not a UK solicitor, but I can tell you in general that the more you know about them, the less clear such issues become.  Unless you have some basis for your assertion that a bare claim of professional status is enough to absolve a seller of all liability under UK consumer law, I'd consider that to be a rash and simplistic bit of advice in the best case.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2021, 11:39:36 pm by bdunham7 »
A 3.5 digit 4.5 digit 5 digit 5.5 digit 6.5 digit 7.5 digit DMM is good enough for most people.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Keysight (lack of) calibration & other services
« Reply #23 on: July 16, 2021, 11:40:01 pm »
Remember the time when Bill Hewlett himself gave a 12yo Steve Jobs the parts needed to build his oscillator?
https://www.businessinsider.com.au/what-we-can-learn-from-the-gutsy-way-steve-jobs-landed-a-job-at-hp-2015-7?r=US&IR=T

Those were the days...
 
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Offline Cerebus

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Re: Keysight (lack of) calibration & other services
« Reply #24 on: July 17, 2021, 12:00:41 am »
Don't call me out for an expressly stated guess and then substitute your own guess that is substantially the same, especially when I think it's fair to say that a UK resident is probably in a better position to know what laws are in play relating to the sale of goods than a resident of the USA.

I didn't 'call out' (strong language there!) your guess regarding what particular aspect of UK consumer law may be involved.  I refuted the logic of the specific statement that I quoted.  That was not a guess, it was a definitive statement about what you think would legally constitute a 'professional' and provide the seller with absolution from liability.  I am, as you note, not a UK solicitor, but I can tell you in general that the more you know about them, the less clear such issues become.  Unless you have some basis for your assertion that a bare claim of professional status is enough to absolve a seller of all liability under UK consumer law, I'd consider that to be a rash and simplistic bit of advice in the best case.

Sigh. The use of 'professional' is misleading, UK law simply differentiates between 'consumer' and non-consumer sales. Section 2(3) of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 defines '“Consumer” means an individual acting for purposes that are wholly or mainly outside that individual’s trade, business, craft or profession.'. If the vendor asks "Is this for private or business use?" as the means of ascertaining whether consumer or B2B sales terms apply under the law you appear to be arguing that they shouldn't be allowed to rely on the reply.
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