Author Topic: EXTECH customer service is so bad  (Read 1884 times)

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Offline tony359

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EXTECH customer service is so bad
« on: December 03, 2018, 09:16:35 am »
Hi all,

I just wanted to share my horrible experience with EXTECH.  My 470A meter developed a fault - the meter was very slow to read low resistance and in continuity mode it just wouldn't settle down to a final number at all.

I first contacted EXTECH support, I received a decent reply, they asked me to do some tests, which I did. Eventually they suggested to RMA the unit and copied the relevant department on the email. They asked me for a receipt which I attached to my reply.

I did not hear from them for a while, then I chased them asking for an update. Finally a gentleman from EXTECH Germany replied asking me to provide the receipt again and said that I should have returned the meter to the point of sale but he would "see if an exception could be made" on this occasion.
I was not happy that I had to invest even more time to dig the receipt out because someone from EXTECH could not be bothered to ask their colleagues to forward. And also was unhappy to hear that all the previous emails were basically useless as I should have returned the meter to CPC UK.

I mentioned my disappointment to the gentleman who just replied "sorry but I can't do anything to help". This is a Sales manager from Extech.

I turned back to CPC who responded that they can only honour 12 months of the warranty - the extra 2 years are EXTECH's responsibility.

I am going to buy another meter - of a different brand of course. I just wanted to warn the community not to expect any decent customer support from EXTECH/FLIR. In fact, reading online, it seems that I haven't discovered anything new - I wish I had browsed online a bit before purchasing.

I hope this helps :)
 

Offline bd139

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Re: EXTECH customer service is so bad
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2018, 09:42:52 am »
Was this a business or personal purchase?

If it was a personal purchase, tell them that the goods weren't fit for the purpose intended as they failed in use and put you at great risk and that you'd be happy to accept a refund under consumer rights act 2015 or alternatively they can do it the hard way with MoneyClaim and you will publicise how shit they are on trustpilot, google, bing, everywhere. Make sure this is titled "letter before action".

CPC is terribly variable. I have had quite a few problems with them over the years including them accusing me of stealing a transistor when they shipped me an empty bag! After I sent an A4 sized shit-o-gram it was dealt with quickly. It depends on who you get on the phone or email as well. Some of them are worse than a drunken monkey. Occasionally I get someone else's order mixed in with mine which shows you how competent they are.

Rules I found that work:

1. Buy whatever it is from RS for the price premium on top. They screw up occasionally but ALWAYS put it right. Plus when you call them up you get someone who isn't a bona fide muppet up front.
2. Don't buy any no brands and make sure the company has an office in UK with good support (keysight!)
3. Buy any expensive purchases on a credit card and go that route. It's easier to charge back than deal with this shit.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2018, 09:45:22 am by bd139 »
 
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Offline nsrmagazin

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Re: EXTECH customer service is so bad
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2018, 11:35:33 am »
Thats normal.

In the Czech Republic, Germany and a few others around them the following method is used:
There are the so called haters/sayers/experts, which are only people who say, they don't know much, they don't understand much, but they are experts with years of experience. They don't care, they won't pay for it, there will never be consequences, so they just do something (like tell you) and search for a reason to do what they want (just like they didn't reply and then TELL you). On top of that, a lot of them work in "customer service", medical and technical fields.
Hi all!
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Offline tony359

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Re: EXTECH customer service is so bad
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2018, 08:40:21 am »
I'm pointing the finger at Extech here rather than CPC to be honest. I see CPC's point, they phoned me back to discuss and did not waste too much of my time (even though my first support request was apparently lost!).

I know how things work with customer service nowadays and I know I could have my Extech replaced if I got stubborn at that. I believe I'll get another brand anyway, I don't have time to waste. I just wanted to share my experience as much as possible.

I'll now go browsing for an alternative ;)
 

Offline rjardina

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Re: EXTECH customer service is so bad
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2018, 02:00:27 pm »
I spent some time talking with them here in the US, over email and one call. It was due to the recall they had on the EX623. I had no issue with mine first one, But my serial number did fall into the recall. If I remember right they sent me four different replacement ones without hesitation. But all of them would just randomly stop checking voltage. And most of the time it would of course pass the Live-Dead-Live test. But made trouble shooting a pain in the dick. The last one they sent me I ended up taking a four pound hammer to. And only sent them a picture. They called me and the man was very nice and asked what they could do? I told him 'nothing' he said he couldn't blame me for the response after reading all the emails.

Product ratings: 5/10
Customer service: 8/10
 

Offline tony359

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Re: EXTECH customer service is so bad
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2019, 11:02:30 am »
I've now received my Fluke meter. I got a 117 (Electrician meter) so kind of an inaccurate meter for electronics.

I was comparing it with my two Extech yesterday. It's night and day. Where the Fluke takes half a second to give a stable result, the Extech takes several seconds and sometimes it just doesn't show a result at all. I have a 470A and an EX830.

I did not know that my Extech meters were so poor. I'm sure you can source a cheap meter that delivers the same or similar performance - or just get a decent one. Steer clear from Extech please.
 
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Offline rsjsouza

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Re: EXTECH customer service is so bad
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2019, 11:33:06 am »
I am glad you are happy with the Fluke - they are excellent meters. If you have the time and patience, you could double-check the Extech for any grime/scale/residue on the main PCB, as changes in resistance around critical components may have developed over time - that and any faulty electrolytic capacitor (although they usually take a lot longer to leak)

Quality issues were the main complaints about Extech since quite some time in this forum (2012 or 2013 IIRC).
Vbe - vídeo blog eletrônico http://videos.vbeletronico.com

Oh, the "whys" of the datasheets... The information is there not to be an axiomatic truth, but instead each speck of data must be slowly inhaled while carefully performing a deep search inside oneself to find the true metaphysical sense...
 

Offline retiredcaps

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Re: EXTECH customer service is so bad
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2019, 06:14:53 pm »
I did not know that my Extech meters were so poor.
Extech, like some many others, just get someone to make meters to their corporate color scheme.  For example, CEM Instruments makes some of Extech's meters.  Brymen makes some as well.

I would stay clear of the CEM ones and consider the Brymen ones.
 

Offline tooki

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Re: EXTECH customer service is so bad
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2019, 06:56:16 pm »
I mentioned my disappointment to the gentleman who just replied "sorry but I can't do anything to help". This is a Sales manager from Extech.
To which you say, politely but firmly, “I appreciate your help and that you are at the limits of your authority. So since you are unable to help, please transfer me to someone who can.”
 

Offline bd139

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Re: EXTECH customer service is so bad
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2019, 07:05:41 pm »
I decline to be polite in these situations and usually resort to threatening to insert the item into the least comfortable orifice of the perpetrator of the annoyance and storm off to shitpost on a suitably sized forum to try and ruin them.

No excuse for that sort of rubbish. It’s more the person doesn’t want to help you.
 

Offline tooki

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Re: EXTECH customer service is so bad
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2019, 07:25:39 pm »
I decline to be polite in these situations and usually resort to threatening to insert the item into the least comfortable orifice of the perpetrator of the annoyance and storm off to shitpost on a suitably sized forum to try and ruin them.

No excuse for that sort of rubbish. It’s more the person doesn’t want to help you.
As someone who has both used my method repeatedly to great success, as well as having worked in customer service, I assure you that rudeness only works to reduce your chances of success. Whether they can’t or won’t help, if you thank them and ask to escalate, you might get somewhere. If you yell and insult, and then ask to escalate, you’ll either end up with the manager known to be a hardass, if not with a colleague pretending to be a supervisor, who will also block you.

(When I worked in retail, I had one manager who was a total bitch, and several guy managers who were reasonable and nice. If a customer wanted something outside of normal policy and was nice about it, and I thought they should get it, I’d ask one of the guy managers to do it. And if the customer was being rude, I’d stick to the letter of the rules, and if they insisted on a manager, I’d get the bitch instead.)

So while it can be cathartic to let it out on the person on the phone, 90% of the time they aren’t to blame, and when they are, you aren’t gonna get what you want by yelling, instead stroke their ego and suddenly things become possible.
 
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Offline rsjsouza

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Re: EXTECH customer service is so bad
« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2019, 07:58:36 pm »
I decline to be polite in these situations and usually resort to threatening to insert the item into the least comfortable orifice of the perpetrator of the annoyance and storm off to shitpost on a suitably sized forum to try and ruin them.

No excuse for that sort of rubbish. It’s more the person doesn’t want to help you.
As someone who has both used my method repeatedly to great success, as well as having worked in customer service, I assure you that rudeness only works to reduce your chances of success. Whether they can’t or won’t help, if you thank them and ask to escalate, you might get somewhere. If you yell and insult, and then ask to escalate, you’ll either end up with the manager known to be a hardass, if not with a colleague pretending to be a supervisor, who will also block you.
I never worked on retail, but on B2B customer support and service. I can attest to that: yelling and screaming tend to have a higher margin of failure when compared to assertive politeness, unless you have a very large power/leverage behind you - if you work for a very large company or has influence in the PR/marcom/marketing world, for example. Another tactic that tends to work well for me is to appeal to the agent's own experience - "you are a customer like me; if you had bought this meter based on the excellent reputation and quality of products of your company and it failed under warranty, wouldn't you also be disappointed with this?" (that tends to work better when the person on the other side actually gives a hoot about it).
Vbe - vídeo blog eletrônico http://videos.vbeletronico.com

Oh, the "whys" of the datasheets... The information is there not to be an axiomatic truth, but instead each speck of data must be slowly inhaled while carefully performing a deep search inside oneself to find the true metaphysical sense...
 
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Offline bd139

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Re: EXTECH customer service is so bad
« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2019, 08:08:23 pm »
If you know you’re not going to get anywhere yelling has two effects:

1. Cathartic release of frustration.
2. If the recipient is yelled at enough times they will find another company that doesn’t sell turds to work for.

I’ve done line 1 support and benefited from the experience of 2.
 

Offline joeqsmith

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Re: EXTECH customer service is so bad
« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2019, 09:13:41 pm »
My old Extech EX540 is going to be seven years old an a few months.   Made by CEM.  Sees a fair bit of abuse.   So far, only the knob broke after I loaned it out.

They are a bit hit an miss with their quality (CEM).  Still, I've been pretty happy with it for a low end meter.
How electrically robust is your meter?? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
Software, documentation and test reports for the low cost NanoVNA & V2 Plus 4 may be found here:
https://github.com/joeqsmith
 

Offline GregDunn

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Re: EXTECH customer service is so bad
« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2019, 09:20:54 pm »
Not to take sides here, but for one very unhappy week I had to work phone support at my last company.  Incidentally, when the big 3-letter phone company uses the word "service" they are actually referring to the quantity of different things they can sell you - not customer service, which is apparently no longer a corporate priority.  The actual support people are great, but the executives... not so much.

Anyway, we had to take calls from customers who were having phone issues and try to resolve their problem quickly.  Things which were stressed in our training:

1) the more time you spend on the phone trying to help someone, the worse your ratings are, even if you solve the problem.

2) if they asked to talk to your supervisor (and we had several) we were instructed to tell them that we could handle anything the supervisor could do - which was not true.  It was just a dodge to get them off the call. They strongly discouraged us transferring calls to a supervisor.  I did it a couple of times anyway.   >:D

Sometimes support's hands are tied and they are only punished for being helpful.  I had my share of irate callers, and I assure you the only thing on my mind when I had reached the limit of my possible options was to get rid of them before they ruined everyone's day.  There was no anger and no repercussions on our side.

The next time we had to be prepared for temporary assignment, I fudged my qualifications so it would look like I was unable to do phone support.  I wanted to work in repair, where I had much better confidence and suitability.
 

Offline tony359

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Re: EXTECH customer service is so bad
« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2019, 02:05:30 pm »
Quote
To which you say, politely but firmly, “I appreciate your help and that you are at the limits of your authority. So since you are unable to help, please transfer me to someone who can.”

Problem was that the man was a sales manager so I doubt there would be anybody else able to help.
Also, after 10+emails and several weeks, I was just tired of wasting my time. Yes, I could have probably managed to get it swapped somehow, it just wasn't worth it.

I agree that being rude never helps when dealing with customer service - and I appreciate that sometimes it's not their fault. But when I get a bit... annoyed when I realise that because of their incompetence I am wasting my time.

Anyway, I'm glad I've moved to a Fluke. I was really not expecting such a huge difference.
 
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