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Tnsharpshooter

Minelab Service Rep Seems Is Watching At Least Some Forums

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The manufacturers do watch the major forums. Some participate visibly, some less so, but they are out there. One of the side goals on this forum is to provide constructive feedback for the manufacturers. That is one reason why I have no patience for brand bashing - it drives away people I want here.

 

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Since we are on the subject of Minelab and service, I think I have some news I can pass on.

Anyone that has been paying attention would know that Minelabs service for at least the last year has been extremely poor in the U.S. I do not know how it has been in other countries but in the U.S. the main problem has been ridiculously long waits to get detectors serviced. I am not talking weeks, but months in some cases!

I had a chance to have some input on this and my response was simple. When you pay a premium price for something one thing you expect you are going to get is premium service. We are not talking just any old brand here, we are talking the highest priced premium performance brand on the market. And for the last year or two the brand with perhaps the worst service. People I know on this forum have had to wait for inexcusably long periods of time to get their detectors repaired and returned to them. The work done has been fine as far as I know, it is just the time that it is taking that is excessive.

Part of what happened was that over the past year or so, Minelab restructured their worldwide operations in both the distribution and service / repair areas. Unfortunately change that looks good on paper has some unintended consequences when it comes to implementation and this has proven to be the case.

Currently in the U.S., all repairs of Minelab products are being handled by Kellyco as an Authorized Service Center (ASC). Minelab has realized is that while the repairs are getting performed, they are not always being completed in a time frame that meets the customers’ expectations for a high-end piece of equipment. This is not a mark against Kellyco since they have a limited staff doing repairs for Minelab as well as other brands.

Minelab has committed to address and resolve this issue through multiple efforts. Adding additional ASC’s is one thing that will reduce the backlog time but that will take a little time to implement since there is setup time and training that will be needed to support opening other ASC’s in the U.S. Minelab is also planning to add more ASC’s worldwide to streamline the repair process and shorten the completion time. They are also planning on making select parts available through authorized dealers so that basic repairs can be performed locally rather than sending the unit in and waiting in line for something that could have been addressed through a simple part swap-out. That program is being finalized and is expected to be rolled-out by mid-year.

To sum up, Minelab is aware they have come up short as far as service goes and are now focused on improving the situation. It won't happen overnight but they are working on it. And yes, it did come about by watching forums and getting other customer input that the system was broken. They were listening. Now they have to follow through.

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Over a year ago when I was living in the Chicago area temporarily, I visited the Minelab Offices there.

It is a modern, beautifully furnished office complex with engaging displays and helpful people. I did not think to look for repair facilities on the premises but (perhaps mistakenly), assumed they were there somewhere. It seems strange that Minelab would take the time and energy and money to set up such a great front office complex and lack the same energy and follow-through on their repair operation. I am sure they will want to remedy that as soon as possible. After all that is the side of the company we are most likely to come into direct contact with. 

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7 hours ago, flakmagnet said:

Over a year ago when I was living in the Chicago area temporarily, I visited the Minelab Offices there.

It is a modern, beautifully furnished office complex with engaging displays and helpful people. I did not think to look for repair facilities on the premises but (perhaps mistakenly), assumed they were there somewhere. It seems strange that Minelab would take the time and energy and money to set up such a great front office complex and lack the same energy and follow-through on their repair operation. I am sure they will want to remedy that as soon as possible. After all that is the side of the company we are most likely to come into direct contact with. 

Yea thats something that I could not understand. When My CTX broke I called the Chicago facility because thats the facility that I was informed to contact. They sent me to Kellyco... Sent the machine to them. I was told two week turn around time. Great! I could wait 2 weeks. 7 weeks later I finally got the machine back. The messages I left at at Kellyco...weeks at 3-4-5  were not returned. Thats when I called my dealer and the very next day I got a return phone call from Kellyco. They were very helpful and fixed the machine but there was a time when I was wondering about the whole process. My solution was to buy a back up CTX in case it happens again.

strick 

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10 minutes ago, strick said:

My solution was to buy a back up CTX in case it happens again.

That'll teach 'em.

 

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Thanks for sharing Steve.

I realize any piece of equipment even a detector model,,,will someday be not cost effective or sensible for a manufacturer to continue providing support.

There are still lots of explorer 2 units out there.

Minelab should strongly consider at least supporting their models repair wise longer than they have in the past.

Don't need to hear about parts problems, etc,,,for the reason(s) as to why they discontinue supporting.

This here what I'm talking about has drove some of their customers away.

If White's can do something similar here,,,Why can't they??

Maybe they (Minelab) will read this.

 

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I knew this and waited to send in my SDC until after the good prospecting season in my area was over. It was still usable as all that was wrong was that the headphone connection was non functional - the external speaker still worked fine. So I sent it in and was told they don't repair SDCs, they replace them. I got a new SDC in the mail. All OK by me, but seems over the top expensive to Minelab for a headphone jack repair - even if it is a special waterproof jack.

Tnsharpshooter - some problems occur with part availability. If your detector needs a new XYZ17 transistor, and the manufacturer stopped making them a year ago, the truth is that it can be near impossible to get additional obsolete parts like that. This situation affects all detector manufacturers.

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27 minutes ago, Reno Chris said:

Tnsharpshooter - some problems occur with part availability. If your detector needs a new XYZ17 transistor, and the manufacturer stopped making them a year ago, the truth is that it can be near impossible to get additional obsolete parts like that. This situation affects all detector manufacturers.

I agree parts can be a problem.

Seems I remember reading where the XS models were discontinued support for a parts problem.  I can live with that.  But what has happened since,,,,,explorer 2 support discontinued.  Another parts problem???? Yeah,,,if a manufacturer don't buy any spares,,,they will likely have this problem every time.  And maybe they shouldn't be looking at components here,,,but moreso boards,etc.. I see a pattern here,,I think,,and I don't think it is parts driven necessarily.  I mean,,,a manufacturer should at least state they plan to support a unit for xxx years as a minimum,,and try to stick to it.  Not make folks start treating their models of detectors like bic lighters.  Premium detector should get premium support. Both from a quality standpoint and a time standpoint.

This here subject,,,reminds me of another subject- extended warranty.

Could a manufacturer sell an extended warranty for reasonable price and take this money and buy spare parts??

Give folks piece of mind.

Even take a GPX 5000 model,,,or the CTX,,,not cheap by no means.  Would selling an additional 3 years of warranty for the right price,,,be popular???  Give folks the entire period of base warranty time frame to make decision and purchase.  Capital provided up front to manufacturer to buy parts.  Would maybe make folks more brand loyal,,holding on to their units,,,hence not buying a competitor's unit. 

Now a manufacturer does need their ducks in line to provide timely repairs over the period in question.

It is fascinating,,,I can go into Wally World,,,buy a far cheaper piece of electronic equipment,,,and be offered an extended service plan.

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Minelab's official policy is to support a detector for seven years after the discontinue date, longer if possible. All you can count on however is seven years. That policy has been in place for some time. http://www.minelab.com/usa/customer-care/product-notices/discontinued-products

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