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Gear Talk => Software & Accessories => Topic started by: UncleBob on April 30, 2013, 04:38:16 PM

Title: Manfrotto Repair: I thought I was buying from the best
Post by: UncleBob on April 30, 2013, 04:38:16 PM
I have always purchased Manfrotto tripods because I felt they were rock solid, both as a tripod, and as a company. Unfortunately that is definitely not the case anymore. I put my gear through a pretty good beating, so I try to buy what will last. I recently purchased a new tripod, and within just a few weeks snapped off a leg. I was happy to pay for it (since it was my fault) but was told it would be covered by warranty. But... the warranty would be carried out by a third party in the US. After a month, there was no sign of the tripod. After a phone call I was informed that Manfrotto ships parts from europe for repairs, and I should expect to wait another month or two. As far as I am concerned, three months to repair a new tripod is completely unacceptable. I have tripods of theirs dating back to the 70's, but after this experience, will no longer buy their products.

There are competitors out there with great return and warranty programs. Make sure you look at them before considering buying Manfrotto.
Title: Re: Manfrotto Repair: I thought I was buying from the best
Post by: paul13walnut5 on April 30, 2013, 06:00:03 PM
At least spare parts can be ordered.  For most tripods you cannot.  It breaks, you bin.
And in other news, of the other tripod manufacturers which ones do you think are made by the same group? Vinten? Sachtler? Giottis? Gitzo?...

You might have more luck with the likes of '3legged thing', or slik but these are even more expensive.

If you go onto the service pages there are schematic diagrams with part numbers, your repair agent may be holding back to place a bulk order to save costs, if you can get the part number you might be better approaching a manfrotto distributer in the uk or italy, see if they can send you the part independantly.



Title: Re: Manfrotto Repair: I thought I was buying from the best
Post by: Mt Spokane Photography on April 30, 2013, 06:57:44 PM
If you paid for it with a AMEX Card within the last year, they should be able to help you, since Manfrotto is apparently not responding well.
Title: Re: Manfrotto Repair: I thought I was buying from the best
Post by: UncleBob on April 30, 2013, 07:01:08 PM
At least spare parts can be ordered.  For most tripods you cannot.  It breaks, you bin.
And in other news, of the other tripod manufacturers which ones do you think are made by the same group? Vinten? Sachtler? Giottis? Gitzo?...

You might have more luck with the likes of '3legged thing', or slik but these are even more expensive.

If you go onto the service pages there are schematic diagrams with part numbers, your repair agent may be holding back to place a bulk order to save costs, if you can get the part number you might be better approaching a manfrotto distributer in the uk or italy, see if they can send you the part independantly.

Thanks paul, I have ordered from a UK distributer before, but thought that a simple warranty repair would be a piece of cake for these guys in the US.

What bothered me about this experience was that fact that when I called Manfrotto to inquire about parts/repair I was only given a recording to call a third party. And that third party had next to no knowledge of tripods or what I was asking (even when referencing specific part numbers from their drawings).

Last month I had a issue with my Vinten head. I called customer service, and in less than a minute I was talking with a knowledgeable tech. It went in for service, and was back in a matter of two weeks, not months.

Being able to call a company and speak to a qualified person goes a long way, especially when you have invested heavily in their products.
Title: Re: Manfrotto Repair: I thought I was buying from the best
Post by: bycostello on April 30, 2013, 07:06:39 PM
you said your fault and fixing for free... and you still moan?
Title: Re: Manfrotto Repair: I thought I was buying from the best
Post by: Halfrack on April 30, 2013, 07:20:03 PM
you said your fault and fixing for free... and you still moan?

Yep, if "free" is 3 months, I'd gladly purchase the part and get on with my life.
Title: Re: Manfrotto Repair: I thought I was buying from the best
Post by: neuroanatomist on April 30, 2013, 07:28:54 PM
you said your fault and fixing for free... and you still moan?

Did you miss the part where the free repair has taken a month so far, and will take 1-2 more months (at least)?  I'd moan.  Actually, I wouldn't moan...I'd yell.
Title: Re: Manfrotto Repair: I thought I was buying from the best
Post by: Mt Spokane Photography on April 30, 2013, 07:47:07 PM
you said your fault and fixing for free... and you still moan?

Did you miss the part where the free repair has taken a month so far, and will take 1-2 more months (at least)?  I'd moan.  Actually, I wouldn't moan...I'd yell.

That was certainly my thought.  A three month free repair that is likely to take 5 or 6 months is not a good way to win customers.  Unfortunately, Gitzo has some horror stories as well.
Title: Re: Manfrotto Repair: I thought I was buying from the best
Post by: bycostello on April 30, 2013, 07:58:51 PM
you said your fault and fixing for free... and you still moan?

Did you miss the part where the free repair has taken a month so far, and will take 1-2 more months (at least)?  I'd moan.  Actually, I wouldn't moan...I'd yell.

did you miss the part that said it was his fault...  he has had a result getting it fixed... albeit slowly...
Title: Re: Manfrotto Repair: I thought I was buying from the best
Post by: privatebydesign on April 30, 2013, 08:20:39 PM
I have bought all manner of obscure Manfrotto bits and parts to make various repairs, I get them from manfrottospares.com, never had an issue, even though it is a UK based company.
Title: Re: Manfrotto Repair: I thought I was buying from the best
Post by: risc32 on April 30, 2013, 08:21:33 PM
some of us really need our equipment. we can't twiddle our fingers waiting for a repair for months, free or not.
 
Title: Re: Manfrotto Repair: I thought I was buying from the best
Post by: eml58 on April 30, 2013, 08:45:43 PM
I've had most of the brands over the years, Arca, Gitzo, Manfrotto, etc, but finally found RRS and over the last 2 years have completely replaced all my Ball-heads, Tripods, L Plates etc to RRS Gear, not only is their gear exceptionally well Engineered & Manufactured equipment, but I've had two small issues with L Plates and in both cases the People at RRS have packaged & sent out a New Plate within 24 hours of knowing the issue, then relied on my Honesty to return the original plates, and they paid for the return, I live in Singapore so this I can tell you is exceptional after sales service.

Some will say RRS gear is "expensive", but you at least get what you pay for, and that includes in the case of RRS, exceptional after sales service, this has huge value to me, in particular living in a place where "After Sales Service" is considered a vicious verbal insult.

I dont know where RRS manufacture (I suspect local US), but they are USA based, possibly one of the few that are USA and not European or Asian, would seem a slam dunk to me if living in the USA to go to these guys for any of my Equipment needs.

Also it's a Family Business, I deal directly with Joan Johnson on all my orders and the follow through service is as someone mentioned in an earlier post "Old School", worth a look.
Title: Re: Manfrotto Repair: I thought I was buying from the best
Post by: Mt Spokane Photography on April 30, 2013, 09:06:35 PM
you said your fault and fixing for free... and you still moan?

Did you miss the part where the free repair has taken a month so far, and will take 1-2 more months (at least)?  I'd moan.  Actually, I wouldn't moan...I'd yell.

did you miss the part that said it was his fault...  he has had a result getting it fixed... albeit slowly...

I did not.  Did you miss the part where he only received a recorded message from Manfrotto telling him who could repair it.  The authorized repair station is going to take the same time, pay or not.
Title: Re: Manfrotto Repair: I thought I was buying from the best
Post by: neuroanatomist on April 30, 2013, 09:28:20 PM
you said your fault and fixing for free... and you still moan?

Did you miss the part where the free repair has taken a month so far, and will take 1-2 more months (at least)?  I'd moan.  Actually, I wouldn't moan...I'd yell.

did you miss the part that said it was his fault...  he has had a result getting it fixed... albeit slowly...

Ok, so you'd be happy being without a key piece of your kit for months.  Not many of us would be...
Title: Re: Manfrotto Repair: I thought I was buying from the best
Post by: noisejammer on April 30, 2013, 09:35:16 PM
I was going to suggest RRS - but I was beaten to it. Their quality and after sales support is about as good as it gets.

If memory serves, Gitzo and Manfrotto are just brands of the same company. It's hardly a surprise if you get the same problems.
Title: Re: Manfrotto Repair: I thought I was buying from the best
Post by: UncleBob on April 30, 2013, 11:42:07 PM
some of us really need our equipment. we can't twiddle our fingers waiting for a repair for months, free or not.

+1
Title: Re: Manfrotto Repair: I thought I was buying from the best
Post by: kentandersen on May 01, 2013, 12:39:04 AM
Seems like the smartest thing is to buy gear made on the continent where you live. I live in Europe, and the Manfrotto dealer here fixed my broken ball-head in one week. The post office was to blame for most of the days I had to wait.

On the other side, I have a broken Walimex/Samyang lens, and are still waiting for the spare part wich I ordered in Oktober.
Title: Re: Manfrotto Repair: I thought I was buying from the best
Post by: 3kramd5 on May 02, 2013, 02:18:41 PM
Seems like the smartest thing is to buy gear made on the continent where you live.

So only people living in Asia should buy cameras? :P
Title: Re: Manfrotto Repair: I thought I was buying from the best
Post by: serendipidy on May 02, 2013, 04:38:04 PM
Seems like the smartest thing is to buy gear made on the continent where you live.

So only people living in Asia should buy cameras? :P

It's gonna be awfully crowded when we all move there ;D
Title: Re: Manfrotto Repair: I thought I was buying from the best
Post by: Skulker on May 02, 2013, 05:27:58 PM
I'm not sure Manfrotto is the best? I use it but I have never considered it the best.  :o


some of us really need our equipment. we can't twiddle our fingers waiting for a repair for months, free or not.

If my tripod was waiting for repair, free or not, I would not be missing photography.  ;) I would be getting a spare or borrowing one, it hardly seems that important.  8) BUT with crap service like that, free or not, the spare would probably be another make.  ;D
Title: Re: Manfrotto Repair: I thought I was buying from the best
Post by: Ripley on May 02, 2013, 05:34:02 PM
Customer support and repairs... the achilles heel of Manfrotto. And it's been like that for a long time. I haven't dealt with them recently, but I have several times in the past.