Does Flex still have an Tech Support phone line?

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  • Question
  • Updated 1 year ago
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Does Flex have a Tech Support phone line or are they exclusively using email Trouble Tickets now? 
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KF4HR

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Posted 1 year ago

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Rick Wykoff

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Trouble tickets and they reply real quick.
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Alan KB5CUS

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Between here, the community , Facebook, & the trouble ticket, which is very effective & fairly quick. I just don't know where you can get any better high quality support.
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Lawrence Kellar KB5ZZB

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I wish they would bring the phone support back. I miss Dudley
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Dudley - WA5QPZ, Elmer

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Thanks Lawrence, Dudley
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Bill W2PKY

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Dudley-
Enjoy your retirement days. Had a very helpful conversation at the dinner.
73;
Bill
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Alan KB5CUS

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Gonna miss ya there Dudley...  Have a good time..  If you have a pile of Round-to-It's like I do, you'll be awful  Busy...  LOL  or ( Honey Do's )
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Steve

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I just wish they would FIX some of the long standing reported problems
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Alan W4FBI

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like what?
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KF4HR

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Issues when selecting 2M comes to mind (6700).
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KF4HR

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Thanks for the replies.  I'd like to see phone support return too.  Considering how much I have invested in Flex, not being able to reach someone on the phone is disconcerting. 

Also a friend (WB0AOD) and new Flex owner had his 6600M fail several days ago.  He submitted a Trouble Report last week and he's anxiously waiting on a response.    
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Watts - K4QJZ

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If the ability to talk with tech support is truly gone then that is an unfortunate move on Flex’s part which will leave a bad impression in the Ham community and risks their competitors twisting and using against them. While the community site Is a great resource, it’s not a substitute for direct communication with a person who is empathetic to the users frustration with a problem.
One of Flex’s many strengths is its people and there personal communications with their users. As Hams we clearly like talking with folks and enjoy learning via those communications. We don’t get the same experience by communicating via Email.
Watts
K4QJZ
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Flex company has not commented on this yet.
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Gene - K3GC

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A warm human being is important - Dudley you are sorely missed.  A very high percentage of issues can be quickly handled by a live support person.

The remainder can be handled via help desk and they do a great job but the help desk should be an enhancement not the only option.

Back in the day before I discovered Flex I received excellent support from Yaesu - just saying.
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roger na4rr

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Greg gone, now Dudley ,  FRS may as well close up shop and move to China or maybe they have.
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Jim K4JAF

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Trouble tickets have worked fine for me in the past with fast responses.  Just keep response time to a minimum, nothing worse than having a radio inoperable and waiting days on a return call.
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Official Response
We understand that you would like instant access to a support tech by picking up the phone and calling FlexRadio, but this is no longer feasible due to the increased number of users, the number of support resources we have available and achieving the internal service levels for addressing customer support needs in a timely manner.

The Community is to facilitate assistance for users by users.  And occasionally a FlexRadio employee will provide some assistance to answer questions or to clarify misinformation.

We have a support ticketing system (aka "HelpDesk") and we process the incoming support requests in a FIFO (first in, first out) manner by directly interacting with the customer.  The problem with taking unsolicited phone calls for support is that if you do not have an existing ticket and /or you want an issue resolved immediately you are essentially breaking line in front of everyone who has followed the policy and entered a HelpDesk ticket.  This is not fair to those people already in the support queue. 

And I suspect if you were in the queue and your ticket was not serviced or your resolution was delayed because someone was taking up a support engineer's time answering an unsolicited phone call, you would not be happy about your support issue being preempted either.

When we need to call a customer to facilitate a resolution to their issue in the least time possible we do so.

We have to maximize our resources to provide issue resolution so that we can service as many support incidents as possible in a business day.  Our studies have shown that when providing unsolicited telephone support, it takes 2-4 times longer to come to a resolution that it does using the HelpDesk's email system if a call was not required to facilitate a resolution.  It isn't sustainable to be 200% less efficient in the way we provide support services and meet our service level targets.

Since we have stopped taking unsolicited inbound phone calls, our weekly support backlog has been reduced by 150% which means we are resolving more issue per unit time by a significant margin.
(Edited)
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ricky

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this is why my new flex in is the box for sale you can call yaesu and TALK to a real person and it only takes about 20 min 
so yaesu ft5000 back on desk and first and last flex in the box going to next ham fest
(Edited)
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Bill -VA3WTB

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I'm sure, that's silly...
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Johan / SE3X

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Your loss, someone elses gain
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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Except possibly for instant gratification I never understood why anyone would want to waste 20 minutes talking to tech support when I could accomplish the same thing in less than a minute by sending an email.

In fact, most tech support lines put you on hold for 19 of the 20 minutes before you get to anyone to answer that 1 minute question

On The Other Hand there are computer challenged people who should never own a Fles and need continued 20 minute tech support sessions every time they try to turn it on.

Other than that, if you read the manuals and search this community , I can’t imagine needing much help with the Flex to get it going OK right out of the box.
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Johan / SE3X

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Think key word is .. RTFM .. Read that f.. Manual. 
(Edited)
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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RTFM = Read The Flex Manual
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Johan / SE3X

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Tnx Tim .. why didn't I think of that? Guess I've been working to long with computers where they are those " F .. manuals "   :)
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Tim VE6SH

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When I was in law school we had a notorious professor who expected you to have read all the material before you set foot in class. If you did not know the answer to a posed question or asked a question which you should have known because it was in the material he would hurl the offending piece of legislation at the hapless student with the exclamation the answer was "in the f..... act". Crude, but effective. Although, I doubt you could get away with that now!

Tim VE6SH

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ricky

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ok you say read the manual lets see nope it does not say anything about why flex has ex display on back of radio and the screen is side ways when you turn the radio on but I could call yaesu and get this worked out
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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This is a software issue that was resolved in SmartSDR v2.2.8. (defect #5989)
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Lin N4YCI

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The owners and management have made a business choice to not respond to phone calls directly.  While I can understand this I am sure some will not and will take their ball and go elsewhere.  This does not make those persons wrong it just means that FRS is not a good fit for what they want in a radio MFG.  I personally tried to contact one of the big 3 radio MFG regarding an issue and I did get good customer service via phone and another who I did not.

While this may reduce the support ticket backlog increasing the staff also accomplishes the same task and results in better customer service all around.  Of course this costs money and time.  When the user base goes up this means the sales are up so normally one tracks the other, but this does not always translate linearly as there is a serous tallent issue involved with tech support of such a complex product.  You cant just hire an EE off the street right out of UT or Texas A&M they also need to be a ham.

If industry expectations are for some people to pick up the phone and that is what people want then they need to buy from firms who provide that service.  There are some customers who don't want to call there are others who do.  Those who don't have their expectations met will be market forces that move away.  This is a free market economy and basic ECON 102.

I am currently buying a car from Tesla and I see parallels between the two companies FRS.  Both on the cutting edge, both with great designs, both in a learning curve of how to be a growing company.  FRS should take this as a compliment BTW.  I have tried for weeks to get an email response regarding installing a VHF UHF radio from Tesla nada.  Finally called the local service center and received a call back in <2hrs from the head mechanic who had already sent an email to engineering and received a response.

This is a business choice by FRS for better or worse.  I experienced the great phone support and thought that was what I was going to get with my purchase.  I have a current hardware issue that had no official response on the forums in 48hrs.  so I will open a ticket and see how that goes.  I can just say this as a business owner myself it is better to communicate service changes and be transparent rather than have customers expectations not met.  IMHO I would have put out a statement regarding the change not just made the change.  Just my opinion based on 9 years of owning my own company.
DE N4YCI since 1990 and Co-Owner Clear Quality Group since 2009
Hopeful Tesla 3 owner July 21st 2018 delivery date :)
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Mike - VE3CKO, Elmer

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Tim's response says it all and Howard, always good advice.  Starting the support process via the online ticket has many advantages. It forces the person to think through the issue and document it. The more information provided, the better chance of a faster resolution. It is far more efficient than someone on the phone trying to decipher your problem then writing it down, things can get lost in translation. I bet some tickets were even cancelled by the person creating the ticket because during the documenting process they realize they forgot to do this or that or something silly. I know this for a fact cuz it's happened to me. Started a ticket, listing out the symptoms and what I had tried and then remembered I thought I tried something, but actually did not fully complete the test. So ended up not completing the ticket, as I resolved the issue myself. So I only wasted my time. If I were to have called Flexradio and after a half hour realized, opps my mistake, sorry, I not only would have made a fool of myself, but I would have wasted their time and would have taken valuable resources away from a customer who really needed support.
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Ken - NM9P

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On top of that, FRS has set up this community, and a large group of experienced “Elmers” to assist others who may not need to go “all the way to the top” with a Help Desk ticket. This serves as a kind of triage that doesn’t waste the time of Customer Experience and Service Techs with simple operator error questions.

This prevents time wasting exchanges like
“Q: I get no power output on SSB...”.
“A: Do you have your mic plugged in?”
“Q: Yes.”
“A: Do you have that Mic input selected in the control panel?”

Oops.....
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Bill -VA3WTB

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It may be not long when other Ham radio companies follow suit. Phone based help is not so effective. You may be able to take 10 calls a day, but with the help desk you may have 20 or 30 tickets on the go all the time, and most problems are solved here on the community anyways.
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K4MT

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I did help desk and your comments show lack of knowledge on normal help desk jobs. If we did 10 per day we would have been on the street.

Our phone service was very effective and you cant always find the facts by putting it in writing. Many times during a phone conversation one small piece of information that seemed to be  insignificant ended up being the problem.

I have owned several Flex radios and like their operation but the money I was saving for a new one will go to another company.
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Since this question has been answered definitively and those who are making a buying decision solely on whether or not you can call and immediately talk to a tech support engineer have expressed their opinions as well, I am inclined to close this post.  We encourage everyone who has an issue and requires support from FlexRadio systems use our HelpDesk or call in and our receptionist will create a ticket for you. Thank you.
(Edited)

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