Flex too busy to talk to paying customer.

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  • Updated 9 months ago
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Credit card in hand, I called Flex today to ask a couple of quick questions and order a 6400M.  They were too busy to talk to me, so I gave them my number.  After two hours of no response, I called again, as I had to leave pretty soon.  No dice.  No one there to talk to a mere customer.  I cannot believe these people do business this way.  Unbelievable.  No wonder foreign companies are cleaning our clocks.  This never happened to me with Yaesu or Kenwood.
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Roger J. Buffington

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Posted 9 months ago

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Mike Presnell

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I'd give them a 2nd chance... with Dayton Hamvention just getting over on Sunday afternoon, their hair is still on fire, and would bet that most of their employees are not even home yet.
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Neil N4FN

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Did you realize that yesterday was the end of Dayton and that they are short staffed taking down the displays and travelling back today? I have found FLEX support to be nothing but outstanding and extremely responsive. Many manufacturers can take lessons from them.
Neil   N4FN 
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Scott Russell - N1SER

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Wow sorry to hear you couldn't get a hold of someone to make an order on a Monday right after Hamvention. I didn't realize Yaesu or Kenwood took orders directly over the phone either, or had a public forum where you could access tech support or the owner direct.
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Lewis Cheek

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I suspect most of staff is on road from Hamvention since it was over yesterday afternoon. Once it's over everyone has to pack up and leave. Have you ever been a vendor at one of these? You just don't cut out with rest of pack leaving. Vendors on edge have to leave first so trucks can gain access to inside locations.

It AIN'T fun for vendors. :)

Lew
N4CO
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Geoff - AB6BT

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I agree. I have manned booths at trade shows. The days are long and tiring.  It is anything but a vacation. Presumably they finally got some rest last night. Then off to the airport this morning. So today is a travel day. Heck I wouldn't blame them if they took tomorrow off for a rest.
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Roger J. Buffington

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I specifically asked if everyone was at a Hamvention or something and was told no.  Even so, shutting the whole company down for that seems like a pretty bad decision to me, but what do I know?  I'm a mere aspiring customer.
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Alan W4FBI

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Can't you order the 6400M on the Flex website?
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Bob WØVU

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That what I thought, no problem doing it over the internet.  Can get all the info there also!!

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Frank WA3NHK

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For chrissakes, there's no need to go non-linear.  Give the poor people a chance to unload the truck.  They warned the community last week that comms would be limited until they got back and had a chance to catch their breath.  They might still be on the road.
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Roger J. Buffington

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Who has gone non-linear?  Just totally amazed that the entire company is too busy to take an order or talk to a customer ("for chrissakes" -- who is going non-linear?).  And I asked if everyone was gone to a convention or something and they said no.
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Neil D Friedman N3DF

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Flex had a huge booth at Hamvention with many operating stations and a large staff to answer questions.  I twice sat down at a  station with a Flex technician and, over the course of 15 or 20 minutes each time, got all my questions answered and lots of additional advice.  In addition, the Thursday evening Flex banquet was great.
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Ron W4RDM

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I've had several questions answered from the community here.
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WW1SS - Steve

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I don't think the receptionist knows who is and who is not at hamvention. I suspect everyone is traveling back to Austin today. Patience . . . It will be worth the day wait.
I sent an Email to Matt last Friday and suspect I won't get a response till Tuesday or Wednesday.
No Biggie
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Roger J. Buffington

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OK, Matt at Flex just called, did a great job of answering my questions, and took my order.  Look, all they would have had to do is tell me there was a Hamvention and I did ask if there was anything like that going on.  I want to like this company and I voted for it by laying down about 3.5 Kilobucks for a 6400M, power supply, ATU, and dust cover, grin. 73 ... 
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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Congratulations!  Catch you on the air!

73

Steve K9ZW

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FRED W9TB

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RogerYou know now not to say anything bad about Flex here unless U are looking for a fight.
I know you will  be happy with you new 6400M. The Flex people are good people to deal with you won't be sorry.
 W9TB
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W2PP

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I agree with Roger, I've called the sales line and nadda, I've had to call back many times.  This delay is not a Dayton Hamvention one day problem at all.  Its hurting them and they need the feedback.  They also need to get more people on the sales lines.  Its fine to place an order on line, but, these are higher dollar items and you have questions.  DX Enginneering a a morning sells more stuff and you can easily get them, HRO or any number of other on line outfits on the line first time every time.
Again, this needs attention.
Peter
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Michael Walker, Employee

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Peter. Sorry that we let you down. I know you and I have talked many times and I always answer the phone when I see it ring and I am not on he phone with another customer including you. You know we never rush customers off the phone and do all we can to treat them right. Believe it or not I even answer the phone after hours as it rings in my ham shack. I’m not sure how many other vendors do that.

We had 20 Flex people at the Hamvention and we were pretty busy from start to finish for 3 solid days with a one on one experience.

Were else could you talk to the VP of engineering through to the FPGA programmer?

Anyway, I got home at 2am last night but we will catch up and return all calls.

Mike
(Edited)
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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@Roger - when you do connect with them they are straight shooters and the sort of nice folk you'd like to deal with regularly. 

Sorry you caught them when they are traveling and if the interest from Dayton is an indicator a bit overwhelmed as well!

The folk one speaks to at FRS are more than "order takers" as I've experienced a genuine concern for the customer.  That sort of "special touch" is hard to do and yes it does take time.

There are some obvious "growth pains" as the Flex-6000/SmartSDR offering has become widely adopted. 

Some suggestions for when you do get connected to someone in sales, make sure you ask about any accessories or little doodads that you might want to make your new radio really perform. Guess who didn't ask about adaptors when he bought a pair of Maestros (and I didn't even get a tee shirt for forgetting to ask!)

BTW if some of the questions are ones that the community can help with, you can ask here.  Also try searching the community (if you know how to do a Google Search limited to just the community website I've found that WAY better than the built in search engine).

Good luck, hang in there, and catch you on the air!

73

Steve K9ZW

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bahillen

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Roger and all not at Xenia,

The Flex booth at Hamfest for 3 days was the largest and best of any manufacturer. There were many operating stations with all their products. They had two sales order administrators.

I personally talked to Gerald 3 different times, very accessible, friendly and transparent. I talked to the VP of software for 10 minutes about software quality and the modern software tool that did not exist 5 years ago. Also talked to one of their software engineers for 5-10 minutes. Adriano IZ3EAT, VP Flex Radio Italia was very helpful spending 45 minutes on two days explaining the radio architecture to myself and another friend/potential purchaser. Dave WO2X demonstrated the PG XL from his remote station in New Jersey as well as a local amp at the Hamfest. Dudley of the service department explained what was the impact of the heatsink kit for the SCU and Windows 10 1803 release. Similar nightmare for HRD software.

There were Flex people all over the place. I gained a lot of information and education. More importantly I think Flex organization got great interaction with the amateur community. I didn’t see any design team members from other suppliers. I would have liked to have the time to talk to every Flex person at the show. Missed meeting Tim as he didn’t make the trip due to recovery from surgery as I understand.

My 6600 I received February 1 is a winner.
Great Hamvention, Flex Booth and fabulous Flex Team. Make plans to attend next year. It’s worth it.

73
Bill
W9JJB
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David Decoons wo2x, Elmer

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:-)
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Wayne

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Hopefully flex will give the largest hamfest in texas equal treatment come June this year in plano.
(Edited)
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W2PP

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Bill, I had a similar experience at the Flex Booth, very transparent.  But, I think its a little off topic. 

The OP and we can extrapolate safely I'd say, weren't there.  The face of Flex to most wasn't an in person contact but instead, the 800 number.  I repeat just the one point from above, shows go on all year and one can't expect the customer to know that, or be impacted by it.  Yep Flex did a very nice job at Dayton.  Still, however, they must balance the phones too.  Only a tiny tiny percent of the customer base either goes to shows or would have a notion about when they were.  

Peter
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Bill -VA3WTB

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I know it must be hard for Gerald to manage staff considering their needs, does he hire more staff? Peter, something many do not realize is that all the staff at Flex Radio wear more than one hat, some wear several in order to keep things moving.

This is a problem for such a small company when a huge show happens, it's all hands on deck, that means everyone.

I am sure if Gerald could have found a way to work around all the demands, he would have.

One thing you just purchased while ordering you radio is peace of mind knowing if anything goes wrong with your radio, and hopefully nothing does, Flex will have your back.
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W2PP

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Well I whole heartedly agree with you.  I have had problems, all operator error early on and they called and sorted ME out not the radio.  I feel very comfortable doing business with them and will again, many times I am sure.  
Peter
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Gerald - K5SDR, Employee

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Official Response
Roger,

I apologize that you were not able to reach anyone earlier today.  Our sales and customer service team did not get home from Dayton until around 1:00 AM this morning.  We had 20 people manning our booth over the weekend in Dayton and all had to travel home last night.  We had the largest contingent for any ham radio manufacturer or vendor in Dayton and we were all busy on both Friday and Saturday.  The phones are answered 24/7 but it may take a little longer for sales to respond to a message after all weekend major shows like Dayton.  Thanks for your patience as we catch up from the biggest show of the year.

73,
Gerald

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