New Maestro sent back because it died during upgrade

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My new Maestro got bricked while performing software upgrade which suks but stuff happens. Glad my new 6600 still works! Anyways, I was told it had to be sent back to mommy which of course I had to PAY for return shipping so mommy can fix it under warranty. I pulled up the ticket to get a status : "Hi. I am sorry we are looking at the Maestro now and found that the Mic/speed encoder is bent. I found it running the production and functional tests. I believe it was damaged in shipping. Unfortunately this is not a warranty repair. The encoder is $75.96 and will be one hour of labor. I have to completely tear down the Maestro to replace it. Is this ok?"
I sent the unit back in the original boxes which in my opinion are UPS proof unless it gets run over by a truck.   
Obviously this was very upsetting to me when I read it and am waiting 4 my BP to drop back down. I use to run the production, testing and RMA's and never charged customers if the our product failed especially if it brand new and less than couple months old, but thats just me!
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N8AUM

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  • Biting my tongue

Posted 5 months ago

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Brian Morgan VK7RR/4

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As I read the response from Flex, the problem arose prior to you sending Maestro back to them and has nothing to do with your packing or UPS. The original fault looks like something got damaged  before then.
I have made a plastic case for mine so I can carry it on an airplane or anywhere else and reduce the risk of it being damaged. I know Flex have a softcase as an option but I am not sure how it would survive baggage handlers dropping it, whereas I hope my carry case is good enough to do the job. The mic/speed encoder sounds very much like mechanical or physical damage in which case I understand why Flex would not treat it as a warranty claim.
On the other side of the coin, my 6500 needed a set of fans last year and had to go back home for them to be fitted and for testing. I am full of admiration for Katie and the service staff for how quickly it was done and turned around. Travel from VK land is much more expensive and problematic than within the lower 48.
We bought a new car a few months back and the next day the windshield was broken when I went to go and needed replacing. These things happen to the best of us.
Good luck and enjoy your 6600.
Brian.
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Burt Fisher

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It will be interesting to see how this turns out.
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Lawrence Gray

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Seems like a poor policy to charge for what is apparently an inexpensive repair, particularly when the unit bricked during an update, causing it to require shipping back to Flex.

A different approach to customer relations:  My ACOM 600S had an issue, which appeared to be design related.  I spoke with the factory folks in Bulgaria.   They had me ship it back, completely updated it, and sent it back, at no charge to me.

I operated an electronics manufacturing company for several years.  We would never have charged a customer for the repair described above.  It is difficult to measure the customer goodwill generated by resolutely standing behind your products, even when the circumstances are questionable.

Larry, W1IZZ
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DAVID GRAY

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I hope Flex gets all this stuff ironed out.  I really like my 6500  and I have learned a lot from it.   I would buy another one 
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N8AUM

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Brian, can you send a pic of the case that you made ? 
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Brian Morgan VK7RR/4

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It is away on loan. I will try to remember to take a photo of it when it comes back. I have a friend who is using it but thinks he can make one that is better. Mine is not a thing of beauty but I used the styrofoam that the Maestro came in, to protect each side  of the Maestro during transport, if that helps
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HCampbell WB4IVF

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Did Flex say whether there was damage to the box?  In any case, I’d have them take pictures of the box/radio and then I’d submit a claim to UPS before authorizing repairs.  If UPS replies that the shipping box and packing does not meet their requirements, I’d go back to Flex with that information and see what they say. 

Howard

(Edited)
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Brian Morgan VK7RR/4

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Vidas, I sympathise with your situation. I like Howard's suggestion which might give you some argument about the physical damage to your Maestro. Wouldn't it be nice if we could find someone to make a sturdy carry case for Maestro that will fully protect it from all but the worst abuse. I don't want to try my home made case out too much but my Maestro has travelled to a number of countries and all parts of Australia and doesn't have a scratch on it.
Good luck with your retirement and I hope this works out for you,
73 Brian.
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Duane, AC5AA

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Regarding protection, Flex sells an acrylic (?) cover for the Maestro, which I purchased with mine - it is a hard plastic that would take a pretty good beating and destruction of the cover before damaging the Maestro.  If it were me, I'd give Flex a call and talk with someone there about whether it actually occurred in shipping based on the packaging condition, and then follow up with the shipper as suggested above. 
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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FRS is pretty fair.

If you had (insured) shipping damages, you can pursue that recourse.

If you really truly know you didn't do the damage (I recently sent in a Maestro for another ham who eventually admitted the units got a "coffee shower" and did a drop to the floor while on his desk, the touchscreen module had to be replaced) then chat with FRS about the issue.

Lining up community supporters one way or another when none of use have seen the damage first hand, nor the packaging (you did use the factory packaging, right?)  or had it on our bench isn't going to change the facts that it was damaged and needs repair.

Potentially the damage might have played a role in "bricking" the unit during upgrade, a phenomena the test program works very hard at preventing.  

GL and 73

Steve
K9ZW
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WW1SS - Steve

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UPS does not offer insurance on anything.

See, UPS doesn’t actually sell insurance coverage on the packages you ship. Instead, it sells “Declared Value Coverage,” which allows the shipper to make a claim for the full declared value of the package (up to $50,000), so long as the packaging meets UPS standards.

The lengthy UPS Terms document [PDF] even states, somewhere on page #35, that Declared Value Coverage is not insurance:

“When a shipper declares a value in excess of $100, it does not receive any form of insurance. Shippers desiring cargo insurance, all risk insurance, or another form of insurance should purchase such insurance from a third party.”

Of course, for as detailed and lengthy as the Terms of Service are, the document points back to the UPS website when describing what isn’t covered by Declared Value:

–loss or damage resulting from improper, inadequate or unsafe packaging or wrapping that fails to meet UPS’s published standards related thereto set forth in the Terms or at ups.com


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KF4HR

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Regardless of what its called, I've filed three claims with UPS over the years and as long as I had the UPS carrier note container damage, and during the claim process I'd send photos to UPS of the container damage, the claim was paid.
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WW1SS - Steve

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Unfortunately though it was something he sent so he does not have photo's of the damaged packaging I believe. Might be difficult without pics of physical damage.
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Harold Rosee

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On a new unit they ought to go ahead and fix it out of courtesy.  .That would be the right thing to do and would go a long ways in my book.
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Michael N3LI

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If the Maestro was damaged during shipping - as the tech suggested -  the proper course is to go through UPS, and not transfer costs to the customer or Flex.  
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N8AUM

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I forgot to ask what could have caused it to become bricked and now I am afraid of doing any upgrades to my 6600. Greta was kind enough to send me a pic of the bent encoder shaft. And stupid me didn't take any pics prior to getting it shipped off.
Here is the pic:

 
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Neil D Friedman N3DF

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I would suggest not letting your admittedly unhappy experience with the Maestro to prevent you from upgrading the software on your 6600 (a great choice and a great radio).  I, and thousands like me, have upgraded their 6600s over the past 1.5 years to version 2 and version 3 software (with several intermediate upgrades) without issue.  While you don't have to upgrade, I have enjoyed playing with the new features and enhancements.  I think periodic upgrades are one of the great features of Flex radios (my Drake TR3 was never upgraded in the 40 years I have owned it, unless you bought a new radio). 
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James Kennedy-WU5E

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I work for the US Army as a Radio Tech I was upgrading a PRC-150 HF radio and it brick on hitting the waveform card so crap happen to good equipment. the Commander had to shell out 19,500 for a new one.
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N8AUM

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I know " stuff happens" even with to the best of things, guess thats life hi hi. Anyway's, My 1st reply was short with a few not so professionally chosen words on my feelings but now it has been escalated for an additional review with Dan and he will let me know Monday on what he  decides to do. I thank you ALL for ur opinions and ideas. Have my fingers & toes crossed !!!

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Pat N6PAT

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I wish Flex would use FedEx. I sent my radio to them via FedEx and they're sending it back via UPS.

FedEx does offer insurance which I purchased
(Edited)
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WW1SS - Steve

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I believe they will if you ask. I have had several things shipped from them via fedex over the years.
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N8AUM

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I almost wanted to mark the the box with "caution, exploding contents enclosed" lol but UPS, FEDEX, USPS could care less. With the volume of shipping that goes on they know that not everything will make it one piece. The boxes and packaging that Flex uses should provide more than enough protection BUT theirs always some that dont survive the abuse just like my poor Maestro. Since I live out the sticks I order LOTS of things and cant believe the the condition of the boxes that I get. Its not like it use to be in the ol days when the shippers handled things properly. I would be very expensive to to use something UPS proof lol
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Pat N6PAT

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I have exotic birds and order bird seed from Amazon all the time. It always ships UPS and always comes all torn up. Sometimes the seed bag itself is ripped with seed all over the place.

The last time this happened I yelled at the driver to come back and see the damage. Clearly the box had been ripped open and poorly resealed. I said to the driver "Want to see what someone tried to steal at UPS" and I opened the box and showed him 20 pounds of birdseed.

He said the drug dogs at the UPS depot may have alerted on the bird seed causing staff to cut open the box. Happens almost every seed order.  What a mess!


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N8AUM

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I use to have a dog that loved onions LOL
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Duane, AC5AA

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This may or may not help for future reference.  I purchased the plastic cover for the Maestro when I bought my Maestro a few months ago.  They  packed them together, with the cover on.  Excellent additional protection.  Here's what one looks like since the picture on the web site is not that great.  
Edit to add:  It's a good, sturdy plastic, not flimsy or flexible at all.  Rubber dimples hold it on very securely via friction fit.   Hope this is useful to someone. 

    73, Duane
(Edited)
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N8AUM

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TNX Duane, might just order one after seeing ur pic, just wish it was a little more "see thru" and made using a clear plastic. I love the the way the Maestro looks and why hide it's beauty. TNX again 73 Vidas
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Duane, AC5AA

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I only displayed it with the Maestro turned on to make it a more interesting photo. I would normally not leave it on while in operation due to heat generated by the display. It seems to be more for protection while traveling or shipping, or dust reduction when powered off. At least that’s my approach to it.
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N8AUM

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Well TNX to Dan @ Flex, they will repair the damaged encoder at no cost to me !!!!
TNX you all for ur support and if you do have to send anything anywhere, TAKE LOTS OF PICS!!!
Cant wait to start playing with Maestro again!!!
73 N8AUM  Vidas
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Brian Morgan VK7RR/4

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Here are some shots of my Maestro case. The finished product is mounted in a polycarbonate case .
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N8AUM

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Very nice, looks UPS proof !  TNX for the pic!
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N8AUM

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Well, I FINALLY got my Maestro back !!! It was shipped to the wrong address so had to go back than re shipped with my correct address. To my surprise the box made it without getting destroyed going thru all the different shipping stops and transfers!
When I opened the box I found a nice surprise, Flex threw in the protective cover !!!  THANK YOU FLEX !!!