Sharing an bad experience from a competitor

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  • Updated 1 month ago
I'd like to share with this community what heard in a QSO between a couple long time hams. Without giving out their callsigns which is inappropriate anyways, they were clearly very respectful to each other and to others on frequency and their topics. One was explaining how bad he feels for a very good friend who is currently having a very bad customer service experience with his Icom 7300. His 7300 was sent it in for service to the Icom service center in Washington, because the battery backup was failing and would not retain memory which caused a lot of other issues. Icom had told him they found another problem with his radio and the repair bill is just under $200 and told him they cannot fix the the battery backup issue, that is not covered by warranty and they do not service that problem, said it would be his responsibility. This elderly gentleman was so upset for his friend as money is very tight for him, Icom will not return the unit without the other bill being paid first. For a repair he did not authorize.
There was no reason for this story to be a fabrication as he was truly concerned for his friend.
I know this forum should not be used to bad mouth competition and that is not the intent of this post, but I think a little perspective on how competition treats it's customers is quite relevant to some recent discussion here. I should say, besides my Flexradios, I also own a Icom 7600 and a 7000, so I am not an anti-Icom person.
I have not had an Icom service experience but have had my 5000A RX2-ATU-VU5K in for service as there was a 2m PA issue that was promptly fixed and sent back. Also had very positive experience creating tickets and getting prompt solutions from Flexradio support.
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Mike - VE3CKO, Elmer

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Posted 1 month ago

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John KB4DU

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As we know, experiences vary. I was having trouble with my IC-7200, Sent it in to the service center. They said they could not find a problem, but updated the firmware, and sent it back, no charge, everything covered under warranty, It is still working fine. So my experience was good.
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Neil D Friedman N3DF

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Sounds very suspicious, as for out-of-warranty service Icom requires either customer pre-approval of a customer-determined maximum cost or it will only furnish a repair estimate to the customer before proceeding.  It does not fix radios and then hold them hostage to force the customer to agree to pay.  
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WW1SS - Steve

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If you email be the gentlemans info to my QRZ address I know Icom's National Sales Manager. I might be able to get him to look into this for the gentleman. I can shoot him an email
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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Several of the import radios use third-party repair techs - sometimes for specific models/problems, sometimes for load-balancing their workload or scheduling issues.  

I have had several radios (5000 and 6000) in for repairs/upgrades (some were Alpha things, some were things "i broke" and I often have FRS bench check my second hand purchases) at FRS.  I can give them kudos for consistently better communications, good turn around times, and the extra benefit of having a 6000 series undergo their automated test & align system checks.  

I'm not into bad mouthing the other manufacturers, so I'm not going to identify which ones, but experience has been pretty mixed.  Often the repair cycle was painfully long, and the only real communication was "we're done, need your CC to finalized payment and ship it back to you."  I'd been requested to arrange an international shipment to send a radio back to the mothership factory.  And I had "repaired" returned unrepaired.

What exactly is in their warranty and what is excluded can be a mystery, and seems to vary for reasons hard to ascertain.  

{EDIT troubles with the Get Stafisfaction editor this morning - so I'll end my comments here}
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Craig Williams

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All my experience with Icom service in the LA area has been excellent. They fixed our club repeater for no charge even though it was out of the warranty period.
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Mike - VE3CKO, Elmer

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It more sounded like a financial worry and not a gripe so to say, having to pay for something that he didn't ask for to be fixed and the issue it was sent in for will not be fixed. It wasn't a huge amount of money and sounded fair to me.