Luckily I think this happens enough that a phone call to HRO and they shipped out a new radio with a return shipping label. But I was without a radio I'd spent $$ for from Saturday until Wednesday.
Now that this 7100 is over 3 years old it failed again. I cannot get a call to Icom. I can talk to a receptionist who will setup an RMA for me. Estimated time and cost to repair: 3 weeks, $150.00.
So technically speaking for some reasons there is no Icom phone support either. You can certainly talk to some one to RMA it but that is about it.
There are Icom forums but nothing like this forum here.
I agree with Joe. Flex support has been great. Yes they want you to create a trouble ticket but if the problem is one that can be solved without shipping the radio back I believe they would rather do a call. You won't get that from Icom.
I realize I am not the authority on Flex radios but since my start with them in 2015 I have helped about 3 people either make sales decisions, setup questions, and even logged in via TeamViewer to help someone get things setup. I did this for free because I believe in the product and want people to be successful with it.
Tonight I was going to do a TeamViewer with a FRLogger user that was having issues but it turned out a reboot of his computer fixed his issue. Looks like the firewall was blocking things.
So that leads me to my point that many strange issues I've seen with my radio often are gone with a fresh restart. I leave my radio on 24/7 but I probably restart it about once a week or every two weeks.
All that being said, the Flex Radio line is not for everyone. I've run into a few hams that are so tied to their ways of operating knob radios that they just can't get their head around what the Flex is doing even if they have a Maestro.
Not saying these guys are dumb or anything like that but it is a new paradigm to operate a Flex Radio. What you used to do simply has to change.
Last year my 6400 started to behave oddly, odd noise on the spectrum. Videos and info exchanged with Flex over a week. Engineering couldn’t duplicate, field day was coming up. They sent me a new one, I returned mine. Field day was great.
Yeah, I’m a pretty happy customer.
Me too, I agree
I am an old user of Flex and when needed it I got always good support (recently for DAX configuration) with remote access to directly verify and modify what needed.
for new 6XX series, I was really disappointed of commercial politics of Flex (and I wrote many times about it) , but for support let me say, as always really good
On a couple reach outs I was out on an Island with varying levels of phone and/or internet at the time.
In every case I've gotten great support from FRS, and directly from FRS.
Problems solved by emails, my providing links I could use, and by phone.
I've had radios (and a PGXL and a Maestro) go in for development upgrades, PIN updates or because something broke - usually my fault) with great results.
FRS by beating expectations actually has raised the bar on themselves for support, and has provided pressure for other manufacturers to step it up.
If you have ever had to send in an IC-7800 (which now they ask you to send to authorized third parties), or a FT-1000/2000/5000, or in the day say a Orion II/Omni VI/VII/Jupiter, you learned all about patience.
- You learned that unless you read it on a ham forum you might not find out very much about the problem you were having, as the manufacturer wasn't saying much.
- You learned that there might be an unpublicized update/recall/PIN-like thing that unless you complained you weren't going to find out about.
- You learned that you were going to almost always pay for shipping.
- You learned about having very little idea when you radio might be sent back.
- You learned about having to push to get the full story of the repairs when it was fixed.
- You learned about the long extended wait for updated/replacement parts to be built/imported.
- And you learned that you might not even know what proportion of your repair would be covered under warranty until the end of the repair job.
None of these manufacturers offered "poor" service, as their interpretation was the ham marketplace didn't want to pay for more and was okay with the status quo.
FRS (and as mentioned a few other great firms) raised the standards. And our hobby benefits as a result.
I'm not so certain many of us can point to very many products we've bought where support FRS and the best of our hobby have taken their support to. Maybe avionics (some) or medical - but I'm not coming across it many places.
Does every system always work perfectly? Not usually. That is why the performance is measured, the metrics examined and benchmarked, and the system is tweaked.
That FRS is experimenting with some varied support-delivery techniques is fantastic. Seems they FRS team is not content to rest on their laurels, and wants to push harder at providing excellent support.
One thing I should add is FRS's support rates really high on effectiveness. Whether emails from a support ticket. being pointed at a prepared how-to-fix article or by phone, they get it done. I'm going to make the 11th phone call to the phone service provider (the first letter of their name is their grade in my book) in the last six months to sort out technical & billing issues with our move. I started logging the minutes on the phone with these folk, with over 250 minutes - more than four hours - wasted on the phone for the 75% resolution they have achieved during this six months. Would it be that FRS would teach these folks how to do real customer service!