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Gather round, let me give y'all some free advice

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#1 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 01 July 2009 - 01:05 AM

Last year I switched to a Preston Follow focus after having a Scorpio for 10 years. While the Scorpio was a great unit getting it serviced was a pain. The best service in North America is in Burnaby Canada at David Hable's Cramped Attic Technology. The pain for me was shipping the unit out, not just out but to Canada out. Customs had to be dealt with each time, meaning even a simple repair was a three day out of service and that's if the customs paperwork was filled out correctly.

Today the difference of shopping locally was really driven home. Yesterday my first came to me because he was having an issue with the power switch on the my HU3, I told him to call Preston and see if they might have a field repair idea or if we need to send it in. The answer was to send it in. So this morning at 10am my HU3 left set thanks to Transpo and they ran it down to Preston and dropped it to them at 11am. At 2pm it was done, come pick it up. At 4pm the HU3 was back on our set, repaired and updated, not only was the power switch repaired but they also replaced the OLED display and the three buttons below the display.

Allow me to restate this. What was once a three DAY repair, is now a three HOUR repair. Plus now it's in trusted hands 100% of the time, no freaking out about shipping.

So in the future when you hear an old timer say "Buy Locally" think about the hassles you will be preventing and the peace of mind you are buying.
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#2 Matteo Quagliano

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Posted 01 July 2009 - 03:21 AM

That's a very good point. I have just to figure it out how to reach LA and make a living over there. Just kidding. But if you're extra US as I am what you experienced it's the normal reality. And sometimes can drive you crazy. I was almost missing a job for a vest that was not showing up at the scheduled time. Lukily (?) the job was cancelled. But the post was guaranteing friday for delivery instead they show up monday morning (the job was during week end and a good fellow op was borrowing just in case).
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#3 Charles Papert

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Posted 01 July 2009 - 12:25 PM

It's a very good point. I've had any number of Preston repairs done in an astonishingly short period of time, very often where the driver can just wait and bring the part back on the same trip. Even when out of town once we had a loaner unit shipped counter to counter and were back up by the end of the same day.

Another thing to add is that going with gear that is common amongst your fellow local operators is helpful in case you have a super-emergency and need to borrow. This Forum has been invaluable to me for those times, I post a request and someone comes to my aid in a heartbeat. Obviously for the folks here who are not in LA this is a bit more challenging but we do hear stories from other countries where operators are more competitive and maybe they can take a page from our book...the guy you help one day may save your bacon the next time around.
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#4 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 02 July 2009 - 01:34 PM

I had a small problem about two years ago with my HU3. This was an all steadicam day, so I couldn't afford to be without my HU. I called Preston and sent transpo to the shop. Preston sent out a loaner unit for me while they fixed mine and I picked it up the next day. No down time at all.
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