Jump to content


Real face of MK-V Customer support

  • Please log in to reply
99 replies to this topic

#1 Tomas Riuka

Tomas Riuka

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 236 posts
  • Vilnius

Posted 25 May 2011 - 02:21 PM

I know this has been talked over again and again, but i fell in that s... hole and now have to deal with that. In order to help others, i suggest you watch two videos and read the story below:

Before all the info, i want to say that i AM NOT the guy who like this. I paid crazy big amount of money for the rig, half of which is loaned from the bank and I can't stand when people call me 'insane' or refuse even to talk that there is a problem. If i got a humane answer from mk-v something like 'Look, Tomas, we know there is an issue, we don't have the solution, let us help you in some way until we find it', i wouldn't have posted none of this. But now, sorry....

The story is this:
Before purchasing MK-V Nexus, i heard and read a number of complaints about bad MK-V customer support, to be specific - total lack of it and ignorance, but hey... i'm not that kind of guy, i always communicated to nice Rachael who would answer emails within hours, so i thought, well, maybe people got bad luck, all been good.

So I pay MK-V almost 20 000 Euros for a BRAND NEW top of the line Nexus V3+ HD (HD!!!!) sled , which is perfect! I mean I LOVE the design, funcionality.... hardware i mean... but not electronics.

This is the video problem i'm experiencing:

So would everyone know, this is a common issue. Alot of operators are having or had the same issue and they fixed it in a number of ways, but that is expensive, because you have to replace alot of cables, connectors , electronics. I will get mine fixed too, but i'm not a millionaire, who pays almost 20 000 euros for BRAND NEW HD (as advertised rig) and then pay extra to have it fixed! Either it's fixed either compensated by MK-V and then i remove this video and post that this has been solved in a mutual manner.

So i go on live TV broadcast (naturally with walkie talkie on me), my monitor is hooked up through COMPOSITE signal and at some moment when i'm on, somebody talks to me over the radio and guess what... image on the monitor goes off and i'm blind! that happened a few more times, so i decided to hook up monitor directly and i didn't have issues.

After that i had a number of shoots, i didn't experience any issues.

Then later, working with RED ONE MX, where i had to use wireless hd-sdi transmitter (at the bottom of the sled), I wire HD-SDI signal through the sled and guess what... everytime guy talks over the radio, image is OFF! Naturally, director is angry, cause light guys talk all the time setting the light!

I start communicating with MK-V about the issue and first emails i get is something like 'this is weird, we sold alot of nexus systems, none is having problems'. After a few more emails and details how was all connected, i get an answer:
* Your cables are bad (What???? these are MKV cables!!! aren't they HD-SDI certified??)
Then i receive another answer,naturally they can't say cables are bad, cause they are made by MKV:
* Your Transvideo monitor is faulty (Ok, i check three different monitors, all - same issue. Though the issue is gone, when monitors are connected directly!)
After saying that, i get another 'solution' which surprises me most:
* This is a common issue in the industry, every sled has this problem and i don't understand what i'm talking about.

This is a total LIE.

So after sending another frustrating email to MK-V saying that it's not related to any industry 'standards or norms' and that the problem is totally inside the sled, i keep getting silence and no answer (usual from Howard - he says everywhere 'email us' blah blah, but he never answers anything) I call Mk-V UK, Rachael, the same girl who was really nice all the time before purchase and you can hear the

call to MK-V UK:

Then again to remember what has been already publicly posted, i read that people are having same issues two years ago, or even more, but i thought 'well, by now it should have been fixed for sure!!!'.

I was wrong.

I am posting this for every future MK-V possible buyer to know what is the real situation with their 'customer service'. People warned me, but i didn't believe them and now it's too late.

Don't get me wrong, i like MK-V gear very much - design, hardware, it's great! But treating customers who spend that much like idiots, that is not a good way to go, sorry.

Hopefully this will help potential customers make better decisions than I did.

With all best intentions, Tomas..
  • 0

#2 James Davis

James Davis

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 636 posts
  • London

Posted 25 May 2011 - 02:40 PM

An extreme lack of professionalism, absolutely disgraceful.

Assuming everything you've said is true,I would seek legal advice, look at getting a refund on your sled, you have been sold goods which are not fit for purpose, the equipment does not perform as specified, in the required working environment.
Maybe consider handing some money to people like Optical support who offer absolutely SUPERB customer service, and pick up something from Steadicam or ProGPI.
Whatever you need to do to distance yourself from a company like MKV.
  • 0

#3 Tomas Riuka

Tomas Riuka

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 236 posts
  • Vilnius

Posted 25 May 2011 - 02:50 PM

As i said, i'm not the guy to wants to fight. I have all the emails (which are really short from Howard) and I do not have any intention to do any harm or whatever. I do not intend to scam or lie, only to tell the truth. I earned that 20 000 euros bloody hard, to be exact, LOANED from the bank and i can't loose the equipment now, because i have a number of jobs planned.

Yet to say, i live in small country of Lithuania, where average salary is 3x less than EU average, so paying that almost 20 000 euros for me is like 60 000 euros for average European, so you can imagine, how frustrated i am with this kind of service.

I have just found out also, another problem, that my gimbal bearing is not centered perfectly. When i balance the rig and rotate it 180 degrees, side to side balance is off. I do not have any hopes that MK-V will take of that. Even if they say they are, I can't send the rig in for unlimited amount of time and loose money which i have to pay bank, so it's either MK-V replaces it with the new sled and i send back the one i have and solves the issues (hardly unlikely), either refunds all money and i order another sled.

Also, as mentioned i like rig, if only it functioned properly...

p.s. The '500 emails' Rachael is talking is partly true, we exchanged probabaly around 200-300 email within a few months BEFORE i bought the rig, because it was all before i tried rig in real life, so i had millions of questions regarding pricing, different options sled base choice etc.
  • 0

#4 William Demeritt

William Demeritt

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 1043 posts
  • Los Angeles, CA

Posted 25 May 2011 - 03:23 PM

I learned to stop sending 200-300 emails to GPI when Ashley put me in a head lock and made me promise to stop calling. Sorry, just trying to lighten the mood. :unsure:

That's really just incredible. I've worked in customer support before in my past life, and I've never understood how the support provider can get into a place where they think it's helpful, necessary or appropriate to yell at a customer (and I used to change passwords for a living, can you imagine my expression when people asked me how to spell their new password "abc123"?).

I hope this situation gets righted for you, Tomas.
  • 0

#5 Martin Hawkes

Martin Hawkes

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 33 posts

Posted 25 May 2011 - 03:41 PM

Hi Tomas,

This must be extremely frustrating for you!

This forum has some long threads where many respected ops have expressed their disdain for the MK-V customer service. I believe that there was talk of these radio disruptions on the forum not too long ago. It appears that MK-V would rather collect your money knowing full well there are issues and then deal with "problematic" clients as they turn up. At this point you should really go to England and deal with them in person. Either they fix it or give you your money back. If there are a number of people with this same issue they are going to be swamped and will be dealing with those who are closest to them - normal people won't shit where they eat.

Thanks for sharing the info. Stay cool- you are in the right!

Good luck.


  • 0

#6 Henry Gelhart

Henry Gelhart

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 101 posts
  • Florida and Germany

Posted 25 May 2011 - 04:06 PM

This is really incredible! Especially in our smallish Steadicam community. I think Steadicam (and everything associated with it) is supposed to be a trustful and friendly business. And most of the time it really is!

But this is very sad and as James said extremely unprofessional.
Hope you'll figure everything out quickly and good luck!

  • 0

#7 Mike McGowan SOC

Mike McGowan SOC

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 610 posts
  • Miami, Florida, USA

Posted 25 May 2011 - 04:59 PM


First, I want to say that I have no first hand experience with any MK-V product so I have no first hand information about this issue..... But I have now heard from a few owner operators that have had similar issues with MK-V's customer service.

I also do not know the exact circumstances that prompted the phone conversation you put on YouTube but I can say that based on what I have heard, they really do need to work on their customer service. I can see how she would be frustrated having to 'deal' with your persistence but what she seems to miss is that her job is to service you and to see that your are satisfied, regardless of the situation.

I have owned 2 complete PRO rigs including vests and arms since 1998. I have had a hand full of technical issues caused by me, other faulty equipment (not made by GPI) or things that just stopped working for whatever reason. BUT, in every case, GPI and their staff went out of their way to make sure whatever problem I was having was resolved. They have even gone so far as to give me the home number of George so I could call him on a weekend to have him help me solve an issue I was having. I happen to think that the PRO equipment is totally kick ass but even if I didn't their customer service alone would be reason to continue to buy their products.

Based on what I have seen and heard, I don't think I would buy an MK-V sled if it was made of solid gold and only cost ten bucks. My PRO equipment has made me a lot of money over the past 14 years and a big part of my success is due to their customer service.

My 1.5 cents.
  • 0

#8 Jens Piotrowski SOC

Jens Piotrowski SOC

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 1624 posts
  • Los Angeles, CA

Posted 25 May 2011 - 05:04 PM

i can smell a class action lawsuit.....

there is an easy fix for the future, please stop buying the their products.......
  • 0

#9 Erik Brul

Erik Brul

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 442 posts
  • Almere, The Netherlands

Posted 25 May 2011 - 05:34 PM

i can smell a class action lawsuit.....

there is an easy fix for the future, please stop buying the their products.......

First of all, i'm not a MK-V equipment owner, had some contact with Howard in the past (even a couple weeks ago for price info about those new upgrades for old skool rigs) but these contacts never resulted in buying stuff. Maybe that is just because i'm a 'poor' parttime operator and don't have enough cents to spent ?

Sadly enough, this is just a continuous soapstory since early 2008/2009 with really bad actors.
3 years ago Howard screamed from the roof, the new HD-SDI V3 system is here:

-MK-V announces the new HD-SDI V3 J & D-Box system.
-MK-V has the ALL New V3 electronics system on line.
-The V3 system has new and improved Video DA electronics, up the post tally and HD-SDI.
-As well as the standard: 12v & 24v, SD Video and AR comms lines.

A lot of ops were ofcourse thrilled.. and soon pissed because of wiring problems, powerloss problems, signal problems like HD-SDI etc etc..

I hope for you Tomas it will be sorted out. MK-V could for start sent you a replacement Sled which is really working (i doubt that to be honest)
and get the situation fixed for all those other operators outthere with simular technical difficulties..

Hopefully the soapstory ends now and will not go on for so long as the world turns..
  • 0

#10 Thomas K. Jensen

Thomas K. Jensen

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 150 posts
  • Denmark, Europe

Posted 25 May 2011 - 05:51 PM

I'm so sorry for you Tomas.
This behavior from MK-V is totally unacceptable.

It's justt like when I bought a used car, and after a month the gear box suddenly died.
When the car dealer got it in for repair on the 6 months warranty, he didn't do anything about the problem, and he didn't answer the phone.
And after 4 months without a car (and I just had a baby then) we finally got the car back, after threatening the car dealer with all sorts of things.
So I totally know how you feel.

Hope you find a solution to the problem, without spending a lot of money.
And like many others - I now know, that I will not buy anything from MK-V.

Best of luck.
  • 0

#11 Ken Nguyen

Ken Nguyen

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 239 posts
  • California & Viet Nam

Posted 25 May 2011 - 05:53 PM

I dealt with Rachael and Howard more than a dozen times.
They both were nice.
No, not really!
I should rephrase. They were VERY nice.

I had the same video break up likes yours.
If you could post the problem in the forum, you would have the answer already.

If you ask other steadicam manufacturers, you might not get a different answer than MK-V!
The first answer was "the bad cable" is the right one.
If you would listen to them then change your cable, you could solve your problem already.
No manufacturer has the time and the money to test their system with all the kind of accessories and gadgets we are using with the system.

Last year, I work on a show having the same camera and intercom system like yours.
When I saw the problem, I though it was the PRO sled (first time using it for video work)
So I switched to my Master sled, the same thing happened.
Changed the monitors, same thing!
Then, I set it up on my running rig, which is simple w/o HDSDI connection.
At then, when connected the HD-SDI cable from camera directly down to the monitor, the problem is gone!
I found out that it was the cable.

The spaghetti size cable is not very well shield.
HD-SDI signal is very sensitive.
This is the cable most of us used.

The cigarette size cable is better shield, so it won't be interfered by walkie-talkie signal.

Not yet, one more discover!
Motorola model CP040 is an aggressive signal interference device.
Model CP200 is better, which most productions use.

Ken Nguyen.
  • 0

#12 chris bangma

chris bangma

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 316 posts

Posted 25 May 2011 - 06:31 PM

This is actually a fairly common problem. The HD-SDI signal is a very sensitive signal. You MUST use HD cables everywhere in the system, or you will have problems. What many people fail to realize is that HD-SDI behaves like an RF signal, since it is running 1.5ghz. This requires that you have properly shielded cables, and proper bnc connectors as well. With composite, you were able to get by without using shielded coax cable in the steadicam post, but with HD-SDI it will not work. To my knowledge the XCS sled is the only one with HD coax in the post. The new Pro may have it as well, but I am not familiar with that sled yet. One workaround is to add a reclocker just before the monitor. This will clean up the signal, and reduce the dropouts.
  • 0

#13 Charles Papert

Charles Papert

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 2208 posts
  • Los Angeles

Posted 25 May 2011 - 06:47 PM

Regarding re-clocker--a great unit is the Decimator MD-RDA, which re-clocks and distributes 6 HD-SDI outputs. List is $435.

(yes, I sell them, but I'm only mentioning it here if this is a solution that can help folks--please buy from whichever Decimator dealer is most convenient for you!)

  • 0

#14 thomas-english


    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 1163 posts
  • UK

Posted 25 May 2011 - 07:40 PM

I use proper chunky and short HD cables when I place my decimator at the bottom of my sled. I had the same problem when I was using skinnies. I went to lenghs trying to fix it, tried chunkies and that seemed to work. I've now reverted anyway to putting the decimator at the top again.

Chris, will your new monitor contain a re-clocker? This is essentially like a Time Base Corrector. Nice...
  • 0

#15 Mike McGowan SOC

Mike McGowan SOC

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 610 posts
  • Miami, Florida, USA

Posted 25 May 2011 - 07:56 PM

It seems to me that if the solution was as simple as using different cable, the company that just sold him a 20k+ rig might just send him the correct cable? More over if (as it seems it is) the problem is with every rig and can be fixed so easily, wouldn't they just fix it? I mean from a business stand point if Thomas is not the first customer to have this problem wouldn't the company want to avoid it in the future?
  • 0

PLC Electronics Solutions

GPI Pro Systems

PLC - Bartech

Boland Communications

Camera Motion Research

Ritter Battery

Paralinx LLC


rebotnix Technologies

Varizoom Follow Focus

Omnishot Systems


Wireless Video Systems


Betz Tools for Stabilizers