I felt the need to post my experiences with the crew over at Teradek. Wow, these people have it together. I purchased the Bolt slightly used off the forum and decided to have it sent in for servicing because of the battery problem some people were having.
Sent it in last Thursday for the free upgrade (they pay for shipping both ways!).
Hadn't heard back from them so I decided to call in today and see what the status was because I picked up a last minute job in D.C. which starts on Monday. They said they were waiting on parts and that was the slight hold up.
This has got to be the best communication and service I may have ever experienced on any level with anything.
Not only did they move my unit to the front of the cue, but they also guaranteed delivery by Saturday. Whew, no need to find a replacement.
The email confirmations and the communication over the phone was excellent, and as long as their product holds up they have a customer for life in me.
As a prospective buyer, it's good to see these reports of satisfaction. But I can't help my take-away being that there was a delay and you were not informed until contacting them to ask.
I've seen the unit, I've seen it work, and I'm overall pleased with its size and performance. With their presence on the forum and with some comments from owners I really do believe they are trying to provide good customer service, and I appreciate and am encouraged by that.
But based on some reports (including yours) and witnessing a debacle another operator had to deal with, I'm concerned that perhaps they are not equipped to handle the volume of orders/service they are dealing with. That's speculation to be sure. I'm just trying to rationalize the good reports with the bad.
Whatever is causing the delays and mixups I hope it gets resolved. Knowing my luck I'd be one of the customers hit with problems.
That's a good point. Perhaps if Teradek was able to create a cue watch to see where your unit was in the mix... that would help with the anxiety. Or an email update as to where in the cue you were and approximate date it would be sent back. That may be the only thing I would change about their whole system right now.
They are definitely trying and for me that goes a long way. It is quite possible they are not able to handle the volume, but I tend to believe them when they say they were waiting on parts.
If I sent it out last Thursday (I am East Coast), they got it probably Saturday via Fedex. Maybe they would have looked at it Monday? Tuesday? I don't know. They obviously aren't going to be transparent when it comes to volume, they don't want to scare anyone if that is the case.
I do know this....where can you send a unit out for upgrade for completely free (even the shipping)? They really don't have to do that. That also goes a long way showing me they back up their products.
I've no doubt they were honest about waiting on parts, my concern was that you said you were not informed of what you described as a delay until you called to check. Now you're saying it might not have been a delay. That's great to hear. My impression from your first post was that Teradek admitted it was taking longer than you were originally told.
Mike at Teradek let me use one at NAB for a short time and even in that absolutely mega-saturated RF environment it performed very well out to about 75-100 feet which doesn't set any records but there was so much RF coming out of nearly every booth my "nuggets" were getting warm. It was not able to hold a signal around the blocked back corner out of sight-line but again this is a tough venue.
I spoke with Mike at length about his posts and related posts on the Forum and thanked him for paying attention to our little subgroup here. He explained the company has gone through some growing pains as all companies do and that they are making every possible attempt to improve products, design and service. He seemed sincere, dedicated and authentic in his commitment.
Adam, of course none of us have a choice when our equipment needs repair but any time NAB and to a lesser degree CineGear is going on, all of these companies have virtually every resource and human in the company focused on the shows. Getting emergency service during NAB is a real plus so good on you and them.
I do like the size, signal and the price. If I had my choice I'd have the Boxx and likely will eventually. However, as I kit-out the new PRO Cine Live package over the next few weeks I may look at the Bolt to add to my collection of transmitters. Over the next year, I'll be rolling out a new rental program for rigs and AKS to known and aspiring operators and I suspect there will be a some Bolts in that rental fleet.
I had the same situation as Adam did. Shortly after Teradek made the announcement about the upgrade I sent out for the shipping info. I sent my Bolt to them during a time that I didn't have anything on my calendar. Well, just my luck, three days after sending it off I got a call for a job out of town the next day.
I called up a couple resources for other transmitters but none were available, so I called up Teradek. They told me mine was at the shop and that there were several others ahead of mine. I told them my situation and asked if it was possible to push mine to the front of the line and said I would pay for the rushed over night shipping. They came through for me without any problems and better yet they went ahead and payed for the rush delivery and it arrived at my hotel 30 minutes before call time.
I couldn't have asked for anything better, and the Bolt works really well. Great product at a great price with great customer service. A++
They seem to be getting better with their repair /upgrade turn around, this is great to hear. It's because of this very issue ( Not calling/contacting to say they did not ship a replacement as promised) that I switched to Paralinx, but I'm glad they're improving. Every company has it's growing pain. It seemed like a great product.
my Bolt has been back to Teradek 2 times so far for upgrades. First time for some type of RF leakage issue that was reported in Europe for a board replacement. Second time for a new power board for upgrade to 28v. Both times the work was done in a day and fedexed back at their expense. Second time i needed it quickly and it was sent priority. Top notch customer service. And I have been experiencing great results with the unit. Video playback tech and DIT even says it has a cleaner looking signal than the Boxx.
Got the exact opposite , just got my Bolt after waiting almost 3 weeks for it with no communications but the one from FEDEX stating it had been accepted at TERADEK .
I reached customer service last week, they responded very fast telling me they would check up and get back to me ...wich they never did. Then 4 days later, I sent another mail and while I was pressing "SEND", FEDEX knocked at my door with my unit.... WTF...
At least I have my unit back. Great device , poorest communications. To the point I am struggling not to buy anything else from these guys... if the future Paralinx HD-SDI upgrade is solid, i'll go back in a heartbeat to the stellar service I had from Dan at Paralinx.
I've only had one experience with Teradek's customer service, and that was the morning I had an issue with it on set. The internal battery was dead, it kept faulting the Anton Bauer batteries on my sled, and I was unable to recharge it over the 2-pin LEMO (either PTAP cable or AC to 2-pin LEMO). I called them at 7:30AM, never heard back until I called them around 10AM that morning (no return of my voicemail for the hour they were in the office).
I explained the situation and walked through all the steps I'd taken, and they suggested a few basic troubleshooting techniques. When those didn't work, they suggested I just send it back... while I was on set. The person I was speaking with didn't sound too proficient with the equipment, and seemed to be working off a script.
I'm certainly happy that the unit is performing well for some people, as I'd hate for anyone to look bad on set because a piece of gear was malfunctioning. However, with regards to Lawrence's experiences, sending a unit back to the factory twice when it was released 4 months ago? In my book, that's not a great track record.
Wow, now I'm paranoid. Hope nothing goes wrong on Monday. The power upgrade should have taken care of everything.... I hope. I think I spoke with the same person when I called both times. May be the only person they have working the phones? Interesting thing about these companies is that they rely on their parts suppliers to provide them with quality parts. Sounds like they may have had some faulty parts. Same thing happened to my Samsung flat panel when the capacitors went only after a few years of use. These products are only as good as the companies supplying the parts and those suppliers can change from year to year. Nothing is guaranteed these days so when I receive great customer service with a product, it helps. Your right William, that will not help when I'm on set. I'm just hoping Teradek has figured it out. It looks so far after this last update they have.
Same thing happened to my Samsung flat panel when the capacitors went only after a few years of use.
Deterioration following years of use is to be expected. I've had bad experiences with 2 different units since it was released in December.
This thread isn't about competitors, but I'll say this once in peril derailing: do you know how many times I've had my Paralinx Arrow malfunction, fail to transmit a simple task any other transmitter could perform, or require being returned to the manufacturer?
Zero. Since it was released last summer, zero need for servicing or repair for quality control or parts issues. No gratis "upgrade", no QC replacement, nothing.
In my opinion, the zinger is that in their guts, the Paralinx Arrow and the Teradek Bolt have the same brains. It's the engineering of the equipment once those brains are under the roofs of the respective manufacturers and assembled into the respective creatures, Arrow and Bolt. To me, that indicates a quality of goods created by the respective companies, in that each take the same parts, package and sell them in a product. One has very few negative experiences (and the forum seems to reflect the same lack of issue I've had), but it's only HDMI (for now). The other has HD-SDI, but seems to have numerous issues.
I'll take the confidence of functionality over the hopes for ease of use (when usable).