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#1 Yuri Kawana

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Posted 03 June 2005 - 11:02 AM

With regard to Mr Ben Fisher of Unitcine, I thought I should share this with you guys.

On the 4th February 2005 I've paid Mr. Fisher in full for his Benz FF system + 1 Heden motor.
He told me the order will be completed within 3 to 4 weeks of receipt of the payment.
Just over 3 weeks later, I called Mr. Fisher to ask when the order will be sent to me. I was told within 7 to 10 days. So after a further 10 days I called him again and was then told by Mr. Fisher that he was still waiting for the Heden motor to arrive which should be within 7 days.

After 7 more days, nothing. So I asked Mr. Fisher by e-mail what was going on and I got a reply which said:
"At present we do not know when the Heden motors will be in stock here in the UK, reliance on Heden is one of the reasons we have developed our own digital motor. I will send you out a loan system this week, your production order will then be along shortly after that"

Mr. Fisher said that he would send the loan system out on Thursday 24th March and I should receive it the next day.......Needless to say, I didn't receive the loan system.

I sent him a letter requesting a full refund on the 4th April. 2 weeks went passed with no reply from Mr Fisher. So, on 18th April, my colleague and I decided to visit the company's premises to find out what was going on. When we got there the office was closed, but we decided to be
persistent and phoned him and left 2 strong messages. Soon after leaving the 2nd message,
Mr Fisher showed up. The first thing he asked rudely was, ' what do you want?' My colleague and I stated that we had come to collect the goods that had been fully paid for, otherwise a refund. He said, ' I'm not prepared to discuss this with you right now' and When my colleague persisted, Mr Fisher tried to intimidate him by walking up to him as though he intended to hit him. My colleague stood firm and threatened to call the police. Mr Fisher backed down. He then decided to discuss matters with me and after a long conversation full of excuses and empty promises in my opinion, he offered to send me a loan system within 3 days, and stated that the order will be completed within 2 weeks. He further stated that if I still wanted a refund I would have to wait 3 weeks for it..... I rejected this offer and sent him a letter by recorded delivery the next day requesting the full refund within 7 days.

Meanwhile, I contacted Heden Engineering and found out that Mr Fisher placed an
order for 3 motors on the 18th February, and was sent an invoice on the 26thFebruary. Apparently that's the last time they were in contact and he hasn't paid for them so the motors were never shipped.
I haven't heard from Mr Fisher since the visit. I haven't received my
refund yet. I am approaching this matter differently now.

I will post again to tell you guys what is happening.

Best regards,

Yuri Kawana
London,UK.
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#2 Ben Fisher

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Posted 03 June 2005 - 11:30 AM

I am disappointed Mr. Kawana has choosen to take this approach; this forum (again) is being used to 'bash manufacturers'.

Small (& large) companies developing new products for a niche market often hit snags in design & manufacturing - ask any company who uses this forum on a regular basis; dates slip (by years in some cases), snags hit (often when the equipment has been delivered) & prices/specs change.

As for Mr. Kawana and his BENZ DIGITAL, we have said we are happy to supply him with his order (upgraded to a 3ch. handset, receiver and motors) when it is released and loan him a BENZ 5000 system in the meantime. We don't think it is appropriate to comment further about this matter on steadicamforum.com
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#3 thomas-english

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Posted 03 June 2005 - 12:29 PM

"Mr. Fisher said that he would send the loan system out on Thursday 24th March and I should receive it the next day.......Needless to say, I didn't receive the loan system.
"

but he did not recieve your promised loan system?

It is fair to have technical problems. If you have problems like this should you not inform your paid up clients and give them the choice of waiting or having a full refund.
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#4 Fred Davis

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Posted 03 June 2005 - 12:29 PM

I am disappointed Mr. Kawana has choosen to take this approach;
; this forum (again) is being used to 'bash manufacturers'.


I disaree. I think Mr. Kawana is using this forum to express his disappointment over what he experienced as shoddy customer service and dishonesty. In this, he is seems not to be unique. (see Karavite post on topic "Marell Bubble")

As for Mr. Kawana and his BENZ DIGITAL, we have said we are happy to supply him with his order (upgraded to a 3ch. handset, receiver and motors) when it is released and loan him a BENZ 5000 system in the meantime.


Mr. Kawana clearly isn't interested in continuing with further delays and compromises rearding his order. Is it your contention that this customer is, therefor, being somehow unreasonable?

  We don't think it is appropriate to comment further about this matter on steadicamforum.com

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Hm.... If not here, where?
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#5 mattmarek

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Posted 03 June 2005 - 03:36 PM

sure there are snags along the way when designing new pieces of technology or gear, but you must be up front and honest about it.

i waited for my m1 motor from don wetzel for a long time, but at no point was he brushing me off or being rude and my money back was an option the entire waiting period.

i have also never been brushed off by jim bartell or given run arounds when it came to technical issues.

we need this forum to be made aware of companies out there...good or bad. becuase, as you put it, this is a niche market and there's not a whole lot of options. why get stuck with one of the lame ducks.
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#6 JobScholtze

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Posted 03 June 2005 - 03:48 PM

I can understand that it's a bad thing if you order such a big investment and there is no delivery.
I hope that it will be solved. I use the Benz for a year now, ordered the iris 6 month ago and ordered a bunch of cables, all delivered on time to me. I don't understand why this happened, i really don't care. Costumer support is very important, and i have till now no complaints. I know different people have the Benz in the Netherlands, one customer ordered the new digital system and Ben provided a loan system. He took a plane to deliver it because of a tight schedule.

Again, i think it's bad when there is no support, personally i did'nt noticed anything bad.
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#7 RobVanGelder

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Posted 04 June 2005 - 10:47 AM

this forum (again) is being used to 'bash manufacturers'.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



When people inform others, after many disappointing experiences, it´s not "bashing manufacturers".

But it seems that it is difficult for some equipment makers to be honest about their delivery dates and equipment and that they promise things while they KNOW that they can not deliver...........


This is a one-to-one business, trust and honesty is everything!
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#8 bobgorelick

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Posted 07 June 2005 - 12:57 AM

I too have a Ben Fisher story. About 2 months ago I saw his website and inquired about purchasing an FBX level with built in frame line generator. He promptly responsed with a price and requested that I have my US bank wire the amount directly to his bank in the UK. Now if I did that, I would have NO recourse whatsoever. So I asked him if I could pay via credit card. I know that I would have some leverage with the purchase that way. He e-mailed back that banks in the UK are a bit backward, and could not swing the credit card payment, however, he would be willing to ship me the unit, and "sort out the payment later." Those are his exact words in the e-mail. I still have a copy of that e-mail. A week goes by and guess what?- No FBX. I contact him and ask if he has shipped it and if so, could he send a tracking #. He replies that it was shipped that afternoon and supplied an invalid Fedex tracking #. Good thing I didn't wire funds to his bank!!!!
I don't know much about Ben Fisher, but I certainly would not consider doing any business with him.
That's my story. Hope it sheds some insight.
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#9 RobVanGelder

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Posted 07 June 2005 - 05:38 AM

I contact him and ask if he has shipped it and if so, could he send a tracking #. He replies that it was shipped that afternoon and supplied an invalid Fedex tracking #. Good thing I didn't wire funds to his bank!!!!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



Gosh, I have a Dejá Vu, exactly the same did my dear friend Jan from Progear!
And confirmed this by telephone! He said he would call me back but I am still waiting......
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#10 MarkKaravite

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Posted 10 June 2005 - 02:42 PM

Dear Yuri,

If it makes you feel any better, Ben Fisher did finally refund my purchase in full. With that said, it took many emails and phone calls, and significantly longer than I thought was appropriate. It doesn't matter if there are technical problems or not, if a customer is not satisfied, and the deal included a "no quibble" (I quote the FBX paperwork) money back guaranty, then a customer who has a problem should receive a full refund in a timely manner. Myself, I was to the point of finding a UK attorney who could chase my funds legally, when the refund finally was transferred to my bank.

Now I am not a sue happy guy, but waiting 3 months for a refund, after waiting over a month for delivery of a "in stock" item, brought me to the point where I was willing to spend the money to pursue legal action. It was simply a matter of principle.

My only regret is that I didn't speak up sooner on this forum. I was not comfortable with hurting a suppliers reputation, but as I continued to see postings about FBX, I felt obligated to simply state my experience, and let others make their own conclusions. Ben Fisher was always polite and helpful when I spoke on the phone with him, he just was never able to deliver on his promises to me. That doesn't mean that he is out to screw every operator he comes in contact with, as other operators have posted favorable reports about FBX.

I would be very skeptical of any company that requires sending money up front, for equipment to come later. It seems like a very British way of doing business. There are other ways for suppliers to be guaranteed payment for equipment shipped. I understand that they have to protect themselves from the few who would take the gear, and not provide timely payment.

This forum is an appropriate place to share both good and bad stories. And to end on a positive note, I raise my glass to suppliers who have continously gone above and beyond the call of duty for me in both product quality and customer service:

George Paddock
Greg Bubb
Jim Bartell
Fred Davis
Walter & Jennifer Klassen
Hugo & Dean @ Rig Engineering
David @ Marell
Louis @ Inner Space Cases

Mark Karavite
Steadicam Owner / Operator
mkaravite@comcast.net
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#11 David George Ellis

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Posted 11 June 2005 - 07:31 AM

This forum is an appropriate place to share both good and bad stories.  And to end on a positive note, I raise my glass to suppliers who have continously gone above and beyond the call of duty for me in both product quality and customer service:

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Just want to chime in and add a few others for their great products and service:

Noel Llaw @ Transvideo California
Tim Moynihan @ Rock Steadi Gear
Girvan and the fine folks @ AbleCine Tech NYC
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#12 BJMcDonnell SOC

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Posted 11 June 2005 - 11:13 AM

Well, I guess I will drop my story here to then. I bought the FBX digital level when it first was introduced. I didn't know anything of Ben Fisher except he made something that looked pretty nice. I decided to order one. I waited a good two months or so and I saw nothing. I told him how urgent it was that I needed to get it because of a job I was on and he kept telling me it was being shipped out ASAP. Well, I finised the job and no FBX box. I got really pissed off and I emailed him telling him since I had waited so long and no FBX I wanted a full refund right now! All of a sudden two days later I get my FBX in the mail. I was all ready to fly over there and go off the hook because I thought my money had been jacked.

On the FBX box itself, I am pretty happy with it. It has a digital level, frameline generator, and digital crosshair. I never use the frameline gen. because I use my TB6 monitors frameline gen. Even though it took a really long time to get my stuff, I got my FBX and it does work pretty good. I have to say if your gonna run a buisness like this one, prompt service is a must! GPI has always been a great company and their service is killer!!! George has upgraded my post on my PRO 1 to quick release and the new post and it took a day to do it. That is really good turn around. As Jim Bartel cmae to a set I was working on to fix my antena on my bartec. I would say that it really pays off to take care of your customers because they will always come back due to good gear and service. God I hope my FBX never goes down.

BJ
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#13 Brant S. Fagan SOC

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Posted 16 June 2005 - 08:42 AM

Gents--

I have purchased and am completely happy with my FBX purchase.

Ben was prompt with replies and answers to questions about the unit and the payment and shipping process.

While it did take about a week longer than originally promised, the unit did arrive in short order and does a fantastic job on my sled.

As a small manufacturer myself, I can fully understand the need to make it work and that customer service in our rarified field is paramount. My own ACME Gimbal project has taken about two years longer than originally planned but is now complete.

Let's remember that it is easier to slam than to work it out. What goes around, comes around.

Best,

Brant S. Fagan, soc
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#14 RobVanGelder

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Posted 17 June 2005 - 01:09 AM

Let's remember that it is easier to slam than to work it out.  What goes around, comes around.

Best,

Brant S. Fagan, soc

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



Dear Brant, I understand what you are saying but there is a difference here. The 2 or 3 manufacturers we are talking about here have a long record in not delivering, or delivering other material then agreed upon, or giving very bad customer support in general, even making up strange excuses and plain untrue statements.

If I look, as example, at Progear´s trackrecord on Ebay than all customers are very happy with this company. But the truth is different, specially when you need backup and replacement.

People complaining here have a long history with these companies BEFORE they bring themselves to reveal it to others. I also thought I could solve my issue the gentle and decent way, but it didn´t solve anything. And after 2 years, my patience is gone, no-one can disagree with me about that!

delay is one thing, lying about it is something else!

Best,
Rob
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#15 JobScholtze

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Posted 17 June 2005 - 05:07 AM

I try to get him on the phone for several day's but no response. A company in the Netherlands bought a unit and payed in full. There is still no delivery. I hope it will be solved but i fear that there is something terribly wrong.

_ edit_ i spoke with him on the phone today and he say'd it wil be solved this week.

- edit - Yeah right, he did not deliver at all
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