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MK-V Europe


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#1 Howard J Smith

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 01:16 PM

MK-V Europe Ltd

Hi Guys

I am very proud to announce MK-V Europe Ltd.
I took on board all the comments re customer service that have been aimed at MK-V and myself over the last few years. I agree with most of them. These have been down to a number of reasons, mainly spreading myself too thin.
Therefore I have re structured the MK-V group of companies and slim lined down from
6 companies to 3 companies. This allows us to be the company we have always wanted to be.
Contrary to the BS and rumours this has been planned for a very long time.

To move the MK-V group forward and to be able to offer the service we all want and to allow for further growth, this was necessary and much needed. And already we are feeling the benefits.
Nothing has changed re contact information and warranties, but with our new infrastructure and systems, we are now able to offer the service we have always wanted too.
We will also soon have local phone numbers for MK-V worldwide too, so customers can talk to us at a local rate where ever they are.

MK-V’s customer base continues to grow, and this year already has been one of our busiest to date. We have a range of new products coming out that will add to our very successful range so far, including the MK-V AR System, MK-V V3 Nexus and MK-V V2 Genesis.
We have the all-new Omega system coming on line very soon.

I look forward to working with you all for many years to come.

If anyone has any questions at all please email me howard@mk-v.com

I look forward the future.
See you soon at NAB.

All the best
Howard
www.mk-v.com
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#2 JobScholtze

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 03:32 PM

I took on board all the comments re customer service that have been aimed at MK-V and myself over the last few years. I agree with most of them. These have been down to a number of reasons, mainly spreading myself too thin.


Howard,

Das this mean you finally gonna deal with the issue i have emaild several times due not able to use HD?

Here is a copy of 1 of my emails to you. And please, another solution as IT WORKS, becose IT DASNT.

Hi Howard

The postcable the V3 uses isnt very well made. The hd sdi line isnt shielded very well, causing all kind of problems using wireless hd cameras for multicam. We did several tests with the german technical department of thompson to find out what happends with the rig's electronics. As i found out now what the issues are, i just want to inform you whats wrong with the electronics. ( Dbox plugs arn't made for HD too, makes it all a very poor signal.

You probably arnt intressed into changing some of the designs, but if people are gonna use the V3 in multicam and the are gonna use HD rf camera's, i am 100% sure you will get a lot of emails. I am now gonna try to find a better shielded postcable, to avoid this kind of problems for the future. Just want to give you the headsup in this case, and if you want to know what happends with the rf, just let me know.


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#3 Jess Haas SOC

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 06:53 PM

So what are you going to stop selling/making/doing from before? Or were the extra companies just names and you are going to continue offering the same products and services under the remaining names? If this is the case what has changed in order to allow you to focus more on things like customer service?

I honestly want to know the answer to this question and mean no disrespect in it so please don't take it that way. I am simply curious as to what the problems were and how things are going to change.

Thank You,
Jess
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#4 JamesSainthill

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 12:40 AM

This is where the tumbleweed blows by in the movie.

Just thought I'd let everybody know, when I was in the UK (London, England) working on a film, my gimbal was damaged during shipping. In a panic, I called the UK's 'biggest and brightest steadicam manufacturer' aka MKV (and no I don't know which of the 200 mk-v subsidiaries I called (isn't it all one number ????), but after 4 days of constant messages being left with their receptionist) I actually heard back from the man himself - Howard Smith. Now as a Canadian, steadicam operator and all round nice guy - I thought I would get a little assistance, much like a guy would hope for if he was stranded on an ice flow and a helicoptor was near by.

And at this point in the story, I'd love to say that we had a Hollywood ending with Howard dashing in and saving the day. Well he didn't. In fact, he told me to go Battlestar Galactica myslef and informed me that it wasn't his fault that I was using a piece of shhhh-i-ate (think British accent) gimbal. For the record, I was looking to demo an MK-V gimbal for a couple of days, see if it was the right feel for me and if it was everything that Willie Wonka claimed it was, I would have been very happy to buy a new one from him. But I guess in the end, I didn't have a Golden Ticket.

But you know who did step up to the plate and help this Canuck? Well since you asked, it was two very classy gentlemen. The first being Torquil Fleming-Boyd (www.cinetq.com) who dropped everything and lent me his GPI Pro gimbal (as Borrat would say - very nice) and the second was the 6 time all-star, the man with a plan, Mr. XCS, Greg Bubb.

For the record, Greg made sure that I got a replacement for my XCS/ Urgo gimbal in a hurry! And when I say a hurry, I mean Ninja fast!


Again , I just want to formally thank these true gentlemen and warn anybody who will listen that "MKV is not for me" ..... hey now that I think about it, that could be a pretty catchy t-shit ... maybe there is an mkv product I will buy ;)

But all kidding aside, Pro & XCS (and WKlassen) have been the maufactures that I originally bought my gear from in 2001. I did so because the best use their equipment. 8 years later, I'm older, wiser and still as happy with their craftmanship as I was the day it arrived.

Mr. Fleming-Boyd, Mr. Bubb, Mr. Paddock, Mr. Klassen & Mr. Sauve, (ok, U 2 Mr. Bartell & Preston)

Thanks again, you've made the 'Dream Factory' a better place.
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#5 Charles King

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 02:53 AM

Well, it goes to show no matter who you are or how good your products are - if your customer service is crap then you've already gone bankrupt.
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#6 JobScholtze

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 04:39 AM

Well, it goes to show no matter who you are or how good your products are - if your customer service is crap then you've already gone bankrupt.

Yep Charles, my post says enough. 2 days and no reply nor an email. Sure, he has a jetlag,it problem, work, crisis, car broke down in the middle of the desert, etc etc. I hadnt any hope for it to be honest. I already tryd for 6 months, so why should it be different now.
You can have 6 compagny's or now 3. It dasnt matter, its still BS
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#7 Mia H Quayle

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 04:37 PM

This is where the tumbleweed blows by in the movie.


You spoke my mind, Mr Sainthill... !!


I, too, have been waiting to hear his answers to either Jess or Job - thought I'd give it a few days though, to allow for server / email / gravity / anti-gravity / alien abduction issues ... Seems you are used to waiting to be disappointed too, having dealt with 'Mr Mojo' even only once...

I'm really so sorry you had such a disastrous experience, and in such a time of need too, never a good feeling, but I'm not even a little bit surprised he let you down. Howard consistently (since we first met 2 years ago) disregarded, belittled and insulted any Op who wasn't completely kitted out from head to toe in MK-V gear. He apparently doesn't understand the concept of customer service - it's as if he believes we should all be grateful to him for bestowing upon us such wondrous products, that we should accept any c**p that falls from his mouth and humbly apologise for buying anything from anyone else.

Yes, Howard, it's a great gimbal....
Yes, Howard, the Nexus is a great rig...
Yes, Howard, the AR has proved to be a fantastic tool for some of the pioneers who have made it their 'weapon of choice'...

But it's not worth the pain, or at least, that's the message I've been getting from your would-have-been customers this past week.
The pain of dealing with your lousy service and lousy attitude.

For the benefit of those who do not know, I was his Business Manager and fielded his c**p for about a year until last May and what was my reward?

I got sacked for being human, and succumbing (for the first time in my whole life) to stress. I took him to court for it (the sacking, not the stress). Incidentally, at my mockery of a disciplinary meeting, his current PA described my diagnosed illness as 'strong evidence of emotional instability' and stated it was grounds for dismissal. We have a saying in the UK, that the pot is calling the kettle black... Ask a Brit friend to translate! :)

Then he put MK-V into liquidation the day before the court had instructed him to pay me, so I couldn't get what he owes me. (And if he objects to me posting this again, as he did to Anthony's post, I have a copy of the document he signed ready to go up in lights with all the gory details of how he sank MK-V Modular Systems for less than $85K and declared assets of ZERO to the liquidator. He has officially declared MK-V had no money left).

This is not the 'streamlining' of a flourishing business, this is the extreme solution to an unsolvable debt problem due to poor trading figures - it confirms it as such in the Administrator's document in so many words, a definition agreed to by Howard Smith. His signature on the notice confirms his agreement. (again, copies at the ready, so don't bother shouting 'It's BS' and stamping your feet, your name is on the dotted line, Howard, and your lies are blown wide open.... )

Howard tries to bluff and lie his way out of corners all the time, corners often of his own making, and usually because others involved are understandably reluctant to alienate (forgive the pun) themselves by denouncing him.

I however, have nothing more to lose. Howard has seen to that.

By winding up MK-V Modular Systems the day before the deadline to pay me my compensation for unfair dismissal, and by declaring that the company has no assets to liquidate in order to satisfy my debt, he has effectively denied me any opportunity of recovering what he agreed in court to pay me. And he did so with a self-satisfied grin, believing himself to be beyond retribution.

However..... I don't own a Nexus or an AR, so I don't have to keep 'on the right side of him' for fear of product support being withdrawn, nor am I seeking to get myself introduced on set, which is his PA's openly declared sole reason for sticking with him (yes, I have that in writing too, and on tape...). I am merely another victim of his selfish, callous and childish behaviour, along with a growing number of ex-friends and customers. He is a man with, it would seem, no integrity whatsoever, and I fear he will never change.

RevolutionARy?

Try CautionARy
or DelusionARy
or BurglARy....

Every comment made here regarding the winding up of a bankrupt MK-V can be substantiated (at a moment's notice) by legal documentation. Indeed, the Liquidation process, once complete, will confirm all the same details his Adminstrator has provided to me as a creditor.

The rest is just my opinion. Take it or leave it.

But spend your hard-earned money wisely, guys.

Over and out.
x

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#8 Peter Hoare

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 08:07 PM

I met Howard at the BSC show a few weeks ago, and whilst im not in the market for a new rig right now, I am still intending to upsize my gear in the nearish future. I spoke to a nice lady (Rachel I think?) who said I should talk to Howard about the AR. When he did turn up, he was very rude and abrupt, and kept starting up convosations with passers-by to avoid talking to me. I know im fairly young and inexperienced compared to most of you, but I still represent a potential customer. Or at least I did.

Even if the AR is revolutionary id rather not buy it of someone who treated me this way. In the end I gave up trying to find out more about the rig and just wandered off, knowing I would never own any MK-V stuff....
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#9 charlotte cross

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 12:25 PM

[quote name='Mia H Quayle' date='Mar 24 2009, 10:37 PM' post='43856']
[quote name='JamesSainthill' post='43822' date='Mar 24 2009, 05:40 AM']This is where the tumbleweed blows by in the movie.

I tried so hard not to have a say in this but.....I can't agree more with everyone else! As Mia did, also I witnessed MK-V's erratic behaviour to customers/potential customers, if it doesn't interest him, he won't reply! End of.

MK-V have ruined themselves and to be honest, I am surprised they took this long to go bust! I was a former Office Manager/Accounts Clerk and I have never in all of my life worked for such a disjointed company. I could talk about this for hours but I won't go into too much detail. Howard thinks he is some kind of 'God' and if given the chance, will walk all over anyone that stands in his way.

He doesn't deserve good customers.
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#10 Sydney Seeber

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 02:34 PM

When he did turn up, he was very rude and abrupt, and kept starting up convosations with passers-by to avoid talking to me. I know im fairly young and inexperienced compared to most of you, but I still represent a potential customer. Or at least I did.

Funny you should mention that... My story is very similar. 3 years ago, I bought a rig from a member here, and met Howard at NAB in 2006 to discuss it, or so I thought. My experience was extremely negative, as among other things, he was much more interested in fitting a hot blonde wearing stilettos into his AR demo than he was telling me, an actual owner of MK-V equipment, how I could upgrade my MK-V gear. I was assured that the person who I'd met there was not the real man, so I've had two other opportunities to see a decent and non-insulting person. I have yet to meet that man. The next two meetings went much worse. He was downright rude the second time. I had already invested a heavy sum of cash into my equipment, but there is a reason my signature here is counting down the percentage of MK-V made gear. Soon all that will be left is a center post. I will never buy MK-V gear again. I'm not a big fan of bashing someone over the internet... Thing is, the situation was negative enough that I feel I had to say something. I should say though, that everyone else I've met at the trade shows that represented MK-V, were all very nice and easy to talk to.
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