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Author Topic: It's nice to deal with Gitzo?  (Read 10401 times)
Brent McCombs
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« Reply #20 on: December 27, 2009, 08:46:51 AM »
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Quote from: raysem
Just a suggestion:  Look for your national distributor (of Gitzo products) rather than dealing with Gitzo directly.

I've broken two (different) Gitzo tripods and found the service from the Canadian distributor absolutely top-notch.

I have never dealt directly with Gitzo, just the distributor here in Canada and have had excellent results in getting parts & service.

Might be worth a try....

Ray, what is the Canadian distributor? I have also lost a bag-hook from the centre column (like someone above), and I'd like to purchase a replacement.
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raysem
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« Reply #21 on: December 27, 2009, 10:27:46 PM »
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Quote from: Brent McCombs
Ray, what is the Canadian distributor? I have also lost a bag-hook from the centre column (like someone above), and I'd like to purchase a replacement.

Check your private message.....
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-- Ray --

Photographing the world at 53 degrees north.
http://www.raysemenoffphotography.com
schrodingerscat
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« Reply #22 on: December 28, 2009, 12:34:18 PM »
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Quote from: desertmike
Well, I'm still waiting....

The UAE rep initially said they wouldn't deal with it because I didn't buy it from them, but yesterday they emailed me for further info so I sent photos of the broken hinge (see attachment);
the Service Supervisor at Bogen Imaging USA said it was covered by the warranty but they can only ship within the USA, the UK service centre told me on the phone that I'd probably have to order the spare part myself from Italy (80 quid not including tax, shipping etc).

AND.... I just got an email from an Italian gentleman (Vitec Group Imaging Support) - asking about the UAE rep's response. Contact from Gitzo?  

So maybe all is not lost. I won't have the tripod for my trip to the south of Oman next week, nothing will happen during the Eid break in this country, ... maybe in time for Christmas?

I'll keep you posted.

Grey Market 101

Gitzo was absorbed by Manfroto awhile back. who is part of an English company called Vitek. The American distributor is Bogan Imaging. As with most multi-nationals, each area has it's distributor who is a distinct entity and operates mostly independently from the home office.. The parent company does control certain aspects of the distributor's operations, but not all. It is the distributor who covers the warranty and customer service for the products sold by them.

As an example...NikonUSA(probably the most draconian in enforcing their policies), will not even perform paid repairs, let alone warranty repairs, on equipment not imported by them. They even take the step of stamping US with the serial number. None of the other equipment manufacturers will do warranty repairs on grey market products. When they receive equipment for warranty repair, the first thing they do is check the serial number and if it shows as being grey market will just kick it back.

If you purchase grey market, you are gambling and must be willing to shoulder the consequences. The distributor bears the expense of handling repairs and customer service, not the home office. Why should the distributor suffer the expense of covering your problem when someone else profited from your purchase? Would you operate that way?

This is not meant to chastise anyone, but to allow people to make informed decisions. What with internet sales and easy access to purchasing from anywhere on the globe, one should be aware of what they may be getting into. Sometimes cheap aint cheap.

I spent about seven years in camera retail and twenty or so in repair, so have plenty of personal experience dealing with customers and their broken equipment. Most of this stuff is cranked out by the millions , so there is abt to be defective units occasionally and I find it bizar how readily folks are to condemn a product or company based on a single experience. Plus I have seen equipment subjected to every kind of mistreatment. To give you an idea, a fellow tech posted a recent experience on our boards.

Customer brought in a DSLR with bent pins howling about horrible design and crappy quality control. He babied his stuff and could never have caused the damage.  When he picked the camera up he promptly, right in front of the tech, proceeded to cram the card in sideways. He then became indignent when informed he would have to pay for the second repair. How unfair! He just had it fixed!

When dealing with service needs, the first entity contacted should be the place you purchased it from. Second should be the distributor or their service center, as listed on the warranty card or their web site. Beyond that your pretty much on your own.

PS - Grey Market is considered any product purchased outside of a distributor's region. And selling such is considered illagal for the most part, tho rarely enforced. Some manu's do offer international warranties.
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Thomas Krüger
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« Reply #23 on: December 28, 2009, 03:08:30 PM »
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Does B&H sell grey market Gitzo stuff? I don't think so. If Gitzo can't resolve this case maybe it's better two buy 2 Feisol tripods instead of 1 Gitzo tripod.
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desertmike
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« Reply #24 on: December 29, 2009, 01:12:44 AM »
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"When dealing with service needs, the first entity contacted should be the place you purchased it from. Second should be the distributor or their service center, as listed on the warranty card or their web site. Beyond that your pretty much on your own."

Firstly, the Gitzo tripod was bought from B&H; their website states: "All items needing repair... should be sent to the manufacturer/distributor directly for service."

Secondly, I did indeed send the tripod to the distibutor. It is under warranty - the Service Repair Supervisor at Bogen Imaging saw the photos and explicitly said so.

My problem is, they've had the tripod for three months - wtf? It's a spare part for effing sake. It needs an allen key.


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Paulo Bizarro
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« Reply #25 on: December 29, 2009, 03:02:29 AM »
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I have lived in Oman for 7 years, so I can relate to the story. In that part of the world, it is very difficult to get proper support if something breaks down. While I was there, I bought some stuff (Canon EOS gear) from B&H, since the prices in Oman/UAE were a lot higher. I was fully aware that the products would come with USA warranty only, but that was a risk I took. Canon EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) would not repair USA products for free, if something would go wrong.

That is the risk of purchasing from overseas, with different warranty conditions and responsibilities. The difficulty when living in the UAE (and it is even worse in Oman) is finding the products you want. The market for some products is very small, so you do have to buy from overseas. I have a Gitzo tripod too, never had a problem. It got sandblasted in the Empty Quarter of Oman once, and even today it still makes a few grinding noises...

Anyway, I was interested in reading that the OP was planning a trip to the south of Oman. If you have the time, could you post some photos from that trip? Oman is a very beautiful country. For those who might be interested, I have many photos from Oman in my website:

www.paulobizarro.com

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desertmike
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« Reply #26 on: December 29, 2009, 03:52:54 AM »
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Hi Paulo,

Don't have any photos to hand .... but you can find Oman photos on my blog under the, erm, Oman heading...

www.mgreenphotography.blogspot.com

Warning - it's a blog, not a pro website so they're pretty small I'm afraid!
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Tony Beach
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« Reply #27 on: December 29, 2009, 01:26:09 PM »
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Quote from: desertmike
My problem is, they've had the tripod for three months - wtf? It's a spare part for effing sake. It needs an allen key.
I had a leg extension break on my 3541, so for $45 plus shipping I decided it wasn't worth hassling over warranties and such.  Long story short, the part was on backorder and it took just over a month for it to arrive.  It sounds like you are unlucky in this regard and the part replacement cycle may be 3-4 months and you sent your tripod in at the beginning rather than at the end of that cycle.  These tripods are pretty expensive, so it seems reasonable to expect Gitzo to either fix it and return it promptly, or to send you a complete replacement.

Personally, I'm considering buying an entire extra leg (from top to bottom) for mine so that if anything happens I can quickly replace the part without worrying about backorders or the inevitable discontinuation of the parts -- as it is, the small extension I replaced seems prone to breakage, so I actually bought two of them with just that in mind.  The larger extensions seem less prone to breakage, but this is the third time I've read about these metal hinges failing, so I'm definitely going to order one of those to be on the safe side.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2009, 01:35:36 PM by Tony Beach » Logged
aaykay
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« Reply #28 on: December 29, 2009, 03:07:55 PM »
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I have a 3540LS and a 5540LS and those were purchased (at premium pricing mind you), BECAUSE of the Gitzo name and reputation.  But seeing the damaged leg above, is giving me pause frankly, about the whole Gitzo brand.  And reading about how the customer is being taken care of, is scaring me away from any further purchases from Gitzo.

Might as well have gone with a cheaper brand and if something catastrophic happens, then just throw away the tripod and get another replacement.  At least one is not spending a king's ransom when purchasing the initial gear.

PS:  Thank goodness both of my Gitzo tripods have remained completely problem-free till date, but the warm fuzzy feeling about Gitzo is getting a bit frayed at the edges, based on the responses within this thread.
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Tony Beach
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« Reply #29 on: December 29, 2009, 08:09:10 PM »
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Quote from: aaykay
Might as well have gone with a cheaper brand and if something catastrophic happens, then just throw away the tripod and get another replacement.  At least one is not spending a king's ransom when purchasing the initial gear.
I wouldn't go cheaper.  My reason for buying Gitzo was to get more solid support and quicker set-up than the cheap tripod I replaced.  I'm sure Schatler would be the more quality approach, but I don't know what they're customer service is like and they are noticeably more expensive.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2009, 10:18:17 PM by Tony Beach » Logged
Paulo Bizarro
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« Reply #30 on: December 30, 2009, 02:57:45 AM »
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Quote from: desertmike
Hi Paulo,

Don't have any photos to hand .... but you can find Oman photos on my blog under the, erm, Oman heading...

www.mgreenphotography.blogspot.com

Warning - it's a blog, not a pro website so they're pretty small I'm afraid!

Hi Mike,

Thanks for the link, I had a look and I have to say you have some very nice photos. I have left Oman only 3 months ago, but I already miss its photo opportunities. It is really a fantastic country for a photographer. If I may offer one correction though; the so called Grand Canyon of Oman is not the Jebel Akhdar Sayq Plateau; it is located further to the West, in the Jebel Shams area (followinf the road Nizwa - Tanuf - Hamra).

It was also fun to recognize some of the people in the photos from the fish souq in Mutrah and the goat market in Nizwa.

Regards,

Paulo Bizarro
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schrodingerscat
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« Reply #31 on: December 31, 2009, 07:20:04 PM »
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Quote from: desertmike
"When dealing with service needs, the first entity contacted should be the place you purchased it from. Second should be the distributor or their service center, as listed on the warranty card or their web site. Beyond that your pretty much on your own."

Firstly, the Gitzo tripod was bought from B&H; their website states: "All items needing repair... should be sent to the manufacturer/distributor directly for service."

Secondly, I did indeed send the tripod to the distibutor. It is under warranty - the Service Repair Supervisor at Bogen Imaging saw the photos and explicitly said so.

My problem is, they've had the tripod for three months - wtf? It's a spare part for effing sake. It needs an allen key.

My reply wasn't directed strictly to you, but also as a caveat to the forum in general. As dealers are disappearing due to lack of support, most purchases are online or phone,  and fraught with boobytraps.

Unfortunately you're dealing with Manfroto here, who can be slow as molasses at times, and backordered parts have become the norm with a lot of manufacturers. It's taken me three days just to just to get ahold of the parts department there sometimes, and that's as a dealer.

Sounds like your dealing with a confluence of unfortunate snafus, and Gitzo/Manfroto is not unique in this regard. All products have a certain failure rate and your situation is no indication that all Gitzos are crap or other brands inherently superior. I've had an X6 for awhile now and have taken it backpacking several times with no problems whatsoever. This, however, is statistically insignificant.

Hopefully you get it sorted soon.


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Bearmann
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« Reply #32 on: December 31, 2009, 09:32:12 PM »
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Quote from: ThomasK
Does B&H sell grey market Gitzo stuff? I don't think so. If Gitzo can't resolve this case maybe it's better two buy 2 Feisol tripods instead of 1 Gitzo tripod.

There's no need for that! Feisol customer service is top notch in my limited experience and from what I read from others.

As to the emails not being answered at Gitzo, there was an interesting thread I read a year or two ago where, as I remember, Gitzo apologized for not answering emails for several months. It seems that they had a glitch in their email system. When they didn't hear from their customers for several months, they just assumed that everyone was deliriously happy, I guess.

Here's the thread for those that are interested: http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/611501/0
« Last Edit: December 31, 2009, 09:45:26 PM by Bearmann » Logged

Barry[/font]
desertmike
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« Reply #33 on: February 03, 2010, 03:18:51 AM »
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End of Story...

The local rep sent back the tripod - un-repaired - with apologies. The day before I went on holiday, Vitec emailed me and said they would courier the part to me. Great! I took the tripod to Canada and a couple of days later I got the part - fantastic. Of course, the super-special hexagonal allen key was 11,000 kilometres away ...
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