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Author Topic: Is a company responsible for what is promised in its online publications?  (Read 2009 times)
sbernthal
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« on: February 04, 2014, 09:17:50 AM »
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I was naive enough to think so.

I bought a Leaf Credo 80 - not a cheap item.

Then my DF broke and I needed an urgent replacement until it was fixed.
The Mamiya Leaf website says: Phase One 645AF camera body is supported by Leaf Credo 80 digital back. No restrictions are mentioned.
So without fear or hesitation I've proceeded to procure one from a member of this forum.

After having received the camera, and seeing that it doesn't in fact work with Leaf Credo 80, I found out the following facts from Leaf support:
- Phase One 645AF needs to be sent to Denmark for paid upgrade if you want it to work with Leaf Credo 80
- The combination has limited functionality
- The combination is not recommended

When I tried to turn their attention to that none of this information is available on their website - they insisted there is no mistake or oversight in the website as "there is no mistake. The Phaes One 645AF is supported with the Credo."

They also referred to "the small fee involved in upgrading and checking the camera" as something I should not be petty about. It turns out it will cost me $560 just for the software upgrade.

I would love to hear anyone's opinion on this issue - am I wrong to think the website is misleading, and that they could have handled it differently?
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eronald
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« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2014, 09:27:07 AM »
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With Phase you need to understand that their greatest strength and weakness is the dealer system.

If your dealer is good, he will smooth over all issues and you will have a wonderful life. If he is not good then you will have to navigate difficult waters carefully, and it will be no fun.

My advice would be to tell your dealer that if he wants to nickel and dime you you will find an alternate for your next purchase.

Edmund
« Last Edit: February 04, 2014, 09:31:49 AM by eronald » Logged
sbernthal
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« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2014, 09:31:39 AM »
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In this situation I've bought the body used from another photographer.
Phase makes me do the upgrade through my local dealer and not directly with them.
Obviously since he had nothing to do with the body, the local dealer will not do me any favors.
He is not the one who was wrong, neither was I - it is Mamiya Leaf that was wrong.

Sometime it seems they punish anyone who buys an item not from a dealer.
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eronald
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« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2014, 09:36:05 AM »
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In this situation I've bought the body used from another photographer.
Phase makes me do the upgrade through my local dealer and not directly with them.
Obviously since he had nothing to do with the body, the local dealer will not do me any favors.
He is not the one who was wrong, neither was I - it is Mamiya Leaf that was wrong.

Sometime it seems they punish anyone who buys an item not from a dealer.


This is a very bad situation anyway, because having a bad relationship with your local dealer means that it is counterproductive to upgrade through him.

BTW the dealers like Doug Peterson and Steve Hendrix who are present on this forum will probably be able to find you a cheap Mamiya that works or loan you one. As they sell backs used, they are interested in having a relationship with as many potential buyers and sellers as possible Smiley


Edmund
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torger
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« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2014, 09:40:42 AM »
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I agree with you, but on the other hand I'm not surprised either. My own support journey with Leaf/Phase One was not a short one or without bumps, but I managed to get the problem resolved in the end by being very stubborn and getting in contact with the right people. I was in contact with two Leaf dealers along the way, plus Phase One web support, but had to get to Leaf centrally before I got proper treatment of the issue. The European market is so fragmented so you may not find a larger resourceful dealer like those Doug and Steve represent, instead it can be one person, part-time.

Probably they've look over the back and calibrate etc if needed, the $560 is some sort of standard fee for everything basic. If they do the full service I guess the price is not too bad. But if one only really needs the software upgrade $560 is pretty nasty. But as said, they have a set of fixed prices, and the intention is that you should be glad about that.

I think they have organizational problems low on personnel so what you see as an end customer is not what the company intends. The people one get in contact with rarely feels any responsibility for the customer experience, "if someone else missed having the correct information on the website it's not my fault" and they just continue with the normal procedure. I'm suspecting this got worse when they merged with Phase One.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2014, 09:44:37 AM by torger » Logged
sbernthal
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« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2014, 09:47:01 AM »
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If it was $560 for a back issue then OK, but this is for a camera body issue.
It is half what that body cost me, not to mention the time I have to wait now which I had no way to telling in advance.

Their general attitude is to never admit they were wrong, so as to not open the door for any demands.
I feel in some cases it gets ridiculous - when they were very obviously wrong.

eronald - if I'm not in America there is only so much I can get from the American dealers.
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yaya
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« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2014, 09:59:09 AM »
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Hard to comment without knowing the case details, but regarding compatibility if you look at the Credo release notes we state that with the latest firmware the older bodies are no longer supported: http://www.mamiyaleaf.com/assets/files/firmware/Credo_Firmware_2.02_RN_v3.pdf. It also offers a solution for those needing/ wanting to use older bodies.

In any event congratulations on your new purchase Shlomi. Hope you get many years of good service from it!

BR
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sbernthal
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« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2014, 10:06:38 AM »
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If you want to familiarize yourself with the case details, the case number is 138717.

The document that you quoted is not what the user gets on your website.

Going to mamiyaleaf website, then products, then leaf credo, the data sheet, you find this document: http://www.mamiyaleaf.com/assets/files/credo_DS_EN_A4_RGB_1.12_WEB.pdf

which declared Phase One 645AF is supported and mentions no restrictions.

So far you are sticking to the company line that the company did no wrong, so no surprises yet.
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Manoli
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« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2014, 10:17:24 AM »
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If your dealer is good, he will smooth over all issues and you will have a wonderful life.

No amount of 'Colombian Gold' is going to give you a 'wonderful life'. What's this Edmund , a new career in diplomacy ?

Of course, it's clearly an inexcusable situation. If Leaf have made representations they are legally bound to stand by them. Non-disclosure of a material fact IS MISREPRESENTATION. Additional costs, limited functionality etc etc are all material facts - but this is legalese and do you want to go down this road with a lawyer ? A dealer can't change the 'ethos' of the parent company.

Unfortunately, the key word is 'supported' . What they neatly didn't use, and you unfortunately overlooked, was the word 'compatible'.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2014, 10:22:39 AM by Manoli » Logged
sbernthal
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« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2014, 10:30:08 AM »
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Of course suing them never crossed my mind.
I would be glad to see: admittance of mistake, correction of website,  apology, discounted software upgrade.
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sbernthal
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« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2014, 10:32:44 AM »
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What is the difference between supported and compatible?
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Manoli
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« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2014, 10:45:40 AM »
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I would be glad to see: admittance of mistake, correction of website,  apology, discounted software upgrade.

Echoes that old maxim of a 2nd marriage - 'the triumph of hope over experience'

'compatible' implies two things able to coexist (without modification)
'supported' is to give material assistance. In software terms 'supported' usually implies compatibility - in Leaf's dictionary, it clearly does not.
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Paul2660
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« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2014, 11:16:32 AM »
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When Phase One released 5.10.1 for the IQ backs about a month ago, it caused quite a stir as the Mamyia AF body would no longer work.  Several people using the AF body with a IQ back made some posts on a different forum.  I as I recall in the firmware notes, there was no mention that the AF body would work anymore. 

In your situation, I would strongly consider selling the  645 AFbody  and getting one of the used DF bodies or at least a AFDIII Mamiya as it's support may stay on the Leaf side.

I don't know about the Credo, however before the 5.10.1 upgrade of firmware Phase One could have had the same statement about support, i.e. that the body worked.  When the firmware was first released, there was no mention that the older AF, AFD, AFDIII bodies would no longer work with a IQ or IQ2 back.  Losing AFDIII support surprised me as I thought that was the same camera body in Mamiya name that was re-badged to the Phase One DF.

Here is link that discusses the firmware update issue on the IQ side.

https://captureintegration.com/new-firmware-makes-afd-afdii-afdiii-phase-one-af-bodies-inoperable-with-iq-series-backs/

Searching on Phase One's site under the knowledge base area I could only find this article where they imply the older cameras still work.  I can't find a newer knowledge base article stating that if you upgrade to 5.10.1 support is gone.

http://www.phaseone.com/Search/Article.aspx?articleid=1451&languageid=1

Slippery slope issue.  I would be careful with spending any more money on getting Leaf, (which is owned by Phase One) to upgrade the 645 you have as further firmware updates may render it useless again, as 5.10.1 did for all the IQ1 and IQ2 backs.

I don't think anything has been done to fix this on the Phase One IQ side as no newer firmware has been release that I am aware of.

Paul Caldwell

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Paul Caldwell
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Blog> http://paulcaldwellphotography.com
gerald.d
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« Reply #13 on: February 04, 2014, 11:27:21 AM »
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In your situation, I would strongly consider selling the  645 AFbody  and getting one of the used DF bodies or at least a AFDIII Mamiya as it's support may stay on the Leaf side.

Aren't the 645AF and AFDIII bodies identical?
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sbernthal
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« Reply #14 on: February 04, 2014, 11:36:12 AM »
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I already have a DF and will either fix or replace it with another DF or DF+ as my main body.
The AF was meant as a backup body which was supposed to be immediately working and inexpensive - two hopes that were crushed.

I've heard about the IQ/AF debacle, and I find it quite amazing.
I would love to know:

- Did Phase ever admit what they did was wrong?
- If they knew this was coming with the upgrade, did they take any steps to warn current or future owners that their bodies will stop working?
- If they didn't know and it caught them by surprise - did they even make any official reference to it, or just ignore it diplomatically and pretend it never happened?
- Did they make any effort to help the owners? I think I can guess the answer to that one.

Will the sun ever shine on a day when Phase will say: "We've made a mistake, sorry."?
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eronald
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« Reply #15 on: February 04, 2014, 01:28:24 PM »
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No amount of 'Colombian Gold' is going to give you a 'wonderful life'. What's this Edmund , a new career in diplomacy ?


Well, clearly if your dealer is supplying backs by the dozen to the Getty Museum etc (the colombian equivalent is delivering "pizza" to Goldmann Sachs, I guess) you will have a very bad life as a private customer with him, unless you pay cash for lost stock and he can use the bills for backhanders to the big buyers.

If on the other hand the poor bastard is stuck serving billionaires who roll up in a Ferrari and only pay $40K or so a pop, and pros who buy used backs or lenses, then you will have much more traction with this commercially indentured serf; he will be happy to keep you on the rolls and sell you a battery here, a lens there and a used back tomorrow - it may not send the kid to Yale, but it'll pay the day's lease.

I'm sorry to be cynical, but I live in a latin country (France) and also there has been a big transition in the business model for these dealers, they have got used to extracting their profit up front in a huge chunk, like a python swallowing its prey, and in the case of institutional purchasers the revenue is often a product of entitlement by geography rather than the result of any genuine competence at making the customer happy.

To get back to topic, if the dealer is bad, dump him; a new dealer can probably solve this problem for free out of used stock, and sell you a couple of batteries and a cable release at list price within the year to make up revenue. Fighting idiots who have been appointed regional barons/tax collectors by Phase One is just dumb.

Edmund
« Last Edit: February 04, 2014, 03:25:14 PM by eronald » Logged
Manoli
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« Reply #16 on: February 04, 2014, 04:23:47 PM »
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To get back to topic, if the dealer is bad, dump him [] Fighting idiots who have been appointed regional barons/tax collectors by Phase One is just dumb.

And to continue on a serious note, yes, I agree with yr comments on the dealer hierarchy but in this case, as the OP stated in his first post, this response is coming from Leaf support directly. Doesn't exactly bathe them in an angelic light.

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eronald
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« Reply #17 on: February 04, 2014, 04:31:26 PM »
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And to continue on a serious note, yes, I agree with yr comments on the dealer hierarchy but in this case, as the OP stated in his first post, this response is coming from Leaf support directly. Doesn't exactly bathe them in an angelic light.



To continue on topic, my feeling is this whole problem arose because the OP had no dealer willing to find a solution for him. At that point saying "Leaf support wants money" is like saying "My boss wants money". I am willing to bet that any *nice* dealer on this board has suitable Mamiya 645AFII and DF bodies lying around that are just waiting to be loaned/sold cheaply, in the interest of starting a relationship with an digital MF customer.

Edmund
« Last Edit: February 04, 2014, 04:33:14 PM by eronald » Logged
sbernthal
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« Reply #18 on: February 04, 2014, 04:37:53 PM »
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I understand you want to vent about bad dealers, but my problem has nothing to do with a dealer,only with the policies of Leaf. Specifically to conduct themselves vs. the customer as if he is going to sue them at any minute, i.e. never to admit a mistake or apologize. This is not a new phenomenon and as torger correctly identified, it is part if the Phase organizational culture which has now spread to Leaf as well. They forget they do not serve letigious corporations, but rather consumers who would never sue, but can get very frustrated when the company insists that black is white, for the obvious purpose of avoiding exposure. Other consumer oriented companies apologize to their clients and benefit from it. I don't believe that will ever happen with Phase.
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sbernthal
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« Reply #19 on: February 04, 2014, 04:42:26 PM »
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To continue on topic, my feeling is this whole problem arose because the OP had no dealer willing to find a solution for him. At that point saying "Leaf support wants money" is like saying "My boss wants money". I am willing to bet that any *nice* dealer on this board has suitable Mamiya 645AFII and DF bodies lying around that are just waiting to be loaned/sold cheaply, in the interest of starting a relationship with an digital MF customer.

Edmund

My problem is not so much that they want money, it's that they won't admit the documentation is misleading. A dealer that sells 1-2 units a year will not have spare bodies lying around. Only a high volume dealer can afford to be nice.
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