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Author Topic: JK Antennas Lousy Service  (Read 1796 times)
WD8NPL
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Posts: 11




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« on: October 16, 2018, 08:35:35 AM »

I emailed Ken Garg back on Sept 29, 2018 asking a specific question on 2 antenna models-the JK303 and JK801. I was planning on putting both these antennas on a rotating tower and needed to know the boom diameter on the JK303 and the size of the mounting plate on the JK801. The first email I received back on 10/2/18 wanting to know what other antennas were on the tower. I replied and sent a drawing of what I was planning to do on 10/2/18. On 10/4/18 I received another email asking if I had seen his Senior WARC antenna. Each time I asked him to address the questions I had originally sent him. I replied back on 10/4 that I had seen it but already had a WARC antenna. On 10/8/18 I sent yet another email asking for the information. I received a reply back the same day saying he had been extremely busy shipping orders for many contesters making changes and installs and that he had not had a chance to look at the drawing I had sent him but he would do so and get back with me by the next day-which would have been October 9th. It is now October 16, 2018 and I have heard nothing. The questions I asked originally would have taken about 2 minutes max to answer. Due to his inability to answer these seemingly simple questions or even get back with me as he said he would I will pursue purchasing from Optibeam. At least you can get timely answers from Tom Schmenger DF2BO.
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AC7CW
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« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2018, 11:05:52 AM »

I don't think I'd do much business with somebody so uncooperative and unhelpful that you can't get simple info. That was always a problem when I was a corporate sellout. I'd make a list of what info I needed from a person or department before requesting. When I couldn't check it all off, I'd kick the problem up the food chain. With little outfits there isn't much you can do; personalities rule much of the time. Choice; Take it the way it is or leave it...
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Novice 1958, 20WPM Extra now... (and get off my lawn)
AE5GT
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Posts: 394




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« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2018, 04:25:47 PM »

I had a similar experience with Force 12 about 10 years ago . I ended up buying a Bencher . And i had heard before that F12 had customer issues . After a couple of buyouts things sound as though they haven't changed much.

It looks to me like they don't want to deal with onesy- twosys at least not directly , they want to deal with the guy who's going to buy 8 or 10 . I suspect they want you to go through a "dealer" for you piddling order. Thats a mistake in my opinion . If they want you to go through a dealer they should tell you up front. If a customer is calling you on the phone and asking you questions , he's trying to tell you something .... your marketing ,literature ,specs ect.. is lacking.

I see three other possibilities :

1. they're afraid you'll use the information to build you own , when you compare the price of aluminum vs what they're charging.

I2. they  are discontinuing those antennas due to lack luster sales

3. they may never have received an order and just haven't bothered to build a prototype (there doen't seem to be any actual photos on the web site ?)


my money is on # 3.
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WB8VLC
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Posts: 627




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« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2018, 05:17:11 PM »

I had a the same issue with JK antennas around 3 weeks ago, and I finally gave up on them.

 I was looking at a 20 meter /17 meter yagi antenna for my father in law to replace a broken decrepit vertical and since he was only interested in 20 and 17 meters i thought that 1 of JK's antennas would be just perfect


JK has such an antenna in their listing but there was zero specs on it available, basically it was grayed out and un-clickable on their web page and when I e-mailed them about availability and specs I never received a response.

I guess if I was a big know DX'r or a Middle east oil tycoon they would respond in seconds but just being a plain old hard working American who is only interested in a single antenna I suppose I take a back seat to their usual clients.

Or maybe he has something against us 8th call area guys?
« Last Edit: October 17, 2018, 05:20:20 PM by WB8VLC » Logged
W1BR
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Posts: 4179




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« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2018, 09:39:35 AM »

Ordered a JK beam last Sunday, and they promise I will have it by Monday or Tuesday at the latest.

Sometimes it is easiest just to pick up the phone.  From what I see, they are buried in orders. The reviews on eHam have been stellar.

Pete
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N6WIN
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« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2018, 10:42:11 AM »

I've recently gotten back into ham radio and needed to have my tower replaced with a stronger one due to wind damage. I also wanted my C31XR to be stacked with a new C31XR. The old F12 had been sold as mentioned. So I called Jay at Array Solutions for Stack Matches, etc. and he told me about Ken at JK antennas having a newer C31XR design that I might stack with my old one.

I called Ken with questions about purchasing a new C31XR to phase and also how to mount it onto a crankup tower. I only wanted one antenna at this time.

What happened was Ken responded to my web inquiry submission on a Sunday at midnight his time. He then followed through a LOT on questions of mine. He does indeed get busy with orders... he's making quality electrical and mechanical designs... but I didn't feel that his delays were unwarranted as he would tell me why he had been busy. I can't really say that most big corporations make me feel that way when I'm buying one truck or one computer.

Based on further research (I'm a big EZNEC, HFTA, and call/email all my contest buddies kind of guy) I ended up buying two tribanders and an 80m dipole from Ken.

I had a professional tower installer coming over on a very tight schedule to meet me and a relative to install the new setup. Ken was able to make the delivery timeline (during a very bad New England snow storm time period) and we had our antennas in time to build them in preparation for the installer. All the while Ken provided email and phone support to me and I'm not an easy guy to deal with (ask my wife). I expect reasonable customer service, but NOT unreasonable service either. I can be wrong as the customer... but so can the manufacturer or distributor.

I spoke with Ken today to check on an order for a 40m dipole for my father's QTH. My father need's a one off and I let Ken know our timeline so that he could meet it and also so that he could prioritize other ham's with a tighter delivery timeline. I spoke with Ken about this complaint on eHam as I plan to do more business with him between myself and future referrals.

He willingly sent me the emails going back to 2016 with the original poster (OP). I can say this... the OP is leaving out a LOT of things. He hasn't spent a dime with JK Antennas and yet Ken has provided stacking data, customer support emails, etc. since March of 2016. Very conveniently the OP has negated to mention how much he has required of a small business without being a paying customer. I find that to be very wrong. I pay people what they deserve in either time or money when they provide their services to me as I would hope they'd do with me. Not family or close friends of course, but an unreasonable amount of time expected from a small business for free isn't right.

Hopefully someone cares enough to read all of this. Just some thoughts to counter Steve, the OP, who has posted twice at eHam clearly coming here to bash a business that isn't meeting his expectations.

73,

Tim / N6WIN.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2018, 10:49:11 AM by N6WIN » Logged
WB8VLC
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Posts: 627




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« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2018, 11:45:22 AM »

In my case I just needed a medium sized antenna to I could send to Phoenix where my brother in laws would put the antenna together and do the install.

From reading reviews the JK looked like it had good assembly manuals for a non ham but with no reply's I found a hex beam for the in law which is working out fine for him.

In my case I'm done trying to contact JK as I don't need anything from them for my own use.
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WD8NPL
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Posts: 11




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« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2018, 06:27:35 PM »

In response to N6WIN's post, I did in fact contact Ken about a number of issues a couple years ago when trying to plan a rotating tower project that is just now coming together. That being said, If you like Tim, I will also forward all emails to Ken from this instance then you can judge for yourself. I am not sure what part of "I'll contact you no later than tomorrow" is ambiguous, particularly after not responding the first time to two simple questions. I like the antennas and had in fact planned on ordering them to the point where I was inquiring as to the boom size-which is not posted on the website, so that I could make up the mounting plate for the AB-105 I am using. I think the thing to be cognizant of is that in any retail field just because a potential customer does not order on the first phone call or email that does not mean they will not order at a later time OR that because they did not order the first time they do not deserve a timely response later on. I will make damned sure I do not take up any more of Kens' time as it appears he would rather direst his efforts elsewhere. Tim-please let me know if you would like me to send you the emails I sent him.

73, Steve
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N6WIN
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Posts: 38


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« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2018, 10:37:13 PM »

Steve, I basically wouldn’t call lousy service on a company that isn’t responding to a guy who is basically kicking the tires for two years. If I was selling my truck and had that happen I’d grow tired of the tire kicker myself.

I’ve actually purchased and can affirm that Ken follows through with customer service for a demanding customer. He’s done it enough so that my plans for building stacks on several towers will almost certainly go his way in the future.

I’m no die hard fan boy... Ken has indeed not called me back the very next day, so I know what you’re talking about, but I don’t get on the forums and bash for that because, honestly, what company hasn’t delayed in getting back every time they say they will? They are humans too...

If I wanted perfection I’d do it myself all the time... but not even myself hasn’t delayed on me or gotten off track with other things.

Tim / N6WIN
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WD8NPL
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« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2018, 05:25:32 AM »

So was the other poster that also had issues a tire kicker also Tim or does Ken have another excuse for that one?
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N6WIN
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« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2018, 06:48:01 AM »

Looking forward to your Optibeam review bud. I hear they make good antennas too, my good friend has one and I know others who use them too. I’ve also known where their larger 80m Yagi had two failures in the south west... nobody is perfect.

My JK’s are well built and I’ll order more. They’ve definitely met my expectations through some very tough winds here that we get.

I believe we all have different experiences and different expectations. At the end of the day we have to make the best choice for ourselves.

I just don’t get online and bash without giving the full story.

Tim / N6WIN
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WD8NPL
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Posts: 11




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« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2018, 12:21:07 PM »

Our experiences are in fact based on our life experiences and some of us have been hams longer than others have been on this earth. It is easy for someone growing up today to only know mediocre service as that is what the world has evolved into-and not just in ham radio. We as a nation have become accustomed to it. I will close this by simply saying that no one twisted Ken Garg's arm to answer the emails at all or simply reply that he (a) was too busy or (b) did not feel I was serious enough to warrant a response but-if you say you are going to do something then  DO IT -DON'T talk about it. He, simply put, had plenty of time to respond before I made the post. The response to my questions  would have taken about 1 minute for him-much less time than it took to write the post.
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N6WIN
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« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2018, 03:05:39 PM »

Sorry you’re so angry.

I’ve enjoyed his company as a young ham I guess?

Tim / N6WIN.
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WX0B
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Posts: 58




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« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2018, 04:06:45 PM »

Guys, lets settle down.  This is Jay from Array Solutions. The same guys who brought Optibeam to the USA, and the company that now represents JK Antennas.  Ken is busy, no excuse for not returning phone calls or returning e-mails.  So we are persistant and we have worked out a relationship.  Look as us as a way you can order and get your antenna questions answered and not get dissapointed by Ken's demand.

It won't cost any more, and if you are going to run stacks and stuff I could even cut a deal.  These antennas are good.  100+MPH good.  High quality, and well engineered. I have one and am very happy with it. It replaces an 80m antenna that broke.  This one won't under the same conditions.  So call me and I'll do all I can to it happen for you.  And yes Steve you did call, and I sent it to Ken and he did say he would handle it,as you were a known customer to him..  Guess he didn't follow through with you.  So call me again and I'll make sure you get the answers and are able to order the antenna you wanted.  If not I am sorry this did not work out for you.  But give me a try if you would reconsider.
OK can we now settle this as gentlemen?
Jay, WX0B
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WD8NPL
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« Reply #14 on: October 20, 2018, 05:39:43 AM »

Good here Jay-thanks for dropping by. Tim-not angry at all-just making a point.
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