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Author Topic: Ameritron Lies  (Read 3393 times)
K0UA
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Posts: 4355




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« on: February 27, 2019, 07:54:09 AM »

I ordered a product from Ameritron on January 9th 2019.  I canceled my order today February 27th 2019. This is after waiting 24 hours to find an open phone line.  All day yesterday and part of today the "customer service number" was busy.

I received an email on January 15th notifying me that my order was on back-order.  Ok, all fine and good. I called the first week of Feb to ask about the status of my order.  I was advised it was on backordcer.  OK, I said can you go call someone in the plant there in Mississippi and ask when do they think it might ship.  The person on the phone said that  was a good idea.

 On hold for about 10 minutes. She came back and advised the production manager said they were testing some of these units now and they would ship out Friday. * note, she didn't say which Friday of which month or what year, just Friday.  Since this was early in the week, I "assumed" she mean the coming Friday.  Into the next week about mid week when Friday came and went, and there was no change in the status of my order on their website order checking page, I called again.  I got a different person, and male this time.

He advised that they had no units to ship as they "all go out to dealers first".  In other words, they fulfill all dealers orders first no matter when they come in over individual orders even though by now my order had been in for about a month or more. I advised him this was a piss poor way to run a business. He then advised however that they would ship me a unit by the middle of next week for sure.  He would see to it.  This is lie number 2.  No unit was shipped the middle of the next week. I waited an additional week and checked the status yesterday.  Still on back-order.  I tried to get them on the phone, and made multiple calls, but the line was always busy.

Bringing us up to date today. The female that answered the phone, I believed was the same Female that relayed Lie No. 1 about the "Friday" shipment.  When I gave her the order number she said "I wonder why this order is still just laying here?" . Yeah, I wondered about that too.  I politely asked her to just cancel the order as I don't believe they were ever going to ship the product and I wanted to get my money back.  She advised that they do not charge a credit card until an item ships anyway and that I would get an email shortly showing the canceled order.  I said thank you.

To say I am not a happy camper with Ameritron would be an understatement.  I feel I have been "led on" and not respected as a customer. I can understand not having a product to ship, I cannot understand the constant and repeated lies about when the product is going to ship told just to placate me and get me off of the phone. Just tell me the truth, and say, "we are never going to ship that item to you"  Or "we are going to ship that item to you when there are no more dealer orders" But then don't turn around and tell me "I will make sure one ships next week"

 Because next week or for that matter Friday never seems to come.  You all can do what you like about dealing with Ameritron, but I won't be dealing with them again.  Thank you.  James K0UA
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73  James K0UA
ARRL Missouri Technical Specialist
KA4DPO
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Posts: 1305




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« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2019, 01:28:23 PM »

So what did you order from them??
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W3WN
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Posts: 839




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« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2019, 02:15:13 PM »

Sorry to hear about this.  You have my sympathies.

Out of idle curiosity, what was the item, and is it actually available from a dealer?  If so, you may get a better price (often MFJ sales as full MSRP to direct orders from individuals, so as to not undercut their dealers).  And if the dealer is within reasonable driving distance, you may be able to go see it in person & verify it’s fully operational before laying out a penny. 

Just a suggestion. 

Good luck to you.
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K0UA
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« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2019, 04:38:12 PM »

Sorry to hear about this.  You have my sympathies.

Out of idle curiosity, what was the item, and is it actually available from a dealer?  If so, you may get a better price (often MFJ sales as full MSRP to direct orders from individuals, so as to not undercut their dealers).  And if the dealer is within reasonable driving distance, you may be able to go see it in person & verify it’s fully operational before laying out a penny. 

Just a suggestion. 

Good luck to you.

I am contemplating buying a different Screwdriver Controller now. I had ordered the SCD-104Y from Ameritron.  If they are not interested in selling to individuals then why take the orders? Why tell me two lies, about when it would ship, and just keep leading me on.  Why not just tell me outright "we are not going to be able to fulfill your order, period".  I am considering the much more expensive/complicated Tunematic.
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73  James K0UA
ARRL Missouri Technical Specialist
N5INP
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Posts: 2291




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« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2019, 05:25:46 PM »

If they are not interested in selling to individuals then why take the orders? Why tell me two lies, about when it would ship, and just keep leading me on.  Why not just tell me outright "we are not going to be able to fulfill your order, period". 

Very aggravating.

Hard to say what kind of pressure people are under in some companies. Reminds me of the Wells Fargo blow-up where the employees had to have sales and had so much pressure they had to make-up accounts and so on. As you say - why lie ? There's no reason I can think of except pressure from above to keep any possible potential cash flow in the pipe.

Hard to say though without an internal investigation.
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N4MU
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« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2019, 05:58:51 PM »

Interesting. I have been waiting for the SDC-105 to surface since last September. It never seems to make it to the stock shelves however. I gave up and bought a TargeTuner (to use with my FTdx-3000). Guess what. Even with a new firmware download it still cannot do receive tune with the 3000. Receive tune is what I wanted. I returned it and am buying (drum roll please) an SDC-104. This from a dealer by the way. I have to say however that all my requests for updates on production of the 105 (all emails) were always answered promptly and courteously by John. I am sure he was tired of hearing from me! We'll see what the 104 does when it arrives. By the way, MFJ stated that I must use the 104Y version but every fiber of my being screams 104K. I'm covered. I have the din cable and the DB-9 cable SHOULD be with the 104K. Sorry to read of your experience. I always deal with the same dealer...HRO, ATL...call me crazy...but it's $10 cheaper too.
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K0UA
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Posts: 4355




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« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2019, 08:32:27 PM »

Interesting. I have been waiting for the SDC-105 to surface since last September. It never seems to make it to the stock shelves however. I gave up and bought a TargeTuner (to use with my FTdx-3000). Guess what. Even with a new firmware download it still cannot do receive tune with the 3000. Receive tune is what I wanted. I returned it and am buying (drum roll please) an SDC-104. This from a dealer by the way. I have to say however that all my requests for updates on production of the 105 (all emails) were always answered promptly and courteously by John. I am sure he was tired of hearing from me! We'll see what the 104 does when it arrives. By the way, MFJ stated that I must use the 104Y version but every fiber of my being screams 104K. I'm covered. I have the din cable and the DB-9 cable SHOULD be with the 104K. Sorry to read of your experience. I always deal with the same dealer...HRO, ATL...call me crazy...but it's $10 cheaper too.

I wish you had it already. So you could tell us if it is worth having.  I am pretty close to pulling the trigger on the  tunematic.  $289 at HRO, but maybe it is worth it.
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73  James K0UA
ARRL Missouri Technical Specialist
N4MU
Member

Posts: 235




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« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2019, 04:44:13 AM »

What is $289? I will be happy to let you know results. Don't get me wrong. Targetuner is very nice. It just didn't work with a 3000. They're supposed to be working on a fix; even offered to have me beta test pgms, etc. I didn't want to take the time so went with...actually, am just now going with the 104. The CAT pin outs of Yaesu on any DB-9 are the same so I don't know what the deal was. With or without the KW-232 box it didn't work. We'll see what happens...the saga continues...
So what is $289?  Thanks.
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KA4DPO
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Posts: 1305




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« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2019, 07:35:46 AM »

Interesting. I have been waiting for the SDC-105 to surface since last September. It never seems to make it to the stock shelves however. I gave up and bought a TargeTuner (to use with my FTdx-3000). Guess what. Even with a new firmware download it still cannot do receive tune with the 3000. Receive tune is what I wanted. I returned it and am buying (drum roll please) an SDC-104. This from a dealer by the way. I have to say however that all my requests for updates on production of the 105 (all emails) were always answered promptly and courteously by John. I am sure he was tired of hearing from me! We'll see what the 104 does when it arrives. By the way, MFJ stated that I must use the 104Y version but every fiber of my being screams 104K. I'm covered. I have the din cable and the DB-9 cable SHOULD be with the 104K. Sorry to read of your experience. I always deal with the same dealer...HRO, ATL...call me crazy...but it's $10 cheaper too.

I wish you had it already. So you could tell us if it is worth having.  I am pretty close to pulling the trigger on the  tunematic.  $289 at HRO, but maybe it is worth it.

DX Engineering also has these but they do list it as a special order item with a 30 lead time.  I think that demand for these is such that Ameritron builds them to order to save on inventory costs.  It seems like they would keep a few in stock for immediate shipment and then just replace them but There must be some economic reason why they don't.

https://www.dxengineering.com/parts/ame-sdc-104y?cm_mmc=ppc-google-_-search-_-part-number-_-keyword&utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=%2bSDC-104Y&utm_content=DXE+Part+Numbers&utm_campaign=DXE+Part+Numbers
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K0UA
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Posts: 4355




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« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2019, 08:13:58 AM »

What is $289? I will be happy to let you know results. Don't get me wrong. Targetuner is very nice. It just didn't work with a 3000. They're supposed to be working on a fix; even offered to have me beta test pgms, etc. I didn't want to take the time so went with...actually, am just now going with the 104. The CAT pin outs of Yaesu on any DB-9 are the same so I don't know what the deal was. With or without the KW-232 box it didn't work. We'll see what happens...the saga continues...
So what is $289?  Thanks.

The tunematic is $289 at HRO right now.

https://www.hamradio.com/detail.cfm?pid=H0-014239
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73  James K0UA
ARRL Missouri Technical Specialist
N4MU
Member

Posts: 235




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« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2019, 08:52:45 AM »

Yeah. I looked at that one...made just an hour up the road...nice unit but I don't think I could stand all the beeping much less remember what each coded group meant. Also, not too sure about the little lighted sun icon...LOL
I will let you know how my quest turns out - stay tuned (no pun intended).
Bill
PS. Yes, the pun WAS intended I suppose.
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K0UA
Member

Posts: 4355




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« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2019, 11:08:06 AM »

Yeah. I looked at that one...made just an hour up the road...nice unit but I don't think I could stand all the beeping much less remember what each coded group meant. Also, not too sure about the little lighted sun icon...LOL
I will let you know how my quest turns out - stay tuned (no pun intended).
Bill
PS. Yes, the pun WAS intended I suppose.

Yes, that thought crossed my mind as well. The tunematic seems to rely a lot on audio cues. Of course if all goes well, there wouldn't be too many. I am still thinking about what to buy as well. I am a relative novice at mobile HF, now I know how some of these guys feel about selecting rigs and antennas.  I have been licensed nearly 50 years, and have a lot of experience in rig and antenna selection as well as getting set up on digital modes, computer interfacing etc, but this mobile antenna controller thing is new to me. I had settled on the SDC-104, but the manufacture sure didn't help my attitude any.
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73  James K0UA
ARRL Missouri Technical Specialist
W5UAA
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Posts: 96




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« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2019, 04:30:30 PM »

I tried ordering one of their very versatile microphone pre-amps less than a year ago.  Was given a bit of a run-around on it too.  I don't think they were lying, maybe being a bit too optimistic and trying to be helpful.  After a couple of months, several phone calls and several people telling me they were planning another "production run" with dates that kept moving forward and finally telling me they were having difficulty obtaining some part for it, I cancelled it also.

I noticed tomorrow is March and MFJ still doesn't have a 2019 catalog available for download yet.

I wonder if they're scrambling to validate everything in their current catalog and deleting the items they can no longer produce because of lack of parts availability before they publish a 2019 catalog?

Or maybe they're suffering from the recently created labor shortage?

Is there some "insider" from MFJ lurking in this forum that can maybe shed some light?

I don't mind waiting, but it would make it easier to wait if there were some kind of reliable news about the current state of the business.  I'm personally not going to order any MFJ/Ameritron/etc stuff until I see a new catalog.  That'll give me some confidence once again that they can ship what I order.
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AE5GT
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Posts: 394




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« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2019, 07:43:42 PM »

Most manufacturers want you to order through a dealer . Part of the reason is that if you have a problem , you'll go back to the dealer first .  It off loads some of the customer service to the dealers  so the manufacturer only has to deal with the "real" problems . In other words if 10 of you all buy an item from a dealer and there's a problem , instead of getting 10 calls, the manufacturer only gets 1 ...from the dealer. 

The other reason is inventory , if the item is in dealer inventory , its the dealer's money thats tied up , not the manufacturer's. So part of its about financing and short term revolving credit . 

Thats not to say they shouldn't ship whats been paid for .

"We don't charge your credit card until we ship , or we need the money in a poker game, which ever comes first " Cheesy
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K0UA
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Posts: 4355




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« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2019, 03:27:28 AM »

Most manufacturers want you to order through a dealer . Part of the reason is that if you have a problem , you'll go back to the dealer first .  It off loads some of the customer service to the dealers  so the manufacturer only has to deal with the "real" problems . In other words if 10 of you all buy an item from a dealer and there's a problem , instead of getting 10 calls, the manufacturer only gets 1 ...from the dealer. 

The other reason is inventory , if the item is in dealer inventory , its the dealer's money thats tied up , not the manufacturer's. So part of its about financing and short term revolving credit . 

Thats not to say they shouldn't ship whats been paid for .

"We don't charge your credit card until we ship , or we need the money in a poker game, which ever comes first " Cheesy

Then why take orders on their web site?  Why not just say order from one of the dealers?.  why say it is going to ship Friday, or it is going to ship next week.
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73  James K0UA
ARRL Missouri Technical Specialist
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