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Author Topic: My Yaesu Customer NON-Service Experience  (Read 27557 times)

Posts: 36

« on: October 26, 2011, 04:16:56 PM »

I own a Yaesu FT-857D, which has been a great radio. This summer, however, the display's pixels have been slowly disappearing. I believe it was due to the heat, so I put a solar shield in the truck's windshield and left the windows down a bit and the vent windows open. This stopped the problem.

Later this summer, I'd noticed that the receive sensitvity on 2 meters and 70 cm was 'way down. I wasn't sure if it was related, or if the radio had suffered some sort of EMP from a strong signal source, such as lightening or another Ham who "buzzed" me several times while transmitting. No matter, I contacted Vertex Standard (Yaesu) in California, mentioning these two items. They told me to ship it to them at their address, insure it and they preferred UPS (which I can use Fed Ex for HALF the price, but I was going along with them). So it went, costing me nearly $60....

When it got to California, it was refused and I was notified by UPS' e-mail system, because Vertex Standard "had moved". I called UPS, argued with them that I sent it to the address VS told me to and they said they'd have a supervisor call me within an hour. I still haven't heard from them weeks later.

Needless to say, my subsequent phone call to Yaesu got me someone who knew what had gone on: VS indeed had moved in the two week period since I'd received their e-mail telling me to send it to them and in the time it was enroute. So, it finally got there. And, it would take at least another week for them to get back up to speed to check the radio. I said I understood and said I'd be waiting for their notification on what was wrong with the radio.

I did hear from them several days later by phone; as I was on a call, I had to call them back. I was told that the radio was struck by lightening and that I had three options:

1. They would bill me the $35 diagnostic fee and they'd dispose of the radio for me. I said, "NO!"

2. They would bill me the $35 diagnostic fee, dispose of the radio for me and send me an insurance letter. I also said "NO!" to that! As I have a $1000.00 deductable, I'd be as good off as #1.

3. They could send me the radio, bill me the $35 diagnostic fee, send me an insurance letter and bill the shipping to me. I said that was more like it, just DO IT!. I was so upset at this time, I finished the phone call and got back to work.

Later, when I thought about it, I called them back. Here's the kicker, and I explained it to them: the radio works PERFECTLY on HF and 6 meters and reception was great on all the public service bands AROUND 2m and 70 cm. AM and FM broadcast bands work perfectly, as well. I explained this to the Customer (NON) Service Rep and her response was canned...I could tell that she was reading from a prepared card, that VS does not work on lightening-struck equipment, and that they advise the owner to dispose of the radio and buy another. I argued, pleaded and reasoned with her that there was nothing wrong with the rest of the radio, that IF the radio had suffered a strike, it would have been burned up...could they AT LEAST replace the display and I'd pay for it? Still, the canned response, over and over again....

Needless to say, I finally got the radio back; they shipped it a week after the date they said they would ship it, so a longer delay. At this point, I am just short of $120.00 poorer...but, as a "favor", they sent me a list of third-party shops who would do the work. So, I have to work longer to get the money back I wasted on VS/Yaesu to get it fixed.

The radio is back in my truck and working great, except on 2m and 70 cm; yes, sensitivity is down on those two bands, but I still communicate on them locally. NONE of the radio's other functions, etc., have degraded and everything operates well. I can't do any 2m SSB, but I'll do that at home. In the meantime, please don't tell me to "jack up the hood & instal XYZ radio..." I have most of the major brands in usage right now, but the FT-857D is intuitive to me and my operating situation and I don't want to "learn" another radio. I also don't have the cash to buy yet another one (due to the present economy and work hours being cut), so I'll have to save for the repairs....

Use my story as a lesson, or laugh it off....but I will never send anything to VS again; I'd rather put my hard-earned money in the hands of a smaller, more reputable shop, who's owner is working hard at feeding his family and whose reputation is his handshake...not feeding a corporate world giant who doesn't give a hoot about the consumer.


Posts: 146

« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2011, 11:41:21 AM »

Sorry to hear about your experience with Yaesu's repair service, or the lack thereof. I had a similar experience with them last year but luckily I was only out a small shipping cost. I had a Yaesu mobile speaker that went bad just a short time after I had bought it so I contacted Yaesu, explained the problem and mailed it in. About 3 weeks went by and they called me and told me they could not find anything wrong with it and I reassured them their was definitely something wrong with the speaker (low audio and distorted). About 3 more weeks went by and it showed up via UPS at my door. Opened the box, got the slip of paper out and nothing whatsoever saying if they had done anything to fix it. After hooking it up and trying it out it was obvious they did not do anything.

Not being worth the money to send it back I just opened the case myself and found the speaker material to be separating at some of the seams where it is glued together. That was the reason it had failed. Cheap junk. Brand new $50 speaker and shipping cost just tossed over in the junk drawer. I suppose if I ever find a speaker at a hamfest for a dollar or two that will fit in the case I might fix it but otherwise not. I would have just had it exchanged at the place where I had bought it but I was already past the time they allow for returns and exchanges. Just my luck.

Bottom line, If I ever need any of my Yaesu gear repaired I think I'll just send it to a certified repair person and not bother directly with yaesu anymore.

« Last Edit: October 27, 2011, 05:14:55 PM by K4EKG » Logged

Posts: 5077

« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2011, 03:23:55 PM »

I highly doubt that radio was struck by lightning. I would try another service vendor that is authorized.

FWIW, what shipping they prefer is nonsense. They likely have a contract with UPS, but that is for outgoing. They cannot tell you how to ship it to them.

I use Fedex Ground. I will never use UPS.

Posts: 509

« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2011, 06:57:20 AM »

I don't know anything about your (KC4HGH) radio, but I do know that if the radio was damaged in some profound way, it would be very risky for anyone to repair any part of it and offer some sort of warranty on the repair.

Consider the options.

1) Best (and most unlikely) case. the only damage is to the VHF/UHF section. They fix that and the radio is all better.

2) The more likely scenario is that the VHF/UHF section is the most obvious damage so that after they fix that, other problems will begin to surface. That cycle could go on for ever.

So the company's choice is to:

1) tell you the bad news now (your radio isn't fixable) and have you be upset once, but get over it.

2) Say, "sure we'll fix your radio" and then find problems during alignment that also need to be fixed, etc. so the ultimate repair bill (+ shipping, delays, etc.) will be more than a brand new radio.

3) Fix this problem and send it back. You try it for a while and find something else that's bad. You'll either grumble about that to everyone on eHam and/or send it back for more expensive repairs and then grumble about that some more on eHam.

At this point, the company's choices are bad, worse, and even worse. So, they opt for just "bad" because that's the best they can do. Not very satisfying to you as a customer, but they're really caught between a rock and a hard place on damage like that.

Posts: 337

« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2011, 11:36:39 AM »

I think I would be more upset about them trying to claim lightning damage without really providing any proof of how they arrived at that conclusion than just explaining to me that it is not worth fixing because of the potential problems outlined by the previous poster.

Posts: 2243

« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2011, 07:52:28 PM »

Wow Bud, that is some tale of woe.

Sounds more like something like this happened:

Yaesu Tech to Boss:
"Hey, is it OK if I leave an hour early? My kid has a game".
Boss: "Tell you what, get the paperwork & testing started
on that FT-857D with the weak receive audio VHF/UHF side,
then you can go."
"But finish it up first thing in the morning."

Tech can't find anything in his 10 minute check, (SURPRISE!)
so he writes the radio off as a junker "Struck by lightning"
and sends the paperwork and radio on down the line.
(I'm surprised he didn't write "Unable to Duplicate Problem",
you see that a lot in returned-from-manufacturer rigs!)

"Struck By Lightning" now unfortunately for the owner
gets his radio buttonholed and he gets the canned responses
from ALL the Yaesu employees he talks to.....with no one bothering to
actually double check it really WAS hit by lightning
No, that would be going the extra mile, can't have that!

Ken  AD6KA

Posts: 6251

« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2011, 04:11:19 AM »

I would agree that Yaesu is looking out for their interests.  That is why I would not use their factory service for much of anything. 

I had another ham ask me to look at an 857 that he had had Yaesu tell him was "junk", and just replace the radio.  Turns out that the only thing wrong was that a short had blown a small section of foil trace off the circuit board.  Now, admittedly, there may have been some strain put on the rig, but that trace section acted like a fuse.  I soldered a piece of thin wire across the break, and--'what do you know!'--the radio worked fine, and has been working OK for that last couple of years.

Contact an authorized repair center or a third party repair center.  Explain the whole story to them, including the part about heat in an enclosed vehicle, and let them tell you what they would recommend.  Chances are that with the replacement of a couple of parts--and the display--the radio may well be like new again.

Posts: 2243

« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2011, 02:40:17 PM »

I've been shopping for a "Shack In A Box Rig" since
my older serial number MkIIG finals blew and
are now unobtanium.

(I realize all these type pf radios do a lot, but  none
 of it really well, it's for a "Go Bag".

I like the IC-7000 but the unannounced mid-production-run
change to "no longer manufactured PA's" in the MkIIG has made
me gun shy towards Icom. Bummer as I love my PROII.

I was looking at the FT-857D but it is getting long
in the tooth, has a really small display (for me) and
now all these Tech Support horror stories!

The Kenwood TS-2000 is nice, but a little large
and expensive for a "Go Bag" Radio.

Suggestions? I'm willing to buy a good used rig.
Ken  AD6KA

Posts: 76

« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2011, 04:30:32 AM »

I have contacted Yaesu not long ago and requested some technical assistance.  What I received was a flippant response, not related to the issue.  Customer service?  What a joke.  Bunch of smart ass clowns.  Wonder why folks buy Elecraft etc.  At least you get what you paid for...service.

Posts: 40

« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2011, 07:07:55 PM »

I just received back my FT-817 for a defective power push button switch, as it took Hulk Hogan to push it in to turn off.  Turn on was fine.  Sent in; got a quote via cellphone; okay'd; shipped back.  Took it out, turned it problem....tried turning it off....same as before.  Invoice says they replaced the 92 cent switch....I am wondering about that, although I can tell they did open up the faceplate as the tuning knob is nice and tight and they cleaned up the faceplate making it shiney...

Also, they tell you to ship to them UPS, which costs more, but returned items come via FedEX.  I just ship FedEx; $7 including insurance, from my location. 

Next time, if there is a next time, it goes to a third party repair or if beyond, the scrap heap.

John W6ZKH

Posts: 2243

« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2011, 01:36:35 PM »

When Chip Margelli, KJ7A was still at Yaesu, if
you had a problem you could ask to talk to him
or at least leave him a voice mail or email.

Maybe your experience was difference, but Chip
got things done with respect to customer problems.

Then he went to Heil for a few months and now
he is with CQ Magazine.

You will be missed at Yaesu, Chip.

73, Ken  AD6KA

Posts: 40

« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2011, 09:55:58 PM »

Just got my FT DX 5000 backbafter a warranty repair. Out of the box, sub display 2 did not work. Tim Factor at Vertex in Cypress in CA couldn't have been better. My rig was turned around in 10 days, including the time to get parts in. They were friendly and responsive.

Posts: 5216

« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2011, 09:52:58 AM »

Having worked on equipment that was damaged by lightning I understand Yaesu posistion, those kind of repair jobs never end well, just as K7RBW stated. The part that I find inexcusable by Yaesu is charging you the $35 fee for repair, they should have waived all other fee's once the realized the Radio was DOA (by their standards).  The only bill the customer should get is the fee to ship it to them.

“A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”  (Mark Twain)

Posts: 17

« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2012, 05:43:54 AM »

KC4HGH, I felt your pain. This one should get you worked up Tongue I have the 897D and I can't remember how long ago after I purchased it, I had a lightening strike travel via my AC line, for all antennas were disconnectedand in the path was the 897. It would not power up. I opened it and checked a few diodes and could not make a determination as to exactly what was wrong, so I sent it to AES and they could get it to power up after replacing some thing/s but would not power down. So, they charged me a modest fee and sent it to Yaesu for repairs. It was returned by Yaesu in a reasonably short time in good working order.
The key here for me was not to mention it was involved in a lightening strike, or nobody would have touched it. I am confident they replaced the whole main board though, for both I and AES determined the problem to be on the main board. I have two Mark V's and if anything went wrong that I am unable to fix, I certainly wouldn't send it to Yaesu. I have read to many posts over the last 14 years that I have owned them that were not favoring Yaesu's customers service.

Posts: 1254

« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2012, 06:51:57 AM »

 I remember a few years ago I had just purchased a new yaesu FRG-100 receiver. I noticed that the built in digital clock was very slow, about a minute off each day. I called yaesu tech line and asked how to adjust it internally with a pot or something to trim it for more accurate time keeping. The tech told me that there was no adjustment for better time keeping. He told me that I would better off going to Walmart and buying a 5 dollar little clock and use that for my time. I thought that he was kidding but he was actually serious.
73 Jim. W5JJG
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