Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
atufte

To Leica, Please Answer This...!!!

Recommended Posts

While I didn't go back very far to pull the threads I pulled on Hublot and its CEO responding to customers, I recall back when they were having a number of production problems with their new ceramic bezels cracking. He was on it right away setting up priority repair service in Boca Raton, Fl, givng the customer a personal contact and making sure the cusomer was taken care of. The effect it had was visible as negative comments were replaced with awe that the CEO of the company actually cared about their large expenditure and wanted to make sure they had a good experience. He alwasy extended their warranty in addition to making sure they were happy with the product. Leica photography is about the same size company but appears more alouf and distant instead of up close and personal.

 

Some of you will say, well Hublot is an expensive watch and deserves that kind of attention. Well, Hublot is in about the same category as Leica is to Nikon and Canon in their relationship to the big players and is at the medium price point for the level of complication.

 

Wouldn't you be drawn to a company that treated you in the way that Hublot treats its customers? If Leica did that they would soon own the high end of the market and no one would question why is Leica so expensive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

John--

Excellent example, excellent point.

 

Do you have any idea how many employees Hublot has? I wonder if that's part of the issue.

 

Leica, last I heard, had 1100, though I've heard speculation that the number is now between 900 and 1000. Maybe if Hublot is a lot smaller, everyone is completely aware of the importance of his job to the company, and the CEO has to get his hands dirty, as it were?

 

What you describe seems to be something that European businesses understand much better than those Stateside: The customer standing in front of you and yelling isn't your only customer, but right now he is, and he needs to feel that you understand and you care about his predicament.

 

Someone in one of the other threads was complaining that despite the fact that once Solms got his camera, the repairs were done in eight days, nonetheless with shipping the camera had been out of his hands for eight weeks. He laid that problem at Allendale's door.

 

I've got no idea where the problem actually lay in that case, but better handling from New Jersey would have made all the difference.

 

Very good examples that you posted.

 

Why don't you send them to Christian Erhardt at Leica US?

 

--HC

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know the size of Hublot but their target is to reach $123million Euros by 2010. I think they are in the $30Million Euro range today but I am not certain. I would guess they have fewer than 1,000 employees. Other Swiss watch companies have taken notice and are doing the same thing, recognizing that the Internet can make or break a company in ways no one thought about a few years ago. I will send them to Mr. Erhardt and see how he responds.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My baby has not gone thru this ... yet ... but I would be heart-broken when she does ...

 

NO NO NO ... Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and

NO NO NO ... Sudden M8 Death Syndrome (SMDS) either !!!

 

I feel the pain for those who have experienced any of the above.

 

As a physician who specialises in newborn care, and deals with families who have experienced a loss through SIDS, I find the above post highly offensive. Any suggestion that the death of an M8 is in any way comparible to the loss of an infant is repulsive.

 

Danni Suskin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm actually surprised that someone read far enough to check for wumpus fungus.

Howard,

 

I'm having trouble locating my wumpus, let alone any fungus on it. Is it the doo-dah behind the whatsit or the squishy thingy beside the McGonnagle Valve?

 

Personally I support your stack-blowing activities in light of some of the inanities being posted recently - although this is not aimed at anyone in particular. I understand the frustrations and although mewling loudly on this forum may make the mewler feel better briefly it's not likely to 'amount to a hill of beans' in the long run (apologies to Mr Bogart).

 

It wasn't so long ago that Leica was being roundly applauded for posting an official reponse on this forum, which rather resolves the 'would they, could they, should they post here' debate.

 

Perhaps if we remain cordial Leica will choose to do so again.

 

Pete.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
. My M8 worked fine for three months. Then today while I was shooting my grandchildren on a ski hill (+5C) it just stopped and hung there. The display in the finder was on and the red light on the back was blinking. It would not switch off, even when I took out the battery. I mean the minute I put it back, it continued. Then I put it under my jacket and ten minutes later - and ever since - it worked just fine. Odd. Not a tragedy - but some open communication would be appreciated. It would help a lot.

George ....

THis is no sudden death ... but a simple hick-up .....i had it once in a while with every Digital camera or computer i ever owned or worked with........ it's often impossible to trace the course for things like this ..... computerdevices sometimes just need a reset or cold start ...... looking for courses if a hick-up does nor repeat on a regulair base is just a waiste of time ..... so this realy is not something Leica should communicate about!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At the suggestion of several members, I have sent the following fax to Mr. Erhardt at Leica:

 

Dear Mr. Erhardt:

There has been considerable discussion on the Leica user’s Forum (especially this weekend after another user’s camera failing) concerning the apparent high unexpected sudden failure of the M8. As you know Sean Reid collected a set of statistics from Forum members a little while back which I believe he has sent to Leica. Even after the release of the latest firmware version 1.092, users are continuing to have sudden failures where suddenly they can no longer access any back function buttons or see anything on the LCD. A variety of homebrew solutions have been tried from removing the battery overnight, discharging the battery overnight, voodoo incantations and anything else any user can think of to try and revive a dead or dying camera. Sooner or later it appears that most of these cameras completely fail once the symptoms start. The silence from Leica has been deafening on this very critical and important issue. If these failures weren’t bad enough, it seems that your shipping and handling in New Jersey compounds a bad situation and makes it worse by converting a ten day repair and turning it into an eight week plus ordeal.

If you haven’t been reading any of the threads on the forum, you really should as many posters are your customers and they warrant your attention. I too am one of your customers and my camera is registered with you (serial # 3102691). I realize that there are many executives from the old school that don’t understand the Internet and its potential as both a marketing tool and a potential marketing risk. However, there are companies that do understand and have used the Internet to very good effect. I have posted a few examples from a small Swiss watch maker called Hublot for how the Internet and forums can be used to good advantage. I include a few snippets of threads below for examples. An interactive and positive dialog with your customers would go a long way to improving your market position and enhancing Leica’s reputation. I think such action is critical and most needed when you are having problems with your product. Admittedly, the normal reaction is to ignore such problem discussions and hope the engineers quickly provide a solution so they go away soon. I think you and your company have an opportunity to separate yourselves from the crowd and stand out as the premier camera company. Doing that requires bold thinking and action, is Leica up to it? Could you start by providing us some idea what is causing these sudden failures? What has been done to address the problem? Will this require another trip to Solms to be fixed? Your honest and forthright response would be appreciated and welcomed by the community. We love our cameras or we wouldn’t have put up with the numerous issues, please treat us like the loyal customers many of us have been.

I have included some posts from a forum on Hublot watches where you can see how their CEO, Mr. J.C. Biver, deals with customer concerns. Back when they first introduced their Big Bang watch (an $8K to $25K watch depending on complications and metals used) they had problems with their ceramic bezels cracking. Their CEO was on top of the Internet concerns personally assuring each customer that the problem would be fixed expeditiously and adding his personal extended warranty. The result was as one might expect, the chatter quickly ended as people felt reassured that their investment was with a caring company. The direct personal attention versus impersonal announcements on a company web site was a stroke of brilliant marketing. Granted, J.C. Biver is known in watch circles as a brilliant marketer. In the posts below you can see how Mr. Biver quickly addresses issues, for example, in the first post, the screw driver being required is because the screw head is not a standard head but a very specialized one and the customer is complaining about one of the bezel screws being loose.

You may contact me at any of the following:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
George ....

THis is no sudden death ... but a simple hick-up .....i had it once in a while with every Digital camera or computer i ever owned or worked with........ it's often impossible to trace the course for things like this ..... computerdevices sometimes just need a reset or cold start ...... looking for courses if a hick-up does nor repeat on a regulair base is just a waiste of time ..... so this realy is not something Leica should communicate about!

 

Glad to hear you consider it minor. I do not - sofar - consider it major either. But it was annoying - and required more than a restart. But that is neither here nor there.

 

I like Leica cameras and have been a rather ardent supporter of theirs on this Forum too. That however does not stop me from - ever so respectfully - suggesting that they fix their communication skills which are simply not up to today's needs.

 

And as to communicating about minor hickups, would this not make us feel more relaxed? There is a lot to be said about openness. During the war years (WW2) the BBC used to impress the hell out us; the Germans oft reported X allied aircraft shot down and the BBC corrected them saying it was X+1 or X+2, whatever. It certainly proved their credibility.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not being confident that you can count on a camera at a critical moment. Whether it's for a professional assignment or a hobbyists special family gathering or vacation is not a hiccup. If that becomes the accepted accepted meme, "great camera if you can afford 2 or 3 so you know you will always have one working" - it would be fatal to Leica's reputation just at the moment when the company is finally making financial progress thanks to the M8.

 

I bought the camera because I felt it's benefits were worth the risk of an as yet unproven device. I love the camera and I have not had any serious problems, but I must say, I do not have the same confidence in it's reliabilty that I have had in the 1Ds Canons I've used for the past couple of years. Any thing Leica can do to increase customers confidence in this critical product will work to the companies benefit and help assure the long term success of the digital M. Most people posting here have invested some considerable capital towards the M8 and Leica's success. This isn't the whining of the usual trolls pissed because Leica didn't produce a full frame digital M carved from unobtanium for $999.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And as to communicating about minor hickups, would this not make us feel more relaxed?

More relaxed.. probably yes ..... but in contradiction to what the general consensus seems here ... i do not think open communications is good for a company in all circumstances.

Communicating openly on this forum about all M8 issues and problems would be killing for the M8 and Leica in general: as would be another general call back of M8's.

There is a 2 year warranty to fix what is broken ... but there is no need to fix what is not (yet)... what could we do??... send or cameras in again because of a POSSIBLE future breakdown .... why?? There is plenty time to send it in if it collapses ....Ít's just a camera not an air-plane!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest guy_mancuso
Not being confident that you can count on a camera at a critical moment. Whether it's for a professional assignment or a hobbyists special family gathering or vacation is not a hiccup. If that becomes the accepted accepted meme, "great camera if you can afford 2 or 3 so you know you will always have one working" - it would be fatal to Leica's reputation just at the moment when the company is finally making financial progress thanks to the M8.

 

I bought the camera because I felt it's benefits were worth the risk of an as yet unproven device. I love the camera and I have not had any serious problems, but I must say, I do not have the same confidence in it's reliabilty that I have had in the 1Ds Canons I've used for the past couple of years. Any thing Leica can do to increase customers confidence in this critical product will work to the companies benefit and help assure the long term success of the digital M. Most people posting here have invested some considerable capital towards the M8 and Leica's success. This isn't the whining of the usual trolls pissed because Leica didn't produce a full frame digital M carved from unobtanium for $999.

 

Well i just came from some meetings with Stefan Daniels on this very subject and it IS the number one issue for them right now , make no mistake they know all about this. i have been pushing this very hard off the public network. The one issue is it is very random and hard to duplicate the symptoms and Leica is working very hard to figure this out. It has been in almost every version of firmware ,mine was 1.06 and was the first to go down and continues on through the firmware. Stefan and i talked at great length on this and hopefully a solution will come soon. I am sending him a list of known issues and he will respond this week to me and make that available to post here on the forum, so I will let him give the official word on it's progress but if this happens than contact them immediately and your dealers to contact there sales rep. We all want a solution to this make no mistake about it, please let's remain optimistic that it will happen in short order and a fix will come very soon. You WILL get communication from Leica on this.

Thanks Guy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing for sure, Leica could at least say a word about these sudden failures in their letter to M8 customers. I just received the last issue and there's no mention of anything whatsoever. Like it didn't exist. So - may i disagree, Howard? - I think people are right to wonder if Leica is addressing the issue or not. From the start, they have acknowledged the banding and blobbing problem, and they have let it be known they were fixing it. Then, they have acknowledged the magenta cast issue and, again, they have let it be known they were offering the filter solution. Why do they keep silent about the sudden freezes? It IS worrying.

 

My M8 still works fine after a month of light use (around 1000 shots.) After installing 1.092 I do notice some strange behaviors, like unwanted short rapid scrolling of LCD lines. Or jumps of the pictures at the start «Play» mode. Benign, yes, but what do these symptoms hide?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Guy,

 

Thanks for your efforts on behalf of the community. I too hope that a solution will be forthcoming and communications will improve between the customers and the company. I think I speak for most of us when I say that we really want Leica to succeed as a profitable company and want them and their products to be viewed as the best of the best.

 

Harmman, I agree with you. This lack of communications is a big issue. In this Internet age a company needs to relaize that bad news travels fast. Sending an email out weeks after the same information in the letter was leaked onto the Internet and this forum is an indication that they really haven't come to grips with the Internet and technology. I hope we can gently?? coax them along.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just to be fair about communications. Leica as a company could do a lot better

 

BUT

 

I have to mention that last week I wrote to NJ with a question and got an immediate reply that they were at PMA and will get back to me soon. And they did get back to me with good stuff this morning. Thank you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest guy_mancuso

FYI i did just sent the laundry list to Stefan Daniels and we should see a reply to that this week . i will post the official statements from leica in it's own thread later this week when it returns.

 

I hope this will help many folks with the communications from leica and the list of issues that need addressing. I know Stefan should be back in Germany by now he left Sunday from PMA and was looking at 20 hours of flying time. Yuk that is no fun

 

Just a FYI Stefan Daniels is in charge of the M division and he is the guy that has the answers we are looking for.

 

Thanks for your patience on this area i know many of you feel frustrated and hopefully this will help.

 

Guy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Guy, I think that is exactly what people are looking for. Leica does not need to be involved in forum discussions and give minute by minute real time updates of what it's doing. Timely updates on priority subjects are what's needed and it sounds like that is exactly what is going to happen.

 

I'd say M8 users really love the camera and are willing to put up with any reasonable amount of early adopter grief and then some, providing that we are getting this kind of support and comitment from Leica.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Personal opinion: This thread is completely off base.

 

We don't know whether the 'sudden death' thing is a single item or multiple items. Several descriptions have been quite similar, others quite different--Sean's, for example, killed the camera and seemed to involve static electricity, Nick's was repeated and apparently didn't.

 

Are you grouping both of those when you ask for an answer? In other words, are you sure you know what you're talking about?

 

How dumb to ask in a public forum whether Leica is working on the problem! Leica wants the camera to work, and they are working on it.

 

[just noticed Andy Piper's http://www.leica-camera-user.com/digital-forum/18742-m8-breakdown-still-examining-possibilities.html, posted two hours BEFORE you posted your whine, Alexander: "Stefan Daniel said that the shut-down issue is very frustrating because it is so intermittent - Leica has not yet been able to track down a common element among the date of manufacture, battery condition, on/off switch failures, etc."]

 

Look how stupid the question is: "Leica, are you working on what I think is one problem but might be several?" What answer do you expect? Perhaps, "No, we've gone on to work on the R10; so far, fewer than 8 percent of M8s have had this problem so we don't think it's an issue; we fix the cameras when they come in, and if we determine that it is a systemic defect, we might or might not do something about it, depending on our finances and how much time the R10 is taking." Get real!

 

How useless to waste their time with a post here--"Dear Leica, I learned that my wumpus has green fungus in it, and that this specific fungus comes only from Solms, so I demand to know whether you'll start using anti-fungal agents in future wumpora." Grow up!

 

You want to "demand" an answer of Leica? Consider what you're saying and you'll see how ridiculous that term is.

 

The wrong person calls you or emails you back? Well, then--"demand" to speak to the 'correct' person. But with a dumb question like this, who do you think is this 'correct' person? The chief engineer or the night watchman?

 

Yes, if there's a problem, present Leica with details and let them handle it. Don't ask the pope to speak ex cathedra on the topic.

 

The whole tone of "I demand from Leica" and "Others want to know" is vulgar. The answer is obvious: They will fix the problem.

 

You say: Will I ever be able to trust the camera? Well, baby, that's up to you. Most people have never had the problems you're worried about. There is evidence that some of those problems have been fixed in firmware 1.092. So now you decide. You don't want to trust it? Leave it home. You figure it's worth trusting until you learn something different? Use it.

 

"The internet has changed everything." Yes, it has made us all into whinging cry-babies.

 

Andy, this thread has no usefulness to Leica or to anyone else. Delete this post, lock the thread, move it under "Pictures of my boring grandparents," but do something.

 

Please, guys! Wake up!

 

And I hope you can enjoy reading this post as much as I did posting it. If you read it, it's pretty funny! And I am calmer now, thank goodness!

 

--HC

 

What's up with you HC...??, why do you have to be so harsh...?

I only wish the best for all of us, and i really can't see why you have to take

off like a complete muppet over this, and for some reason this thread is still

here so maybe there something to it...?

 

What's wrong with asking a question in the first place...?

And you go on and on about me demanding things, were did you get

that statement, i never said i demand anything...?

 

I can't belive how imature your reply is, and you talk to me about being vulgar, read

your own post, no that's vulgar...

 

I have always kept a polite a friendly tone in this forum, maybe you should

try to learn a thing or to about normal manners...

 

And again i am very sorry that my post caused such a stir, it was never

intented to be anything else but a simple question...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest guy_mancuso
Guy, I think that is exactly what people are looking for. Leica does not need to be involved in forum discussions and give minute by minute real time updates of what it's doing. Timely updates on priority subjects are what's needed and it sounds like that is exactly what is going to happen.

 

I'd say M8 users really love the camera and are willing to put up with any reasonable amount of early adopter grief and then some, providing that we are getting this kind of support and comitment from Leica.

 

 

Exactly and reason that i am involved with them is i can bring that information to you and to them. They have some nice plans that maybe coming to light very soon on communications to there customers and really they are trying to get all of this handled. Bottom line guys leica has taken off with the M8 and they are dealing with it more than anything right now. There work load is extremely high and the hours that these guys are putting in are enormous. As i said to Stefan i am sure there are many lights on at night at the Solms plant and he laughed and said his is one of them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
With all due respect, I disagree as to whether Leica should respond in this public forum. Leica can either chose to continue to ignore all of the problems being posted and allow the perception to permeate the Internet that the camera is a lemon and that Leica doesn't have a solution or they can respond by making users and prospective customers aware that they have identified the problem(s) and that they have a solution and what it is. Which image would you want to portray about your product and your company if you were running marketing/PR?

 

John, That's exactly what I proposed a week or so ago on RFF... and, if I remember right, got whacked for it by Sailor Ted. I agree with you 100%. I'm still waiting to buy my M8 and I'll keep on waiting until I know what problems Leica has recognized, what they're doing about them, and when they expect the fixes to be in. I really want that camera, but not as long as Leica is hiding out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well...my camera is still working though it does have a few strange hiccups (I'm knocking on wood) and Guy is communicating our concerns (though I don't think it should have to fall on a customer or user but rather a company employee) and I am waiting to hear what Leica has to say. Other threads imply it is an intermitent problem that has no particular characteristic to narrowly identify the problem or to trace it to a speicifc board or component. This would imply that Leica uses the old keep swapping circuit boards until it works method of repairing their cameras. I hope that isn't the case. It may help you get a camera out the door more quickly but it won't help you identify the problem and fix it. Most modern computer circuit boards have the ability to be connected to sophisticated test equipment that can identify a board that is out of tolerance or has failed and identify the specific circuitry that has failed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...