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Woody Spedden, Gone from Leica

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I just read a post by Woody Spedden over in the M9 Wish List thread about him leaving the Leica world, IE selliing all his Leica gear, and going back to his Nikon equipment. It seems to have something to do with Customer NO Service.

Does anyone know what made this happen???

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I hope not. I've had many fine conversations with Woody, he is a wonderful person and just the type of customer that Leica gear is aimed toward. His investment in Leica gear is substantial. I believe that at one point, he waited for nearly a year as one of his lenses was being serviced in Solms. I'm not certain what potentially sent Woody over the edge, but, I too will miss him on this forum.

 

We've all dealt with some minor and major issues with the M8 and other Leica gear. I've chosen to tolerate the sometimes lengthy inconveniences, but it upsets me most, to think how enthusiastic, long-term customers like Woody have been pushed to the point of no return. Wake up, this is inexcusable, Leica. It's fine to cogratulate yourself on stronger sales and earnings ... but if you don't enter the digital age with your service and customer support functions, those sales will eventually lag as your reputation is sullied.

 

Kurt

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Guest guy_mancuso

Very surprised by even hearing this , Woody and i are dear friends . I know he has sold some R glass that he does not use anymore. I will check this out for sure.

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Dang, this is not very comforting for a newbie' like me, although I’ve already seen some evidence of sub-standard quality in the Leica gear. Based on comments here, it seems that Leica is riding on the coat tails of their past, and because of this; they can quite effectively ignore customer issues with extreme prejudice. In fact, each time I turn the flaky power switch on my M8, I can’t help but think of the price differential of the D-300 with three lenses. Don’t get me wrong; I love my new Leica although I’ve always been one to go against the grain. Still, when people ask me about it, I’m reluctant to recommend it.

Regards,

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Wake up, this is inexcusable, Leica. It's fine to cogratulate yourself on stronger sales and earnings ... but if you don't enter the digital age with your service and customer support functions, those sales will eventually lag as your reputation is sullied.

 

Kurt

 

Well "Romantic times" are long gone... Everybody is after the $$$... Don't think that Leica is any different, tradition and all. Yes, their customer support is B.S. most of the time - we all know. They bit more than they can chew with the M8 project. So, Woody and so many others are "collateral damage" of this process... But, there are so many other dentists, doctors, rappers and old rockers (including E. Clapton) who will continue to glorify the status of Leica brand.

Rant end:D

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I hope it's not true -- but true or not, customer service can make or break a company and should not be considered an inconvenience or a "cost center" by the business types. There's no question that Leica should make improving its service a top priority. The long waits for routine service is giving the company a black eye.

 

Larry

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Guest guy_mancuso

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trying to get to the bottom of this and help anyway i can. Woody is too good a customer of leica and has been for years.

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yes he is selling a lot of stuff .i always enjoyed his threads. i am sad to hear that. at least i can understand it.

i guess mr. lee turns leica into an diffrent direction. a new corporate and company culture. he's looking for new customers who don't care about the leica history and their quality (C.S,). i am 40 years now (using Leica since 22 years) and i get the feeling that i am also too old for the new Lee-Leica times.

 

 

take care woody

 

 

cheers

andreas

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Well I just love my new M8, and I am getting rid of most of my Nikon gear to invest further in the M series. The size and silence - and weight - of the M8 fits me perfectly, and I am getting interesting shots I wouldn't dare make with my D70 or D2Hs.

 

Nikon has QC issues enough, and from what I've read, their service standards are not exactly brilliant either.

 

Dang, this is not very comforting for a newbie' like me, although I’ve already seen some evidence of sub-standard quality in the Leica gear. Based on comments here, it seems that Leica is riding on the coat tails of their past, and because of this; they can quite effectively ignore customer issues with extreme prejudice. In fact, each time I turn the flaky power switch on my M8, I can’t help but think of the price differential of the D-300 with three lenses. Don’t get me wrong; I love my new Leica although I’ve always been one to go against the grain. Still, when people ask me about it, I’m reluctant to recommend it.

Regards,

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I can't speak to Nikon service or QC but at 1/3 the price I can expect a little less. At three times the price I expect a lot more. Simple business economics. When I buy more expensive cars (which I do) I expect better service. If I don't get it, I switch brands. For example I had a Mercedes which gave me excellent service and they included full maintenance. When they dropped full maintenance I switched to BMW because they offered it. If the company doesn't believe in their expensive product why should I?

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Well I just love my new M8, and I am getting rid of most of my Nikon gear to invest further in the M series. The size and silence - and weight - of the M8 fits me perfectly, and I am getting interesting shots I wouldn't dare make with my D70 or D2Hs.

 

Nikon has QC issues enough, and from what I've read, their service standards are not exactly brilliant either.

 

Well said Richard. What a lot of sheep! Who cares if Woody Spedden is selling his cameras - who is Woody Spedden anyway?

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To the outside world, it doesn't matter who Woody Spedden is, unless you've spent time getting to know him. But, for Leica, he very much matters. Because one Woody Spedden becomes 10 Woody Speddens, 100 Woody Speddens and 1000 Woody Speddens. None of this is meant as a rant against the M8 ... I've had one from the first day that it's been available. I've been willing to deal with a few issues because I'm thrilled with the glass and the resulting images I get with the camera. I was also very much impressed with my DMR.

 

Others who aren't as patient in dealing with Leica QC or customer service issues will simply move on. And, Mr. Lee, who is very well educated in retail sales theory should understand the implications.

 

My own opinion is that Leica does care, is focused on developing strong products and fantastic lenses and is moving in the right direction. The company has, however, fogotten to bring their customer support functions up to speed ... and that's a dangerous route to take.

 

Kurt

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Loss of supporters & market opportunities because of customer service problems isn't new in the digital arena. There's a close parallel between Leica's entry into digital cameras & Canon's entry into pro-level pigment photo printers. Canon seems to be learning that high image quality coupled with poor customer service just doesn't cut it in the market. With much discussion about poor service on the Internet - and a major user site recommending caution about buying Canon iPF printers for quality-of-service reasons - Canon is finally hearing from dealers as well as users that they need to clean up their customer service act.

 

Mr. Lee might consider - if he's primarily a businessman - what the competition is doing. If you own a certain quantity of Canon camera equipment at a certain quality level, you're eligible for 'CPS,' a rapid turn-around professional repair service. Ironically, what Canon expects you to own to get the highest level of service can cost less than a single Leica body & lens.

 

Exasperation by respected members of their user community would be a red-not-yellow flag for a competent management team.

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Woody Spedden is not dead, he just decided to leave.

 

This is a great relief for his health.

 

But Leica should surely analyse this kind of situations.

 

Leica has its quality control down to nothing, Taiwan fakers have better quality control.

 

I have a friend who has a Leica shop and luckily he personnaly checks each item when he receives them from Solms, and reject all the products that do not meet HIS qualitly requirement....

 

he received 15 M8's last month and returned 4 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

4 out of 15 THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE !!! Lucky for this shop's customers, these product got stopped before they reached the shelves. Many Leica resellers just handle the box over to their customers without even openning them (they are not supposed to do it anyway)... Ant these faulty products are the ones that make people like Woody Spedden leave Leica.

 

Leica MUST seriously review their quality control department. a US$5000+ camera CANNOT reach a customer with a dead pixel line. This proves that no one at Solms has switched on the camera EVER !!!!

 

If Leica had switched on and taken 10 pictures with each camera they have sold, I bet the number of complaining customers would be next to none. Most faulty cameras have been misbehaving from the very first week of use.

 

I'd accept to pay an extra US$100 to have a guy properly test the camera before shipping They should have it calculated and included in the price tag.

 

Woody Spedden, sorry to see you go.

 

Regards,

 

Eric

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Well I dont know Woody but I have read his stuff here and I am sorry to see him go. and understand his frustration.

I dont know why Leica cant seem to do proper quality control anymore or customer service, but I am hanging in here in the belief that eventually they will. In going with Leica have spent quite a sum.

 

Jeff

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Woody Spedden is not dead, he just decided to leave.

 

This is a great relief for his health.

 

But Leica should surely analyse this kind of situations.

 

Leica has its quality control down to nothing, Taiwan fakers have better quality control.

 

I have a friend who has a Leica shop and luckily he personnaly checks each item when he receives them from Solms, and reject all the products that do not meet HIS qualitly requirement....

 

he received 15 M8's last month and returned 4 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!...

 

Perhaps the higher price of the M8 incorporates the nearly 30-percent return rate you mentioned. Sure, Leica could maintain their margin while reducing the their burden rate on repairs. Reminds me of the saying “We don’t have time to do it right, but we have plenty of time to do it over again.”

Regards,

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As always with every negative event there is a positive reaction.

 

If Woody, as a 'respected' forum member, has truly 'had enough' then maybe some of the other forum members who scold every criticism of the M8 or Leica by dissappointed buyers like me, may soften their tone.

 

A forum where only positive and 'what a great shot' comments are tolerated is no longer a forum.

 

Maybe the Ricoh GRD will see a new growing following yet

 

Andy

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I'm disappointed that Woody's chosen to leave a grenade when he walked out of the forum. I don't know Woody but he is a well-respected member of the 'Leica community' and accompanied Guy et al on their trip to Solms and the Leica Academy earlier this year so senior personnel at Leica certainly know who he is.

 

It is for these reason that I'm disappointed at Woody's course of action:

1. It's sad to here that Leica's customer service has broken his camel's back but is that any reason to leave this forum? (He appears to be still posting on another Leica-centric forum without the same message about Leica's standard of service or intention to leave).

2. By leaving behind him the sentiments that he has he is providing a gilt-edged opportunity to the all-too-many Leica bashers out there to run riot, which is a disservice to all on this forum who wish Leica to thrive.

3. Woody is known to senior personnel within Leica so it seems to me that a personal letter from him to them would carry considerably more weight than abandoning the forum leaving the message that he has. (If Woody has already written such a letter then fair enough.)

 

Please understand that this post is not intended as a Woody bash - I respect Woody and his views too - it is intended as an appeal to others on the forum not to over-react.

 

I am sorry that Woody's patience has run out and that he has chosen to abandon the forum - he will be missed - but I, for one, consider that however poor some may (perhaps rightly) consider Leica's customer service to be I cannot escape the solid gold fact that Leica's lenses and the M8's image is unsurpassed in 35mm format. This is what matters to me and I'm here to stay irrespective of the customer service.

 

Pete.

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Dang, this is not very comforting for a newbie' like me, although I’ve already seen some evidence of sub-standard quality in the Leica gear.....

 

.........Still, when people ask me about it, I’m reluctant to recommend it.

Regards,

 

I thought that it was a case of you not clicking your lens into position correctly, rather than a fault? Maybe I miss-read what you wrote.

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i am 40 years now (using Leica since 22 years) and i get the feeling that i am also too old for the new Lee-Leica times.

 

Well Lee and the new owners didn't create the service situation they inherited it. I imagine years of declining sales and teetering on the brink of bankruptcy gutted the service department. They certainly could not have been prepared for the tidal wave of demand on service that accompanied the M8.

 

I've been lucky with my M8 as I had been with my Canon's before it - No problems. Wish I could say the same about my PC and MAC computers. I have to say even my 2 encounters with NJ Leica service (for coding) were exemplary. Turn around and follow up were very good. So there are some positive experiences out there.

 

Getting the service side up to snuff and reorganizing the manufacturing process will likely take some time. I hope they are making good progress. I love the camera but if I had the problems some describe here I'd have thrown in the towel long ago. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that my experiences will continue to be as positive and trouble free as they have been so far and I hope if that's not the norm now it will soon be.

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