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Woody Spedden, Gone from Leica

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Pete and others

 

This will truly be my last post but i wanted to respond to your comments. I don't want to post any longer as I may be considered to be a troll by posting negative comments. I sent a quite comprehensive email to Christian Ehrhardt, Leica's U.S. marketing manager detailing the many bad experiences I have had with Leica service. I did it in a way that was intended to provide him with serious ammuntion to take back to Solms in hope of making significant improvements to their service situation. I offer to make myself available to him for consultation as I ran a very large worldwide service organization for KLA/Tencor and understand the situation at a high level of detail.

 

With regard to this forum, I have loved being a part of it and hope I have made some contributions which have helped others. I have made many friends as a result and hope those friendships will continue. There is certainly no hidden agenda to my leaving. But I hope you can understand that as a result of having my equipment constantly going back and forth to Solms and taking an inordinate amount of time to return, I personally don't feel I can rely on the M8 system to be my tool of choice. Given that I am going to go to an alternative other than the M8 it doesn't make sense for me to be a part of an M8 forum. I am sorry you see it as my leaving a grenade as you put it but I respect that you have the right to see it as you choose and to explain it as such. By the way, I too hope that the Leica bashers will not come out as a result of my comments. But trust me the situation won't get better by remaining silent.As I detailed above I had already contacted Christian in hopes of driving improvement within Leica. I remain ready to help him and others if that opportunity arises.

 

I will miss you all and hope that my comments to Leica will end up helping you all as Leica has an opportunity to improve their service and to understand the implications of not doing so.

 

With respect

 

Woody Spedden

 

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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Thanks for your response, Woody, and I hope that your letter to Christian Ehrhardt produces the desired effect for the wider community even though it looks like it's too late for you.

 

Your presence here will be missed but I wish you success in whatever you choose to do and I hope you return to Leica and the forum in the future.

 

Pete.

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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.

 

No, stupidity aside, I was still a bit put off with some quality quirks of the M8 i.e. power switch, display, shutter release, pealing cover, etc. Still, perhaps I didn’t make myself clear “I love my new Leica…”. More to the point, I accept the M8 as is, although it takes a special breed to tolerate its unique design and this why I can't recommend it to just any body.

Regards,

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Sorry to see you go Woody. If your Nikon future involves a D3, as mine does, I think you will be well pleased.

 

I think US Leica users have a particular problem in Leica NJ who really do not seem to be up to the job. Of course, it would be better if the cameras never had to go back, but the Leica distributor should at least make the process quick and painless. I've never dared send any of my equipment back via Leica UK, I don't think my blood pressure would stand it...

 

So, you're right to go back to Christian Erhardt. I've been flamed in the past for stating that I believe the problems US users are having stop on his desk and if he is charged with developing the market for Leica products in the US, he has also to keep an eye on the service being provided to the people who've already bought.

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Guest guy_mancuso

Just wanted to add one thing here , Woody and i are very good personal friends and i am also a great fan of him and his wife . This comes as a surprise to even me and i am working very hard in the background trying to get this all sorted out for Woody. He is a very nice man and a huge contributer to leica and to all of us. So let's not speculate to much and let's see what happens in the next coming days. Service needs improvement and we all know that , no big secret here and when someone feels there not getting what they need in a timely manner than it becomes a problem for all. Breaking points and giving up are all part of that and i certainly can see were Woody is coming from, issue is so does Leica and they need to fix this. Let's see if we can straighten this all out. Thanks

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Guest guy_mancuso

Mark it goes higher than Christian's role, there is a tier system in every company and this just needs to be moved upwards on the food chain. You can't blame one person. It's simple as that and let's not get on that boat of blame.

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I recently had a problem with one of my M8s. It was but a few weeks old and started having "issues" with the shutter locking up. My initial response from Leica USA was that they camera would take from four to six weeks for service. I wrote Christian a note and he jumped on the problem and had the camera repaired promptly and sent out to me on location. The repaired body was DOA and I phoned the service department in NJ to find out what could be done. They shipped a new body out that day and I returned my "repaired" camera.

 

I was originally concerned that Leica US may be overwhelmed. I was pleased that Christian stood behind their product and took care of me. I'm shooting more and more assignments with the Leicas. Leica is so much smaller than Nikon or Canon and I know that they are stretched.

 

It was for most part a positive experience.

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Mark it goes higher than Christian's role, there is a tier system in every company and this just needs to be moved upwards on the food chain. You can't blame one person. It's simple as that and let's not get on that boat of blame.

 

Maybe Guy, but Christian is the most public face of Leica NJ. They're may be others in the heirarchy but they seem to be largely invisible which makes me think they are not looking after their users.

 

I'm also critical of Leica UK of course, no idea what David Bell, the Managing Director, actually does.

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I have enjoyed Woody's posts and observations - a learned and enthusiastic man. Quite a shock.

 

My M8 just failed on me - its now back for a scheduled 5 week repair in NJ. Its not hard to imagine what Woody feels.

 

Geoff

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I have enjoyed Woody's posts and observations - a learned and enthusiastic man. Quite a shock.

 

My M8 just failed on me - its now back for a scheduled 5 week repair in NJ. Its not hard to imagine what Woody feels.

 

Geoff

 

No hijack intended although just out of curiosity, what specifically failed to warrant the NJ two-step?

Regards,

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Very sorry to see this happen. But it was predictable - and avoidable.

 

All Leica needs is a simple promise:

 

if anything goes wrong your dealer will provide a backup until your equipment can be fixed. Period.

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I understand that Leica itself will read this forum. That may or may not be true. It is apparent that most USA members dread the thought that their M8 or a favorite lens will need a trip to NJ.

You read where a pro can contact Christian and have their problem taken care of quickly and efficiently. I realize its important for a working professional to get his equipment back so he can make a living but even a professional should not need to contact the face of Leica USA for a problem. They need to address their service issues and hire and train more individuals. They need to let everyone know first that yes we have some problems. Then they need to let everyone that yes we are working on the problems. Unless I am missing something, this has never been conveyed.

From personal experience, I know that the only way you get any response out of Leica NJ is to just make a pest of yourself.........

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Trent Lott is also retiring from the US Senate. I.E., who cares. Why do people need someone's else's approval or non-approval for their validation.

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Trent Lott is also retiring from the US Senate. I.E., who cares. Why do people need someone's else's approval or non-approval for their validation.

 

Well spat Sir. But in the context of this particular thread; what the hell [if anything] does it mean? And please don't tell us it's 42.

 

................... Chris

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Personally,

Unlike Kevin, I for one care if Woody is going to sell his M equipment and no longer be a participant in this forum. His input, comments, responses have always been informative, never judgmental, and certainly helped others since he was an early adopter of the M8.

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Well spat Sir. But in the context of this particular thread; what the hell [if anything] does it mean? And please don't tell us it's 42.

 

................... Chris

 

I understood what he meant!

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Sorry to see him go. I've also got a D3 in my immediate future; I have to say that when I really need to count on the pictures, I take my Nikons -- I've never actually had one quit on me, though I've thown away a couple of N90x's when they got too dirty to be really cleaned again...

 

The Leicas are not only a joy to use, but they're also fun to use, as machines; like driving around in an MG. The image quality is exceptional. And, like MGs, they break down. That's just the reality of matter. When people on this forum say they've never had a problem, I believe them -- a certain percentage almost *had* to work well. But if the same percentages of D2Xs or Canon 1DsIIs had the wide variety of problems experienced by the M8...well, it would have been considered a marketing catastrophe.

 

I do wish Woody hadn't left.

 

JC

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After a half hearted nine months with the M8 seemingly only half in my hands (in my own country at that!) I can totally understand where Woody is coming from. My M7 will have to pried from my cold hands when I'm dead, but the M8 I'm really on the fence about esp considering all the repairing/replacing I've had to do.

 

Looked at a Nikon D3 the other day and WOW! The screen shows you exactly what you've taken in amazing clarity, 1600 is as good as any other's 400, the AWB was spot on, etc etc. Then went over to the Leica counter where an M8 was out and shot a couple of pics. Ugh. Nowhere near how I framed it, the white balance was off, actually seemed louder than the Nikon, etc.

 

Of course, the M8 wins hands down re size and simplicity (umm, 'cept ir filtering, coding, corner fixering, pc socket adaptoring, etc etc). And the files really are great.

 

I know some, like Mr Cocker, can't stand anybody criticising their baby. But some of us long time Leica users just aren't that impressed and are merely voicing our concerns. I've invested a lot in this company over the years (I even have a Leica tattoo) and might even do some speaking for them (something the local rep is working on). I think I have the right to be disgruntled. If you don't like it please move on to another thread, but don't belittle mine or other's frustrations. Believe me, I wish it wasn't this way for me! I wish it had just worked out of the box like a $5k camera is supposed to (my M7 has unfailingly over the past 3 years). Anyway, it's supposed to be back from Solms next week (after two months) - I'll see then.

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I know some, like Mr Cocker, can't stand anybody criticising their baby. But some of us long time Leica users just aren't that impressed and are merely voicing our concerns.

 

Whatever you might think about the M8, dumping the whole system certainly isn't "highly recommended".

 

Of course, you can buy them back at any time at any price. LOL

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