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Old Dec 04, 2002, 10:14 AM
Registered User
Joined Nov 2001
162 Posts
Rant
Read this if You are thinking about an Orbit

I really don't like bashing a company. However, I have an Orbit
V6 and an Orbit Pro that are BOTH broken. The V6 lasted about 3 MONTHS.
The Pro lasted 1 WEEK.

All I will do is enclose the email conversation in full that I've had with
Orbit support which will describe the situation. You can draw your
own conclusions. It appears that any help I will be getting from
Orbit Support is now concluded....

I am posting this to as many RC-related sites that I can think of. I am
also going to send all the links to these messages to Orbit Support so
that they can respond directly here if they wish.

Thanks

-edg-

----- Original Message -----
From: Goldman, Ed
To: info@orbitronic.de
Sent: Wednesday, November 27, 2002 6:15 PM
Subject: Unhappy customer


Hello,

I have purchased both your Microlader V6 and Microlader Pro.
Now I have 2 useless pieces of equipment that do not work.

The V6 no longer recognizes batteries that are connected to it.
It boots up just fine and the LED display says that it is ready
for an battery, but when I plug one in nothing happens. I have
had this charger only a few months. The batteries and connector
are fine as I tested them on a charger that works.

The Pro I got only a few weeks ago. I began using it by doing
a 3X format of a 30 Cell CP3600 pack. That went fine. Then
I tried to Reflex charge it at 6 amps. On my powersupply I
could see the Amps fluctuating between low and about 60Amps!
That doesn't seem right. The Pro got very hot and the LED
went off. I could not restart the Pro with my powersupply -- when
I tried to turn the Pro on I could hear a click and the lights on
my Powersupply flickered. No LED display on the Pro. I then
tried starting the Pro connected to a 12V car Battery. It started
up this time (I guess when it overheated the Pro must have remained
in some strange state until I cleared it with the 12V battery). Now,
when I try hooking up ANY battery pack on ANY of the charging modes
on the Pro, the battery pack is recognized, but after several seconds
it beeps and says the operation is complete! It seems to be detecting
the voltage correctly (on the LED) but as far as I can tell it never
really starts trying to draw a current from the Powersupply (or the
12V car battery). Maybe just a trickle during the soft-start.

So, now I have over $450 dollars invested in your charging equipment
that doesn't work. What can I do about it? Making this more difficult
is that I'm in the USA and you're in Germany and I purchased the V6
online from Canada and the Pro online from a USA company all the
way across the country.


Thanks

Ed Goldman

-----Original Message-----
From: C.Gier [mailto:info@orbit-electronic.de]
Sent: Friday, November 29, 2002 2:21 AM
To: Goldman, Ed
Subject: Re: Unhappy customer


Dear Sir,

thank you for your e-mail.

I have transmit your technical question to our service.
He will answer you directly a.s.a.p.

For the future you can get in touch with the service/
support directly: service@orbitronic.de

Thank you for your patience.

Regards

C.Gier
Orbit electronic
Falkenweg 32
D-52379 Langerwehe
Tel.: 0049-(0)2409-759370
Fax: 0049-(0)2409-759372
e-mail: info@orbitronic.de
For more details please visit our website: http://orbitronic.de
Weitere Informationen finden Sie unter: http://orbitronic.de

-----Original Message-----
From: Orbit, Arno Hausmann [mailto:a.hausmann@orbit-electronic.de]
Sent: Monday, December 02, 2002 9:09 AM
To: Goldman, Ed
Subject: Re: Unhappy customer


Hello Ed,

sorry for the delay, here's actually a lot of xmas business.
Please write us exactly what type of power supply are you
using with these two chargers.

Thanks for your help,

Best Regards,
Arno Hausmann
Orbit electronic
Langerwehe/Germany



----- Original Message ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
From: Goldman, Ed
To: Orbit, Arno Hausmann
Sent: Tuesday, December 03, 2002 6:35 PM
Subject: RE: Unhappy customer


Arno,

I've sent you my power supply specs yesterday, and I still haven't
heard anything.

I appreciate that you guys are very busy for xmas. However, I've trusted
your products to be high quality and they are priced that way. I have
around $450 invested in equipment that doesn't work, and I now have to
spend time and energy trying to resolve the problem in addition to the
time I now have 2 chargers that I cannot use.

I'm a member of many R/C forums and mailinglists on the internet that
have many readers and I'm sure many potential customers for your
chargers. I would like to report that your products are worth purchasing.
If we cannot resolve these problems in a timely manner, you can be sure
I will be very vocal in my experience with the Pro and V6.

I'm sorry to have to put it like this, but I don't see much forward
progress. I'd just like to get my chargers fixed as quickly as possible
and am willing to accept the possibility that I was just unlucky in
getting a couple of defective units.

Ed Goldman


-----Original Message--------------------------------------------------------------------
From: Orbit, Arno Hausmann [mailto:a.hausmann@orbit-electronic.de]
Sent: Tuesday, December 03, 2002 11:02 PM
To: Goldman, Ed
Subject: Re: Unhappy customer


OK ED, I make it short. Please contact your dealer for further instructions
we are not able to help in this way.
Best Regards, Arno
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Old Dec 04, 2002, 11:32 AM
I have no friends
mt_100's Avatar
United States, MI, Holland
Joined Dec 1996
3,296 Posts
I sympathize with you, but can clearly see where they are coming from.

The tone change from the December 2 to December 3 messages is the key. To go from them asking for some information that you already sent that could have disapeared in the extra xmas email to you making a threat to post in many forums is just not right. In every message they sent you they were willing to work with you until you made the hostile move.

Frankly, I thought their response to seek your vendor was nicer than I would have done.
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Old Dec 04, 2002, 11:37 AM
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San Francisco, CA, USA
Joined Jun 2001
2,769 Posts
wow, that's disturbing. i was seriously considering getting an orbit pro. maybe i'll go with a schulze now. i wonder if schulze's support is any better? it sucks that all the best RC stuff is made in europe. it makes it hard to communicate with manfacturers. not only is there a language barrier, but a cultural one too. europeans have never been big on customer service. in european restaurants, they act like they're doing you a favor by getting you a glass of water.

i do think you could have been a tad more diplomatic in your emails, ed, but that really doesn't excuse their response.
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Old Dec 04, 2002, 11:38 AM
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United States, NY, Spencerport
Joined Oct 2001
2,801 Posts
Ed, you could've done a lot better in handling the situation on your end. Your last letter read like a "temper tantrum" to me, and I'm sure the guys at Orbit probably thought the same way.

Think about how you would react if you were in their shoes and received that last letter you wrote. You're giving 150% just trying to keep up, and this guy is complaining that you're not servicing him fast enough and is threatening to badmouth you and your company on the Internet. How would you react? How far would you go before you told him to kiss off?

You'd be surprised at what little effect badmouthing a company on the Internet has. In my experience, only a small percent of the modeling community actively participates in forums like these. Of those, most probably aren't interested in the product/company you're badmouting, and a few will discount you as a blowhard because they've had great luck and great service from the product/company you're badmouting. I bet that you'd be lucky to sway the opinions of a handful of people... Just look at all the Hobbico and Great Planes bashing that goes on. They're still the biggest R/C supplier in the USA, and perhaps the world.

It's unfortunate, but you have to pander to them, not the other way around. You want the chargers fixed. They could care less, as it costs them a lot of money to fix or replace your defective chargers. You really aren't going to hurt their business appreciably by badmouthing them, and you're only hurting your cause by threateing them.
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Old Dec 04, 2002, 11:45 AM
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Ben74's Avatar
San Francisco, CA, USA
Joined Jun 2001
2,769 Posts
i disagree, mkirsch1. ed's story has definitely given me pause about buying an orbit. i also make a mental note whenever i read complaints about other companies. even though ed's story is an anecdote, it reveals the character of orbit's tech support. just because a customer is angry at you, doesn't mean you're justified in telling them to p*** ***. i would be angry too, if i were ed. i strongly disagree with the idea that it's the customer who needs to kiss butt in a situation like this.
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Old Dec 04, 2002, 11:48 AM
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Joined Dec 1996
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The customer certainly doesn't have to kiss butt, and neither does the vendor. However, there needs to be an open honest dialog without consequences.
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Old Dec 04, 2002, 11:51 AM
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Joined Nov 2001
162 Posts
Okay okay.

Maybe I escalated too soon :-)

However, regardless of that I'm a paying customer and they maybe should have been a bit more thick-skinned and responsive. After all, I have shelled out $$$ for thier stuff and I'm not only out the $$$, but the time spent enjoying my hobby.

Anway, the email conversation you can take however you want. I'm really not out to bash Orbit. The fact remains I have 2 Orbit chargers that do not work (and they stopped working very quickly), and if you are thinking about buying one, you may find this usefull in making your purchasing decision.

-edg-
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Old Dec 04, 2002, 12:00 PM
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N. Staffs, UK
Joined Jan 1997
5,654 Posts
Are you sure that's the email conversation in full ? If so then I can't see where you sent your power supply specs. For some reason I am a little wary of obviously edited "full" conversations. Was there anything else you wrote that you've not mentioned ?

I can see why you get upset but taking it out on Arno Hausman is unlikely to help. You may well be right in what you said in your earlier thread that Orbits are fragile if used up to or over their limits (30 cells at 6A is at least close to the 275W limit) but I don't think threatening adverse publicity in only your second email is the way to get help. How good/quick are you at answering technical questions in a foreign language ? Are you taking account of the time difference in your expected response times ? Do you respond well to threats ?

Good luck

Steve
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Old Dec 04, 2002, 12:03 PM
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Joined Nov 2001
162 Posts
Steve,

Hehe. OK :-)

I was just trying to make the post a bit briefer, but here is the msg...

-----Original Message-----
From: Goldman, Ed
Sent: Monday, December 02, 2002 9:21 AM
To: 'Orbit, Arno Hausmann'
Subject: RE: Unhappy customer


Thanks for the reply,

I'm using a Bulldog 30Amp PS which you can see here:

http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin...?&I=LXEG99&P=7

Also, I use a Pyramid PS-46KX 40 Amp which you can see here:

http://www.etronics.com/product.asp?stk_code=pyrps46kx

I've also tried with a 12V car battery.


My V6 stopped working when using the Bulldog PS, my Pro stopped
working when using the Pyramid.
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Old Dec 04, 2002, 12:07 PM
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Haldor's Avatar
Stavanger, Norway
Joined Feb 2000
7,999 Posts
Ed - you're frustrated and as far as I can see Orbit is trying to figure this out. In order to do so they need as much info as possible hence their request for such. At any rate you should make arrangmenents with them for how to conduct a return, either direct to them or to the vendor you purchased the charges from.

Since you have two chargers that stopped working I'd think you either got very unlucky or you could have a PSU problem. Discharging 30cells of 3600mAh capacity will get the Orbit hot, very hot if it got poor cooling. Heat can seriously damage microprocessors and electrical components such as memory etc. The Orbits are in fact a computer, would you like to run your home PC at 200degF? Please dont take this as me pointing a finger at you because I really isnt. I always try to look at the variables and in eflight there are many...
Even high-end equipment can fail...

Best of luck, I hope you'll resolve your issues with Orbit and get back in the game real soon.
Please keep us updated on your progress.

-Haldor
(Pro user)
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Old Dec 04, 2002, 12:18 PM
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Joined Nov 2001
162 Posts
I would have been very satisfied if they had just said to send them in and they'd look at them. I think I was pretty clear what the problems were AND that I've had them for a very short period of time. I sent them my PS information and mentioned I've also tried them on !2V car batteries.

I have a Graupner Ultra Duo, on the same setup, charging the same batteries that hasn't broken. Both my power supplies have fans and I also run an external fan blowing on the chargers.

Anyway, I'm guessing I may have blown a Fet on one or both and I'm just going to try and fixing them myself.

Again, I'm not trying to bash. Primarily I just wanted to give a heads up to my fellow RCers that:

1) This is MY experience with these chargers
2) If you have an Orbit, you may want to watch out about pushing it even though you're within manufacturer's specs.

-edg-
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Old Dec 04, 2002, 01:28 PM
PUGZ RULE!
juantrinidad's Avatar
Joined Jun 2002
557 Posts
specs....

specs seem to be an issue. the lith charging is now down to 6 cells as experienced by a member and then confirmed by orbit (as mentioned by that member) in another thread. the manual says 9.

egoldman: i dont know if youve answered this in a previous post, but have the retailers been asked for a replacement or a refund? the warrantee should cover it?

JT
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Old Dec 04, 2002, 03:29 PM
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Belgium, Flemish Region, Oosterzele
Joined Dec 2001
5,422 Posts
Re: Read this if You are thinking about an Orbit

Quote:
Originally posted by edgoldman
I really don't like bashing a company. ....... All I will do is enclose the email conversation in full that I've had with
Orbit support which will describe the situation.
I cannot understand something like this is permitted on this forum. In civil countries it is considered unacceptable to publish private Email without permission.

As for the Orbit. I have one too. I also had a Graupner/Schulze. This one never let met down. The Orbit gave me a few problems, ALL solved by Emailing Orbit/Arno Haussman. He always was very quick in locating the problem and proposing a solution. The error was always mine. I guess I've made all of them now, so I sold the Graupner/Schulze , which was not getting much use anymore.

I'm sure Arno would have found the cause for your problems. But since you did not give him the chance to do so, he rightfully referred you to the importer, probably because he thought there was a misunderstanding (Not everybody's mother language is English...). I'd say you put your foot in it big time. You should clean up your act....
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Last edited by WimH; Dec 04, 2002 at 03:31 PM.
Old Dec 04, 2002, 03:38 PM
Should get a life
Tom Cardiff's Avatar
Muncie,IN USA
Joined Mar 2002
209 Posts
I think a lot of excuses are being made here for Orbit.
They have have a good reputation for making a good but expensive charger, if you charge a premium you should back it up with good support.
If you had purchased it from walmart they would have given you a new one with no questions asked and probably an apology.
Guess thats why there the leading retailer in the world.
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Old Dec 04, 2002, 03:46 PM
Should get a life
Tom Cardiff's Avatar
Muncie,IN USA
Joined Mar 2002
209 Posts
Another observation.
It seems that the USA ezoners expect a better level of support than our European ezoners.
Interesting.

As for the language issue, if you’re going to sell to a country better hire someone who CAN speak the language if you want to be successful.
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