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Great Leica Service

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Old Monday 26th August 2013, 10:22   #1
dalat
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Thumbs up Great Leica Service

My dad's Ultravid 8x20 had a problem with the diopter, both barrels couldn't be focussed any more simultanously. I told him to send it in for repair under warranty (I bought it for him a couple of years ago). He was a bit sceptical first, but then very delighted about the smooth process, good communication (confirmation of reception, report of the assessment of damage, note of sending back the item) and the result (perfect again!). It took 10 days in total.

I know, this is what is to be expected under the warranty, but still think it's worth to tell, seen the bashing Leica often gets for it's apparently poor service.
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Old Monday 26th August 2013, 16:41   #2
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I had a similar experience with a non warranty repair here in the US. My only complaint is that all the communicating, telling me what the repair would cost, me authorizing it, etc. was done by mail, as in stamp licking. It would have been lots quicker if email could have been used. But they're good--did what they said when they said and got it fixed right.
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Old Monday 26th August 2013, 18:18   #3
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Helo,
I bought a demo of Trinovid BN 8x42 which was used for show in shop,
from non authorized seller, (maybe supplier was authorized ), and
bino has problem with focussing on stars (cannot also reach infinity), and had a problematic diopter setting on scale. But as old saying "Consider it solved" I solve it by myself http://www.birdforum.net/showpost.ph...2&postcount=60
Leica designers also mad good job when they make it possible to repair at home.

Best regards Kestrel
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Old Monday 26th August 2013, 18:37   #4
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Florian,

I've read so many Leica warranty horror stories that even when I saw the title, I suspected it was meant ironically. The experience you described is what should be the case for all Leica warranty repairs, considering how they are "alphas" and cost multiple times what other bins cost, but as you know, their record has been spotty. A few years ago, Leica made a decision (not sure if was official or insider info) that it intended to make a concerted effort to be more consistent with repairs. That might have been inspired by big losses its sports and camera sales took in 2009. I think the company lost something like $9 million.

I am reading more good stories than bad these days, and since people have a tendency to post mainly when they've had problems, that's positive. Still, this progress seems to depend on where you live. There was a bad report a while back from someone I think in Malaysia. Apparently, not all the company's geographic divisions are riding on the "peace train."

And the Leica Goodwill Policy is more often "Goodwill Crapshoot" since Leica is rather arbitrary in terms of which bins/repairs they will cover under that policy and which they won't. Since there are no terms outlined and Goodwill repairs are made at their discretion, you never know until you send in a second-hand, demo or refurb Leica and hear back from the repair department (apparently by snail mail, from what Ron says) what its fate might be.

Anyway, glad to hear your dad got this compacts back in 10 days.

Brock
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Old Monday 26th August 2013, 19:36   #5
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Maybe you'll find this interesting.

http://www.24hourcampfire.com/ubbthr...ce#Post7552047
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Old Monday 26th August 2013, 20:02   #6
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Kestrel,

That is very impressive. You got my respect dude. Playing with "Tinkertoy" like me would never have prepared you.

Ron
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Old Monday 26th August 2013, 20:12   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jgraider View Post
Maybe you'll find this interesting.

http://www.24hourcampfire.com/ubbthr...ce#Post7552047
Yeah, exactly! A 10-pages long threat full of moans about terrible Leica service, while actually it's just one case being discussed where Leica did not go beyond normal warranty, a few other comments with users having good experience just get lost on the way. On the end the song of praising Swaro is sung by all (probably will happen again here)

You also find reports with bad experience with Swaro service here in this forum from time to time, just somehow they go unnoticed, while with Leica people keep repeating 15 year old horror stories they heard from a friend of a friend...

Anyway, we'll never get some real statistics at hand, and I don't care much. Personally I've had only good experience with Service of Zeiss, Nikon and Leica, none so far with Swaro (which is even better, because I didn't need it). In this case there was some good handling of Leica of a simple warranty case, just wanted to share that.
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Old Monday 26th August 2013, 21:41   #8
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Yeah, exactly! A 10-pages long threat full of moans about terrible Leica service, while actually it's just one case being discussed where Leica did not go beyond normal warranty, a few other comments with users having good experience just get lost on the way. On the end the song of praising Swaro is sung by all (probably will happen again here)

You also find reports with bad experience with Swaro service here in this forum from time to time, just somehow they go unnoticed, while with Leica people keep repeating 15 year old horror stories they heard from a friend of a friend...

Anyway, we'll never get some real statistics at hand, and I don't care much. Personally I've had only good experience with Service of Zeiss, Nikon and Leica, none so far with Swaro (which is even better, because I didn't need it). In this case there was some good handling of Leica of a simple warranty case, just wanted to share that.


But Florian!

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Old Monday 26th August 2013, 21:50   #9
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I had a seriously good experience with Leica earlier this year too, and should have reported earlier (Ive always been delighted with service from Swarovski and Opticron). My Leica Ultravid 8x20 (and another pair of even more valued binos) suffered the wrath of a teenager in the family (dont ask!), and ended up badly out of collimation. I had bought these second-hand, and told the Leica dealer in Dublin so. But he sent it off to Germany, and it was repaired free of charge! Top marks.
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Old Tuesday 27th August 2013, 03:44   #10
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I guess you missed boatachor's post on page 1, which is not a case of going beyond and above the call of the warranty agreement, but of Leica taking 9 months to get his spotting scope repaired.

"In December of 2010 I sent my Televid 77 to Leica for repair.
They wanted $35.00 up front for shipping & handling.
In August of 2011 they sent my spotting scope back good as new, I'LL let you decide if that is good customer service or not."

<B>
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Old Tuesday 27th August 2013, 05:14   #11
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The Leica Goodwill Policy is no more having been taken down from the web (was it ever actually on paper?) at least four years ago. Why they ever had it, whether it was ever honored, and what happened to it, I don't know. But at least they aren't falsely promising such a thing.

To Leica's credit, the once nearly constant carping about their repair service seems to have turned positive lately. Also, the complaints about rough focusing seems to have shifted from Leica to Swarovski. Time will tell if they keep up the good work.

Ron
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Old Tuesday 27th August 2013, 07:43   #12
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Originally Posted by brocknroller View Post
I guess you missed boatachor's post on page 1
Yes, probably missed a few more, I did not read it all in detail and count good and bad reports. But I can do this for my own thread since it's still only one page long:
3 first hand reports of good Leica service
0 first hand reports of bad Leica service
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Old Wednesday 28th August 2013, 13:41   #13
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Originally Posted by dalat View Post
My dad's Ultravid 8x20 had a problem with the diopter, both barrels couldn't be focussed any more simultanously. I told him to send it in for repair under warranty (I bought it for him a couple of years ago). He was a bit sceptical first, but then very delighted about the smooth process, good communication (confirmation of reception, report of the assessment of damage, note of sending back the item) and the result (perfect again!). It took 10 days in total.

I know, this is what is to be expected under the warranty, but still think it's worth to tell, seen the bashing Leica often gets for it's apparently poor service.
I wish I had that kind of good service with my Kowa binocular ,I got nothing but a run around . 3 days of complaining emails phone calls and to this day nothing. No RMA return number no replies So I gave up . If a Kowa product has a problem they have no on site facility not in the U.S. or Japan instead they refer you to where you bought them and expect the place that sold the binocular to fix them and they do not fix them only sell them . Kowa binoculars are excellent optics ,however if something happens you will have problems with repair of your binoculars or spotting scope.
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Old Thursday 5th September 2013, 20:21   #14
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Another vote for excellent Leica service. I recently was having a focusing problem with a pair of Trionavid BN 8x32. I also wasn't overly happy with the rubber protection starting to come off. They were bought from WEX in 2006. A local dealer sent them back with Leica courier.
Fax back to say that unfortunately they could no longor fix them. Would I be happy with replacement with a new pair of latest Ultravid HD 8x32. Needless to say the answer was yes and they arrived today. I'm well pleased and very impressed.
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Old Friday 6th September 2013, 11:33   #15
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It looks like the coatings are starting to come of my BN 8x42's so I took them to the Leica stand at Birdfair. One of the staff from Germany confirmed that was the case.

They said they would send me a UPS label so the bins could be sent to Germany for examination and repair (I hoped). That was on August 17th. On August 28th I received an email from Leica advising that some repairs were currently subject to delays and could I confirm the nature of my problem so they could confirm the expected timeframe for the required repair prior to arranging shipment.

Huh! I replied immediately and have heard nothing since. Absolutely wonderful.

I dread to think what a tedious process I'm now going to enter to try to resolve things. Are they badly understaffed or has the product became such low quality that they are overwhelmed by repair requests.

As I said above some of my friends were looking to replace/upgrade Leica equipment but were advised by suppliers/repairers to go for Swaro as Leica service has become a joke. I recognise that, despite a lot of what you read, Swaro can be far from perfect - the inside of my wife's 8x32's literally fell apart within 6 months. Although they were returned to Austria and completely rebuilt the communication with the company was difficult and we were very disappointed that they did not offer a replacement pair while hers were away.

There. That's that off my chest.

cheers
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Old Friday 6th September 2013, 15:48   #16
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Another vote for excellent Leica service. I recently was having a focusing problem with a pair of Trionavid BN 8x32. I also wasn't overly happy with the rubber protection starting to come off. They were bought from WEX in 2006. A local dealer sent them back with Leica courier.
Fax back to say that unfortunately they could no longor fix them. Would I be happy with replacement with a new pair of latest Ultravid HD 8x32. Needless to say the answer was yes and they arrived today. I'm well pleased and very impressed.
Glad you are happy, but personally, I'm always far more impressed with companies that have the ability to refurbish/repair their products that are supposed to be able to last a lifetime (or more), not just replace them.

--AP
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Old Friday 6th September 2013, 16:09   #17
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Glad you are happy, but personally, I'm always far more impressed with companies that have the ability to refurbish/repair their products that are supposed to be able to last a lifetime (or more), not just replace them.

--AP
Alex,

Models are replaced over the years. Technological changes take place. Repair technicians retire and are replaced by new ones who were not trained on the old ones. Inventories of parts are used up.

I inquired with Leica USA a few years ago about cleaning and refurbishing, if necessary, my old Leitz 7 x 42 Trinovid BA (Green Armour) Circa 1990. I believe the green armor was only available for 2 or 3 years around 1990. Except for the green armoring it is the same as the black bodied Leitz 7 x 42 which went back 10 or more years further. I was informed that Leica could clean it (at a cost which I thought was too high) but they could not guarantee that any parts needed would be available. These Trinovids, as you know, used Uppendahl prisms rather than the SP prisms Leica started using in their modern Trinovids.

I was able to purchase 2 new screw on rubber eye cups in matching green which fit the 7 x 42's 22mm ER. The originals were worn out. They cost $25.00 each. I doubt that they are still available. The binocular still works well but as each year passes the likelihood that it can be repaired or refurbished lessens even more. Even if one seeks out qualified private repairmen.

Bob

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Old Friday 6th September 2013, 18:35   #18
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Alex,
Models are replaced over the years. Technological changes take place. Repair technicians retire and are replaced by new ones who were not trained on the old ones. Inventories of parts are used up...
Yes, I know--that's reality--I'm just reporting what impresses me. When it comes to high-status euro-brands, like Leica, Zeiss, and Swarovski, one of the things that most impresses me (and that drives home that luxury/premium image) is the artisanal nature of their products. It comes across especially from the fact that they are as able to cleanly repair their bins as they are able to manufacture them. I'm especially impressed when they demonstrate their ability to provide long term support (e.g. stories of providing or fashioning eyecups for pre WWII bins), as it furthers the possibility of maintaining life-long relationships with the (sometimes described as "heirloom quality") products they sell. Bins from most other brands/manufacturers come off the assembly line and there is no plan to be able to repair them, sometimes no way to practically disassemble them, no rubber armor available to replace armor that has to be cut away to access the interior (Actually, one of the things that constantly impresses me about Nikon is that they maintain a repair staff in the USA that can often fix, very cleanly, any of their products, most of them made by subcontractors). It is a practical decision not to plan repair of those soul-less products and instead to replace the few that are returned as defective or that break under warranty.

--AP
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Old Wednesday 11th September 2013, 21:25   #19
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I have had great experience with all the higher priced optics even Vortex.
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Old Tuesday 24th September 2013, 18:23   #20
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My Leica experience was very poor a couple of years ago, problem with focussing on 8yr old 10x42 trinovids, returned them to Germany, 2/3 weeks later got an email saying they were past viable repair so they would let me buy a new pair of Ultravids at near full retail price I think about 1600 euros, no chance I thought, could buy them cheaper online. I paid the return carraige and had my bins returned to me. On recommendation of a birding pal I sent them to Kay optical who repaired and returned them for just over 100 including postage. Hows that for Leica service. Wont ever purchase Leica again
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Old Thursday 26th September 2013, 20:57   #21
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Excellent recent service from Leica. One eyecap broke on my 7 year old 8/32 Ultravids (shouldn't happen I know) about 2 weeks ago. Phoned Leica and a replacement arrived in post 2 days later.
Unfortunately the wrong size so I returned new one with old broken one to them. Correct one plus a spare arrived about 10 days later - no charge.
No complaints from me.
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Old Friday 27th September 2013, 13:21   #22
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Update on my Leica experience (see above).

I've just received a quote for repair of the eyepieces on my Leica 8x42 BN's. The coating has started coming off but Leica say this due to scratching of the eyepieces - if that is the case they are microscopic scratches that can't be seen with the naked eye. They want to charge me 420+ Euros for the privilege.

Additionally they are offering a fast service for an extra 110 Euros or an express service for an extra 200 Euros even though they state that they are missing a spare part at present!!!!

They were bought in April 2003 and I thought they came with a lifetime guarantee.

The cost may be cheaper than a new pair of bins but its still money I don't have so it looks like I'm stuck with them.

My own experience only adds to list of dissatisfied Leica (or former) Leica owners that I know.

cheers
Gordon

PS. It was suggested in another thread that a complainant should talk to Leica. That's all very well but I don't see much mileage in talking to someone over the phone in Germany - no facilities here in UK anymore. And, besides, if they've made up their mind it would be difficult to get them to change when your're not face to face with the item in front of you.
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Old Thursday 3rd October 2013, 21:45   #23
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Thanks for starting this thread. It helped me have an idea of what to prepare for when I recently sent in my pair of Ultravid HDs.

I had a good repair experience and thought it might help someone else to hear my story.

Duration: I sent in my bins August 26 and got them back October 2. Not great but roughly what I expected based on the prior posts. Had it been less than two weeks, I would have been much happier.

Cost: I requested and got service as part of the Passport warranty. There was some confusion around registration of these bins even though I had bought them through an authorized dealer and registered them via Leica's website. This was quickly resolved via email and phone. I paid shipping to Leica and never requested a reimbursement.

Result: My problem was a focus wheel with some play at a certain position. This was fixed. I also asked to make them look new which they mostly did. The focus wheel has a small ding that I never pointed out and they didn't catch. No big deal

Communication: I always got quick and friendly replies via phone or email. (The initial repair estimate was snail mailed as they intended to get my signed approval for the cost.) Leica even called me to let me know that my binoculars were about to ship which was nice.

There were two snafus.
(1) The estimated ready date was 'before October' which was extended by two weeks for a while but in the end got to be October 2.
(2) Since my binoculars showed as registered to someone else (I bought the bins new so that was a bit unsettling) there was some extra communication to resolve the registration.

All in all I'm happy. I have a properly focusing pair of bins again.
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