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Why isn't Zen Ray fixing customer service?

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Old Saturday 22nd July 2017, 02:38   #1
scott63
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Why isn't Zen Ray fixing customer service?

I have purchased 3 different bins from Zen-Ray, and I've been extremely happy with them. So much so, that I have recommended them to at least a dozen people, and I know for a fact 3 people that have purchased their products.

One of those who purchased from Zen-Ray several years ago had a warranty issue a couple years ago. He sent in the bins and was sent a new pair within a week, despite the fact that the problem was his fault and he clearly told them it was his fault. He is a customer for life now.

Another person that followed my recommendation had to send an item back for repair this year. He complained to me a few months later that he hadn't had ANY communication from ZR, I was completely shocked! Then I look here and see that this is actually the norm and not an aberration. He did finally get the item back, after becoming a complete PIA to them. It is seemingly repaired, but no note explaining what was done or if anything had in fact been done at all. The real kicker? The item was wrapped in a T-shirt in the original box, and not even a new t-shirt! WTH!?

Compare this to another friend who went with Vortex. He had a problem, called them and they actually fed ex'd him a replacement telling him to send the defective item back with the included RA slip.

So what the heck it going on? I really love the products I have purchased, but after reading about the abysmal CS here and with my friend it is causing me to quite literally recommend their competition, which I genuinely feel bad doing.

If the people working for ZR occasionally read these posts why aren't they fixing this? Why don't they read about the Vortex CS and model their own after Vortex?
Does anybody (members or mods) have direct communication with the ZR staff about this?
Thanks,
Scott
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Old Saturday 22nd July 2017, 19:38   #2
fluxed
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Years ago I would read the posts from Charles and figured he was going places with this product. Perhaps they are overwhelmed. Or maybe an illness in the immediate family? I am not making excuses though.

They still have a facebook page up. Maybe try them there for some answers?
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Old Saturday 22nd July 2017, 23:31   #3
scott63
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Their most recent post on FB is from 8 months ago! apparently they are not paying much attention to their page..... I did send them a PM.
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Old Monday 24th July 2017, 06:37   #4
Holger Merlitz
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If the repair man has to sacrifice his last T-shirt to wrap the binocular, then Zen Ray may not be in the best of conditions :-)

Cheers,
Holger
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Old Monday 24th July 2017, 23:49   #5
scott63
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I sent them a pm on FB several days ago, but apparently they don't check it often. Very disappointing considering how much I like the product. Oh well I guess thats why some companies succeed and others fail....
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Old Tuesday 25th July 2017, 20:28   #6
scott63
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I wanted to let people know that Jennifer from Zen Ray did write back about the concerns I listed here. I went into even more specifics with her, and encouraged her to check their FB page more often and to visit this and other optics forums. I really do hope they get someone into the customer service role that can take the time to turn this around as I think their products are a really good value and I've been extremely happy with my purchases from them.
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Old Tuesday 25th July 2017, 20:52   #7
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I bought a pair of Zen Rays (ED3 8x43) for my mother based upon perceived high QPR at the time. Optically, the binoculars are a good QPR, but build quality was less than perfect and within a few days of light use the binoculars developed two issues - one of the plastic strap attachment points broke, and one of the rubber eye cups separated. Zen Ray responded quickly to my email requesting service, but asked for $35 to repair or replace the binoculars. When I balked and asked them if they thought that was a reasonable response they responded that they hadn't realized how the binoculars had been damaged and would waive the charge. While we did receive a replacement pair of binoculars and they have continued to serve well, that experience and the myriad of worse customer service experiences I have heard are enough to steer me away. There are a LOT of competitors out there with better service.
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Old Tuesday 25th July 2017, 21:49   #8
scott63
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I've been happy enough with my purchases that I will give them some time to come around before I write them off. Your experience doesn't seem bad at all. If I'm reading correctly, ZR CS shouldn't have asked you for money, but quickly agreed to send you another pair of bins with no charge that have since been trouble free. Seems like a good outcome to me.
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Old Wednesday 26th July 2017, 02:08   #9
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Yes the outcome was in the end good, but having two problems like that just off the bat, and then that customer service didn't read my email, and reading the horror stories of others, is enough to put me off other purchases. Absolute optical quality aside, I have never had an issue with any Nikon Monarch range bins, and other brands seem to have earned or be earning stronger reputations for service. The market is ever more crowded for the $250-500 range as well as for the near $1000 almost alphas... When the ED3 came out its QPR was more attention grabbing. Optically it is still a fine value, but there are a lot more that offer a similar value to choose from now.
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Old Wednesday 26th July 2017, 04:09   #10
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Apparently even 1k dollar Nikons aren't immune to problems..... Not sure about CS since it seems they were purchased and returned (2 pair, same problem) at Cabelas. But this is a free market and bad reviews travel fast, I hope ZR turns it around as I've been very happy with my 3 purchases, which have been used extensively.
http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=348074
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Old Wednesday 26th July 2017, 13:18   #11
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Bummer to read that about the HGs, but no one is immune of course. I have no ill will to ZR and would also be pleased to see them rectify things a bit. For better or worse I have never had a service issue with a Nikon product so can't speak to their service in the US.
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Old Wednesday 26th July 2017, 14:17   #12
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There's no excuse for terrible customer service, period. They won't last if this has become their norm.
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Old Thursday 27th July 2017, 14:37   #13
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Originally Posted by jgraider View Post
There's no excuse for terrible customer service, period. They won't last if this has become their norm.
Some years ago I purchased a ZR 8 x 43 ED2 which arrived with one eyepiece noticeable taller than the other. I emailed ZR, and Charles immediately (and with numerous apologies for the slipshod QC) replaced the binocular, with the replacement stellar in all respects. It is now very sad to read that ZR customer service has run aground. You're absolutely right that ZR won't be around much longer if they can't turn things around.
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Old Sunday 30th July 2017, 21:19   #14
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I've been tempted by the 7x36 more than once but pulled back each time because of ongoing customer service problems. Only way I would buy one would be if the selling dealer was big enough to offer their own lifetime warranty.
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Old Monday 28th August 2017, 16:21   #15
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A few years back I saw all the positive posts and thought -I should get a ZR;
now I see all the negative posts and am glad I did not.

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Old Wednesday 30th August 2017, 23:16   #16
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Originally Posted by scott63 View Post
The item was wrapped in a T-shirt in the original box, and not even a new t-shirt!
Oui, vintage grunge tres tres chic.

Perhaps forward this to Dougie at CL. Will purchase ZR if wrapped in latest retro fashion.
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Old Thursday 31st August 2017, 00:05   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edwincjones View Post
A few years back I saw all the positive posts and thought -I should get a ZR;
now I see all the negative posts and am glad I did not.

edj
I still have a 7X36....waisted money IMO... You were smart!
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Old Thursday 31st August 2017, 03:52   #18
scott63
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I've been very happy with my purchases, in fact I love my bins. However, I made some suggestions to the lady that responded with my comments via pm, namely getting someone to respond to their own FB page and re-establishing a presence on a couple forums. Those modest, easy to complete suggestions were ignored, along with the pm's I sent the first week of August asking for a follow up conversation. This experience coupled with the recent experience of a close friend are beyond disappointing.

Count me out.

Now they have turned a solid customer with real world experience with their products into someone who will never recommend their products to anyone, ever. I will also NEVER purchase their products again. Now on to try to figure out where I'll spend my money from now on.
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Old Sunday 12th November 2017, 22:39   #19
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I have no idea...but my guess is that competition is eating into their profits and they are not as motivated.

I tend to keep my optics for a long time. I prefer to buy from companies that will be around and have solid warranties. Over the years I've taken advantage of Nikons warranty a few times and they have been great.

Last edited by Super Dave : Sunday 12th November 2017 at 22:48.
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Old Tuesday 14th November 2017, 15:28   #20
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The ZR facebook page appears to have been removed and there's a note on their website about revamping the site and it should return in 2018. I need warranty work and can't get in touch with Charles. I've emailed and called a number listed on the net, but it goes to a personal voicemail that sound nothing like ZR.

I have purchased three bins and a scope from this company and always recommended them freely. Am I going to be sorry?? :(
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Old Thursday 16th November 2017, 14:26   #21
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Originally Posted by MichelleOhio View Post
The ZR facebook page appears to have been removed and there's a note on their website about revamping the site and it should return in 2018. I need warranty work and can't get in touch with Charles. I've emailed and called a number listed on the net, but it goes to a personal voicemail that sound nothing like ZR.

I have purchased three bins and a scope from this company and always recommended them freely. Am I going to be sorry?? :(
The answer is looking increasingly like "yes". The ZR website now shows all of the pictured binoculars and scopes as "Out of Stock", and no orders can be placed. While the site will supposedly be revamped in 2018, it would not surprise me to learn that the company is now out of business. It's a shame as the products were actually pretty good. Hopefully, the same fate will not befall other newcomers like Maven, Tract, GPO etc.

Last edited by chartwell99 : Thursday 16th November 2017 at 14:33.
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Old Monday 27th November 2017, 22:52   #22
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Guess I'll hold off until April to see if they return like the website says they will. My bins still work just fine, but the objective lenses are both cracked from a flat fall on to concrete. :(
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Old Monday 27th November 2017, 23:05   #23
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I asked a similar question to a large optics seller, based in New York.

He said he has tried to contact them, no response.

This does not sound good at all. So buyer beware.

Jerry
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Old Monday 27th November 2017, 23:06   #24
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The good news, I guess, is you can't buy them anymore since they are closed. The bad news is, I'm learning, that my ZRs in need of repair are probably forever dead.
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Old Tuesday 28th November 2017, 09:38   #25
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Unfortunately, it's a safe bet ZR is history. They were having problems for a while--who knows why. I sent an ED2 in for repair almost two years ago and it disappeared for a couple months. I finally contacted them about it, got no response, but the binos showed up two days later. The focus wheel dustcap had been mangled so someone tried to do something with them. The problem was not fixed however.

I just wrote them off. It's a mechanical thing (the right barrel focusing lens is basically disconnected) so I might just open them up and have some fun trying to repair it myself. Couldn't hurt.

As I said, it's just unfortunate.
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