I'm curious to what other photographer would do in this situation...
**Please note I'm not talking smack about the vender or anything like that, just seeing what others views are***
Also I am going to be as truthful and unbiased as I can but know probably everything I say is backed up by proof via email or whatever.
ok here's the deal. In late Feb my tripod broke so I ordered a new one. Usually I research the bejesus outta these things but in this case I only had a few minutes to figure it and get one ordered so it would arrive in time when needed. I won't mention the brand but it's one of the apparently many that look a like (like a mefoto or profoto) and I guess all made at same china plant, not super cheap nor expensive though.
Few days later I received it and I won't lie, it was a good looking tripod. I use tripods a lot... like probably 90% of the time and since 2013 I think i've taken close or over 400k shots, so I'd say that i 'm pretty comfy using a tripod.
Long story short over the next 4 days my camera would randomly just slide off the tripod.. Now I am anal about tightening things and what not and never have had any issues before and it kept happening and I ended up with 2 broken nikkor lenses and a badly damaged D700. Some of the time I could catch it or was over grass but a few times I wasn't including 2 hard hits on tile and concrete. This broke the upper control knobs, screwed up the af system (might work for a bit but then it just freaks out and goes nuts then dies or just dies and got to revert to mf and even then it will still error out), the aperture controls is malfunctioning, the shutter is jacked up, exposures are off, it erased all my internal info (for adding copyrights and such) and my custom presets and on and on... it's just screwed up.
Through out the process my theory is that for one they didn't put a safety lock or whatever you want to call it on the ball head so if it comes loose it all slides right off. Then also they painted the release plate with a slick and shiny paint which doesn't help but then the paint was immediately chipping away. The plate lock really didn't get it really tight so I'd image even a small amount of paint cracking would give it enough room to slide off. And also the release plate seems like thin, cheaper metal and at that time the temps were around 20-40 degrees F, so I was thinking that plate might shrink just a bit in the cold and again with no safety release it would come right off. (btw~ the coo told me they don't even need safety releases... obviously correct! lol. It would have saved my gear from being broken)
I wasn't to happy about this and wrote them via web site... they are in England so just can't call and now it's just making things more difficult. I basically voiced the issues and said I hope they make it right. They did write back apologizing and said they would absolutely make it right and replace my gear and upgrade me to one their new pro ones thats coming out soon... So I'm thinking great!
So I start looking for a low miles d700 and can't find one so they tell me to go ahead and upgrade a version or two newer like a d7100 or d7200 and I wrote back saying just fyi this is a d700 not a d7000 so that'd make it a d750 or d8** and they said that was fine, just get what I can live with.. So I start looking but then Nikon has a sale on d750's and d810's with the 24-120mm (one of my lens that was broken) and they are basically the same price or cheaper than a decent used or refurb'd one... so duh that make sense..
Anyways they agree and literally tell me to get whatever I want and send them the receipts and they'll immediately paypal me the amount. Well I don't have that much extra cash so we went back and forth trying to figure it out, IMO was pretty simple, I put stuff in cart or wishlist at b&h and they checkout and it comes to me... but it drags on...
Eventually I end up with their USA rep because the customer service people were in china for a bit and we go over it all and she does what she can..
Anyways, we think we have it all figured out and now it comes down to they need me to send my damaged gear to their usa warehouse and as soon as it arrives my gear will be sent or they'll add the amount to a gift card in my account at bh. So I send my gear off and when it arrives I send an email saying they got it so please finish the deal up as I need it the next weekend for a wedding shoot... I get a message back saying the the management is taking it over now... and they aren't honoring the deal.
At this point it's been over a month and a half and about 5 days later I get a message from management saying that basically they messed up and want to start the whole process over starting with sending the tripod back to England to see "if" it's defective or not ( even though the line and all their lines are discontinued due to defects). (just fyi~ the company is well known but there is only 8 employees)
Of course at this point i'm getting mad because of time and money and them not honoring their agreement and even get a letter from ceo about my language and what not.. but at this point it's been 2 months, my gear is still damaged, I've lost two wedding gigs and they want to start over and drag this out or as most people have told me just screw me and say the tripod is fine... which would be complete bs.
The ceo admitted they screwed up but still expect me to trust them even after they just broke the agreement and that the main reason for this was that I was insisting on them replacing my d700 and 2 crap lenses with a brand new d810... So obviously he didn't get the real story or actually just go and read the actual emails where he'd see I never demanded anything but rather just followed what his company set before me and then basically they made me an offer to make it right and I accepted... then they backed out on the day they were supposed uphold their end of it.
I wrote him back with copies of a lot of the emails (I have probably 25-40 that go over all this in detail and show it quite clearly that I demanded nothing but they forged a trail for me to follow and then made the offer), of course I didn't hear back and I see the tripod was delivered in England this morning so we'll see if they actually honor their word or not.
Also.. there were many more issues other than that like the legs would get stuck and you couldn't raise or lower them and then say you would be out shooting and a leg would collapse and it'd all come crashing down (as it did to me several times and was really great when you're 3 hours into a milky way time-lapse and are now screwed). It didn't come with the toolkit it was supposed to have, the legs kept smashing the bejesus outta my fingers until I realized they could be tightened lol. The feet would always be loose and lost a foot within the first few days even though i really hadn't taken it anywhere. The head would come loose when doing panos and on and on.
I have no doubt they build some without these issues but dang....
So basically, the tripod is messed up, they admitted all kinds of production issues, they admitted they've handled it all wrong, they've broken their settlement agreement and 2 months into this already and now want me to start over... and then IF they decide its faulty, instead of just doing the right thing and honoring their agreement they want me to waste more time sending it to nikon to get estimate and having it just fixed. To which Nikon doesn't want it as it'll cost more than it's worth on all three items and even if they do try to fix it a lot of the parts it sounds like will have to either be ordered from japan or 3rd party Chinese parts used which i'm not ok with and even then they've said that they don't want to try and fix most things with water damage or hard drops because you might not find everything thats wrong and some point later it all goes to heck again and then what? Also they said if it's just fixed that they wouldn't recommend it be used anymore for real work as it could go out at any time and if that time is in the middle of a wedding.... not good.
I know thats kinda long but a lot shorter than the version i was going to post with the actual email details. If need to and they try and screw me I do have those, videos, etc.. that can be released...
I'm not out to screw them but their product damaged my property IMO they should honor their agreement, I do realize that's a bug upgrade but again I didn't ask for it... they offered it.. i accepted. IMO they should just honor their agreement and we all can move on.
Anyways, anyone bored enough to share their thoughts on this?
Without the make or photos we cannot see if what you bought was just cheap rubbish or what.
If it came off once why did you still use it ..I would have sent it back pronto.
Makers don't usually cover consequential loss.
If you spent money based on there written promises and are now out of pocket you have a court case.
If it was purchased in the UK it has to be suitable for purpose so you could open a case in the county court ..on line you don't even need to be in the UK or attend and if you win just send in the Sheriffs to collect the money....
PS KISS when you fill in the forms.
Well the first time it came off... even though Im anal about tightening things I didn't know if it was user error or not.
The second time definitely ruled user error out and after that the damage was already done.
"slid off the tripod" means, one second it's there, the next it's not, it be like slightly loosening the head clamp and off she'd go. Or for example I was doing a milky way time lapse and at some point it came off during the exposure so you can see parts of the original view plus shooting straight up after it fell. So when I needed to use it I'd just have to stand there ready to grab it and I did report it right away.
And yes the issue I believe is the plate that screws on the camera that attaches to the ball head. I can PM you pix of that.. Like I said, right now I don't want to name names since it's still in play and god forbid they do the right thing and honor their deal but posting the pieces instantly gives them away.
They have agreed for almost 2 months to replace the gear as they are aware of the defects and by the sounds of it I'm not the only one.
I definitely have a court case as I have everything in writing and spoke to a friend in uk who's a lawyer (and i sent all the emails to) but not that area and the word was "slam dunk", i'd just prefer it be a civil thing but you never know. I just want a camera that works again and not worried about it dying from issues caused by this during a wedding or whatever. And their admitted only real reason for not coming though was they they I insisted on the replacement being a d810 when in fact that all came from the customer support guy i had not me... they offered, I accepted.
Well it's not really in the "cheap rubbish" section, actually my last one was.. cf.. $47 w/overnight shipping and it held up for years with no issues. I made a video showing the new tripod and hoe easy the camera would come off then put the head from this cheap tripod on and didn't even tighten it down and I couldn't even knock it off.
when you win you will get all the fees back..only quote emails from the UK company not china /US. If they don't pay when you have the judgement just send the sheriffs who give them the choice to pay or they will take 50 tripods to sell at auction to pay you the debt
I will PM you so watch your account for notifications of this.
and did the purchaser act on promises from the tripod seller which were not kept and cost him money....
I love going to court ..never failed yet..( but you need a watertight case)
I'm still a bit unclear as to how your camera "slides off". Does this pic represent your ball head? If so, then can you describe which parts are separating?
I have tons of pix and video, I'll upload some more when I get home but I live in mountains so only satellite internet and only get .5mb uploads uggg
Their own employees confirmed most all the issues as regular issues which is why all their current models are discontinued right now.
I did every thing that was asked and beyond... literally..like they never asked for tripod back until after they were supposed to have settled up but I actually asked them at the beginning what do they want me to do with the tripod and they never responded to that just about getting me a new one someday.
It's watertight man! I don't know how many emails I have from them going over this but at least a few dozen and there's nothing bad or wrong on my part until they accuse me of expecting a d810 as compensation and that came from them not me.
You're more than welcome to read the emails and decide for yourself, I have nothing to hide.
Go to a consumer rights specialist solicitor if they don't sort this very quickly.
I brought legal issues up with him and he basically dared me
"Thirdly, further threats of taking this legal will only delay recourse. I am perfectly happy for you to instruct legal counsel, who can speak to our legal team. This will just become costly for you, and will extend this process significantly."
I don't think he quite understand what his company has offered, although I responded back to him with the relevant info and I've just been ignored at this point and that was last friday
In this batch there should be 116 (they are still uploading)
Do you remember if the clamp actually tightened past the point where the plate would be held? I am thinking that either the cast and painted plate was too high due to the raised features on the bottom holding it up, or the clamp was stopping short of a good hold due to a badly formed thread or similar.
The bit about their legal team makes me laugh - they are just a bunch of young people who got some small tweaks done to existing product line and called it their own. There is a local guy where I live who speaks to sales reps in the photographic accessory business on a daily basis and he can't speak lowly enough of that company and it's claims for 'its' designs.
When I said speak to a consumer rights specialist, I didn't mean threaten them as that will only alienate them. Just be well informed for what to say if/when things go wrong.
The clamp really didn't tighten to well and didn't take much to loosen it to the point where the plate slides out, I actually have this on video.. where I basically tighten it down and just barely touch it (to basically mimic the paint cracking of plate shrinkage, too like just a hair) and it just flies off. Then I take my old like $5 head and put it on the tripod and switch plates and pop the camera on the head WITHOUT tightening the clamps all... it's fully wide open and and swing it around, backwards, forwards, smack it side to side and even not locked in that camera and lens won't come off... it's kinda funny lol. I just sound completely dumb as I hadn't slept in over 2 days so I was in lala land, I'll shrink it and upload it. It's most really boring since i was so tired but I had only like 40 minutes of light left and had to ship it the next day.
Over the last week I've talked to a lot of stores, repair centers and people and a lot of them were shocked at who it was but then in every case the person had an older model, so apparently they used to be better.
I used to have my own web dev company and I did some companies who had "their" line of say fishing rods main in china but then of course you could get the exact same ones in the big sports stores as under their brand for ⅓ the cost... so same kind of deal.
I have videos where I try to collapse the tripod to put in case and i can't even do that as some leg sections won't release so they can't slide in and then other sections won't lock so they slide out... boring but some funny parts
I may even assemble the entire conversation from start to finish just to at least show the truth and give me some credibility since they apparently want the story their way which isn't correct at all.
The whole legal part I'm not good at... i'd end up graphically telling or showing them where to stick it. I've been trying all week to find a lawyer near there and have a friend who's one but she's far away so that doesn't help and I have no idea on how things work there. I talked with the citizens right people and they told me and gave me links detailing what I'm entitled too and of course those guys laughed it off. Just not sure what to do with them as they aren't even answering emails now apparently.
I think your analysis of your problem is wrong though, so I took the time to take a photo of mine to show you what yours should look like.
If you click on that you will see full res.
The way you described your camera just appearing to jump out of your plate can only mean one thing - forget slippery paint or any other finish problems, it is not sliding out, the detachment is caused by the raised cast features on the bottom of your plate effectively wasting real estate that could have been used to get better engagement with the taper of head's clamp.
I just looked again at my old head and the plate engagement is 100% spot-on whereas your plate probably tightens almost only on the edges rather than the taper if it just pops out unexpectedly. Forget the horrid paint, that isn't the cause, although the finish they used should have been more durable like the anodising on the old style plate shown in the picture. It would have been better to have got a report on it by an engineer before you sent it back as they have the proof now and if they replace it with new, you will never see it again to use as proof against them to claim for your body and lenses. their behaviour seems very slippery to me.
To further clarify things, my new head does not undo enough to allow the plate or bracket to lift out, it can only slide out sideways. Yours is not engaging correctly due to a design fault that prioritised style over function most likely.
I hope that helps.
KISS you only need to prove your point once ..don't be verbose ,people get bored ..stick to the point.
Your problem to me looks lile the clamping screw or clamp itself has come to the end of its travel and is applying no further clamping force.
Last week I also contacted a lawyer here ( who just happens to have been a pro photographer for 20 years) and he told me the legal parts which were basically... yeah we can sue them easily here and it's not like they have a prayer in court. So I just compiled the communications into 1 pdf which ended up being 85 pages long of them basically telling they would replace my gear and send me one of the new pro model tripods and blah blah blah.
I guess on Monday I'll just go ahead and give him the green light to go and try and get this over with. While compiling those emails and re-reading the last few and how they contradict themselves is pretty funny and also pretty sad at the same time.