An open letter to Minelab, USA


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After giving this issue considerable thought; I have decided to handle this on open forums. I intend to post this letter on Bill's and Rob's forum as well. If any forum owner wants to delete this, you certainly have the right to exercise your option to censor...it is your court I am playing on.

MINELAB, LAS VEGAS are you listening?

I have owned the PI 2000, 2200-d, gp extreme and now the 3500. I found my biggest nugget with the 2000 and the most gold with my GP Extreme. I never had any problems with the 2000 and the 2200-d, except the battery was bad on the 2200-d. Minelab replaced that battery without any problem. I was doing ok with the GP Extreme but sent it to Minelab in Las Vegas for a check-up prior to my second trip to Australia in 2003...apparently it had some problem because a few parts were replaced. When I went for a test drive the GP Extreme was way different and more quiet and sensitive. These are examples of the good service I received in prior years from Minelab.

In 2005 or 2006 I traded a GoldScan-5 and boot for a 3500...yes; it was used and therefore no warranty...my problem and my decision. I used the 3500 and found some gold but it never seemed right. So, I sent it to Minelab...my machine was promptly "repaired" and returned in good time. I took it for a test, new and old problems surfaced and I arranged with Minelab to send it back...again, the machine was "repaired" and returned...this time I waited quite awhile before testing...again, the machine was not right and back it went. This time the "repair" and return took weeks. For this test I went to Gold basin for a WSPA Outing and there my eyes were truly opened...the machine had no sensitivity whatever and still had some of the other problems...I was aghast, appalled and thoroughly disgusted.

I was getting desperate. I could not, would not sell a defective machine and Minelab Las Vegas was clearly not getting the 3500 fixed. After making a post on an Oz forum I was advised to send the unit to Minelab, Australia; which I did. Thank God for them, I have been to the Yuma area twice to test the machine...Using the 14 inch mono-E by NuggetFinder,I have found a six grain nugget, a eight grain nugget many "good", deep bits of trash and most impressive a 8/10th of a grain bit of brass or copper with the 11 inch mono coil. All these things were found on tough ground, near power lines, in the heat and with military flights going by...after about 20 hours of testing my machine appears to work in all modes and with different coils...Thank you, Minelab Service in Australia!!!

I seriously considered buying a 4500, but all the heartache and misery your poor service has caused me ruled against spending thousands more on an unreliable product, an uncaring and incompetent Service Department and a "there's a sucker born every minute" business philosophy...I considered Filing a claim in Small-Claims Court but there is no provision for that here in California...

My question is why did I have to go through all this cost and turmoil? Why weren’t the Techs at Minelab, Las Vegas sufficiently trained and competent to make these repairs? Minelab, Las Vegas you have a duty to provide competent, trained and caring technicians. When a machine is entrusted to your care the machine and the customer it represents should be given the highest level of care...these aren't cheap toys!!! I am telling you your service in recent times has been dismal. Worse, there seems to be a Used-car salesman attitude running rampant...in your service department.

I will never know how many nuggets and meteorites I walked over while swinging almost dead detector., thanks for the useless exercise.

Minelab Pi machines have been the vanguard in gold detector development...the best gold finding machines ever made. Now, it is time to bring your service and warranty repairs up to the same great standard.

Sincerely

Fred Mason

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Know what you're talking about! Sent you a PM, but will ppost here too. I'd like a contact name and address in AU for their service department. Would rather pay and have it done right than free and unsure.

Good letter!Hope it rings some bells to someone.

Shep

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Fred Mason I know that what you say is spot on, and so do a lot of other MineLab users even as far away Australia. I do hope ML wake up to their problems in LV and fix up their dismal performance.

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Fred,

Minelab USA, is really suffering in their business. Customer Service, is a hugh part of a great company. I know several detectorist to include myself that have had and continue to have Customer/Repair Service problems. It's a shame that Minelab, has let this problem continue in our Country. I'm sure throughout the years the USA market share of their product has keep their business flowing. We deserve more than higher prices for their product, their dollar is in the same boat as the rest of the world...sinking!

LuckyLundy

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Fred

That is a very good letter and I agree with you on it. The last repair I had to send mine in for was the 4000 for a new on/off switch and so far so good. However, the service I received on two other detectors was far from acceptable with both being returned several times before they fixed them correctly. The letters I sent after those problems was no where near as nice as yours. I don't know I guess I'm just tired of being nice anymore.

You take care, Wes.

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  • Admin

Hello All,

At the last Minelab Training Seminar in Anthem, Arizona I was the only dealer that brought up issues with the repair department. Although, many other dealers probably wanted to say something, I actually acted out on it. To be honest, Minelab USA claimed everything was ok and they were working to better the repair department. However, to date I'm still getting calls and emails about detectors not being repair correctly or detectors that have been in the repair department for 2-3 months.

I guess until I actually walk into the repair department and see what is going on, I won't honestly know.

Minelab also made it much more difficult to communicate with customers with the new automated phone messaging system. If you get an operator, they are a second party that does not work for Minelab USA directly.

Talk with you later,

Rob Allison

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Thanks, People;

I hope they get their stuff together.

fred

Fred,

I'm curious if you actually mailed that letter to Minelab USA and Minelab Oz? If so, did you get any sort of response back? If not, I have to wonder why not?

Digger Bob

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Hello All,

At the last Minelab Training Seminar in Anthem, Arizona I was the only dealer that brought up issues with the repair department. Although, many other dealers probably wanted to say something, I actually acted out on it. To be honest, Minelab USA claimed everything was ok and they were working to better the repair department. However, to date I'm still getting calls and emails about detectors not being repair correctly or detectors that have been in the repair department for 2-3 months.

I guess until I actually walk into the repair department and see what is going on, I won't honestly know.

Minelab also made it much more difficult to communicate with customers with the new automated phone messaging system. If you get an operator, they are a second party that does not work for Minelab USA directly.

Talk with you later,

Rob Allison

Rob,

I wonder if Doc could get inside there, take a look, talk to people, and let us all know just what the hell is going on? I think he's the closest big dealer to the facility with enough clout to maybe stir some things up, then get everyone some honest answers.

Digger Bob

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I have been in the repair department several times.

I don't think it would be in my best interests to go into too much detail. However, I can tell you the repair guys work very hard at trying to fix the machines that need repair.

However, they have been ham stringed to a great degree with an inability to get parts promptly.

Some of this is caused not by Minelab, but by the people who supply Minelab with components who can not keep up with the demand.

I must concur that Minelab has a long way to go to rehabilitate their customer service image here in the U.S.

The new General Manager of Minelab here in the U.S. Gary, is truly one of the sharpest business men I think Minelab has ever put in that position. He is likable, knowledgeable, great business sense. But he walked into Minelab at a time when it is in an enormous period of flux, and many of the challenges he is faced with addressing were ones that were handed to him when he walked through the door. They were not under his leadership.

I think everyone is all too aware that I have been a consumer advocate on many occasions for people who were having issues with their Minelabs, none of which were purchased from me. But I do know who to talk to when I walk into Minelab and say, "Here's the issues our customer is having with their machine, and here is the history, what can we do to make sure this customer is happy again and end this frustration?" In ever instance all the gears got in motion quickly to make sure the issue was resolved quickly.

I don't have an answer, I can tell you that the people at Minelab do care about their customers, but they suffer frustration too when they need parts to fix a machine and they can't get their hands on them.

Doc

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Well,

Trina and maybe Gary have totally resolved my issue and even went beyond my expectations and I thank them for that. Lets just hope Gary can get a handle on the whole situation very soon. But my initial complaint has nothing to do with parts or repairs, it was about communication with customers, a key component in customer service.

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SOOOOO, all that you say is no doubt true Doc...BUT, my machine was nearly destroyed by someone at Minelab Las Vegas...maybe they were letting the Chimps play, maybe they had several bad days that all occured when working on my 3500, maybe it is a conspiracy against little nobody Mason...all I know for sure is Las Vegas, Minelab cost me a pile of money and lot of wasted time...not to mention embarrassment... my only prayer now is that the Minelab, Australia repairs are permanent...it is certainly a whole different machine now..

Minelab has the repair record on my machine...I have 3 or 4 repair slips from Las Vegas plus the repair list from Oz...I don't think I am the main cause of these problems...and it is not my imagination.

They can explain all day long but it comes down to weak excuses and poor proformance...do the job, do it right and do it in a timely fashion...it ain't that hard.

Fred

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  • Admin

Hello All,

I just had a friend send in a SD2100v2, which needed a toggle switch repair on the Ground Balance 1 channel. The machine was quickly repaired and shipped back to him, which was a great surprise on his part. This customer and friend has had similar issues, but after this repair he was impressed until .... I'm not going to finish the rest of the story. The issue has been taken care of.

I truely believe Minelab USA, Inc. is doing their best. There has been a lot of changes and with Gary S. now in the drivers seat I think it's just a matter of time until everything turns around.

Take care,

Rob Allison

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Doc. Your stepping up to bat for those who are having problems and let it be known is great , but what about those folks who don't frequent the forums or who silently sit in frustration waiting for their detector to get fixed right? Does the wheel have to be squeaking loudly to get some grease ? It shouldn't be that way . Everyone should expect good service without having someone intervene on their behalf. Did you inform Gary of the scope of the problem? Those who have related their bad service experiences are for the most part a handfull of frequent forum regulars . What about the thousands of Minelab owners out there who never post on the forums? The problem has to be huge. -----Bob

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