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Bad experience with Ritter Media Germany Beaulieu Repair-Please share


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#1 Alan Rik

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Posted 05 November 2017 - 08:20 PM

I wanted to put out there a public service announcement/warning in case anyone is looking into using Ritter Media http://www.rittermedia.de for the repair of any Super 8 equipment you may have. 

I came across them many years ago because I saw their stickers on a Beaulieu 6008 Super 8 camera. They modify them and I had heard they did good work. 
So around April of this year I contacted them to see if they could put my Beaulieu 708 HTI back to original factory spec as they told me that they have the original Beaulieu parts as well as the original service personnel that worked on the items when Beaulieu was up and running. 
My Beaulieu 708 HTI was working very well but i wanted them to go through it to see if they could spot any potential problems down the road as well. Just a factory "tune up".
So the Beaulieu 708 HTI is a very rare and expensive machine. I have had the item shipped from Wiberg Photo in Sweden to Bjorn in Beaulieu Sweden, and then here to me in NYC and it arrived in MINT condition as was stated before purchase. Additionally it was sent to the West Coast a while back and it came back to me in the same pristine condition. 
When it has been sent it was always double boxed, lots of bubble wrap and then foam on all sides of the box so that the item was like an egg. A 50lb egg that withstood the abuses of international and domestic travel. 
They received the item and said all was well they would let me know when it was ready. It took them a bit as a few times I called I was told the service person (they must only have one?) is on Holiday. After about 4 months they told me it was ready and to do payment via Bank transfer. They do not take credit card. I was charged around 400 
Euros including return shipping. 
When the item arrived it was in a large oversized box, wrapped with bubble wrap 2 times around, no foam (why didn't they use my original box?), and filled with flo pak. 

As I dug around I found the projector near the bottom of the box and now I was a little concerned. It arrived at my work so I couldn't really take a look in depth but I pulled it out of the box and took it home. 

 

8mm3.jpg

I immediately contacted Ritter Media and told them I didn't want to turn on the machine until I heard back from their service person to see if he possibly worked on the Ballast and Ignitor and accidentally "left" the old transformer and bracket out. 
They informed me that he was on "holiday" and would get back to me. About a week later Ritter Media said that he didn't work on the Ballast or Ignitor and that it looked like the damage was caused by mishandling. 
So I turned it on. The fan doesn't come on. The lamp doesn't come on. But at least it threads properly. If the bulb was damaged due to their negligence I am looking at a minimum of at least $250 dollars before any repairs and not including the $250 to send it to them initially and then the 400 Euros to get it back. Very expensive lesson for me.
I asked them how could they not double box the item and not pack properly. 
Their reply was: 
We are extremely sorry that there were such difficulties in the delivery. We usually pack with "Flo-Pak Green" which are recyclable, dust-free and antistatic. These build up biologically. Styrofoam is no longer used. The disadvantage of the "Flo-Pak Green" is that these can be easily pressed under pressure. There are no problems with shipping within the EU.
We have almost no experience with transport to the EU abroad. Since this is a transport damage, this is of course to be complained. We are sure that we have packed the unit properly."

I then asked them to file a claim and they said the receiver has to do it. Then I asked them if they insured the item and they said they did not because I did not ask them to!
What?? 
At this point in time the giant box filled with Flo Pak green and nothing else had been sitting at my work place but it had now been at least 2 weeks as I had been waiting for Udo Hoffman at Ritter Media to contact me in regards to the transformer. In that time someone threw out the big box which I found out is not a problem since the only thing that DHL/Deutsche Post can do is file a report-but with no insurance there is nothing that can be done.  But I was hopeful that Ritter Media would take some responsibility for the inadequate pack job and the failure to insure or offer insurance. 

I sent them an email and asked if I sent it back and paid for the shipping would they repair the unit and pay for return shipping back to me. 
The reply was: 
“What the image shows is inside the winding or unwinding arm inside. It is me squat like this part can break off. It is the attachment for snapping the coil arm. Can only happen by gross force, fall, or shock damage. I do not think it is a transport damage. There will be no coil arm, so we can’t give you a coil arm anymore.”

6 months warranty on the work carried out. If there are other problems which are not covered by the warranty, a new repair request is required with the complete procedure. As I see it, it is not a guarantee.
If the equipment has actually been damaged, the transport company is liable if the equipment has been properly packed. From our point of view it was that. We have never had a self-inflicted transport damage in the past."

So now they are saying the broken arm is not transport damage? Are they saying I broke the arm and dropped it when I got it? Really?
And after that all emails have gone unanswered. I think this company is a disgrace and since payment was done via bank transfer i have no recourse except to warn people NOT to use Ritter Media. 
Please pass this on. It would be bad if someone else has this happen to their own irreplaceable equipment. 

 


Edited by Alan Rik, 05 November 2017 - 08:22 PM.

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#2 Alan Rik

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Posted 05 November 2017 - 08:24 PM

Here is more damage.

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Edited by Alan Rik, 05 November 2017 - 08:24 PM.

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#3 Alan Rik

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Posted 05 November 2017 - 08:26 PM

And the worst part.. the little pieces that fell out of the Ballast/Ignitor box.

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#4 Bjorn Andersson

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Posted 06 November 2017 - 04:53 AM

I have a few new (grey) arms in stock. Björn
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#5 Alan Rik

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Posted 06 November 2017 - 12:41 PM

Bjorn! The best.. I should have sent the projector to you then I wouldn't have had this post. 

Email sent. 

Thanks!


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#6 Martin Baumgarten

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Posted 06 November 2017 - 04:38 PM

I'm very sorry to hear about this. Totally unprofessional service on the part of Ritter Media.  IF they do not want to use foam, they could still use cardboard filler which would have offered similar protection. They answer to the packing issue is so silly, it sounds like a child would say that.  I've had my share of bad repair experiences with a variety of places, and being a repair technician as well, I can easily spot poor work.  I had a SANKYO repaired under warranty just 2 months into it, and the camera worked somewhat better. I ended up dismantling it myself and found that the solder points were extremely poor.  Once I redid all those, the camera worked fine. Seemed it was a rapid and sloppy board replacement.  Of course, these days, we can't just drive to a repair shop any longer (aside from the few that might live near one of course), and not everyone is able to learn how to repair their own equipment (and even if they could, there's still the issue of parts).  Sad story indeed, and I do hope you get that fine machine back into full service.


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#7 Alan Rik

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Posted 06 November 2017 - 07:17 PM

I have been lucky in the sense that the few projectors that arrived to me damaged were all insured so I was able to not have to go into my pocket to pay for the damages. But these were from individuals and not companies. 

This is the first time I have had an item damaged during shipment sent to me from a "professional" company. 

I just assumed the item would have been professionally packed for its long journey back to the USA so it was a shock when I opened it up to find only Flo Pak. 

I shipped it in a custom made box and why they didn't use the same box to return it to me I will never know. 

They have not responded to any emails since September 27th. I waited for a while to see if we could work this out but they are not interested working with me to even split the cost of the damage with me. It was obviously inadequately packed but they do not want to accept even partial responsibility. 

That is very bad customer service and moving forward I just want everyone to be aware before using this company for any of your repair needs. Maybe they do great work? I will never know as my projector is now in much worse shape than before. It went for a minor tune up and came back missing a kidney!


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#8 Andries Molenaar

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Posted 09 November 2017 - 06:56 AM

There is a reason to this:  "If it ain't broken don't fix it"

 

Why on earth ship it around for no reason at all?

Your attitude and easily offered money makes you

easy prey for con-operations like painted here.

 

Ritter is under German law and you better find legal help (there).

Consumer protection in German is far more strict than in many other countries.


Edited by Andries Molenaar, 09 November 2017 - 06:58 AM.

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#9 Will Montgomery

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Posted 09 November 2017 - 05:26 PM

If it says Beaulieu, send it to Björn. The man is simply incapable of doing shoddy work.

 

I think Beaulieu is his middle name.  :)


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#10 Matt Stevens

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 02:10 AM

Never ever EVER pay by anything other than Credit Card or Pay-Pal. You are just asking to be ripped off. You were badly treated and that sucks, but as another said above, if it is not broken, do not try and fix it. 

 

My experience with older projectors and cameras is when they break, by another because everyone I have ever tried has been a complete turd on a stick, a liar, a charlatan or worse. 


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#11 Mark Dunn

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 06:30 AM

Never ever EVER pay by anything other than Credit Card or Pay-Pal. You are just asking to be ripped off. You were badly treated and that sucks, but as another said above, if it is not broken, do not try and fix it. 

 

My experience with older projectors and cameras is when they break, by another because everyone I have ever tried has been a complete turd on a stick, a liar, a charlatan or worse. 

Credit cards and Paypal still aren't widely accepted in Germany by small businesses. PP wasn't accepted there at all until a few years ago.

Berlin was effectively cash only till the 90s.


Edited by Mark Dunn, 21 November 2017 - 06:31 AM.

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#12 christophernigel

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Posted 23 November 2017 - 04:54 AM

Use a sturdy cardboard box. Place the device or parts in the middle of the shipping box. Pad them up tight (eg with crumpled paper). Please do not send the devices in an unpadded suitcase! Include a letter with your address and details of the order.

We recommend the shipping with DHL / German Post. The packages are insured (up to 500, - EUR or more with surcharge) and can be tracked at any time.

 

but with no insurance there is nothing that can be done , Here its its insured for 500 EUR0 or more .


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#13 Jurgen Lossau

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Posted 27 November 2017 - 10:22 AM

Hi Alan, it is German law that the company that is shipping ordered or repaired items is fully responsible for the undamaged transport to the private customer. But it might be a problem to get your right as you are far away...

 

http://www.handelsbl.../8849718-2.html


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#14 Alan Rik

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 01:33 PM

Thanks for all your replies. If anyone knows how I can get legal representation in Germany that would be great. Currently the item is boxed and packed for shipment to Sweden if all goes well. Thanks for the link Jurgen. I have sent it to Ritter Media. 

The machine was not completely working to spec actually and that is the reason it was sent overseas. I would never send anything that far and at that much expense just because. I assumed incorrectly that a Beaulieu repair center is a Beaulieu repair center and that they would all be as professional and precise as Bjorn. I was wrong. 

The machine was sent overseas because there is a lack of Beaulieu service centers here in the USA-maybe none? The speed was not proper as the previous repair center here in the states did not understand that the main motor follows the capstan motor. Also halfway through rewinding a large 1200ft reel the motor would slow down to a crawl. When I initially got it, the machine did not do that. Also the main knob would overturn. All this was discussed ahead of time with Ritter and they said they could repair it. Did they? I won't know until the machine is repaired. 

I couldn't believe they did not take credit card either but if you look at Ebay.de you will find many do not take CC or Paypal. That is different than here in the states. Going forward I will never pay via Bank Transfer unless I have done business with the company/Individual in the past. 


Edited by Alan Rik, 05 December 2017 - 01:35 PM.

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#15 Alan Rik

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 12:57 AM

Here is an update to this situation: 

 

The unit had been sent to Bjorn of Beaulieu Sweden and I am glad to say the machine has been repaired 100%. 

Not only in terms of working condition but cosmetically it has been repaired as well. 

He worked his magic and has been able to straighten the bent chassis to perfection. The arm has been replaced and is aligned as before. The lamphouse door fan has been replaced. 

And the power supply unit under the machine has been repaired as well. 

Functions are working quietly and smoothly and everything has been aligned to original spec.

Beautiful work from a very skilled craftsman and I am very happy with his work. The machine looks and performs like it did when new. That is a testament to his work. He is, to me, the BEST Beaulieu repair person and I will never send my machine anywhere else in the future. 

As for Ritter Media:

 

I had sent them and email a week ago and explained the situation one last time to them and asked them, at the very least to refund my original fee that I paid them of 400 Euros. 

They have not responded and I don't think they will. 

All I can say is that its sad they run the business the way they do. 

Thank you once again Bjorn. Your work is exemplary!

 

blue4cro8mm.jpg blue2cro8mm.jpg

 

 


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#16 Will Montgomery

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 10:18 AM

Craftsmanship and quality are alive and well in Sweden.


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