Jump to content


Photo

How RED lost a customer for life


  • Please log in to reply
6 replies to this topic

#1 J Van Auken

J Van Auken
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 23 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 19 November 2011 - 04:07 PM

<Initiate rant>

My grandfather has seen a lot. Born in the depression, he grew up using horse and buggies. By his thirties, he saw man walk on the moon. He served in Korea, in both the US Navy, and then again in the Army. He ran a diner in the 50's, and managed to raise three successful children while going on to become an engineer. He did these things while battling lifelong narcolepsy and heart disease. This Thanksgiving, I wanted to sit with my old man for a few hours and get his story recorded with the hope that my kids would one day understand what a man is supposed to be.

For the last few years, I owned and operated a film camera system, but as we all are painfully aware, super 16mm doesn't get the jobs it used to. I waited as long as I could to scrape together the money from its sale to roll into a digital system, but the deadline was drawing near, and I pulled the trigger just over two and a half weeks before I'd see my grandfather. All the components from all the manufacturers piled in over the following week; B&H, Redrock, an ebay sale. All but one.

I went with a RED pro zoom, because the price/performance ratio was difficult to beat, and my budget is tight. I need good enough glass, and the pricetag seemed to fit. I'd never purchased from them before, but in spite of the horror stories from early RED One adpoters, I thought surely the company had ironed out the infrastructure long ago.

Upon purchasing the RPZ, I didn't receive an order confirmation like most online stores do. I was contacted by a 'bomb squad representative' (really?) and asked to confirm by email the details of my purchase 24 hours later. "Okay," I thought, "It's a big purchase (for me, anyway). SOP, I'm sure."

Well, unbeknownst to be, this BSR was having e-mail issues. 4 days passed since i responded with my confirmation before I got another e-mail asking if I did indeed want my lens. Apparently, the rep couldn't receive email, and to contact him, I needed to CC through another representative. Irritating, but fine, so long as I get my lens.

More days go by with no contact before I'm informed that my card is declined. Odd, since I carefully budgeted everything, and a quick call to the bank confirmed that since I have a new account, there is a strict limit, and I cannot purchase the lens with the card. Fine. Makes sense.

I ask my BSR if there's an alternative, such as paypal, or account transfer (since we use the same bank), or if I could physically drive up with cash. Time is a factor.

No. Wire transfer is the only way. A $30 fee for the privilege of buying RED. Ouch. Not a deal breaker, but I really wasn't counting on it, plus another day's delay. Fine.

I'm emailed the exact directions for the wire and follow through. A little hassle at the bank, but otherwise no big deal.

Two days pass, before I email again asking if they received it. I'm notified that the directions were incorrect, and that I need to do ANOTHER transfer. Another $30, and a 3 day delay because of the weekend, for the honor of doing business with the coolest camera company in school.

So I call a supervisor, as this is borderline Nigerian Prince territory. I'm scoffed at, and finally assured I'd receive a credit for the extra wire, only if I forward the entire email string to the super. I did so, and have not heard or seen anything from him since.

Thoroughly defeated, I contact the BSR to confirm the shipping address and inform him that it'll be cutting it very close, when I am informed it'll be about 5 days processing from receipt of payment before they can rustle the lens out of the warehouse. Meaning it should arrive in my possession a solid week after I fly back to the west coast.

Maybe $60 isn't a lot to you. Maybe airline tickets across the country don't phase you a bit. Maybe you can pick up an insurance cert. and walk into any rental house no problem and your checking account doesn't bat an eye. Mine does.

And maybe a big 'small business' like RED doesn't put priority on one lens getting sold when Pete orders dozens of epics, and scarlets are more back ordered than tickets to Book of Mormon. Maybe it doesn't really matter to them. It does to me.

I am a 20-something cameraman, scraping by, trying to do something that means a hell of a lot to me. I have rent. I have bills. My health insurance consists of prayer and stealing Purell from crafty. I don't expect handouts, but I also don't expect to have to wade through negligence, condescension, and ineptitude to enjoy the pleasure of completing a transaction in what I believe is a free market. I have (hopefully) decades of career ahead of me. Possibly thousands of hours of footage to shoot. As far as I'm concerned, RED has made it clear that it couldn't give less of a crap how many of those are on their equipment since I'm not Fincher or Soderberg.

Is this a rant? Yes. Whiny and entitled? Possibly. But someone has to say something. If I'd read something similar before purchasing, maybe I'd have gone with that used Cooke, or the old Angie. Unfortunately, I've got no wallet left to vote with, and I'll be hypocritically be filming with RED equipment for the forseeable future.

So that's it. My RED gripes will no longer be about dishonest marketing, workflow, debayering, rushed products or fanboys. Simply put; RED is run incorrectly, and I will never again support them in the future. May the market do with them what it will.
  • 0

#2 J Van Auken

J Van Auken
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 23 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 07 December 2011 - 01:44 PM

Just a quick update for anyone curious.

Still have not received the lens, which they had in stock, because it was shipped to the wrong address across the country.

Luckily, I caught it in transit, and called in to have it rerouted. No problem, right?

Huge problem. Apparently, to have it sent to me directly at my original address would incur further CA sales tax, which amounts to hundreds of dollars. I told my rep that I already paid said tax, and was notified that I hadn't, because my quote was modified with the wrong address, and was not shown a new quote with this address or new total before being ordered to wire the money.

So, in short, RED completely failed to deliver after payment, and is forcing me to have my lens shipped twice, over a month after the purchase.

This will not be forgotten.
  • 0

#3 Stephen Williams

Stephen Williams
  • Sustaining Members
  • 4708 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Europe

Posted 07 December 2011 - 02:25 PM

Assuming your a Califorian resident you know perfectly well that you have to pay sales tax on any in state purchases.
I suspect the address the lens was sent to was an address you gave to save on Tax, I really don't get what your problem is.

I have found Red to be 100% reliable on orders I made, however I stuck to my side of the bargain & paid by bank transfer the day I said I would.
As soon as Red had my funds they shipped without delay, what more could I ask for.

If you have an issue speak with your Bomb squad rep, thats what they are there for.


Just a quick update for anyone curious.

Still have not received the lens, which they had in stock, because it was shipped to the wrong address across the country.

Luckily, I caught it in transit, and called in to have it rerouted. No problem, right?

Huge problem. Apparently, to have it sent to me directly at my original address would incur further CA sales tax, which amounts to hundreds of dollars. I told my rep that I already paid said tax, and was notified that I hadn't, because my quote was modified with the wrong address, and was not shown a new quote with this address or new total before being ordered to wire the money.

So, in short, RED completely failed to deliver after payment, and is forcing me to have my lens shipped twice, over a month after the purchase.

This will not be forgotten.


  • 0

#4 Peter Moretti

Peter Moretti
  • Sustaining Members
  • 306 posts
  • Other
  • Sherman Oaks, CA

Posted 12 January 2012 - 12:36 AM

...
Huge problem. Apparently, to have it sent to me directly at my original address would incur further CA sales tax, which amounts to hundreds of dollars. I told my rep that I already paid said tax, and was notified that I hadn't, because my quote was modified with the wrong address, and was not shown a new quote with this address or new total before being ordered to wire the money.

So, in short, RED completely failed to deliver after payment, and is forcing me to have my lens shipped twice, over a month after the purchase.

This will not be forgotten.


So you're saying that you thought you paid the tax even though the amount that you wired did not include the tax?

And how did Red come by this wrong address across the country?
  • 0

#5 Joel Devereux

Joel Devereux

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 1 posts

Posted 13 November 2012 - 10:48 PM

Steven, how can you say, I don't know what his problem is, didn't you read what he wrote?? Just because you have had no trouble really means jack. Having to continuously pay out more money for REDS logistical mistakes is wrong. I bought an Epic at the start of th year, and had similar issues except I constantly went nuts until they fixed it.

And we are all aware of what happened with Philip Bloom and his RED Epic...
  • 0

#6 Adrian Trent

Adrian Trent

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 2 posts
  • Other

Posted 16 November 2012 - 02:25 PM

Stephen,
That is about the worst reply I have ever heard to any post. And to say that you where shipped something by Red right after you paid is a fantasy. Nothing ever leaves Red for at least a week after purchase.
  • 0

#7 Stephen Williams

Stephen Williams
  • Sustaining Members
  • 4708 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Europe

Posted 16 November 2012 - 03:36 PM

Stephen,
That is about the worst reply I have ever heard to any post. And to say that you where shipped something by Red right after you paid is a fantasy. Nothing ever leaves Red for at least a week after purchase.


I bought an Epic M, the camera shipped without delay, perhaps buying the 'premium' product is the way to go for you in future.
  • 0


Glidecam

Paralinx LLC

CineLab

rebotnix Technologies

Pro 8mm

Cinelicious

Robert Starling

CineTape

Cadrage Directors Viewfinder

Rig Wheels Passport

Abel Cine

K5600 Lighting

NIBL

The Slider

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Ritter Battery

Zylight

Visual Products

Aerial Filmworks

Cadrage Directors Viewfinder

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Visual Products

K5600 Lighting

Aerial Filmworks

Robert Starling

Pro 8mm

Abel Cine

CineTape

The Slider

Paralinx LLC

rebotnix Technologies

Zylight

Ritter Battery

Glidecam

CineLab

NIBL

Cinelicious

Rig Wheels Passport