Marine Electronics Forum

Raymarine Customer Support .... LOL

Old 06-08-2021, 08:25 PM
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I have a brand new autopilot. the ACU worked once when i tested it out while in storage. 3 months later the acu is seemingly dead and i cant figure it out, boat never left storage. I have called them and put in a ticket for the unit. the call was wait for the ticket reply. the ticket right now is sitting at over a month old and i only recieved one reply about a month ago "Your request needs special care, so this incident is being assigned to a product specialist for further assistance.". I have sent updated on this ticket several times asking for a reply. I have now taken it to the complaint level as my boat is in the water and I can't use the 4000+$ worth of raymarine system the way I want to because the ACU wont work. I really just want them to reply and tell me if i need to RMA or if its something stupid but I get no reply from them.
Old 06-08-2021, 09:05 PM
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You realize you posted to a 2. year old thread? In the mean time, the Forum has gone inactive and RayMarine has recently been sold. I dealt with a full suite of RayMarine products prior to FLIR sale, and the support was excellent. No telling what it will be in the future. But RayMarine is having "Webnairs " on the current products. So maybe there is some hope. At one point I would have agreed that RayMarine was crap. But the more recent product has been well supported and functions very well.
Old 06-09-2021, 06:05 AM
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Raymarine used to have top-notch support. unfortunately most have left/been let go over the last few years. They were still supporting older products this past Fall. Now I dont know since the Teledyne acquisition. Does anyone know if Raymarine is being carved out?
Old 06-09-2021, 06:26 AM
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Not to turn this sideways;
but what is the reasonable service life of Marine electronics? They certainly aren't cheap. I wonder what the industry " standard " is.

When I took my 6 year old Tablet to the "Genius store" for support- they called it an "antique " and said it was outdated. Yet in my mind.. It has no moving parts.

Maybe calling tech support for a 10 year old MFD , in their minds, is like reaching out to Ford about the timing problems on your 84' F 150...

Old 06-10-2021, 02:16 PM
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They fixed a 7 year old (at the time) analog radar board for me and did not charge a dime. FWIW.
Old 06-10-2021, 03:42 PM
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Old thread I know, but in 2 years, no one noticed the OP references a “C130” unit that does not exist. These are the worst calls to take…people that either cannot be bothered to or are too dumb to give a technician the correct information so that technician can help them. I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve wasted going through all sorts of troubleshooting scenarios with someone over the phone only to find out that the customer has a completely different unit than the one we’re troubleshooting.

If you want to complain, at least fake intelligence and if you call to ask for help, know what equipment you have - otherwise, hire someone…Rant over

Last edited by Max@MaxMarine; 06-10-2021 at 05:19 PM.
Old 06-10-2021, 05:04 PM
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I can sympathize with Max on this to the point where if I got mixed signals from the customer I would revert to asking for photographs of the equipment. 1 photo may not say a thousand words but it doesn't lie.

This thread can be used to set expectations for people as well. For hardware support, electronic companies in general have a supply issue with components especially components that are improving so rapidly such as micro chips, displays, memory, etc. Many of those components can't be purchased for any price several years after the first order, so it's sometimes impossible for companies to continue support long after the life of the product. Larger companies that have been in the business long enough will look at failure rates and trends and purchase extra stock of those components to be able to offer support but then once that stock is gone so is their ability to support the physical product. The industry standard seems to be around 3-4 years of support and 5 if your lucky.

Software support is different than hardware but it has it's limitations as well. Given the advancement in processors and the ever more demanding tasks that they are being asked to do, some older units will simply not be able to support a new feature or if it does it will be a terrible experience. It would probably also take significantly more RnD time to get the feature working on an old platform that few people on the platform will end up using. Reviews would reflect the negative experience in using it on that platform and not the positive experience on the new hardware. So most companies will draw a line in the sand for a hardware platform called "End of Life" and this means no new features, no expensive software updates they will and should do maintenance if flaws, errors etc. are found for as long as it's viable. I would say 5-7 years of software support is average from companies with 10 if we are lucky. The problem will arise where the engineers that designed the software have left the company or something of that nature that could shorten the life of the product but it would be bad for the company to not have some measures in place to continue support even after loosing top talent.

Finally there's troubleshooting support, which may be the stimulus for this thread being created. This depends on the current financial health of the company so they can afford to maintain talented individuals who are both electrically and mechanically minded but who also have social skills and are willing and able to talk on the phone all day long for little pay. The pool of folks who fit into that category is very small so folks when your talking to any product support agent about technical issues, be polite. They are either in a hard spot in life and this was the best gig they could get or they just naturally love helping people fix problems..... Garmin has been brought up and their wait times but it was correctly refuted as they are also extremely popular at least in North America. You can practically walk across some marinas only stepping on boats with Garmin radars. Given the number of times I have called support and gotten different folks I know they have more that 40 dedicated agents manning their phones and that ain't cheep. Also the fact that you have so many people willing to help answer questions on this forum who are Garmin "experts" might be a selling point for that company as a supplemental form of support. (Maybe THT should send Garmin a bill based on the number of Garmin specific threads each month). Troubleshooting is not just dependent on quality agents manning the phones but in quality resources for those agents to use. Do they have access to the hardware, (lol with their salary they will definitely not be boat owners), simulations, schematics and parts lists, how-tos, historys of past problems and how they were fixed, older more experienced tech they can pester with questions.... the list goes on. Many times if a company changes hands or goes through hard times, it's these other resources that are lost and they are impossible to get back. They just have to cut old products loose and move on with the new, hopefully not repeating the same mistakes over. Finally, the agents are only so good and are limited by the listening and technical skills of the customers. If the customer doesn't have the tools or the technical know how, it's nigh on impossible to actually troubleshoot remotely. This antenna may have been that and the tech was limited to recommending he contact a professional to troubleshoot it or just buy a new one. If it's a GPS antenna it would definitely be cheaper to buy new than pay a tech to tell you it's broken and you need a new one. So many folks contact technical support not knowing what they have, what's in their boat or even what a volt meter is. Just imagine the most electrically ignorant person you know and then imagine trying to explain the difference between voltage and amps to that person and then that your job is to do that over and over and over on a daily basis. Now do you understand why some agents might be having a bad day when you call them.... or why they don't immediately believe you when you claim to be and engineer and that you know everything there is to know so they should just trust everything you say as truth.

Last edited by Luke22; 06-10-2021 at 06:01 PM.

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