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dmkellett

LEAD TIMES and poor customer service

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Ordered my Phantom-3, 15 Weeks ago. (7-10 Week Lead Time)
My first experience with PF.
Suit has been delayed 3 times.
Almost no communication from PF, have to pull teeth to get a reply.
...Suit is still 2-3 weeks out they say.

The feeling is very bitter/sweet as I see the top notch quality of my friends P3's but also watch other friends get their SWIFT/HATCH in 3-5 weeks with full Swag and customer service communication.

I now have a tough choice to make...
Havok Carve OR Funk

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I could be ordering a wingsuit sometime next year, so I'm interested in this. Most wingsuiters at my DZ have PF products. It's the same problem with UPT and Vector lead times of over 30 weeks. It's not a matter of how many orders you have or which brand is more popular. If you're a more popular brand, you should have more production capacity than the other guys to keep your lead times reasonable. Are you going to tell me that the Phoenix Fly suits or a Vector rig actually take months to manufacture each one? LiquidSky jumpsuits take weeks longer to stitch? No, it's a backlog of orders that they have been unable to work through because of not enough production capacity. This is a business management issue. Why can SunPath/Mirage/Wings/RI/JumpShack/Velocity turn out a quality rig in 10 weeks (or whatever), but UPT needs 30+? It isn't because it take 30 weeks from start to finish to build a Vector because of its "superior quality", it's because as Vector orders were increasing over the years, they failed to act quickly enough to increase their capacity to keep the times down. The reasons for this I won't speculate on. There is a thread on here from years ago with a Vector rep apologising for what was then a 20-week wait time, and wishing they'll be back down to 12 weeks soon. Clearly that did not happen.

A company with shorter lead times and better communication is the better-managed company, in my opinion. It has little to do with quality or popularity or the product. We should expect accurate and reasonable predictions of lead times and to have our emails answered, no matter how many suits/rigs a company is turning out. And as another poster pointed out, as long as customers continue to find 30+ weeks acceptable enough to buy one and line up for poor service, what motivation do they have to fix these issues?

"So many fatalities and injuries are caused by decisions jumpers make before even getting into the aircraft. Skydiving can be safe AND fun at the same time...Honest." - Bill Booth

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I think another, perhaps cheaper and easier-to-implement solution, would be to have an inventory of "stock" suits. Maybe have 5-10 of the more popular sizes and colors available at a discounted price to normal retail. This would take pressure off of your lead times and also provide customers with a nice alternative to waiting, provided they are built somewhat normally.

At 5'10" and 165 pounds, I'd certainly be interested in such an option.
Apex BASE
#1816

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UPT are upfront about the lead times so you do know what your getting before order. I ordered two 348s knowing it was a 6 month wait, no issues.

I just ordered a Curv and paid the rush fee for four week delivery.

Most of the issues here seem to be about communication.

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It's only about communication and providing the correct lead times. It's really simple and I am happy to wait 4 months. Don't hire a sky or base jumper, just someone who has experience in providing good customer service. UPT does it and it works. Why PF can't do it is a mystery to me.

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strife

UPT are front about the lead times so you do know what your getting before order. I ordered two 348s knowing it was a 6 month wait, no issues.

I just ordered a Curv and paid the rush fee for four week delivery.

Most of the issues here seem to be about communication.



You're right, I mixed the 2 issues into one tirade. Sorry. I've never heard anything bad about UPT's customer service. I started off objecting to the idea posted earlier that longer wait time = higher quality and more popular product. It is entirely possible for the most popular product to have the shortest wait times and an unpopular product to have the longest wait times. The complaints about PF are about wait times and service, UPT only seems to have the wait time issue.

"So many fatalities and injuries are caused by decisions jumpers make before even getting into the aircraft. Skydiving can be safe AND fun at the same time...Honest." - Bill Booth

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The solution is so simple. Hire someone who has experience in providing good customer service. No sky or base jumper, especially the type of person who does not respond or gets defensive. I am happy to wait 4-6 months. UPT does it and it works. Why PF can't do it is a mystery to me.

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I'm pretty new to this sport, but maybe someone can clarify for me. With the hard-working aerodynamicists, the factory that has decades of experience making nylon airfoils, the great customer service, the user-friendly website, the short lead-times, safety driven design, and the youtube proven performance; why would anyone shop elsewhere? Seriously curious, not trying to be a dick because I suck in any suit.
Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.

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Thanks to who started this post, this is a real issue and no one wants to deal with long inaccurate lead times and poor customer service.

As of last month Phoenix-Fly had appointed Leading Edge Gear (managed by Adam Foster & Owen Searls), to lead the US market as the Senior Dealers. These two issues are our first priority.

We are reestablishing a dealer-network and are in communication with the PF Factory weekly to give customers up to date information on the statues of their order. We also reply to all messages by email or phone within 0-4 hours of receiving them. We do our absolute best to help get you your suit as fast as we can and if not let you know exactly where is it in the line up.

PF makes the best suits on the market and we are currently working to make the entire ordering process a lot more painless.

Please contact with any questions regarding this change or if you have a current order you would like information about.

Look forward to jumping with you all soon.

Leading Edge Management

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dmkellett



I love PF suits , I was ( until all our tickets were suddenly cancelled for no apparent reason ) a PF instructor who trained many jumpers since getting the ticket in 2005. I am actually PF instructor number 006 ( I qualified with James Boole back in early 2005 .



Awe the brand wars. They were the best and sometimes very funny. Its a shame nobody addressed the first item on the list of PF complaints by the OP.

I doubt Robi's brilliance, the PF great designs, lack of production capacity, lack of customer service has anything to do with this. This is a result of a very dark hole in the PF organisation.

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OwenSearls

We also reply to all messages by email or phone within 0-4 hours of receiving them



From my experience with PF that has never happened. So I think you check the mails very seldom.

For me what is most annoying is that I have never seen (maybe I read those forums too little) any PF person to actually admit that they messed up but the answer is always "We are doing everything perfectly, all is fine. Those things that people write about is just not true"

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ifell

That almost sounds like you are saying PF are the only manufacturer ever to released a crappy suit. That must be why there more PF suits around than any other. Maybe the other guys should release a "total flop" maybe that would help them out :S



Actually, everything Squirrel makes is stitched together with thread woven from the plucked pubic hair of playboy centerfolds and their leading edge has so little drag that it's the official wingsuit of the Westboro Baptist Church (apparently they don't know about the pubic-hair based E-thread).

A little known feature of their Rapid Arm Deployment is that it automatically forces your arms to correct off heading openings, and each suit is magnetized opposite the hemisphere in which its owner resides in so that it actually repels the ground, making proximity flying in a Squirrel suit much safer than the in competition (if you're jumping in the wrong hemisphere you can still benefit from the magnetic repulsion feature by back flying any particularly gnarly proxy lines).

So yea, you're wrong. Squirrel FTW!

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ifell

That almost sounds like you are saying PF are the only manufacturer ever to released a crappy suit. That must be why there more PF suits around than any other. Maybe the other guys should release a "total flop" maybe that would help them out :S



let me know how many PF suits you can count at the aces event...its less than 20% https://www.redbullcontentpool.com/content/international/products/perm/1405080872078-1756791967

as far as local norcal drop zones, pf logos are disappearing quick.

fwiw i started in a p2 to v4 to venom...then apache x etc etc, viper, aura and now c2. my vipers are getting turned into vampire races because I'm done trying to sell them, no one will buy them. i have no allegiance and just spew out what my experience with suits I've flown. the beautiful part is that we have 3 major companies to choose from and they are all so good that if you die, well, its your own damn fault.

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People who has similar business mentally tends to run it to the ground.

If PF follows that same business model, surely they'll be out of business soon enough.

Every company starts out as a small boutique type of company.

PD started out of a back of a van.
Bernie Sanders for President 2016

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Quote

That must be why there more PF suits around than any other. Maybe the other guys should release a "total flop" maybe that would help them out Crazy



You laugh now, but Squirrel is a brand new company taking dropzones by storm. Just wait 2-3 more years - you will hardly see any PF products on the US dropzones if the pattern continues....

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