Poll -- Should Local Dealers Offer Firmware Upgrades?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Allan Jayne, Jun 29, 2006.

  1. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

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    From the point of view of an ISF technician, calibrationist, home theater designer, installer, or dealer (any size) or some combination of the above.

    A certain popular small piece of video equipment you often recommend or can get for your customers can have its firmware optionally updated periodically essentially for free using a PC for downloading. You can already comfortably offer the update service to walk in customers for about $15. per visit.

    Except there is a 1 in 100 chance the upgrade will fail and then the piece of equipment is totally dead until sent back to the factory. The sendback is a normal factory service that costs $60. mostly for insured shipping.

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    What do you offer your customers?

    1. Nothing. To avoid confusion and arguments and loss issues you leave it up to the customer to use the equipment as-is (it'll still work according to original specs or last update) or learn to do the upgrade himself or send back the equipment himself.

    2. You offer over the counter upgrade but warn the customer that if an update failure occurs the customer has to pay for the sendback service. Could be embarassing.

    2a. You offer your normal hourly rate of X dollars plus parts with an estimate ranging up to the cost of sendback service.

    3. You offer the update for a little more, $30. or so guaranteed, so it averages out profitably given some failures. You don't promise that the equipment will always be ready the next day.

    4. You offer only the sendback service. If the upgrade you try in house anyway succeeds, you call the customer the next day with a pleasant surprise that the equipment is ready sooner for a smaller $15. or so charge.

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    Different if the owner bought the item from you? Bought an extended warranty through you?

    Or if you are a purchaser which would you like to see your local dealer offer?
     
  2. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    There are way too many permutations and combinations there. [​IMG]

    I personally like #3 or #4 if it was my unit.

    But if I was a dealer, then I'd go after the manufacturer for the 1/100 failure rate for upgrades. I think that's terrible. If they fixed that problem, then all of this becomes moot. [​IMG] Or, the manufacturer themselves should pay the sendback cost.
     
  3. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

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    Slight clarification. The upgrade failure occurs only if the upgrade process is interrupted (such as due to power failure, or crash of the updating PC) during the last approximately 15 seconds of the process. I gave a watered down description suggesting that the person doing the upgrade might perceive a 1 in 100 chance this will happen.
     

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