Changes: Support for Spectra Precision Survey and MobileMapping Products

In the past, when you have a question about a Spectra product, you have been able to send email directly to

“support@spectraprecision.com”

and you would quickly receive great assistance from the factory.

This no longer works unless you purchase ‘Priority Support’ from the factory. The new correct method is to contact the company where your product was purchased and have them broker a solution for you. If you purchase equipment from iGage, there has always been a really good chance that you will receive better support, more quickly, from us than you would from the factory, so our customers won’t see much of an impact.

But if you want to contact the factory, it is possible by purchasing a ‘Preferred Support’ agreement. Here are the prices (click on the grid to make it bigger):

Spectra Precision Preferred Service Plan Pricing

I absolutely think that the factory support pricing is reasonable. And from a customer viewpoint, this will allow self supporting customers to enjoy lower prices on equipment. In other words, customers who don’t use or need support and training won’t be subsidizing those who required lots of hand holding and support. The new system is fair.

The best description of this ‘Free Support’ conundrum I have ever seen is the Manifold Support FAQ. It is quite a long read, but I think that this summarizes the facts:

The money taken from customers to pay for technical support can come from some percentage of money paid for the product or it can come from extra fees that are charged those who use technical support or it can come from some combination of the two. But no matter what it all comes from the customer. The only question is what is the most fair and efficient way to charge customers for technical support.

Those companies who say they provide “free” technical support for a product are really telling a lie, because as we have seen above the customer is paying for that technical support in some way. In the case of companies who mean by “free” that they do not charge extra for specific uses of technical support, what is really going on is that some portion of the money all customers pay to buy the product is set aside to pay for the costs of running the technical support function. If that money were not used for technical support, the product could have been sold to customers for a lower price. The technical support in such cases is not free; it is just hidden as a cost within an inflated product price.

Since most users do not use technical support, while a small percentage of users will abuse “free” technical support, what ends up happening in such situations is that everyone must pay a higher price for a product just so that some people can be subsidized with extra services paid for by other people. We don’t think that is fair.

From a dealer perspective (that would be my perspective) this is great. Our customers will continue to receive the same support from us that they always have. But now our customers can easily place a value on the support and training that we provide.

I know that all of the Spectra Precision equipment that we sell is available steeply discounted, often at prices 15% lower than ours from other shelfer dealers (dealers who put inventory on the the shelf, then sell it with no knowledge of what it is, without provisioning software and without any hope of providing meaningful support.)

Starting now if you purchase your equipment from a shelfer you need to be prepared to get what you pay for. You can fix this with money, five calls to the factory is five hundred bucks! Let the screaming begin! 🙂

M

3 Comments

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3 responses to “Changes: Support for Spectra Precision Survey and MobileMapping Products

  1. alexandru

    Hello !
    I receive an error from receiver : ” no gnss detected ” error 30.5
    on pm500.
    can You help me ?
    thank you !

    • remove and reseat the ribbon cable from the main board to the GNSS Bucket. This will usually fix this issue. Make sure all of the firmware is updated too.

      • Alexandru

        It is the first thing I tried. I even measure the ribbon cable, just to be sure there is no wire interrupted. I suspect that someone has tried to make a software update, and have removed both keys (L1 and L2).

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