Customer Service replying to emails

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16 comments

  • Elizabeth Swoope

    Tech support and customer service don’t monitor this forum, but I’ll see what I can find out for you. 

    I don’t blame you for being unhappy.

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  • Clayton Canady

    Thank you. They’ve replied but for some reason the won’t answer my question about my camera. They’re sending my cell camera back they couldn’t repair and I’ve asked 3 times is it like a regular trail camera now or what. I have 5 Spartans now but won’t own another one. Pretty sad a camera only last 3yrs.... I have Moultries and Reconyx’s that are over 10yrs old. I’ve had issues with a couple but they were either repaired or replaced. I didn’t feel like I was being ignored.

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  • John Lockburner

    Clayton, it's a really busy time of year and they return emails in the order that they are received. Add in the fact that many of the Spartan employees are working from home because of covid and it adds even more challenges. It sounds like you are replying to the RMA/repairs department so it could take 1-2 days for him to respond because it's a specific question that only the person that worked on your camera would know. From the information that we've been able to gather it seems your motion sensor went bad and even though it was out of warranty they tried to replace it but it was not fixable. The camera will still work but only as time lapse, meaning you can put it out and have it take pictures at a set interval. You can have it do it all day or only at specific times of the day using the start/stop time settings. I believe that it should still send those images to you.

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  • Clayton Canady

    Are y’all receiving that many emails??? Simple solution, answer the customers emails sooner. No need in beating a dead horse. Thank

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  • John Lockburner

    Like I said, they are answered in the order that they are received and it varies from day to day. Sometimes you get a reply in a few minutes or an hour and sometimes it can take a day or two. I'm sorry that no one has gotten back to you sooner but everyone is dusting off their cameras at this time of year and it can cause the response times to be a little longer than usual. With your email being specific to one person it's adds to the time to respond because that one person has to reply, it's not like a general troubleshooting problem where there's many people that could help.

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  • Clayton Canady

    He only checks his emails every couple of days? No need to reply back. I’m done with this.

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  • John Lockburner

    I know you said no need to reply but I will anyway. He checks his emails more often then that and I've explained the procedure for returning calls. If you need anything else just ask and we'll do what we can to help.

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  • Elizabeth Swoope

    Clayton,

    He is not checking emails only every couple of days, but he is responding to them (which means tracking down answers, fixing things, whatever it takes) in the order received.

    As Johnny said, your camera is out of warranty, they tried to fix it but could not. It took times for someone to diagnose the problem and try to fix it. A lot of emails aren’t ones that can be answered in 30 seconds.

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  • Clayton Canady

    Elizabeth explain to me why he couldn’t answer mine in 30 seconds. Simple question I asked.

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  • Clayton Canady

    I’m fine with the technician trying to repair the camera and couldn’t. My issue is responding back. Just to clear that up.

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  • John Lockburner

    Clayton, he probably could have answered you in 30 seconds, but it's not fair to answer you when there are others that had replied to him first. There are protocols for this and when people send multiple emails about the same thing it actually slows things down because everything is documented and multiple emails require time to make sure that they were answered already and things weren't missed. There is also the chance that his reply went to spam or maybe he missed it. Things do happen sometimes and I again apologize that you aren't happy with the response time for whatever reason.

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  • Elizabeth Swoope

    Clayton,

    I’m not sure what sort of work you do. I know I have a lot of different things going on and I’m one of those “squirrel” people who will jump from one thing to another when I would get more accomplished by working on one thing, finishing it (at least as much as I can), and then moving on. I have to discipline myself to deal with the longer, more challenging projects sometimes when I have a bunch of little fast ones that I finish quickly. 

    It’s not about how much time it takes to solve or respond to a particular problem, it’s about working through the tasks in the order the tickets came in. Otherwise, more challenging tasks can get keep getting pushed to the back burner while shorter, easier tasks keep coming in and getting resolved because they’re faster. It’s pretty much like standing in line to check out at the grocery store or vote or whatever you need to do when you wait your turn. 

    The techs are working steadily to resolve problems, not just sitting around doing nothing until your email or call comes in. I hope your problem gets resolved. I understand your frustration. We’ve become so accustomed to instant gratification with so many things that we’ve forgotten that sometimes we need to be patient. (I’m not pointing a finger at you, I’m guilty.)

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  • Clayton Canady

    I think giving y’all 2-3 days to answer to answer a yes or no question is plenty of time. I have one of yalls malfuncting cameras that was no fault of my own I’d been dealing with for weeks now. Time taken to call and try things first, shipping the camera and waiting for my turn to have my issue addressed, and then waiting on a response after y’all contacted me first. This whole time I’m paying for data and cannot use it. I never put myself first, y’all did when y’all contacted me with the report on the camera. Y’all contacted me while I patiently waited for a diagnosis on my camera. I didn’t bother y’all a single time questioning about my camera until y’all contacted me first. So being patient on my part I don’t understand why you said that. I was under the impression when y’all emailed me I had every right to reply with a question. But get this straight y’all emailed me first! I was sent in the email a tracking number. Sorry but I had a question concerning the camera. I didn’t realize it was “case closed”. With all that said I have a 3year old camera that is useless to me now. The camera just sits there and takes pictures all day long whether motion sets it off or not. I understand a 2 year warranty but I expected the camera to last more then 3 years. But maybe there not up to par as other brands. If I’d done something to the camera I’d understand. But this was a workmanship issue. No fault of mine at all but I’m out of a camera because of yalls defect. I feel like the camera should be replaced with a working one. I never mentioned that. I was going to let it go and move on as a lesson learned. But trying to be made out like I’m the bad guy, I don’t get it. I understand people being busy but sending an email to a customer then not expecting a reply or checking back after a few days, I just don’t get it.
    Do you really understand my frustration now???

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  • Elizabeth Swoope

    Clayton,

    All Johnny and I can do is pass your concerns along, which I have already done just now. Neither one of us is a regular full-time Spartan Camera employee. We are members of the camera test team and each live several states away from Georgia. We don't have access to any customer info, emails, etc.

    The cameras have a two-year warranty. Electronics exposed to outdoor environments sometimes have problems that have nothing to do with defects in materials and workmanship. Unfortunately, your camera is out of warranty. Equally unfortunately, the tech was unable to repair it even though he tried.

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  • Elizabeth Swoope

    Clayton,

    I hope you'll bear with me. This will be a bit long. I managed to get some information on your case.

    What I don't know is what your understanding of your camera problem was when you sent it in. I would think you did some troubleshooting with tech support before you were issued an RMA but I don't know that for sure, nor do I know exactly what they had you do.

    I'll explain how Johnny and I troubleshoot what may have been your initial complaint.

    "My camera isn't sending pictures to my phone."

    Johnny and I start asking questions to figure out whether the problem is:

    1. The camera isn't taking pictures at all. There aren't any pictures on the SD card or only manual ones. (Could be the PIR [motion] sensor [Sensitivity turned off or high] or it could be a defective one; could be a really long trigger interval that you forgot about [walk testing a camera with a 10-minute trigger interval can convince you that there's something wrong with the camera]; accidentally setting start stop times [so the camera isn't "on duty" when you are testing it or it's only on duty from midnight to 12:15 AM]; bad SD card)
    2. The camera is taking pictures but not sending them (they're on the SD card, but not on the web portal). That could be an SD card, poor signal, low batteries, loose antenna, marginal SIM.
    3. The camera is sending pics (they're on the web portal) but they're not getting to your phone. That can be settings on the phone or app, download automatically isn't on, need to log out and back in or restart app or phone, reinstall app, clear phone cache or data.

    Anyway, this is just to say that there are a lot of things can get squirrely and result in your not getting pictures on your phone. Thankfully, most of them are easily fixable. I don't know whether you knew when you sent your camera in that your camera may have or probably had a bad PIR (motion sensor).

    Wednesday morning, you were sent a tracking number for your camera that was being returned to you.

    You asked if the tech was able to get it going. The tech responded later that day that he replaced the sensor but the camera still wasn't working. He apologized. He then said that the camera will take timed pictures but not motion activated pictures. 

    Then you asked if the camera would function like a regular trail camera and the thread got hung up in the system. He did get back with you Friday morning, apologized. He said again that the camera will not take pictures via motion anymore, only timed pictures. 

    You responded to that email, and he replied back with another apology, said he was going to handle things differently going forward, and offered you his personal email address that he checks all day.

    I guess he thought that when he said that the camera wouldn't take motion-triggered pics any longer, only time (time lapse) ones, that you understood that it wouldn't work as a regular trail camera or a cellular camera unless you just wanted to use it as a plot watcher (time lapse photos only). 

    If you didn't know why you weren't getting pictures when you sent it in (could have been PIR, could have been a communications problem), maybe there is a different way of wording it that would have made it clearer that the camera won't function as a normal trail camera because it can't sense motion. Obviously, if the problem was communications-related, it would probably still be usable as a regular trail camera, but a sensor problem that prevents if from detecting motion affects it regardless of whether you use it as a cell cam or a regular cam.

    I'm really sorry for all the confusion. The outcome isn't what either you or Spartan hoped for but the tech did try even though the camera was out of warranty and did respond via email several times over the three working days.

     

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  • Clayton Canady

    No I didn’t understand completely what he meant about the way the camera was. I did understand I could have a bad PIR sensor. We talked about that on the phone call to Customer Service before I sent it in. On the 7/22 email at 12:44 about the question on the camera as of 7/24 at 10:48 I still hadn’t received a reply. My email was answered on 7/24 at 3:10 only after I posted on here and you told me you would try to find something out for me. But I never got a response until you got in touch with them to respond to my email and not before.

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