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Archive 2013 · Gitzo Customer Service
  
 
Peter Montanti
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Gitzo Customer Service


In my opinion based on experience Gitzo Customer Service is extremely poor. I have one of their carbon fiber tripods, the GT5560SGT which I think is a great piece of equipment. The bubble levels in the head however both need replacing. I attempted to contact their customer service via their website and only received an automated response, "Please be assured we will respond to you as soon as possible." This was 9 days ago. I also called them three days ago and left a message, so far no returned call. I'm perplexed how a company that makes such a good product can have absolutely lousy customer service.

Thanks for letting me vent!

Peter



Feb 28, 2013 at 05:59 PM
M635_Guy
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Gitzo Customer Service


Seems like they've gone downhill on that end since the Manfrotto acquisition.

There have been several threads like this over the last year or two...



Feb 28, 2013 at 06:04 PM
Roland W
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Gitzo Customer Service


I gave up on Gitzo USA for parts and service a while back after a variety of issues. I found a place in England called Gitzo Spares that seems to have good inventory and is responsive to customers who inquire, and have had several orders quickly delivered to me from accross the pond. Here is a link to their page for your tripod:

http://www.gitzospares.com/index.php?route=product/tripod&model_id=866

When you look at the parts breakdown, it does not look like the bubble level is a replaceable part, but it may be. If you need to replace the whole "crown" part it will get expensive.

Have you considered an add on level plate that gets clamped under the base of your ball head? I have used the ones that Really Right Stuff sell, and they are easier to read and more accurate that the built in levels. Check out their larger one that fits under their BH-55 ball head and other fairly large ball head bases:

http://reallyrightstuff.com/ProductDesc.aspx?code=BH55-LVL&type=0&eq=BH55LVL-001&desc=BH55-LVL%3aTripod-Leveling-Plate-for-BH-55&key=ait

I like the quality and performance of the RRS add on level plates, and recomend them, but I now see that there are also similar level accessories like this that are made by other companies in other countries for lower prices. If you are so inclined, you may find something at that on line auction site that costs less.



Feb 28, 2013 at 07:53 PM
Peter Montanti
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Gitzo Customer Service


Thanks Roland, I'll check into gitzospares for the levels. I Appreciate the link to them.

I looked at the RRS leveling plates a few days ago but they don't show the level of the head itself and attached camera, only the top of the tripod below the head.

Peter



Feb 28, 2013 at 08:22 PM
RJKphoto
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Gitzo Customer Service


I have NEVER received a return call from Manfrotto when I have left messages in the past. The best thing to do is keep going back to the operator until she finds someone who will pick up the phone.
Gitzo/Manfrotto no longer even handle their own service, it is farmed out to a company in Arizona called C.R.I.S. I suspect because there is another link in the chain, service has slipped yet another notch. I sent in an Elinchrom Octobox for warranty repair and it took months to sort out the probem, they finally just ended up sending me a new one, but I had to get B&H involved.



Feb 28, 2013 at 09:13 PM
Peter Montanti
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Gitzo Customer Service


Sounds to me that trying to deal with this company is not worth the effort and frustration. Thanks for sharing your experiences with them.

Peter



Feb 28, 2013 at 09:49 PM
Roland W
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Gitzo Customer Service


Sorry I missed that you had problems with the levels in the clamping plate of the head, and I obviously assumed it was the tripod that needed a new level.

As far as I know, the model number you gave leads only to the legs of the Gitzo tripod, and does not specifiy the ball head. That is what had me jump to thinking you needed to fix your tripod. There are a wide variety of possible ball heads you may be dealing with, and you should try to determine the brand and model you have. Once you do that, you can inquire about replacing the quick release clamp with a new one, and get that inquiry to which ever company made the head. If you now have or want to change to an Arca Swiss compatable system for your clamp and plates, that would bring me back to recomending Really Right Stuff, and getting a screw knob or lever release clamp that has an integrated level built in. The levels in RSS clamps are a round single bubble level that gages both directions in one level vial, so they are not quite the same to use as dual level vials, buit still work well. If a RRS clamp is of interest to you, they can help you choose a clamp that will go on your ball head, assuming you can determine the brand and model you have. Actual Gitzo ball heads are not that common, but that may be what you have. And if you do actually have a Gitzo head, it may not be practical to adapt a RRS clamp to it, but you would then be back to looking up the Gitzo head model on the Gitzo spares web site.



Feb 28, 2013 at 11:34 PM
Peter Montanti
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Gitzo Customer Service


My bad Roland and thank you again for your help. I neglected to say that the head is where the two levels are located which are non functional. Its the Gitzo G2272M Low-Profile Head, a three way head that I have attached the RRS quick release clamp to already, but without a level.

I've sent an inquiry to Gitzospares so I'll see what they have to say. Also I've found a couple of sources for replacement bubble levels, here is one - http://www.outdoorphotogear.com/store/gitzo-replacement-bubble-level-for-tripods-and-leveling-bases.html
Reasonable price, hopefully this will work or one from Gitzospares if they have any.

Peter

PS I searched for Gitzo bubble levels a few days ago but didn't come up with anything. Today I googled it again but searched images which was a big help in finding them.



Mar 01, 2013 at 01:26 AM
sjms
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Gitzo Customer Service


Gitzo/Manfrotto in the US have farmed out their service and repairs to another company in, I believe, Arizona.


Mar 01, 2013 at 11:10 AM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



peter_n
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Gitzo Customer Service


^ Yes it's Camera Repair Instrument Service of Chandler, AZ. The announcement page has contact details.




Mar 01, 2013 at 01:00 PM
Peter Montanti
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Gitzo Customer Service


From the link above from peter_n - "Manfrotto Distribution is committed to Service & Repair.
Our customers are very important to us. Manfrotto Distribution and C.R.I.S. (Camera Repair Instrument Service) are partnering to bring you the best service experience possible. Acting as the authorized factory service provider for Manfrotto Distribution in the United States, CRIS is equipped and ready to fulfill all your service needs."

Hmmm, I wonder if they consider lack of response (other than a useless automated and generic one) to be an example of "best service experience possible"?


Peter



Mar 01, 2013 at 02:46 PM
Roland W
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Gitzo Customer Service


The level vials in the Gitzo G2272M Low-Profile Head look like they are the glued in type, and thus they may not be easily replaced. If you can find some new ones and get the old ones out and get the new ones glued in place in the correct level condition, that may work. The big diagram on the Gitzo Spares web site does not seem to show the vials as individual parts, so you may be out of luck for getting them from them, but an inquiry to Gitzo Spares will help answer that.

Your head shows one vial that is at the base that shows the level condition of the base of the head, and another level vial on the top of the head that shows the final condition of the camera. If you wanted to go that way, you could likely add the Really Right Stuff level plate I mentioned above to replace the function of the bottom level. You also could replace the RRS clamp you have added to your head with one of their models that has the built in level vial. You can sell the old clamp to help offset the cost of the new one. You would end up with larger and more accurate level vials for both of the level functions your old vials had. And from experience, the RRS level vials are very durable, so you would likely get a lot of service out of them.

Since you obviously are using Arca Swiss for your camera, you should consider a RRS lever release clamp for your head and a good L plate for each of your cameras. You may all ready be doing that, but if not, consider how fast and easy those things make it to mount your camera, and to change your camera from portrait to landscape. I resisted for a while way back when, but have now been a strong believer for the last 8 years.



Mar 01, 2013 at 04:33 PM
Peter Montanti
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Gitzo Customer Service


Roland, yes I do already use the RRS lever release clamp with a camera mounted L plate. I sought it out for working with stitched images obtained through the use of shift lenses. The RRS combo help to eliminate parallax and yes they are great for switching camera orientation. You may have been one to suggest this to me several years ago.

Last night I ordered two bubble levels (one spare) from Outdoorphotogear to replace the one in the G2272 head. Yes I'll have to bust out the old level and thoroughly clean the hole before gluing the new one in it's place. Doing this is a less expensive way to have a built in level. If there is a problem doing this I would most likely buy the RRS clamp with the built in level. Not sure why I didn't buy that in the first place when I bought the clamp I've been using.

I received an email this morning from Manfrotto Spares (http://www.manfrottospares.com) showing me the bubble level they offer. It was a response to my inquiry at Gitzospares.

Peter



Mar 01, 2013 at 05:05 PM
amsterdem
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Gitzo Customer Service


...is nonexistent, at least in the US.

Ordered a few parts and products from them over the phone, but getting a hold of someone on the phone is another story. If you email, your response rate is 10%, if you call, you might get a warehouse employee to pick up the phone and take your order, but you will most likely hear the automated voicemail.

Best advice is to call after lunch, I've called 10-15 times, and the only time they would pick up is after lunch, another 10% chance.

You won't get any confirmation or invoice for the items you ordered over the phone, even if you paid an arm and a leg.

You will forget about your order, and a few months the products will show up at your door steps. On back ordered items, you can wait a year. I know I waited about a year, just for some Gitzo grease



Mar 03, 2013 at 08:41 AM
Peter Montanti
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Gitzo Customer Service


I'll go to Gitzo and Manfrotto spares in the UK. They gave me a quick response and even a kind note in return after I let them know I had ordered some levels the night before.

Peter




Mar 03, 2013 at 10:44 PM
EB-1
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Gitzo Customer Service


Peter Montanti wrote:
From the link above from peter_n - "Manfrotto Distribution is committed to Service & Repair.
Our customers are very important to us. Manfrotto Distribution and C.R.I.S. (Camera Repair Instrument Service) are partnering to bring you the best service experience possible. Acting as the authorized factory service provider for Manfrotto Distribution in the United States, CRIS is equipped and ready to fulfill all your service needs."

Hmmm, I wonder if they consider lack of response (other than a useless automated and generic one) to be an example of "best service experience possible"?


Peter


I haver also suffered from the Manfrotto "no response" customer service.
Have you contacted CRIS directly? They have to be better than Manfrotto distribution.

EBH



Mar 04, 2013 at 12:20 AM
runamuck
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Gitzo Customer Service


""best service experience possible" for whom?


Mar 05, 2013 at 05:44 AM
Peter Montanti
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Gitzo Customer Service


EBH, no I tried to get in touch by email link and phone number for help on the Gitzo page.

Peter



Mar 05, 2013 at 06:36 PM





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