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Warning: Profoto will not fix Air Remote hot shoe

  
 
PCN2039
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Warning: Profoto will not fix Air Remote hot shoe


I had some pins damaged on Sony Air TTL-S and sent it in for repair. Despite many helpful internal efforts sadly it is Profoto policy not to repair items like this as it is supposedly cost prohibitive. So I guess the remote is now a $429(minus depreciation) paperweight.

I am not sure what other items Profoto will not fix but this is a big wakeup call on the perceived Profoto vs. Godox "advantage" of repairability.

They did offer a discount on a replacement item but due to Covid-19 affecting business I have to invest $320+ in other essentials. I also do not want to invest in a fragile hotshoe design that will likely break again and render the item unfixable.

I have used Profoto for about 15 years and due to this experience and the current state of the photo business I will be investing in Godox in the future and not the 2 B10+ and B1x I was planning on purchasing last year.

Imagine if Apple asked you to buy a new phone because they don't fix screens or buttons that are damaged?



Jul 06, 2020 at 01:06 PM
JBPhotog
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Warning: Profoto will not fix Air Remote hot shoe


Additionally, I have witnessed Profoto Air Remotes not communicating with strobes and requiring a reboot by removing the batteries. Now this is not a common issue but the claim that Profoto is flawless because you are spending much higher coin for quality isn't always the case.


Jul 06, 2020 at 01:44 PM
PCN2039
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Warning: Profoto will not fix Air Remote hot shoe


I have to say I had a lot of issues off the bat with the Sony TTL-S on A7riv and A9. I should have just got an older Profoto trigger.


Jul 06, 2020 at 01:48 PM
Tartine
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Warning: Profoto will not fix Air Remote hot shoe


PCN2039 wrote:
I had some pins damaged on Sony Air TTL-S and sent it in for repair. Despite many helpful internal efforts sadly it is Profoto policy not to repair items like this as it is supposedly cost prohibitive. So I guess the remote is now a $429(minus depreciation) paperweight.

I am not sure what other items Profoto will not fix but this is a big wakeup call on the perceived Profoto vs. Godox "advantage" of repairability.

They did offer a discount on a replacement item but due to Covid-19 affecting business I have to invest $320+ in other essentials. I also do not
...Show more

The issue is less Profoto, and more that the Sony hotshoe is poorly designed. I've broken multiple godox sony triggers and flashes too.



Jul 06, 2020 at 03:37 PM
stevesanacore
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Warning: Profoto will not fix Air Remote hot shoe


No question using the very old hot shoe design for communication with complex devices is probably a design that needs to change. All those tiny connections open to dirt and water is terrible. Maybe it's time for flash connectors to change to sealed cable connectors like video cameras use. But considering that even the usb and HDMI data connections are still so poor on the latest pro bodies, I guess there is not much chance.

I've used quite a few Profoto remotes on my Sonys, Nikons and Canons over the years without an issue. The only problem I seem to have is the Profoto Sony TTL remote goes though batteries like crazy compared to my Canon unit. Considering I'm shooting in the tropics and on beaches quite a bit, I guess I've been lucky with my connections not going bad. It's surprising that Profoto wasn't more accommodating as my experience with them has always been good. So many solid state items are just throw away these days. I had them swap a B1 charger that was faulty under warranty. They Fedex'd me a new one and they just told me to chuck the old one in the trash. Can't complain about that service.

Profoto is not cheap gear and their market is pro studios and rental houses. I guess us D1 or B1 users are the bottom of the food chain for them, (although I bet the sell a lot of them). I'm getting ready to order a set of B10's as I am just spoiled by the whole system.



Jul 06, 2020 at 04:07 PM
PCN2039
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Warning: Profoto will not fix Air Remote hot shoe


Regardless of the inherent structural integrity of the Sony hotshoe it would be nice if PROfoto permitted their customers to have the unit repaired instead of offering a discount that amounts to $350.

You won't see my face on a Nikon/Canon/Profoto ad or on a youtube channel but I have been privileged to make a living from this business for more than 20 years.

In that time I can't remember any company that does not fix such an essential piece of lighting kit. Over the past decades items inevitably get damaged and I can't imagine Nikon refusing to fix a 24-70/2.8, a flash hotshoe, a SU-800, or a Nikon D3 because they did not have the parts (reason 1) and it was, allegedly, too cost prohibitive to fix(reason 2).

I have 2 Godox remotes and use them a lot for mobile work. Somehow the cheap stuff has worked flawlessly over the last two years. You really get more than you paid for with Godox. With Profoto it seems to be the opposite unless your face is on a billboard.


Tartine wrote:
The issue is less Profoto, and more that the Sony hotshoe is poorly designed. I've broken multiple godox sony triggers and flashes too.





Jul 06, 2020 at 08:31 PM
PCN2039
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Warning: Profoto will not fix Air Remote hot shoe


I love companies that treat you with well whether you are a blue-collar photographer or an an ambassador. Think Tank Photo has been one company I have stuck with since the beginning and their support has been stellar even though my face isn't on a Canon/Nikon/Sony billboard. I was planning on upgrading to B10+ and B1x last year but now I will avoid investing in a company that does not allow users to have their gear fixed.

stevesanacore wrote:
It's surprising that Profoto wasn't more accommodating as my experience with them has always been good. So many solid state items are just throw away these days. I had them swap a B1 charger that was faulty under warranty. They Fedex'd me a new one and they just told me to chuck the old one in the trash. Can't complain about that service.

Profoto is not cheap gear and their market is pro studios and rental houses. I guess us D1 or B1 users are the bottom of the food chain for them, (although I bet the sell a lot
...Show more




Jul 06, 2020 at 08:40 PM
Tartine
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Warning: Profoto will not fix Air Remote hot shoe


PCN2039 wrote:
Regardless of the inherent structural integrity of the Sony hotshoe it would be nice if PROfoto permitted their customers to have the unit repaired instead of offering a discount that amounts to $350.

You won't see my face on a Nikon/Canon/Profoto ad or on a youtube channel but I have been privileged to make a living from this business for more than 20 years.

In that time I can't remember any company that does not fix such an essential piece of lighting kit. Over the past decades items inevitably get damaged and I can't imagine Nikon refusing to fix a 24-70/2.8,
...Show more

My guess is that Profoto looked at their warranty/repair orders and saw a much larger percentage of Sony feet needing repair, compared to the amount sold, and decided to do the logical thing. Profoto can't control a camera maker making a non-standard hotshoe. There's probably a reason why Profoto took so long coming out with a Sony compatible A1 and trigger, likely due to the inherent fragility of it. You can't honestly tell me that a full metal foot is as durable as a plastic one.

Samsung released phones that would spontaneously explode/catch on fire, and they recalled them. Maybe Profoto is cutting their losses with the Sony compatible triggers in the same way? I've had 4 broken sony triggers and flashes in the year and a half I had the godox system (back when I shot sony). If you put a plastic hotshoe into a not quite right spec coldshoe mount for example, it'll easily break it, especially when you're in the heat of the moment setting up for a professional shoot. Ultimately that's a big reason why I left Sony to be honest



Jul 06, 2020 at 08:51 PM
PCN2039
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Warning: Profoto will not fix Air Remote hot shoe


I agree there are issues with the Sony mount. Regardless of the structural integrity of this mount the $429 you pay should include the right to have it repaired. "Sorry.. it is too much work to fix the hotshoe, just pay us $350 for a replacement" is not something anyone wants to hear after payng $429 especially in these economic times. Profoto is out touch with the current state of the economy if they think $350 offer is good customer support. Especially since that part is probably under $300 + labor to install.

Tartine wrote:
My guess is that Profoto looked at their warranty/repair orders and saw a much larger percentage of Sony feet needing repair, compared to the amount sold, and decided to do the logical thing. Profoto can't control a camera maker making a non-standard hotshoe. There's probably a reason why Profoto took so long coming out with a Sony compatible A1 and trigger, likely due to the inherent fragility of it. You can't honestly tell me that a full metal foot is as durable as a plastic one.

Samsung released phones that would spontaneously explode/catch on fire, and they recalled them. Maybe Profoto
...Show more




Jul 06, 2020 at 08:56 PM
stevesanacore
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Warning: Profoto will not fix Air Remote hot shoe



Obviously there is a bigger issue than I have experienced in my five years or so with Sony and Profoto. Guess I've been lucky. I have four remotes, and one had the little leds go bad, but it still works. Sony has been the first camera I've ever become obsessed with keeping the plastic cover on the hot shoe when not in use. When I was shooting Canon and Nikon I ignored it for decades although I imagine ten or twenty years ago it wasn't as important to keep clean.

Another suggestion I have for anyone looking to purchase pro gear is to go through a pro dealer. I use "Capture Intergration". I have a rep that I've been working with since the 1990's and when I have any issues, he's my first call. Then I'm contacted by their tech people, (usually within an hour), who then handle it themselves or with the manufacturer for me. Companies like Profoto, Broncolor, Phase One, etc, depend on these pro dealer networks and it works in our favor as their customers in my experience.

I think Profoto is feeling the pinch from so many cheap Chinese strobes hitting the market and although seem expensive to us, is probably lower margins than they are used to making.






Jul 06, 2020 at 10:21 PM
 


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leethecam
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Warning: Profoto will not fix Air Remote hot shoe


Writing as someone who is heavily invested in Profoto gear, I must say that the company seems to be losing touch with what put it forefront of the pro world many years ago.

I've found that its customer service is somewhat lacking in the UK and problems I've had or queries I've made have been sorted by an independent repair company in London, (Luminary Lighting), rather than Profoto. Indeed a simple enquiry about their flash tubes was still unanswered by Profoto after 2 weeks, and they had the cheek to get upset because I chased for an answer after waiting a fortnight.

Of late Profoto seem to have been concentrating on a less pro market, with products that suit i-Phone users. Even their newer strobes leave the user without ability to replace tubes and so needing costly and slow servicing where other manufacturers allow user replacement.

Profoto gear is certainly solid and I love working with the kit. But if Profoto are to maintain a healthy position then they need to reinforce the reasons why their products cost more than others. Quality of kit is one thing, but backup and good aftercare is critical when spending so much as to not write kit off when it fails.

I think Profoto have become complacent. They're forgetting their pro roots, and all that entails.

I love my Profoto gear, but if I was doing this again I think I'd be taking a long hard look at Godox, who have been catching up in the stability and quality stakes very fast. Godox themselves are impossible to deal with, but when buying the same re-branded strobes, we now get customer support from the relevant dealers.

Profoto are going to need to wake up, because they're alienating their pro base and discouraging newer market areas.

With respect to the OP's concerns over repairs on remotes, I find the Profoto response crazy. There comes a point where company reputation needs to be maintained, and threads like this just discourage potential customers from entering the Profoto family place - and in the long run that is an expensive loss for the company.



Jul 07, 2020 at 02:26 AM
story_teller
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Warning: Profoto will not fix Air Remote hot shoe


The ugly truth is that some manufactured products are not cost-effective to fix, no matter how much you complain. I'm sure some of the Godox products are exactly the same. Rather than continue to gripe about it, sell your Profoto gear and buy all Godox if you want. It's a free country.


Jul 07, 2020 at 07:21 AM
Tartine
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Warning: Profoto will not fix Air Remote hot shoe


PCN2039 wrote:
I agree there are issues with the Sony mount. Regardless of the structural integrity of this mount the $429 you pay should include the right to have it repaired. "Sorry.. it is too much work to fix the hotshoe, just pay us $350 for a replacement" is not something anyone wants to hear after payng $429 especially in these economic times. Profoto is out touch with the current state of the economy if they think $350 offer is good customer support. Especially since that part is probably under $300 + labor to install.



If this was a pervasive issue across every product I'd agree. However I've never had a canon, fuji, or nikon trigger stop working or break in this manner. Profoto can only control so much in terms of QC/service, and if one camera maker decides to use a non-standard shoe that is pretty broadly known as more prone to breakage, should they be held liable?

Also, you say that you damaged the pins on the foot of the trigger. The main failure points I've noticed with the foot is actually more around the sides, but they are also easily damaged if dropped at the wrong angle, which Profoto also can't control. Their average service cost is about $250 for anything you send them in my experience, so your repair cost is not unusual.

I also think the title of your post is a bit misleading - as they will fix it, you just don't want to pay for it. No offense, but that's my read on it.



Jul 07, 2020 at 09:25 AM
Holger
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Warning: Profoto will not fix Air Remote hot shoe


leethecam wrote:
Writing as someone who is heavily invested in Profoto gear, I must say that the company seems to be losing touch with what put it forefront of the pro world many years ago.

I've found that its customer service is somewhat lacking in the UK and problems I've had or queries I've made have been sorted by an independent repair company in London, (Luminary Lighting), rather than Profoto. Indeed a simple enquiry about their flash tubes was still unanswered by Profoto after 2 weeks, and they had the cheek to get upset because I chased for an answer after waiting a
...Show more
Nobody is perfect. With Godox you go cheap, but need to buy new if something breaks or have to hope for spare parts (Godox flash foot) to be available.
We use Godox professionally at weddings for many years now, usually the big on-camera flashes (860ii and V1). They work o.k. Cheap plastic foot which breaks easily (several times I needed to replace the v860ii foot and the v1 foot twice. For the latter I couldn't get a spare part in Germany, so I dismounted it and adjusted the 860ii-foot to repair it. Works).
However, they overheat quickly in HSS and there are always situations where they don't fire. Additionally, when using ttl flash release is delayed minimally (even in manual mode one can feel that). Absolutely annoying.
We bought two A1x to test them and they work flawlessly. Better build, quick release, never overheated, never got one black frame. Reliability.
Yes, Godox offers a lot for the money. If you can live with the quirks it is a nice solution. Profoto may be overpriced, but I buy the reliability I want and need. So far, very happy.



Jul 07, 2020 at 05:04 PM
PCN2039
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Warning: Profoto will not fix Air Remote hot shoe


Sorry but there is absolutely no reason it is not "cost-effective" to fix a part that is prone to breakage. Imagine your mechnic saying you have to buy a new car because your struts/shocks were damaged.

the "ugly truth" is that Profoto will not fix a crucial part of a $429 device for whatever reasons they stated the first and second time.

And regarding Godox another guy who broke his hotshoe flash stated they sell the user-replaceable part for $17.

I pray you do not ever break any of your camera gear.


story_teller wrote:
The ugly truth is that some manufactured products are not cost-effective to fix, no matter how much you complain. I'm sure some of the Godox products are exactly the same. Rather than continue to gripe about it, sell your Profoto gear and buy all Godox if you want. It's a free country.





Jul 07, 2020 at 09:27 PM
PCN2039
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Warning: Profoto will not fix Air Remote hot shoe


I used to rave about Profoto to my colleagues and several ended up buying not just the B1 and B2 but many modifiers.

After this experience I realize that I am on my own when it comes to support. If something breaks I must call my insurance agent and inquire about a claim because Profoto will not fix certain items. I wonder what other items they may refuse to repair in the future. I hope I don't find out.

I too was puzzled and surprised about the outcome of what I thought might be a simple but expensive repair.

And yes, I think in the long run word of mouth will end up costing them much more than a simple repair.

leethecam wrote:
Writing as someone who is heavily invested in Profoto gear, I must say that the company seems to be losing touch with what put it forefront of the pro world many years ago.

Profoto gear is certainly solid and I love working with the kit. But if Profoto are to maintain a healthy position then they need to reinforce the reasons why their products cost more than others. Quality of kit is one thing, but backup and good aftercare is critical when spending so much as to not write kit off when it fails.

I think Profoto have become complacent. They're forgetting
...Show more




Jul 07, 2020 at 09:45 PM
PCN2039
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Warning: Profoto will not fix Air Remote hot shoe


I have had the fortune to work with a Sony rep who has been simply incredible. At every turn, he has been there to help my colleagues and I. I switched about 18 months ago and so did 7 of my colleagues.

My colleague recently had a lens malfunction. Despite the limitations of the lockdown the Sony rep was able to get the lens shipped to a repair facility. My colleague was not told he would have to buy a new lens because Sony repair facility did not have parts or it was cost prohibitive. He was not offered a replacement lens for $1950.


stevesanacore wrote:
Obviously there is a bigger issue than I have experienced in my five years or so with Sony and Profoto. Guess I've been lucky. I have four remotes, and one had the little leds go bad, but it still works. Sony has been the first camera I've ever become obsessed with keeping the plastic cover on the hot shoe when not in use. When I was shooting Canon and Nikon I ignored it for decades although I imagine ten or twenty years ago it wasn't as important to keep clean.

Another suggestion I have for anyone looking to purchase pro gear
...Show more




Jul 07, 2020 at 09:52 PM
Tartine
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Warning: Profoto will not fix Air Remote hot shoe


PCN2039 wrote:
Sorry but there is absolutely no reason it is not "cost-effective" to fix a part that is prone to breakage. Imagine your mechnic saying you have to buy a new car because your struts/shocks were damaged.

the "ugly truth" is that Profoto will not fix a crucial part of a $429 device for whatever reasons they stated the first and second time.

And regarding Godox another guy who broke his hotshoe flash stated they sell the user-replaceable part for $17.

I pray you do not ever break any of your camera gear.




Let me guess. You went back and forth with Profoto about the repair, sending them many snarky emails, and they eventually told you to kick rocks or pay for the repair. You then told them "I will make a post on a forum and complain about you, and then no one will buy your stuff!"

Bottom line, Profoto will repair your trigger, though your title states otherwise. You just have to pay, perhaps because you broke it due to user error. I have broken many sony godox triggers, but never from the front contact area. You have to really try to break it to get to those contacts, or drop it just right on those electronic contacts to damage it. Profoto isn't liable for you dropping and breaking your gear.



Jul 07, 2020 at 09:56 PM
PCN2039
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Warning: Profoto will not fix Air Remote hot shoe


Tartine, please read the original post. Your imagination has really run wild on what you perceived happened and not what I had posted.

"I also think the title of your post is a bit misleading - as they will fix it, you just don't want to pay for it. No offense, but that's my read on it.

Once again....

I WOULD GLADLY PAY FOR IT TO BE REPAIRED!

I was expecting a $100-225 repair. Heck I'll even go as far at $250.

I was not expecting them to refuse to repair the hotshoe and instead offering a replacement for $350.

Also, have you never ever damaged any of your gear? Stuff happens when you are working a lot in difficult situations. That's why camera companies like Nikon and Canon have NPS and CPS that cater to the pro quickly and efficiently. Nikon does not offer a $1800 replacement for a stuck zoom ring because they do not want to fix a 70-200/2.8. I am not asking for a free replacement or making threats as you imagine.

There were no snarky emails. They made an offer to replace the unit for a $350 fee.







Jul 07, 2020 at 10:37 PM
Beni
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Warning: Profoto will not fix Air Remote hot shoe


Tartine wrote:
Let me guess. You went back and forth with Profoto about the repair, sending them many snarky emails, and they eventually told you to kick rocks or pay for the repair. You then told them "I will make a post on a forum and complain about you, and then no one will buy your stuff!"

Bottom line, Profoto will repair your trigger, though your title states otherwise. You just have to pay, perhaps because you broke it due to user error. I have broken many sony godox triggers, but never from the front contact area. You have to really try to
...Show more

Slight lack of reading comprehension? They are refusing to fix it and instead offering a discount on a new model. Our studio's moved on from profoto a while back due to their current business model practices and this does nothing to persuade me that we made a bad decision. Pro's buy into a system not just for features but also service. Profoto have been abandoning the high end pro market for a while now and this is just another symptom of the malaise.



Jul 08, 2020 at 05:55 AM
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