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Re: Warning: Profoto will not fix Air Remote hot shoe

Simon Barker wrote:
leethecam wrote:
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.

Profoto doesn't repair anything, they authorise third parties to repair their gear like Luminary Lighting or Fixation in the UK, they're not exactly unique in this regard, see what your options are for Broncolor in the UK but my point being some of the most knowledgeable people you can get access to are to be found outside Profoto.

leethecam wrote:
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.

As I keep saying, Profoto can't compete with Godox on price and (as far as us end users are concerned) there's not much of a difference in the general technical ability of their products. So taking that into consideration what should Profoto do to expand sales? I think they've saturated their core market so their only choice is to look for new ones.

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

Perhaps but what can they really do? They could try and fight on price but it is a battle they're going to lose eventually, Godox used to make junk but technically they're close enough for most people for it to not matter now and they've been making some nice original products like the AD200 no one else had thought to.

Tough times for traditional brands.

If my gear breaks doing the warranty, then it's off to Sweden and a long wait. I wish they would send it to Luminary Lighting as it would be faster.

When I refer to the less-pro market, I talking about things such as their new C-1 in particular, but also developments with B10 have severe limitations for a working pro with respect to quality of light (no ability to use the dome), and self-servicing, (we can't replace the tube ourselves). Now whilst there is a market for some of these things, it does tend to water down the brand, so what we end up with is expensive stuff which competes badly against similarly priced Godox or others. And this in turn waters down the RnD efforts which always have limited resources.

Remember the ill fated Profoto tungsten lights...? Here was a case where they had lights which performed less competently than existing luminaries in the video industry, but with a huge price tag. It was a case where Profoto was badly stepping outside their market place. Recognising a market base is essential, and whilst new avenues are often welcome, it is important to invest wisely in that respect.

Profoto's place in market has traditionally been to be the best (or top) of the photographic lighting world. Having a budget end to their range isn't likely to happen - although some might say that has already happened when they introduced the D1 and B1 ranges... So much like the advice we see for photographers, it would be unwise to battle on price. If items are going to be expensive then ensure they're suited for discerning pros, or the newer market which has aspirations of building a lighting stock which has no limitations and builds on the basis of amazing light, amazing build and amazing aftercare.

The build quality of Profoto is excellent to be sure.

But they're failing a little when they limit strobes so they won't work so well with beauty dishes, or when their collapsable beauty dishes are quite dreadful, (compare with the Westcott Rapid Beauty Dish and you'll see what I mean). And why oh why are their wonderful newer OCF accessories all plastic so we can't use them with D1 modelling lights. Where is the all metal option? This is where they are watering down the brand with under-performing items in their listing. (Remembering that the price differences aren't that huge between their better performing products and they're all still expensive anyway).

I've brought a couple of ideas to Profoto, suggesting a large difference in quality of light wittier expensive beauty dish so that it works better across the whole range of strobes, from D1/B1 to their Pro Heads. And the mod would not only improve the quality of light for D1/B1 strobes but also offer additional options to give huge flexibility to their beauty dish's "look." Cost for this ingenious mod...? About 1.50 per beauty dish. (Oh and offering options of lucrative bolt ons that would work with this easy mod.) Requires zero re-tooling and makes the dish a better build overall. Their response was total dis-interest. Didn't even want to contact me back with a single question. (So I'm the only person I know of with this lovely little mod... ha) And I've brought other simple and easy ideas to enhance safety for their products - which would actually bring in easy extra revenue. I even sourced the parts for them. (I have one of those safety features on my kit). Again, zero response.

To say that they are complacent is an understatement. But it isn't uncommon. I've made other mods to my broadcast Betacam SP camera many years ago with game-changing mod to the audio circuitry on my 20,000 Sony video camera. Cost of the mod...? Approx 65p. Nope, Sony were not impressed enough to ask of it when I approached them so for many years I was the only person in the world to have an onboard software-knee compressor option on my manually adjusted audio levels with auto attach and release characteristics that were almost transparent in operation - a real bonus for 1-man operations.

So complacency is seen all over alas...

But when it comes to after service, this is where a company can justify its high price tags. Sure the gear is costly buthey'll look after you if anything goes awry. I get this level of service from Eizo. If my CG monitor goes down or even "feels" like it isn't 100%, I'll have a loan unit sitting on my door next day with a prompt collection of my unit for investigation. No charge... And their customer service response is unrivalled the I call for a solution. Speedy and on point. Same with SQN mixers and used to be the same with Vinten Triopds. I find even the mighty Canon offers me stellar service in the UK for me.

Goodwill goes a long way to promoting brand loyalty. So look after the customer and you'll find more. Much better than bring out a daft C1 that no one can afford and the pros are wondering what they'd do with it. I find Profoto's goodwill doesn't extend nearly far as their price bracket suggests they should. Heck just look at this thread... We're all talking about how Profoto isn't as good an option as cheaper brands, whilst I'm sure Profoto would rather us discuss how they cost a bundle but they're worth it in every respect.

I like my Profoto units and they're a joy to use. I'm fortunate that I'd have rare occasion for servicing and I have Luminary Lighting on my doorstep. But knowing what I know now, and seeing how Profoto develops its position in the market, with experience of how they've reacted when I'd had queries or issues... I would be looking very hard at Godox options if I was doing all this again - and that wasn't my position some 10 years ago. Things have changed, but Profoto are no keeping up with their brand position.

Jul 13, 2020 at 05:36 AM

  Previous versions of leethecam's message #15281813 « Warning: Profoto will not fix Air Remote hot shoe »