Shout out to Paul C Buff's customer service

Started Oct 11, 2012 | Discussions
pursang Regular Member • Posts: 232
Shout out to Paul C Buff's customer service
1

Last week I sent in four of my Einstein monolights to have them updated to the most current hardware. When I initially contacted repair Debbie, one of their customer service agents said "Get those in quick because you bought them in November 2010 and you want them updated under warranty." My issue really surrounded 'when' to send in the units since I am constantly in studio sessions for clients. I found a two week window where I 'may not' be called to work and explained to Debbie my dilemma. She assured me that they would have my units turned around in time. As it turns out I did have to rent some Einsteins since an unexpected assignment popped up...Murphy's Law and all.

So today I received my units back just in time for a dance session this weekend. When my partner and I opened the boxes we were dumbfounded. PCB had sent BRAND NEW Einsteins. The ones I sent in were all numbered and I had placed grip tape on the edges to prevent dropping them. The only gripe I've ever had with the Einsteins involved the mounting mechanism that hold speed rings. They sometimes did not retract properly or did not seal around speed rings well. That is all history. His latest units are remarkable and the mounting is both sturdy and well executed. I also noticed that he altered the pivot arm to clear the body of the Einstein so it rotates freely about the housing. The front of the unit is also vented much more than my original units. I could not be happier.

In a world where service is found in voice mail jail or through never answered emails, chat sessions that are so scripted I want to scream, Paul's company and products are SO REFRESHING. I try to run my own business like he does, give customers a great product and excellent customer service. Thank you Paul for innovative products that I can count on time and time again. And if I ever get to meet Debbie, she'll get a huge hug from me.

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Lawrence Keeney
Lawrence Keeney Veteran Member • Posts: 6,815
Re: Shout out to Paul C Buff's customer service

I have to agree with you on Paul Buff's customer service. I have been dealing with them for about 10 years and they always exceed my expectation when it comes to customer service.

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OP pursang Regular Member • Posts: 232
Re: Shout out to Paul C Buff's customer service

I wanted to give some of you a comparison of the 'newer' Einsteins to the older ones. I had to rent some lights from a local vendor while mine were being 'repaired' by Paul and his team. First the things you can't see in a photo:

The fan is much quieter and does not come on as often as my prior units
The audible beep for recycling is much louder now
The mounting fingers are VERY TIGHT on modifiers. After mounting my largest softbox and hung it from a boom with the softbox straight down I examined the space between the speed ring and the Einstein. There was none. A little test you can run; place the protective cap on the Einstein and turn it either way. Like my former units the protective cap will rotate freely. With the new units they do NOT.

In this first image you can see that the lever which controls the tilt of the unit now clears the housing unlike my former units which were obstructed by the unit's main housing. This was never a big deal to me since I simply reset the lever to achieve max tension before hitting the housing.

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David Dodd Contributing Member • Posts: 668
Re: Shout out to Paul C Buff's customer service

That's great customer service.  I've always had great service with them too.

Does anyone happen to know when the Einstein lights were updated?  I am thinking of buying a used one, but would like the new modifications.

OP pursang Regular Member • Posts: 232
Re: Shout out to Paul C Buff's customer service

David Dodd wrote:

That's great customer service.  I've always had great service with them too.

Does anyone happen to know when the Einstein lights were updated?  I am thinking of buying a used one, but would like the new modifications.

I would call PCB and ask

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David Dodd Contributing Member • Posts: 668
Re: Shout out to Paul C Buff's customer service

I was reading the Buff technical boards and saw that Paul Buff said in early July that the new modifications were coming.  So, these changes are very recent and you need to buy a new one to get them.

OP pursang Regular Member • Posts: 232
Re: Shout out to Paul C Buff's customer service

David Dodd wrote:

I was reading the Buff technical boards and saw that Paul Buff said in early July that the new modifications were coming.  So, these changes are very recent and you need to buy a new one to get them.

If that's the case I would forego the used unit and get a new one. It's so much better.

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GodSpeaks
GodSpeaks Forum Pro • Posts: 12,740
Re: Shout out to Paul C Buff's customer service

pursang wrote:

In a world where service is found in voice mail jail or through never answered emails, chat sessions that are so scripted I want to scream, Paul's company and products are SO REFRESHING. I try to run my own business like he does, give customers a great product and excellent customer service. Thank you Paul for innovative products that I can count on time and time again. And if I ever get to meet Debbie, she'll get a huge hug from me.

Absolutely agree, their service is top notch.  I have had several AB1600's in for repair.  Turn around time was outstanding and prices were even better.

I also dropped one of my CyberSync transmitters and broke the foot so it would not mount on the camera.  I wanted them to change the plastic housing, figuring it couldn't cost too much.

I got the repaired item back within a week at no charge!!!  They put it under warranty repair.  Bear in mind that I had told them it was my fault as I had dropped it.  I didn't ask for a warranty repair, I was prepared to pay for my mistake.

So yes, excellent service from Paul C. Buff.

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OP pursang Regular Member • Posts: 232
Re: Shout out to Paul C Buff's customer service

I had yet another great encounter with Paul's customer service and thought I'd share it to illustrate the consistency of his service. My Vagabond Mini went on the blink and I had an upcoming client session out of state where I needed the unit for some on location shooting. Because I live in California shipping from Paul's offices normally takes about 5 days via UPS. Joe the tech told me that he would expedite my order and I had it in plenty of time before flying to the client location.

Scheduled just prior to the on location session where I needed the VB Mini I was hired to photograph two Cirque du Soleil performers against a cyclorama wall doing some hand to hand acrobatics. Lots of power outlets in the studio.... As luck would have it one of the other tenants in the studio shut off the power to the entire building and left! WTF! In the dark the session was only half done! Since I had my VB Mini with me I booted up the Einsteins and finished the session. I was a bit worried that the unit would not have enough juice for my on location session, but it worked the entire time.

Had his staff not understood my need to have the unit before I left I would have been in deep doodoo.

GodSpeaks wrote:

pursang wrote:

In a world where service is found in voice mail jail or through never answered emails, chat sessions that are so scripted I want to scream, Paul's company and products are SO REFRESHING. I try to run my own business like he does, give customers a great product and excellent customer service. Thank you Paul for innovative products that I can count on time and time again. And if I ever get to meet Debbie, she'll get a huge hug from me.

Absolutely agree, their service is top notch. I have had several AB1600's in for repair. Turn around time was outstanding and prices were even better.

I also dropped one of my CyberSync transmitters and broke the foot so it would not mount on the camera. I wanted them to change the plastic housing, figuring it couldn't cost too much.

I got the repaired item back within a week at no charge!!! They put it under warranty repair. Bear in mind that I had told them it was my fault as I had dropped it. I didn't ask for a warranty repair, I was prepared to pay for my mistake.

So yes, excellent service from Paul C. Buff.

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The greatest of mankind's criminals are those who delude themselves into thinking they have done 'the right thing.'
- Rayna Butler

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