I agree with Thierry and Techtalk that there are people out there doing more than might be expected from them but things like this are not measured by the things that do go right. Unfortunately performance is measured by the things that go wrong most of the time (at least most of my clients seem to do this and most other places I have seen in the last 20 years as well).
Kudos to the dealers and people at the manufacturers that are doing a good job but there are still a lot of things that do not go right. There are dealers and people at the manufacturers that do not perform as should be expected.
Waving that away by pointing towards the ones that do a good job what do people have to think about that? Am I in luck when I find service that is acceptable? Could I at least expect a minimum level of service? Or should I be comfortable by getting bad service because somebody else somewhere else gets more than he should get?
It is a kind of mentality that prevents performance improvement going forward. How about it when governments would act like that.... sorry forgot... a lot of them do
These forums might not always seem to be fair but let it be a way in how people can help each other to separate the good from the bad and a way for dealers & manufacturers to weed out the bad stuff. If someone feels his reputation is at stake they are free to challenge that publicly as well.
Most people that frequent various forums get to know who is who and how meaningful the things
are they are stating or talking about.
In the end these forums are nothing more than a bowl of opinions with maybe some facts that cannot even be scientifically proven on which people might form their own opinion & decisions or.... not.
I negotiate every week of my life with agents, clients, production services and usually if there is an "issue" I try to find some common ground, or shared responsibility and have a good record of keeping things on track.
The times I see it fall apart is when one side digs there heels in the ground. They usually win on the day, but never long term.
To be fair none of us know if any claim made on the internet is completely grounded or correct, but in this instance if it was a single occurrence that only happened in this person's geographical area, then I'd say just pay for the fix.
What makes this different is the "real fix" means a 20k upgrade to a new back that has a better coated IR filter and that leads to the assumption that Hasselblad knows this is an issue.
Regardless of who's at fault, the thing I don't understand about this is why the maker of the back didn't take a shared responsibility view and just lower the price of an upgrade, or split the cost of the fix? To me that would have kept the client happy through good will?
These devices are complicated and I believe all the manufacturers are doing there best to make the best product possible. Still, the specialty cameras, mostly medium format seem to continually be in some form of growing pains, or development.
I've owned most of the professional digital cameras produced and all but 3; the original 1ds, the p30(non plus) and the p21+ have had major or minor issues and to quantify this major means a file is either destroyed or lost or the camera just doesn't work.
I've also had dealings with the dealers and manufactures and some have given it a great effort, some gave it lip service, but few did it on the same schedule or timeline that my clients expect me to perform under.
Yes there are good dealers, but even the best dealer in the world can't change the fact that with professional digital capture and post processing all of us are in some way beta testers and these forums attest to that.
I think these forums are valuable because they eventually get to the real bottom line and whether we like it or not, none of the manufacturers are going to bullet point the deficiencies of their product and in some instances never mention the issues unless they are out in public.
I find it interesting that as end users or consumers we hold different companies to different standards. Nobody would accept that their Toyota camary needed the windshield replaced because it permanently fogged and few would accept the only real fix would be to move to a Lexus, though most Camarys sell for less than a top end digital back.
I also find it interesting that most of the manufacturers never want to hear a negative about the product they represent, but off line most will mention the issues with the competitions product, or more telling online will respond to another makers problem with "our camera doesn't need a _________ for that type of shot".
I know a handful of photographers that have some type of sponsorship from the manufacturers and none of them will ever publicly mention an issue, though in private have a list as long as your arm.
To be truthful, all of these companies tend to leap frog each other in one way or the other and at some point all seem to have new issues come up just about the time the competition fixes their previous problems so usually the guy in the back now goes to the front.
Right now of the 4 makers of digital backs, 3 have their software in major re release,and 1 is just getting their software stable after 18 months of more than major reworking and reorganization.
3 makers have new cameras, all waiting on lenses and accessories and the rumors of new cameras, lenses, chips, formats, dimensions would fill two dozen forums.
The positive side of this is the industry is moving forward, the negative is if history is to be believed some of this new product will go through some teething pains.