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An open letter to Minelab, USA


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After giving this issue considerable thought; I have decided to handle this on open forums. I intend to post this letter on Bill's and Rob's forum as well. If any forum owner wants to delete this, you certainly have the right to exercise your option to censor...it is your court I am playing on.

MINELAB, LAS VEGAS are you listening?

I have owned the PI 2000, 2200-d, gp extreme and now the 3500. I found my biggest nugget with the 2000 and the most gold with my GP Extreme. I never had any problems with the 2000 and the 2200-d, except the battery was bad on the 2200-d. Minelab replaced that battery without any problem. I was doing ok with the GP Extreme but sent it to Minelab in Las Vegas for a check-up prior to my second trip to Australia in 2003...apparently it had some problem because a few parts were replaced. When I went for a test drive the GP Extreme was way different and more quiet and sensitive. These are examples of the good service I received in prior years from Minelab.

In 2005 or 2006 I traded a GoldScan-5 and boot for a 3500...yes; it was used and therefore no warranty...my problem and my decision. I used the 3500 and found some gold but it never seemed right. So, I sent it to Minelab...my machine was promptly "repaired" and returned in good time. I took it for a test, new and old problems surfaced and I arranged with Minelab to send it back...again, the machine was "repaired" and returned...this time I waited quite awhile before testing...again, the machine was not right and back it went. This time the "repair" and return took weeks. For this test I went to Gold basin for a WSPA Outing and there my eyes were truly opened...the machine had no sensitivity whatever and still had some of the other problems...I was aghast, appalled and thoroughly disgusted.

I was getting desperate. I could not, would not sell a defective machine and Minelab Las Vegas was clearly not getting the 3500 fixed. After making a post on an Oz forum I was advised to send the unit to Minelab, Australia; which I did. Thank God for them, I have been to the Yuma area twice to test the machine...Using the 14 inch mono-E by NuggetFinder,I have found a six grain nugget, a eight grain nugget many "good", deep bits of trash and most impressive a 8/10th of a grain bit of brass or copper with the 11 inch mono coil. All these things were found on tough ground, near power lines, in the heat and with military flights going by...after about 20 hours of testing my machine appears to work in all modes and with different coils...Thank you, Minelab Service in Australia!!!

I seriously considered buying a 4500, but all the heartache and misery your poor service has caused me ruled against spending thousands more on an unreliable product, an uncaring and incompetent Service Department and a "there's a sucker born every minute" business philosophy...I considered Filing a claim in Small-Claims Court but there is no provision for that here in California...

My question is why did I have to go through all this cost and turmoil? Why weren’t the Techs at Minelab, Las Vegas sufficiently trained and competent to make these repairs? Minelab, Las Vegas you have a duty to provide competent, trained and caring technicians. When a machine is entrusted to your care the machine and the customer it represents should be given the highest level of care...these aren't cheap toys!!! I am telling you your service in recent times has been dismal. Worse, there seems to be a Used-car salesman attitude running rampant...in your service department.

I will never know how many nuggets and meteorites I walked over while swinging almost dead detector., thanks for the useless exercise.

Minelab Pi machines have been the vanguard in gold detector development...the best gold finding machines ever made. Now, it is time to bring your service and warranty repairs up to the same great standard.

Sincerely

Fred Mason

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Fred,

You are not the only one that has had the same type or similar experience. Since Dick Schultz left, the service department has gone down hill in Las Vegas. I recently purchased a water hunting machine, and was considering an Excalibur, but after an experience I recently had (I called them several times asking for some information on the purchase of the Excalibur and for some information on parts) and never getting a call back, I decided to go with another brand water detector. I also talked to a number of dealers that are having problems either getting good service, parts, or any service at all. The wait time is apparently lengthy as well. I have had a 2100, a GP Extreme, and now I have a GPX 4000. My first two detectors worked perfectly. I have not had the 4000 out enough yet to know if it is working as it should. Nor am I familiar with it enough yet as well. I hope to find that out this summer and also this fall. If I have problems, I guess I will have to consider sending it on a voyage to Australia. I hope I am lucky and that is not necessary. But, to echo your thoughts, when we spend the kind of money we do to purhcase these detectors, we should only get top notch and prompt service every time. It is unfortunate that Minelab service is on the decline. Hopefully the company will get it together. Perhaps the sale to the new owners did the company damage. But regardless, I hope they fix thier problems. I really enjoy using their gold machines. Glad you got the problems resolved.

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Hi Fred and All

Did I ever tell you the story about my SDturd2000. I think 1/2 the detecting world has heard it !! Dick Shultz was a huge asset for Minelab and I have had no bad dealings with minelab after Doc jumped in and helped me out with my sdturd2000 !! Thanks Doc !!

PS Freddy thanks for leaving us some gold and space rocks in the basin !!

Happy Huntin John B.

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I don't know what to say, but my recent experience is in another thread. I was the Service Manager for a large Aircraft repair facility and Service Director for a home sales company that had 200 sales centers in 7 western States. The one thing I know, is ALWAYS return calls! If I knew of a potentially bad situation, I would personally call before the customer would call me and let them know I was aware of their situation.... That preemptive call always put my on the side of the customer and returning other calls asap was also good customer service. There is absolutely no excuse for lack of customer communication. Minelab USA in Las Vegas just doesn't get it.... they need a real Service Manager not just someone filling a job position. The repair issues are also an issue that a good experienced Service Manager should be able to take care of. There are no excuses unless of course they don't friggin care!

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Fred:

I can vouch for the zero performance your 3500 was giving you at Gold Basin because I was there with you. Glad to hear you finally got it fixed. Sorry you had to go to OZ to do it. Hope your message is heard because I am about ready to upgrade, but I won't do it until I'm confident I can rely on service here in the U.S.

Martin

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I think Doc should get rid of his 'side jobs' and become service manager at Minelab USA. He has personally helped me out, getting something done there more than the present SM.

Older people to mantain, need challenges in there life to feel worthwhile. I think this could work for all. What do you think?

Shep

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I am appalled at the stories I am hearing about Minelab service these days. You pay big money for their products and the good service they performed in the past made it a worthwhile investment. This no longer appears to be the case. I feel sorry for the folks who are having problems with their machines and for the dealers who Minelab is making look bad with this BS.

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The problem in The United States of America, with respect to M/L USA, is not the fact that there are not enough technicians here to maintain the M/L instruments sold here, M/L Australia does not want to support a product that was coming down in quality. They knew it was coming and pushed sales, knowing full well they could escape any responsibility for what happens through a USA Distributer.

Agreements are made in advance of actual business. Accordingly, if you are doing business with a crooked organization, contracts are completed and business is started before anyone knows whats going on. What a shame, neither can Australia, or, the USA can have any effect on this criminal activity

What a shame!

Dean

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After giving this issue considerable thought; I have decided to handle this on open forums. I intend to post this letter on Bill's and Rob's forum as well. If any forum owner wants to delete this, you certainly have the right to exercise your option to censor...it is your court I am playing on.

MINELAB, LAS VEGAS are you listening?

I have owned the PI 2000, 2200-d, gp extreme and now the 3500. I found my biggest nugget with the 2000 and the most gold with my GP Extreme. I never had any problems with the 2000 and the 2200-d, except the battery was bad on the 2200-d. Minelab replaced that battery without any problem. I was doing ok with the GP Extreme but sent it to Minelab in Las Vegas for a check-up prior to my second trip to Australia in 2003...apparently it had some problem because a few parts were replaced. When I went for a test drive the GP Extreme was way different and more quiet and sensitive. These are examples of the good service I received in prior years from Minelab.

In 2005 or 2006 I traded a GoldScan-5 and boot for a 3500...yes; it was used and therefore no warranty...my problem and my decision. I used the 3500 and found some gold but it never seemed right. So, I sent it to Minelab...my machine was promptly "repaired" and returned in good time. I took it for a test, new and old problems surfaced and I arranged with Minelab to send it back...again, the machine was "repaired" and returned...this time I waited quite awhile before testing...again, the machine was not right and back it went. This time the "repair" and return took weeks. For this test I went to Gold basin for a WSPA Outing and there my eyes were truly opened...the machine had no sensitivity whatever and still had some of the other problems...I was aghast, appalled and thoroughly disgusted.

I was getting desperate. I could not, would not sell a defective machine and Minelab Las Vegas was clearly not getting the 3500 fixed. After making a post on an Oz forum I was advised to send the unit to Minelab, Australia; which I did. Thank God for them, I have been to the Yuma area twice to test the machine...Using the 14 inch mono-E by NuggetFinder,I have found a six grain nugget, a eight grain nugget many "good", deep bits of trash and most impressive a 8/10th of a grain bit of brass or copper with the 11 inch mono coil. All these things were found on tough ground, near power lines, in the heat and with military flights going by...after about 20 hours of testing my machine appears to work in all modes and with different coils...Thank you, Minelab Service in Australia!!!

I seriously considered buying a 4500, but all the heartache and misery your poor service has caused me ruled against spending thousands more on an unreliable product, an uncaring and incompetent Service Department and a "there's a sucker born every minute" business philosophy...I considered Filing a claim in Small-Claims Court but there is no provision for that here in California...

My question is why did I have to go through all this cost and turmoil? Why weren’t the Techs at Minelab, Las Vegas sufficiently trained and competent to make these repairs? Minelab, Las Vegas you have a duty to provide competent, trained and caring technicians. When a machine is entrusted to your care the machine and the customer it represents should be given the highest level of care...these aren't cheap toys!!! I am telling you your service in recent times has been dismal. Worse, there seems to be a Used-car salesman attitude running rampant...in your service department.

I will never know how many nuggets and meteorites I walked over while swinging almost dead detector., thanks for the useless exercise.

Minelab Pi machines have been the vanguard in gold detector development...the best gold finding machines ever made. Now, it is time to bring your service and warranty repairs up to the same great standard.

Sincerely

Fred Mason

That's just about the same story I had with my GP Extreme years ago, even felt the same way about selling it I wouldn't do it. Figured I had a $2,800.00 Albatross around my neck called a GP Extreme turd. Got rid of my Explorer even. I didn't want anything to do with Minelab. After I sent it like 5 trips back to Minelab Doc got involved and somehow was able to get Minelab USA to make it right the last time it went in . Not sure what he did but Doc is the best. Sold the thing to a good friend of mine after it got fixed and he has found 2 nuggets over a 1/2 ounce and lots of smaller ones. He found a 1,000 gram Franconia. It still works great and the 3500 I purchased has worked great too. Not sure what I would have done without Doc's help, guess I would have found a new hobby.

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Thanks, People;

I hope they get their stuff together...

fred

Fred,

Just curious if you actually mailed that letter to Minelab USA as well as Oz? If so, have you gotten any respose back? If not, I wonder why not?

Digger Bob

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hi Bob; no, I didnot send copies to Minelab, USA or Minelab, Australia...I know they monitor these forums. I also know that both places are aware of my trials and tribulations with this machine...there is more to this story but I must keep some things to myself...

If Minelab would conduct themselves with intregrity and appropriate customer service policy our detecting world would be a better place. I am also certain that the law-dogs and heads of minelab have forbid any actions that might indicate responsibility for their Service and Repair Dept...

If Minelab ever starts a 12-step program, they are going to spend a long time on the making amends step!!!

Fred

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Hi all luckally I have'nt had to send any of my present beepers to NV with the problems that you all are claiming to have---but in the past when Dick was still their I had nothing but good to say about their service the few times I did send a beeper inthumbsupsmileyanim.gif ---Mike C...ph34r2.gif

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Mike, " with the problems that you all are claiming to have"....you have the finest talent for stirring the pot...

my problems are not unfounded claims, but facts bore out by several "repairs" and a serious bite in the wallet...

but perhaps I am becoming too sensitive in my doddering old age "60"...

However, I said before that Dick's end of the service was excellent and I agree with you...."in the past when Dick was still their I had nothing but good to say about their service the few times I did send a beeper in ---Mike C..."...

but, he wasn't the repairer

Fred

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with the problems that you all are claiming to havethumbsupsmileyanim.gif ---Mike C...ph34r2.gif

Mike C.,

CLAIMING TO HAVE !!!!!! I had a XTERRA 70, was in the shop in NV >>>> THREE ! <<<< times a few years back.........I no longer own it.

I also had a ML3500 which thankgoodness I had no issuses with.

Not all technicians are good or exceptional + with the new coating they are covering the boards with on the new PI units so they can't be back engineered make fixing harder.

Glad you have no issues Mike C......I agree with fredmason on service issues...even in years past to.

wonderer

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:aw-shucks: new owners at fisher too-times they are a changing--and NOT for the better-John :zip-lip:

Thanks for that tidbit. Just wonder if I'll be able to tell one of the older(and better) GB2's from the newer models that were made when First Texas Products took over. I hope to buy a used one sometime soon.

Steve

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  • 1 month later...

Ohhhh boy.....I wish I hadn't read this !!! I am considering buying a Minelab for nugget hunting, but after reading how bad the service is in the States I am going to have to think long and hard if I even want to go there. How much does shipping to Australia cost anyway ? Wonder if the Australians are aware of the service here ? Hopefully Minelab USA gets it together and corrects their service department.

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