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Ralph Nader -- why/why not?

Scott

#11202

Ralph Nader -- why/why not? | 3 June, 1999

Is there room for equipment related comments?

Although vendor "bashing" may/may not be proper on the forum, I'd just LOVE to share experiences with equipment - why I won't buy a UPS from one oven vendor, or it wasn't said profiling was an optioin during a sale of a particular oven, or what ---- did when I asked for support, what I did to fix my rework station to accept large AND small boards, etc...

And invite responses from the vendors?

It could get a BIT dicy but who's out there to keep vendors honest and provide them some REAL feedback - need to stick to the facts though.

There's also SMTA and other organizations that'll help but not all have that access. Companies don't have user groups to share experiences with and the Salesmen certainly won't want their customers to talk to each other...

Any thoughts????

Cheers, Scott

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#11203

Good Suggestion. Any comments from others? | 9 June, 1999

Scott,

The SMT Forum has been a place for sharing equipment experience. It has served as a user group for all capital equipment, as well as material and supplies. We used to consider putting up an equipment forum but more users felt that everything about manufacturing should be kept together. You brought this up at the right time since we are considering again separate forums, such as one on Electronics Design, one on Equipment, etc. Do others feel the same need? Please keep in mind that we intend to offer the option of viewing all forums in one list.

We would like users to have tried to address any complaints with vendors before posting to the public forum.

Please let us know what you think.

Thanks,

Cunli

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Brian Ellis

#11204

Well! You did ask for comments! | 13 June, 1999

| Scott, | | The SMT Forum has been a place for sharing equipment experience. It has served as a user group for all capital equipment, as well as material and supplies. We used to consider putting up an equipment forum but more users felt that everything about manufacturing should be kept together. You brought this up at the right time since we are considering again separate forums, such as one on Electronics Design, one on Equipment, etc. Do others feel the same need? Please keep in mind that we intend to offer the option of viewing all forums in one list. | | We would like users to have tried to address any complaints with vendors before posting to the public forum. | | Please let us know what you think. | | Thanks, | | Cunli |

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Brian Ellis

#11205

Well! You did ask for comments! (right one this time!) | 13 June, 1999

Cunli

Sorry, I accidentally clicked the submit button before I typed the message :-(

1. Yes, good idea to split the forums, or should it be fora? However, put in one for miscellaneous subjects.

2. If you look at some of the software and computer hardware newsgroups, half the postings seem to be complaints about the manufacturers' lack of service, support etc. Some of these are quite vituperative (4-letter Anglo-Saxon words not unknown) and understandably so when the authors complain that the item they spent a thousand bucks on still can not be made to work after six months. I've seen quite a number stating that the author will never again by a product from company X. Now these newsgroups are often looked at by prospective buyers to see whether the product is well supported or not, so that it must be a good (or bad) source of negative advertising. Equipment/complete processes or sub-processes in our industry are not quite the same. Imagine you are making a 250 kilodollar machine and you have delivered one to a company that does not know how to use it properly and this company vituperates on SMTnet. You follow up a different prospect who says he is buying a rival product because he saw on SMTnet that you give bad after-sales service. How would you feel? Call your lawyer and issue a damages writ against the author and SMTnet in the good American tradition?

You would, in my opinion, be treading on very thin ice, even with a disclaimer. Notwithstanding, you could play a good Ralph Nader-style role, provided that it was done impartially and discounting the cookies who vituperate at the drop of a hat. Here's how: make a list of one type of machine from different manufacturers and ask for comments from your readers in the style: How long have you run this machine? Does this machine do at least what you expected it to do? How long since you asked for manufacturer service or support? Was the technical quality of the service or support bad, mediocre, good or excellent? Was the time frame of a response bad, mediocre, good or excellent? If you were in the market for a similar machine, would you buy the same make again? Comments?

If you got a couple of score replies for each make, you could then tabulate the replies in a short article and, provided it was done impartially, you would be free from any risk of legal proceedings. You could do this each month with a different equipment type, perhaps tailoring the questions to the type, with an anonymous reply form, perhaps under a new heading. Before publishing the results, you could invite the makers in question to comment on the results (yes! I know they'll say that they are aware that they had support problems in the past, but this problem has now been resolved - the same as they say that you are the first to complain about the problem you have!).

Remember, Nader never attacked GM or Ford on the basis of a single unsubstantiated complaint: he was always sure there was a real and consistent problem, first.

3. And this one will make you sit up and beg: what if a machine that never fulfils its promise and is badly supported is made by one of your major sponsors?

Best regards

Brian

| | Scott, | | | | The SMT Forum has been a place for sharing equipment experience. It has served as a user group for all capital equipment, as well as material and supplies. We used to consider putting up an equipment forum but more users felt that everything about manufacturing should be kept together. You brought this up at the right time since we are considering again separate forums, such as one on Electronics Design, one on Equipment, etc. Do others feel the same need? Please keep in mind that we intend to offer the option of viewing all forums in one list. | | | | We would like users to have tried to address any complaints with vendors before posting to the public forum. | | | | Please let us know what you think. | | | | Thanks, | | | | Cunli | | | |

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