[time-nuts] In praise of service: PTF

Magnus Danielson magnus at rubidium.dyndns.org
Mon Oct 2 17:58:36 UTC 2017


I agree. Some companies have been generous with support, understanding 
that it reflects on their brandname. Some even provide hardcopies for 
manuals, scan scematics etc. when needed. HP/Agilent/Keysight have gone 
along distance to provide support for their products, including those 
retired decades ago. I have also seen those that terminated support 
hard, and this have turned lots of equipment into pieces of junk once 
that critical part dies and normal level of reverse engineering fails.
Those that provide the support with old service manuals etc. on the 
other hand can usually be repaired up and decades after leaving the 
market manifest the quality of the brand, and the quality of support.

If that brand still does quality engineering for the type of equipment 
at hand, they go straight up on that short-list of places to check.

Building a brand-name and trust in customers take decades. Loosing it to 
short-sighted cuts takes only a year, if even that long.

It is extremely rare to see that a company that was bought up and 
consolidated maintains the standards it had. Sure, there is good 
counterexamples, but the examples of the opposite is not encouraging.

Then again, there is little we can do, but we end up voting with the 
wallet, and bring the business to those we currently think is offering 
the needed service.


On 10/01/2017 05:36 PM, Tom Knox wrote:
> Thanks, It is a sad sign of the times that in far to many companies as the scientists who founded these companies retire the bean counter take over and the company vectors from a customer driven model to a stock holder driven model. Thankfully there are a few shining examples of "customer driven" companies left. By the way, it has been a few years but I have had good support on parts and firmware from FEI/Zyfer.
> I encourage other Time-Nuts to pass on their experiences with these companies, I know many of their employees are also followers of this forum and this feedback will hopefully lead to improvements. As are many Time-Nuts I am a researcher as well as hobbyist and support I receive as a humble hobbyist strongly influences my product decisions at work.
> Cheers;
> Thomas Knox
> Sr Test and Measurement Engineer
> ________________________________
> From: time-nuts <time-nuts-bounces at febo.com> on behalf of Mark Kahrs <mark.kahrs at gmail.com>
> Sent: Sunday, October 1, 2017 9:09 AM
> To: Discussion of precise time and frequency measurement
> Subject: [time-nuts] In praise of service: PTF
> Let me praise the support provided by PTF (www.ptf-llc.com<http://www.ptf-llc.com>): I obtained a
> Precise Time and Frequency – http://www.ptf-llc.com<http://www.ptf-llc.com/>
> www.ptf-llc.com
> Constantly striving to improve functionality and performance, and reduce cost through innovation and technology. Click for more details.....
> faulty GPS time clock off ebay to replace the one that was burned by a
> lightning strike on the house.
> First, the manual is online.  Second, the support emails provided by PTF
> (probably by the owner) allowed me to diagnose the problem.  That's what I
> call useful and supportive!
> Now, for the disparage list...  I obtained a Zyfer GPS box that turned out
> to be de-mil'd.   In spite of the manual being online, the Zyfer support
> basically refused to help me out in spite of my offer to sign any and all
> NDAs if needed.
> Meanwhile, since the Zyfer box used a Trimble GPS subsystem, I thought
> maybe I could obtain the details from Trimble.  You can guess the rest:
> unresponsive.
> So, I'd like to salute a company that stands behind their products enough
> to answer queries about support.  Even to a guy who is obviously not going
> to order 1000 boxes.
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