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Bad Experience with Sigma Lens

Continuation from previous post

What i have to say after all this nonsense…

Again i have to say what really pissed me off is not the waiting period but is the treatments and replies i got. You will agree with me that it is not wrong or in fact it is a consumer’s right to know when will the damaged product will be returned to you. This is something that they failed (badly) to provide their customer with. Saying soon and don’t know does not indicate a time frame at all. With the failure to provide a date accompanied with rudeness, who is not pissed? I am PISSED.Oh ya, did i say my lens was only 2 months old? I am SUPER PISSED !

Remember, we as a customer have all the rights to know what are we getting and what are we not getting. They- the sellers are suppose to provide us with some logical answers. When we ask, it does not mean we are problematic, we are just exercising our rights.

As a customer, we pay for convenience and when that fails, i guess we have to think twice before our next purchase with the same seller. You know what,

Like i said, you can make the best product but if your customer service sucks to the core, you are in danger of losing out in the market. A good and superior product has got no meaning when there are no buyers. In today’s market, most products are easily replaceable with competitors’ product, what makes a difference is the after sales service, atleast that applies to me. Trust me, when you want to sell a product, sell it with good attitude and service. That will be the intrinsic value that all customer will value. Why some choose Dell over other brands? Simple, Dell has a very good customer support system. Well, it is really up to the brand.

I have lost faith with Sigma, not because of the product itself but with the whole experience – lens only lasted 2 months and i have to put up with all those bullshit. If you are considering a purchase, do ask yourself – are you paying for inconveniences or paying for convenience ? If you have doubts in the service, then you should opt for other brand..

All in all, i am writing this to share with some of you people my bad experience dealing with Sigma. I am not saying that Sigma manufacture bad products, but in order for the customer support to be in par with the product, there will be a huge gap to be filled and it will be a long way before it can be achieved.

Ya..you can say i am a pain in the ass. I don’t mind. You don’t screw around with customers, because when you screw around with customers, you will be screwed back harder when the customers exercise their rights (a.k.a screw you).

Thank you Sigma for returning my lens.

People, remember think twice.


HERE ARE THE EMAILS. Emails in Italic. Commentary in Bold and Blue.

Date:26 August 2009 8:19:17 AM GMT+08:00

Hi Nakatsuka,
This is Andrew from Malaysia who just called you.

Greetings.

First of all, i am writing in from Penang, Malaysia . I do appreciate it if you guys can give this email some attention. I am writing in because no one else could have help me in this. I hope Sigma Japan can help me on this matter.

I bought a Sigma 28-300mm Lens (Sony Mount) with the serial number -1011921 on 16 May 09 from a local camera shop in Penang but to my disappointment this lens did not even last me more than 3 months. Below is the chronology of event.

16 May – Purchase lens (SN 1011921)

30 July – Send for warranty claim (Fault – Unable to focus, entire lens is jammed up, lens unable to retract fully)
Was told that it will take about 10 days for repair.
No calls or whatsoever from local camera shop. I have to call up from time to time
24 August – Called up to Sigma distributor for Malaysia as i am fed of not hearing anything from my local camera shop. Contact details as below
Audio & Photo Distributor (F.E.) Sdn Bhd
No. 3-8C (Lots 3-19), Jalan PJU 8/3A,
Perdana Business Centre (D19),
Bandar Damansara Perdana 47820
Petaling Jaya, West Malaysia
Tel:60-3-77100050 Fax:60-3-77103372

I called on 24th August 09 and I was very disappointed with what was told to me. My question was when can i get my lens back and the feedback that i got from a lady who called me from the mobile number of +60126163011 that she cant tell me when will i get but that does not tick me off, her rudeness did.

Her explanation that they only have a technician to attend to all the lenses send in for repair and there are many more lens prior to mine got me thinking that Sigma does not produce good quality lens claimed by Sigma and magazines.
The impression that i got from her statement is that till date my lens haven’t been attended to (after close to a month) and therefore they have not diagnose the problem in my lens. I believe the time frame from 30th July to 24 Aug is long enough for them to diagnose the problem, unless there are too many faulty lens in the repair center.

Honestly, to hear that they have so many lens in queue for repair and there is only 1 man doing it, it’s a serious management and business mistake and weakness. That statement raised all the negative doubts i have in Sigma. i bought it with confidence but i guess this incident changed my perception in your product.

I do fully understand the nature of repair and all, but what i really seek today is a time frame or and indication of when my lens will be back. Being a freelance photographer, i have lost 4 events because of this faulty lens and of course i lost some money when i have to turn down the events. Does Sigma compensates for the inconvenience and lost of income caused? A free lens? I sincerely hope that this matter can be sorted out soon as i urgently need it.

As you can see, the time i had with this lens is very short (16 May till 30 July) and that is something i find it very unacceptable but i do not blame it entirely on Sigma, perhaps i was just one of the few (or many) unlucky Sigma buyer but seriously, using it for 2 months before it breaks down is not a very happy thing for a customer like me. I do not wish that my lens stays in the repair center longer then it is with me. If that cant be fixed soon, can i have a one to one lens exchange please.

Being from the customer service background myself, i do hope Sigma’s customer service will be in par with its’ excellent product. I does not mean much if Sigma’s 18-250mm winning the TIPA Award 2009 when they cant get customer service right. Ultimately, Sigma can make the best product, but it is we, the customers, who choose what to buy. A good company starts with a good customer support.

Looking forward to a favorable solution and hope to year from you soon.

Thank you so much and i appreciate it so much.

I was not satisfied after sending the above email, so i guess my next step was to ring up Sigma Japan to speak to their customer service. I assure you that if a customer take such initiative to call up Japan the first he wakes up, this is surely a one pissed customer- me.

I guess Mr Nakatsuka of Sigma Japan must have contacted Sigma Singapore or Malaysia regarding my complain.Bet Sigma Singapore took this seriously. Below was their reply. At this stage i am getting faster email replies from Sigma Singapore.

Date: Thu, 27 Aug 2009 16:30:56 +0800
Dear Sir

Reference your email to Mr Nakatsuka of Sigma Japan regarding your 28-300 lens.  We have ordered the parts which should arrive next week; the Service Centre in PJ shall have your lens repaired by end of next week (barring no delay in the parts arrival).  They will call you once the lens is ready.

Regards
Sigma Marketing (Singapore) Pte Ltd

So now they are working and ordering parts for my lens. I seriously wonder what have they been doing over the past weeks. Are they sitting on my lens or are they just basically sleeping in their job. I guess if i did not ‘push’ them, probably my lens will just spend more time in Sigma service center versus with me. This is like ultra ridiculous. Seriously, someone tell me why does it take so damn long to diagnose a problem. It could have been longer, really.

What i did not like in that email is that they can’t tell me a time. What do you mean by – lens will be repaired by next week(baring no delays in the arrival of parts) ? You are not giving me a time. Sigma should just calculate the days required and add some buffer time and feedback to their customers. Simple !

And when they said — They will call you once the lens is ready, i was telling myself this is a very familiar statement. Damn.

Below was my reply to them. If you were me, ask yourself what will be your product confidence level be ?Will you ask for a replacement like me ?

Date: Thu, 27 Aug 2009 09:27:30 +0000

Hi,

Thank you for the reply.

My question is it possible for Sigma to replace this lens instead of fixing the problem. Honestly I do not have much confidence with this lens as you know this lens just lasted me for such short period before it is broken.

Do keep me updated.

Thanks and again I appreciate your attention.

No reply from them. Most likely they are searching for answers to my question or perhaps pretending not knowing i asked them. Sent them a ‘follow up’ email.

Date: Sun, 30 Aug 2009 22:30:05 +0800

Hi,

Any updates or replies on my below mail? Kindly reply.

Thanks

Dr Freedy Ng (yes Dr Freddy Ng) replied below. Dr Freddy Ng claim that he is the Managing Director for Sigma Singapore.

Dear Sir

We have already ordered the parts which should arrive this week.

It is not a practice in this industry to replace this lens as per terms and conditions on our warranty card.

We shall advise you when your lens is ready for collection.

Regards
Sigma Marketing (Singapore) Pte Ltd

According to Sigma, they do not exchange 1 to 1 for any faulty products. Well to a certain extend,i fully understand that BUT i searched high and low in my warranty card for a sentence, word,phrase or anything in writing that indicates that Sigma does not exchange 1 to 1. That will be my next question to Sigma.

Please do not tell me that it is not the practice in the industry or whatsoever, all i know is that it is not the practice for me to wait so long for a repair. My previous experience with Sony was only 2 weeks.

Below was my email sent to them towards the end of the week. Heard no news from them.


Date: Thu, 3 Sep 2009 00:58:56 +0800

Hi,

May i know when will the lense be ready as it is coming to the end of the week. As per below communication, it should be arriving end of this week (baring no delay) .

Pls advise promptly.

Thanks

Dr Freddy Ng replied the below.

Dear Andrew,
You can rest assured of our best attention at all time.
Your lens will be repair and return to you as soon as we received the parts.
Best Regards,
Sigma Marketing, Singapore

Again. Another very vague reply. Their soon can be 3 days or 3 months or even more. Soon is not the word to use when you are giving someone a time frame. I have been hearing too many SOONs. Soon seems to be so long.

Not happy with the response, i contacted Sigma Japan customer support on – Thursday, September 03, 2009 3:13 AMfor the second time. This time it got the attention of Mr Denju Matsumoto.

Mr Denju contacted Sigma Singapore of Malaysia. Below was the communication.

Thursday, September 03

Dear Ms. Mariam

We received the message from Mr. Andrew Tan complaining of the slow
repair service at APD Malaysia. As Ms. Aida informed, we sent the necessary
parts to you on September 1st by EMS as attached invoice. So that the parts
should arrive at your office soon. I hope this customer will be calm down
soon with your kind support.

If you need further assistance in this issue, please feel free to contact us.

Best Regards

Sigma Corporation
Denju Matsumoto

Ok the key word in that email was — I hope this customer will be calm down soon with your kind support. This is where it all got interesting. The tone of emailed changed completely.

This was what i received from Dr. Freedy Ng.

I could not sleep and i had some communications with Dr. Freddy Ng only. Here are some

From me

Thu, 3 Sep 2009 02:10:58 +0800

Thanks Freddy for the prompt reply.

I know for sure my lens will be returned to be once the part is here and lens fixed. I have no worries about that.

Do note that saying soon is not a time indication at all. Your soon can be 3 weeks, my soon can be 3 days. So it will be good if Sigma can give their customer a time frame. What is the TAT in Sigma’s SOP ?

Just out of curiosity… it is rather odd to me that Sigma only have the parts ordered after my complain starts flooding your email.
I believe that’s not a practice that should happen in any industry.
So what was my lens doing in the store in-charge for the past one month? Does it mean that if i don’t ‘bug’ Sigma there is a chance that my lens will not be attended till the very day? Why did it take you guys so long to order the parts? My lens could have been fixed at a shorter amount of time, with no need of hassle for you to respond and teach me what should and should not be a practice in this industry.
It’s just so ridiculous when your Sigma Malaysia staff answered me that there is only one technician and too many lens to attend to. Seriously if that is the case, do ask Sigma KL to add some resources or does it mean Sigma is making very bad lens with such high defect rate. I don’t believe Sigma is that bad.

I am not trying to be harsh or anything close to that but do put yourself in the customer’s position.

From Dr. Freddy Ng

On 03/09/2009, at 2:39 AM

Dear Andrew,
Thank you – I’m aware of your anxiety. I am as anxious to return your lens. You can observed the strings of cc (10 cc to be exact) and my involvement means that all of us are very serious of this matter.
Kind Regards.
Dr Freddy NG
Managing Director,
Sigma Marketing, Singaoore.

I do really want to know what Dr Freedy Ng trying to tell me when he mentioned – You can observed the strings of cc (10 cc to be exact) and my involvement means that all of us are very serious of this matter.Why bracket (10 cc to be exact) ? Trying to be funny. Yes i agree that this problem should not have been copied to so many people, but only if that the matter can be solved earlier or efficiently. Trust me, i could have CC more people. I had the contacts in hand.

Why the Managing Director must be involved in this matter huh? Isnt that a lil inefficient. MD should be making bigger decisions. Yes i know you are taking this matter seriously but THERE ARE SERIOUS PROBLEM IN YOUR ORGANISATION because the team can’t even handle a warranty or a customer. My case is not a serious problem, your company is.

This is what i have to say to him

3 September 2009 3:27:36 AM GMT+08:00

Hi Freddy,

Just to share with you.(I am ok if you want to forward this.)

What really trigger me or annoyed me the most in this case is that the Sigma in Malaysia constantly failed to give me an answer on the lead time needed. It is not that i can’t wait. I can wait, in actual fact i have waited longer than this before, but the difference is that i was told of the time required to get it replaced. Do have a look at the chronology of event, to me the turn around time is way too long (especially when customers have no indication) in any industry, correct me if i am wrong.

Prior to all these mails and escalation, i have checked shop countless time to get an indication on when the lens can be returned but the standard answer was — Sorry, we don’t know and we can’t tell you. We will call you by evening (which they did not).

I was being patient for the first 2 weeks atleast until i decided to call Sigma KL. I was shocked with the way one of the girl answered me when she say she cant tell me and she has only one technician. I must admit the way she talk is not the way to speak to your customer, really. How could you raised your voice to someone who you have caused inconvenience- which is me? I don’t owe her anything , but the way she speaks is as if i am the one owing her the lens. Dr, i am sure you know this is not the way to deal with customer. I guess that was the trigger point for me to contact Sigma directly.

Lastly, thank you for all your replies

Andrew Tan

Mr Denju emailed me

04/09/2009, at 7:50 AM,

Dear Mr. Andrew Tan

Thank you very much for using the Sigma Products.
We regret very much to be informed that our distributor couldn’t supply
satisfactory repair service at Malaysia.  Hoping your lens will be fixed
and be in your hands soon.

Best Regards

Sigma Corporation Service Division
Denju Matsumoto

Atleast Mr Denju sounds more sensible. Basic manners and common sense does not require you to be highly educated or hold a certain qualifications.

I replied the below

Dear Mr Denju Matsumoto,

I hope the lens will be back soon too. I have just bought it in May and it is spoiled in July and managed to use it a few times only.
Maybe i am unlucky that is why my lens spoil so fast. Malaysia and Singapore must really improve their customer service and technical support in order to serve Sigma’s customers better.

Dr Freddy Ng replied

Thursday, September 03,

Dear Andrew,

I wish to up date you – we called and check with EMS this morning, the parts is not expected to arrive Singapore, before Friday September 4th, therefore there will be a slight delay in returning your lens to you.
The good news is; Singapore will do the repair and send the said lens directly back to you by courier Service.
We apologize for this inconvenience caused.

Best Regards
Dr Freddy NG

See.. now sense some apologetic tone in this email. They (he) is actually apologizing for the inconveniences caused. There is a sudden change of tone once Mr Denju is in the loop. SO INTERESTING !! That is how realistic this world is. Once the correct person is in the email loop, suddenly everything gets moving.

You can call me a sucker for applogies but i can tell you i am not.What i am trying to say that, apologizing to customers does make lots of changes, it will just bring the entire situation to a cooler point. I sorry so hard to spell or is it the ego of human is the barrier so apologizing to someone. If one’s ego is so big, i guess one is not fit to be in the service industry. Really !

After all the emails circulating to various departments, Sigma Singapore shipped my lense out from Singapore on the 4th of September. There were some slight delays (even though it can be avoided if custom declarations was done correctly) i got my lens today (9th of September) after 40 days or so.

Sigma Singapore did a good job (maybe of of fear) by forwarding me the queries from Sigma Singapore to FedEx on the delay. Good job.


……………………..



22 Thoughts on “Bad Experience with Sigma Lens

  1. i couldn’t agree more. some of these people have failed to realize that sometimes, the differences of quality in certain products between them and their competitors may have been insignificant to their customers, hence omitted altogether. as what u’ve said, what matters is the after sales service — couldn’t agree more. if the seller fails to understand the importance of that, sorry, but u’re out of the game.

    Dr. eh? phhhfffttttt. he should be ashamed of himself to have spoken as such when he’s claiming himself to be a Dr.

    im glad u got back ur lens at the very least, despite having to go through all these crap. u won’t see me recommending Sigma lens to others that’s for sure. or i’ll probably just send ppl the link to this post for their reading pleasure before making a decision to buy a lens from them.

    oh well. :)

  2. what can i say ndru, happy to hear ur lens is back from sg, you should just put it inside the box/ framed it up with all the mails printed out, hahaha….

  3. i will consider that if it is broken again.

  4. very very interesting…..
    i really noticed the tone freddy used once mr.denju was in the email loop…hahaha

    i wanna applaud to for taking the trouble to email mr.denju and make sure msia and spore keep up with their customer service.

  5. yes shuyin the tone changed completely. some peopl failed to realise that their products can be replace easily by other brands. customer service is so important today. if your service is bad, your days are really numbered. simple as that.

    always defend and fight for your customer rights. it is our’s not theirs.

  6. plasma16 on September 10, 2009 at 1:18 pm said:

    Hmmm… was initially thinking of getting the sigma 70-200mm f2.8.
    Maybe I’ll consider it a bit longer.

  7. if the after sales is such, please dont consider longer. stop considering. consider other brands instead :)

  8. now get sigma to pay for all your international calls to japan!

    p/s: i’d hate to have u as my customer! :P

  9. r3na – thank God i am not your customer but u are mine. Pls don’t do that k because we are nice people. You complain / escalates about the betina in my office i m fine with that. Spare the gentlemen k.
    :)

  10. Amazing blog, I love Photogrpahy :D

  11. Very good article I enjoy your website keep up the great blog posts
    very use full information. thank you.
    Bad Experience with Sigma Lens | ndrutan http://www.torrente24.com

  12. Muse on July 14, 2010 at 6:43 pm said:

    Hey ndru, mind providing the contacts of Denju Matsumoto? I got something to escalate to the right channel about this Dr. as well in regards to service & warranty.

  13. Muse, pls check ur mail.

  14. Hey Andrew, thanks for the information and I do hope Mr. Matsumoto can help me to resolve my issue asap as well.

    Cheers

  15. ndru on July 15, 2010 at 2:07 pm said:

    Good luck. Hope ur matter will be resolved soon.

  16. Hi Andrew,

    Thanks so much for writing this blog! I do have something to escalate up to Sigma Japan too. Can you please give me the contacts for Mr. Matsumoto as well? Thanks so much in advanced!

    Cheers,

    JJ

  17. Yk Chong on June 30, 2011 at 10:53 am said:

    Hi, are u still using it? How is the quality? I’m thinking to get 1, please advise. thx ya…

  18. YK Chong, nope i am no longer using this lense. Quality is not too bad.

  19. Sigma produces some interesting lenses but there are a lot of complains about quality control. What makes it worst is the poor product support in Malaysia. I’m about to purchase a 24-70 hsm but after reading the above comment, changed my mind of buying a sigma.

  20. Yes i must say the service is horrible. If Sigma cant provide a good after sales service, then they should not sell at all.

  21. Hi Mr. Edru,

    I really really like all your conversations to Sigma. They all are very funny, look like new born babies. Totally no experience at all.

    Maybe they need to go for more servicing courses.Cause not enough technician. (ha..ha..ha..!)

  22. Billy, they are also very amusing and ‘entertaining’.

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