Fanatec Customer Support?

Harpo

25RPM
Premium
New member here, just built my first real rig. Was formerly using nothing but a Logitech Momo wheel and pedal set, started with it many years ago, I've now upgraded to Next Level GT Track with V3 motion and all Fanatec controls.

My issue is with the clutch on the Clubsport V3 inverted pedals - it doesn't work. It functioned correctly for about two hours, then started disengaging only at the top of the travel and snapping back to full engagement with the clutch fully depressed.

I've calibrated with both the Fanatec device manager (set min/max) which does nothing, as well as doing a manual calibration within the DD1 wheel base. Nothing works, it appears to be a failed load cell.

I contacted Fanatec via their contact form four days ago, and so far all they've done is request a video of the problem. I explained the problem in great detail, and that a video of nothing happening would not be very useful. That was two days ago, no reply since then.

I've spent $3000 with this company, and they don't seem very responsive. What have your experiences been?

Thanks in advance,
Garry
 

Ceolmor

250RPM
Premium
My experience (which was considerable and regular when all my equipment was from Fanatec) is that they will insist on you sending them a video before they will take any action. You may need to remove the pedals and film yourself depressing the clutch with your monitor screen in view showing a pedal or controller app not responding. Unless they have an easy answer, they will then want you to return the pedals to them so that they can inspect and repair them.
 

Harpo

25RPM
Premium
@Ceolmor - It appears you are quite correct. I took a video, but at 40meg+ I couldn't get it to email. They suggested I get a cloud server or drop box, and are also demanding that I swap the connectors on the main board and connect the pedals directly (rather than through the wheel base) and send them a video of that!!!

I'm thoroughly disgusted with Fanatec, I may just call my bank and charge back the transaction.

Can you suggest an alternative brand?
 
@Ceolmor - It appears you are quite correct. I took a video, but at 40meg+ I couldn't get it to email. They suggested I get a cloud server or drop box, and are also demanding that I swap the connectors on the main board and connect the pedals directly (rather than through the wheel base) and send them a video of that!!!

I'm thoroughly disgusted with Fanatec, I may just call my bank and charge back the transaction.

Can you suggest an alternative brand?
For pedals, definitely Heusinkveld.
 

Harpo

25RPM
Premium
I've jumped through all their hoops now; multiple videos, cable swapping, direct to computer, etc etc. It still doesn't work. Now they'll likely wait another week and tell me to send it in. Not gonna happen. If they won't send a replacement first, I'll file fraud and charge back the transaction.

You know, there are two types of companies: Ones who are actually interested in satisfying their customers, and ones who treat their customers like crap after the sale. Fanatec is definitely the latter - I won't make this mistake again.
 

RasmusP

5000RPM
Premium
I've jumped through all their hoops now; multiple videos, cable swapping, direct to computer, etc etc. It still doesn't work. Now they'll likely wait another week and tell me to send it in. Not gonna happen. If they won't send a replacement first, I'll file fraud and charge back the transaction.

You know, there are two types of companies: Ones who are actually interested in satisfying their customers, and ones who treat their customers like crap after the sale. Fanatec is definitely the latter - I won't make this mistake again.
According to your profile info you're from the US. It seems that Fanatec's customer support varies quite a lot from country to country. Which is why you can find anything from praising them to absolutely hating them on the internet.
Not gonna defend them! The support towards you is pretty awful...

I wanna tell you though, that it's probably just the US support being totally awful.

I had to get replacement pots for my csl elite pedals and also had to get a replacement for my mclaren gt3 rim.

I'm from Germany so it's only 700km to their company seat. Got a new rim on the third day after the first mail and new pots after 2 days.
Did the video-thing together with the first contact though. They seem to love videos for whatever reason...

Anyway, sorry that you're having such a hard time with them from the US. :thumbsdown:
Here in Germany they are the best support I've experienced yet. :thumbsup:
 

Harpo

25RPM
Premium
@RasmusP - Yes, I'm in the USA, but the "customer support" person I'm communicating with is clearly not. His English is not particularly good, and he seems to be working from a script of stock responses, all designed to just put me off.

I wish there was a USA contact, because this guy is obviously not interested in helping.
 

Keith_G

500RPM
Premium
I've had Fanatec for a number of years and a few problems with equipment but have had pretty good support from them (I'm in USA also). Most often I am dealing with someone in Germany for support so that is probably the case with you also. It does take time but I've always been satisfied in the end. I have the new DDS2 and really enjoy it. I will mention though that I use the Heusinkveld pedals and really love them. They are bullet proof compared to everything else but they also require maintenance. As often as not I got parts from Fanatec and installed them myself so that it took a lot less time and that worked for me. I have the DDS, several wheel rims, shifter and hand brake from fanatec and they are well made and good value. I have been perfectly satisfied with their service but also preferred the Heusinkveld pedals. Good luck and happy racing.
 

dud

500RPM
Premium
Get out while you can.

The latest Fanatec equipment seems to be fine as long as you never use their so-called support. But as soon as you need support you spend the time you wanted to game in to play a very different sort of game.
 

Harpo

25RPM
Premium
Update: Still no response from Fanatec, and two new problems have arisen:
  • Both rumble motors stopped working
  • The brake slowly creeps up until it is dragging.
By repeatedly putting me off and refusing to replace this unit, Fanatec has created an avid anti-Fanatec guy where they could have had a satisfied customer. I've lost all confidence in this company, and am dreading the day when their motor base, wheels, and shifter suffer the same fate as these worthless pedals.
 

DomB_Fanatec

Fanatec Community Manager
According to your profile info you're from the US. It seems that Fanatec's customer support varies quite a lot from country to country.
All support cases are handled by the same department here in Germany. We have service staff based in each region, and the turnaround time for testing and repairs can vary.

Update: Still no response from Fanatec, and two new problems have arisen:
  • Both rumble motors stopped working
  • The brake slowly creeps up until it is dragging.
By repeatedly putting me off and refusing to replace this unit, Fanatec has created an avid anti-Fanatec guy where they could have had a satisfied customer. I've lost all confidence in this company, and am dreading the day when their motor base, wheels, and shifter suffer the same fate as these worthless pedals.
I'm sorry to hear you're experiencing issues with your unit. I've sent you a PM.
 
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dud

500RPM
Premium
All support cases are handled by the same department here in Germany. We have service staff based in each region, and the turnaround time for testing and repairs can vary.
What does that mean? What is support and what is service in this context?

I'm sorry to hear you're experiencing issues with your unit. I've sent you a PM.
And here we go again. Another case going to where the solution is in a sink instead of available to other users.
 

Harpo

25RPM
Premium
@DomB_Fanatec - I've responded to your PM with my name and state.

To all: I find it rather odd that Fanatec maintains a Forum member here who is capable of expediting customer support. Wouldn't it be better if Fanatec satisfied complaints and issues before they were aired in a public forum? While "putting out fires" may seem useful, it neglects those who aren't forum members and don't post publicly about problems, which is probably the vast majority of such issues.

This has also given me the opportunity to search DomB's posting history and see the large number of complaints very similar to mine. It's clear that Fanatec has a severe problem with quality control and customer service, and that no real steps are being taken. There is mention of a "live support" option on their website, but I see that has apparently been removed.

Having been a business owner for many years, I can tell you with authority that customer support can make or break a business. You may think that insisting all customers who have an issue send in a "video of the problem" is plausible, but we perceive it as a stalling tactic to avoid addressing the complaint.

Let's be realistic: What are you going to do with a video of my clutch pedal showing no response in the device manager? Would you like a video of my rumble motors not turning also? I'm guessing that 99% of your customers are capable of describing a problem with accuracy, and I'm hopeful that your service department is capable of understanding such problems without needing visual aids. Regardless, I've sent the videos you've asked for, and needless to say they are quite boring.

But on second thought, maybe these videos aren't entirely useless... The one thing they DO show is the inactivity of my rig. You know, the one where I spent $3000 buying Fanatec products that is now sitting idle because your products don't work? Maybe I should post them here, so that others can be reminded the same way that I am every time I walk past my crippled simulator.

Don't misunderstand; I want your products to work. Fanatec has what I consider the best selection of sim controls at the best price, and I say this only after extensive research and comparison. What I neglected to research was customer satisfaction...

In any event, this is curable. While you may find this egotistical, the fact is that customer service is not brain surgery. I suggest two changes:
  1. Fix the quality control problems. Test more, if need be ship less, but don't let defective merchandise leave the factory. And yes, raise prices if necessary.
  2. Hire a USA based customer service representative, and give him the power to satisfy customers.
As I've said, I really want your products to work trouble-free. I love the look, feel, and variety of your line, and I could easily see myself as a Fanatec Fanboy if the stuff would just work! But if nothing changes, I can see Fanatec declining into obscurity, and that would be a great loss to the sim racing community.
 

Jeremy Ford

500RPM
Premium
I hope your problem is resolved after this, as publicity like this does put people off, and the Fanatec knows this. Sometimes it can be luck of the draw of which person in their support team picks up the email on their end. Companies sometimes employ a few unsuitable people for jobs. On another day a different person could have responded who cared about providing a high standard of customer service and understood the products they're supporting and worked things out efficiently.
 

maelstrom

100RPM
I hope your problem is resolved after this, as publicity like this does put people off, and the Fanatec knows this. Sometimes it can be luck of the draw of which person in their support team picks up the email on their end. Companies sometimes employ a few unsuitable people for jobs. On another day a different person could have responded who cared about providing a high standard of customer service and understood the products they're supporting and worked things out efficiently.
But that doesn't excuse the fact that it failed so quickly in the first place. Fanatec does generally seem to have a higher failure rate than other brands so you would expect the after-sales service to be excellent, but that doesn't always seem to be the case.
 
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