Fanatec Customer Support?

Denis Betty

The older I get, the better I was.
Staff
Premium
I bought used V2 pedals. After a short while, the Chinese made PCB started playing up. I bought a new one from Fanatec (had to make a video), it didn't fully work. I saw a brand new one advertised on RD - I was suspicious when it arrived, because it wasn't in original packaging. It didn't fully work. I kinda fell out with the guy who sold it to me because I didn't believe it was new (if you're reading this, sorry). Then, out of the blue, a replacement part arrived from Fanatec??? It became clear that it was intended for somebody else, but sent to me in error. I kept quiet - because I felt that they still owed me a working PCB. I fitted the board which was sent in error - it didn't fully work.

The Fanatec pedals are now in a cupboard, can't throw them away, can't really sell them - although, with at least one of the replacement boards, it's only the vibration function which doesn't work. I made a video, but I'm useless at making videos so it was awful and very long, so I never posted it. :(

Anyway, in fairness to people who point out that Thrustmaster can also be a bunch of clowns, I sent off for a replacement clutch return spring for T3PA pedals. They charged me 18 quid and sent a brake return spring. I bought a pretty good clutch replacement return spring on Ebay for 2 quid. The 18 quid brake return spring is in a cupboard. :(

I also managed to break the return spring on my current pedals. HE sent a replacement free of charge by return of post and pretty much no questions asked.
 
"Satisfied" customer RMAing brand new base and wheel? Okay.
I can confirm that I'm a satisfied Fanatec customer, in case you intend to imply that I shouldn't be. I have used a lot of sim racing hardware over the years, and have used even more computer hardware, and it's a simple fact of life that hardware will sometimes have issues, and sometimes these issues appear shortly after purchase. I don't have any problem with receiving a product that I need to RMA, if the process is handled smoothly and quickly. In this case I just RMA'd the wheelbase and the wheel rim, because it was not possible to determine if the issue was with the wheelbase or the rim, and I got a replacement rim back very quickly, and I have had no issues since then. That is actually a satisfying experience for me, believe it or not.
 

Terry Rock

2000RPM
Obviously, 'satisfied' means different things to different people.
I won't cast judgement here or criticize anybody's decisions.
For me personally....
If I buy a new product and it turns out to be defective, I don't get angry about it...a bit disappointed maybe.
Things happen...electronics can fail for all kinds of reasons...something can get put together wrong during manufacturing, etc...
It ultimately comes down to how any company...not just Fanatec...handles it.
If my wheel / pedals end up costing me significantly more than advertised because I incur massive shipping costs to have a defective out-of-the-box product repaired, then no...I won't be happy in the least.
What should happen once the problem is verified by video, is a shipping label for the return sent...followed by a cross-shipped item once pickup tracking by the shipping company (Fedex, USPS, etc...) is established.
In cases of intermittent issues or those that cannot be verified on products still in warranty, a return at the customer initial cost with a shipping reimbursement if the problem is verified under 'bench' testing.
For no issue items...return at customer cost.
 
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Terry Rock

2000RPM
To add to the above....(the new site would not let me edit the above post beyond a certain time)

On those items which were returned and found not to be faulty, a copy of the test report should be sent along with the returned item as proof of testing.
 

tusi_

10RPM
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
Same happend to me.
My new Porsche 918 rim and csw 2.5 base has been broken on 24.10 (after 2 weeks of use). I contacted Fanatec ont the next day and after 3 days i get an answer. I shold recalibrate it. What recalibrate? IT`S BROKEN man!!
I oppened an RMA and after almost 2 weeks, get the Rma number yesterday. BUT, the QR code was wrong and i don´t have any printer. I hadt to drive 2 hours in to a next village, there i could find a shop, where i could print the label.
I will never ever buy something from fanatec and i will get a lawyer to make them to transfer my money back.
Shame on you Fanatec
 

tusi_

10RPM
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.


I'm sorry to hear you're experiencing issues with your unit. I've sent you a PM.
I live in Germany, 50 kms far away from Landshut. And i have to say, the supoort is the worst what i ever experienced.
I work with Cisco, Palo Alto, Ascom and so on. If i have a switch with with ONE broken Port, i do an RMA and i get a switch on the next business day predelivered. The same is with Palo Alto. And they costs less than this crap Fanatec. I payed 1600€ to have problems. I´m 45 years old, but so a wrong decission have i never done.
I try to get my money back costs what it costs.
 

tusi_

10RPM
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.
They wont send you a replacement. I´m waiting for two weeks, that they do something.
BTW. The CFO is a hungaryan guy, his goal the sell something very expensive but keep the costs so low as they can. Everybody do that, but belive me, the hungarian are the worst. I know this people, i´m a hungaryan too. When i saw that, i knew it´s a big trick.

I didnt spend so mutch money to them as you, maybe 1800-2000$ (1600€), but i think the right way would be to send a new part to the customer if it brakes down. We are fanatical, that´s way we bought something very expensive as this rubbish. What about a lawyer? Do we have any chance to sue Fanatec or something to make them to get our money back? I really don´t want to have this garbage in my room anymore. If i see them, i want to destroy them.
If you have this thing less than 14 days, then you can cancel the business and belive me, YOU MUSST TO DO THAT, as long as you can. It won´t be better.
I´m envious, that you can do this yet :(
 

tusi_

10RPM
In this context, 'support' refers to the communication directly from our support department (based at our HQ in Germany). The 'service' technicians are based in each region we cover, and they are diagnosing, repairing, and testing products. The normal procedure is for service technicians to communicate the status of the RMA with Support so that an update can be passed to the customer.


If the solution is 'the product needs to be sent in to be checked/repaired' as it seems to be in this case, there is no useful information to leave on a public forum. I have to take some communication to PM when it involves personal details. I hope that the points below will be informative to readers of this thread.

@Harpo to address your statements:

- I am not in a position to directly accelerate customer support. The support department works to their own guidelines and I am able to discuss certain cases with them to find out more information. For occasional examples of a misunderstanding or a crucial link in the chain that has gone missing (a lost email for example), my involvement can help to get a support case back on track, thus 'speeding it up' to some degree, but ultimately the steps and decisions taken for each case are being made by the support department, not by me.

- The support team can be reached in three different ways: live chat, support ticket, and phone. These options are shown when you follow the links through the support section of the site. The live chat system is definitely not removed, but it has been unavailable for most of the day due to the new website launch. On a normal day, the live chat is active for at least 10 hours, including weekends, and is usually the quickest way to reach a support representative. As far as I'm aware, we are still the only sim hardware manufacturer offering this level of support availability.

- We do not insist on a video to continue with an RMA. If you are unable to make a video, or you simply disagree to the request, you can say so, and we can take the product in for diagnosis without a video. The risk for the customer is that if the unit is found to be fully working, then we are unable to cover/refund your shipping costs - this is why the video step is emphasised. You'll be amazed at how many times this happens. Depending on the type of issue, providing a video can also help to speed up the support/RMA process. I understand that it's a hassle to create a video, but we are not simply asking you to jump through hoops for the sake of it. There are good reasons for why this step exists, and they are for the benefit of the customer.

- Regarding the specific communication you received today, I would say that the points are quite clear. The statement about guidelines could have been phrased differently, but the support agent is only trying to emphasise that this is the only solution he is able to offer.

- There are potentially multiple contributing factors to the issues you've described, and the unit has to be sent to our service team to diagnose correctly. I'm sorry that the process has taken some extra time to reach this stage. This is a busy period, and there are likely other contributing factors too, e.g. the recent public holiday in Bavaria, the recent relocation of our HQ, and the transition to a new website.

I apologise for the inconvenience.
ello DomB_Fanatec
You cannot expect, that we have printer, camera, missle launcher, ... and so one to be able to open an RMA case. We bought something very expansive, that after couple of day of use doesn´t work!!! I don´t care about that, what other user do, what for Fanatec good is. I´m the customer, i expect, IF something like this hapens - it shouldn´t be - that you do something but very quick . Is your job only to get our money and after that shiting in our face? You do that very well.

"- The support team can be reached in three different ways: live chat, support ticket, and phone."

Really?? Chat doesn´t work, you musst wait till somebody comes to chatting to you. Email? Yeah. You have to wait 2-4 days to get an answer. Phone?? Are you kidding? Monday-Friday BETWEEN 14-16!!! :D Thos are working hours man. If i call you in this time, what would my boss thinking? I´m calling somebody privat, while i should rather work? My job is not so easy as yours. Ignore emails, phones, RMA requests.... If i would do that, i couldn´t be able to buy something very expensive as your stuff, because i wouldn´t have work anymore.

"This is a busy period, and there are likely other contributing factors too, e.g. the recent public holiday in Bavaria, the recent relocation of our HQ, and the transition to a new website."

It´s not our business!!! Public holiday was only one day November 1. Oktober 31 was only on the non catholic Bundesländer. You musst understand, we don´t care about your new webpage, what is otherweis wrong. I can send you a snapshoot in privat. Old one was better.

We want to play with our new sim stuff. I would never go back on your website, if i hadn´t so many problem with my base/wheel. I bought the clubsport things instead of elite, because this are from metal and are reliable. Now i don´t think so. Its a same crap as the cheaper one, but more expensive.
 

Ghoults

1000RPM
I think the question I have in my mind is that if I buy pedals from fanatec and they break after three hours the only two options fanatec gives you is either buy the spare parts at full price + shipping and fix it yourself or pay to have the pedals sent to germany for warranty work? I mean I can buy a used arse scratcher from a dude at a street corner and get better support afterwards.
 

Harpo

25RPM
Premium
I think the question I have in my mind is that if I buy pedals from fanatec and they break after three hours the only two options fanatec gives you is either buy the spare parts at full price + shipping and fix it yourself or pay to have the pedals sent to germany for warranty work? I mean I can buy a used arse scratcher from a dude at a street corner and get better support afterwards.
It seems to get worse than this. If you make a loud noise, support stops responding to you altogether and they delete your information from the "My Products" section of their website. This takes away your ability to open a support ticket.
 

Andrew_WOT

2000RPM
It seems to get worse than this. If you make a loud noise, support stops responding to you altogether and they delete your information from the "My Products" section of their website. This takes away your ability to open a support ticket.
Open chargeback case with Paypal or Credit company, depending on what you used to pay.
File complaint with BBB.
This is just beyond ridiculous.
How company like this can keep taking simmers for fools for years and still stay in business?
 

Noel Spence

1000RPM
Premium
here is my story with fanatec ,i bought there lovely v1 clubsport wheel with the el cheapo burning motors , i asked fanatec for a replacement so they sent me some beautiful barbecue motors that you could cook eggs on ,so in my frustration i replaced the motors with GERMAN motors and a new power supply out of my own pocket woo hoo i now have a working wheel fixed by me
Next was the clubsport elite pedals which came faulty , i asked for a replacement and they replaced them ,but then became faulty within a year
Next was there first version of the clubsport shifter which also came faulty .it would go from 1st to reverse and all other crazy gearing ,i ask for a replacement they repair it and quickly becomes useless again
In the end i have become that pissed off with fanatec i chucked it all in the garbarge and bought myself an osw and some simworx pedals ,and can now sim in peace
 

tusi_

10RPM
It seems to get worse than this. If you make a loud noise, support stops responding to you altogether and they delete your information from the "My Products" section of their website. This takes away your ability to open a support ticket.
You have to reregister them. Same happend to me. I did again and would be able to open an RMA Case. But it took almost 1.4 week, as soon as you get a shipping label and RMA nummer. Pitifully
I shipped back my broken base and rim on saturday, now i wait for a feedback. I hope he takes this crap back and i can buy a Thrustmaster on the black friday.
 

Tim Meuris

1000RPM
I won't be buying fanatec again either. Way too much trouble with their products. Not lasting long enough for serious simracing imo. And newly bought stuff often doesn't work. My friend bought a podium wheel. Had to send it back because it was broken out of the box. German engineering but chinese buildquality...
 

tusi_

10RPM
I won't be buying fanatec again either. Way too much trouble with their products. Not lasting long enough for serious simracing imo. And newly bought stuff often doesn't work. My friend bought a podium wheel. Had to send it back because it was broken out of the box. German engineering but chinese buildquality...
Unfortunatelly the German quality isn´t the same as in the past. I had a BMW, it was made in Regensburg and i had many trouble with that. It was always in the workshop, to repair something. I sold it and i´m happy with my japanese car.
As i bought Fanatec, i tought i´m on the safety side for long years. Now i pray for that to can hand them back :(
 

tusi_

10RPM
I can confirm that I'm a satisfied Fanatec customer, in case you intend to imply that I shouldn't be. I have used a lot of sim racing hardware over the years, and have used even more computer hardware, and it's a simple fact of life that hardware will sometimes have issues, and sometimes these issues appear shortly after purchase. I don't have any problem with receiving a product that I need to RMA, if the process is handled smoothly and quickly. In this case I just RMA'd the wheelbase and the wheel rim, because it was not possible to determine if the issue was with the wheelbase or the rim, and I got a replacement rim back very quickly, and I have had no issues since then. That is actually a satisfying experience for me, believe it or not.
Many friend of mine reports, that they had also issue with them Fanatec stuff. After an RMA they got something, that works fine without any trouble for a years.
BUT. Question.
Why cann´t Fanatec do a QC after the produce of the devices? A sample QC?
I didn´t play for approximately 3 weeks and i become crazy :)
 

Tim Meuris

1000RPM
Unfortunatelly the German quality isn´t the same as in the past. I had a BMW, it was made in Regensburg and i had many trouble with that. It was always in the workshop, to repair something. I sold it and i´m happy with my japanese car.
As i bought Fanatec, i tought i´m on the safety side for long years. Now i pray for that to can hand them back :(
German cars are the perfect example. Spoke with the company that remapped my civic. They told me that build quality of cars in general but definitely germans has gotten worse even though they haven't gotten cheaper at all. Certainly volkswagen with the generation that came after dieselgate has cut lots of corners concerning quality.
My friends all got new company cars:
-Audi a5 leaking cooling fluid after two months all over his driveway.
-after camping opening the trunk of a vw t-roc, she was holding the lever in her hand
- my friend parked his bmw sportstourer in Antwerpcity and couldn't get it started afterwards. Had to wait 2 hours near his 'german stallion'.
German gründlichkheit, HA! :laugh:

My honda civic: 3,5 years old, near a 100.000kms:
Hasn't let me down once...
 

tusi_

10RPM
German cars are the perfect example. Spoke with the company that remapped my civic. They told me that build quality of cars in general but definitely germans has gotten worse even though they haven't gotten cheaper at all. Certainly volkswagen with the generation that came after dieselgate has cut lots of corners concerning quality.
My friends all got new company cars:
-Audi a5 leaking cooling fluid after two months all over his driveway.
-after camping opening the trunk of a vw t-roc, she was holding the lever in her hand
- my friend parked his bmw sportstourer in Antwerpcity and couldn't get it started afterwards. Had to wait 2 hours near his 'german stallion'.
German gründlichkheit, HA! :laugh:

My honda civic: 3,5 years old, near a 100.000kms:
Hasn't let me down once...
It´s very Offtopic heer, but i think its OK. If not, please delet it :)
I have a Mazda CX3 only 40tkms, but never ever any issue. We have some company car, from VW, as Skoda, Golf, Audi.. Audi A4 2.0 TDI, after 2tkms Turbo damage. Other A4 1.8 TFSI, after 100tkms 1 Liter Oil for 750kms... And so on.
But the preis ist the same as you mentoined. :(
 

brc19

100RPM
Premium
I am in the market for a wheelbase and wheel. I bought Fanatec V3 pedals and so far no problems. But it's only been a few months. Any recommendations for other wheelbase/wheel vendors?
 
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