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Old 20-01-2011, 23:29   #1
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Northstar / Navman / NAVICO . . . a Salutory Tale

For Centesimal I went to a NZ made product a couple of years ago (after all we live there) - one Navman (Northstar) M84 and herein lies a story of considerable frustration and not a little disgust.
I decided to support New Zealand business in the form of Navman in Auckland, however at no time have I been that keen on supporting the customary ships chandlers etc (herein described as the accredited agents) - this is a hereditary trait that has its routes in Scotland related to margins and the application of them for marine items. but I digress,
I acquired a New Zealand made M84 as a grey import, new with a USA Warranty, but how can a locally made item be a grey import? You ask, well funny but the same NZ item in the local shop was about $1000 dearer than via USA (and they still use USA for fixing the dodgy ones). So off I go and for a few months all was good, but then one sunny day it went on the blink and I came home on the backup plan....and this happened a few more times so I sent if off to the USA for repair.
All good so far, they accepted, it took 6 weeks, and not a little discussion but eventually it this was the first rankly bit ..How come a NZ made device can only be fixed in the USA? Well thatís how it goes when we sell our inventive kit to these grasping foreigners -the locals lose out! BUT the story proceeds most unhappily... the repair has proved to be problematic and the unit frankly not a lot better than before so after much cursing I pulled it apart and lo and behold I find the reason for this problem. First the main PCB has a membrane socket on it, this was not seated correctly and looks like the jaws were incorrectly set during original manufacture. The USA repair was to glue the membrane in permanently... great idea and what a way to provide warranty service for something less than a year old.- if the jaws connect the electrons pass... if when hot the plastic expands then oh dear they donít pass... so I complain to USA repair centre and they decline to even answer emails that look too hard. But never mind, down under they wont notice we did a sloppy fixit for a bit of foreign kit.
Well we have soldered fly leads across the whole socket and it now works perfectly... lesson - donít buy local because you think local can be fixed locally and donít buy Northstar/Navman (Navico) at all because if you need service the skill levels may not be to your satisfaction!

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Old 21-01-2011, 03:51   #2
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Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, centesimal.

Sorry to hear your dissatisfied with your plotter.

Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"

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Old 21-01-2011, 19:38   #3

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Navico owns a large number of brands.

Is it possible that your plotter could only be serviced in the US because the warranty is only from the US distributor, for products sold in the US, and your grey market purchase came back to bite you?

After all, Navico does have offices in NZ.

Navico APAC Limited
17-21 Kawana Street, Northcote
PO Box 331, 146 Takapuna
Auckland 0740
New Zealand

Tel.: +64 9 925 4500
Fax: +64 9 481 1899

But many products that are sold globally, are manufactured by one entity, and then sold to geographically limited distributorships (i.e. US, EU, Aisa/Pacific) and the actual retail warranty and service, along with local advertising costs, compliance, and other variable costs, are all provided soley by the authorized distributor, in accord with the terms of their sales and warranty.

That Navico would allow any repair center, for any of their brands anywhere, to perform a kludge job repair, is not a good thing. You might want to write, on paper, to their corporate offices and let them know their repair facilities (at least that one) are ruining their product.
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Old 21-01-2011, 19:49   #4
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Perhaps I should try to clairify, I am not unhappy with the plotter - in fact it is (when working) very good, but the qualitiy of the service repair at NAVICO HQ was what got to me most and the fact that it is made in NZ, sold in NZ, (for more than it is sold outside NZ (does that sound like a subsidy thing?) yet only fixable in USA that really rankles.
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Old 21-01-2011, 20:55   #5
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That kind of price game isn't just played in NZ. I'm in the chemical business. Had a customer from New Zealand that set up a small plant in the US and asked me to quote on some of their raw materials that were made by a US chemical company.

When I gave them the price they were shocked. Turned out they bought the same chemicals in New Zealand from the same US producer so cheaply they could buy them there and ship back to US for less than I could ship them direct from the producer in the US.
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