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  1. #92
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    North Richland Hills, Texas
    Posts
    14,914
    Quote Originally Posted by Expat in CH View Post
    Thanks Mark,

    I appreciate your honest and direct feedback. I just printed and walked your comments into the CEO's office. I wanted him to see what people who work in the field say about REFCO products.
    He advised me to send it to the VP of REFCO USA and ask for his comments. My intent on this is to make things better for you guys in the field and more importantly,...
    make better products for those of you who use them.

    Stay tuned, more to come.
    It isn't so much that I've no interest in a Refco product, but more that I'm not really in the market for another digital manifold at the moment, unless it has some "WOW factor" feature that I decide I really want.
    Refco makes some solid products that I like, I just wish there was a supplier in my area that carried a decent selection of them.

    Just to add a little context to my previous post, I've been using digital refrigerant gauges exclusively for about 7 years, and have 5 working sets of them, from 3 manufacturers, that range between 3 and 9 years old. The only analogue refrigerant gauges I still own are in a junk box in my garage, even my burnout/recovery manifold has a digital gauge head on it.
    I've tried a number of digital refrigerant gauge products, by various manufacturers, going back to the Tiff digital pressure gauges in the early 90's, and the Robinair digital refrigerant gauge(the one with the refrigerant keys) in the mid/late 90's.

    I've got a lot of experience with a broad spectrum of digital refrigerant gauges, from dismal failures to products that are really quite good, and I'm fairly passionate about the need for digital refrigerant manifold when working on modern high efficiency HVAC/R equipment.

    If your "I'd like to do a head to head field test to see how we stack up." comment is serious, I'd like to volunteer.
    fair warning though, even with products I like, use every day, and recommend to others, I tend to be brutally honest about their flaws.

    Nobody makes a perfect product.
    If more government is the answer, then it's a really stupid question.

  2. #93
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    3,159
    I have the Testo 570's and the Sman4's at this time I like the Testo's or maybe I am just more use to them. I do like the wireless part of the Sman and have the hg3 and SPD2, but haven't been able to give a lot of use to the fieldpiece just yet. And what is up with all of this calibration stuff anyway. I don't have to worry about it with the Testo. But the Sman, well............

    Quote Originally Posted by caddy View Post
    I first started with the first generation digimon which I still have in my truck but don't use much anymore. They were a good starter set back then. Next I bought my testo 550 which is my troubleshooting set. I also purchased a sman3 as backup but have not used them. I prefer the testo of all 3.

  3. #94
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Toronto Canada
    Posts
    1,090
    My GF had a digi on in high school. Isn't that the little key change digital dog thing?

    Oh it's a tool you say
    I'll stick with my digi-cools

  4. #95
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Toronto Canada
    Posts
    1,090
    Quote Originally Posted by OldSchoolMech View Post
    My GF had a digimon in high school. Isn't that the little key change digital dog thing?

    Oh it's a tool you say
    I'll stick with my digi-cools
    I think

  5. #96
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Switzerland
    Posts
    50
    Hello Mark,

    Below is the reply from REFCO USA. I think it is a fair explanation from a manufacturers point of view. Not trying to make any excuses, just the saying it the way it is. Anyone here is free to make their own judgments.
    Everyone makes mistakes, even companies. Damn those hand wheels.... You can be 110% sure that the new ones wont have that issue.
    Also, since you asked the VP is willing to send you a new Digimon SE (Second Edition) for your use and field testing.
    All we ask it that you are fair about it. I get the impression that since you are not vested one way or the other and you have years of experience using digital technology, you should make a good test pilot.
    Please contact me directly and we will get you set up.



    SJP,

    Let me bring you up to speed on how we used to handle warranties at REFCO US and how we handle them since the introduction of the very first Digimon’s. This will make it easier to answer this post.

    In the beginning we used to have an over the counter warranty. Contractor brought in a REFCO product to wholesaler and said it was bad, they took it back and replaced it basically no questions asked. The wholesaler called us and we replaced the in question product at no charge. This was when we were trying to gain a foot hold in the U.S. market

    Then the Digital manifold came about. This product put us on the U.S. map as a supplier of note with both the Digital manifold and our other products. We began selling thousands of Digital manifolds. We were running into this scenario a lot where a contractors taking his Digital manifold back to his wholesaler with broken hand wheels. Instead of the wholesaler giving out new hand wheels they would replace the whole set, manifold, hoses, case and thermocouples even though just the hand wheels were broken.

    Because of this we tightened our warranty procedure but not really our warranty, it was always two years. We required and still require prior authorization before executing a warranty. You must first call us for technical support before we give out a return. This way we can ensure as best as possible the product in question is actually bad. We also now require proof of purchase along with purchase date.

    I believe this is more of where this contractor is going with his warranty denial accusation. We did not reject any hand wheel breaking warranty requests.
    We did reject requests for warranty replacement for out of warranty product (we did offer to fix out of warranty product for $ although, several people did not like if they had multiple problems before the warranty expired) or if it was sent back to us with no proof of purchase, or if it was sent in with no paperwork, or return authorization number and we had no idea what was wrong with it. We also rejected some for flat out abuse. I would say the amount that was rejected was at most 1%.

    I believe the real problem is that they were used to, "over the counter" service from us and frustration with all the little glitches that came with our first generation of Digital manifolds. REFCO basically taught the industry how to use Digital manifolds. Contractors had to learn they could not be treated the same way their analog brass manifold was or it would not last. I believe we were at fault for some of our glitches but the contractor and wholesalers also caused a good amount of problems that we were blamed for. However, blaming them would do us absolutely no good. We basically set the stage for our competitors because contractors were versed in Digital manifold technology first in mass by REFCO. There were Digital manifolds before ours, but they were very expensive and not purchased in mass quantities.

    Incidentally, we can send him one to test and we can see his results online whether good or bad.

  6. #97
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Savannah, Ga/H.H. Island, S.C.
    Posts
    1,447
    Ok, I will be the first to comment.

    I've done several reviews on digital gauges via this website. I never even considered doing a review on the Refco due to the poor reputation.

    Mark is a great candidate to test second gen. Digimon. He has a wealth of experience in the digital gauge market, maybe even more than myself...but don't tell him that. I am anxious to hear his thoughts.

    "You can't treat your digitals like you treat your analogs." This statement is a myth. A good reliable DRSA that can take just as much (maybe more) abuse than a set of analogs is a possibility. I.E. Digi-Cool AK900.

    We don't work in a nice clean office/lab. We're under houses, in attics: wet and dirty environments. Why would you not make a product that could withstand daily use in these conditions?

    As far as the warranty issue, I understand not covering a unit that is out of warrant. But..."Denied because of abuse." What constitutes abuse? And what's wrong with giving the guy a new unit when he comes in with a broken hand wheel? If I am able to walk into a distributor and get a over the counter exchange, I consider that great customer service from a company who stands behind their products. I.E. Fieldpiece.

    I don't want to walk in to my distributor and try to get an over the counter exchange only to get denied because manufacturer has had too many exchanges. So now I need to send it in and be without one of my primary tools for weeks/months.

    Maybe you need to quit pointing the finger at the end user and a take a long hard look at your product!

  7. #98
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    wedged in freezer shelf
    Posts
    6,647
    Not tougher than analog and has the same accuracy rating as analog!!
    What's the point? And if you looked over the past few years the "other" refco electronics offered look like they have been reworked to max profits not performance.

  8. #99
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Switzerland
    Posts
    50
    Hello Brent,

    My comments are interspaced with yours.

    Ok, I will be the first to comment.

    I've done several reviews on digital gauges via this website. I never even considered doing a review on the Refco due to the poor reputation.
    Nothing I can do about that. That is your choice and your choice alone. Maybe its for the best maybe not. Our new one is MUCH better. Sure to have some flaws,.... no-one gets it perfect for everyone..

    Mark is a great candidate to test second gen. Digimon. He has a wealth of experience in the digital gauge market, maybe even more than myself...but don't tell him that. I am anxious to hear his thoughts.
    Me too. Mark sounds like he knows what's up.

    "You can't treat your digitals like you treat your analogs." This statement is a myth. A good reliable DRSA that can take just as much (maybe more) abuse than a set of analogs is a possibility. I.E. Digi-Cool AK900.
    Dig-cool seems to make a good box. I don't disagree. Ground-up engineering, from the field.

    We don't work in a nice clean office/lab. We're under houses, in attics: wet and dirty environments. Why would you not make a product that could withstand daily use in these conditions?
    I know where you guys work Brent. You are right it's mostly ......shall we say, uncomfortable. Although I did get to go to Johnny Depps house in LA once on a service call...


    As far as the warranty issue, I understand not covering a unit that is out of warrant. But..."Denied because of abuse." What constitutes abuse?
    Fair question, I think that will always be a big fat grey area. Except maybe a .38 cal bullet hole through the gauge. That's pretty sure to be labeled, "abuse."

    And what's wrong with giving the guy a new unit when he comes in with a broken hand wheel?
    If the door handle on your truck breaks off does the dealership give you a new truck? Or do they replace the defective part? Pretty common practice by most manufacturers.

    If I am able to walk into a distributor and get a over the counter exchange, I consider that great customer service from a company who stands behind their products. I.E. Fieldpiece.
    No argument from me on that. I agree, it makes life easy and you can get back to what needs to be done. Plus if gives you confidence in your purchase decision now and in the future.

    I don't want to walk in to my distributor and try to get an over the counter exchange only to get denied because manufacturer has had too many exchanges. So now I need to send it in and be without one of my primary tools for weeks/months.
    You got a point with regards to the wait time.. I'm not sure..... but wouldn't the distributors have the replacement hand wheels to just give to you on the spot? No paperwork no payment no problems? I know REFCO honored every single claim submitted for that particular manufacturing flaw. In the long run it did us good, now we are much more critical on design and testing. Not perfect, but much better... But sure, it gave us a bloody nose. Messy but not life threatening.
    Regardless, its over and done. The problem was a poorly designed interior of a knob. Everybody knows it. It was fixed years ago. And will never be a problem again. How long should a company be crucified for that?


    Maybe you need to quit pointing the finger at the end user and a take a long hard look at your product!
    I can understand how you think that, but that's not what we are doing. Why I'm here is to learn from guys like you and Mark. I believe you will find stuff we probably didn't think about.
    All we asked for is a fair shake on a new product. No more no less.

    BTW. love the picture of Willis. I worked there for many years.

  9. #100
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Savannah, Ga/H.H. Island, S.C.
    Posts
    1,447

    Digital gauge manifold

    I'm all for second chances but the comments below are not those of someone who accepts that they had a faulty product and wants to improve. These are comments of someone who blames the contractor and distributor for product failures.

    Explain to me how a contractor or distributor would cause the product to fail. I understand if the gauges fall off a ladder or get ran over by your service van...besides those things, why do I get blamed if your product breaks?

    From the above post -
    Quote: I believe we were at fault for some of our glitches but the contractor and wholesalers also caused a good amount of problems that we were blamed for.

  10. #101
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    wedged in freezer shelf
    Posts
    6,647
    From the limited pictures of the SE it still appears R-4XX are not programed with bubble and dew through the whole range like the old one.
    Can anyone confirm? Nice display though. Has everything on one screen but looks like you are going to have to learn button push combos for common functions

    It still kinda looks like the Green Telletubby though
    “If You Can Dodge A Wrench You Can Dodge A Ball”

  11. #102
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Charleston, Wv.
    Posts
    1,461
    Quote Originally Posted by Brent Ridley View Post
    I'm all for second chances but the comments below are not those of someone who accepts that they had a faulty product and wants to improve. These are comments of someone who blames the contractor and distributor for product failures.

    Explain to me how a contractor or distributor would cause the product to fail. I understand if the gauges fall off a ladder or get ran over by your service van...besides those things, why do I get blamed if your product breaks?

    From the above post -
    Quote: I believe we were at fault for some of our glitches but the contractor and wholesalers also caused a good amount of problems that we were blamed for.



    all they are asking for is a second chance.......seems like the past is the past....opening old wounds isn't going to get anyone anywhere.

    if their new product stands the field tests, and people like it, then it will sell......if not it won't. I'll be very interested to see what Mark has to say about it......as I'm sure he will give us all an honest opinion based on his experience with several diff. digital gauges.

  12. #103
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Upper Michigan
    Posts
    3,588
    This is off topic but what ever became off hillmor

  13. #104
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Savannah, Ga/H.H. Island, S.C.
    Posts
    1,447

    Digital gauge manifold

    Quote Originally Posted by 71CHOPS View Post


    all they are asking for is a second chance.......seems like the past is the past....opening old wounds isn't going to get anyone anywhere.

    if their new product stands the field tests, and people like it, then it will sell......if not it won't. I'll be very interested to see what Mark has to say about it......as I'm sure he will give us all an honest opinion based on his experience with several diff. digital gauges.
    71Chops,

    Maybe your right. I was just so disappointed in the answer that was given from the VP. I guess it kinda rubbed me the wrong way. I myself have owned or do own several sets of digital gauges from several different manufacturers all the way back to the first gen Testo 523's. I've always received great customer service and that response just sent me for a loop.

    I guess it makes no sense pointing out the obvious and I'll just shut up until Mark posts his review maybe then we can have a good discussion.

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