[TowerTalk] HyGain Antenna Quality control issues: Let's Put MFJ in Perspective
Bob Shohet, KQ2M
kq2m at kq2m.com
Mon Apr 2 23:32:06 EDT 2018
Indeed we are all human and indeed we all make mistakes. I have no problem with that. A good employee or good human being makes mistakes because they are human and when their mistake is pointed out to them then they are upset about the fact that they made that mistake and they want to do better next time. I want to HIRE people like that not fire them. However, what is not acceptable is repeatedly making mistakes because he/she is serially indifferent, grossly incompetent and/or is unapologetic about their bad attitude, repeated poor performance and/or lack of responsibility. I would happily fire someone for THAT. There are plenty of good workers who deserve the job that the other person clearly does not; especially an employee who lies to sell more product – like the MFJ salesman that sold me a coil on the basis that it would do “X, Y and Z” and when I spoke to Martin Jue about it he said our coils don’t do that and he never should have claimed that it did.
I realize that I skipped a few steps in my summarization of my MFJ experiences – usually with the same people over and over again. So when I was saying that I would fire someone like that, it was because they were serial offenders and that was what I was thinking about. I realize of course that there was no way for you or anyone else to know that ;-)
Many times the problem worker should not have been hired in the first place and that part of the fault lies with the person that hired him/her. So the person who is doing the hiring needs to be very competent themselves. In my companies, I did the hiring. I realize that in a large company that is not an option.
BTW, you might be interested to know that in some industries there is a HUGE problem finding competent workers in certain regions of the country and that literacy is a large part of that problem, especially for technical jobs.
Regarding MFJ, what they do is not rocket science. While they need some competent technical people in certain positions, most of the rest doesn’t require technical knowledge or special degrees. Just pride in a job well done, a cooperative and helpful attitude and the willingness to see things through until they are satisfactorily resolved.
From: Don W7WLL
Sent: Monday, April 02, 2018 10:33 PM
To: Bob Shohet, KQ2M ; Towertalk
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] HyGain Antenna Quality control issues: Let's Put MFJ in Perspective
You certainly sound frustrated and upset and it sounds like you tried to get your problems fixed but couldn’t. Not a good situation, not for you and not for MFJ. And no I don’t take your comments personally. But I was a little taken back by one thing you stated. Perhaps you were a little heated thinking about the issues you have encountered?
You said “ . . . If my employees were too incompetent to make things properly and/or check to ensure that orders were complete before being sent out, I would have fired them and then I would have personally made and sent out the damned things myself. And if I couldn’t find competent employees with a good attitude, then I would have relocated my facility to a place where I could find the personnel that I needed. That’s what RESPONSIBLE people “
I worked for a company that is probably known for having one of the highest quality ratings in the electronics product business and even we didn’t always get it right.
I cannot remember when, if an employee was having a problem, we would consider just ‘firing’ them. We would have worked with the person and nailed down what the issue was that was truly creating the problem, then those involved would work as a team to find a solution. Many situations where there is an employee problem it arises from a communication problem between the employee and the manager. Good managers in my experience RARELY have to fire employees. I never found an employee who didn’t want to do a good job, be respected, and have the opportunity to learn/grow. But then our culture was that the employee was a key component of making the company what it was. Employees were a valuable asset. We were the lone electronics company in the area early on and proper training, ensuring the employee understand their role and how their work contributed to the whole, was a key factor to our success.
RESPONSIBLE people, particularly managers, value their employees, ensure they know that, and work to help them solve deficiencies that might arise. I just can’t imagine contemplating a factory move because one ‘can’t’ find ‘competent’ employees in the area.
As I have noted before to others, we humans are often known better for our ability to rationalize vs the ability to reason.
Nuff said, go work some DX!!
Don T W7WLL
From: Bob Shohet, KQ2M
Sent: Monday, April 02, 2018 5:35 PM
To: Don W7WLL ; Towertalk
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] HyGain Antenna Quality control issues: Let's Put MFJ in Perspective
I am glad that you had a good experience with MFJ. Unfortunately, most people have not. And the more times that you buy from them, the less likely that you will continue to be happy with them. The rest of this post is not directed at you – it is directed at MFJ, a company that I have not purchased anything from in many years.
I feel that is it important to share my experiences with four different purchases – two of them quite large and two for large orders of replacement and additional parts, over a period of three years.
First, no matter what the item costs, the COMPANY sets the price. That means that they should have already factored in their costs for materials, design, manufacture, labor, marketing, sales, billing, shipping, service, etc. If they haven’t done a good job with figuring that out and pricing it properly then it’s their own fault. They do NOT have the right to make YOU as a purchaser in good faith, a victim of THEIR own shortcomings.
This means that:
Holes should line up
No items are broken
No items are missing
There isn’t grease or other gunk on the parts that you ordered
Telescoped Element tubing should fit snugly
Element tubing is the CORRECT length
Assembly Instructions are included
Bolts and other hardware are properly made so that they fit and bolt the intended parts without you having to file down, drill or otherwise reshape them.
When you call to tell them what is missing, broken or misshapen, someone should pay attention and assist you; not put you on hold forever and ignore you.
When you fax or email the details to them, someone should respond and acknowledge it and then follow up (yeah right!) to let you know when the replacements will be shipped or provide an explanation for what can’t be shipped and why.
When you don’t get a response to that email/fax, or the wrong items are sent, and you fax or email again and this time request the sales manager, he/she should promptly respond and help you.
When you speak with the Engineer who oversaw the making of the parts that are badly mis-drilled, he should not tell you that are mistaken and are simply putting it together improperly.
When your next request for service is ignored, (because the Engineer was worse than useless) and you ask for Martin Jue, someone should contact him and not tell you that he is unavailable to speak with customers.
When you FINALLY speak with Mr. Jue, he should pay attention, be apologetic for the staff and quality problems he is aware of but has repeatedly failed to address, and then assist you personally to ensure that you immediately get what you need because of the 6 weeks wasted with all the above-mentioned stupidity.
I could go on but you get the idea.
NONE of this has anything to do with price points, low quality vs. high quality or anything else.
This is about systemic INDIFFERENCE, INCOMPETENCE and NO sense of personal responsibility or accountability. This is about who you are as a person.
I founded and ran two corporations. NONE of this would have been tolerated. If my employees were too incompetent to make things properly and/or check to ensure that orders were complete before being sent out, I would have fired them and then I would have personally made and sent out the damned things myself. And if I couldn’t find competent employees with a good attitude, then I would have relocated my facility to a place where I could find the personnel that I needed. That’s what RESPONSIBLE people do!
All of these are choices that Mr. Jue made or didn’t make over time. ALL OF THIS is about the attitude of the employees and his abdication of his responsibility as owner to make sure that everything runs properly and customers cheerfully and promptly get what they pay for. And this is true REGARDLESS of what MFJ is charging for anything. Price is NEVER an excuse for being lazy or doing things sloppily and with a bad attitude.
From: Don W7WLL
Sent: Monday, April 02, 2018 3:15 PM
Subject: [TowerTalk] HyGain Antenna Quality control issues: Let's Put MFJ in Perspective
It is probable that many hams have purchased and used one or more MFJ products since its inception.
I've personally purchased a number of MFJ over the years as well as products from MFJ acquired companies, (for example) MFJ-HyGain. I have never experienced a problem with any new MFJ product or part purchased and used, none.
Support is an important aspect of buying a product. When I recently was given a MFJ product, well used, from another ham, I found a switch which had been damaged and unique enough that I could not replace it from local inventory. As well, over time I've had to replace a few items that broke on my old original TH7DX (it has to be one of the first produced by the original HyGain facility in Lincoln NE).
I found the MFJ staff to be responsive and helpful, and the price of their replacement parts to be quite fair. In fact, their shipping charges were far less than I've been gouged by others in the ham market shipping similar size/weights from similar distances.
A while back I had a question about the 15 M traps on the old TH7, why did the DE have different PN's than the R when they appeared to be physically identical. The tech who responded was forthright, provided the reason, and provided additional general info on the traps which was useful (which I appreciated). In another instance, where my little brain just did not understand a particular instruction on a product, the responding tech took the time to address it and in a manner that solved the problem.
I don't expect a lower priced product to meet all the exacting construction standards set by Yaesu (I've 4), Kenwood and others producing costly products, but I do expect them to work as advertised. For the items I’ve purchased from MFJ, that standard has always been met.
I appreciate knowing about issues with products that others encounter via Towertalk and other sites, but I find it difficult to believe that the majority of people who work at MFJ (or other companies) ‘don’t care’. That just is not a personal trait of most working people I’ve ever encountered or worked with. Perhaps, if each of us, when we encounter a problem that seems systemic of a process or personnel issue at MFJ wrote a personal letter to Martin, it might help more than just expressing a personal bad experience on-line in a manner that denigrates a whole company. They fill a niche as has been stated by many on this forum.
Jut my two cents.
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