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White Lightning \"Vagabond\" power system problem followup... :)
Old 10-05-2004, 10:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
JohnPaul
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Ok... as you may recall,...I had a severe problem with my White Lighting Vagabond power system....after one of the converters burned out so to speak after I accidentally left the "international" "0 - " / Off & On switch mixed up and "over charged" the unit.. Unfortunately, I am too dumb to know the difference in the dark..and I left one of the convertwes "On" wshile charging...and left it charge longer than was nessessary...which apparfently fried it... which was my damn fault.. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img] I only wish there was some sort of better set-up for this IMO, easy to over look condition... Now I know better...

The other problem that was happening before I managed to fry one of the two converters was that it was flickering with my Ultra series White Lightning lights when I was working out doors...in doors, it seemed to work just fine...go figure.. but outdoors, I was missing 1 out of 4 or so shots...and I wasn't shooting too fast either..

Well, I called up the WL tech dept, and they said...just send it in...since it's still under warranty.....so I did..and then they sent me a brand spanking new one....at no cost to me! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img] They went over the importance of the turning off the converters off when charging them...and made sure that I knew what those symbols meant..which I did but didn't see.. which just means that I have to be more careful in the future..... anyway, they also mentioned that I should not use the modeling lamps in my lights...that will drain the heck out of it much quicker... Ok... good to know.. Then they mentioned that for some reason, there was a problem with the "ground" in the way the Ultra series lights (only the Ultra series...not their current product lines) were made...and that they noticed this some two months ago.. (about the time when I ordered mine)...and their engineers went over the systems, made a change, and informed me that this shouldn't happen again...and that I must have ordered one of the last units made which wasn't fixed before leaving the factory.. Ok... cool...they fixed that problem and now I test it on a location job...untested (I know bad idea...I know better than this....but I had back-up with my Norman 400B kit)...and I set it up....and used it....and it worked just fine! Absolutelty no problems at all.. I managed to get a very flattering editorial in shoot today that is going to pay for another Vagabond. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

I am very Happy with the service I got from White Lightning!

Which reminds me.. I managed to burn out an Ultra 1200 light unit just prior to having a problem with the power system....by shooting it over 1000 times within 3 hours..at full power...with the modeling lamp on full...inside a 16x20 soft box up next to the ceiling in my studio....and abused it to death.. Well, it didn't work when it cooled off.... I sent it in... & they quoted me $50.00 to look it over...and to see what the problem was....they also mentioned that if it was too far gone, they would put that $50.00 towards a replacement light from their current product line....hmmm...ok....that's nice of them....but the next thing I know, I get a call from them....they fixed the problem....some "head" had to be replaced...and they replaced the flash tube...and informed me that it was only going to cost me $50.00 total! I had them UPS it to me...next day air........18 hours later, it arrived in time for my weekend shoot..and it worked just fine!

I have heard for years that White Lightning has some of the best customer service...but I never tested it because I have owned their Ultra 1800 & 1200 series lights for 12 years without ever having to repair them....and even after explaining the problem that I created with the Vagabond power system, even after admitting that what happened was because of my fault....even reading off the part in the instruction book on the phone and admitting what I did wrong, they told me that they would replace it anyway!!! Un real! where else can I get that remarkable service?! I really appreciate great service and just wanted to pass on the good word about them! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

They are good people and I am a loyal customer!

JP

 
 
Re: White Lightning \"Vagabond\" power system problem followup... :)
Old 10-06-2004, 04:57 PM   #2 (permalink)
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This really helps in my decision making process on what type of light to get. I can only hope their Alien Bee line recieves the same customer service. If anyone has dealt with them on the AB line, could you comment on the service.

Our photo class at Nashville State Community College is lucky enough to go to the factory on a "field trip". [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img] Unfortunately, I am taking night classes [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img]and will not be able to see the manufacturing process. I guess they have to draw the line somewhere. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif[/img]

Joe
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Re: White Lightning \"Vagabond\" power system problem followup... :)
Old 10-06-2004, 05:12 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I've got 3 AB units and I really enjoy them. AB is in the same building with White Lightning and they appear to share a lot of staff and warehouse space. It's worth going over there just to talk to Lori and Cecilia (I think I got the names right). They're both very nice, very knowledgeable, very helpful, and very nice to look at. I buy all my stuff one little piece at a time so I'll have to go back.

Don't forget the 10% student discount.

Oh, and I'd say JP's experience is typical with them.
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Re: White Lightning \"Vagabond\" power system problem followup... :)
Old 10-06-2004, 06:42 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Love my AB's. I have only had them for a few months but so far so good.

This selfportrait was taken using a 800 AB for the background with a blue gel and a 400 AB in a softbox for the main light and Vivitar 283 in an unbrella for a fill.

I would suggest using only the 800 or 1600 for gels.

Every time I setup the AB's the kids and wife escape the house so I had to resort to testing on my self.



MJ

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Re: White Lightning \"Vagabond\" power system problem followup... :)
Old 10-06-2004, 07:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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That's great news JP!

And yet, they have never returned my call or email regarding the boom clamp that arrived broken (new)...

Something as piddly as that, kinda pisses me off.
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Sounds great
Old 10-07-2004, 02:18 PM   #6 (permalink)
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They do really stand behind ALL their products and look how well it worked, you posted this message and "BOOM" they get more sales.

12 years is a long time and I'm guessing you have gotten a lot of use out of them.

To go along with my Alien Bees, I may eventually get a 1600w White Lightning to use as a Main light to take advantage of the 250w Modeling Light.
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Alien Bee
Old 10-07-2004, 02:20 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Customer Service is just as good. I had a couple of small problems with some mating components (not the Lights) and they promtly sent me replacement parts without even asking to see the bad parts...
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Re: White Lightning \"Vagabond\" power system problem followup... :)
Old 10-08-2004, 01:01 AM   #8 (permalink)
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[ QUOTE ]
This really helps in my decision making process on what type of light to get. I can only hope their Alien Bee line recieves the same customer service. If anyone has dealt with them on the AB line, could you comment on the service.

Our photo class at Nashville State Community College is lucky enough to go to the factory on a "field trip". [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img] Unfortunately, I am taking night classes [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img]and will not be able to see the manufacturing process. I guess they have to draw the line somewhere. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif[/img]

Joe

[/ QUOTE ]


Dang...that is really cool... I hope I get to do that someday too..

JP
 
 
Re: White Lightning \"Vagabond\" power system problem followup... :)
Old 10-08-2004, 01:05 AM   #9 (permalink)
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[img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif[/img]

Is it under their 90 day warranty? Did you return it with a note explaining what went wrong?? That all I did withg my Ultra 1200.. I can't say what happened to them not getting back to you.. I'd try calling them again..

Tell them you heard from me.. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img] the guy who said they have great service after their Vagabond crapped out on me [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] see if that helps.. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

JP
 
 
Re: Alien Bee
Old 10-08-2004, 01:09 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Wwwwwow! ...I sure wish other companies did the same.. I think others should learn from them...they set a good example of "customer service".

They get a pair of thumbs up from me!

JP
 
 
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