What happened to good support?
When I buy a product from a store, either online or in person, I expect to have support as part of the sale. I expect help making a good decision before I buy, help with any problems I encounter during the purchase and support after the purchase. It would seem this type of support is a dying breed these days. Some of this stems from the fierce competition the Internet has brought forth, but it also comes down to many companies just not caring. I think back to the old days when all we had was what is now referred to as "Mom & Pop" shops. These small one-off shops were places where the owner knew your name and would bend over backwards to help you both before and after the sale. Then the discount stores came along and that type of support become rare. Next the Internet came alone and with its broad reach and seemly endless number of potential customers, the level of support dropped drastically. Sure prices on items have never been lower but good luck getting any support on them, hell good luck even talking to a real person! This is where ProgressiveRC raises the bar.
David Gray at ProgressiveRC
First a little history of my dealings with David at PRC. I bought my first iCharger from him after a lengthy debate on the online forums. David did something I rarely see, he changed my mind ;) He introduced me to the concept of parallel charging and for that I am grateful. Since that time I talk to him occasionally and we have helped each other as needed. All my dealings with David have been top notch and I have grown to greatly respect both him and his business. This brings me to the reason for this article and that is to tell a few stories that show just how awesome David's support is.
The PayPal brick wall
I needed to buy a few items for work a while back. Students where I work were tasked with developing a robot to perform specific tasks and the decision to use A123 cells to power the robots was made. I needed a couple of chargers and various other cables and connectors. PRC had everything I needed, so I made an order only to find that PayPal was blocked by my purchase card. I chocked up to another purchase card failure, as this is a common occurrence, and started to make other plans. Not 15min later I received a call from David offering to help. Turns out he could make it work and did. I received my new chargers and parts 3 days later.
Whoops that was a bit too much!
Because I live in a small town, I often travel north to the big city to fly with a few guys up there. Over the 2 years I flew with them, there has been a major transition to electric helicopters and now almost everyone is flying electric 600s and 700s. I have helped them all as much as I could and that included charger recommendations. Several of the guys now have iChargers from PRC. Well one of the guys decided to use some charged packs as a power source to his charger, in order to discharge them, but didn't take the voltage of the packs into account. He connected an iCharger 206B up to a TRex 700e flight pack, a pair of 6s 5000mAh packs in series, and it smoked the 206B. Turns out 50V is a little too high for the 28V max of the charger. It was totally his fault and he learned a valuable lesson. He contacted David at PRC and explained what happened with the intention of paying to have the charger repaired.
Note: What happened next is something I never would expect from any business and just because it happened this way this one time does not mean it is standard practice for any business including PRC. So please don't expect it.
PRC replaced the charger free of charge! Replacing the charger was far above and beyond what is expected from any business. I do not know what motivated David to do it but he did and I feel he needs a pat on the back for it!
David at ProgressiveRC has raised the bar on support in a time when one can rarely get any support. He should be commended on his dedication to both his customers and the rc industry as a whole. I say keep up the good work!