Fanatec RMA Expereince

Discussion in 'Sim Racing Hardware' started by Frizbe, Nov 14, 2019.

  1. Frizbe

    Frizbe

    Messages:
    1,356
    Location:
    United States
    These guys get a lot of flak for their customer service and support experiences from what I have seen in various places so I thought I would share my experience. Short story basically I'd give the support a 10/10.

    I work for a major tech company so I get to hear all day about how everyone is always 100% of the time supposed to have a perfect experience with their products, and I know not everyone is going to have great experiences but I wanted to show some support for these guys here.
    I had some trouble with my CSP V3 installing the Brake Performance Kit recently and after struggling with it for a day I posted here, tried some more on Friday afternoon and after breaking a brand new Craftsman hex key I contacted Fanatec chat support online and in around 10 minutes I had an RMA setup and instructions that I would be getting a follow email on Monday with what to do next since by this point it was already about 6pm US mountain time so pretty much everything would have been closed for the day. Monday comes, I get the email that I need to send the pedals at my expense to their service center but once the RMA is done I would be refunded the shipping costs (could be cheaper for them I would think to just generate a return label for me to use but as long as I get the refund I guess it doesn't matter). I sent the pedals in on the next Monday and they had received them by Thursday, the next Monday I received an email from FedEx that some weird logistics company had sent me something, assumed with the weight and where it was coming from that it was my pedals, they arrived a day early and I couldn't be happier. In the end not only did Fanatec install my BPK into my V3s for me they actually replaced my pedals, on top of that while I was afraid they might do that when I sent them in I took off the D-shaped faces and extenders I completely forgot about the stiffer gas spring I had put in, they installed the stiffer spring on the set they had sent me as well.

    One thing I do want to mention so there aren't any misconceptions, the day I contacted the chat team was 10.25, my purchase date was 10.26 the year before so I was still in warranty when I started the process which may have helped my situation. Though back in the day when the 911 Turbo S wheel was still the cool new thing my original wheel failed and after something like 2-3 emails with a video they sent me a new wheel, I didn't even have to send my original back so these days my kids use the broken one to play cars with. Basically I've had good experiences every time I have needed to contact them.
     
  2. Raitziger

    Raitziger

    Messages:
    2,822
    Location:
    Finland
    My turbo S broke. They sent new wheel. I could keep my old wheel. Year later I opened it up and fixed it myself.
     
  3. DomB_Fanatec

    DomB_Fanatec

    Messages:
    311
    @Frizbe It's fair to say that most of our satisfied customers don't find the time to write about their experience, which can result in a skewed impression of the great work that the support department does. We really appreciate it, and I've passed on your kind words to the team.
     
  4. PocketZeven

    PocketZeven

    Messages:
    5,045
    I was promised a replacement Csl brakepedal, because I received the new textured CSL pedals, but an older smooth textured brake pedal. They would send me when they got stock....

    That was 2 years ago. I got used to it, but was annoyed at the time. I didnt bother following up, but its a shame they didnt do what they promised.

    Because the communication was satisfactory I have no specific gripe, but just sharing my own experience with Fanatec customer service. I know still have not matching pedals, but they still work well.
     
  5. Silent Drifter

    Silent Drifter Premium

    Messages:
    1,067
    Location:
    United States
    I had to do an RMA twice with them, and so far no real issues with them. Once for my CSW 2.0. While racing, ran over a rumble strip, and all of a sudden lost FFB, and had a burning smell. Explained and sent a video to Fanatec, and since it was out of warranty, I would have to pay for it, which is no big deal. Took maybe 3 weeks to ship it out and then receive it. They replaced the internals to the 2.5 version.

    The second RMA was when the F1 2018 wheel released, one of the buttons didn't work, and sent a video to Fanatec. They replaced the whole wheel for me, after they received my defective wheel first, and refunded my shipping costs.

    I emailed them both times, so usually a reply a day, which could take up to 4 days going that route, to get a RMA issued. Sure, I wish it went faster, but wasn't that big of a deal for me.
     
  6. KeiferH

    KeiferH

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    United States
    Genuinely encouraged to hear this for the long term because I'm invested in the ecosystem, but I have not had the same luck this week.

    Product dead after 5 days of use. With the time difference between US and Germany seems like any communication is a 24 hour turn around. After 2 days of that, and things not improving I've had to cash out and just ordered a new Elite wheel because I've committed the rig for a charity event for kids next week. Things ARE moving forward with support but not quickly, and not going the direction I think they should go.. like a replacement.

    What happened was IMMEDIATELY after changing the DRIFT settings the wheel started spinning hard and fast out of control back and forth. Like the initial self test but full speed, full force, back and forth.. bang, bang, bang, bang. After what seemed like forever I hit the power button and it stopped, but the damage had already been done. The steering wheel plastic collar was broken, and pins bent and broken. Support say this spinning is normal but they can't understand what I mean was happening. I get that the DRIFT setting adds opposing wheel action, but this didn't happen while driving, it just happened and continued to happen instantly upon hitting the settings button to change the settings. I can't imagine the wheel is supposed to shake itself to death right after changing as setting. I had previously noted that a similar one time back/forth of the wheel happens at full speed, full force when Xbox reconnects after sleep. Again, not the gentle initial warm up recentering.. full blast.. break your hand speed.. but only once. When I changed the settings it must have happened 10 times plus before I got to the power button.

    Support says today they requested a purchase order for me to just buy the part.. but not received today, and I'm done with this 24 hour turnaround. If support was good, I wouldn't have to ask what the install process is, I wouldn't have to ask if the part ships from US or Germany, and I wouldn't have to wait 24 hours to get an answer. if I return the wheel and they agree it's their problem, they will refund me.. but after 2 days I can't wait for this. If it's dirt cheap I might take them up on it so I can fix the wheel and sell it.

    Complicated by the fact that the rim locking bolt was missing from the packaging so I substituted with a different one.. ironically, from a Fanatec inversion kit for CSR pedals.. so one of their own. To me the root cause of this issue is the glitch that created a violent tail spin of unstoppable actions. The mount itself was fine.

    Bummed.. I could have pretty much had the Forza wheel for the price I'm shelling out for 2 elites.

    My guess is that part of this is cultural difference. I am from Ireland, have spent a lot of time in Germany and worked in the European Union for many years in Brussels before becoming a spoiled US consumer used to dealing with companies who have an obsession for customer satisfaction, and very open to doing what a customer thinks is fair. I get it. It's a small price to pay for the German engineering I guess.

    Has anyone else experienced vicious single or non stop calibration like turning of the Fanatec wheels?

    K
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2019
  7. DomB_Fanatec

    DomB_Fanatec

    Messages:
    311
    Your description sounds unusual, the only explanation I can think of is that Xbox mode has a centring spring by default, and combined with a high positive drift mode, an off-centre wheel going into Xbox mode could accelerate itself into a fast rocking motion. However, even a strong motion like this should not damage the pins, as the locking clamp is designed to prevent any torque from acting on the pins. In addition, the drift mode was improved to included a damper on positive values to avoid/reduce such acceleration behaviour, and this has been available in all firmware versions for several months.
     
  8. KeiferH

    KeiferH

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    United States
    Hi Dom, I just received a new wheel which I purchased at full price because.. well.. that's the only option to move things forward. Still waiting for the purchase option for parts that Support has said twice is on the way. Here's initial switch on video of the NEW wheel, and as settings did not change in the base since the initial issue, you can see the exact issue.



    What I'm doing here is:

    - switching on
    - duh.. not connected by USB
    - connect USB
    - nothing happens.. switching from PC to XBox Mode because it must have ended up in PC mode after me trying all buttons last time
    - at 52 seconds, wheel wakes up in a potentially finger braking moment
    - then it goes back into the full death spiral again
    - I hit mode switch / power switch.. whatever I can get to so it stops
    - switch back on.. SAME
    - I hit MODE button to take it out of xbox mode
    - I change from S_2 to S_1, switch back to XBox mode and it's ok

    I clearly am terrified about changing settings now, because my experience is using the product as it's supposed to be used can cost me $169 + tax + shipping.

    Note. The game was not in driving mode. I was in the menu system.

    Yes, this could be firmware. Only having firmware support for PC is very limiting but I have found a way I can solve that later today.. but honestly if there's a firmware fix needed to fix a situation that is dangerous, it should be applied at the factory.

    Now that I received the second wheel I can also confirm with 100% certainty that the rim bolt was not included with the first wheel.. now I know where to look in the packaging how the plastic bag is taped inside the square tube. Not there on the original wheel so I feel completely justified in substituting a different bolt.. I'm also able to confirm that the one I substituted was pretty much identical except that it wasn't hex head.

    I continue to discuss this situation with support, because I continue to contest that this isn't all ok, I don't like being told something is "normal" by support when I have told them 3 times that it's not, and I don't like being out hundreds of dollars.

    K
     
  9. Zipperface

    Zipperface (Banned)

    Messages:
    215
    What are you doing? You wonder why the wheel spins like crazy while you dont even have plugged the wheel into console and already started a game, then plugging it in and switching modes and pressing randomly buttons?

    Plugin the wheel, turn on your console, turn on your wheel.
    Navigate with wheel and start your game.

    Dont do stupid things like in your video shown, like turn on the wheel when its not even plugged in, switching modes while ingame.......

    :banghead: :lol::lol::lol:
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2019
  10. LowBall

    LowBall

    Messages:
    9
    I, too, would like to see what happens when the wheelbase is turned on in Xbox mode after powering up the console. There's a lot going on in that video when you should just have to push the power button for the console and the power button for the wheelbase.
     
  11. DomB_Fanatec

    DomB_Fanatec

    Messages:
    311
    @KeiferH

    Starting up a force feedback controller, plugging in an active force feedback controller, or switching platform modes while a game is already running, is not a recommended procedure. On some platforms, USB controllers will simply not work if you launch things in this order, and that limitation certainly isn't unique to Fanatec hardware. Unfortunately in this case, performing this type of startup triggered a bug in Forza which causes this rotational movement on controller detection. This particular bug is unique to Forza and has been reported to the developers several times.

    I recommend that when you wish to use your Fanatec hardware on Xbox, that you start up the base, and ensure it is in Xbox mode (it should automatically start in Xbox mode if it was last shutdown in this mode) before launching a driving game.

    Switching from S_1 to S_2 should not have made any difference if you booted the base for the first time, because S_1 through to S_5 would have the same default Tuning Menu settings.
     
  12. KeiferH

    KeiferH

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    United States
    I completely accept what you are saying about starting order, however the reason this happened is due to the settings that were remembered with S_2.. that triggered this same oscillation that trashed the first wheel. Support has told me this is a combo of DRIFT and Sensitivity I think. The second wheel is now cracked. All that aside, bug in Forza or not, if the wheel base is capable of breaking the wheel mount then this is a manufacturing issue.. not a Forza issue. It is not strong enough. I've been hammering on a CSR unit for 8 years with no issues, and I have 2 broken CSL mounts in the span of 8 days.

    K