dworkin avatar image
dworkin asked

Do Victron Community and Victron dealers equal proper tech support?

In a rapidly changing technology with new equipment entering the market every other day surely some form of qualified tech support is vital?

Victron, as far as I have discovered, relies on the generosity of existing customer, who are not necessarily expert, or its dealer network who are of widely varying knowledge and who's primary concerrn is to sell equipment.

Other than the stalwart efforts of the Victron Community Manager there seems to be no way that reasonably critical questions can expect expert response in a reasonable time frame.

Am I missing some further level of support escalation or should I just stick the wires where I think they should go and hope I'm not going to blow things up and presumably void my warranty?

victron products
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7 Answers
bpsshb avatar image
bpsshb answered ·

I agree that tech support is poor, I have a question that can't be answered by my dealer. I have posted on here (the community), no answer. I have emailed Victron directly, 2 weeks & no response. I have left messages for their regional sales manager, I got a text saying contact my dealer!!! I managed to contact another sales manager by phone & got half an answer, possibly, maybe.

Premium products, budget service..

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ben avatar image
ben answered ·

Your choices for help, outside of your own efforts, are:

1) Find and work with a good dealer who is knowledgeable.

2) Leverage the community here.

3) Follow the instructions on the support page and fill out the form to request support, if you are not sure about (1).

Hint: option 1 is the one that gives you the best outcome, usually.

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dworkin avatar image dworkin commented ·

Hey, Ben what's that you say, a ' form to request support' - gimme, gimme, how do you get to it? Hint - anything I've found suggests 1. the community and 2. the dealer network. No mention of support escalation beyond 1. or 2.

Tell me more, please! So far the only info about my problem I chanced upon was on the website of a Swedish dealer who kindly included English language versions.

As to your hint re. 'best outcome' it has the slightly annoying problem that you first have to find and identify a 'knowledgeable dealer', no easy task, in fact a method of identification is beyond me unless of course I'm willing to buy endless Blue boxes just to check out the skill set of various dealers. Seems to me that that is the responsibility of Victron.

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ben avatar image ben ♦ dworkin commented ·

It's linked off the main (/support) web page.

Your arguments are not unreasonable, but there is a counterargument as well: if Victron were to provide the kind of amazing support you are suggesting, it would cost. All of us. Simply look at how many hundreds of questions on this new community are basic installation questions ("what wire do I put in what place"). Even triaging those via some kind of ticket system would be an expensive endeavor.

Some may prefer that the cost of the "endless blue boxes" be kept as low as possible.

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dwmarine avatar image
dwmarine answered ·

Just stick the wires in any connector and hope for the best!

There are two Victron dealers in our country, and our regular dealer profoundly declares that the other dealer is too expensive.

Our dealers special prices are very close to the retail prices of the opposition

Our dealer's tech calls us at times to ask us questions.

Most of the local installers have a great knowledge of Victron equipment, better than most people who sell it.

Totally agree with your post

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dworkin avatar image dworkin commented ·

'Stick the wires in and hope for the best.' Probably not the best idea if you read the trouble-shooting section for my SS MPPT. It offers the following sage advice:

Problem - Charger does not function

Possible cause - Reverse battery connection

Solution - Non replaceable fuse blown. Return to VE for repair.

Given the habit in the UK of dealers sending out all cables in black, the chances of wiring the damn thing back to front are likely around 10%.

Now I'm not exactly an electonics genius but I do know that there are ways to protect against reverse polarity of supply.

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JohnC avatar image
JohnC answered ·

I'll answer this as an *end user*, and happy Victron client.

Guy's guidelines may explain a lot:

There's links in there to the more serious support channels, and I'm not sure that Victron can actually do much more to improve on it. But by all means suggest away..

I'm probably lucky that there are numerous Victron dealers in my country (Australia), but I'm still quite remote and haven't even met my preferred one. Just emails for ordering issues and 'sharpened prices' for kit already on order. I like those.. :)

As a regular contributor here, I've occasionally had email contact from Victron staffers to clarify the odd thing. Nothing serious, but these posts are all looked at.

And then I see posters falsify their email address to stay anonymous. Victron try to contact them, but can't.

What more can be done?

And there's nobody on this wide earth who knows 'all' about Victron products and the often weird things expected of them. Even Matthijs, the head honcho, who'll often answer a query with "I'll check and get back to you". Not many global CEO's bother speaking directly with and listening to their customers, and I remain impressed by that.

Perhaps I've too much faith, but it's ok at my end..

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wildebus avatar image wildebus commented ·

Well, I'm not in Australia, but apart from that bit, I would echo pretty well what you say :)

(The bit about a user refusing to provide an email address on which you can be contacted is amazing! How hard can it be just to get a temporary one for the purposes of a specific conversation on a specific issue and once done, bin it if someone is that paranoid about it?)

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seltsam avatar image
seltsam answered ·

I totally agree, the support is terrible / non-existing. If I new about

1.) The terrible state their software is in

2.) The lack of proper support

I wouldn't have bought a product from victron. And I most certainly won't again.

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Shane Granger avatar image
Shane Granger answered ·

This post goes right to the heart of a problem Victron must address in a very serious manner. I have posted questions only to get either no response or "check your connections". What to look for and do after that is still a mystery. I'm speculating that Victron is a 'TECH" oriented company with some very savvy techies involved, but are weak in their customer relations and support strategies. I reciently proposed an interactive system which would solve many of the questions users and potential clients have - before they arise - only to be told it would be to difficult. Actually any competent web designer could build a very elegant solution, if the techies provided them with the information. My wife, who has been designing major communications campaigns for ages, could do it quickly enough using her back end team. I think it boils down to a question of corporate vision and the willingness to say " We have a problem. Lets fix it.".

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ben avatar image ben ♦ commented ·

That sounds pretty amazing. Why haven't any of the other manufacturers made something like that, if it's so straightforward?

I think it's probably a lot harder than you think, and it introduces a whole new set of challenges for a company that deploys it as a pre-sales design tool.

If it were easy, it seems like that one of the dozen other vendors would have done it already.

I'm not here to make apologies for Victron: they could always do more. But I am skeptical of your proposal, and more generally of how simple -- or not -- it might be to offer unpaid, one-off support for individuals trying to learn how to design power systems.

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jasontav avatar image
jasontav answered ·

Personally, I think support is different to system design. Lots of system design questions posted on here by many people, lots of questions that are not Victron specific too, but with experience of electrics/electronics you should know the answer to.

Maybe the entry requirements to this forum should be an understanding (or at least awareness ;)) of Ohms and Watts law......

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