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Thread: Humminbird/Minn Kota rant

  1. #1
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    Default Humminbird/Minn Kota rant

    This may be the wrong forum for this but my disgust has gotten the best of me. It will probably sound like a lot of whining to many of you, but this is something very frustrating to me and feel there could be some major improvement in communication and customer satisfaction with these 2 companies. I've been trying to figure out the best way to equip my boat for the future. I saved for quite some time to be able to purchase a new Ulterra. Had to purchase a transducer mount from Cornfield to run my DI unit. Not knocking the mount. It works OK but still have tangles with the coils from time to time but it does its job. My point is that very shortly after I make what is to me a very expensive purchase, Minn Kota comes out with a built in Mega transducer which would have eliminated the need for the mount as I was seriously considering a new FF to network with the HB899 on the console. If they had announced that they were working on the transducer swap I could have held off my purchase and been able to purchase the motor and a new mega unit that were completely compatible. I feel this is absolutely intentional on Johnson Outdoors part. They could put some research into upgrading the transducer in the existing TM's to accept the new transducers but that cuts down on selling brand new motors to those of us who can afford a new TM every couple of years or less just to get the functionality afforded by the newer units. I truly believe that coming up with an upgraded transducer for existing motors would be a fairly simple development that would benefit a great many of us. It would also go a long way toward customer satisfaction towards these products. I enjoy my Ulterra. It does what it is supposed to do. However it could be greatly improved with a simple upgrade. I am hoping that someone with some sort of pull will see this and push for this improvement. Thanks for letting me vent.
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  2. #2
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    I'm with you n this one JDnni bought the Mega 10 helix and it's Not ungradable with new parts either....
    Ranger boats
    Perotti pro holders
    Avery outdoors superstore
    Thanks Redge, grumpy k thanked you for this post

  3. #3
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    I agree that they should make announcements at least 180 days in advance, 6 month out they are well into production and any serious competitor is most likely well aware of whats coming and if they are not there not going to do much in that amount of time.

    As for upgrading the older units with the new parts as nice as that sounds and would personally benefit myself I understand that with the 100's of millions of $$$ invested the manufactures just can't go down that road and still keep their stockholders happy.

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    First, I'm not just trying to stir the pot here, only present another perspective. I don't believe it's just about stockholders and trying to squeeze everything they can out of you, and I'm only speculating here, but another consideration is that the research and development required to upgrade an existing product vs. replacing it with a new model (if it's even possible, i.e. new ic chips, etc. which would void warranties and is WAY beyond the scope of most people's skill set) could potentially cost so much and increase the time to market so much more that it would price the already expensive units so far out of reach of the average fisherman as to make it not feasible. Couple that with the fact that they now have to employ many more people to support walking someone through an upgrade who isn't that tech savvy to begin with. Again, you're building more cost into the original purchase price of the unit. Then, if someone does something wrong and messes up the unit they're coming on every forum talking about how bad these units are and then the company's reputation is damaged because someone doesn't know how to place a 300 pin IC into a socket without bending a pin (which can be very difficult).
    Another question you might ask yourself, "am I willing to void my warranty on my trolling motor to upgrade the transducer"? I assume (I don't have an Ultera) that you'd have to crack open the motor casing to get the integrated transducer out and upgrade it with new crystals or whatever, or even a new transducer; is Humminbird then responsible if you don't get the seal exactly right and water gets in and shorts out the motor? Then, (not you but someone) will come on a forum and start bashing the product because the motor fails.
    My point is while I agree that things that are a software upgrade only should be user upgradable, but with physical parts and pieces, the liability to the company and to the user outweighs the relatively cost savings. If the company had to shoulder that burden, your Ultera would have cost 3Xs what it does now.
    All that being said, I too would prefer to be able to upgrade in place rather than buy new, I'm just trying to see it from all angles.
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    I agree with you in part. However if your 2D transducer fails under warranty, is that a replaceable part? Do they just trash an entire motor? Doubtful. I believe they could and do replace the transducer. So I can't see why they could not replace it with a Mega plus transducer if there was one . Not an engineer but it seems plausible to me. Out of warranty they are not responsible no matter why the unit leaks and is on you. Agreed there are some out there that will blame the company no matter what happens, I just don't see this as a very large challenge considering the sheer number of customers that could benefit. Even if it was a dealership only item I feel it could be an option.
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    In terms of replacing the the transducer with a different transducer, as long as the fit is exactly the same and doesn't require structural alteration or other changes, I don't disagree that perhaps they could/should be able to have a customer send the trolling motor in and have it retrofitted (barring, of course, any other limiting factors that we aren't aware of like the mega is 2mm wider than the original to prevent standing wave frequency interference or something like that). I was primarily speaking in gross generalizations about taking the question a step or two deeper to see that while it would be nice to be able to just upgrade some of this stuff ourselves, there may be aspects of upgrading that we don't always look at past "they just want to sell us the new version of the product". I really believe that're more interested in providing a quality product at a price point, and making users happy with it than just trying to make as much money off of us as they can. Personally, my experience with Humminbird's customer service has been fantastic. I only have one complaint about it and it's a purely selfish one, and that's I wish customer service was available on the weekends.

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    I'll just have to agree to disagree. I truly believe that some of these upgrades could be accomplished if they made it a priority. Especially the mechanical over the software based upgrades. If I could get my hands on a junk motor I would love to open it up and see what makes it so difficult. The new transducer wouldn't necessarily have to go inside the housing just need to get the cable up through the shaft and properly seal the unit. The transducer itself could mount just like any other TM transducer. I am not very tech savvy but know there are people out there that understand the phrase "Get it Done". If Johnson said and meant this to their engineering/software staff I'm sure we would see some upgrades. If you don't believe me, take a look at the movie Apollo 13. Really shows what can be done if you have to. I think sometimes the word "can't" is substituted for the word "won't" in far to many instances. Like I said, just my opinion.

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    Having HAD to buy a Mega transducer equipped T/M just to get I link very disappointed with Minn Kota. They forced me into buying something that I didn't need. If I connect the transducer to my Helix I will loose SI. So now I am forced to get another screen only with DI. When they could have a unit that has I link only. As far as up grading I tend to think I will use my new T/M for some time to come just like my cell phone and PC.

    Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
    dave
    in currituck

  9. #9
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    How do you think us Lowrance users feel? They could have developed one that is Lowrance compatible and make that many more sales.

  10. #10
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    Everything you buy as soon as you buy is outdated. Stereos, phones, computers and all levels of consumers goods are constantly updated. Surely this is not the first time you have seen this.

    You buy a FF they come out with Mega the next year, You buy a car they come out with a new feature the next year. New TV? Now they came out with 4K right after you buy a new one, etc, etc, etc. Companies have no obligation to announce their intentions to better their products. If you feel the need to have the latest and greatest, then pony up the bucks. Or do like me, I was content and happy when I bought my current product, the fact that there is something newer and greater does not motivate me to get the new product
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