MIDDLETOWN, RI -- I purchased a TracVision model R4SL, serial # 090601204, from Hodges Marine Electronics of Tampa, Fl. on June 23, 2009. I installed it on my motor home using your easy to follow and complete “Installation Guide” provided with
the unit. I had no trouble with the installation and connected it up to my Direct TV receiver. After double checking everything, I turn it on and heard the TracVision moving. After 15 minutes of listening to it move back and forth, up and down, I shut it off and called the KVH Technical Service group. I received a call back in a few hours and
after explaining all of the above, I was told I had to have the unit reprogrammed.
The service tech gave me the name and phone number of the nearest KVH dealer. After explaining all of the above again to Jeff of Sound and Video Solutions, Macon, Georgia, I made an appointment to have them reprogram the unit. I drove my motor home 110 miles to Macon. Sound and Video Solutions plugged their computer into the data
port and after a few key strokes, and less than 10 minutes, lo and behold it worked. This is where the problem started. Sound and Video Solutions gave me a bill for $150.00.
When I questioned why this wasn't covered by warranty, I was told if I installed the unit myself, the warranty did not cover reprogramming and because I bought the unit over the internet, my warranty was no good anyway. He also told me that my unit was a 2009 model, but the software was 2 years old. He said he could update the software for an additional charge. WHAT GOES???? KVH own people told me it had to be reprogrammed. I would have fully expected a charge if the installation was incorrect and had to be fixed; however, there was absolutely nothing wrong with the installation.
KVH people told me it had to be reprogrammed, but never said anything about not being cover by the warranty. Neither did Sound and Video Solutions until after they had it working and gave me the bill. I reluctantly paid the bill and called the KVH Tech Support back complaining about being charged for reprogramming. This time I was told the same story, self installations are not covered. If indeed this is KVH's company's policy, why do they include a detailed installation guide, even including what tools you need to complete the installation? Why is there no mention of this in your warranty?
Why didn't the Tech Support people tell me it wouldn't be covered by the warranty the first time? I believe I should get a refund from KVH for the $150.00 I paid to fix a company caused problem. Surely you don't ship units requiring reprogramming before they can be used. I use my motor home frequently and talk with a lot of RV'ers. I would much prefer to tell people how good my unit is and how cooperative the KVH people are rather than how I got screwed. I sent a letter to the President of KVH a month ago and haven'y heard anything from them. Apparently KVH doesn't care about customer satisfaction.
MIDDLETOWN, RHODE ISLAND -- I purchased a KVH - R5SL and installed it myself. It worked fine for 23 months and then went out. Still under warranty I took my motor home to Premiere RV in Scott, Louisiana an authorized KVH service shop. They removed the defective board and shipped it to KVH so they could verify the defective board. At this time the warranty only covers parts. KVH sent the part back to Premiere RV after about three weeks. So back to Scott, La. some 80 miles from me. They installed the part in 10 to 15 min. and presented me the bill $774.57 labor. KVH did not replace the circuit board; they replaced a bad component on the board for $434.00 labor.
The circuit board used to sale for about $250.00. I paid $1,054.99 for this unit from PPL. Maybe I am not looking at this in the right way. So I read KVH's Mission statement. I cannot find anything in their Mission statement that would represent this kind of service. KVH's warranty procedure does not allow the consumer to know what the repair bill will be until the job is done and repairing circuit board that most electronic manufactures would replace the board. I think they are saying "please do not buy any more of KVH's products."
Premiere RV charged $258.00 labor 2 hours at $129.00 per hour. One-hour diagnostics and one-hour labor, $7.74 shop supplies, $18.85 freight and $55.98 sales tax.
MIDDLETOWN, RHODE ISLAND -- Due to bad information from KVH Industries my life has been altered forever. In August of 2000 I was looking for a way to work from an Recreational Vehicle (RV). I was at an Rv dealer and ran across a KVH brochure that mentioned their satellite dome receiving Internet transmissions. I called KVH, asked for someone in the technical department and was put in touch with James **, the Regional Sales Manager for Land Mobile. I told him that I was interested in buying an RV and working via the Internet and needed a system to link me up with my Corporate office.
He assured me that the new Hughes DirecWay 2 way satellite Internet system was imminent and was awaiting FCC approval and that the system should be up and running around March of 2001. He also assured me that a KVH Tracvision system would be coming out and he could sell me a demo model directly (not through their distributors) if I kept didn't openly discuss it with any dealers.
I went to my employer armed with that information and he agreed to let me work from the road. Within the next 6 months my life changed forever based on the information I got from an employee of KVH. I trusted James **. Within 30 days I had purchase a $45,000 RV and traded my 2 vehicles in on a 2001 Ford truck to pull it. A month after that I made a legally binding agreement to rent my home for 2 years. Within 4 months I had sold nearly everything I own. We only kept some of our clothes and our artwork. I spent another $15,000 outfitting the RV and truck.
I ordered a "special" version of the Tracvision system direcely from James ** which he code named "unknown" and paid for it with my Visa. I paid $2200 + $100 in shipping for a unit that ended up doing no more than their $1500 television system. He sent it to his plant for production. It had a special module that would allow us to reprogram it to find the new Hughes satellite and Internet service. He was going to ship it to Denver and I was to find a KVH installer in my area. I talked to a local dealer and when I told him what I was trying to do he told me that was ridiculous.
Within 10 minutes I got a call at work from Robert **, the national Sales Manager for Land Mobile systems for KVH. He told me the dealer had called me and told me that James ** was just a salesman and worked for him and what he had told me was wrong. Can you imagine how that felt? My home was rented out for 2 years - I had invested approximately $90,000 and I wouldn't even be able to work.
I called James ** and he assured me that he worked directly for the President of KVH and that even though Robert ** had the title of Sales Manager he was only a salesman and had no idea what was technically going on
behind the scenes. I became suspicious and started recording my conversations with James and keeping my emails from him but I really had no choice now but to believe him.
So in March of 2001, my wife and I took off waiting for the delayed Hughes satellite system. I went to Salt Lake City and installed the software I wrote in one of the company stores and then headed to Seattle where we had several more stores. Each store had high speed Internet so I could use their connection to work on the other stores. I had to commute 2 to 2-1/2 hours to get to those stores from the Coast to Coast RV parks (paid $3600 for that) where we could stay for $6.00 per night instead of $30 - $40 for public RV parks closer to Seattle. Finally, we got tired of that and purchased a home in Washington and I work via AT&T at home broadband Internet.
For sake of brevity, I will keep the rest short - we got one delay after another from James **. I have a copies of my emails from him and the 2 way system was permanently put on hold and a new "cell phone" return version would be out in March of 2002 but we no longer believed in James ** or KVH. In February we finally pulled our RV back to where we bought it in Mesa Arizona and left it for them to sell for us. We also traded our truck on a car. The ordeal has probably cost us $25,000 in losses.
It appears, but hasn't happened yet, that I will be getting a full refund. The Customer Service Manager arranged for the unit to be removed from my RV in Arizona, and it has been shipped back - upon receipt at KVH I am supposed to get a refund.
The company has resolved the problem with a full refund to the customer.