Now That is Customer Service: Kubota Review  -- Kubota Tractors Discussion Forum and Review Now That is Customer Service: Kubota Review -- Kubota Tractors Discussion Forum

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 12-10-2001, 19:18 Post: 33729
cutter



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The Kubota factory rep. just inspected my 2910 here at home. He saw the problem with the loader mounting frame and said they would do whatever I wanted to make me a happy customer. I couldn\'t be happier, with treatment like that, it makes me want to work with them. Who says customer service is dead, it just happens to be dressed in orange today.






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 12-11-2001, 06:58 Post: 33740
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That does sound like a good result. I'm not sure that the idea of designing and manufacturing something to standards and fixing any screw-ups quite falls under my traditional idea of customer service. But I go with the times and try not to complain if I get a good result.






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 12-11-2001, 09:02 Post: 33744
Art White



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Cutter, I'm glad you are getting some results that are in line with what you expect. That is the way it's supposed to be.






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 12-11-2001, 17:58 Post: 33751
cutter



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I agree the stuff should be right when it leaves the factory, but that is not the case anymore. This is a QC problem with an attachment that could have been easily overlooked (and was). There was an obvious misalignment of parts in the jig before the welding process that was not detected. I am finding out the hard way that today's QC (or lack thereof), is left more and more up to the customer to deal with. The dealer is the deciding factor here for most of my purchases these days, as long as the price is within reason. My dealer has done a good job so far, and the tractor really is a gem. I have to admit, the Kubota rep. is much better than I expected as well.






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 12-12-2001, 06:19 Post: 33760
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I suspect that serious quality control would be very expensive. There’s a good chance that manufacturers find it more profitable to reduce quality control and beef-up the dealer and rep customer service to fix up what the QC misses. The only trouble with the idea is that some customers then experience the problems and spend their time and aggravation dealing with them, and the tractor is out of service.

From an economist's perspective, time, aggravation and downtime should be valued and added to the selling price. Some people would end up with really expensive machines. This seems to be the case around here where it's over an hour to any auto dealer. Some people seem to spend half their lives taking their new trucks to the dealer. If this way of thinking is true, then a big chunk of 'Customer Service' is really 'Manufacturer Service.' It's just a way of shifting part of a cost of doing business (QC) to the customer.

The ‘up-side’ of this way of thinking is that everybody gets something--generally true in economics. By holding down the selling price, the market is much bigger. Not many people can afford serious industrial quality equipment for other than commercial purposes. When I was growing up, only farmers had tractors, and then only because they had to have them. Now, a tractor is within the recreational budgets of many people--myself included. I suppose I could thank 'customer service' for my tractor, because if the selling price contained allowances for super QC, external economic factors and a bunch of other things, then I probably wouldn't have a tractor. I suppose I really should thank all the people who have experienced defects in their new tractors. This customer service approach does sort of turn buying new equipment into a 'crap-shoot.' The people who have problems are paying the bill for the rest of us. So thanks.






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 12-12-2001, 09:33 Post: 33764
Peters

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I guess I would disagree with Tom, to a certain extent. Mainly with the term traditional. Unfortunately in this country we have had manufactures that traditionally dumped poorly engineered or defective goods on the public to determine the problems. It was not that many years ago that we, mechanically inclined people, would not think of buying a new car it its first model year. Big brother auto manufacturer, dumped a car called X onto the market with a transaxel that fell apart. They patched for a number of years and finally had something that held together. Naturally they did not fix the fundimental design flaws, but proceeded to manufacture it into a large percentage of their cars.
The new approach to quality manufacturing, has us expecting thing manufacture correctly and right the first time. Much of this realignment of perception is the result of the Japanese auto and electronic manufacturers.






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 12-12-2001, 10:40 Post: 33766
Art White



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I don't believe that there are to many factories that can turn out 100% work and have it mass produced for the general public. There are always exceptions and you have the extremes of pluses and minus and what ever is made. There are only a few things that get close to perfect but 100%, I don't think so!!! Kubota tractors have a excellent record for being right out of the box and I don't find that to often in todays world. Of coarse I did drop myself from this rating, only to keep it fair for the rest of you.






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 12-12-2001, 18:54 Post: 33777
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The bottom line is the bottom line, so to speak. Today's manufacturers have to produce a product that performs well and costs less to stay in business. Most folks aren't willing to pay a premium price for quality and service, I am in the minority and will. My view on QC and product durability is that I will pay extra for the best, but if it does not do what it is supposed to, you had better be delivering one that does, post haste, to my door. Unfortunately, the tractor market is pretty level when comparing major brands. I think one is a bit better regarding customer service and overall quality control, but that is my opinion after owning several brands. Now when we look at a market such as automobiles, the volume is there to permit several high end choices. Some the average person can afford, some he can't. If there were a compact tractor with circles on the hood, I would choose it over the others, even if it meant waiting longer to purchase one. Or perhaps, I would buy a used one. These types of things generally prove themselves to be more cost effective in the long run, it's the initial outlay of cash that most folks balk at. The purchases I have regretted making in my life can be attributed to trying to save a buck, for the most part. Now when I shop, I go for the high end. The sad part is, "high end" is now being rated on a "curve" shall we say, when it comes to many products. So if we have four brands and "w" has fewer problems than x,y, and z it is a higer end product held to a lower standard than like products in the past. It's a shame.






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 12-12-2001, 23:06 Post: 33787
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I guess I am always looking for the best value in what every I buy. I find the highest end products to often be over rated. I am to willing to pay for hipe. Badge engineering does not appeal to me. Every corporation has is own corparately way of engineering a product. A GM product is a GM product. A Nissan is a Nissan. A Toyota is a Toyota. Each has its deficienies despite the greater attention to execution in the higher priced divisions.
The parts buyers in the manufacturing companies are not willing to pay for the highest quality therefore we can not buy the highest quality. Even the high end manufactuers will not pay for additional quality that the average customer can not percieve.
For example a cellular phone lens could be hard coated to protect the lense from scratching, but the average customer does not percieve that his lense is scratched the first time he cleans it therefore the manufacture is not willing to put an extra 25 cents into the lens. The same applies to laptop screens.
In the aerospace industry the standards are set very high. I did some contract work for Hughes when they were trying to enter the consumer electronic market. With their design and tooling we were to make lens for a GPS/cell phone. Their quality people from the areospace industry did not understand the concept of price/quality threshold. They drove themselves out the door with their rejection of anything but perfect product and I assume out of that business.






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 12-13-2001, 07:40 Post: 33793
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Yes, I remember Pintos and Vegas too, and also new cars where the trim etc. were falling off even before delivery. QC, or lack of it isn't new, and I actually think the modern version probably is a pretty good compromise for many people--even if some people do get stuck absorbing some time and aggravation.

Contractors who may be exposed to performance penalties if equipment goes down might differ. I understand that attitude from my 10-years of having a sideline sound & lighting company. To stay in the live-events business, you have to make show time and you can't have technical failures during shows. The equipment that has adequate sound quality for rooms larger than a living room and is almost completely reliable is also insanely expensive. It is expensive because of what it does and because of the expense; it has no mass-market, and that makes it even more expensive. Virtually nobody has this stuff unless they use it to make money.

I think of tractors as somewhere in between fully profession or commercial and consumer equipment. Mostly it's because the results of downtime for a tractor aren't usually catastrophic. It might seem like the end of the world if a tractor goes down while haying during a wet summer, but it's not like losing everything because your company blew some promoter's big show (I never lost a show myself). I think tractors mostly operate in less demanding environments, and manufacturers can hold down prices by accepting somewhat less stringent standards. As I said, I'm just happy to have my tractor, and I believe I can thank current QC/marketing strategy for making it possible. On the other hand, I never would have had my sound equipment for my own use--not even close. It was pretty spectacular the times I did set some up in my living room though.






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