View Full Version : JOBO Repair Hostage Taking

Michael Kadillak
26-Jul-2004, 22:41
After five years of pretty heavy use, my CPP2 finally needed to go back to JOBO for a repair inspection. Upon contacting the service tech today, he advised me on removing the power/motor unit from the base unit and then told me that they are a bit behind to the tune of five weeks currently but would give it a trouble shooting inspection on a best effort basis for $55. What really chapped my ass was the way he brought to my attention a "professional" expedited service that would get my unit looked at no more than 10 days upon its receipt for an additional $75.

As a small business owner I was rather shocked with this attitude simply because if the workload is real, whats wrong with the good old business model of just hiring another tech or two to respond to customer demand and prevent ALL customers from excessively waiting. IMHO it has nothing to do with professionalism more than it has to do with the almightly dollar. Any real JOBO user is dead in the water without their unit and would (probably) fork over the $75. The guy that is willing to wait could be regularly getting trumped by the way that they prioritize their service department without even knowing about it.

I have another JOBO unit to use in the interim, but I wanted to see if anyone else is running into a similar situation and what we could collectively do about it. JOBO is one of the companies that I felt was on their A game, but this is a set back as far as I am concerned.


Paul Kierstead
26-Jul-2004, 22:49
With the market practically being flooded with used units on the cheap, and sales in general probably dropping like a rock, I would be surprised if you could get it serviced at all in the next few years.

One can only hope that a "botique" manufacturer can make a comparable unit. With the things available to small manufacturers now, they could probably do it not much more then the cost of a new Jobo unit (and a lot better control panel). In reality they are not terribly well constructed for their cost and are actually very simple devices.

John Cook
27-Jul-2004, 03:46
I have a Jobo RC print dryer which failed after fewer than fifty 11x14 prints run through it. When I contacted Jobo about sending it to them for repair they told me that the model was recently discontinued and that they had no parts. They suggested I shell out an additional twelve hundred dollars to purchase the current model.

I have fifty Kodak stainless dental clips for air-drying RC prints (as well as sheet film) and several Nikor stainless film tanks. All have been in daily commercial service since I purchased them in 1967. Still work as well as the day I brought them home new from Pan Pacific Camera on La Brea in LA. Even during power failures.

Call me an old duffer (or worse) if you like. But there is nothing quite like low-tech to simplify your life...

I wish you well.

John D Gerndt
27-Jul-2004, 06:42
I like you Michael, am miffed at all the things that cannot be (or will not be) reapired due to business reasons. SO much stuff ends up in the dump that could see more years of service if only they could be serviced!

As to the business end of JOBO, extra money to make the priority list for repair is like paying for a good seat at the ball game. It never has been a matter of first come first served.

To the good, all those people with cash and no skill (who cannot make any repairs) send a lot of stuff to the used market for cheap and we who have smarts and some time might get it back into service!

Cheers, from the land of the bottom feeders,

John Cook
27-Jul-2004, 08:14
Allow me to further illustrate my advocacy for the simple life with my famous lawn care analogy. I have three options in caring for my large suburban lawn:

Option 1: I can get out my late father’s manual, non-motorized, reel-type, clickety-clack lawn mower from the 1940's and push my guts out for eight hours all day Saturday cutting the lawn. Won’t cost me a cent. I’ll get plenty of fresh air and exercise and develop a nice healthy-looking summer tan.

Option 2: I can get a job making french fries at the local McDonald’s for four hours each Saturday morning. The pay will be enable me to afford a nice new John Deere lawn tractor, a shed to store it and the cost of periodic dealer maintenance visits. With that tractor, I can gleefully whiz through the lawn chores in only four hours.

Option 3: I can make french fries for eight hours all day Saturday, take the money and hire a landscaper to completely maintain the lawn for me.

Summary: With all three options, lawn care will take eight hours per week of my time, directly or indirectly.

Of course, with option 3 my cardiologist will scold me for not getting enough exercise. I will need to pay an additional thousand dollars for a health club membership where I will spend another eight hours per week pushing on a pipe instead of on my father’s lawnmower. And I will also have to pay a tanning salon to make me look like my dad looked in July.

The neighbors will all envy me because I am wealthy enough to have a gardener, belong to a health club, and have a weekly visit to an exclusive tanning salon. But I will be frantically multitasking, working myself into an early grave in order to keep up the payments on very expensive things my dad got for free and took for granted.

Still can’t believe he lived to be eighty without ever having a cell phone nor personal water bottle.

d burdeny
27-Jul-2004, 10:04
The cog speed dial on my cpp-2 craped out last week so I contacted jobo about having it serviced. I received the same “it will be 5 weeks” email from jobo just last week. I live in Canada and sending it to the USA a major pain in the ass, so I had a local camera repair shop take a look at it. They got it running again in two days for $48.00.

27-Jul-2004, 12:06
Does this place fix other Jobo items? I've got an analyzer I wouldn't mind getting fixed without sending it off to Europe on a hope. Where in Canada?

d burdeny
27-Jul-2004, 14:33
It's Camtex in Vancouver BC. (support@camtexgroup.com) Now having said that they aren’t a Jobo repair shop per-se but they did offer to jury-rig a repair for me.

27-Jul-2004, 15:07
look--not to defend jobo or anything--but this isn't really so bad. neither the 5 week wait nor the expedited pro fee. they're mostly hobbyist type machines really, to get 5 yrs out of one seems pretty good considering the way they're constructed.

I work with a couple of different automatic processors on a daily basis. First thing you need to realize is that they ALL break down sooner or later. If you depend on them on for work, then you're asking for trouble if you don't have some form of backup either in the way of a service contract or a repair vendor or even a second machine waiting in the wings.

On our roller transport print processor, we carry an annual service contract that includes unlimited spare parts, unlimited free phone support and 2 free service visits. The fee for this is close to $2000 a year. It doesn't matter if we use it or not--year in & out it stays the same. We've had it for about ten years now--could have bought about 2 of these processors, and probably built another 2 with all the spare parts. It's like an insurance policy really. Without the contract, you can easily exceed half if not more of the cost within ONE service call. You have to pay a base fee, plus all the travel time from only a couple of cities in the US, plus the labor, plus the parts. If you needed a major overhaul, I expect it would exceed this fee. What about phone support? None--you have to pay a minimum fee of around 45 bucks then pay a time fee on top of that. You wouldn't be able to call them and get any help without paying for it. Not even for the simplest thing, you wouldn't get past "hello" without paying for it. Even with the contract, it's like pulling teeth sometimes to get the parts and support. I can remember waiting over 6 weeks once for a set of rollers. You pay 2 grand a year, and have to wait that long. But you have no choice because nobody else will work on the machines or supply the parts.

Alot of people will respond as above-- fix it yourself. Well, easier said than done with most processors. The parts are often available only from the manufacturers and are often tooled in such a way that it's almost impossible to retrofit something off another unit. If not--often they're similar to what you might be able to dig up in a well supplied plumbing shop or a mechanical supply house--BUT--they're often built into the processor bodies in these weird ways requiring some half-assed "specialized" tools to get at. Heaven forbid there be a problem with the electronics. With a little ingenuity you can get by--but basically the problem is that you'll probably only be able to get the parts from one vendor. It's not impossible to make something work, but you have to be mechanically inclined. It's compounded by these little plastic tabletop models that have the parts molded into the body.

You pay a priority price for the contracts, but this moves you to the front of the line. The whole point is to keep your workflow going. It saves you in the downtime. When I call in a problem with the company we deal with--I expect it to be dealt with ASAP. Usually we get the parts Fedex'd overnight. If a visit has to be made, it's done asap as well. If not--we get hot about it. We're paying for this service.

BTW--we use a wing lynch processor as well (the "other" tube processor). The great thing about the WL is that there are so many independent shops that will service them. Most of the folks that work on Hope or Kreonite processors will service a WL. There's very little that can go wrong with these machines and most of the repairs you can do yourself. Our service guy usually walks us through the repairs on the phone for free. He'll tell us where to get the parts ourselves if that's possible. There are other companies like this as well--Mohr is one that comes to mind. If you have a contract with them, and a machine goes down--they'll Fedex a loaner while the other is being worked on.

The only service dealings I've had with jobo was in getting a roller once for an RC Jet dryer. They hadn't made these machines for several years, but still stocked the parts. I found them to be very helpful, even though the part cost me $150 and then wore out a few years later. This didn't surprise me much though, in comparison to these other processors. I pretty much expect them to break down eventually. As always--my opinions only/not my employers.

tim o'brien
27-Jul-2004, 15:43
"I have another JOBO unit to use in the interim, but I wanted to see if anyone else is running into a similar situation and what we could collectively do about it. JOBO is one of the companies that I felt was on their A game, but this is a set back as far as I am concerned."

On their 'A' game? My local well known photo shop has been waiting months for deliveries of simple things like 2500 series tanks. When I heard that, I decided 'used' JOBO is the way to go. While I would gladly fork over 60 bucks for a new tank, I now will gladly fork over 25 bucks for the same thing and it's no worse for wear.

tim, building a JOBO system from scratch, in san jose

27-Jul-2004, 16:05
Vancouver is almost farther away then Europe-)

Is this why some of the used 2500 tanks having been selling for more lately? They're out of stock new?

d burdeny
27-Jul-2004, 17:12
Vancouver is almost farther away then Europe-)

Only if you live in Toronto

james johnson
29-Jul-2004, 20:15
Michael, if they had told you up front that the repair would be $130.00, but they would discount it to $55.00 if you didn't mind waiting 5 weeks, wouldn't it have been more palatable? Sometimes I wonder about the marketing strategies of these companies.

Michael Kadillak
29-Jul-2004, 20:24
That might be a bit easier to swallow, but they do not want the commitment of the time it takes to arrive at the cost without a venue for them to cover their internal costs. A bit narrow minded considering the narrow business products that they have diversified into the digital realm if you ask me, but so be it.

When I get my gas burst system perfected, I will not be looking back.