Flex Radio Service

I’ve owned a Flex 5000A for a couple of years now, hands down the best radio I’ve ever owned.    Great xmit, great receive, couples well with outboard audio- just a wonderful transceiver.

A short time ago I had an “RF event” and damaged the Flex Radio MOSFET finals. Totally my fault.   I called support  but was not able to speak with anyone.  I opened a ticket online and eventually was given terrific advice in troubleshooting this radio and replaced the MOSFETS myself, with then warning it may need to be sent back top Flex for biasing etc.   I would note that my case included notes from Gerald Youngblood, the founder of Flex Radio. Gerald was a terrific help-  was very surprised and glad for his assistance.

I ran my Flex Systems Radio for about 2 months and then figured it was time to send it in.

Again I called Flex Radio and never got to a person in service.  Flex has outsourced their inbound service calls to a noisy call center- good luck getting anyone on the phone.   One of the biggest reasons I bought my Flex 5000A was that in the past Tim Ellison of Flex Radio Systems customer service was an amazing resource.  All the questions I had about my radio were answered before and after I bought it.  I no longer can contact Tim Ellison W4TME via phone.

So now my radio is at Flex and when I called to get an estimated time to repair my call was dropped twice, left two messages and no return phone call.  I did receive an update to my ticket from Katie Gartman as below:

“I apologize for the dropped call. We’ve been very busy lately so I also apologize for our delayed responses. Your radio is in the Receiving queue, and should be moved into the Service lab by Monday. Our estimated turn time is 4 business weeks.

Katie Gartman
Shipping & Receiving Specialist”

I guess it takes a month to get my radio fixed.  Gee that seems like a long time, because it IS a long time.

I’ll update this saga with how this plays out- but as of today, it seems the Flex Radio System support model has changed from the past.  And not in a positive way.  It appears impossible to talk to a support person and the time to repair is excessive.
I’m not so sure I’ll buy another Flex.  I would caution anyone considering a purchase to first think about their customer service.  Try calling ICOM’s customer service, do you get a call center or someone in support?
Do you think it should take a month to fix a radio?
Well it doesn’t take a month to fix a radio.  Flex fixed mine in just under a week.
And while it hasn’t been returned back yet the service was excellent so far.  You still don’t get anyone on the phone 99% of the time, but the process seems to work.  I did get a call from the service team when there was a question about the radio’s problem.  And I did get a call from Matt Youngblood when I had inquired about a used Flex.
Bottom line-
Flex is still the best SDR deal out there from my point of view.  I’m ready to buy another when the time is right.  These are great multi mode radios.
Coming soon-  a comparison of the Flex 5000A vs.  a perfect Collins R-390.  I suspect they will be similar but this test will be interesting.
Update 4-MAR-2019
Not so fast- literally.  My radio was finished on 1-MAR-2019.  It had to be taken from shipping and sent back to testing because Flex somehow didn’t test my radio for intermittent loss of xmit carrier- even though it was the 1st paragraph of my service request.
I was advised Flex was short staffed and may not be able to ship my radio on 1-MAR-2019.  That’s the last I heard.  I updated my ticket 3 times today looking for status- (1 perhaps after hours)  and no reply from Flex.  I didn’t call since all calls now go to a call center.
I have NO IDEA if my radio ever shipped back.
Will post an update once I know