Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/09/29

[Author Prev] [Author Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Author Index] [Topic Index] [Home] [Search]

Subject: [Leica] Leica's unresponsiveness
From: Alexey Merz <>
Date: Tue, 29 Sep 1998 18:17:27 +0100

Bill Erfurth wrote:
>Lastly, I think it would help if the people at Solms were a little
>more responsive to professionals who are using lots of their
>equipment.  I have sent E-mails to people at Solms and I don't even
>get the courtesy of a computer generated reply. =20

Good luck. So far as I can tell, Leica will NOT become responsive to its
user population. I base this not on interactions with their camera
division, but with their microscopy division. In particular, we have had
many, many problems with support of a $200,000 system for biological=20
fluorescence miicroscopy. The system has always been optically perfect
(that is, worked AT the theoretical limit of optical resolution)
but its UI (it's computer-controlled) stinks, and is not upgradeable:
we are stuck with slow, expensive (and increasingly, unreliable and=20
unrepairable) 1992 technology. Furthermore, in conversations with=20
3rd party vendors of high-end microscopy equipment, Leica is repeatedly
characterzed as a singularly uncooperative source vendor, in sharp=20
contrast (pun intended) to Zeiss, Nikon, and Olympus. And these vendors
are increasingly offering microscopes with optics that are the equal of=20
Leica's (Zeiss, of course, always has).

A similar obliviousness to many aspects of customer service is evident
in stories collected here on the LUG; only the camera division's repair
policy seems to get high marks. Now, if they are going to choose only one
area in which to excell, that's the one... but it is not enough.=20

For long-term viability, Leica simply has _got_ to listen to its end
users and *respond* to them. While I just bought an M6 HM new w/PPW,=20
this was a decision informed by the above factors, and was a $2K=20
purchase of a discontinued item. We will *not* purchase another
$200K microscopy system from these people -- that purchase will
gor to Olympus or Zeiss, because these vendors have demonstrated
that they know how to listen!

I worry about Leica's fate - and I hope that they come around.
Alexey Merz | URL: | email:
            | PGP public key: | voice:503/494-684=
            | "That pig. He eats french fries like I drink whiskey and=20
            | smoke cigarettes. I don=92t begrudge him his fries, but he=20
            | didn=92t offer to share them. It was beyond greed, the way =
            | buried his face in this little red plastic basket. It=20
            | shocked me."            =97 Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, on Clin=