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Father, Husband and Gamer
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Discussion Starter #1
Fellow Overclockers, I wanted to share a disappointing experience I had this morning with Thrustmaster, and to keep you posted as the situation develops. I detest being taken advantage of, and while the jury is still out in this particular case, my initial experience with Thrustmaster was not positive.<br><br>
I purchased a HOTAS Warthog flight stick in August 2013, and it's a beauty. For those unfamiliar, the HOTAS Warthog is a high end flight stick and throttle, modeled after the A10 Warthog's flight stick and control unit. It's made of metal--a fine piece of craftsmanship (I thought, at least) and a must for serious flight sim'ers. It's also expensive, I paid $433, and with taxes & shipping, over $500. I have recommended the HOTAS Warthog to numerous people, including many folks on this very forum.<br><br>
Last night, I fired up X-plane 10 for the first time in a few weeks, and noticed immediately that the joystick was not working. After a 20 minutes or so of troubleshooting, I found the problem. First, as background, the flight stick unit is actually two pieces, the stick and a base. It's described by Thrustmaster as "a detachable handle" (handle being the stick). It ships in two separate pieces, and must be assembled prior to first use. The bottom of the stick houses a "male" electronic connector, which connects to a "female" connector housed at the top of the base unit. Once connected, a sturdy metal ring, attached around the base of the stick, is tightened around the threads on the base unit. Anyway, the problem was that the female unit housed in the base was loose and had slid down into the base unit, making a connection to the male connector impossible.<br><br>
Only 6 months into a 24 month warranty, I called Thrustmaster customer service to arrange a repair or replacement, as stated in the warranty. It's an obvious flaw and it's a high end unit, so I thought dealing with Thrustmaster would be a breeze. After a few minutes on hold, I spoke to a rep, and he asked me to describe the issue. After I ran through it, he asked me how I store the unit--and I answered that the unit is stored on top of my desk. He asked me when was the last time I disconnected the stick from the base--and I told him it's been awhile, probably months. He asked me how many times I've connected and reconnected the stick from the base, and I said a handful of times. The rep then said that they have had some issue with this, and because they have "shown" that in "normal" operation, the connectors should not break, Thrustmaster has decided that the warranty will not cover the parts that make the connection between the stick and base.<br><br>
I am not a lawyer, although nearly everyone in my family is, but I did read the warranty, and nowhere in the warranty does it exclude any specific part. Not to mention it's ridiculous to suggest that connecting and reconnecting a "detachable" unit a handful of times falls outside "normal operation". Thrustmaster, in marketing the flight stick, states: <i>"New <b>detachable</b> handle, crafted entirely of metal"</i> and <i>"also compatible with HOTAS COUGAR handle (and Vice-versa)"</i>. The term "detachable" leads one to believe that the unit can be detached, without breaking it.<br><br>
After some haggling, the rep said that he would "see if an exception can be made". He told me he would send an email with instructions, which I received. The email asks for pictures, invoice etc.<br><br>
I'm sure Thrustmaster will end up doing the right thing in the end here, but it is very disappointing that they tried to pull a fast one. Little did they know that I am a person who will spend $10k on lawyers to get $500 back that was unjustly taken from me. I realize it's not good business, but I refuse to be screwed. If only they talked to the electrician who charged me $350 for a $1.50 part...<br><br>
Anyway, I hope this was an exception, not the rule, and that my next encounter with Thrustmaster is positive. Hopefully they misunderstood me, and the pictures will clear things up. I will let you know how this turns out--thanks for reading.
 

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<img alt="buttkick.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.overclock.net/images/smilies/buttkick.gif"> The thrustmaster foot into their rear!<br><br><img alt="thumb.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.overclock.net/images/smilies/thumb.gif">
 

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Father, Husband and Gamer
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Discussion Starter #3
<div class="quote-container" data-huddler-embed="/t/1468856/hotas-warthog-disappointing-experience/0_30#post_21827776" data-huddler-embed-placeholder="false"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Rickles</strong> <a href="/t/1468856/hotas-warthog-disappointing-experience/0_30#post_21827776"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif"></a><br><br><img alt="buttkick.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.overclock.net/images/smilies/buttkick.gif"> The thrustmaster foot into their rear!<br><br><img alt="thumb.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.overclock.net/images/smilies/thumb.gif"></div>
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if needed, absolutely! <img alt="wink.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.overclock.net/images/smilies/wink.gif">
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well to sum up the past week, Thrustmaster is still refusing to fulfill its obligations under the warranty. I refuse to let this issue go, because I see it as a clear case of right and wrong. I've copied our communications below (removing personal information). I must caution others...While Thrustmaster makes innovative/fun products, they <b>do not stand behind them</b>, and for this reason suggest you give another vendor your business.<br><br>
Most recent communication on top:<br><br>
_____________________<br><br>
From me:<br><br>
This is incredibly disappointing. Not only is Thrustmaster refusing to fulfill its obligations as set forth in the product’s written warranty, it has now accused me of being untruthful, which I do not appreciate. The joystick broke, during normal operations in less than 7 months from purchase. There is an obvious design flaw with the female DIN connector. Because the female DIN connector is held in place within the base unit only by virtue of the slightly smaller circumference of the socket, it is no surprise that the female DIN connector would become loose from disconnecting and reconnecting the “detachable” handle—in my case, only a few times.<br><br>
I do not accept Thrustmaster’s proposed remedy. Because Thrustmaster refuses to fulfill its obligation under its written warranty, I am forced to pursue a legal remedy instead. Given the poor design of the DIN connection, my instincts tell me the following: 1) loose DIN connectors have been a costly problem for Thrustmaster; 2) somewhere along the way, someone at Thrustmaster decided to push back on customers seeking remedy under Thrustmaster’s written warranty for loose DIN connectors; 3) that the preceding is documented in internal emails and memos and hence accessible during discovery; and 4) Thrustmaster has wrongly refused to fulfill its obligations under its warranty not only in my case, but in several others instances as well.<br><br>
I give Thrustmaster until tomorrow, Feb. 28 @ 5pm Pacific to agree in writing that it will fulfill its obligations as set forth in the product’s warranty or I will proceed with pursuing a legal remedy.<br><br>
Sincerely,<br><br>
______________________________________________________<br><br>
From Thrustmaster<br><br>
Dear<br>
Regarding your Hotas Warthog.<br><br>
We thank you for your reply.<br>
The type and extend of the damaged suffered by the female DIN connector cannot occur under normal, intended use. The distance traveled by the female DIN connector downwards cannot occur if the joystick handle has been correctly attached to the wheel base.<br>
We can send you a brand new female DIN connector that you can replace it yourself, thus eliminating the problem.<br>
We rest at your disposal for any other inquiries.<br>
______________________________________________________<br><br>
From me:<br><br>
There is no “track”. If you are referring to the area on the bottom of the socket, where it tightens (barely) near the bottom of the female connection, it’s not nearly strong enough to withstand the downward force caused by reattaching the handle. Each time it pops back down into the base. What track are you referring to? This could be the problem as there is no track that I can see. Regardless, it’s not my job to repair the joystick, which broke under normal operations within the warranty period. I would like to have it repaired by professionals or replaced, as stated in the warranty. Please send me instructions on how to do this. Many thanks.<br>
__________________<br><br>
From Thrustmaster<br><br>
Dear Mr.<br>
Regarding your Hotas Warthog.<br>
We thank you for your reply and for providing us with the requested details.<br>
A quick solution for this problem would be to remove the two screws which keep the female DIN connector attached to the base, gently pull the socket out of the base and push the socket up.<br>
After that insert the socket back in the track, place on the mounting screws and reattach the joystick handle to the base.<br>
Then check the unit again with the computer.<br>
___________________<br><br>
From me:<br><br>
Thrustmaster,<br>
In response to your questions and requests, please see below and attached.<br>
1) My name is<br>
2) My address is<br>
3) My phone number is<br>
4) Copy of invoice is attached.<br>
5) The serial number is<br>
6) Pictures attached.<br>
__________________________<br><br>
From Thrustmaster:<br><br>
Dear Mr<br>
Regarding your Hotas Warthog.<br>
We thank you for your choice of Thrustmaster products and for reaching us regarding your issue.<br>
Please reply to this email and provide us with the following details:<br>
1. Your complete name.<br>
2. Your full postal address.<br>
3. A phone number where you can be reached.<br>
4. A copy of the invoice for the unit.<br>
5. The serial number for the unit - listed on a flyer placed at the end of the USB cable.<br>
6. A couple of close-up pictures, slightly leaned to one side (like 60 degrees) of the male and female DIN connectors.<br>
We are looking forward for your answer.<br>
Kind regards,<br>
Your Thrustmaster Customer Support Agent, Octavian
 

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My Cougar did the same thing brand new out of the box.<br>
That piece in the stick that holds the plug for the stick is held together by glue.<br><br>
My stick wouldn't register anything because the glue had unglued itself from that piece and the piece was deeper into the base than it should have been.<br>
I was ropable.<br><br>
My Cougar now has a missing coolie hat 3 (that was entirely my fault wen the cougar fell over and the piece went missing whih I didn't realise.<br><br>
All I need is the hat that clips on the top over the pins but I guess with Thrustmaster ,you have to jump Jordan like hoops just to get that part.<br>
I've googled for the part but it's as rare as hens teeth.<br><br>
Getting in contact with Thrustmaster is like trying to get into the White House or House Of Prliament Canberra here lol.<br><br>
Bad experience all round with the Cougar,.<br><br>
Have a Ch Pro THrottle which is so much better in every way.<br><br>
Wish I went full Ch.
 

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<div class="quote-container" data-huddler-embed="/t/1468856/hotas-warthog-disappointing-experience#post_21827746" data-huddler-embed-placeholder="false"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>nasmith2000</strong> <a href="/t/1468856/hotas-warthog-disappointing-experience#post_21827746"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif"></a><br><br>
The rep then said that they have had some issue with this, and because they have "shown" that in "normal" operation, the connectors should not break, Thrustmaster has decided that the warranty will not cover the parts that make the connection between the stick and base.<br><br>
I am not a lawyer, although nearly everyone in my family is, but I did read the warranty, and nowhere in the warranty does it exclude any specific part. Not to mention it's ridiculous to suggest that connecting and reconnecting a "detachable" unit a handful of times falls outside "normal operation". Thrustmaster, in marketing the flight stick, states: <i>"New <b>detachable</b> handle, crafted entirely of metal"</i> and <i>"also compatible with HOTAS COUGAR handle (and Vice-versa)"</i>. The term "detachable" leads one to believe that the unit can be detached, without breaking it.</div>
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Yeah, this is on of the most absurd things I've ever heard. Just because they have shown that "normal" operation is one thing does not remotely mean that every single sample they sell is free from defect, or that abnormal occurrences do not occur. If normal operation was a given, they wouldn't need a warranty at all.<br><br>
You can tell Thrustmaster that accounts like this have cost them at least one more customer, as I just purchased a complete CH Fighterstick/Pro Throttle/Pro Pedals set, after having been leaning toward the Thrustmaster option.<br><div class="quote-container" data-huddler-embed="/t/1468856/hotas-warthog-disappointing-experience#post_22862647" data-huddler-embed-placeholder="false"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Jellybeantiger</strong> <a href="/t/1468856/hotas-warthog-disappointing-experience#post_22862647"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif"></a><br><br>
Wish I went full Ch.</div>
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This is exactly what I ended up doing, after careful consideration.<br><br>
I've had Saitek parts in the past, and while I loved their X36, It was not very durable and all of it's successors have been less accurate, so I ruled them out early on. Thrustmaster's HOTAS seemed like the logical top-teir options until I dug a little deeper and found many accounts of poor build quality, which in and of itself is a risk I'd be willing to take, but combine that with poor service, and it's a no go.<br><br>
A full CH set, which I've been dreaming about for the last 15 years, was the only logical option left.
 

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Most people who have their Ch gear have used them for 7 years and counting.<br><br>
They are logically made so parts don't break and the pots are high quality.<br><br>
They might not be steel or flashy but they work as they are designed too.<br><br>
Metal is hype anyway.<br>
I didn't like the cold feel of the Cougar in Winter lol.<br><br><br>
I'll be joining you as I will eventually get the Fighter stick and pedals also.
 

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Would like to necro this...<br><br>
My warthog was suffering from "stiction" and clicking. I emailed customer support, & they straight up told me to take the stick apart & lube it up. So I did. I used high end silicone grease, & it was working soooo well until it stopped working. Who wants to bet they will void my warranty because I opened it up, even though they told me to open it up.<br><br>
I wonder how much their repair service is.<br><br>
the wires pulled out from the area north of the magnet. <a href="http://www.simhq.com/_technology3/images/technology_174a_022.jpg" target="_blank">http://www.simhq.com/_technology3/images/technology_174a_022.jpg</a>
 
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Father, Husband and Gamer
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Discussion Starter #9
<div class="quote-container" data-huddler-embed="/t/1468856/hotas-warthog-disappointing-experience/0_30#post_22891613" data-huddler-embed-placeholder="false"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>skupples</strong> <a href="/t/1468856/hotas-warthog-disappointing-experience/0_30#post_22891613"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif"></a><br><br>
Would like to necro this...<br><br>
My warthog was suffering from "stiction" and clicking. I emailed customer support, & they straight up told me to take the stick apart & lube it up. So I did. I used high end silicone grease, & it was working soooo well until it stopped working. Who wants to bet they will void my warranty because I opened it up, even though they told me to open it up.<br><br>
I wonder how much their repair service is.<br><br>
the wires pulled out from the area north of the magnet. <a href="http://www.simhq.com/_technology3/images/technology_174a_022.jpg" target="_blank">http://www.simhq.com/_technology3/images/technology_174a_022.jpg</a></div>
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Wowsorry guys just saw your posts. Thrustmaster's customer service is honestly the worst I've seen. And yes, when I was having my issue, the rep suggested that I unscrew it and essentially fix it my self. I asked if it would void my warranty if I opened it (as it says in the written warranty), and he wouldn't give me a straight answer. It was something like well yes, but we're not covering your issue anyway so what's the difference. how they can advertise a "removable stick" and then tell people it's outside normal operations to remove the stick still boggles my mind. sorry you also had probs...check to see if the female din is connecting to the male din, as the more i researched the issue, the more I saw people were having the same issue after removing the stick.
 

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<div class="quote-container" data-huddler-embed="/t/1468856/hotas-warthog-disappointing-experience/0_50#post_22915538" data-huddler-embed-placeholder="false"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>nasmith2000</strong> <a href="/t/1468856/hotas-warthog-disappointing-experience/0_50#post_22915538"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif"></a><br><br>
Wowsorry guys just saw your posts. Thrustmaster's customer service is honestly the worst I've seen. And yes, when I was having my issue, the rep suggested that I unscrew it and essentially fix it my self. I asked if it would void my warranty if I opened it (as it says in the written warranty), and he wouldn't give me a straight answer. It was something like well yes, but we're not covering your issue anyway so what's the difference. how they can advertise a "removable stick" and then tell people it's outside normal operations to remove the stick still boggles my mind. sorry you also had probs...check to see if the female din is connecting to the male din, as the more i researched the issue, the more I saw people were having the same issue after removing the stick.</div>
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I have him directly stating that it WILL NOT void my warranty, as i copy pasted the 5 references of it voiding warranty into our email chain.<br><br>
They have proceeded to start ignoring my emails / only respond every 2 -3 days. My only recourse at this junction in time is to file a charge back with my Bank. I purchased the product through Amazon, but that should not matter in the slightest. Iv'e only ever filed one charge back in my life, but I distinctly remember the paper work including a section about "Company willfully denying warranty claim service on in-warranty item"(Provide evidence)<br><br>
Will update.<br><br>
Oh, in other news. I picked up a VKB Black Mamba. I had completely forgotten about the stick, as I jumped on their waiting list 4+ Months ago. I have no real need for it, besides possible running dual stick in Star Citizen and Elite Dangerous, but I picked it up anyways because I was quite curious about the hype. It has a completely different feel than the warthog. Some of it is due to the actuated gimbal, instead of the ball in a cup style Warthog gimbal. Their gimbal style essentially has 4 quadrants, with a slight bump when crossing between them. (similar to a CH stick, but with lower tactile sensation). I'm not ALL that impressed with it. The design is schizophrenic. The base, knobs, switches & gimbal is top notch, but the handle is extremely cheap Chinese plastic. Funny enough, the producer of the stick makes a conversion kit for Warthog handle, sooo i'm going to jump on the waiting list for that. Either way, they sell for quite the markup in the states. Mostly because A.) they only produce the sticks 3-4 times a year, and the acquisition process is extremely shady. You have to DIRECTLY WIRE THEM THE MONEY, TO SHENZHEN CHINA... haaa.... I would talk about my plans for selling it, but a mod would probably delete the post and probate me due to "advertising"
 
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