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Help with Pila Charger, discouraged with customer service from ProVape

Discussion in 'Batteries and Chargers' started by NickZac, Jun 17, 2014.

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  1. NickZac

    NickZac Senior Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Hello, I purchased a charger from ProVape about two years ago along with two Provari V2s and a series of orderings giving them around $1,000 of business (my point of that figure is I am not a customer trying to nickel and dime them over every little thing). All have served me well and thus far I would have called them one of the best companies to do business with on the block (their product quality is without question). Earlier last week, my rabbit ate the cord to my Pila charger (she hasnt touched a cord in years). Given it is a $50 charger and the cord is not hard wired to the unit or the US plug adapter, I would like to replace the cord for obvious reasons (and with a OEM Pila cord).

    I emailed ProVape and asked to purchase a cord, who informed me they do not sell the cord nor does their business with Pila allow them extra cords as every return they get goes directly back to the manufacturer. I emailed them again asking if they ever have a defective unit they will send back regardless if they could swap out the cord with mine and just sell me the replacement cord since the unit is already defective. No go. I also asked them for contact information on where I can get a cord from. They advised that they 'think' I can go to Radio Shack for assistance on a new cord, or I can purchase a new unit from them. Given that is coming from a company that stresses how important safety is with lithium cells, I'm kind of left uneasy given I would prefer not to put my trust in a third party product & outside technician who may not know the specifics of the Pila?

    If Pila's information was readily accessible, I would just contact them. But I cannot seem to find anything to give me a direct link to the maker and that is making all of this even more frustrating. So does anyone have the contact information for Pila or advice where to go to get a Pila (brand) cord? (or the larger maker which produces this cord for Pila in exact OEM spec.) I suppose if all else fails, I will purchase an XTAR, but I really hope a high-end product like the Pila has some sort of offering to allow owners to purchase replacement cords!

    I want to specify that I certainly do NOT expect ProVape to replace a product for free that was not defective to begin with, nor do I expect free support on a product I have owned for this amount of time (that would be a jerk move). My disappointment is that I hoped they would have been better when it comes to giving repeat customers more direction/effort on something like this beyond a ‘we can’t help you but you can buy another’ and a ‘perhaps these other people can help you because we can't’ response. They sell the Pila as a premium product, and they clearly have a relationship with the maker that I do not have as a consumer, and the extra help in locating an actual cord to me is what differentiates a good company from an excellent one (again, not for free). I can’t say that makes me want to buy another Pila, nor can I say I personally feel my business is greatly valued. That may be an unwarranted feeling, but that's honestly my personal take. :(

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  2. oplholik

    oplholik ECF Guru Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
  3. Baditude

    Baditude ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    Apr 8, 2012
    Ridgeway, Ohio
    There is a Pila-USA, but the website is either being upgraded or out-of-service.

    I only found this interesting article about the Pila charger while trying to give you an assist. Sorry I couldn't help more. :(



    I don't know if I would be so hard on ProVape for not being as helpful as you would like. They are in the same boat as every other vendor who sells the Pila charger. You'd likely get the same result from another vendor had you purchased your Pila from them. This is an issue with the manufacturer, not the vendor.
  4. Nermal

    Nermal Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Jun 8, 2013
    Farmington, NM USA
    I'm tempted to ask how Transparnc discovered this minor flaw. I'm certainly glad I went for the XTAR PV-1, in accordance with local ECF advice, but I'm still questioning the blog's information.
  5. Baditude

    Baditude ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    Apr 8, 2012
    Ridgeway, Ohio
    My first ever charger was the Pila IBC. After about 16 months of hard use, one of the charging bays stopped working. Since I had accumulated several mods and was using/charging a lot of batteries about that time, I chose to purchase a multiple bay battery charger to replace it.

    I recall reading the included warranty info that accompanied the owners manual for the Pila IBC charger. It stated quite clearly that only Pila batteries should be used in the Pila, or the warranty would be voided. I always wondered, how would the company prove that you were not using Pila batteries?

    Having said that, I find it disappointing that the company that makes what has been considered one of the top chargers in the industry has such poor customer support contact information. Two websites which are not working, no phone number, etc is not acceptable.
  6. stevegmu

    stevegmu Moved On ECF Veteran

    I would just fix the cord myself, or find one with the same specs from my giant box of power cords from various electronics products accumulated over the years. Any electronics repair shop can fix a cord, if you can find an electronics repair shop.
  7. NickZac

    NickZac Senior Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    I will try messaging them at the website. It is loading very slow for me as well. Thanks!

    I would not purchase the Pila again, and I would not recommend it to anyone given the quality of the XTAR, the lower price, my own experience and mostly the fact that Pila's customer support rivals that of organizations legendary for their excellence in terrible customer support, such as Comcast, Long Island Power, Walmart, and Bank of America.

    For that matter, I can't say I really can recommend ProVape either, or at least not in the enthusiastic fashion that I would have prior to this. While I wouldn't call their customer support terrible by any means, it was not the kind of service one would expect from a company that cares about individual customers and return sales, which is very different from when I started doing business with the company.

    Needless to say, I'm not buying another charger from them.
  8. Baditude

    Baditude ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    Apr 8, 2012
    Ridgeway, Ohio
    If I could still afford one, I'd get another Pila. Mine served me well and was a workhorse when it was working. Yeah, customer support leaves much to be desired apparently, but I wonder how easy it is to get good support from Xtar, Efest, or Nitecore? Never needed it myself. Then again I don't keep rodents in my household. ;)

    Provape focuses their attention on their mods, and you'd be hard pressed to find another manufacturer who does better customer service when it comes to servicing their mods. Provape sells accessory gear as a convenience for their customers; its not really their responsibility nor their domain to service those side products, but the manufacturer of said products.

    I wonder how much help Innokin, Smoktech, Segelei, et al would provide when a customer needs a replacement cord for a charger?
  9. NickZac

    NickZac Senior Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    I respectfully disagree with almost everything you said. My take is obviously not 100% objective given I'm the one in the middle of the issue, so factor that in however you may.

    As a start, rabbits are lagomorphs and are as much rodents as dingos are domesticated dogs. :)

    As for modes, I agree with what you said, but good service in regards to other products doesn't make me feel any better about this situation.

    ProVape is not selling the Pila or accessories for yours and my benefit. Companies sell supplemental merchandise to increase income, increase return customers, pull new customers, and make complimentary sales on products with higher markups to increase net.

    As my earlier post notes, I do NOT expect them to financially cover something as such nor did I ever ask them to. BUT, when a company sells a product and a customer is struggling to get anywhere, there are other things a company can do which to me speaks to how much they care about return business and long-term sales relationships. I may be in the minority here, but I believe pointing customers in the right direction for service even if a company cannot/will not do anything directly makes a huge difference when it comes to repeat business, especially if they are often interacting with the maker as they clearly know how to contact them when my attempts have been unsuccessful.

    If they told me something along the lines of, "we can't help you, but here is Pila's contact information, and the part number is XXXX,", I would have been thrilled. I don't think hoping and requesting information on who I can contact or for specific part information (to purchase at my own expense) was unreasonable. Something that little would have been a huge "convenience for their [this] customer" and secured them another $1,000-ish of business.

    As for how other companies are, I cannot speak directly to all of them but I can to the service from La Crosse on a product that was around the price of the Pila and it was a night and day difference from this Pila-nightmare. If the Pila was $15, I'd have different expectations as to service and the availability of spare parts.
  10. stevegmu

    stevegmu Moved On ECF Veteran

    You got 2 years out of it, be happy....
  11. beckdg

    beckdg ECF Guru Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Oct 1, 2013
    tell me about it. i find that focused and/or niche' markets tend to lack tremendously in the customer service department. for example: i've known of people who rave about the customer service of certain RC related companies because they honor their replacement warranties in under 6 months from the time they receive the broken goods. meanwhile, they're pumping out thousands upon thousands of their newest, latest and greatest version of the same product every week as fast as they can to get a quick turnover while the market is still hot.

    it's not like these actions are even remotely hidden, either. plain as day. and people are w̶i̶l̶l̶i̶n̶g̶ eager to buy the first BS explanation they're fed to justify it.

    since we're "addicts", we may not be so eager. :laugh:
  12. wheelie

    wheelie Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Feb 12, 2014
    Ont. Canada
    they did point you in the right direction. Told you to go to Radio Shack. Take the cord and charger and they could match the power cord to the unit. LOL
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