Whine about Winegard Carryout Satellite
I just wanted to share my experience with Winegard and their carryout satellite for anyone thinking of purchasing one.
I purchased their original carryout in 2012 and have used it maybe 10 times. It has not worked correctly for the last couple of years, but when you use something as infrequently as I did this, I always figured "I" was the problem.
While camping and having issues with it this year, I decided I was going to get to the bottom of the problem. Long story short, the problem is with the actual satellite dish, not my set-up. Here's is where my annoyance with Winegard begins.
I called Winegard technical support. It took 3 attempts to hook up with a technician. On their message, they suggest you send an e-mail instead. I did that and am still waiting for a reply. After I finally got a tech, she suggested three points where I could check voltage. If everything was fine there, then I would have to send it in to Winegard (Iowa). There are no authorized repair dealers anywhere else in the country.
If I decided to send it to Iowa, paying postage there and back, there is a $70 charge to even look at an out-of-warranty item. Then I could start paying for the fix. I guess I can maybe get all of that, all that it annoys me. However, the tech implied in our conversation that if everything looked okay at the voltage-test points, I would maybe want to consider "upgrading" rather than bear the expense of the return and repair. So I guess I'm supposed to pay $650 for another lemon that only works 10 times when I've already paid $400-$500 for the first one.
After I tested it and found the voltage was fine, meaning I'd need to send it in for repair, I e-mailed the rep back to ask for a general ballpark estimate to determine whether it was worth it. She has not bothered to reply.
So, just a fair warning to someone thinking about buying a carryout satellite for Winegard, know that at least one customer had a terrible experience, both with the product and with the company's customer service. I know they are a big name in this business and perhaps my experience was isolated, but I for one, will not be buying their products in the future.
Thanks for listening to my rant!