Disappointed in Helson Customer Service
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  1. #1
    Member Gary123's Avatar
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    Disappointed in Helson Customer Service

    I've had numerous Helson's over the years but never had occasion to contact their customer service, until just recently.

    Bought an unworn, pre owned diver from a member here that had a malformed lug and will not accept aftermarket solid end link bracelets. The malformation is only on the inside of the lug, and with a (soft) band in place, the lug looks normal. It came on a rubber band which bent itself to fit in place. I suppose the mesh it came with would do the same. But not solid endlinks. I have a few nice aftermarket bracelets I'd like to put on. I suppose I could have asked the seller to take it back for failure to disclose a material defect, but I like the watch, its hard to find, and one way or it will get fixed - either by Helson or a machine shop I use which shouldn't cost me much, but it will take them 5 months.

    So I contacted Helson and explained the problem and they responded they didn't understand. So I wrote them back and explained again, and again they responded they don't understand. So I took a picture and sent it to them and heard nothing. So I wrote them again a couple days later and said their customer service is disappointing, and they replied they are evaluating the problem and will get back to me ASAP. Its been 5 days, not counting this past weekend, and no response. Maybe I'm being impatient.

    I think 3 days seems enough to determine if you're able or willing to help.

    Has anyone else dealt with their service department?
    Last edited by Gary123; April 15th, 2019 at 19:26.
    Chronographs: Breitling 2 tone Chronomat, Roger Dubuis Easy Diver, DeWitt Academia Sequential, Franck Muller Conquistador, IWC Aquatimer, Hublot Oceanographic 1000, Parmigiani Pershing 45, Royal Oak Offshore Gstaad, Franck Muller Vanguard Carbon, Franck Muller Conquistador, Chopard Mille Miglia, Zenith Defy Aero .. 3 Hand: Angular Momentum diver, Bucherer ScubaTec 2-tone, UN MM Diver 2-tone, Omega Ploprof, Ball Hunley, Omega SM 300 Master Co-Ax 2-tone, Zodiac Super Sea Wolf, Panerai Sub 106, Muhle Glashutte Rasmus blue

  2. #2
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    Re: Disappointed in Helson Customer Service

    It's important to remember that micros generally do not have production or machining facilities of their own. It's not like they can throw your watch on an endmill in the back room of their office and machine off the extra material to make the lug correct. So the more practical options are swapping the case, or wholesale replacement of the watch head.

    That you bought this used and the first owner never filed a warranty claim for the defect is an added wrinkle. Is the watch still under warranty?
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    Re: Disappointed in Helson Customer Service

    I would like to see the pics too

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    Member Gary123's Avatar
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    Re: Disappointed in Helson Customer Service

    The watch is still under warranty.

    And there is another wrinkle, that I began filing it myself (which is too much work). Helson could claim I've invalidated the warranty, but I don't think that's a fair call. If they can't machine it and have no more cases, then I send it to the machine shop and its on me.

    In the picture you see where I filed, and the deformity of the lug - which has nothing to do with my remedial attempt.
    Last edited by Gary123; April 15th, 2019 at 20:02.
    Chronographs: Breitling 2 tone Chronomat, Roger Dubuis Easy Diver, DeWitt Academia Sequential, Franck Muller Conquistador, IWC Aquatimer, Hublot Oceanographic 1000, Parmigiani Pershing 45, Royal Oak Offshore Gstaad, Franck Muller Vanguard Carbon, Franck Muller Conquistador, Chopard Mille Miglia, Zenith Defy Aero .. 3 Hand: Angular Momentum diver, Bucherer ScubaTec 2-tone, UN MM Diver 2-tone, Omega Ploprof, Ball Hunley, Omega SM 300 Master Co-Ax 2-tone, Zodiac Super Sea Wolf, Panerai Sub 106, Muhle Glashutte Rasmus blue

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    Re: Disappointed in Helson Customer Service

    That entire lug looks off, not just the interior surface. Looks like maybe the case slipped in the clamps for the CNC and rotated.
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    Moderator Public Forum John MS's Avatar
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    Re: Disappointed in Helson Customer Service

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary123 View Post
    I've had numerous Helson's over the years but never had occasion to contact their customer service, until just recently.

    Bought an unworn, pre owned diver from a member here that had a malformed lug and will not accept aftermarket solid end link bracelets. The malformation is only on the inside of the lug, and with a (soft) band in place, the lug looks normal. It came on a rubber band which bent itself to fit in place. I suppose the mesh it came with would do the same. But not solid endlinks. I have a few nice aftermarket bracelets I'd like to put on. I suppose I could have asked the seller to take it back for failure to disclose a material defect, but I like the watch, its hard to find, and one way or it will get fixed - either by Helson or a machine shop I use which shouldn't cost me much, but it will take them 5 months.

    So I contacted Helson and explained the problem and they responded they didn't understand. So I wrote them back and explained again, and again they responded they don't understand. So I took a picture and sent it to them and heard nothing. So I wrote them again a couple days later and said their customer service is disappointing, and they replied they are evaluating the problem and will get back to me ASAP. Its been 5 days, not counting this past weekend, and no response. Maybe I'm being impatient.

    I think 3 days seems enough to determine if you're able or willing to help.

    Has anyone else dealt with their service department?
    Really should have gone right back to the seller. That's a significant defect that should have been disclosed.

  8. #7
    Member Gary123's Avatar
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    Re: Disappointed in Helson Customer Service

    Quote Originally Posted by John MS View Post
    Really should have gone right back to the seller. That's a significant defect that should have been disclosed.
    True, but I like the watch and its a hard one to find so I was willing to take it as is.
    Chronographs: Breitling 2 tone Chronomat, Roger Dubuis Easy Diver, DeWitt Academia Sequential, Franck Muller Conquistador, IWC Aquatimer, Hublot Oceanographic 1000, Parmigiani Pershing 45, Royal Oak Offshore Gstaad, Franck Muller Vanguard Carbon, Franck Muller Conquistador, Chopard Mille Miglia, Zenith Defy Aero .. 3 Hand: Angular Momentum diver, Bucherer ScubaTec 2-tone, UN MM Diver 2-tone, Omega Ploprof, Ball Hunley, Omega SM 300 Master Co-Ax 2-tone, Zodiac Super Sea Wolf, Panerai Sub 106, Muhle Glashutte Rasmus blue

  9. #8
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    Re: Disappointed in Helson Customer Service

    Good for you for admitting your own culpability in the issue. I like your style! That said, the case is likely 316L stainless steel which is pretty hard. A file would work but it would be a long, difficult job and the potential to slip and ruin the case is a real one. Personally, I believe this is a warranty issue, regardless of whether you are the first owner or not. This is an obvious manufacturing defect that should have been caught by quality control and never allowed into the end user's possession in that condition. Still, it legitimately leaves the mfg'r an out if he wants it. It might be a good character test for them one way or the other. A warranty is nothing more than a promise to take care of any problems. This is a legitimate problem and either Helson is an honorable enterprise or it isn't. Should Helson refuse to do anything about it, I would take it to a local watchmaker and let him/her resolve the issue. It shouldn't take five months to resolve and if you genuinely like the watch, it will be a minor issue soon forgotten once it is successfully resolved.

  10. #9
    Member riff raff's Avatar
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    Re: Disappointed in Helson Customer Service

    That lack of response from Helson is a little disappointing. Looks like a Turtle?

    I agree, filing that lug to the proper width, and making it look presentable is a lot harder than it sounds.

    I also recently bought a used Turtle, from the classifieds here. The mesh bracelet wasn't long enough and I asked them if I could buy a longer section of the mesh. I did get a prompt reply to that inquiry, but that only a replacement bracelet could be sourced (at Staib prices, so, I bought a Staib).

    I love my Turtle, so I can see you wishing to resolve the issue and keep it.
    Al

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  11. #10
    Member TwentiethCenturyFox's Avatar
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    Re: Disappointed in Helson Customer Service

    Plus one on taking responsibility, well done. Now I would like to see your watch fixed since they are difficult to source. Good luck with Helson, hopefully they get back to you.

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