Dealing with SWWP - The Response

tmcmurrantmcmurran Registered Users Posts: 21
I thought that to be fair I would post what I have received from Southwest Wind Power this afternoon in relationship to the issues I was having with repairs/replacement of the Whisper 100 Wind Turbine I have. After sometime I can say that the Tech Department has come through as can be seen in the email I received below.

I personally feel that with this end result even after all the delay’s I will move forward with my decession to purchase the Skystream. But I feel that I would be better served if I was to purchase it directly from SWWP, and not from a local re-seller even with footing the bill for shipping and exchange. My location does not afford me the luxury of properly educated and stocked re-sellers which is a shame since 90% of the island is well situated for wind turbines.

Now all I need to do is to win the lottery so that I can leave my occupation and sell and install turbines



Thank you for providing the photos. I don’t know exactly what the failure cause is, since I cannot tell from the photos, but I will send you a complete replacement turbine. If you will respond directly to me, with your preferred shipping address, I will respond with your order number.

Sincerely,
Ross__________________________

Southwest Windpower
1801 W. Route 66
Flagstaff, AZ 86001 USA
Tel: 928-779-9463
Fax: 928-779-1485
www.windenergy.com
www.skystreamenergy.com

Comments

  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Dealing with SWWP - The Response

    this forum has caught the attention of swwp and i'm quite sure at least one of them was seeing your complaint here as well as from your other correspondence with them and may have gotten you some results that may not have come about otherwise for some time if at all. having their company practices exposed here is worse to them than a bbb complaint and for them to help those here would also see the same good reflection being posted and thus putting a bandage on their blunders. having said that i feel it was not the normal service or product care you normally would've gotten and should keep that in mind in making further purchases.
  • halfcrazyhalfcrazy Solar Expert Posts: 720 ✭✭✭
    Re: Dealing with SWWP - The Response

    Yep agreed with Neil. SWWP took care of you because of this forum. I do know they are they are watching this forum with great anger right now.

    I would still be hesitant to Purchase a Skydream just yet. I do believe they have potential but they need more work.
  • jacobsjacobs Solar Expert Posts: 72 ✭✭
    Re: Dealing with SWWP - The Response
    halfcrazy wrote: »
    Yep agreed with Neil. SWWP took care of you because of this forum. I do know they are they are watching this forum with great anger right now.

    I would still be hesitant to Purchase a Skydream just yet. I do believe they have potential but they need more work.

    Corporations are very sensitive to negative comments on public forums. Hopefully the comments that have been posted here will open their eyes to their future if they don't make major changes in their public relations and products.

    Yes, their products do have potential but need a lot more work that could be easily corrected......like putting the electronics on the ground instead of inside a lighting rod.
  • boBboB Solar Expert Posts: 970 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Dealing with SWWP - The Response
    jacobs wrote: »
    Corporations are very sensitive to negative comments on public forums.

    Welcome to the internet and the new millenium !

    Still, I think this only works at the moment because this industry is still so small.

    boB :D
  • tmcmurrantmcmurran Registered Users Posts: 21
    Re: Dealing with SWWP - The Response

    I hope that they did the right thing because that is how to gain repeat customers, and not from something that might not look good here or there. I have only seen email with an order number, not a tracking number so we still need to wait and see. I feel that things have been taken care of properly, and did communicate with the sales department as well on the Skystream matter.

    I was given a few sales sites local to me, and have contacted them to see how things go. I have just about completed the foundation for the Skystream tower, so I think that is the route I will be going.

    I will keep people posted on the issue, and when I next hear from Southwest. It would be nice to know when to expect the replacement in advance. I would not like to be away, or waste a day's drive just to turn around to pick it up at my door while I am at the location it needs to go back up at. Right now the 5000 watt gas beast is a brute that I want to pack away again. At least we only need to run it for a short time just to run the charger on the batteries, and only do this when running other power tools.
  • tmcmurrantmcmurran Registered Users Posts: 21
    Re: Dealing with SWWP - The Response

    Update - or lack of one :)

    I have been trying to gain a little information as to when they shipped the replacement out, but have yet to hear back from Southwest. They were very happy to provide me with another local contact for Skystream, but till I have the replacement here and back up I will need to be holding off. I really do need to know when it would be shipped so that I know when to expect to need to have someone here to accept the shipment. I do not have the time to spare to just sit here day in day out waiting when I could be working offshore. It is not like I can take a phone call and order up a chapper to fly me the 300km back to shore to pick up a box that could be taken care of if provided the proper notice.

    I just wonder how busy or short staffed they really are to not be able to look into the email situation and fire off a reply. I do know at times I tend to let work email slide, but I also reply to them within a 24hour time frame.

    I guess thats what happens when you work for the evil oil companies and reputations need to be kept at all cost.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,812 admin
    Re: Dealing with SWWP - The Response

    Can you get/use solar panels -- at least to protect your batteries when you are out working?

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • tmcmurrantmcmurran Registered Users Posts: 21
    Re: Dealing with SWWP - The Response
    BB. wrote: »
    Can you get/use solar panels -- at least to protect your batteries when you are out working?

    -Bill

    I suppose that is an option, but not a very good one with the location here. Very little sun, lots of fog, cloud and wind. Right now the entire system has been torn down. All batteries are unhooked and just sitting. This is our weekend house, so the demands are very low when we are not in it. I had a diversion load set for the HW tank, and very happy that spring/summer is here or I would be in a real mess with broken lines as well. Clearly a secondary back up is required ontop of the turbines and gas generator.

    That is the reason we had thought the Skystream would be the best option to provide unlimited power to connected devices and batteries when we are away five days of the week. the two hour one way drive just to run a generator for a few hours each day or two till the replacement gets here is out of the question.

    Oh well, live and pay more ;-)
  • kenputerkenputer Solar Expert Posts: 27
    Re: Dealing with SWWP - The Response

    Isn't the skystream a grid tie only machine?
    Ken
  • tmcmurrantmcmurran Registered Users Posts: 21
    Re: Dealing with SWWP - The Response
    kenputer wrote: »
    Isn't the skystream a grid tie only machine?
    Ken

    Nope, have a look - http://www.technosun.com/es/principal/descargas/manuales/53405009_manual_carga_baterias_EN.pdf

    But still at the end of the day I still am without anything. Now the wife is starting to yell since she and the kids were going to go out this weekend, and now they have lost not only the first long weekend here in May last weekend, but it now seems like more to come.

    A simple response as to a shipping date would go along way to settle everyones nerves. I will be heading offshore next Friday for three weeks to a month, and I need to know if I have to go out to Canadian Tire and buy one off the shelf before hand or what. Another $3000.00+ taxes out the friggin window.

    Seems like everyone wants to sell you this that ot the other ting, but try to have them come through is another matter. Take your money and then we will think about keeping you happy. Gotta love the world we have all created, seems like greed and coruption win the day.

    At this rate I think it might be a better to bet to DIY and at least this way you know what you need when things go wrong. No more paying to have to correct others errors, just your own. Not to mention far less money to obtain more kw per dollar.
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,391 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Dealing with SWWP - The Response

    To save your batteries,, beg, borrow or steal a Honda generator and find a good charger to keep them up while you resolve this issue.

    Tony
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,812 admin
    Re: Dealing with SWWP - The Response

    The Skystream is a GT unit.

    The document that "tmcmurran" points to describes how to take a Skystream and connect it to an Off-Grid Inverter and back drive it to charge a battery bank (should work with any GT type inverter too).

    SWWP offers (offered?) a battery charge controller that sends a wireless signal back to the turbine. However, given the issues with radio communications reliability, and SWWP's problems with wireless communications on the Skystream specifically--They have appeared to backed away from offering the wireless battery controller.

    Instead, according to the current Skystream Manual (PDF download) they now sell a "Battery Charging Controller Kit, Part Number 1-CRBC-10" instead. Here is a copy of the charge controller's manual (PDF Download).

    Bascially, the controller sits in one of the AC leads of the Skystream and monitors the battery bank voltage, turning "on" at xx Volts, and turning off at "yy" volts.

    The Skystream manual also suggests installing a diversion controller on the battery bank as an alternative to their charge controller.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • tmcmurrantmcmurran Registered Users Posts: 21
    Re: Dealing with SWWP - The Response
    icarus wrote: »
    To save your batteries,, beg, borrow or steal a Honda generator and find a good charger to keep them up while you resolve this issue.

    Tony

    We have a 5000 watt generator, but the issue is the four hour return drive to run it just to charge the system. The wife hates the moose on the road here as do I after just missing one last year. I have no idea how we missed it, but we did. If the batteries die they die. Nothing I can do about it but have more money lost/invested in more till I do something about the entire mess. I hate to give in to the utilities and have the lines put back in, but it is starting to look that way.

    The system was rock solid till the magnet can mounting bolts snapped. Why they ever used forged steel is still something to wonder about. Hardened steel is what I will be putting in the replacement if/when it gets here to prevent that event again.
  • boBboB Solar Expert Posts: 970 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Dealing with SWWP - The Response
    tmcmurran wrote: »

    I also saw this done with the Marriah Windspire VAWT in Hawaii.
    It was charging a 24V battery bank through an OutBack FX inverter
    at around 30 Amps DC.

    The ppl that had the Windspire had a neighbor with a Skystream.

    boB
  • tmcmurrantmcmurran Registered Users Posts: 21
    Re: Dealing with SWWP - The Response
    jacobs wrote: »
    Corporations are very sensitive to negative comments on public forums. Hopefully the comments that have been posted here will open their eyes to their future if they don't make major changes in their public relations and products.

    Yes, their products do have potential but need a lot more work that could be easily corrected......like putting the electronics on the ground instead of inside a lighting rod.

    Seems that they should be showing a little more concern then. Today is the 26th of May. I was informed by Southwest Wind Power on May 14th that the order was placed for a replacement as seen here.

    --- On Thu, 5/14/09, Ross Taylor <[email protected]> wrote:


    From: Ross Taylor <[email protected]>
    Subject: RE: Warranty Information - Serial Number 10601755 No Reply from tech support
    To: "TMcMurran" <[email protected]>
    Received: Thursday, May 14, 2009, 6:39 PM

    Hi,



    The order number for this replacement turbine is 90366. I have just pick released this order, so it is being pulled from inventory right now.



    Sincerely,



    Ross



    __________________________
    Ross Taylor
    Technical Services Supervisor
    Southwest Windpower
    1801 W. Route 66
    Flagstaff, AZ 86001 USA
    Tel: 928-779-9463
    Fax: 928-779-1485
    www.windenergy.com
    www.skystreamenergy.com


    So if the order was shipped on the 15th of May the Friday, it should have been here at my address yesterday from what the UPS shipping time frame states. The fact that they have not replied to the request for a tracking number is even more of an issue. I wish I was able to bill them my day rate if I need to remain home waiting without notice till it arrives and I am able to install it again before this Friday. Either they sluff off the customers hoping they will just give up and go away, or they have so many issues they are not able to keep up. I do understand that this past weekend was a holiday in the US, but UPS still flies, and was working here in Canada on Monday.

    The main problem is they still have not replied to the request for a tracking number so that I can plan my week in advance, shows very little respect for the customer. Not the best in customer service for sure. Starting to become very disapointed to say the least.

    I will attempt one more phone call this morning, but I doubt that I will sit and wait on hold for them this time for a tracking number that they may or may not have even have if they have not shipped yet. If they have not shipped then I feel it is time to look into a more upstanding business to hand over my money to for future purchases.
  • WindsunWindsun Solar Expert Posts: 1,164 ✭✭
    Re: Dealing with SWWP - The Response

    Monday was a holiday and UPS does not deliver anything but next day shipments on holidays.
    tmcmurran wrote: »
    Seems that they should be showing a little more concern then. Today is the 26th of May.....

    ..So if the order was shipped on the 15th of May the Friday, it should have been here at my address yesterday from what the UPS shipping time frame states.
  • tmcmurrantmcmurran Registered Users Posts: 21
    Re: Dealing with SWWP - The Response
    Windsun wrote: »
    Monday was a holiday and UPS does not deliver anything but next day shipments on holidays.

    As I stated, Monday was a holiday in the US. Not a holiday in Canada. UPS was out and about all over town here yesterday. More to the point is the fact that I still have not even been given a simple tracking number, and today I have snow. Going to be really happy to head out and find that I have more problems due to lack of power into my battery bank that should have been taken care of by now.
  • BillFBillF Solar Expert Posts: 48 ✭✭
    Re: Dealing with SWWP - The Response

    My Whisper 200 (48vdc) was up for three years. All three welds on the magnet can broke in January. When I finally able to reach tech support I was told the welds breaking was a problem they have known about for some time as they had a "bad batch" that got out. After lowering the still spinning unit on a 65' tilt up tower, I sent it in for repair or replacement. Good thing I had UPS confirmation of delivery in January to SWWP. It took three months to get the unit back. During that time there was a discrepancy regarding the serial number, the unit got "lost" and after several strongly worded e-mails, I finally did recieve the partially rebuilt turbine.
    In the meantime I had purchased another turbine (Kestrel) as I did not know nor did I recieve any updates on repair or delivery progess. The Whisper unit will be placed on e-bay soon.
    In my capacity as a dealer/installer I have come to realize many things that "Truth" has spoken about regarding SWWP and their products. However I still have to make a living. Thus I have learned to never make promises regarding reliability and power output and will always install all Skystreams (while I hesitatingly offer them) on tilt up towers.
  • tmcmurrantmcmurran Registered Users Posts: 21
    Re: Dealing with SWWP - The Response
    BillF wrote: »
    My Whisper 200 (48vdc) was up for three years. All three welds on the magnet can broke in January. When I finally able to reach tech support I was told the welds breaking was a problem they have known about for some time as they had a "bad batch" that got out. After lowering the still spinning unit on a 65' tilt up tower, I sent it in for repair or replacement. Good thing I had UPS confirmation of delivery in January to SWWP. It took three months to get the unit back. During that time there was a discrepancy regarding the serial number, the unit got "lost" and after several strongly worded e-mails, I finally did recieve the partially rebuilt turbine.
    In the meantime I had purchased another turbine (Kestrel) as I did not know nor did I recieve any updates on repair or delivery progess. The Whisper unit will be placed on e-bay soon.
    In my capacity as a dealer/installer I have come to realize many things that "Truth" has spoken about regarding SWWP and their products. However I still have to make a living. Thus I have learned to never make promises regarding reliability and power output and will always install all Skystreams (while I hesitatingly offer them) on tilt up towers.


    Three months!!!! I doubt that I will be letting my matter go that far. This Friday is D-day. If I do not have a tracking number or the new unit installed I will be looking into other options such as the BBB and lawyers to deal with them. Not sure what these units sell for in the US, but in Canada they retail for just over $3,000.00. For that money I could have done far better building a turbine from scratch that would stand up to normal conditions.

    At this point Southwest needs to put up a darn good good faith bonus for me to ever consider another purchase from them let alone anything but negative comments and feedback to all who ask.

    I would like to obtain the email and phone number for the new CEO. He needs to be told what his cut backs are doing to business. In Canada, one of the large boxstore retailers no longer are willing to sell the Whisper line. Makes you wonder.

    I have never had such a run-a-round from any company over a product before. It really makes you wonder if the Asian turbines might not be a better deal at the end of the day. Seems at least they will respond to your email, and send you replacements right away. Why is it that a US company that just pulls in millions of dollars in tax payer money still leaves the customers out in the cold. Pretty shady way of doing business if you ask me.
  • joeaksajoeaksa Solar Expert Posts: 39
    Re: Dealing with SWWP - The Response

    Have been following this thread for a while now. I live in Arizona and have one of the AIR-X units and so far have not needed tech support or service, but still it pains me to see a company on my home state treating customers like this.

    Did you ever receive your unit? Ever get a tracking number or contact info for the CEO?

    I can understand some of the issue on shipping as Canadian Customs are WELL known for holding things forever, and UPS is terrible for screwing customers when dealing with Canadian Customs. We stopped using UPS for shipments to the GWN for this reason as they helped no one on either side of the fence.

    Hope you got your unit and pls let us know how it is going.

    Joe
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