Photography

Shout out to GoPro

The GoPro Flex Clamp, consisting of the Jaws clamp and the Gooseneck articulated

I have owned several GoPro Cameras over the years – in fact, I currently own (takes a minute to count…) 4. That will soon be three, as I’m going to pass one of them down to my youngest daughter, as her mother has the same era and the batteries and stuff will all just work.

I’m a fledgling videographer, for all sorts of things, but a lot of the thought around GoPro cameras has been using them for motorcycling. Three is a good number – one pointed at the road ahead, one pointed at me, and one attached somewhere else for background footage – to the crash bars, to the top box facing backwards, whatever. I’m very picky about my mounts, as I don’t like taking an expensive helmet and then attaching adhesive tape to it so that I can have mediocre video that always has part of my helmet in the shot. So, I experiment.

A while back, in the summer of 2020, I purchased a combo unit that included both the GoPro Jaws and a GoPro Gooseneck; I bought it at BestBuy where it was called the “Flex Clamp”, but it’s not around anymore it seems. The clamp is really strong, and in the photo you can see that it is protected by a pair of rubber grippers on the business end – that’s actually a rubber loop that runs inside the clamp, so it won’t damage your handlebars (for example). The Gooseneck is an interesting articulated unit giving you an additional 8″ of height, or movement around things, or changing the angle to a portrait mode, or… it’s pretty clever, and remarkably solid and stable. It’s a bit head-heavy once the camera is on, but it’s built to ensure that the oddly delicate looking extension doesn’t add additional vibration or movement. Plus, let’s be honest – most of that is now taken out by the camera’s onboard image stabilization now anyway.

You can attach and detach the Gooseneck in the standard GoPro way. (I thought about a long description of this, but these cameras have been around a long time and their attachment style is nearly universal – so if you need help, YouTube is your friend.) So, when tidying up one day, I was snicking the Gooseneck back onto the Jaws for storage… and one of the legs of the quick release buckle broke. It’s important to note that, probably for stability and cost reasons, the buckle is the base on which the rest of the Gooseneck is built.

You can see where the leg broke off.

So, I now have this broken $25 part. Crap, that’s too bad. Didn’t use it a lot, but used it a bit and it has a place, and I was hoping I could find more of a place for it over time. Then, from deep in the recesses of my aging brain, I remembered that I thought that I heard that someone was told that GoPro has a lifetime warranty on non-electrical accessories. So I went and looked:

Mounts and Accessories: Non-Electrical
Non-electrical GoPro mounts and accessories* are covered by a Lifetime Warranty against defects in materials and workmanship for the lifetime of the product for the benefit of the first purchaser or gift recipient. Products found to be defective will be repaired or replaced at GoPro’s discretion. GoPro reserves the right to make all determinations under this warranty. Products failing due to normal wear and tear, abuse or natural breakdown of materials over extended use and time may be repaired or replaced for a fee. For product support please visit gopro.com/help.

Taken from the GoPro Website

So I went to their website. I tried, over and over, to initiate the support team in the online chat, only to get a message that everyone was too busy, and that they were assisting other customers. Frustrated, I took to Twitter. After a short exchange, I tried again and I got through, before they closed for the day!

https://twitter.com/ommoran/status/1478166835497353216

Darn good service, for a Sunday afternoon. You can read the whole Twitter exchange above, but I gave them some kudos for that one. Anyway, I not only got a ticket number, but the gent had me hang on – going above and beyond – and got the replacement authorized right away. That was awesome. Oddly, I never received an e-mail from GoPro about it. I’ve purchased from them directly before, they had all that contact information on file, but I never got any number other than my ticket number. And, my new Gooseneck never arrived.

So, today, I decided I would follow up – it’s been a month, after all. I tried going online and using their chat bot again, but got the same “we’re busy with other customers” stuff. So, I clicked the button requesting a call back. And I got one, in 12 seconds. I’m not exaggerating. I got one nearly immediately. I gave him my case number, and that’s where everything went kind of sideways for a hot minute.

“Our tracking number shows that the item was delivered, Martin.”

“I have no way to tell, I never received the tracking number, and I haven’t received the delivery.”

“So, checking the tracking number, Martin, it shows that it was delivered today, to your front porch.”

Oh. Not so sideways anymore.

“Err, hold on and let me check.”

And there the package was, with my new Gooseneck. Serendipity, I suppose, and they lived up to their promises. Great work, GoPro – way to stand behind your product, and way to keep a customer happy about the little things. That means I’m going to stay your customer for a long, long time.

PS – if you want to lose yourself in something actually good on Twitter (or at least non-toxic) – GoPro’s feed is always full of some amazing stuff. This caught my eye when writing this post:

https://twitter.com/GoPro/status/1487152010436788225

Author

ommoran@gmail.com
Insurance is my profession, and one of my passions. Motorcyclist, runner, skier, photography newbie. Nerdy tech geek, craft beer enthusiast. Thoughts are my own. Snark is omni-present.
Total post: 209

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