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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I feel obligated to warn all Victor charger owners about dealing with John Caval in Australia. He is the webmaster of RCCAR Australia, and operates a Victor charger ‘repair/upgrade’ service at
http://www.rccar.com.au/Victor Engineering.htm

I have had recent business dealings with him, and am very dissatisfied with his service and attitude.

Here is a breakdown:
  • Mr. Caval sold me incorrect parts (FETs) to fix my charger problem
  • the FETs that Mr. Caval sold to me were purposefully altered to obscure their markings
  • when informed that his fix did not work, Mr. Caval adopted an inappropriate "self pitying" attitude where he stated that ‘he should have known better about attempting repairs over the net’
  • Mr. Caval did not offer any advise to help resolve my charger problem
  • a knowledgeable source for Victor repairs has nothing but bad things to say about Mr. Caval with respect to his lack of knowledge about Victor repairs
  • people have had their equipment repaired by Mr. Caval, only to have to sent it out to others for fixing because of Mr. Caval's 'butcher job'... in at least one case, chip replacements done by Mr. Caval resulted in cut/burned/torn circuit traces on the main circuit board
  • people trying to discuss Victor repairs with Mr. Caval (via e-mail) were after a short time not responded to, even after repeated attempts
Mr. Caval responded back to me after I sent him a letter describing my dissatisfaction with his service. I would like to say that he apologized for the bad service and offered to assist me to repair my still-broken charger, but such is not the case. Instead of addressing (or disputing) any of the things that I said about his bad business practices, or offering to help me resolve the problem, he chose instead to make a personal character attack:

[From Mr. John Caval]:
"Why didn't you go in the first place to your "knowledgible" person? Maybe he's dealt with you before and your the reason he stopped."

Needless to say, I was very upset at Mr. Caval’s response, which I consider totally inappropriate for a businessman. I am a very reasonable and friendly person to deal with, and I conducted all of my dealings with Mr. Caval in a very friendly, businesslike manner.

The ONLY reason I dealt with Mr. Caval and not the 'other person' is that the other person had retired, and was out of the business for a long time. With an ill charger and nowhere else to turn, I dealt with Mr. Caval who seemed to be the only other source of Victor repairs available at the time. I am now regretting my decision immensely. Since that time, I have been in contact with the other person, and he is considering getting back into the business (partially because of the problems people are having with Mr. Caval).

If anyone would like to see a copy of the letter that I was obligated to send Mr. Caval, please let me know. It gives more details about our dealings.

I take no pleasure in taking this kind of action, but I feel obligated to warn people given the circumstances.
 

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It is common practice for service co's to alter or cover up the chip or FET ID's for the simple reason that, if you knew what they were, you wouldnt need him to furnish them. Also to rule out the threat of people illegelly blasting copies of the EPROMs and selling them, like is being done on Victor chips right now. No different than software piracy. The Major chips in the Victor also sit in receptacles for easy replacement. It is a 50/50 risk of damage desoldering a chip from a printed circuit board manually by even the most skilled tech.It should be done on a special machine such as O.K. industries work station. Also your repair skills are an unknown quantity to him. If he aknowledges he sent the wrong parts he should replace them. I am also in the service buisiness and I bend over backwards to help a customer UNTIL thier demeanor starts to get nasty then then I will flat refuse to accept thier buisiness. Not taking sides here but seems like you need him a little more than he needs you, it may be wise to eat a little crow or risk losing the charger.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Hi there, Mayhem

All very good points. Especially the part about Mr. Caval's not knowing my repair skills. He did indeed ask me if I had the skills to attempt the component replacement, which I do... I have been working with electronics for a long time now and this component replacement was nothing that I couldn't do easily.

After I discovered that the complete FET replacement did not solve the problem (lots of time and money down the drain), I consulted with Sam Capri (a very knowledgeable Victor repair person)... someone I knew would give me the right answers. Based on my description of the initial problem (which I also described in detail to Mr. Caval), he said that Mr. Caval should never have sold me a whole batch of replacement FETs... since the problem was not FET-related.

I e-mailed Mr. Caval several times asking him for his assistance (I was being very nice about it), but he kept avoiding me and did not offer any useful advise. I have kept transcripts of all of our 'conversations', and I always kept a friendly tone in them. When I told Mr. Caval that his recommended repair did not work, I simply said that the FET replacment did not seem to do the trick and that the charger did the same thing... and then I asked him (nicely) if he could help me track down the problem. Mr. Caval then started giving bad attitude to ME. However, I was sure to be nice in my correspondence, as Mr. Caval was my only possible source of information to get my charger fixed.

That is why I am very upset with Mr. Caval. He sold me parts he shouldn't have, and then when told they did not solve the problem he did nothing to assist me to resolve the problem. I was very friendly right up to the end.

After a while of no assistance from Mr. Caval, I realized that he would be of no help. I sent him a letter describing how I was displeased with his service, and I do realize I burned my bridges with him. However, he stopped being a 'nice businessman' long before that.

It may be that Mr. Caval knows how to install upgrade parts, but his knowledge about Victor repairs is very debatable... If he truly has the knowledge and skills for this sort of business, he would have been able to respond immediately with possible ideas for a fix. He certainly did not 'bend over backwards to help a customer'. Apparantly there are many others who feel the same way about him.

With Sam Capri back in the business again, I am not without options... he is the only person I trust for Victor repairs. There is no way that I will ever deal with Mr. Caval again, as I now consider him to be a very disreputible businessman.


Glenn Cauley
Ottawa, Canada
 

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Could you post a link , or send me some way o of contacting Mr. Capri, I am in need of the new 3300 battery software chip upgrade . Thank you ,,, el_gator @sbcglobal.net
 

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Discussion Starter #6
On a happy note, I am pleased to report that Mr. Caval has refunded the money I paid him, since his fix (FET-replacement) did nothing to resolve my charger's problem.

Glenn Cauley
Ottawa, Canada
 
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