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View Full Version : Epic Stealth Cam is NOT worth it & has horrible service!


FrontSight
December 23, 2008, 02:39 PM
Just thought I'd let everyone know to steer clear of this product especially if you intend to mount it to your gun...

The idea is great, but the reality is not:

- Stealth Cam has the WORST customer service in the world, and won't stand behind their defective waterproof housing design! Read on...

- I attached it to my shotgun with the waterproof housing, and the front of the housing shattered with my first three rounds of 3 1/2" shells when duck hunting, so the camera popped out the front & was lost in high grass marsh and I could not find it (camouflage didn't help of course).

When I called them to tell them of how THEIR camera popped out of THEIR DESIGNED HOUSING that I paid extra for, costing me a camera, a housing, an 8 gigabyte card that I bought separately on my own, a ruined hunt looking for it, and ruined memories, they said "We will do NOTHING for you".

Nothing!! No replacement, no rebate, no discount on a new one...NOTHING!! I even spoke to a supervisor & nothing!

I even pointed out to them how this was a design flaw of THEIRS, and how I was bringing it to THEIR attention, and nothing!

The customer service rep (falsely) claimed that it was not designed to be mounted to a gun and that it (falsely) said so in the manual; that you should NOT mount it to a gun. So I opened the manual up online right then while on the phone with him and pointed out that he was 100% incorrect; NO WHERE in the manual does it state that. I even pointed out how it says in the manual to be creative & come up with your own mounting ideas, which I did (using pipe clamps b/c that was the only thing that would keep it secure), and nowhere in the manual does it even warn to be careful of recoil, and still nothing!

Apart from their horrible and callous customer service, there are design problems too:

- No easy, secure way to mount it to your gun, even with the extra $$ spent on the optional mounting pieces (I finally had to resort to ingenuity and used pipe clamps, AS THEIR MANUAL suggests to be creative).

- Works horribly in low light, which is when you need it most for hunting.

- No quick way to turn it on & keep it recording.

- Battery life is terrible.

Given their horrible service and design flaws, plus the fact that I am out over $200 between the camera, optional mountings and 8 gig chip, I would NOT recommend this product to anyone!

:mad::mad:

freakintoguns
December 23, 2008, 02:45 PM
you'd think if they didnt intend for it to be mounted to a gun they would have said soemthing in the manual.

FrontSight
December 23, 2008, 02:55 PM
Exactly! They have it shown on a dirtbike jumping in the air! You know that catches lots of "recoil" type forces when landing!

Man, they are just horrible to deal with!

freakintoguns
December 23, 2008, 03:44 PM
hmmm im pretty sure the landing on a dirtbike is a helluva a lot worse then recoil forma shotgun, as a matter of fact i know it is, wrecked plenty of em to know that!

taylorce1
December 23, 2008, 03:50 PM
The recoil forces from a dirt bike landing will be in a different direction, more up and down which the housing should support better. The recoil of your shotgun will be more backwards where the housing is probably its weakest at the ends. You would have to prove that the camera failed through a defect instead of the recoil of your shotgun which would be tough. They wrote a catch 22 in the warranty that your situation pretty much falls under.


Warranty
The EPIC is covered by a 90 day limited warranty on parts and labor from the
date of original purchase and purchases must be made through an authorized
dealer. The warranty covers defects in workmanship and materials. The
warranty does not apply to units which have been damaged or abused
intentionally or unintentionally. A purchase from individuals or unauthorized
internet sales voids the warranty.

Tampering with or altering unit will also void the warranty. Any unauthorized
service will void the warranty. Original sales receipt must be produced for any
warranty service, and a Return Authorization (RA) number must be obtained
from customer service at 877-269-8490 prior to returning product.

I'm not on either side here but have worked in the customer service business before and have been on both sides of these conversations before.

CPTMurdoc30
December 23, 2008, 04:05 PM
I seen nothing on the web site or in the manual that said you can mount it to a firearm.

They do not provide a mount for a firearm then that tells me that you should not mount it to a firearm.

This I do not see as their fault, The operator could have called the company and asked the question "Can I mount this to a firearm?" how hard would that have been to do. Not very hard if you ask me.

I am not saying the op or the company is right or wrong. All I am saying is if they don't show one mounted to a firearm then that tells me DON'T DO IT.

I don't know how the op treated the camera and I don't know how the CS people treated the OP. But it sounds to me like I didn't ask the question and I broke the camera so it is your fault.

You tried to do something with a product that it was not designed to do and it broke you violated the warranty and now your mad and you want them to replace something you broke.

If you placed 10 tons of cargo in the back of a 1/2 ton pickup would you expect the maker to pay for the damages?

freakintoguns
December 23, 2008, 04:18 PM
your probably right, but that doesnt mean their customer service department has to be rude about it. they could have explained this to him a little better and be nice about it. maybe the OP wooudl be singing a different tune. also this world is one that has to be "idiot" proof. by them not saying anythign abotu mounting it to a gun and saying be creative, they arent saying not do it, they are somewhat encouraging it. im sure theres 1000s upon 1000s of products that are used for things other then what there intended for and work just fine.

taylorce1
December 23, 2008, 04:53 PM
your probably right, but that doesnt mean their customer service department has to be rude about it. they could have explained this to him a little better and be nice about it. maybe the OP wooudl be singing a different tune.

It may have started out innocent enough in the beginning, but I’ll bet the phone call ended with the same tone that the OP posted his thread with. Unfortunately the OP didn't get the answer he watned to hear, and the CS person was within company policy to refuse to replace his camera. I know from experience that it is hard to be polite when a customer is being very rude/offensive towards me.

grymster2007
December 23, 2008, 04:59 PM
by them not saying anythign abotu mounting it to a gun and saying be creative, they arent saying not do it, they are somewhat encouraging it.

I can find nowhere on their site that encourages mounting the camera on a gun. Because they encourage people to be creative with it, doesn't mean they should be responsible for how people use/abuse the product.

Being creative could mean mounting it in a grenade launcher, but they make no claims for that application and are therefore neither encouraging or discouraging that practice.

FrontSight
December 23, 2008, 05:12 PM
They have a HUNTER version they sell for Christ's sake, which is the one I got (in camo), and there's tons of videos on YouTube of people shooting it on their guns (just not in the waterproof housing, I am guessing).

And for those who cant read, the camera did not break (I think); the housing did because it was so thin, which caused the camera to pop out and go God knows where...

taylorce1
December 23, 2008, 05:33 PM
The warranty does not apply to units which have been damaged or abused
intentionally or unintentionally.

Can you prove that it was manufacture defect vs. unintentional abuse? Without the all the pieces to the camera I doubt you can.

They have a HUNTER version they sell for Christ's sake,

Sure they do but all they ever show it mounted on is the stabilizer of a compound bow in their brochure. There is a big difference in recoil when compared to a 3-1/2 inch shell out of a shotgun.

I would hate to loose that kind of money as well, but I don’t see where you have much of a case against their product. I wouldn't expect a $200 camera with accessories to hold up to the kind of punishment a shotgun puts out. It is like most things in life you get what you pay for, and I've bought enough cheap products to know they are rarely worth the money.

Socrates
December 23, 2008, 08:34 PM
3.5" Shotgun shells recoil about like a 458 Win Mag. Finding a scope that can handle that kind of recoil is usually Leopold, and, VERY expensive.

Why did you think a camera designed for taking pictures of unsuspecting animals, so that you can plan times to hunt, would mount on a shotgun? Rifle mounts that hold a scope in place are not cheap, either, and, for a gun that recoils like a 458 win mag, again, not an easy thing.

I'm sorry you lost your rather cool camera. I'd love to setup one outside, and see if I could get pics of the critters around here.

Still, logic, physics, etc. really dictate that you are using the camera setup WAY outside it's intended use.

http://www.epicstealthcam.com/hunters_home_pg.html

http://www.epicstealthcam.com/images/hunters_home_pg_10.jpg

On the otherhand, this does look like a picture of a epic cam, mounted on a shotgun...but, it looks mile the barrel is a 22lr...

taylorce1
December 23, 2008, 08:47 PM
On the otherhand, this does look like a picture of a epic cam, mounted on a shotgun...but, it looks mile the barrel is a 22lr...

The epic cam is mounted on the guys hat, so you probably wouldn't ge a picture of what you were shooting at anyway. That is a red dot scope mounted on the shotgun.

CPTMurdoc30
December 24, 2008, 02:08 PM
I just don't see where it is the companies fault in the first place.

You bought it and abused it cut and dry. Nowhere does it state it is ok to mount the camera to a shotgun rifle or pistol.

So by your thinking if someone bought this and shoved it up there azz the company should be liable for the cost of the surgery to remove from said persons colon. All because it doesn't say DO NOT PLACE CAMERA IN ONES OR SOME ONES RECTUM.

SKULLANDCROSSBONES65
December 27, 2008, 06:57 PM
G'day.
Thanks for the warning.

I recently read an article in an Australian shooting magazine about these cameras. In the article the camera was mounted to a rifle. I then did a little research, including posting a question on this web site. I was given to believe that the biggest problem I would have with fitting this camera to a firearm would be a suitable mounting method.

FrontSight
December 29, 2008, 02:07 PM
The recoil is no problem on the camera itself; you don't get a lot of recoil from an Extrema 2 with kickoff, even with 3.5 inch shells.

The problem was with the flimsy waterproof housing; the front cracked right off and the camera popped out and went only God knows where.

So my problem is that they made this housing, sold it to me for a profit, I bring to their attention that their is a problem with it, as well as give them a great idea for a new mounting method (with a beef up needed, obviously) to increase their sales & revenue, and they won't even discount me on a SECOND purchase.

And THAT, my friends, is why their customer service is HORRIBLE. :mad:

Brian Pfleuger
December 29, 2008, 02:17 PM
and the camera popped out and went only God knows where.

I'm just curious. Did the camera fall and you didn't notice for a while? I just can't see dropping a camera within the radius of a shotgun barrel and not being able to find it, regardless of terrain.

FrankenMauser
December 29, 2008, 02:35 PM
This really isn't an "Epic Steath Cam Sucks" thread.

It is an "I learned a lesson the hard way" thread.

I'm sorry you lost money, and felt that the company owed you a replacement. However, I really don't think your application was ever an intended use for the device.

Why would you expect a discount on a second one? You've probably already troubled them enough. Why would they want to give you another chance to irritate their CS staff....


Bicycle seat.... bill of a hat.... compound bow stabilizer.... tree stand screw.... 3.5" magnum shotgun....
.......One of these things it not like the others........One of these things does not belong....... (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZIvgQ9ik48)

FrontSight
December 29, 2008, 04:30 PM
I'm just curious. Did the camera fall and you didn't notice for a while? I just can't see dropping a camera within the radius of a shotgun barrel and not being able to find it, regardless of terrain.

I was in a marsh about 30 yards from the shore (saltwater), fired three shots, "ran" into the water to the wounded geese, fired two more to finish them off, walked back, sat down, went to hit the stop record button & saw it was gone. Looked for two hours in that marsh, thigh high grass, boot sucking mud and puddles of water ankle deep & plus the actual water. Camera is only about 4 inches long and camo colored so almost impossible to find without a metal detector, which I do not have.



Why would you expect a discount on a second one? You've probably already troubled them enough. Why would they want to give you another chance to irritate their CS staff....

Troubled them enough?? I called them once to politely explain what happened and ask them what they could do for me, including a break on the price of a second one, told them how they could improve their design, told them of a great way to mount it securely to a gun (per their manual "Let us know of your ideas for mounting and we'll give you free prizes in return if we like it!", which could give them a huge increase in their revenue, and they basically told me "tough s..t, we couldn't care less, we will do NOTHING for you, and the manual says not to put it on a gun." which was a lie (or at least incorrect, since the manual is online & you can view it yourself here: http://www.epicstealthcam.com/epic_manual/epic_manual_1.pdf).

I asked to speak to a Supervisor and the same thing, even after I pointed out that the prior rep was wrong. How is that troubling them enough?!

OH, AND LOOKY HERE, ON THE SPORTSMANS GUIDE WEBSITE:

http://www.sportsmansguide.com/net/cb/cb.aspx?a=450142
"This Kit includes hardware for mounting the camera on your gun, hat, bow, tree or wrist..."

I am on the phone with them right now and they just told me that the Sportsmans Guide is an authorized dealer! A manager at Epic (Donna) told me that NO WHERE did it say that you could mount it to a gun & to call her back if I could show here anywhere that it said otherwise, and yet here it is, from an authorized dealer!

I knew I had seen that somewhere; I had looked at the Sportsman's Guide before I ordered it instead directly from Epic. On hold right now, let's see if she ever picks up the phone...

SO, how many of you now STILL think I was wrong to mount it to a gun and should get nothing in compensation, when one of their very own authorized dealers says the kit lets you do that, right on their website in black & white???

FrontSight
December 29, 2008, 05:31 PM
Ha, tells me she has no control over what one of her very own authorized dealers puts on their website for their own product.

But NOOOOOWWWWW they are offerng me a $30 discount (from $170 to $140). Amazing what some proof will get you, :rolleyes:

At least it's something, but it's still not quite fair, in my opinion, since it is their very own authorized dealer who states the kit is for mounting to a gun, in black & white print.

taylorce1
December 29, 2008, 05:45 PM
But NOOOOOWWWWW they are offerng me a $30 discount (from $170 to $140). Amazing what some proof will get you,

So are you going to buy it again? If you do are you going to mount it to your shotgun again, or are you going to find a different way to do things? I still feel that they didn't have to offer you anything, but if you feel justified then that is all that matters.

FrontSight
December 29, 2008, 05:56 PM
So are you going to buy it again? If you do are you going to mount it to your shotgun again, or are you going to find a different way to do things? I still feel that they didn't have to offer you anything, but if you feel justified then that is all that matters.

It's a tough decision...$140 replacement is not peanuts, especially in this economy, and since I can't use it to mount to a gun (not in the way I want, anyway, with the waterproof housing) then it becomes a matter of "Do I want to spend $140 to have it only partly useful for what I want, especially considering the other design flaws it has, but still use it for other applications, where it would be cool?"

If they were offering it for $75 or so then I would be more inclined, but still not 100%.

In other words, if it was:

- Able to be mounted to a gun with a waterproof housing,

- AND worked well in low light,

- AND battery life was better

- AND it had a quicker on/off,

- AND it came with an 8gig card

THEN $140 replacement would be almost a gimme, and a sure thing as a first time purchase.

So I'm torn.

Gbro
December 29, 2008, 10:49 PM
Look what I found about damage to your epic cam! (http://www.epicstealthcam.com/damage_policy/epic_damage_policy.pdf)
(the blue line is the link)

That link is found in small print on this web site (http://www.epicstealthcam.com/HTML/action_kit.html)!
(to learn about our accidental damage policy- Click here)

Double Naught Spy
December 29, 2008, 11:06 PM
At least it's something, but it's still not quite fair, in my opinion, since it is their very own authorized dealer who states the kit is for mounting to a gun, in black & white print.

There "own" authorized dealer isn't actually their own. In other words, they are not responsible for what their authorized dealers do. So you can't blame the Epic for what their dealer claimed.

Ha, tells me she has no control over what one of her very own authorized dealers puts on their website for their own product.

This is probably true unless they have a contract that stipulates advertising of the product must first be approved by Epic and that isn't likely to be the case.

First you complain they won't do anything for you, not even a discount...
Nothing!! No replacement, no rebate, no discount on a new one...NOTHING!! I even spoke to a supervisor & nothing!

Then they offer you a discount...
But NOOOOOWWWWW they are offerng me a $30 discount (from $170 to $140). Amazing what some proof will get you,

At least it's something, but it's still not quite fair, in my opinion, since it is their very own authorized dealer who states the kit is for mounting to a gun, in black & white print.

And you don't think it is good enough?

Interesting how Scrap5000's story changes. First was said...
- I attached it to my shotgun with the waterproof housing, and the front of the housing shattered with my first three rounds of 3 1/2" shells when duck hunting, so the camera popped out the front & was lost in high grass marsh and I could not find it (camouflage didn't help of course).

Then we learn...
I was in a marsh about 30 yards from the shore (saltwater), fired three shots, "ran" into the water to the wounded geese, fired two more to finish them off, walked back, sat down, went to hit the stop record button & saw it was gone. Looked for two hours in that marsh, thigh high grass, boot sucking mud and puddles of water ankle deep & plus the actual water.

First is was 3 shots in the marsh grass. Then it was 3 in the grass and two in the water. What else are we missing?

FrontSight
December 30, 2008, 12:18 AM
Man, I am finding it for cheaper than $140 on e-bay...

FrontSight
December 30, 2008, 12:28 AM
GBRO: The policy states: "The replacement policy does not cover lost or stolen items", so the camera busting out of their own housing & getting lost does not qualify.

FrontSight
December 30, 2008, 12:30 AM
Double Naught Spy,

1) Do you even realize how many calls and different people and reasoning and pointing to their dealer's websites I had to do with them to get offered a $30 discount? As well as offering them a great idea on how to mount it to a gun & how to beef up their housing so that this doesn't happen again & they can make more money & sales? The effort alone was worth WAY more than $30, so give me a break & don't insinuate that I am feeling ungratefully entitled. ESPECIALLY when I am finding it for CHEAPER on e-bay. So really, what kind of help are they being??

2) Oooooooh, wow, so I left off that I ran and fired two more while standing in the water, wow, what a slick, lying, story changer I must be, huh?! :rolleyes: The reason I didn't bother mentioning that was because I was shooting point blank into the goose/water, and would have had a much better chance of seeing something fly off into the small area right in front of me with water, instead of at a target in the distance, with a large field of view & grass and background, so it is much more likely that it busted out in the first 3 rounds.

Either way, 5 rounds is no different than 3 rounds; I don't see your need to nitpick. That's like saying someone's a liar if they claimed their car broke down at 61,000 miles when it fact it was 62,000. Big...friggin...difference...NOT!

I've got the professional guide and another client of his that I met that day who witnessed the event as well, if anyone doubts my account of the events & can't sleep without proof of my honesty. Where I come from it's a big insult to call a man a liar without a good, solid reason, and we think long & hard before going there. I'd appreciate you showing some manners and doing the same.;)

Brian Pfleuger
December 30, 2008, 04:11 PM
I was in a marsh about 30 yards...

Fair enough. Regardless of whether they intend to warranty the item or not, the way they seem to have treated you is ridiculous. Bad customer service is one of my pet-peeves. I've had more than one angry customer in more than one type of business that came in belligerent and left thanking me - without getting what they wanted. There is no excuse for poor treatment. (That goes for both sides of the counter.)

FrontSight
December 30, 2008, 04:57 PM
Fair enough. Regardless of whether they intend to warranty the item or not, the way they seem to have treated you is ridiculous. Bad customer service is one of my pet-peeves. I've had more than one angry customer in more than one type of business that came in belligerent and left thanking me - without getting what they wanted. There is no excuse for poor treatment. (That goes for both sides of the counter.)

Exactly!

Plus they either lied to me, or were just flat out unknowledgable - about what is written in their own manual, no less! - when they stated that it says "it's not to be used on firearms", when it does not say that anywhere, and were not even apologetic about it, even when I gave them proof of how it does not say that and of how their own authorized dealer states you can mount it to a gun with the optional kit.

And after ALL of that, the best they are willing to do is give me $30 off, which is still more than it costs if I were to buy it on e-bay, so they are not even willing to sell it to me at cost.

And THAT is why their customer service is horrible :mad:

SKULLANDCROSSBONES65
December 31, 2008, 03:26 AM
G'day. On their web site it says that the EPIC is suited to ALL sports, on land or water. It seems as if the water proof housing IS NOT suited to all sports.

PetahW
December 31, 2008, 04:35 AM
My son bought one last July - fortunately from Cabela's, where he is a frequent flier.

He's a bow and gun hunter, but uses it mounted on his hat brim so it would record where he looked even when he wasn't shooting.

Too bad the electronics kept failing, every time it was turned on during a hunt, after 5-10 seconds.

It worked great in an initial 2-minute backyard test, prior to hunting, but turned out to be unreliable.

Being a frequent flier, he dealt directly with Cabela's, whose tech staff had a few questions to determine if the product was defective.
They determined it was, and requested he return it for a full refund.

Cabela's is a good outfit to do business with.

.

FrontSight
December 31, 2008, 10:25 AM
Cabelas is definitely top notch, and their customer service is outstanding, have been great to me over the years!

See, I give credit where credit is due, and I am not a jerk to deal with nor do I ever feel unrightfully entitled or anything like that.

For example, I bought a used Marlin .35 Rem from my local dealer a few months ago, he let me test fire it a couple of times and all was good. Living in NYC, it had to be registered, and after a week or so I get a letter from NYPD saying I could not buy it yet b/c it was less than 3 months since my last purchase (of a Savage muzzle loader, which isn't even a firearm by BATFE standards, but whatever), so I had to bring it back and let him hold it for three months.

I get it back from him after 3 months, go right home to put it away, and now notice that the stock is cracked on the handle, pretty badly that the trigger mechanism isn't working correctly.

I know for sure it had to have happenned while my dealer had it, since it was fine before I brought it back, but I tell my dealer I am more than happy to pay full price for a replacement stock or maybe go half with him, depending on how much it is.

I could have told him I know it was his fault and I want it replaced free, but that's just not how I am.

So knowing that I am of that personality, then something clearly is very bad about the customer service at Epic.