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Talk to Optima

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by jangleguy, Oct 23, 2009.

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  1. Ice man
    Joined: Mar 12, 2008
    Posts: 983

    Ice man
    Member

    I happens with almost ever thing we really like. We find a good product ( I have a red top and its still good, no problem. Then they move to a nother country and every thing changes but the name. Then they want to know what to do to make us happy. NO I will not buy another one until they move back up and give us good onl US manufacturing. We might as well by the cheepy made out of the country, and save some money. We could buy 2 cheepys for one of there's and when it quits get a nother one. Why support some Hi mucky mucks bonus. My 3 cents Iceman
     
  2. plym49
    Joined: Aug 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,797

    plym49
    Member
    from Earth

    Pretty good elevator statement.

    I guess that the original idea was that you paid a premium and got a better battery, one that would take a beating and, if nothing else, last a long time.

    Now you pay a premium and get a battery that does not, in many cases, last as long as the lowest priced batteries available.

    I guess it does not make sense to pay four times the price for a battery that lasts as long (or less!) that the alternative, conventional batteries that last a solid three or four years - maybe even five.

    I wonder if Optima is paying attention to all this, or if this thread is already being considered as simply a lot of statements by folks who like to complain.
     
  3. jangleguy
    Joined: Dec 26, 2004
    Posts: 2,668

    jangleguy
    Member

    I can't say how much they care, but they are reading this.
     
  4. I have purchased two of thier batterys, one for my 34 roadster that is a six volt and a 12 volt for my 3 window. They were purchased 7 or 8 years ago. Both are doing fine. I would not buy any more from them because they left the country and all I have heard about the new ones is , They are junk!!!!
     
  5. When I bought my OT Jeep, it had two red tops in there. Great batteries, lasted for years, still going strong. That was in about 2001 when I bought the car, not sure how long they were in there before I bought it.
    Later, I won a red top in a raffle. This was about 2006 or so. It lasted about 3 months, won't hold a charge, got rid of it. I assumed it was due to being a bad one in the lot, but hearing all these stories, maybe not. I've also heard similar stories on several Jeep sites, so I think I'll look elsewhere next time. Too bad because I love the two I have in my Jeep.
     
  6. FuelFC
    Joined: Feb 12, 2003
    Posts: 764

    FuelFC
    Member

    Jangle, I really hope like hell you are getting something out of this. I know you are only the messenger. :) No worries we all know you. I promise I will not hold against you the company you keep. LOL.

    Now for the "Readers" that are reading. This is small snapshot of the whole situation and I have one simple question.

    What are you going to do about it?
     
  7. hot rod wille
    Joined: Oct 27, 2005
    Posts: 695

    hot rod wille
    Member

    OK--Let's start. I had an Optima red top in my 37 Ford coupe.It was used at the time--maybe 6 months old.It was in the car for 5 years--never a problem, and it got started almost every day.I started having "weird" electrical problems--I'm into auto electrical system at my job and as a side business.Traced it to the battery,and figured it had done it's job--time for a new one.This was in the early 90's. Bought a new red top Optima and was never happy with it: always low voltage-never started the car great--and still had "weird" electrical crap happening.I went over that car for maybe 3 months,looking for possible problems.I finally put in a parts store battery,for like $60.00--no more problems of ANY type.
    Fast forward to about 3 years ago--got a good deal on a red top Optima from a friend in the business,for a roadster project.That thing was a piece of shit from day one--another parts-store battery worked good.Took the Optima back for exchange--4 TIMES!! Last one worked ok--sold the car soon after,not sure if it's stil in it or not.
    I work in a fleet operation--we use all kinds of different batterys:jell-filled,weird dry-cell type,etc. We used Optimas for years--but the last 3-4 years for them have been crap.We started using Odysey batteries in some of our stuff--but those things are real expensive!
    Sorry to say---Optimas are crap now, and I'm not sure if they can fix the problems--as for the Mexico part,well, I think we all know what to expect from that--just a southern China,to me.
     
  8. THESE ARE JUNK. We use to sell them but had to stop about 5 years ago because of so many problems. They said the yellow tops are better but they are the same JUNK. When I tried to talk to the Optima guy at the SEMA show about the problems we were having his answer was to give me some free hats and posters to try and get me out of the booth.I have 3 yellow tops in the shop right now that won't hold a charge. I will never buy another Optima battery EVER!! This problem with has been going on for many years and nobody has fixed it yet, so my guess is they just don't care. If they cared they would stand behind all these dead players and not hide behind a coded mfg. date on the battery.If you still decide to buy these make sure your receipt is dated and keep it because the date on the battery my be a year old my the time you get it. Feel free to call me.

    BOB JULIANO
    JULIANO'S HOT RODS.
    1 860 872 1932
     
  9. Oilcan Harry
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 906

    Oilcan Harry
    Member
    from INDY

    If Optima has all these quality and warranty problems there is simply no need for any "constructive criticisim". No quality and no service = no sales, and no criticsim could be of any help. Personaly I don't care what kind of case they install a shitty battery in. WHEN WILL AMERICAN BUSINESS LEARN, A GOOD REPUTATION IS SO HARD TO BUILD, AND SO EASY TO RUIN! Sounds like they have shot themselves in the foot and its over! When you make you sales outlets so mad they won't carry your product anymore you're SCREWED.
    The company I worked for sent a parts line for television production to Mexico because the part "cost too much to make here". The entire production was moved and the defective scrap rate of .016% in the USA went to 48% in Mexico. [Hey that wasn't bad the start up scrap rate for several months was 62%!] After two years of pulling their hair out, they finaly got the scrap rate down to 37%. The company moved the whole operation back to the states after three and a half years of total disaster. Of course the productive American team they had was scattered and lost. Its part of the reason TVs are no longer made here.
     
  10. rusted_nut
    Joined: Dec 2, 2007
    Posts: 168

    rusted_nut
    Member
    from Arkansas

    Personally, I've never tried one, but the price/foreign production will keep me with the basic battery.
     
  11. craftscustoms
    Joined: Mar 16, 2005
    Posts: 219

    craftscustoms
    Member

    I'm curious as to what effect being bought by johnson controls had on the decision to move production to mexico. Is this another story about a good solid company being bought and the new owners deciding to change everything in the name of profits?
    It seems to that if the optima (johnson controls?) people really cared about addressing these problems they could sign up on this board and face these complaints head on, instead of doing more research.
     
  12. oldfardyfode
    Joined: Feb 9, 2006
    Posts: 227

    oldfardyfode
    Member

    I bought one from Pep Boys several years ago...Bought to mount in an alternate position...Kept it on the shelf doing the normal stuff to keep it fresh like the P-boys told me to...Got ready to install and nothing ..Returned it to Pep Boys and the tried to tell me it was made in 1990 I had bought it 6 months prior....AND I had the paperwork to prove it... PB's Manager's solution was to take my paper work then tell me to get the hell out of there and never come back...I haven't been back OR Bought my usual multiple sets of tires per year since then...I have an Optima in my 34 (in it when I obtained the car....So far so good but a cheapy is good nuf when it goes...I did try to contact several entities at Optima to NO AVAIL...Obvious they didn't care.....The 32 I'm now building will get a cheapy as I'm through with Big Name BS that isn't as good as the cheap stuff....I paid $186 for that Deep cycle Marine OPT Battery....So I keep it around for my friends to see and ask "How come ya donne use that high dollar battery in at nice 32 ??? Then I 'splain it to 'em in great detail...None have bought an Optima....So Dear ole Optima folk listen up !!! Word of mouth can bury your precious Company with it's Mexican crap product....And I throw a shovel full on the ole casket everytime I have the OPPortunity...I don't want others to get shafted like I did..... Cj.
     
  13. lostforawhile
    Joined: Mar 23, 2008
    Posts: 4,160

    lostforawhile
    Member

    one word for Optima, who in the hell is going to pay that much for a brand new battery sold basically "AS IS!!" that's what it is, no one here will warranty the things, I'll go to Wally World and buy a Chinese battery if I have to, at least I can bring it back when it's no good. If I want to play the lottery I'll go buy a ticket. I already lost on one. :mad:
     
  14. Diavolo
    Joined: Apr 1, 2009
    Posts: 815

    Diavolo
    Member

    I'm a member of a group of guys and girls that have a little bit of a hobby, which is working on cars. I hear from them that Optima used to be good, but now their product is... less than satisfactory.

    I have never owned an Optima battery. That being said, I put a lot of trust in a bunch of fellow mechanics, many who are more knowledgeable than me. I also trust old, solid technology. While AGM technology may be newer and cooler, lead/acid submergence has worked for as long as I can remember and they don't fail enough to make me be concerned about them. Also, I can get one at any gas station, Walmart, or cheap chain auto parts in any town I can get towed to if I have to. Also, for the most part, a battery is needed to store energy to start a motor. That's about it. A little reserve for high draw accessories, but for the most part it just turns the starter. Not a lot of tech needed to do that in my opinion.

    Based on that, I think I would rather not risk spending the extra money for something that seems to be less than reliable and harder to get replaced.
     
  15. lostforawhile
    Joined: Mar 23, 2008
    Posts: 4,160

    lostforawhile
    Member

    I look at it this way, after doing lots of research and hearing what other people have said about the AGM batteries, also the fact that they have approved one for aircraft, I'll go with one. new technology isn't always a bad thing. look at the technology they put into these batteries. they are built like a brick s..t house.
     
  16. Side
    Joined: Feb 28, 2009
    Posts: 157

    Side
    Member
    from Berlin, OK

    I cornered an Optima rep a couple years ago at a Batteries Plus store and asked him what happened. I got 7 years out of my first Red Top before any trouble. My next red top quit after a month. The third lasted three months. What the rep told me was Optima sold out to Johnson Controls and they changed things around with the batteries. A very large batch of bad batteries were produced and I wasn't cost effective to junk them all. Instead Johnson Controls dropped the price and offered rebates to move them. What the Optima Rep told me next was buy an Odyssey. They are made by the guy who invented Optima technology. I followed his advice and bought the Odyssey and have not regretted it the least.
     
  17. skajaquada
    Joined: Sep 14, 2004
    Posts: 1,642

    skajaquada
    Member
    from SLC Utard

    Here's my issues from being on both sides of the counter/track/bay door in regards to these batteries.

    First off, most people seem to think that the Optima batteries make more power and last longer (we know about that part already...) so let's look at that one using a top leading brand made standard group 78 battery.
    ~$180 for red top with 800cca and 1000ca and 36mo warranty
    ~$90 for the top standard batt with 800cca and 1000ca and 36mo warranty

    Oh, but you can turn it upside down...how many times do you do that in your daily driver though?

    How about the vibration resistance? Sure doesn't seem to make them last longer.

    Wait, maybe they put out power longer? Nope, 50 min reserve on the red top and 80 on the standard batt.

    I know, they are easier to charge and maintain! Nope, you have to use a special charger or process to charge them.

    Not USA made, not more efficient, not more durable, not more powerful and they cost twice as much...but your buddies will think you're cool for shelling out for one. Oh yeah, they work upside down.

    Never find one in a vehicle I own...
     
  18. Ghost28
    Joined: Nov 23, 2008
    Posts: 3,190

    Ghost28
    Member

    TOUGH CROWD. It sounds like to me that they were having problems with there product, long before moving to mexico. So instead of fixing the problem they just went with cheaper production to justify or absorb the lower sales they were having. Sounds like bad management decisions. Probably should have fixed the problem, and then moved. Then we wouldn't be having this discussion. Good luck digging themselves out of this hole...John
     
  19. you want to know what we think,well heres what I see,#1 bring it back to the states and market as such #2 make a smaller design that is more user friendly and maybe in a "fashionable" flat black #3 look at a harley tourng battery they are durable last great as a sealed style and are very small,I do know guys running them in cars #4 make it so screw in studs (posts) can be used from different side for mounting (will save on build cost) #5 offer a rebate program when a WORKING battery is built to get the bad ones out of rotation/public use #6 go back thru your R&D files when you move it back to the states and reinstate your building procedures as used in the late 90s #7 When you return offer ex-employees their jobs back while retaining their time in the company #8 watch profits grow when the public sees you "care" and you get the tax breaks to bring the company HOME!!.........hows that for starters......250 rule in sales=For every person your displease 250 people WILL hear about it!
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2009
  20. I too had to replace a red top early because it would not hold a charge. I replaced it with a Sears Gold battery for under $100.00. I will not consider buying an Optima.

    Optima must first learn some basic business principles before fixing their current problems. Personal experience, word of mouth, and customer service make or break a company. If you sell a battery for $200.00, you better be prepared to stand behind it. When a consumer see's that a product is made in Mexico, China, Thialand, etc., everyone (right or wrong) assumes that the quality is inferrior. Optima should have known that prior to moving it's operations out of the country (another basic business principle). That, coupled with quality issues are going to be hard to overcome.
     
  21. Steves32
    Joined: Aug 28, 2007
    Posts: 1,280

    Steves32
    Member
    from So Cal

    For comparison- I googled Odyssey battery problems.
    They seem to have a draining problem as well but only 254,000 hits/ A far cry from 1,850,000
    Alot of the posts are on pricing so it's even lower than that.


    I notice the supporters are mostly running older batteries. The older ones are great. I have one in my 2003 work van. I have 2 others in a couple of non HAMB cars as well. It's the more recent ones that are an issue.

    Their selling point to me years ago was no wet cells leaking- can mount in any position (I think they changed- don't recommend upside down anymore?), less prone to failure from vibration, not required to be in a vented box (NHRA still wants it vented though).
    They worked great early on. I've had red tops sitting on a shelf for a year that would still start a car. Not today.

    I did a job at Costco a few months ago. I was in the back & there was 2 pallets stacked high w/ red tops on one & yellows and a few blues on another. On a 3rd pallet was 3 Kirkland wet cell batteries. I asked what's the deal with all the batteries? Those are returns.
    Nuff said.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2009
  22. jangleguy
    Joined: Dec 26, 2004
    Posts: 2,668

    jangleguy
    Member

    I'm finally going to SEMA, after just barely missing out for the last 15 years in a row.
     
  23. I have never purchased an Optima battery. I would never pay $200 for any car battery. After reading about all the problems Optima has had over the last couple of years and the lack of customer service that goes with it, why would I ever consider buying one of their batteries? Poor product, poor service, overpriced. No thank you.
     
  24. FuelFC
    Joined: Feb 12, 2003
    Posts: 764

    FuelFC
    Member

    Lostforawhile is right on AGM's. The technology is sound and very reliable. Don't blow them off if you want one. Look back to the old ones everyone has talked about they did last very well.

    Also stated AGM is not a cure all for issues or covering a problem but they (good ones) are pretty damned abuse tolerant.


    And I have the solution for those special "Readers" in Vegas. Tell you what, since I know just a little about your issues. Hire me for 1/2 of what the head honcho is getting paid base and I'll take 1% in gross sales increase as my bonus, but I call the shots.

    And as part of the package you also give Ryan the owner of this joint some ching, big $$$$, for your answers on how to just start to put your companies image back on track.

    Let me know by say noon sunday so I can start to put operational and business plans in place. I can start handing out some pink slips by early Monday afternoon and hiring people before dinner. We can be moving facilites by say Tuesday I would think.

    Oddly we have a fine vacant facility not 10 miles from here that is ready and equipped for such endeavors.

    Look forward to your reply.

    Regards
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2009
  25. I work in the auto parts business. I am employed by one of the largest auto parts chains in the U.S.
    I sell dozens of batteries per week. It is uncomfortable to me to try and explain why a battery cost over 2 times the price of my "premium" battery but has less than HALF the warranty period.
    Also, from MY experience, OPTIMAS have a HIGH failure rate. I see several come back for warranty after only a year of service.

    If I do not have confidence in a product, I do not try to sell it to my customer.

    FYI - I have regular, wet-cell batteries in all of my vehicles. The oldest being my 5 year old Dodge that still has the OEM battery.




    OPTIMA: If you want to increase sales of your product, LOWER the price to about $125 and EXTEND the warranty to 7 years with a 2 year free-replacement period. Oh, then move production back to the USA.
     
  26. jangleguy
    Joined: Dec 26, 2004
    Posts: 2,668

    jangleguy
    Member

    FuelFC: Will you be needing a janitor or parts washer? I need a job...
     
  27. 39 All Ford
    Joined: Sep 15, 2008
    Posts: 1,531

    39 All Ford
    Member
    from Benton AR

    For me, I don't mind paying for VALUE, I will pay good money up front for a good product, but if I think I got burned on what I thought was a premium product, I won't ever go back. (in 1990 Dodge burned me when they WOULD NOT stand behind their Gertag tranny (a well known POS mind you) when the truck was supposed to be under waranty, I have never even considered one since....)

    I have had good experiences with OPTIMA batterys, my son not as much. I like the fact that they don't leak on my cars, but if I start having issues, I will buy something else and not look back.

    BTW, I as well look to AMERICAN MADE PRODUCTS, and more than not this is a STRONG influence as to what I spend my money on.

    Tools, equipment and parts I like to think I am better than 85% American...

    yea I know, talk is cheap, but I ALWAYS consider American made products and I will often pay twice over China....
     
  28. Katuna
    Joined: Feb 25, 2005
    Posts: 1,812

    Katuna
    Member
    from Clovis,Ca.

    Johnson Controls is the biggest problem! I'm watching them systematically dismantle York International manufacturing plants and sending the work to Mexico with predictable quality results.

    Make it cheaper in Mexico, charge more and fuck with the warranty, the JCI way!
     
  29. FuelFC
    Joined: Feb 12, 2003
    Posts: 764

    FuelFC
    Member

    Jangle, I have a spot for you and it ain't cleaning up or being a parts washer. You will be in the Marketing Department to start if that is ok.
     
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