I have been metal detecting for over 20 years in this great hobby, I’ve helped countless people, teaching everything from how to set up and run their metal detector to overlaying maps and everything in between. I’ve had over 40 articles published in a few different metal detector magazines, a matter of fact every article I ever wrote and submitted to a magazine was published. 8 months ago I started a metal detecting podcast and just 5 months ago I started this blog.
I am no one in this hobby and I am perfectly ok with that, when I look at people in this hobby who are sponsored by the manufacture or their picture on the box of the new metal detector released, I am genuinely happy for them. Matter of fact I am ok with my place in this hobby but I think I deserve a little bit of respect, no more than the next person who has shared their knowledge with the metal detecting community but I do feel I deserve the smallest amount.
Since I first began writing articles for magazines I’ve wanted to do reviews. Not the cookie cutter ones but real and honest reviews after hours and hours of real world use, really putting it through its paces. I will never forget something that happened many years back. A friend of mine was ready to buy a particular metal detector after someone very well known in this hobby did a raving review on this particular machine. He decided to email this person and ask a few questions. His email response is something I will never forget “you don’t want that metal detector it’s a piece of S**T! That is when I decided that I wanted to devote some time to doing real reviews!
I thought with my track record, experience in writing articles and my knowledge of the hobby it wouldn’t be too hard to convince manufactures to let me borrow a metal detector for a month or two to do reviews and discuss on the podcast. Was I ever wrong!
Odd man out
I know this article is going to make me the odd man out, the square block surrounded by circular holes and I’ve decided I’m ok with that. This has been in my mind for weeks and I finally decided to write it for a few reasons. First, I need to vent and second, anyone who has or might have the idea to do what I was trying needs a heads up and third, although I am not coming to the manufactures as a customer, the way I’ve been treated could happen to you.
I feel I have nothing to lose by doing this. I have hit dead ends one after another, the money for my podcast and blog all comes out of my pocket so no one has a say over me. The only thing I am worried about is upsetting you, the reader and if anyone is offended by this, for that I apologize.
I’m going to start with Garrett. Not for any particular reason but they were the first one I reached out to. I emailed them who I was, what I was doing and that I wanted to borrow a metal detector to do a review. No answer so from time to time I would update them with statistics, follow ups etc. and after months of no response I sent a polite email saying that I thought it was rude since I had already done a few reviews on their products to not at least get some kind of response. Please keep in mind a response of “we are not interested in you reviewing our products” would have been absolutely fine by me but I was getting NOTHING. I finally got a response, they would send me an ace 300 to try out sometime, it was not a particularly friendly conversation on their end so I was polite and just told myself I won’t contact them again, figuring I would never see that 300 and I was right, I have not heard back from them since. I would like to note that it’s not just me, I’ve heard of their customers having issues recently with Garrett which is a shame because for years they were KNOWN for excellent customer service.
I contacted Fisher/teknetics and got a very nice response back and they actually talked to me. Unfortunately they do not get involved with that at all which is perfectly understandable and I really appreciated them actually getting back to me. I purchased a T2 and was working on some field articles leading up to a review. One of the problems I was having was in parks, the machine was crazy erratic. I contacted Teknetics and was told the machine was working fine It was the stock coil. It was not made for those conditions and I needed their new 10 inch coil. I asked if they would send me one to use for a month where I would do a review not just of their new coil but also on the T2 and it would help me to finish some articles. NO DEAL! Fine, so you’ve left me with this to say, I found the T2 to be useless in parks with the stock coil and I quickly traded it off.
Sent them emails much like Garrett but who I was sending them to was replying saying they were passed along. After months of me sending them updates I finally called. Left some voicemails and nothing, I finally got a hold of the person last month and pretty much right off was stated that no way would I get an Equinox to test which by the way I never asked for. After some discussions she told me to call back at the end of October and she might be able to send me out a Go Find. With a month to sit on that I kept replaying in my head her tone on the Equinox. I decided to call back and explain I wasn’t interested in spending my time reviewing their failed line of Go Find metal detectors, give her the incredible stats of my blog (especially for the short amount of time the blog has been up) and nicely explain to her if she wanted an honest review of the Equinox from someone who will get out and use it, let me know. Unfortunately after 2 calls and voicemails I have yet to hear from them so I’m just done. I would also like to mention after they announced the Equinox someone was supposed to get a hold of me about being a guest on the show, I heard from them and there were a few email exchanges and they were supposed to get back with me and that never happened.
The best for last – Whites
I tried to contact Whites through email with no luck and I let it go. Then, I had a few guests on the podcast who was in with Whites, they gave me the contact information of who I needed to speak with. I called him up in the first few days of August and told him what I do and wanted to borrow a detector to do articles, reviews and even discuss on the podcast. He talked about sending me one and I told him it is miserable here in Texas and I would rather wait until it starts to cool down. He agreed and told me to call him at the end of the month. I called him the last week of the month, I had to tell him again who I was he had completely forgot and then said “I’m really busy can you call me next week” which I did. After he had me explain once again who I was he said “I’m really busy this week can you call me next week” which I did. This time he discussed Whites was coming out with a new metal detector and wanted me to wait and check back with him at the end of September and see if it was available for me to try out. I called him on Monday of the last week of the month after seeing a few online blurry pictures of the new detector to simply ask if I could talk about it on the podcast, he said sure. I would say total that conversation lasted 30 seconds. That Wednesday I called back to discuss the possibilities of getting the opportunity to use this new machine. He sounded irritated from the beginning and after we talked just a few minutes he said something like “You calling me every day is not going to help your chances for me to send you this metal detector to use, matter of fact Mike it’s going to do the opposite” I was blown away! The tone in his voice was disgust and anger and I went silent, I didn’t know how to respond to that! Finally I asked him what he was talking about and he said “didn’t you call me Monday?” at this point I was livid, Mondays call was the only time I called him that wasn’t a time he told me to call him back and it was just to get his approval to discuss the fact they were coming out with a new machine.
To the manufactures
I KNOW you are busy, I KNOW you get people soliciting you daily, I KNOW you are overwhelmed with these kinds of requests, I get it BUT. When someone with a proven track record and multiple means to get the information out there I suggest you treat us with the tiniest bit of respect. I don’t care if you’re not interested at all but you can literally take a minute out of your day to tell me that. The hours I have wasted of my time trying to correspond with you, begging for the opportunity to use a machine, put hours on it and get good information out to the metal detecting community THEN box it back up and ship it back on my dime at least deserve a “Sorry Mike, we are not interested at this time” Is that really so much to ask for? The one thing that I can take satisfaction in is over the years I have watched you people come and go, I have watched metal detecting companies go through whole regime changes. I will still be here when you’re long gone.