Pimax COO Kevin Henderson recently stated that the company’s customer support was now all from China. Pimax’s founder now tells us that its COO “has limited information towards other regions”, and that “as a global company group, it usually takes 2-3 weeks to synchronize all the information”.
Pimax is a company which sells wide field of view PC VR headsets to enthusiasts. It became widely known in 2017 after launching a Kickstarter campaign.
This article details the context of our previous article as well as a new statement we received from Pimax head Robin Weng. If you just want to read about the new statement, skip to ‘Global Support Centers, Hotline Coming’.
Henderson’s Interview Statements
On January 2, Pimax COO Kevin Henderson gave an interview to the MRTV YouTube channel. Near the end of the interview, MRTV host Sebastian Ang talked about recent emails he’s received from viewers expressing frustration with the customer support of Pimax.
Henderson told MRTV that “It’s all coming out of Shanghai for the support and the service“. When directly asked “So all the support is now ‘made in China’?“, Henderson replied “Yep.“
Henderson also explained the reasoning for the apparent decision, noting “they felt like it’s more cost effective and better to do it from Shanghai. And I hope we can reinstitute some support in the US and Europe, and I hope we can go down that path again.“
We’d recommend watching the entire section of the interview for full context.
Our Coverage & Pimax Reaction
A hardware company selling its products to a Western customer base moving its customer support to China, a move publicly commented upon by its own COO, is the type of story we will always cover. We are interested in helping VR consumers be as informed as possible when making purchasing decisions and this report is in line with that aim.
Following our report about this interview, Pimax European Marketing Director Martin Lammi took to Twitter to state that “as long as” he held his job, Pimax would not provide UploadVR with “exhibitions or press releases.” The tweets alleged “false statements” driven by “a hidden agenda”.
Lammi is a YouTuber, known as ‘SweViver’, who was given early access to Pimax hardware in 2018, before Kickstarter backers received their hardware. On May 17 2019, Lammi announced in a video he was hired by Pimax. While his channel promotes comparisons of Pimax headsets to others like the HP Reverb, the description of Lammi’s YouTube channel doesn’t mention his employment.
We publicly responded to Lammi’s tweets with a video of Henderson’s statements, asking Pimax to reach out if they want to explain whether their COO’s statements represent the company.
Lammi publicly responded to suggest Pimax would take legal action of some kind and also said Henderson was actually referring to a temporary situation. In the video linked above of Henderson’s comments on MRTV there is no mention of the move being temporary.
Several hours later we received the first email from a Pimax representative stating that if we did not “remove” our article, Pimax would take “legal actions.”
Global Support Centers, Hotline Coming
On January 15 we responded to Pimax over email to get clarity on the support situation and find out whether Lammi’s statements represent the company.
The next day, Pimax founder Robin Weng replied to say he would provide us with an official statement. We received that statement on January 23.
In the email, Weng wrote that Pimax underwent a “realignment of our organizational structure”. He also wrote that the company does have a global support presence and that Henderson “has limited information”:
Pimax Innovation Inc. and Kevin are mainly focusing in North America, we have other business units in Europe, Japan, Korea and China (Pimax Technology Inc), so Kevin has limited information towards other regions. As a global company group, it usually takes 2-3 weeks to synchronize all the information to each business region. That’s why we always request media or partners send an official email to the Pimax PR contact window for confirmation. In fact, in the US region, we’re optimizing the customer service capability by centralized the after-sale service towards San Jose, this team in San Jose has two employees currently. Besides that, we have teams based in Japan (1 full-time employee and 2 part-time employees, they both speak Japanese), Korea, Australia and for EU region, we have the after-sale service center in Poland and France Marseille.
At the same time, we are working on the new added global hotline for our customers. You can try to reach on this hotline, operation hours will be 9.00 am – 5.00 pm on your respective regions. We will announce the hotline soon.
Weng also provided the addresses of Pimax service centers in the United States (San Jose), Australia, France, Japan, and Poland, along with a map showing those locations marked:
The San Jose address is publicly listed on the Better Business Bureau and the phone number on the page “is not a working number.” We had a contact visit the address after normal business hours and it does appear to be a small Pimax-operated space. We’re still following Pimax and will keep our readers informed of new developments.
Are you a Pimax customer who has recently dealt with the company’s customer support? We want to hear from you. Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to share your experience.
Editor’s Note: This post carries the UploadVR byline as it was written and edited by David Heaney, Ian Hamilton, and David Jagneaux.