A couple months back I wrote a short piece about the Manfrotto 244 Variable Friction Magic Arm and how it arrived to me looking a bit beat-up. Here’s that article. A few months along and recently I decided I needed another 244 Magic Arm and… to make a long story kind of short, this one too arrived looking more garage sale than showroom condition.
After my last Manfrotto scratched session, Manfrotto told me directly that my emails and concerns with lousy Magic Arm packaging had been taken seriously, and they’d do a better packaging job in Italy prior to shipping these wonderful little Magic Arms. So when I opened my new Magic Arm just recently, it felt like I got more of a Magic Finger than a Magic Arm. Scratches again in exactly the same places on the arm collars.
What’s going on here?
After I managed to connect again with Manfrotto, I was told that the newer units are indeed being packaged better, and was asked where I bought this recent Magic Arm. I told them it was bought through Amazon and we then realized there are still stores out there with the old (non) protective packaging.
Good enough, the Manfrotto rep I spoke with, Dideo, told me if I returned the current scratched-up arm to Amazon, he’s send me another properly packed arm. I thanked him but said I’d keep what I had as I needed it now, and didn’t want to wait for a crisscrossing Magic Arm exchange. Life’s already complicated enough and I use this hardware every day, but thanks to Dideo for the offer.
I do have a suggestion for Manfrotto going forward. How about having a black Sharpie mini-marker packaged along with your black anodized finished equipment? Black Sharpies are what lots of folks use if they want to hide scratches on their photo gear, they’re like the duct tape of camera gear for cosmetic work. Just to show what a sport I am, I’ve mocked up a Manfrotto Sharpie image for them. These markers would cost you pennies, and you’d get some nice customer goodwill mileage out of the deal.