Lexar or SanDisk: You Decide

Posted Jul. 18th, 2016 by Daniel J. Cox

Awhile back I wrote a Blog post about how one of our NE Explorers, Rich Wilson, was having issues with brand new Lexar cards he took to South Africa with him. I shot a short video of the issue which was included in the Blog. Though I’ve tried

many times to connect with Lexar representatives to figure this issue out, except for an initial email response from Melissa Jenkins Latham from Matter Communications, a PR firm that apparently handles Lexar complaints, I’ve received no responses to my emails.  I’ve included an email thread below, from start to finish, for those wondering how things might go if you have concerns about you Lexar cards. You’ll notice that I mention how I would like to amend my blog post with a positive ending to this story, but alas that’s not happened since nobody will respond with answers of any kind, good or bad. Just silence. Go figure, in this world of absolutely no ability to hide, a company that specializes in web communications will not write me back.

Below is the start of the email exchange between myself, Matter Communications and Rich Wilson who had the issues with the cards.

Subject: Lexar SDHCll card problem.
 
Dear Mr. Matternow,
 
I thought your company might appreciate knowing about a Blog post I’ve written. It details issues one of our Explorers had recently with two, brand new, out of the box, Lexar SDHCll cards he brought on his recent trip to South Africa.
 
After contacting your company when he returned to the states and spoke to your support team, he decided it was much quicker and easier to return them to Amazon. I was surprised about hearing of his experience since I would have thought Lexar would be very keen to understand why these cards were not working.
 
I used to be a tremendous Lexar fan in the early days of digital photography. About five years ago I switched over to SanDisk but just two months ago bought my first two Lexar cards, the SDHCll 32 gig versions, since moving to Sandisk. When Mr. Wilson had trouble with his new cards I assured him I had confidence that Lexar would be very interested in getting this resolved. I guess I was wrong.
 
Respectfully, Daniel J. Cox
Response from Melissa Latham of Matter Communications on behalf Lexar on October 27, 2015
Subject: RE: Lexar SDHCll card problem
Hi Daniel,
 
Thank you very much for reaching out and bringing this issue to our attention. We are sorry to hear you’ve had trouble with a Lexar 1000x and 2000x memory card.
 
Please know that at Lexar, we believe in delivering products to ensure performance, quality, compatibility, and reliability for our customers. If we disappoint any of our customers, it’s important for us to understand what happened, and work to resolve the issue. To that end, we requested one of the Lexar technical support team members review your video and blog post to try and determine what might be the cause for both memory cards not being properly recognized by the camera, and have a few follow-up questions, below, if you wouldn’t mind sharing some additional information.
·       Did you attempt to insert or remove the SD cards while the camera was powered down?
§  More specifically, in the video we see that you’re inserting and removing them while the camera was powered on. It’s possible that if this was the case, there’s a high chance of card corruption or failure. 
·       Which supplier on Amazon.com were the products purchased from?
·       Could you confirm whether the memory cards came packaged in Lexar boxes?
 
As I mentioned above, customer satisfaction is of the utmost importance to Lexar. Although we understand the cards have already been returned, so we do not have the opportunity to review those specific to this instance, we hope to learn more about this situation to help ensure it does not happen in the future.
 
Best,
Melissa
Response from Natural Exposures Explorer Rich Wilson on October 28, 2015
Subject: RE: Lexar SDHCll card problem.
I can make time to talk on the phone today. What is a good time. I can clear up may details if you like. I live near Chicago.
Rich Wilson
Response from Melissa Latham on October 28 & 30, 2015
Subject: RE: Lexar SDHCll card problem.
Rich,
 
Thanks so much for making yourself available for a conversation with our team, we appreciate your willingness to provide additional details regarding your experience. We’ll be in touch with next steps as soon as possible.  
 
Best, Melissa
Good morning Rich,
 
Would you happen to have availability this afternoon to speak with Steffi Ho, the product marketing manager for Lexar memory cards? She’s available after 4pm CT if your schedule can accommodate a conversation today. 
 
Looking forward to your thoughts.
 
Best,
Melissa
Follow up from me after being away for several months on January 25, 2016
Hello Melissa,
This is Daniel Cox, the photographer who contacted Lexar regarding the new SDHC ll cards that were defective for one of my workshop guests. I’m writing to see if all has been figured out for Rich. I’ve been out of the country for the past several weeks and would like to amend my Blog post if the issue has been resolved. Thanks for your time and Lexar’s interest in this problem.
Best wishes, Dan
Follow up from me to Rich Wilson January 25, 2016
Subject: Re: Lexar SDHCll card problem.
Rich,
Below is an email I sent to Lexar’s Melissa Jenkins Latham. I never did hear from her if your card issue was resolved. As I mention in my email I’m interested in amending my Blog post if everything was taken care of satisfactorily. How did things go? Hope you are well and look forward to hearing from you
Best wishes, Dan
Response from rich Wilson January 26, 2016
Hey Dan. while I spoke to Lexar on the phone to clarify details of my experience, I have not as yet hear back.  Not sure I will.
But I think its strange (and rude) that they don’t respond to you.
My replacement cards as you know came from Amazon and work fine.
Whether Lexar was able to back track and find those returned cards I sent to Amazon, I do not know.
My best to Tanya. 
Waiting for my (our) Long Lexar Lens from Bozeman. He has a few of us on his order list.
I guess the Olympus comes out asap.
Regards, rich Wilson
My response to Rich Wilson on January 4, 2016
Thanks for the update Rich. I’m guessing Lexar folks are all on vacation. If they don’t get back to me in a week I’ll try poking them again. I’m actually planning to update the negative blog post but only if they get back to me with some   answers. 
 

Best wishes, Dan

So after all that I’ve still not heard anything from Lexar. Compare that to the recent support I received from the folks at SanDisk. Before my attempt to once again try Lexar cards I’ve been using SanDisk cards for about half the years I’ve been shooting digital, since about 2008. During my time teaching for the Mentor Series I met National Sales Manager Peter Liebmann. Peter has been superb any time I’ve contacted him; just two weeks ago I reached out to discuss a card I deleted images from and wanted to try and recover. Within hours he emailed me information about SanDisk’s card recovery software and a note that he was sending me a coupon to get a free copy from the SanDisk website. Wow, talk about service. Can’t say enough abut how impressive that is, especially after going to his competitor and trying their product. I’ll update this Blog if things change. Stay tuned.

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There are 2 comments on this post…
  1. Louis BerkOn Aug. 10th, 2016

    Interesting thread. I abandoned using SanDisk after several complete failures of their SD cards with the loss of photos on them. Maybe I was unlucky? I now only use Transcend and I have to say in all the cards I own (about a dozen) I have only had a couple go flaky on me – but I was still able to eventually retrieve the photos. Obviously, as the cost of SD cards has come down dramatically, as soon as the card exhibits any kind of problem it is binned and I buy a replacement. I think some of the problem is down to wear on the terminals – which is inevitable if like me you remove your card and use a reader to transfer the photos. The repeated insertion and removal must wear the edges of the terminal and I am sure leads to connectivity problems. I only hope the next generation of m43rds cameras will use the USB 3.0 and C-type connectors and then finally I may move over to direct transfer via cable to my PC. Of course, if the camera also comes with 32 or even 64gb memory built in then no card will be required at all!

  2. Portrait of Ray Hirsch

    Ray HirschOn Jul. 28th, 2016

    Hi Dan,
    Very interesting comparison between response of the two companies. SanDisk up until very recently was an independent company and Lexar was buried inside a very large company (Micron Technology, not far from you in Boise ID), whose main product was dram memory for computers. Now even that has changed with Western Digital taking over SanDisk and their interest in having SanDisk helping them to make Nand memory drives for portable devices and cloud blade servers. We will have to see how this changes SanDisk’s future focus and position in the SD memory card business.

    All the best,

    Ray

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