Wikipedia states that Hermes is the god of commerce, as well as trickery and thieves (amongst other things). The latter two might be best to describe Hermes – the courier company. In fact Perses would be a more suitable name for the company, as he is the god of destruction.
I had purchased an absolutely beautiful Fluke PM3092 oscilloscope, and was really looking forward to receiving it. When it arrived, in fact before it arrived, before I had even opened the door I heard the delivery guy drop the package on the floor. “That doesn’t sound good”, I thought to myself. When I opened the door, I said, immediately and with a glare, that the package was an oscilloscope and that it needed to be handled carefully. The guy’s face fell. “Ah well”, he cried, as he departed, “Have fun with it!”
Getting the package inside and opening the box up, I could see that it was incredibly well wrapped. Removing, the cardboard padding from around the edges of the bubble wrapped cube inside and then unwrapping the three layers of bubble wrap revealed another strong cardboard box, Opening this was the oscilloscope, wrapped up in another three layers of bubble wrap. However, all of this wrapping hadn’t been sufficient…
This started to become apparent when I plugged the scope in and it hummed and turned on immediately. I thought that was odd. Then I noticed that the lower two knobs on the left hand panel were loose and hanging out of the front, admittedly the image is out of focus.
Here are some clearer shots taken the next day:
Then I saw that the left hand side of the front panel was cracked/smashed.
This is the top and bottom of the left hand side of the front panel
I found a number of broken bits of plastic loose inside the case.
Here are all of the loose parts (broken case and the two loose knobs):
And the part that was wedged into in the corner of the box
These are the two knobs close up
One of the knobs, for the Focus, had part of the sleeve from the front panel, into which the knob slides, around it.
The front panel sleeve of the other knob, for the Graticule Illumination, is still attached to the front panel, although it is cracked.
The top two knobs, Trace Intensity and Text intensity are bent towards the right, and are stiff and jerky to turn, although they do work intermittently. In fact the whole left hand side panel is bent towards the right and down slightly.
The Trace Rotation screw does work.
The handle mechanism is damaged on the left hand side. These two photos show the right hand locking mechanism both unlocked and locked
The handle, when locked into a position can be seen to be correctly seated on the right hand side
However, the left hand side of the handle lock fails to engage fully, if at all
The is due to a substantial dent around the left hand sides handle locking knob. It is a bit hard to show in photos, but this series of shots should illustrate it
The dent can be more clearly seen in these two photos
Here are some more photos, again showing the handle locking mechanism
The screen surround is misaligned
The left hand side of the bottom strip is displaced
Here is the left hand side of the oscilloscope showing both the screen surround and bottom panel displacement
The front of the scope
The rear of the scope appears to be undamaged
Later, looking at the inside of the box, there was a lot of imprints of the broken bottom two knobs having impacted against the inside of the box.
There was a still piece of the smashed left hand side face embedded in the corner about 7 cm up from the base of the box
There was a clear imprint of the left hand side handle lock in the corrugated cardboard, suggesting pressure has been applied.
The opposite side of the inside of the box showed not imprint whatsoever.
The power on works, although a little stiff. However, to power off, the button must be pressed again, but does nothing and does not fully retract – apparently a latch is impeded by the cracked and displaced left hand side panel. To free that latch and thus power off, one has to put one’s finger under the front left hand corner and apply an upwards pressure, as if the lift the scope slightly. The latch can be heard to “unclick”, the button pops up fully and the unit then powers off.
The PM3092 should have a front protective panel, which the seller admitted that they didn’t have.
If this had been present, some of the damage might have been mitigated, although that would probably have ended up being cracked too, I guess, given the impact that the scope must have suffered.
Here is some close up photos of the front panel where the broken rotary knobs were.
The inside of the panel, showing the base of the rotary knobs, where they snapped off
Other issues with the scope
Apart from this the Y-position rotary knob of Channel 2 does not work – no beeping is heard and the trace does not move neither up nor down. It is unclear whether this is due to the mishandling in the post of whether it was like this before and is due to ages and wear and tear and simply needs to be replaced.
One thing to note is that the scope is remarkably light, much lighter than I thought that it would be, given its size.And considering its light weight and well packaged state, it is surprising how the case and front panel became dented and cracked, respectively.
Please note that I am not saying that the final delivery guy caused all of the damage, when he heavily dumped the package at my front door. Given the imprint of the handle knob on the inside of the box and the related dent in the oscilloscope’s case and the imprint of the broken Focus and Graticule illumination knobs and the cracked left hand side panel, and part of the panel embedded in the box, it would seem as if it had been thrown, and landed on its corner, or something heavy had been dropped onto it… who knows?
Regardless, it is utterly criminal what Hermes have done to this beautiful classic scope, wanton destruction of a piece of technological heritage. Considering that the Vandals came from Germany, it didn’t surprise me to see that Hermes are also a German company… from Wikipedia: Hermes Group
Hermes Europe GmbH is a German parcel delivery company headquartered in Hamburg, Germany, owned by the retail company Otto GmbH. The company was founded in 1972 in West Germany and entered the East German market in 1990.
After contacting the seller, they stated that:
I have checked with Hermes and the extra insurance i paid was a waste of money, Glass items or Monitors are not covered in the small print!!!
It makes you wonder whether Hermes actually care…
Any updates to this sorry tale will be added here.
I ended up getting a refund, and Hermes got off scott free.
I was later advised, by an old colleague, the following:
I learnt that whilst transporting scopes the best thing to do, is to swing the handle completely round to the front, i e protecting the control knobs, then pack it. I don’t think this would of helped in this case. It obviously had a big knock. At least from waist height.