Customer Service Tennis Tutor/Sports Tutor

Just wanted to pass along my experience recently with Sports Tutor in Burbank CA, the folks who sell and service the Tennis Tutor ball machine. I think this level of customer service should definitely influence the decision to purchase, as it makes a huge difference in the long run, and I can't say enough about how great my experience has been.

I was given a tennis tutor ball machine by a neighbor. After purchasing a new battery for it, it still didn't work, so I called Sports Tutor hoping to merely get some advice on where to take it to get it fixed. Instead, Peter Martinez spent probably an hour on the phone with me, helping me try various tests to locate the source of the problem. I should also say at this point that based on the serial number of my machine, he was able to tell me that it was manufactured between 15-17 years ago.

As part of the troubleshooting process, he shipped to me in Oakland a new power supply/charger and didn't charge me anything for it-- not even for the shipping. When that didn't get me going again, he asked me to remove and send to him the control panel. He tested it there in Burbank, and determined that the power switch, and elevation switches were worn-out, so he replaced both and sent it back to me... again without charging me anything, not even for the shipping.

I have NEVER experienced this high a level of customer service for anything I've purchased before, much less for an item I received for free that is 17 years old and quite obviously out-of-warranty. I also asked Peter if he could supply me a few parts (replacement hopper flaps, rubber feet for the unit) which I was more than willing to pay for; again he shipped me all these items at no charge.

He explained in response to my incredulity that Sports Tutor considers themselves a premier customer service company, and that it is part of their value-added to try to help their customers get the most out of their ball machines.

When it comes time for me to purchase a new ball machine, you can be sure where I will go.

Paul
 

Bolivian10s

Rookie
Dammm that's awesome, kudos to Sports Tutor !!

Just wanted to pass along my experience recently with Sports Tutor in Burbank CA, the folks who sell and service the Tennis Tutor ball machine. I think this level of customer service should definitely influence the decision to purchase, as it makes a huge difference in the long run, and I can't say enough about how great my experience has been.

I was given a tennis tutor ball machine by a neighbor. After purchasing a new battery for it, it still didn't work, so I called Sports Tutor hoping to merely get some advice on where to take it to get it fixed. Instead, Peter Martinez spent probably an hour on the phone with me, helping me try various tests to locate the source of the problem. I should also say at this point that based on the serial number of my machine, he was able to tell me that it was manufactured between 15-17 years ago.

As part of the troubleshooting process, he shipped to me in Oakland a new power supply/charger and didn't charge me anything for it-- not even for the shipping. When that didn't get me going again, he asked me to remove and send to him the control panel. He tested it there in Burbank, and determined that the power switch, and elevation switches were worn-out, so he replaced both and sent it back to me... again without charging me anything, not even for the shipping.

I have NEVER experienced this high a level of customer service for anything I've purchased before, much less for an item I received for free that is 17 years old and quite obviously out-of-warranty. I also asked Peter if he could supply me a few parts (replacement hopper flaps, rubber feet for the unit) which I was more than willing to pay for; again he shipped me all these items at no charge.

He explained in response to my incredulity that Sports Tutor considers themselves a premier customer service company, and that it is part of their value-added to try to help their customers get the most out of their ball machines.

When it comes time for me to purchase a new ball machine, you can be sure where I will go.

Paul
That's very nice of them to do that for you, of course that doesn't surprise me. As long as I can remember I've also received excellent service from them to. I bet if they were Sony or some other company they would charge you up the yazoo.
 

f1 tech

Semi-Pro
I agree. Great service!! My charger broke and they sent me another one even after the warranty expired.
 
Ron at Sports Tutor is great. Very friendly, professional and does a good job on the normal wear and tear service issues that I have had.
 

Bolivian10s

Rookie
Ron at Sports Tutor is great. Very friendly, professional and does a good job on the normal wear and tear service issues that I have had.
Yup. I've spoken to Ron too. There are all great! I might call them to see how much will they will charge me if I can upgrade to the new Multi Function remote control on my PLus Player, looks pretty cool.
 

jwhite

New User
tennis tutor customer service

The customer service is awesome with this conmpany. I bought used tennis tutor 2 and the elevation button kept popping out. They sent me new switch no charge. I will never own another brand. Tennis tutor is the best.
 
same here Ron is the man, only i sold my TT to a student of mine who wanted it badly. It was converted to an external battery which is very convenient. thanks Ron. Now I am stuck without a ball machine :(
 

jonestim

Hall of Fame
I just got off the phone with Ron. Mine is a 3.5 year old machine that was having some charging issues. With his help I was able to diagnose the problem and am getting it fixed no charge. Great customer service. Highly recommend buying a Tennis Tutor machine.
 

corbind

Professional
Man this thread just made my day. So often people whine about this or that. How often do you see the opposite like this where people take considerable time to post about the GOOD things that happen! From reading this...I love TT!
 
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mctennis

Legend
I've talked to Tennis Tudor staff a few times and always received excellent advice and service. I've had their machine for years and I would never buy anything but a Tennis Tudor machine just from the service aspect alone.
 

dman72

Hall of Fame
I had a similar experience with them 4 years or so ago. I bought a used TT machine out of some guys garage for $200.

It needed a battery and a new panel. After I got on the phone with TT, I had a new panel and new throwing wheels.....for basically nothing.

I know that other ball machines can be significantly cheaper than TT, but these things don't last forever, and when you need to fix them...you can't beat TT. One of the best companies I've ever dealt with.
 
The TT's could use some up-dating ... larger wheels and more ergonomic handle would be nice. If it can't be easily wheeled to a public court (path's not all smoothly paved) I can't use it no matter how nice or reliable.

TT also needs to get some weight information up on their website and some PDF spec sheets.

And those ancient 80's era "short shorts" videos could be updated as part of a website update.
 

jam54

New User
I agree it would be an improvement if the Tennis Tutor machines had an expanding handle for taller people, but if you are going from the parking lot to the court, the wheels seems plenty smooth.

I've called Tennis Tutor regarding repairs and information on (or not on) their site. They purposely do not put detailed specs on their site as most people don't need such information. As far as parts list or instructions they tell me, and I agree, that they prefer to deal with the customer directly so they can properly troubleshoot a machine. It makes sense when they say if customers attempt to self-diagnose their machine and order parts it often leads to confusion, improper parts ordered and more work. This is why Tennis Tutor is so admired for their customer service. They know how to take care of their machines and their customers. I know mine is humming along just fine! :)
 

WillyT

New User
I've had similar experiences as others with TT. A relative loaned me a non-working 15-year-old one for the summer last year. I was able to clean it out, replace the batteries, lube everything and got it working smoothly. The thing is built like a tank. Called TT for some advice on a broken center pivot -- they offered to send me an upgraded (larger) pivot bolt, but I just got one at the hardware store. They even sent me all new hopper flaps and pivots, no charge, not even for shipping ("that's something we do"). These guys obviously put a high priority on customer service, warranty or not. Pretty rare these days...
 

tennisnut33

New User
I'm sure everyone by now must believe Tennis Tutor has fantastic customer service. I wanted to take a moment to concur that their customer service is indeed fantastic. I have a TT model 3 that I bought new back in 1993 when I was stationed in Fla. Over the years I've had to replace the batteries and eventually sent it into TT to have the throwing wheels replaced. The machine was just not consistently throwing the balls at the same depth even with new balls. Following TT's tune-up of the machine, the ball feed motor lost control and was throwing out a ball almost every second. When I called TT, they discussed the problem with me and decided to send me a repalcement control panel vs. sending the machine back. This new control panel was sent free of charge. The next problem I had following replacing the control panel was that the machine would only run for about 45 minutes before beginning to beep. The was happening even though the batteries were replaced only 5 months before sending it to TT. I did find connection issues with the new panel's charge connector. I was able to correct that to maintain a charge status with the Smart Charger and the battery life was nos at 2 hrs before beeping. BTW....your control panel is suppose to begin beeping once your batteries voltage reaches 9.8 volts. James was more than willing to go over my findings and decided to send me another replacement panel since the results didn't point to the batteries. One other concern of the 1st replacement panel was that the charge LED would never indicate a RED condition even after the machine shuts down and only beeping without throwing wheels moving. I've now replaced the 2nd control panel and running another load test with the batteries. Now keep in mind that I have the ball speed at 5.5, ball feed at 3.5 and oscillator off during each battery load test. These are the settings I normally have the machine front placed right at the baseline. My original control panel was all through hole components and TT control panels now have surface mount components. I'm not convinced that the new panels perform the same as the older ones just yet. Just in case my machine still doesn't have the expected 3-4 hour life span before it reaches the 9.8V level to begin beeping, I've taken advantage of the additional space just behind the throwing wheels and welded another battery bracket to add 1 more additional 7.2 AH 12V battery. I'm hoping to have at least 3 hrs of play time with the next load test. I may just repair my old panel if still not satisfied. Hopefully this info helps others.
 

corbind

Professional
I'm sure everyone by now must believe Tennis Tutor has fantastic customer service. I wanted to take a moment to concur that their customer service is indeed fantastic. I have a TT model 3 that I bought new back in 1993 when I was stationed in Fla. Over the years I've had to replace the batteries and eventually sent it into TT to have the throwing wheels replaced. The machine was just not consistently throwing the balls at the same depth even with new balls. Following TT's tune-up of the machine, the ball feed motor lost control and was throwing out a ball almost every second. When I called TT, they discussed the problem with me and decided to send me a repalcement control panel vs. sending the machine back. This new control panel was sent free of charge. The next problem I had following replacing the control panel was that the machine would only run for about 45 minutes before beginning to beep. The was happening even though the batteries were replaced only 5 months before sending it to TT. I did find connection issues with the new panel's charge connector. I was able to correct that to maintain a charge status with the Smart Charger and the battery life was nos at 2 hrs before beeping. BTW....your control panel is suppose to begin beeping once your batteries voltage reaches 9.8 volts. James was more than willing to go over my findings and decided to send me another replacement panel since the results didn't point to the batteries. One other concern of the 1st replacement panel was that the charge LED would never indicate a RED condition even after the machine shuts down and only beeping without throwing wheels moving. I've now replaced the 2nd control panel and running another load test with the batteries. Now keep in mind that I have the ball speed at 5.5, ball feed at 3.5 and oscillator off during each battery load test. These are the settings I normally have the machine front placed right at the baseline. My original control panel was all through hole components and TT control panels now have surface mount components. I'm not convinced that the new panels perform the same as the older ones just yet. Just in case my machine still doesn't have the expected 3-4 hour life span before it reaches the 9.8V level to begin beeping, I've taken advantage of the additional space just behind the throwing wheels and welded another battery bracket to add 1 more additional 7.2 AH 12V battery. I'm hoping to have at least 3 hrs of play time with the next load test. I may just repair my old panel if still not satisfied. Hopefully this info helps others.
I'm glad you posted -- buy you're on the verge of having created the longest forum paragraph! :oops: Perhaps that could be broken out into 4 to 6 paragraphs so we can read it without going crazy. Nevertheless, hope you don't have to fix the TT yourself.
 

greg_in_atl

New User
I have a Tennis Tutor ball machine that I've had for over 10 years. Their support has been great the entire time.

Recently, I sent them an email asking about what I had to do to get some replacement wheels (the ones on the bottom for rolling from car to court & back) One of my wheels was pretty chewed up...

Next thing I know, I get a phone call asking to confirm my mailing address. A few days later, a package arrives with the new wheels free of charge.

You just can't beat that!
 

jonestim

Hall of Fame
I need to bump this again. Just got off the phone with them needing to replace a couple small plastic bits. Parts are on the way free of charge.
 

2ndServe

Hall of Fame
bump just got off the phone with these guys. Switching my battery machine to AC, they spent some time explaining the process etc. Always helpful never in a rush, knowledgeable. Ron and James have made sure I'll always be buying any future ball machines from tennis tutor. It's not often I rave about a company but this place deserves the praise.
 

corbind

Professional
It's not often I rave about a company but this place deserves the praise.
All too often we see dozens of complaints online compared to the one extremely satisfied customer who bothers to tell other about it. Thanks for telling us because that needs to be know that these guys and this company is really helping the consumer. Makes me happy and I'm not even involved!
 

stapletonj

Hall of Fame
I had one that my brother borrowed for his son
The bottom cracked so bad it woudl not work anymore
They could've reallly put the wood to me on the cost of
thsi molded piece of plastic....would not have been surprised if they had charged $200.00. They charged $40....

awesome....
 

schenkelini

Semi-Pro
I just got off the phone with Sports Tutor. The sales manager has a friend who is forced to sell his almost new Tutor Plus with remote. He is getting it for me at a really good price. Since I am local, we are going to meet up once he receives it and he will show me how to get the most out of the machine. What great people to work with!
 

eagle

Hall of Fame
Just wanted to add my high praise to Sports Tutor.

I have a Sports Tutor Tower and needed a replacement remote.

Jim Miller answered my emails and phone calls promptly. He patiently worked with me in opening up the machine to find the receiver in order to determine the correct transmitter for it.

Having done that, I ordered the remote. It came within days.

Very happy with the support and transaction.
 
I am the owner of Tennis Tutor II and perhaps one of the earliest model (SN 4xxx) and was purchased almost 20 years ago. A couple of the hopper flaps were so old that they broke apart in several pieces each time a tennis ball happened to hit the flaps. I contacted Sports Tutor, and they responded immediately and will be shipping a FREE re-design flaps. Much kudos to them for their EXCELLENT service and support of their customers. Thier support is a testimony of Buy America and Made in America products. Thank you Sports Tutor.
 

dman72

Hall of Fame
Hey guys...just bumping because I think my machine may need a lube job. I got a new battery and I still get a beep when I fire it up at full speed.

What type of lube do you use and where exactly should I be working?
 

schenkelini

Semi-Pro
I have never lubed mine. I would call Sports Tutor and describe the problem and see what they say.

Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk
 

tennisjunky

Rookie
I have an original Model 1 bought in 95.
I've put this thing through all sorts of abuse and its still rocking strong!
Its just a strong compact machine.
I did literally break a button a few years back.
Called up customer service and they shipped me a new on..... I couldn't believe it.
They could have easily charged me $20. WOW who does that anymore.

GREAT MACHINE!!!!
 

undecided

Semi-Pro
Hey guys...just bumping because I think my machine may need a lube job. I got a new battery and I still get a beep when I fire it up at full speed.

What type of lube do you use and where exactly should I be working?
Did you ever figure out the beeping? Mine beeps after about an hour but I hook up the batteries to my charger (I have a super duper automatic charger) and it shows 12.8V and 95% charge remaining after an hour of hitting.


p.s. Huge bump for the TT company. I got my TT Plus from a friend for free but it needed a lot of parts to get going. They gave me most parts for free. I only had to pay for new batteries.
 

dman72

Hall of Fame
Did you ever figure out the beeping? Mine beeps after about an hour but I hook up the batteries to my charger (I have a super duper automatic charger) and it shows 12.8V and 95% charge remaining after an hour of hitting.


p.s. Huge bump for the TT company. I got my TT Plus from a friend for free but it needed a lot of parts to get going. They gave me most parts for free. I only had to pay for new batteries.
Nope. Once I put the speed above 8 I get an immediate beep when I turn it on. Battery is brand new and fully charged.
 

Radu Carean

New User
A couple of the flaps from the ball hopper broke from my machine and balls started to come out as the machine is running. I looked for flaps replacement all over the place and I am very happy I stumbled over this thread, as I just called customer service and they were indeed absolutely awesome and they are sending replacements for me.
Hats off, best customer service I've ever had to deal with.
Many thanks to tw forum and the great community as well.
 

SpinControl

New User
I picked up a TT Plus Player model off eB-- auction a few years ago. ~$850 shipped.
Anyways, the elevation didn't work even though the seller said it was in perfect working condition.
Called TT, and they helped me reset the elevation by opening up the unit and turning the elevation knob.
Picked up a remote control and remote control circuit board off of eB-- ($15?) and rewired the old receiver to the new remote control board.
It now turns on/off feed and on/off oscillation.

Unit is running strong.
Only issue is that a ball or two always gets stuck on the metal guide over the ball carousel. I've had up to 4 get stuck the other day.

Only suggestion to all you TT owners.
ALWAYS ALWAYS
tape your 2 batteries together. (clear 2-3" packing tape works)
I bought 2 12v 7aH batteries off eB-- (~$30).
I didn't tape them, and one slipped past the other where the terminals hit the metal cross support.
Shorted the battery and caused smoke and fire/arcing.
- burn marks on the battery support cross beam.
- melted wiring/terminals.
- needed new batteries.
 

mctennis

Legend
I had the same issue with using an aftermarket battery. The last batter I bough from TT directly. I also noticed the balls get stuck on the one metal guide in the front of the carousel. I thought about putting a ridge of weatherproof caulk on the top of it to see if that helps. It does not happen all the time but on occasion it does.
 

SpinControl

New User
I also noticed the balls get stuck on the one metal guide in the front of the carousel. I thought about putting a ridge of weatherproof caulk on the top of it to see if that helps. It does not happen all the time but on occasion it does.
Interesting because I get at least 1 ball there all the time, 2 most of the time, and 4 just recently. Of course, I only fill it with 35+2 balls; 35 is all my endurance can handle ATM when side shuffling to the corner baseline to back to the middle after hitting. I wonder if adding more balls would make them shuffle around better? It could be the angle of the metal guide also. I guess, I could caulk a piece of wood or thick cardboard there also, but it's just one-two balls, so I just deal with it and add 2 extra balls into the hopper.
 

mctennis

Legend
Interesting because I get at least 1 ball there all the time, 2 most of the time, and 4 just recently. Of course, I only fill it with 35+2 balls; 35 is all my endurance can handle ATM when side shuffling to the corner baseline to back to the middle after hitting. I wonder if adding more balls would make them shuffle around better? It could be the angle of the metal guide also. I guess, I could caulk a piece of wood or thick cardboard there also, but it's just one-two balls, so I just deal with it and add 2 extra balls into the hopper.
I put about 100 or so balls in my TT machine at a time. It still get the occasional ball sitting on that flat metal part. At times more than one behind it. It is not a big issue. It is something that TT could fix pretty easily. I did send them an email suggesting a solution for that part. We will see if they respond back to me. Still it is a great machine.
 

RedRice

New User
Hello, glad to find this place. I got an old TT ProLite which is not working. I know the batteries need to be replaced. Before I buy new batteries, I decided to test if other parts are ok. So I used my car's battery to power it up. Unfortunately the machine is still not working (the motors do work if applied power to). I took the control panel off and looked at the circuit board. I saw a resistor labeled R36 burned out (see the photo). It burned so badly that I cannot see the resistance value printed on it. And I can only tell one lead of it connects to R42, but cannot see where the other lead goes to. The circuit plot available on-line does not include this part. So I hope someone here can tell me what is the resistance value and where it connect to. I don't know if every TT machine has the same circuit plot. My machine has two switches only (POWER and OSCILLATOR). It was probably bought in 2004. Thanks.

BTW, I have written to TT customer service but haven't heard from them.
 

mctennis

Legend
Hello, glad to find this place. I got an old TT ProLite which is not working. I know the batteries need to be replaced. Before I buy new batteries, I decided to test if other parts are ok. So I used my car's battery to power it up. Unfortunately the machine is still not working (the motors do work if applied power to). I took the control panel off and looked at the circuit board. I saw a resistor labeled R36 burned out (see the photo). It burned so badly that I cannot see the resistance value printed on it. And I can only tell one lead of it connects to R42, but cannot see where the other lead goes to. The circuit plot available on-line does not include this part. So I hope someone here can tell me what is the resistance value and where it connect to. I don't know if every TT machine has the same circuit plot. My machine has two switches only (POWER and OSCILLATOR). It was probably bought in 2004. Thanks.

BTW, I have written to TT customer service but haven't heard from them.
You called TT customer service? Try their email in case they are working from home. So many companies are now with the Covid mess. I have always had good luck reaching them prior to the Covid. I think it would be better to send it back to them for repair. I had to send mine in to be repaired last year. It was easier to send it back to be done correctly than me messing around with it. I needed to have the rollers replaced. I was concerned I would not get the spacing right and have issues with the balls being spun out correctly.
 

RedRice

New User
You called TT customer service? Try their email in case they are working from home. So many companies are now with the Covid mess. I have always had good luck reaching them prior to the Covid. I think it would be better to send it back to them for repair. I had to send mine in to be repaired last year. It was easier to send it back to be done correctly than me messing around with it. I needed to have the rollers replaced. I was concerned I would not get the spacing right and have issues with the balls being spun out correctly.
Actually I sent them email two days ago. I found a local company which repairs TT machines. So if I cannot get the info I need, probably I will try them. Thanks for the reply.
 
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