We had Martec Razor ceiling fans installed in January 2017 and nothing but trouble with them since! Our steel-framed house made hard-wiring the fans too tricky and expensive, but the remotes turned out to be barely functional (the company replaced them twice) and it’s a hit and miss as to whether you’re standing in the right spot and holding them at the right angle for them to work (they never worked in the cradle). The timer and delay functions worked briefly but then gave up. The Martec technician came twice and pronounced them fixed both times - but never stayed long enough to see if they were functioning properly, particularly the timer for the fan. Now the fan in the guest bedroom has given up its medium setting (only does high or low) and the light often comes on when you turn the fan on or off or change speeds. I can’t find any reviews on this particular model of fan but my advice is DON’T buy them.
Although it is a year on, you might consider reading up on the ACL and its consumer guarantees if you are not familiar and sending Martec and the retailer you bought it from a formal Letter of Demand citing their statements (ads, web content, whatever) about quality and performance versus what was delivered and its performance and reliability.
Your letter should be sent to an executive or a formal designated complaints contact. Keep it historically accurate and dispassionate. Tell them exactly what you want them to do, whether it is another repair, a replacement, or a refund, and give them about 2-weeks to respond. If they ignore you or fob you off go to your state fair trading agency as referenced in the links I provided.
Lastly, keep copious notes and make everything in writing or email, not verbal. If they will not put anything in writing, keep notes with dates, time, contact name, and your understanding of the conversation. Send the contact a copy for agreement it is accurate. If you work by email always set the return receipt flag (usually an option in mail clients) unless you know you will receive an auto-acknowledgement as proof they received it.
Good luck and please let us know how you go with them.
@PhilT has given good advice.
A fan should also give many years of reliable service. I would possibly expect at least 7-10 years trouble free, and I am sure other reasonable person would think likewise.
We have ceiling fans in our bedroom which are used all night for about 3-4 months each year (or about 800 hours per year), and were originally installed in the 1970s (Din Wai Electrical Manufacturing Company is the brand). They are still going strong with exception of the odd creak and aluminium blade edges showing minor corrosion.
While modern fans with remotes and more sophisticated electronics might not last as long, one should still expect a long appliance life as indicated above. Any life more than say 10 years could be seen as a good.
The Choice website also has addition information on your consumer rights and also Choice Help, which can help resolve problems with products.
Thanks for the advice. I already have a lengthy email exchange between myself and Martec customer service regarding the problems with the remotes, which I’m now going to add to with the new problem. We deliberately didn’t go for a cheaper model but now I wish we had - we could have spent the difference on getting the fans hardwired!
I’m tired of having to explain the mysteries of the light and fan to house guests or waking up grandchildren because the light has come on (full strength) when I’ve switched off the fan while they’re sleeping. I’ll let you know how Martec responds.
Your problems with the Martec ceiling fans are interesting. I have both Martec ceiling fans and 3-in-1 bathroom fittings in my current house and have not had any problems with them - I also installed tham in my previous house, also with no problems.
Your comment that your “steel framed house made hard wiring … tricky” is curious. I am unsure what it is about a steel frame that would cause problems? As far as I am aware the main difficulty with ‘hard wiring’ is access to the ceiling space, if you cannot get into the roof space it is not possible to run the wiring However, if you have a tile roof it is possible to access tight spaces by lifting tiles and getting into the ceiling from above (I have done that myself a number of times in my house). Shallow roof spaces with tin roofs do not allow any access from above.
When a ceiling fan is installed and connected to existing wiring and has no light, it is a simple matter of fitting the wired controller. However, when there is a light with the ceiling fan a seperate wire is needed if hard wired. Therefore, the most common type of ceiling fan with light on the market uses a remote to avoid the extra wiring. The biggest problem with installing a ceiling fan is making sure that it is well supported by a batten and NOT dependant on the gyprock ceiling. Getting the batten in the ceiling is actually more difficult than running an extra wire to allow separate fan and light control.
One of the big problems installing remote controlled ceiling fans is the space taken up by the receiver in the fan cowl (the bit is on the ceiling). The space under the cowl without the receiver is tight, but when the receiver is fitted it takes a lot of fiddling to get the wiring in and the cowl in place. In this space sits the receiver aerial (a short tail) so everything jammed very tight together with a potential for interference with the operation of the fan and light (I have made a suggestion that Choice should include ease of installation in their test).
To finish, I would suggest you get an electrician in the check that the fan is installed correctly. This means that the receiver aerial is clear of 240-V connections and it is not bunched up, also that the wiring is correct - the active and neutrals are connected correctly and the wiring to the fan is also correct!
Thanks for the advice but I think we tried to cover all the possible problems after the fans were first installed (by a qualified electrician). The roof space (colourbond roof) is cramped but not impossible to access but the horizontal steel beams in the walls do make installing any additional wiring more difficult (and therefore more expensive). Martec sent out a technician to ‘fix’ the fans but he didn’t test the Delay function for the lights or stay long enough to see if the Timer function for the light worked. He certainly didn’t venture into the roof space. All he did was check and adjust the aerial and change the dip switch settings on the remotes (without telling us) and told me they were ok. One would assume that he knew what he was doing, although I’m not sure he cared enough to do it properly. When he left, the problems were still there. Martec first blamed and replaced the remotes, then suggested that some houses had structural features that could interfere with their operation, and then, post the visit by their tech, sent us yet another set of remotes. I notice that their Lifestyle range of fans has received universally bad reviews. We have two much cheaper brand fans installed elsewhere in our property (hardwired) and they’ve never given us any trouble in 10 years (the same age as the house). We’ve put up with all the original problems for 14 months now but with the fan speed control starting to fail, I really don’t think these fans are fit for purpose. I’m still waiting for a response from Martec to the latest fault.
I see the problem about your difficulty with the wiring. I believe that the way houses are built often there is no way of retrofitting wiring whether power or communications. My daughter and Son-in-law have a flat roofed house that was built in the late 60’s. All the lighting is in the ‘roof’ space, a tiny area between the ceiling and the roof. I have replaced a few lights and installed a few ceiling fans there (I am a qualified electrician) and found many of the wiring methods dated and the wiring itself ageing. However, there is no simple way to replace the wiring because there is no access. The only way to fix the wiring properly is to remove the ceiling but that is beyond my skill set.
I wonder how many houses have built in problems for the future to the improve the services in the house? If it is difficult for houses have simple things like an additional wire to control a ceiling fan, how can they have more complicated things like data cabling retrofitted?
When we bought the newly-built house 10 years ago, it came with quite a sophisticated wiring set up (including Internet connections etc.) We’re in one of the the first suburbs to get the NBN, and it was a very simple process to have it connected directly to the premises because the infrastructure was already there. However, you’re quite right that any other technical improvements or updating are a real challenge! Something else to add to the first home buyer’s list of what to look for!