Worst Manufacturer Support 2014

By John Honovich, Published Jul 30, 2014, 12:00am EDT (Info+)

With the best manufacturer support selected, we now turn to the worse.

The two key issues integrators raised were:

  • Screwing up / delaying replacements
  • Long time / effort to speak with someone knowledgeable

***** **** ******* '***' ***** ** camera *************, **** ******* ** *** * surprise.

** ******** **** ******* ***** ** sheer **********, ** ******** *** ******** with "** *** **** ** ******." The **** **** ** **** ***** margin ** '*******' *** ***** **** on ******** ********** *******. *******, **** still **** *** *** ****** ** a ***** ******.

******* ******** ***** ******* *** ******* performance **** *********, *********:

  • "******* ********** *****. ** ***** * lot ** **** *** ****** ** get ****** ****** *** ********."
  • "** *****'* **** * *** ******* camera ** ***** *** *** *** we ***** **** *** ***** **** are **** * ****-****. *** **** solution ***** **** ******* ***** ** is ** ****** ********."
  • "** ****** * *****-**** ********-* ******. Camera ***** *** *****. ***** *********** gave **. ** **** *** ****** back *** *** ******* ***. **** problem. **** * ***** ** ****."

************, *********** ********* *******'* ******* *** repairs ** ***** ******* ** ***** support ********:

  • "******* ******, ******** ** **** ***** but *** ** ** * ********* reseller: *. **** *** ** ****** up **** **** ** **** *** 2.all *** ********* ******** *** *** us ** ****** ******* ** ******* the **** ** ****** ** **** *** repair *** *. ******* ****** *** such ****** ** ******* ********* ** end **** *** ** ******* *** international ******** *******" (****)
  • "******* ***** ** *** * ****** returned (***** ******** ***** *****). ** favorite ***** **** **** *** **** we **** * ****** ** *** replacement, **** ** **** *** *** camera **** ** ******* ** * credit **** ** ********* **** ** send *** *** *** ****. *** funny ***** ***, **** ******* *** the *** ******. ******'* *****." 

***** *** ****** - ***

** ********** *** ******** ******** ** say ***** ******** ******'* ******* *** * ****** criticized ****.

*** *****, ***** ****** ************ ********:

  • "***** ** *** *******, ****, **** of *********, ***."
  • "***** ****** **** ******* ** ****** they ****** ****** ** **********. ***** today ** ** *** ******** **** does ** ****. ** **** ****** problem ********** **** ***** ************* ******* ***** *** ******** ** install *** ********** ***** *** ********* just ******** *******. ************* ********** ********* ******** stop ******* ********* ******* ** ******** of ******. ****** ** ********** ***** to ******** *** ******* *** ***** 2 ****** **** ***** **** **** made ***** **** ***** ******* ** OnGuard. ***** ******* ***** **** ****** us **** **** **** ** ******** and ** **** ** ********* *** ******. It **** *** ********. *** *****." 

*** ******:

  • "***** ***** **** **** ** **** you **** ***** *** **** * service ******"
  • "******* *** **** ** * ********* as **** ** *** **** ** deal **** ********. *** ** *** DOAs **** **** *** ** ** through **** **** ******* *** **** you **** ** ** ******* *** distributor *** *** **** ** *** a *********** ***** **** **** ** is ******** ** ******* ** **** to **** ***. **** *** **** in *** *** **** ***** *** to ***** ***** ******* *** *** RMA **** ** ***** ***** ** other. *** **** ** ****** **** never **** ********* *** ** *** box."

Sony ***********

**** **** ******** *** **** ********* but **** ** ***********, ***** *** for ***** ******* ****** ********. *****, three *********** ********** ******** **** **** support: 

  • "*** ******* *** *****. ********* ***** on *** *********, ****** *******, *********** or **** *******. **** ******* ****** numbers **** ********* ***'*." 
  • "*** ******** ***** ***** ******** *** *****. Had ** **** *** ****** ** get ** *** ** ******** ****** Back ** ******* ************."
  • "** ***** **** **** ***** ****** to *******, ****** ****** ** **** ownership ** *** ***** **** ** was ******* ********** ** ** ** issue **** * **** **** **** to *******."

***** ***********

***** ***** *** **********'**** ******* ****** *** *** *******, **** ******** **** * ******** of ******* *** **** ******* ******** to ****** ******* *** *********. **** was *** ********:

  • "***** **** ******* **** *** ****** several *********** ****** ******* *** **********"
  • "**** *** * *** ***** *******. Quick, **** *** ******** *******. **** were **** ** ******* ** ****** quickly."

*******, *** *********** **** ********** ******** **** long **** ***** ** ***** *******, something **** *** ********** **********, **** ****** *** **** **********:

  • "*** **** ***** *** **********. **** you ******* **** ******* ** **** up *** *****, **'* ****** **** I. *** **** **** *** ****** of *** ******* (** ****** *** big ** *** *****) *** **** ALWAYS **** ** ******** *** ** someone ****. **** **'* * **/**; they ****** **** *** ****** *** you're ** **** *** *****, ** they **** **** ****** *** **** to **** *** ****...***** **** ***** end ** ******** ********* ******* ****."
  • "*** **** ***** *** **** **** short ** ****. ** ** *******. I ****** ** ******* ** *** last ****."

Bosch *****

***** ******** * ******* ** **** and ***** **********. *******, * ***** trend *** **** ** ****** *** them *** *** ******** ******* *** worth *******:

"*** ***** ******* **** **** *****. *** can ** ****** **** *** ******* pre-sales ******* *** ****** ******, ***** requires *** ** ***** **** *** hopefully *** ** ***** **** ** a *** ** ***. ********* ******* has **** ****** ** ******* ******* to ****** ********* ********* *** *** often **** ***** ** *** ** answer *** ** ****. **** ** mind, ** **** ****** * *******, not **** ********* ** ** **** business **** ***** ** ** **, for ** **** ** ** ****, you ***** ***** ** ***** **** better *******."

Hikvision - *****

********* *** ***** * ****** ** positive *** ******** ********, ** ** first ******** ** ******* ***********. **** *** *** ********* / ***** selections.

** ***** **** ***** ************ ***** *** caused **** ***** ** ***** ******** indicate:

  • "**** ** *** ******* (**** ******* distributor)" (******* ******)
  • "***** ***** ** ******* **** **** to *** *******, **** ** **** to ******* * **** ***** * couple ** ****** ***** ******* ********* our ******** ** *** ** ***** orders. ********** ***** ******* **** ** ISC **** **** ******** **** **** now ********* * *********** *** ** country *** * **** ** *** through ****" (***** *******)

****, **** *********** *** ******* ************ with ***** ******** *******:

  • "**** ********* ** ***** **** ******* and *** **** *************." (***** *******)
  • "****** ***** *** ** **** *******, want *** ** ****** ** *** why **** ******* ** *** ** you **** ** **** ****." (***** America)

************ ******* - ******

****** ******* ******** ****** ******** ** bests *** *** ******* ******** ******** votes:

  • "**** ** *** **** ***** ********, drivers, *** *** ** ****** *** upgrades ** **** *******"
  • "**** *** *** ******** *****."

Comments (22)

Hikvision in North America has very poor support. They do not seem to understand, I think english might be a barrier for them... Otherwise they often do not know what to answer when they do understand. Good products though and warranty. Also on the plus side, very easy to get a RMA.

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The Sony field engineers are great and very knowledgeable and helpful. But their call center, Product Operations Support, is aptly named POS- they always seem unmotivated and act like you are bothering them.

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I'd have to agree with Sony being pretty bad. The techs you talk to are usually pretty rude and make you think you're wasting their time. They never actually offer you any solutions to your issue, they just tell you why it's not their fault and quickly try to get off the phone with you. Or they automatically issue an RMA with no attempt to help you while you're in the field.

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Here in South Africa I find Sony's support to be OK, but their stock holdings and lead times are really not on, even with forecasting it's been a bit of a mess.

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My experience with Exacq was indirect.... our customer installed it on a server they purchased from us and were experiencing issues with certain cams...not all of them.

Exacq was engaged and many things were tried before the customer reached out to us for help. I could not repeat the fail (which was cams could be defined but they would not connect) in my lab until the customer sent us one of the cams.

With a Wireshark trace I discovered that these special cams did not like the time server definition that the customer was using...which was actually an illegal name due to having a 'space' in the name.

I was told the Exacq already had WS traces...so I am a bit dissappointed in how they work with their customers who use 3rd party servers.

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We've generally had helpful and responsive tech support with Exacq, but they seem to have trouble escalating calls to more knowledgable engineers when they don't know the problem. We had one instanace where the software was having problems making cameras settings that dragged on for months- they did all the standard stuff like update software and firmware. Finally after I threw my weight in we got a senior engineer who was able to figure it out in 30 minutes. A mismatch in how Exacq and the camera interpretted commands. Just one little adjustment in settings without needing any software and firmware adjustments and problem solved.

But at least they didn't take the stance of "problem is all yours because we don't understand it".

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I am exclusive Hikvision user and have not had any trouble with tech support. Rma and exchange has been good
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Arecont Vision still manages to find bridges to burn. How is anyone in our industry still buying their products after so many years of disgraceful business practices? What does that say about our industry? I'm stupefied!!!
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Not much an Arecont user myself, but another manufacturer (undisclosed no less) really doesnt add much to the conversation on poor business practices.

It could be the pot calling the kettle black - we wouldnt know.

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Good point Scott, I could be the pot calling the kettle black...but I'm not. My company is a technology partner with Arecont, and it's not easy being agnostic and "open" when I know that their products and their company is more likely than others to cause problems on projects. I don't think everyone would agree with you that manufacturer comments have no merit here. This forum is for open discourse and it should be obvious why many choose to be anonymous, especially manufacturers when the topic pertains to other manufacturers.
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I do think that manufacturer comments have merit. But another "manufacturer" harping on another competitor (don't know if you are, don't know if you are not) lends very little room to avoid bias toward one over another - which in my opinion greatly lessens the value added from the input.

I wouldn't go to a Chevy dealer to learn the drawbacks of buying this years Ford line, at least not if I expected to hear a really non-biased opinion I could take to the bank. It's better to read the consumer mags and pick up the benefits and drawbacks straight from those who use them.

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John, Are the negatives you saw from Arecont, Verint and Lenel a sampling, or is that all you had in their entirety?

Just interested to know. I can yelp any restaurant and find a couple people who had a bad experience, that doesn't make it a bad restaurant. Can you share some larger metrics with us?

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A sampling. There were a few more for each but no more insights or meaningful color.

100 respondents on both best and worst.

The fact that none of those 3 companies got a single 'best' vote but got many 'worst' votes is a strong sign of them having issues.

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I understand, but you do understand the polarized skew of the data right?

Most customers who are "satisfied" (the company is doing adequately, or maybe slightly exceeding expectations) aren't going to get a "Best" but might get a few "Worsts". Normal statistical modeling suggests you need a sample size of 40 respondants on a particular metric for it to be significant.

I'm not saying that the data is wrong, or that the conclusions are wrong, I'm just trying to dig deeper to see if your sole balance on this was "This company got no good, and 4 bad, so they must be bad." Because at first glance that's not really a statistically significant number for companies that have hundreds or thousands of customer transactions every month.

You know I have specific knowledge about Verint and they generally scored high on Customer Service metrics, so the fact that they're now near the top of the "Worst" column feels weird to me. There's a few other companies that intuitively I would have thought would have snuck higher up that list above and beyond Verint.

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Jason,

Verint did poorly in our Favorite and Worst VMS manufacturer results as well. So there is a pattern here.

Among integrators who are active on IPVM, Verint is not liked. That's for sure.

Maybe non IPVM integrator members love Verint.

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Fair enough John. Like I said, would be nice to see more data points.

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I can tell you that there will never be another Sony installed at our facility due to the poor customer service and the fact that we are not impressed with their cameras.

We have been using Arecont Surround camera's here for years and are very pleased. The customer service with them has been great so far.

Tim

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Hi Tim,

I will not divulge into their support because it seems to vary in quality. I would like to know why you are not impressed with their cameras if you don't mind sharing that information.

From personal experiences I find Axis, Sony, Bosch & Pelco cameras to be some of the better ones out there in terms of picture quality at least. I tend to keep Avigilon out of reckoning but the picture quality is obviously also good.

Whenever I attend a shootout or proof of concept Axis, Bosch, Sony, Pelco & Avigilon are usually the main contenders with a few exceptions here and there.

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Sony camera's may have improved in 5 years including their image quality. But the whole experience of having to replace Sony PTZ's within 13 months of having purchased them and we still continue to replace them to this day..Leaves a bad taste in your mouth. The service department was rude, slow and very cumbersume.
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Thanks Tim,

So a longevity & service problem.

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I have all sorts of problems with my Lenel system and their support. It's been an absolute nightmare. Even when you are clear and direct with what you expect or what you want to do there is a serious lack of knowledge by the sales guys and engineers.

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The good thing Robert, is that there are numerous answers / alternatives to most of the Lenel systems.... RS2, S2, Open Options, and the list goes on. Lots of different access software providers with good alternatives - ones that are hungry to take over where Lenel has left off and fumbled on support.

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