There’s a way I can set up this blog such that people can be notified by email when it’s updated. I don’t know how many people read this regularly (probably not too many), but if you think I should enable that feature, let me know by adding a comment to this journal entry. Thanks!
There’s a new exhibit at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science that just opened yesterday. It’s centered around the previously lost Liberty Bell 7 spacecraft. The capsule has been sitting at the bottom of the ocean for the past 35 years and they just recently brought it up. We’re going to check it out this afternoon. There’s also a new IMAX movie and the exhibit about Ancient Denvers, which I want to see. Then we’re going out for a steak dinner somewhere. Yum!
Yahoo! News – Tearful U.S. Taliban Lindh Jailed for 20 Years
This fellow is going to have a fun time in American prison, I’m sure. The other inmates will just really love him.
Wow, $28 billion dollars! How is this woman going to spend it all in her remaining few months/years?
– Register suvbacklash.org
– Shop for someone to host the site under its own domain name – I’m pretty sure domain hosting prices have come down since I went shopping last
– Start publicizing
– Do a massive updating of content, including all the links and articles I’ve been saving for so long
– Flesh out the separate page that shows the history of the SUV backlash
– Fill out the rest of the main page and then reorganize what little navigation there is on that site
– Accept donations, just in case it takes off big time
This has got to be the best eBay auction I’ve ever seen:
eBay item 1641798199 (Ends Sep-30-01 14:06:38 PDT ) – I will kick your ass.
Well, I seem to have this working now. I replaced my old journal, which I was maintaining in Microsoft FrontPage like the rest of my website. Now I’m using Blogger. If all goes well, I’ll probably upgrade to the Pro version.
I’m also using Blogger to build a new suvbacklash.com, just to see how that goes.
From the desk of Todd Bradley
October 1, 2000
What you’re about to read is a true story about my experience with a company that I strongly recommend avoiding. They’re called Advanced Design of Kentucky and they sell PC components and systems. But before I get into the details of their incompetence, I’ll give you some background on how this came about.
In case you don’t already know who I am, my name is Todd and I have a musical group called 404 Not Found that records in a home studio in my house in Colorado. The studio is all digital and I record our works directly to a computer hard disk, where I mix them down and occasionally make CDs for family, friends, and fans. In my case, at least, the computer has totally replaced the traditional analog audio tape and mixer of the past. In my studio, the PC is the central nervous system for recording music.
Somewhere out on the Internet, there’s a guy named Pete Leoni. He is Contributing Editor for an online music recording website called ProRec.com (which I strongly recommend reading, by the way). Leoni is highly respected among people who do audio recording on Intel based personal computers. His advice on building digital audio workstations (DAWs) is widely followed, and there are gundreds (maybe thousands) of his readers who have built DAW systems based on overclocked Intel Celeron processors. He wrote an article for ProRec in October of 1998 that gives detailed instructions for building a high performance DAW for a very low price. In fact, his design is so widely used that many people call this particular type of system a “Leoni” (in all fairness, there are many people who call these same systems a “Pearlman” in honor of another net personality).
In May of 2000, he wrote another article called Roll Your Own 2000 that updates his original advice. I built two PCs based on the original Leoni specs in late 1998 and they’ve worked quite well since then. In August of s000, I decided to update these systems and build a third based on his new “Leoni 2000” specs.
In his new article, he recommends buying the necessary parts from a company called Advanced Design of Kentucky. I took that advice and was sorry I did. Here’s my story.
Saturday, September 9, 2000
I placed my order with Advanced Design on their website, which is http://www.advanceddesignky.com. I ordered an Iwill WO2 motherboard combo and a Millenium G-200 AGP video card. The motherboard combo is advertised as including an Iwill WO2 motherboard (with integrated video and sound), 128 meg of RAM, and a Celeron II 600 MHz overclocked to 900 MHz (with heatsink/fan). The advantage of buying the combo like this is that they assemble the components and then test them at the overclocked speed to make sure everything’s going to run o.k. All told, the order, with shipping, came to $560.50, which I billed to my Visa card.
The website says “Please allow 2-4 days for testing of chips” so I figured it would take them 3 days to test it and then another 3 days for shipping. So, I expected the package to arrive on the 18th or 19th.
I got an order confirmation by email shortly afterward, and printed it out.
Saturday, September 16, 2000
Based on my buying experiences with other online vendors, I expected some sort of confirmation email to let me know that my order had been shipped around Thursday. I gave them a couple of extra days but when I hadn’t gotten any email by Saturday, I called to check on the status of the order.
Business Pointer #1: Take a hint from Amazon.com and email your customer when his order is shipped. If possible, include a shipping tracking number.
I started to get a bad feeling when the person who answered the phone couldn’t find any paperwork on my order. I heard him shuffling through papers for a few minutes and then he got back on the phone to ask what I’d ordered. When I told him it was a motherboard combo, he said, “Oh, you should have said so! That’s a totally different part of the store. Let me transfer you.” So then I talked to a second person.
Business Pointer #2: Track your orders in a customer database and give all your employees access to it.
The second person found my order and then told me that it was going to be delayed. It turns out that the Golden Orb heatsink/fans that the company had been using, were no longer good enough for the job. The manufacturer must have changed the design or manufacturing process recently, because the latest fans
Advanced Design got in didn’t work as well as they used to. He went on to explain in great detail what he didn’t like about this new batch of fans and why they were switching to using a different model on all their motherboard combos.
It did make me feel good that the company was so dedicated to selling only the best quality components, but then I learned that the new fans they are switching to (Global Win FOP-32) were back ordered. However, they were going to get a big shipment of those fans in on Wednesday, and he said my motherboard combo would therefore be shipped out on Wednesday.
I didn’t ask how it was possible for them to get the fans on Wednesday, assemble the parts, burn the whole system in, and still ship it out on Wednesday. “Maybe they’re just really, really good,” I thought. So, with a new projected ship date of Wednesday, I figured I’d get the motherboard on
Thursday, September 21, 2000
Wednesday came and went, and so did Thursday, but I still didn’t see any email confirmation of my shipment. By now, I was a bit frustrated about this whole buying experience and nervous about the company’s ability to keep their commitments. So, Thursday night I sent this friendly email to Advanced Design:
Hi, how's my order coming? It's now been 9 business days since I placed the order. Your website says it takes 2-4 days to test the chips, so I expected the order to arrive last Saturday or so. When I called last Saturday, you told me about the problems you'd been having with CPU fans and that the order would ship on Wednesday. Did it? Could you give me a tracking number? Thanks, Todd.
Meanwhile, I got my Visa statement in the mail. I was surprised to see that Advanced Design had already charged my Visa card! In fact, they charged it on the same day my order was placed, way back on September 9. Every other company I’ve bought things from online charged my card when the merchandise was actually
shipped. To me, that’s the right way to handle online purchases.
Business Pointer #3: Bill your customer when you deliver the goods, not when he placed his order.
Friday, September 22, 2000
I got an email reply back from Advanced Design saying this:
Todd, if you like you can call and check the status. Thanks, Pat
I took that to mean that Pat didn’t know anything about the status and the only person who did was the guy in the special back room assembling motherboard combos. And he only communicates by telephone, apparently. The really funny part of this is that the order confirmation email I got on the 9th says:
If you have questions please contact: Advanced Design at 888-785-6848, or E-mail us at email@example.com
So I guess their company procedure for dealing with questions by email is to write back and say, “Call us.”
Business Pointer #4: If you give your email address out as a contact point for questions, make sure the person reading the email is actually able and willing to help customers.
Tuesday, September 26, 2000
Monday was busy for me, so it wasn’t until Tuesday that I had time to call to check up on my order. I called both the toll free number and the long distance number for Advanced Design six times on Tuesday morning, without getting through to a human being. Three of those times, the phone rang and rang and rang without anyone answering. Not even an answering machine!
Getting more and more frustrated, I thought, “What kind of business in the year 2000 doesn’t even have an answering machine on their main phone number?” Maybe things are just done differently in Kentucky, or maybe the company’s taken my money and gone out of business. Anyhow, as the morning rolled on, I made three other calls and got busy signals, so I at least had a suspicion somebody was there.
Business Pointer #5: If you really can’t answer the phone all the time, get a voicemail system.
I did finally get through to someone a couple hours later. Now being an old pro at navigating the bureaucracy at Advanced Design, I knew to tell the person immediately that I had a question about my “motherboard combo” order. That was the verbal cue he needed to transfer my call right to the special motherboard combo guy in the back room. And here’s what HE said (paraphrased):
Oh, I’ve been meaning to call you, but I didn’t have any record of your phone number or email address or anything. I’m glad you called. We’ve got a problem. You see, the CPU you ordered doesn’t work with the motherboard your ordered. We just discovered this. So, you’ve got two choices. You can pay $100 more and upgrade from the Celeron II to the Pentium III, which will work with this motherboard. Or you can go with a different motherboard that does work with the Celeron II. That motherboard doesn’t have onboard sound or video, though, but since it costs less, we’ll send you a check for the difference of $40.
First, I asked why he couldn’t find my phone number when it was clearly printed on the order confirmation email that his own company sent me. He said he didn’t have that confirmation email, so I slowly and clearly recited my phone number for future reference. Second, I told him that I was disappointed that their website advertises–and they already took my money for–a system configuration that doesn’t even work. Third, I asked which of the two new options would be fastest, since it had now been 17 days since they took my money and I still didn’t have a motherboard in my hands.
See Pointer #2 again.
Business Pointer #6: Don’t advertise a product you don’t have or can’t soon get in stock.
Business Pointer #7: Don’t advertise a product you’ve never tested.
The second option would be faster, since he had all the parts right there and could assemble them and ship them out immediately. I told him I needed the system by Friday at the latest and he told me, “It’ll be there.” I was surprised by his confidence, since he didn’t even stop to ask where “there” was. But I thought maybe he was going to do the right thing and upgrade the shipping to overnight or 2nd day to make up for this whole fiasco.
“Look in the box when it arrives, because there will be a check for $40 in there,” he said.
“Ok, but can you guarantee the package will be here by Friday?” I asked, just to confirm what he said before.
“It’ll be there.”
Sunday, October 1, 2000
Guess what. After all that, the package didn’t arrive on Friday. It didn’t arrive on Saturday, either.
Business Pointer #8: If you make a guarantee to your customers, keep your promise.
Saturday afternoon I decided I should tell people about the poor service I received from Advanced Design of Kentucky. Since the company is getting a fair amount of its business on referrals from Pete Leoni, I decided to also tell him that this piece of his advice was unusually bad.
I’m a very patient person and easily forgive one or two foul ups by anyone, especially small companies. But Advanced Design made so many as to serve as a textbook example of how not to run a business in the year 2000.
Sunday, I wrote up this whole tale and posted it to my website at http://www.toddbradley.com/?page_id=7. Being an eternal optimist, I’m still hopeful I’ll get the motherboard I ordered. However, I’ll call them tomorrow and if it still hasn’t shipped, I’ll cancel the order and start over with one of the competing vendors that I know and trust and
who do deliver. Specifically, I recommend:
Sunshine Star www.sunshinestar.com (note – as of 8/2/2001, their website isn’t responding – presumed deceased)
I bought the parts for my original Leoni PCs from Sunshine Star and was pleased with their service.
After the problems I had with Advanced Design, I bought the parts to upgrade my other two PCs from this company. The shipped my order immediately and it arrived 3 days later.
Monday, October 2, 2000
After calling twice and getting busy signals, I got through on the third call. I told the person who answered the usual, that I’d ordered a motherboard combo and wanted to check on the status. He said he could help me and looked up my order. Sure enough, it had not been shipped yet (something that didn’t surprise me too much). However, the order was all boxed up and sitting on the shipper’s desk, he said. They were going to ship it out FedEx Ground and he gave me a FedEx tracking number, which I wrote
I told him that I thought they should upgrade the shipping to overnight at their own cost, since they had promised me it would arrive by Friday and now it was Monday and they hadn’t even shipped it yet. He said he didn’t remember promising anything by Friday. However, he said he’d discuss the upgrade with his boss and would call me back. I gave him my cell phone number, since I didn’t want to miss the call.
I carried my cell phone around with me all day long, and guess what–nobody ever called me back.
That night, however, I got an email from Scott Chichelli, who is the owner of Advance Design. Apparently, he either saw the article I posted to the Product.ProAudio newsgroup on news.cakewalk.com or someone who saw that article sent it to him. Scott replied both in email to me and on the newsgroup.
Here’s what he wrote:
Well as always there is 2 sides to every story. i wont waste readers time going thru every little detail of your somewhat embelished commentary.
and i thank several of our customers who have already come to our defense. i would also like to appologise for your not having a perfect experiance
with us. we are a small family style business and we take to heart the slightest notion that we may not be serving you to the best of our ability. we grieve over making you so unhappy that you would go to such trouble to try and stain our good reputation. In easier terms to understand we bust our ass trying to make everyone happy,every day, 6 days a week. unfortunately we occasionally screw up and do not always please everyone. this however is not the case. there are several factors involved you are unaware of and had you been as unpleasant on the phone with us as you are in email or your web site i would have been a little more explanatory. In our search to accomadate the DAW crowd who have been plagued with problems with Via chipsets, and older BX boards, enter the 815 chipset a dream come true. finnally a 133 bus board with no conflicts for recording proâ€™s, and ata 100 support. Also heres this wonderful little Celly II who is such a great overclocker and cheap.
well heres the facts, Intels Silicon has been crap now for several months which has related to higher Voltages required to overclock and far lower
yeild rates. the 815 boardâ€™s that we originally tested worked fine! now with the higher voltage they wernt working too well. we could have easily shiped your product much sooner but felt it no longer passed our Specâ€™d for stabilty and longevity. when you called, we informed you that we felt, what you chose was no longer a good option to either upgrade to the PIII (requires less voltage and has a higher default voltage) or switch to
another Mobo. our mobo manufacturer was supposed to get us a bios fix to correct for higher voltage, but has still not come thru. Even on the new mobo the voltages that are required (1.75-1.8) are difficult to produce. so in a nut shell
1) we are not responsible for Intels recent lack of quality ( they recalled the 1.1G due to this)
2)Our mobo maker did not provide us with what we needed in time (still havent)
3)because we care about our product and name we didnt ship you an inferior Product.
4)we changed you to a new motherboard and now you will have your 600@900 MHZ.
5) if you doubt the authenticity of what i say call my competitors you will find out they now sell thier OCed chips at 1.85-1.95 and only give you a 30
day warranty. ours are at 1.75-1.8 and a 1 yr warranty. several of them have quit selling Celly IIâ€™s altogether due to this. which chip and warranty
would you rather have?? and wouldnâ€™t you want it to be right the first time.
thank you so much for patience,understanding your pleasant phone voice to us, yet nasty commentary behind an email or website,
your appreciation to us for striving to send you nothing but quality, not shipping you something we felt was bad. i would also like to thank you for your wonderful ideas on how to run an e-commerce business which i am sure you have much experiance with.
you certainly have much knowledge in how shipping works. it is eveident in your anticipation of Saturday deliveries you didnt pay for. FYI i shipped
your Box DHL overnight for free, before i read your web site!! one of those things we do around here because our customer service is so bad.
Owner of the pathetic E-commerce company whoâ€™s customer satisfaction is only about 96%
And here’s what I wrote back:
Hi, Scott. Thanks very much for writing back. Your reply seems a little wry and at times condescending, but I can understand why youâ€™d take my comments about your company personally. You probably think Iâ€™m a hellion, even though Iâ€™m really a nice, polite guy. And Iâ€™m typically a loyal customer, especially to small businesses, when Iâ€™m treated fairly. Iâ€™m going to do my best to respond to your points without turning this into a flamefest of some kind. I appreciate the fact that many of your customers have gotten excellent service from your company and that my bad experiences may just be a once-in-a-blue-moon occurance.
> we are a small family style business and we take to heart the slightest
> notion that
> we may not be serving you to the best of our ability. we grieve over making
> you so unhappy that you would go to such trouble to try and stain our good
I have nothing against you and your company, and everything Iâ€™ve written about my purchase has been true. As a long time member of the online
community (regular Usenet user since 1988), I feel I have an obligation to share any buying experiences that are grossly positive or grossly negative. Pete Leoni did the same and thatâ€™s how I found you in the first place!
> there are several factors
> involved you are unaware of and had you been as unpleasant on the phone with
> us as you are in email or
> your web site i would have been a little more explanatory.
Actually, you (or whoever Iâ€™ve talked to) did explain everything over the phone each time Iâ€™ve called. Thatâ€™s how I know that itâ€™s been just one
foulup after another.
Also, I donâ€™t know why someone has to be unpleasant or mean to get a fair shake. I guess Iâ€™m old fashioned, but I believe that people will be more
motivated to treat me well if Iâ€™m a gentleman to them.
> when you called, we informed you that we felt, what
> you chose was no longer a good option to either upgrade to the PIII
> (requires less voltage and has a higher default voltage) or switch to
> another Mobo.
To be fair, that was only the most recent issue. This conversation happened when my order was already 2 weeks late. If this had been the real start of the whole exchange, Iâ€™d have nothing to complain about.
> so in a nut shell
> 1) we are not responsible for Intels recent lack of quality ( they recalled
> the 1.1G due to this)
Wait a minute. Thatâ€™s like Ford saying theyâ€™re not responsible for Firestoneâ€™s tires falling apart. I donâ€™t give a damn about Firestone if I
bought my truck from Ford. If I wrote my check to Ford, itâ€™s their issue. Itâ€™s Fordâ€™s job to make sure their suppliers are giving them good parts, and if theyâ€™re not, itâ€™s Fordâ€™s job to fix the problem.
> 2)Our mobo maker did not provide us with what we needed in time (still
This also sounds like youâ€™re trying to pass the buck. It all boils down to this: donâ€™t take someoneâ€™s money for something that you know doesnâ€™t work. Itâ€™s unethical for you to take my money for a product that you know doesnâ€™t work or for a product that youâ€™re not sure of. Imagine my reaction if I went to my Ford dealer to buy a truck and he told me, “Well, weâ€™re not sure whether or not this truckâ€™s tires will randomly explode and kill you. They may and they may not, but we havenâ€™t actually driven one of these ourselves. Write us a check and then weâ€™ll go try it for ourselves.” Iâ€™d be headed for the Dodge dealer in no time.
> 3)because we care about our product and name we didnt ship you an inferior
Now weâ€™re getting somewhere. This is the one thing that I respect your company for, and I really mean that.
> 4)we changed you to a new motherboard and now you will have your 600@900
Good, thatâ€™s what I ordered.
> 5) if you doubt the authenticity of what i say call my competitors [â€¦]
I know that youâ€™re completely competent in the technical area and have no reason to doubt what youâ€™re saying. Itâ€™s not your technical abilities that
are in question, but your companyâ€™s customer service ethic.
> your pleasant phone voice to us, yet nasty commentary behind an email or
Iâ€™ve been around long enough to know yelling and screaming arenâ€™t going to solve the worldâ€™s problems. And Iâ€™m sorry my commentary seems nasty, but my storyâ€™s 100% true. Iâ€™ve taken good notes about each interaction Iâ€™ve had with Advanced Design.
> your appreciation to us for striving to send you nothing but quality, not
> you something we felt was bad. i would also like to thank you for your
> wonderful ideas
> on how to run an e-commerce business which i am sure you have much
> experiance with.
> you certainly have much knowledge in how shipping works. it is eveident in
> your anticipation of Saturday deliveries you didnt pay for.
Now youâ€™re getting sarcastic, which doesnâ€™t help your case. Iâ€™m not sure if your point here is “weâ€™re not really an e-commerce business” or “you donâ€™t know what youâ€™re talking about”. If itâ€™s the first, Iâ€™ll say that you ARE an e-commerce business. Youâ€™re taking orders on the web, your most
significant set of customers are on the web, and your biggest reference (Pete L) comes from the web. If youâ€™re implying the second, I do know what
Iâ€™m talking about. With the exception of groceries, I buy more online than offline. Iâ€™ve dealt with hundreds of vendors by internet over the past 12
years and have a very good understanding of whatâ€™s common practice. And Iâ€™ve been on your side of the customer service desk for years (at a software company, not hardware, but the base concept is the same). So I do know what Iâ€™m talking about.
> FYI i shipped
> your Box DHL
> overnight for free, before i read your web site!! one of those things we do
> around here because our customer service is so bad.
I really appreciate that. I know it costs more. Now the thing you did NOT do was to call me back to let me know that you were upgrading me to
overnight shipment. When I talked to you (or was it someone elseâ€“unfortunately, I didnâ€™t catch the personâ€™s name that answered the
phone) today, you specifically said that youâ€™d talk to “the boss” and call me back. I gave you my cell phone number and carried it with me for the
rest of the day. Nobody called. So, while you did the right thing in upgrading the shipping, you once again failed to follow through on a simple
commitment you made to me.
Keeping small promisesâ€“shipping products when you say you will and returning phone calls when you say you willâ€“are what forms a customerâ€™s
perception of the integrity of a company. And that brings me right back to my main pointâ€“Advanced Design of Kentucky is having a hard time meeting commitments it makes to customers.
By the way, a number of other readers of that newsgroup also replied to my article. Many of them had good experiences with Advance Design and many had bad experiences. I saved all the other relevant quotes. See below:
Sorry about your experience. I know that Scott runs a small operation, and he tests each piece. Maybe heâ€™s had too many recommendations lately
from this group (I recommended him here, too), and finds it hard to keep up with the unexpected boom in business. Iâ€™ve used him almost
exclusively for mobos, CPUs, and parts-level purchases for more than a year, and have a regular and friendly correspondence with him. His
guarantees have also been 100% from start to finish, right down to a CPU fan that died. Once in a while theyâ€™ll be a delay while he gets all the
pieces together for shipment, but itâ€™s rare (and Iâ€™m not about to publish a webpage over it)!
Sorry to hear about your bad experience. Iâ€™ve only ordered from them once (my RYO2K system) and it went off without a hitchâ€¦
Iâ€™m sorry to say I had a bad experience with Advanced Design after initially having a very good one.
The Good: They sent me a pretested Celeron 566/slocket combo which works fine at 850. I accidentally broke one of the little locking tabs on the
slocket and they sent me another slocket quick (and free) without even waitinig for me to send them back the broken one.
The Bad: In July I ordered an extra stick of PC-133 RAM from them and they sent me PC-100 instead. They said theyâ€™d replace it so I sent it back. After a month, they still had not sent me anything so I called and they said they were out of stock, despite the fact that their website was still
The Ugly: I told them to just credit my VISA and I would but the RAM locally because I needed it quick. After 2 weeks, still no credit on my card.
I WAS going to get my 566>850 from Advanced Design. What a condescending prick.
I donâ€™t know about board quality, or much about CPU clocking, but I e-mailed Advanced Design a couple of times, and I got slow and disappointing responses. It seemed very much like they didnâ€™t even read what I was asking about – I would never recommend buying from them either. Just donâ€™t like the vibe.
Just to add another data point (not to argue), I emailed them with questions twice and got responses very quickly (I do my emailing at ridiculous hours, so for me, immediately usually means 10 hours later).
I am very sorry you had a bad experience with Advanced design. I can definitely understand your frustration.
I just got a CELE 600 OCâ€™d @900 from them and I had to exchange the mobo and processor the first time. When I informed them of the problem, they were very quick to remedy this issue and I had a new mobo and processor within 4 days. I did not request an overnight replacement.
The guys I talked to, Scott and J.R., were very knowledgeable about the boards and applications of the hardware they sell. When I did call them,
I was not treated like a number, but on the personal level.
I read you article about advanced design
I ordered a new video card from them and what I received was a used video card with no box or manual.
I emailed them for a refund and never heard a word from them. Well it worked and I kept it.
I wont be back there again
And I rode the same emotional roller coaster you did with Scott. Heâ€™s a pretty quirky character for sure, but I am not qualified to judge his
technical proficiency. I got pretty pissed at him several times, and I am also patient beyond the call of duty. Besides, there werenâ€™t
sufficient damages that would have justified litigation, so I just hung in there until I felt I got as much of what they owed me as I was going to get,
then moved on. If I lived in Kentucky, I would have gone over and shot my load, but Iâ€™m in Virginia.
They donâ€™t seem very professional in their manner of doing business and their need to bill before even building the computer makes me suspect that they are on shaky ground financially. That doesnâ€™t inspire confidence. All in all, my experience with them appears to be consistent with your experiences. I am relieved that you eventually did get your computer and hope that I will too. I donâ€™t think Iâ€™d be inclined to order anything from them again.
Thanks for putting up your experiences on your web page. I wish that I had run across your web page before I placed the order. You may have saved others some grief. Perhaps this will still end well.
A friend of mine â€” a musician with significant computer and DAW knowledge â€” recommended ADK to me in the Spring of â€˜02. He is, and remains,
someone whose opinion I trust, and someone who had good luck with ADK (“luck” being the operative word). I hold him blameless (even though I think he still blames himself), butâ€¦ the ensuing comedy of errors, or should I say, LITANY OF INCOMPETENCE from Advanced Design of Kentucky (advanced?) was astounding.
I couldnâ€™t bear to recount the entirety of my saga, but it was unforgivable and involved wrong parts being sent or built into the computer, damage through lack of protective packaging, returning the CPU twice because it wouldnâ€™t even boot up each time only to have it be returned with different problems, out-and-out lies on several occasions, and a number of issues that were never resolved and still haunt the ill-fated machine. I learned that Scott Chichelli will say ANYTHING other than, “Iâ€™m sorry. Itâ€™s our fault.” Every time I got him on the phone I heard a new installment of his ongoing personal traumas, or how mad he was at his “kid” for screwing something up yet again with my order.At the time I was in the early stages of setting up a business and had no time at all to properly address the way I was treated, and now the offending unit serves the purpose of a back-up computer at home. One thing I can safely say is that I have NEVER in my life had dealings with more incompetent folks.
I had put it behind me until I read your account, and it all came back. Anyway, you can be sure I know exactly what youâ€™re talking about and what you went through. BTW, my friend who initially recommended ADK also sent me the link to your webpage.
I just came across your website and really wish Iâ€™d have come across your post about Advanced Design before. I am having the worst expereience of my life with a purchase.
Without writing a book.. cause Iâ€™m stressed out and tired right now, I can tell you that I paid them $3878 over a month ago and have nothing to show for it.
When I read this post, I couldnâ€™t believe that they have pulled the same exact thing on me. Itâ€™s unbelievable that Scott has been so rude and
condesending on top of it all. I am left with no choice but to file a lawsuit against him and Advanced Design.
I realize your problem with them was a wile ago, but Iâ€™m sure you can understand my frustration. The fact that he has taken so much of my money and I have nothing to show for it just kills me. If you have some time to talk this weekend I would greatly apreciate it if you could give me a ring. Any advice or info that might be helpful would be greatly appreciated.
Tuesday, October 3, 2000
Somebody pointed out that there’s a website devoted to rating computer part resellers. It is www.resellerratings.com, and Advance Design is listed there. They have numerical ratings as well as comments from past customers. As with the feedback I got to my newsgroup post, some comments are positive and some are negative.
The motherboard, memory, heatsink/fan, and video card did in fact arrive by DHL, as Scott said they would. I (finally) assembled the new PC Tuesday night and installed Caldera OpenLinux on it.
Wednesday, October 4, 2000
Scott wrote me a long personal followup email yesterday afternoon and I replied to him this morning, suggesting he should look into setting up a Yahoo! Store, which appears to make easy all the things Advance Design is having a hard time with–giving customers updated order and shipping status, providing employees a centralized place to track customer and order info, and so on.
I haven’t heard back since then, so this may be the end of the story. The PC I built is working well. I know I won’t buy anything else from Advance Design of Kentucky.