Hey guys, looking for some advice and ideas as I am fairly new to home automation and the options out there. The story below is crazy to me, since you pay quite a premium to put in a system like this, but for some reason here in Michigan the dealer network is corrupt and Savant does not seem to care very much.
About a year ago I had a Savant system installed into a new home. Sadly the dealer and rep firm assigned by Savant that did the install was shady and flat out lied to me as to their experience with Savant, among other things.
They (the rep firm and the dealer) had told me they were the 'experts' and I later found this was the 1st system they had done. The rep firm even went so far to tell me that this dealer was the only one in my area that could do this work. Needless to say, they overcharged me, double charged me, etc, etc and I had no choice but to fire them about 80% into the project.
How much was I overcharged? Well, that varied, but the worst of it was the 300% markup on hdmi cables... yeah 300%. And when I caught them, they dropped to regular price in 5 seconds.
Another example is they had 3-4 techs on site programming Savant for 2 weeks, which I later found is complete overkill, but it makes sense because they were literally learning on the job.
After firing this 1st dealer, we talked with the rep firm, and they then assigned another dealer who was supposed to be amazing and very experienced, etc. So we brought him in to finish.
This dealer ended up being a 1 man shop, subcontracting out the actual work, and seemed to have little working knowledge of Savant. This guy would bill me for 2 techs doing work, when his subcontracted tech would do 90%+ of the work. He also insulted me, the equipment I have in the house, among other lovely things. He was actually worse than the 1st dealer!
So here we are about a year later, the rep firm has been fired by Savant, there are only 2 remaining dealers in Michigan now (the 2 I worked with!) and my concerns to Savant are pretty much unanswered.
I actually found 2 other dealers in Michigan, but now they are no longer Savant dealers, so there is no one in the state that can do this now.
Savant's position to me is "we sell the equipment to the dealer, we're sorry for your dealer experience, we've run out of dealers(2)". Meanwhile this last dealer is badmouthing me to Savant and it sounds like they're happy to side with a dealer rather than a customer.
I have spent a TON of money on this house (remodeling a spec home), and this Savant business is the the only thing that has been a major problem.
Alright, so I'm at the point where I am ready to rip the Savant components out and replace with another system. Even though it is a total waste of 10s of thousands of dollars, it is worth it to me because Savant doesn't seem to care enough, and even if I get it finished, what am I to do when something goes wrong or I want to upgrade/add on?
Since I have limited knowledge of the other options, I am hoping y'all might give me some ideas... I know there is Crestron, Control4, ElanG, AMX, etc., but I don't know what would be the easiest to plug and play after taking out Savant.
The main thing for me is that it works with iPads/iPhone/iPod because I have already invested in all those devices and is the main reason I chose Savant in the first place (back then the iDevice support for other systems was fairly limited).
I have 9 displays, several rack sources, hdmi runs to all displays, conduit with cat5 up the wazoo, lutron homeworks lighting system, sec system, hvac, cameras, etc.
Any help is greatly appreciated...