Originally Posted by Babbitt 1080P
So I bought a ceton cable card tuner for my HTPC. Installed it and got it to work. Kind of. Picture quality is not as good as my cablebox, video stutters, words stutter when scrolling across the screen, slow channel changing, missed recordings, etc. Biggest problems I had was that something involved with the network bridge portion of the software or driver is knocking out my network connection. Sometimes once a week sometimes more. So when it goes out I have to run the windows diagnostic to repair it and it comes up with a "network bridge does not have a valid IP". Windows repairs it and its good for a few days.
I deal with it for a couple months and then finally decide to file a ticket with ceton. They respond that they want some data, I send it, then they offer the generic "try these beta drivers" response that they probably send to everyone. More times goes by. I try the beta drivers. Same thing. Then they want more data. I send that. More times goes by. Finally (after 4 weeks) they say they want to set up a remote session. They work with me to set up a Saturday appointment (nice I thought) as I work during their 8 to 3 weekday window. Our Saturday apt come and there I sit. Waiting, waiting. No remote request. They forgot. Now I'm pissed...
Send another ticket reply telling them to send me a phone number to call because I want to speak with someone about being blown off. I get a reply that I should respond to the email tickets because ceton doesn't have phones! Really? Who's stupid enough to believe that? A company can operate without phones! Ya right. I rely that I was stood up and need to speak with someone. Send me a phone number so I can call on my time.
Someone calls and leaves me a message. Says again that they don't have phones and I need to reply by email. Doesn't leave a callback number or anyway for me to respond. He calls back a couple days later. Same thing. "Reply to the ticket or we will have to close it". No phone number again.
Finally I break down and reply by email with a short summery of how unhappy I am with being blown off for an appointment and how I just want to speak with someone about it. Im not really in the to mood to type out 10 paragraphs about how Im displeased I am. Just wanted to talk with a real person. Get another email from someone higher up the ladder. He claims same BS that they don't have phones. Claims they have support equal to Microsoft and Google (ha!). Doesn't offer me any contact number to respond to.
So here I am after 5 week of ceton "trouble shooting". Zero progress made on my problem. Throughout the whole process I really dont think half the people responding to my tickets even knew what my problem was. At no point did anyone ask me about anything network related. And Im dealing with a company that does give a crap what their customer have to say. I understand not wanting to take customer calls but if one wants to speak with someone about their service or product you should be available to talk with them. Common sense.
Im done dealing with them. I'll put this thing in the trash and try my luck on a HDHR. Hopefully they would talk to me if I requested it.
Since ceton gave me to avenue to express my displeasure with their service I had to post it for all to see. This could have been handled with a 10 minute phone call. Suck it up, apologize, and move on. Simple as that.
So if you dont mind buying a product thats really not ready for the masses yet and you are ok not being able to get support for weeks then take your chances purchasing a ceton product.
First, I want to apologize for the missed appointment. Missed appointments should NOT
happen, and I am working to understand why this happened, and prevent it from happening again. I found what I believe this ticket to be. I see that we had an appointment scheduled for October 27th at 2PM Pacific, which we did in fact miss. We sent a message at 5:18PM Pacific apologizing for this, and offering to reschedule (you did not accept our offer to reschedule). Per your request, the ticket was escalated to the support manager, who made two attempts to call you, and followed up via the ticket. You were very clearly unhappy with this response. Our Chief Marketing Officer then replied to you, however you were also unhappy with his response.
I feel that criticizing Ceton for taking 4-5 weeks to troubleshoot this is unfair at best. In every single case, our responses to you were within 1 business day (Monday-Saturday) of your message, and in many cases were the same day. While the ticket was several months old, the vast majority of the time was spent waiting for you - at one point, we waited over 3 months (from June 15, 2012 until September 25, 2012) for you to collect the requested data.
Regarding the actual issue, the act of bridging is 100% handled by Windows and your network card driver. All the InfiniTV Network Tuner software does is the same thing as selecting 2 network connections, right click, and bridge. This sounds to me like either a bug in your network card drivers (some network cards, especially cheap ones, have really bad drivers) or an issue with firewall/internet security software. Have you tried upgrading your network drivers, and also removing any Firewall/security software you have installed? Also, is this a standard wired Ethernet network? If the network bridge does not have a valid IP, that is outside something that Ceton's software can cause, and is most likely a network card driver bug. Alternatively, this could be an issue with your DHCP server (router). If I am understanding your latest response, you stated that you had network stability issues even without the InfiniTV drivers installed. If the InfiniTV drivers are not installed and the problem persists, there is absolutely no way this could be an issue with our product.
As others have mentioned, the suggestions of disabling network tuners as a test is a good one, and something we typically ask customers to do during troubleshooting. In this case, we simply had not been given the opportunity to do much troubleshooting on this ticket, and did not get to that point.
Regarding phone support, in our experience, phone support is actually less productive for both parties than email support. Often we have logs that we have to spend quite some time reviewing. Rather than making customers sit on the phone while we do so, we follow up with them once the review is complete. This is common in this market. To the best of my knowledge SiliconDust does not offer phone support - at least I've never heard of it being mentioned, and I see no phone number on their website.
One point you raised here - we actually do not have a phone system. It's just generally been unnecessary - so much that we actually discussed getting one about a year ago when we moved offices, and the engineers generally said not to waste the money, as they would refuse to plug in their phones if we bought them. This is not uncommon - when I was at Microsoft, I also observed that many engineers simply viewed their desk phone as a waste of desk space and unplugged it and put it in storage. While we do have a handful of dedicated lines (CableCARD pairing line, and some outgoing lines) we are not a phone-oriented company.