I thought I'd reply to this post because it might actually be a good lesson to potential HTPC customers (and actually a testament to our superior customer service).
Please understand what an HTPC is and the technology and parts that go into it before you purchase.
And because this is actually, in retrospect, quite unbelievable after almost 50 emails exchanges between our customer service and this customer.
I think the largest mistake here was the customer not fully understanding what a HTPC is or what is does. So this could be a valuable lesson for everyone reading.
After 27 emails prior to sale 3 systems were purchased from us for a customer. 2 HTPC extenders and one main HTPC Media Server. The main HTPC being in a custom touchscreen case selected by the customer which took over 3 weeks for us to even receive into inventory.
These units were shipped to the customer located in Australia. Across an ocean. Shipped to two different peoples attentions per customer request and priced VERY nicely to help the customer save HUNDREDS of dollars on duties (you are welcome for those savings btw).
And this was done AFTER the customer had put a hold on his Paypal order because USPS did not apparently update their tracking information quickly enough for his liking (it still showed as being in our local hub after a couple days).
We actually had to physically drive and intercept the package at a regional terminal to make sure the system didn't ship until the paypal dispute was released. We got billed additional costs for shipping for this (which we never passed on to the customer).
After a dozen or so days of it being in dispute, paypal released the funds and the systems all arrived to the customer as promised and ordered.
One system did showed up with a damaged (cracked) sata power cable connector due to a hard drive jarring loose during shipping and hitting it. This is an unfortunate but not necessarily unheard of issue. Its also very easily fixed with a $4 piece.
Unfortunately, an Assassin HTPC employee was not flying the plane, nor was he driving the Australian delivery truck or hand delivering the item to the recipient. Some things are out of our control such as how its handled. Even though we double box and pack everything as tightly as possible.
However, we've added these services to our internal wishlist of things to handle once we become a multi-trillion dollar company and can afford a fleet of our own airplanes and assassinHTPC delivery trucks).
We offered to reimburse him if he wanted to have it fixed locally, or send the $4 molex to sata adapter that he could use.
However the customer wanted to try and re-wire the broken sata power cable himself for some reason and directed us to 2 different sets of pieces he would like to try costing around $20 total. We paid for and ordered them domestically, repackaged them into one package and sent them to Australia. We also packaged with it a Molex to Sata power cable just in case his rewiring attempt was unsuccessful. I tried explaining multiple times to just use the adapter, and that its simply power, and having a molex power instead of sata will not affect the performance of the HTPC.
We also have offered customer service to this customer far outside the 30 days setup. Almost all of this waiting on responses from the customer...."Sorry I did not reply, I have been away with work again...." was the response to our request (12 days later) to remote in and double check his system after he got it up and running.
Meanwhile this entire time we have provided the customer with my direct phone line and skype name to discuss any further question or disputes instantly. Never did we receive a phone call or message.
During this time, we have always responded in a professional manner, even when the majority of the emails sent back were typed in all caps and consisted of cuss words and name calling. Repeating verbatim in several emails we were referred to as " LYING LOW LIFE" and "NOTHING BUT A LOW LIFE PIECE OF SCUM" as well as many others.
He even threw my 2 year old son into his last email to us after we unfortunately had to ban him from our facebook fan page also.
And up until this point we were still not only willing but still actively trying to satisfy issues the customer had.
Now for his specific issues:
1) Its amazing out of all the configurations involved in the complex software setup of an HTPC these are the items of complaint to lead to the statement that these are "hardly set up". If these 3 small items are all you had to worry about when your received 3 fully configured HTPC's. I believe anyone who has set up an HTPC before would say that we did a pretty good job!!!
2) HTPC's do not auto-recognize each other or talk to each other automatically. Nor can we configure them be linked to your homegroup automatically. That is why it is indeed called "your homegroup". Only you can do that. You do have to do some legwork yourself. Our setup shortens that legwork to minutes instead of hours and days, but doesn't eliminate it completely. And HTPC's will not automatically find media folders on your network. We have them routed locally but obviously not through your network. You have to direct any extenders to your look in your main HTPC media server.
These were of course all explained and outlined in our "guided tutorials" and "read me first" files that we had placed on the desktop of each of his systems which I have a feeling were not read. They are fully explained in our blogs and guides and tutorials as well and also are fairly common knowledge to anyone who has done any research on an HTPC.
He did later write that he "managed to set everything up on a Homegroup with a bit of messing around!"
3) To set up your basic IR remote's. You need to put the batteries in the remote, and attach the IR dongle to the USB outlet. Those are the only 2 parts and we did not feel as if they needed instruction. It loads the drivers automatically and is self recognizing. We mistakenly thought our customers would want a brand new unopened remote so they knew they were not receiving anything used or reused. We are working on a 12 page docket to explain how to do this so no future customers get confused.
4) The media folders were created on your main HTPC unit under the green drive. We did not create media folders on your extenders as the intention is to direct those units to read from the main HTPC. This is common knowledge and also explained in the guides.
We always knew this day would come at Assassin HTPC. And that out of the thousands of Assassin units sold, we'd get one customer who was having a bad day or for some reason felt slighted and had apparently plenty of spare time on his hands to write this.
After 3+ years we think 1 negative reviewer out of thousands is a pretty good ratio.
Although we constantly strive for perfection, unfortunately we realize that no matter how good you are you cannot satisfy everyone.
However we encourage our customer to become educated on what they are purchasing and understand what an HTPC exactly is.
And as always, staying committed to our superior customer service we are more than happy to let you return the system as we've stated many times. I'm sure some AVS user would love a gently used Assassin HTPC at a discounted price and as I mentioned in my emails if you shipped the unit back we would be more than happy to find a new home for them.
We did however want to set the story straight. We are always committed to our customers and always looking for feedback on ways to improve both our product and our customer service and we have taken your colorful commentary into consideration.