Full home solutions cost too much!!! - Page 4 - AVS Forum
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post #91 of 206 Old 03-17-2006, 05:01 PM
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I'm sorry that you feel that people don't NEED $100K automation systems. By the same logic, neither do you need 4000 square feet for you and your family to live in. You SHOULD be able to get by with 2400.

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My unbelief is at the rates charged by non qualified hobbyists that decide that this "niche market" is ripe for exploitation.
That may or may not be the reality of your situation. Either way, it's apparent you've passed judgement on your bidder, and surely seem to assume that the $100K bid came from a hobbyist. It's apparent you've got a bone to pick with our industry because you got burned by a hack; as well, a general disdain for wealthy people, some of which who are your 'friends,' but you aren't one of them.

I bid you good luck in finding a $10k whole house automation system that's up to your standards.

By the time you're done buying $5k worth of parts and software, and then counted the late nights and weekends of a years time tweaking... I wonder how much that 'under $10K' system costs.
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post #92 of 206 Old 03-17-2006, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by BritOverseas
For your information, yes I do expect value for money and a good job, would you not? Just because I CAN afford to spend that $1000, should I be ripped off? Remember, a fool and his money are soon parted.

My unbelief is at the rates charged by non qualified hobbyists that decide that this "niche market" is ripe for exploitation.

The "recommended technician" (NOT the cheapest by far) that eventually did my old house overcharged my Wife (I was away on business and he took advantage of the fact that she knows little about it), did a particularly crappy job, stole the good cable I provided along with the expensive LF cable that was attached to my sub, installed the cabling wrong and left large plates/holes in my walls that were not necessary. We are only talking about running 5 cables through 2 walls, in the same room to the same point, why on earth should that cost over $1000?? This is why I ensured that I got it pre-wired for 2 rooms in my new house, with very good cable, my builder charged me $250 a room (not my "negotiated" price, just their listed price), so where is the disparity in those figures? We all know that builders are supposed to be on the high side of prices.

The quality of most of the jobs that I have unfortunately HAD to get somebody to do on any of my houses due to my work constraints has been shoddy at best and yes, sorry to burst your bubble, most of the people that spend 100K on a system do not NEED to do so and in MY experience, all of my "Wealthy" friends, for the most part, "Jones" each other constantly. The wives with expensive cars and jewelry (and botox/plastic surgery dependant on their age), the husbands with electronics, cars and bizarre golf accessories, not to mention the ridiculous houses that these empty nesters buy to outdo each other. I have 4000 sq/ft, more than enough for me and 2 kids, why would I need 10000 sq/ft for me and my Wife? It is just an ostentatious display of wealth, same as a 100k system (almost 75% of the cost of an average house in the US).

And, also for your info, the rates that I charge to my customers ensures that not only am I warrantying my work for the near future, at ANY time in the future, if they have a problem with their system, a "BEng Hons, Engineer" (minimum, more than half of my guys are PHD's) will sort it out, for free, anywhere in the world. THAT is what they pay the high rates for, not to mention that most of the plants that we do systems for lose MILLIONS per hour/day if they don't work, not the ability to watch a movie or listen to music for a couple of days. So, in answer to your question, yes, my guys' and my time (20 years experience, BEng hons Instrumentation/Electronics with a healthy dose of software thrown in) is certainly more valuable than the average AV installers is, yet, according to your rational, it is of equal value because "They might actually expect to get paid for their lowly skill level", myself, I don't see it.
I guess I don't really understand. A guy rips of your wife(while you were away) and you let him get away with it? I would have to say that you deserve it then. The fella that did the work may have been wrong but you obviously had a chance to do something about it at the time. Maybe you did? It sounds to me that you are just sour about bad experiences and may think the entire integrator community is trash.

I think I can say that I am about as well qualified for my profession as you are to your profession. I would also agree that I can't justify charging rates like your company can. That doesn't make me any less of a professional than you are and that I shouldn't charge rates that most people don't mind paying for my services. Our poblems and responsibilities may not be the same as yours but I think it's safe to say that each has it's own unique challenges that we are trained for. Your right to demand quality and fairness is justified. But I think I am justified in wanting to charge a fair price for my services. We all have the ability to choose and sometimes it is a challenge to find a company that will do a good job and provide good service. What I would like to say to you is don't let one fella who ripped your wife off(while you were away) scar your impression of the rest of the industry. We aren't all out to get you. Just your money. :D

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post #93 of 206 Old 03-17-2006, 06:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BritOverseas
I don't even know if I should really get into all of this but if somebody could even tell me WHY some of these people charge the hourlys they do and WHY they think a 150% mark up on hardware (minimum) is acceptable then I would become a believer. It is nice to see some installers here that I can ask these questions to.

My background is also software.
.
I'll make you a deal. Your choice to accept it. I'll send you a screen shot off my cost and prices from one screen. You see anything over 50% (even a VCR) you win. If you don't you post an apology for unsupport facts.

I have the price sheets. You don't. Who will win this bet?

Care to play!

Oh! And this custom installer repaired radar equipment down to component level many moons ago. I guess all of us are stupid and wanting to rip people off.

Your ball! Care to take the David Richardson (Actually My Name) challenge?

Time to step up and see if your posts/words are creditable !


On a side note. If I work. I charge. Take it or leave it. Life is full of choices. Tire kickers are fine. Just don't come bitching about the price. Choices! Isn't life grand.
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post #94 of 206 Old 03-17-2006, 06:27 PM
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David:
Are you coming to EHExpo?

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post #95 of 206 Old 03-17-2006, 06:36 PM
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Brent

We have talked about it. but, CEDIA is our show. If we were after certain products and had some reason to go I would.
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post #96 of 206 Old 03-17-2006, 07:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Richardson
Brent

We have talked about it. but, CEDIA is our show. If we were after certain products and had some reason to go I would.
What more reason could you need than me?
And of course some damn good Cuban food.

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post #97 of 206 Old 03-17-2006, 07:47 PM
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My wife tells me I'm spoken for ! :D
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post #98 of 206 Old 03-17-2006, 07:57 PM
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David;
How did y'all fare during the storms up there?
Looked bad on tv.

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post #99 of 206 Old 03-17-2006, 08:29 PM
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The only thing that ever look good on TV was the ladies on HDNET! LOL!

TV=Drama, Drama=More people watching,= More money.

When I was on the way to Iraq back in 1990 our ship hit an underwater mine (in the Gulf)(USS Tripoli) . 25x35 foot hole under the waterline. A few days later a tape of news clips was shown on the ships TVs. All the usual news stations. ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN. They all reported the new wrong. Way wrong. One reported the hole had been repaired and all was well. we chuckeled at how wrong the news groups were off. My parents kept news clippings as well. They were also wrong. 1st reports are 90% wrong. Same with reports in the field.

My brother just returned back in November. Same story from him as they also were able to watch some TV at certain locations.

We installed a 'reaction' room for Alabama Power last year. 24" wide screen. 3 projectors, 4 LCD TVs on each side of the screen. Main computer with 3 video outputs, backup computer with the same capabilites. 3 rows of phones, computers and Crestron keypads to select any audio source being displayed, headphones for each station. An Crestron TPS-6000 panel running the show in the control room. These guys deal in facts.

Who do I believe?

Since the Hurrcane season seems to be in a cycle of a more active season I would be more concerned about living around the coast. Our showroom in Santa Rosa hasn't been touched. After being in New Orleans during CEDIA in '98 and seeing the flooding with just a tropical storm in the Gulf I just knew N.O. was in for a disaster. What about this year? It's not like another will not come close or take the same path. I guess the possibility is too bad to talk about OR not close enough to Hurricane season for the media to care.

Dave
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post #100 of 206 Old 03-17-2006, 08:47 PM
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Up until this past July we lived 1 block off the beach in Ormond (Daytona).
Every time a storm came thru I was out of town (my wife was pissed).
My wife had enough and we moved inland 5 miles (Yeah, I know its not much. But she feels better). News about storms is always late and wrong.
Either they scare the crap out of you for nothing, or they treat it like its not an issue.

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post #101 of 206 Old 03-17-2006, 08:53 PM
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One nice thing is one of the weather men who has been calling severe weather for over 20 years on ABC has a son in the same baseball league as my son. When he is at practice no problem. When he is on TV and the tie is so loose and the shirt is untucked and he is on his knees pointing then I pay attention. Super nice guy and loves baseball. Nothing like coaching kids. Nothing!
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post #102 of 206 Old 03-17-2006, 09:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Richardson
I'll make you a deal. Your choice to accept it. I'll send you a screen shot off my cost and prices from one screen. You see anything over 50% (even a VCR) you win. If you don't you post an apology for unsupport facts.

I have the price sheets. You don't. Who will win this bet?

Care to play!

Oh! And this custom installer repaired radar equipment down to component level many moons ago. I guess all of us are stupid and wanting to rip people off.

Your ball! Care to take the David Richardson (Actually My Name) challenge?

Time to step up and see if your posts/words are creditable !


On a side note. If I work. I charge. Take it or leave it. Life is full of choices. Tire kickers are fine. Just don't come bitching about the price. Choices! Isn't life grand.
Damn Dave, it sure did take you long enough to step into this! I've been waiting for it to happen, where the hell you been? :D

And, the comment about 150% margin, you're way out of range there. I sure hope you don't bet Dave too much! It's 150 point margin...get it right. :eek:

And for all the uneducated out there, there are tons of us in this industry with computer science (yes), EE, and various other degrees. We truly are sorry that you found the guy who had just quit Best Buy because he thought he could make it. I bet he's out of business now too. Too many idiots who think they know everything.

Many of us have years of experience. I myself grew up working on custom built home jobsites, swinging a hammer since I was 8. You think I don't know what to do in a house? Give me a break. By no means does this mean I know everything though, I learn at least a couple new things every single day.

For every bad installer there's more good. Just like every other industry.

I think the big thing here is that people make big (HUGE) assumptions and stereotype groups/industries/etc. of people and make even larger broad statements that shouldn't be said, but should instead be thought about before blurting them. That's all we're really trying to say.

Isn't it funny how we go through this about once every 6 months?
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post #103 of 206 Old 03-17-2006, 09:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ATOH
Damn Dave, it sure did take you long enough to step into this! I've been waiting for it to happen, where the hell you been? :D
Ah! Baseball, work, 2 kids and a wife, remodeling a full bathroom, online trading research ............. Oh! and 'tech support' for our company LOL! Did I say that was 24/7.
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post #104 of 206 Old 03-18-2006, 05:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Richardson
I'll make you a deal. Your choice to accept it. I'll send you a screen shot off my cost and prices from one screen. You see anything over 50% (even a VCR) you win. If you don't you post an apology for unsupport facts.

I have the price sheets. You don't. Who will win this bet?

Care to play!

Oh! And this custom installer repaired radar equipment down to component level many moons ago. I guess all of us are stupid and wanting to rip people off.

Your ball! Care to take the David Richardson (Actually My Name) challenge?

Time to step up and see if your posts/words are creditable !


On a side note. If I work. I charge. Take it or leave it. Life is full of choices. Tire kickers are fine. Just don't come bitching about the price. Choices! Isn't life grand.
Not only did I never mention ANYONE being stupid and apart from the fact that it was the original poster and I who were told to "watch what we said" or that we had "personality problems" because we could not believe that the prices charged for these systems were actually real or that people actually think they are ten times better because they spend ten times more. I find most of your vague attempts at machismo utterly unprofessional and if I was so brusque with my potential customers I would be out of business in a heartbeat. I am also glad that I live nowhere near any of your businesses and would not have the misfortune of asking any of you for a quote. This is especially the case seeing as you obviously hold most of your customers in utter contempt and believe it is "they" that are stupid.

My original post about the infamous installer, implied that the original quote that he gave was NOT what he charged for the end product, I would have told him to stick it if I was there, my Wife knew no better. I was away on business for 11 weeks and when I came back, all was done. Am I going to sue over a few hundred dollars and some holes in my walls? No. Do I "deserve" it as Indil337 says? No. I paid the man to do a job, he didn't do it correctly, lesson learned. We don't sue people at the drop of a hat it would have cost me more to sue than I would have recovered and I still would have the holes.

It seems to me that all of the installers here are the ones that are aggresively protecting themselves. Normally, when I see that happen there is a reason for it. Either the industry in question needs to be regulated (as are most professional trades where shoddy workmanship or gouging occurs) or there is something else wrong.

And please, you live in Alabama, I live in Houston, what would we prove by showing quotes from two cities half a country apart? As one of the previous attackers has said, he knows of installers in rural areas that charge $25 an hour and any halfwit with a computer could knock up a "price sheet" in 10 mins, would you like me to show you 50 different ones? Ridiculous....

Never, ever, get in the way of a man and his electronics, errr I mean Woman...
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post #105 of 206 Old 03-18-2006, 06:46 AM
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Well said. I feel like everything in this thread was fine, close to the line yes, but still on this side of it.

David's post was over the top, along with that ridiculous exchange later.

You are all professionals. If you cannot demonstrate that on this forum, you make the customers wonder how you will behave in other fashions.

I see no reason to continue this thread as I have seen nothing of value been posted, and it's now just a bunch of attacks.

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post #106 of 206 Old 03-18-2006, 06:49 AM
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I don't feel like I am protecting myself. I also don't think I was being machismo or whatever. There isn't a problem with the industry, just some people in the industry. I'm sure in your field of work there are some better than others and you surely wouldn't want to be labeled as "shoddy" because of some other company's poor work. The fact that you have found a couple of questionable installers in your area shouldn't reflect on me or anyone else. If things are as bad as you say they are then they must do things different in Texas. I'm not going to sit here and try and judge you because I don't know you and I'm sure you are a reasonable fella. Reasonable people come up with reasonable solutions. That's how it should work.

I like to do things myself all the time. If I don't know how to do it then I'm pretty much stuck with hiring someone. I've been the victim of bad workmanship a time or two. I didn't get a lawyer and sue but I did get the issues resolved through different methods. If I would have let them get away with it then I do deserve it. I think I am just as responsible for work done to my house as the contractor doing the work. A good example would be my furnace and central air. I'm having it swapped out next month. I'm working with this guy to get what I want. I am also going to make sure I am there when he does the work. Not that I don't trust my wife to answer questions but I would feel much more comfortable if I am there myself so there hopefully won't be any problems. Maybe your schedule doesn't allow you to do this. But if an AV system wasn't really a high priority to you maybe it could have waited till you were able to be there while it was done? Then we probably wouldn't be having this discussion.

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post #107 of 206 Old 03-18-2006, 06:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent McCall
Up until this past July we lived 1 block off the beach in Ormond (Daytona).
Every time a storm came thru I was out of town (my wife was pissed).
My wife had enough and we moved inland 5 miles (Yeah, I know its not much. But she feels better). News about storms is always late and wrong.
Either they scare the crap out of you for nothing, or they treat it like its not an issue.

Hey Brent, how far are you from Orlando? Infocom is in Orlando this year. You ever been to Infocom? Never been to Orlando but I'm going to get there this year.

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post #108 of 206 Old 03-18-2006, 07:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by indil377
I don't feel like I am protecting myself. I also don't think I was being machismo or whatever. There isn't a problem with the industry, just some people in the industry. I'm sure in your field of work there are some better than others and you surely wouldn't want to be labeled as "shoddy" because of some other company's poor work. The fact that you have found a couple of questionable installers in your area shouldn't reflect on me or anyone else. If things are as bad as you say they are then they must do things different in Texas. I'm not going to sit here and try and judge you because I don't know you and I'm sure you are a reasonable fella. Reasonable people come up with reasonable solutions. That's how it should work.

I like to do things myself all the time. If I don't know how to do it then I'm pretty much stuck with hiring someone. I've been the victim of bad workmanship a time or two. I didn't get a lawyer and sue but I did get the issues resolved through different methods. If I would have let them get away with it then I do deserve it. I think I am just as responsible for work done to my house as the contractor doing the work. A good example would be my furnace and central air. I'm having it swapped out next month. I'm working with this guy to get what I want. I am also going to make sure I am there when he does the work. Not that I don't trust my wife to answer questions but I would feel much more comfortable if I am there myself so there hopefully won't be any problems. Maybe your schedule doesn't allow you to do this. But if an AV system wasn't really a high priority to you maybe it could have waited till you were able to be there while it was done? Then we probably wouldn't be having this discussion.
This is where I believe we may be at cross purposes. ALL of the installers of ANY kind, be they electrical, AV or whatever I have had the misfortune to use over the last 4 years have done shoddy work and have "in my opinion" overcharged for said work.

And although most people think that all engineers have nice cozy office jobs, this reality is far from the truth. I work upwards of 200 days a year, all over the world (I am currently sitting on an oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico waiting to do some testing, the only reason I have time at the moment to be involved in this assasination of my character) and although I would love to be at home with my family, all of the time, that is not MY reality. I have to trust the people I pay to do work for me, to do the job correctly, without me having to be there every moment they are doing it and without the fear of being ripped, this is what SHOULD happen but sadly, it doesn't.

And yes, there ARE people in my industry who do shoddy work, but, as regulated as my industry is and with the liability that my work carries, they are few and far between, not so yours.

Never, ever, get in the way of a man and his electronics, errr I mean Woman...
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post #109 of 206 Old 03-18-2006, 07:27 AM
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We are one hour NE. from orlando.
I will be there @ booth #450 (Ethereal Home Theater).
We will also be having a class on HDMI (history, problems and solutions) weds @ 9am rm# 103A

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post #110 of 206 Old 03-18-2006, 07:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BritOverseas
This is where I believe we may be at cross purposes. ALL of the installers of ANY kind, be they electrical, AV or whatever I have had the misfortune to use over the last 4 years have done shoddy work and have "in my opinion" overcharged for said work.

And although most people think that all engineers have nice cozy office jobs, this reality is far from the truth. I work upwards of 200 days a year, all over the world (I am currently sitting on an oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico waiting to do some testing, the only reason I have time at the moment to be involved in this assasination of my character) and although I would love to be at home with my family, all of the time, that is not MY reality. I have to trust the people I pay to do work for me, to do the job correctly, without me having to be there every moment they are doing it and without the fear of being ripped, this is what SHOULD happen but sadly, it doesn't.

And yes, there ARE people in my industry who do shoddy work, but, as regulated as my industry is and with the liability that my work carries, they are few and far between, not so yours.
I don't believe I've tried to assasinate your character fella. I believe I've been pretty reasonable with you. And point out where I have assumed engineers have a cozy seat all day long. My dad is an engineer along with three of my brothers. And they do work out in the field, long hours. So don't try and pull that no one understands my life crap. I rarely saw my dad until I was around 16. The diffference between god and an engineer is that god doesn't think he's an engineer. You have proven that well here. You are obviously very impressed with yourself. I wish you luck fella.

From the looks of your username, can I assume you are from England?

Matt D. Sherer CET, CTS-I,ISF-C
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post #111 of 206 Old 03-18-2006, 07:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent McCall
We are one hour NE. from orlando.
I will be there @ booth #450 (Ethereal Home Theater).
We will also be having a class on HDMI (history, problems and solutions) weds @ 9am rm# 103A

Well then, I'll see you there.

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post #112 of 206 Old 03-18-2006, 07:53 AM
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Every single installer of any kind in 4 years has not been up to your standards? I can only see three reasons why this could be. 1. You have the worst luck of any homeowner ever on the face of the earth. 2. Your judgement in hiring these people is horrible. (could it be that you are looking for the lowest price? don't know, but seems likely). 3. Your standards are so unbeleivably high as to be unrealistic for any company to live up to in the greater Houston area.

There aren't any competent A/V companies (or electricians, or plumbers etc) in Houston or surrounding? I find that VERY VERY VERY hard to believe.
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post #113 of 206 Old 03-18-2006, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by fletch999
Every single installer of any kind in 4 years has not been up to your standards? I can only see three reasons why this could be. 1. You have the worst luck of any homeowner ever on the face of the earth. 2. Your judgement in hiring these people is horrible. (could it be that you are looking for the lowest price? don't know, but seems likely). 3. Your standards are so unbeleivably high as to be unrealistic for any company to live up to in the greater Houston area.

There aren't any competent A/V companies (or electricians, or plumbers etc) in Houston or surrounding? I find that VERY VERY VERY hard to believe.
4) He's a total prick an the good ones are smart enough to stay away from him.

(can't believe I just said that)

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post #114 of 206 Old 03-18-2006, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by indil377
From the looks of your username, can I assume you are from England?
From my username you could assume I was British, not English, that would be EngOverseas, but, as it happens, I am half and half.

Scottish Father, English Mother, American Wife, both kids born in the States (but dual nationals), two English dogs.

Why?

Never, ever, get in the way of a man and his electronics, errr I mean Woman...
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post #115 of 206 Old 03-18-2006, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by BritOverseas
From my username you could assume I was British, not English, that would be EngOverseas, but, as it happens, I am half and half.

Scottish Father, English Mother, American Wife, both kids born in the States (but dual nationals), two English dogs.

Why?

No reason, just curious. And EngOverseas would make me think you were an engineer overseas not English overseas. :D

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post #116 of 206 Old 03-18-2006, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by fletch999
Every single installer of any kind in 4 years has not been up to your standards? I can only see three reasons why this could be. 1. You have the worst luck of any homeowner ever on the face of the earth. 2. Your judgement in hiring these people is horrible. (could it be that you are looking for the lowest price? don't know, but seems likely). 3. Your standards are so unbeleivably high as to be unrealistic for any company to live up to in the greater Houston area.

There aren't any competent A/V companies (or electricians, or plumbers etc) in Houston or surrounding? I find that VERY VERY VERY hard to believe.
As said in my posts, no, I do not use the cheapest, yes, I have had rotten luck(?) with all my installers and I am just about to go through this again whilst doing a porch room and building a pool/sunroom on the new house, more headaches.

The quality of builders and contractors in the greater Houston area is extremely bad, there have been several big exposes about this recently, so yes, it is extremely hard to find anybody to do a decent job. As I have asked in previous posts in previous threads, I wish somebody could actually recomend somebody.

Yes, so far, all contractors that I have found have not been up to what I would call "good" standards, is it a crime to not accept mediocrity as the norm and not have to pay a "premium" for work that should be done properly by all that call themselves professionals?

I certainly would not allow the quality of workmanship that I have recieved in these cases to be built in to the panels that we make or the software that we write, I would go out of business very quickly if I did.

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post #117 of 206 Old 03-18-2006, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by indil377
No reason, just curious. And EngOverseas would make me think you were an engineer overseas not English overseas. :D
True, true, and I suppose I am both so it would fit either category.

Never, ever, get in the way of a man and his electronics, errr I mean Woman...
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post #118 of 206 Old 03-18-2006, 08:32 AM
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Hey britt, check your PM's.

Matt D. Sherer CET, CTS-I,ISF-C
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post #119 of 206 Old 03-18-2006, 08:43 AM
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I don't believe I've tried to assasinate your character fella. I believe I've been pretty reasonable with you. And point out where I have assumed engineers have a cozy seat all day long.
The post was a general one so I didn't have to reply to all, unfortunately, it "commented" you.

The most common misconception I get when asked what I do is that I sit on my ass all day, "playing with engineer toys". You obviously have a lot of experience with Engineers and have an understanding of their "real" lifestyle and how hard they work, but, there are two types of Engineers, ones that DO sit in offices all day for a 35 hour week and ones that don't. I will let you guess which ones I believe are the "real" ones.

Dad and three brothers eh? That must have been unbearable. It is in any good Engineers pshyche to always believe they are right and rightly so :D , nothing ever gets done otherwise, engineering "by commitee" is abhorrent. Try telling people like Brunnell, Locke, Newton (Chemist & Engineer before the word was even really standardised), and many others that they were wrong, they would never hear of it.

And sorry for being sure of my capabilities, being curteous to my clients and ensuring their every need is met, for being succesful and doing my job well, it is an obvious character flaw that I will try to fix in the future... ;)

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post #120 of 206 Old 03-18-2006, 08:59 AM
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Brit, why don't you start an AV company in Houston?

You can program the TS's and be close to your family.
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