Anyone else having issues with Elemental Designs? - AVS Forum
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Old 11-29-2011, 01:40 PM - Thread Starter
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A synopsis of what i'm currently going through.

On October 24th, 2011 I placed an order with Elemental Designs Alex Lindeman after going back and forth via email. I ordered 3 A4.mtm, A4.b's and an A3-300, the A4.mtm shipped a few days later and i've received those. At no time was it mentioned that the A3-300 was not ready to ship due to a lack of parts and same for the A4.b's. I received one A4.mtm with a port popped out of the cabinet, not a big deal but I contacted ED via email to see how best to glue it in place. I received no reply to this email...this is when things started to go downhill.

I've emailed them about 4-5 times inquiring the status of my order with no response. The only way i've been able to get a response was to log into their online chat system but even then I have been told multiple times "they will be shipping soon just waiting on 1 part". Well It's been over a month now and all I have are 3 speakers and I cannot complete my room since i'm waiting on the sub and rears.

So 2 nights ago I posted up a thread on their forum requesting assistance, apparently they have to "approve" all new threads and convenientely mine was not approved as it hasn't shown up and I didn't receive an email or private message. So last night I posted in a thread, that post was deleted as of this morning and still no email or private message. I then just now attempted to contact them with their online chat which currently shows them as "online". Guess what, it seems they're declining the chat on their end forcing me to email them...great customer service!!!

At this point I have emailed them one last time, if they do not respond I will take further action.
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Old 11-29-2011, 03:46 PM
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Have you tried calling them? I toured their shop a few years back and bought a 5.0 setup from them. They were very helpful and good to deal with. I dont know how things are going for them at the moment, but I'd try calling them. If I remember correctly, they didn't answer my emails for quite a while back then, but were very helpful over the phone.
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Old 11-29-2011, 04:09 PM
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I'll be watching to see how this turns out, I'm interested in buying some of their cinema speakers in the next few months.
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Old 11-29-2011, 04:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jake the ssnake View Post

Have you tried calling them? I toured their shop a few years back and bought a 5.0 setup from them. They were very helpful and good to deal with. I dont know how things are going for them at the moment, but I'd try calling them. If I remember correctly, they didn't answer my emails for quite a while back then, but were very helpful over the phone.

Well the responded to every email I sent within a day or less before I gave them my money, as soon as they charged my card the communication went from great to none. Also they're long distance for me from Canada.
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Old 11-29-2011, 06:16 PM
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Hello Sir, did some tracking in our system, and giving you a call now. I hope its not too late, but appreciate this being brought to my attention.

No need to put the long distance on your dime.

Thank you.

Alex
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Old 11-29-2011, 06:16 PM
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I contacted Alex for you this evening. He stated he sent you a email and is getting you taken care of.
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Old 11-29-2011, 09:58 PM - Thread Starter
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As mentioned Alex has contacted me, I will post up the resolution here once we sort it out.
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Old 11-30-2011, 12:08 AM
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Sorry to hear about your issue. Some major supply issues must be going on as I'm having a similar issue with rythmik. I paid for 2 of their very best model oct 16 and still waiting. I was originally told 3 weeks then another then end of nov and then first week of dec.

I will be paying attention to your thread for the resolution. If rhythmik doesn't follow through I may go dual Ed or single seaton.
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Old 11-30-2011, 07:44 AM
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It sounds like this could have been resolved much easier/quicker by simply calling them instead of using the e-mail approach. I'm glad things are getting resolved, though.

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Old 11-30-2011, 10:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuance View Post

It sounds like this could have been resolved much easier/quicker by simply calling them instead of using the e-mail approach. I'm glad things are getting resolved, though.

Unfortunately, society today has more of a CYA mentality. Everything has to be logged, written, printed, traceable to the source, accountability transparent.

There's no such thing as scout's honor, word is bond, gentleman's handshake or trusting a verbal agreement.

I blame lawyers and human nature. (Greed is the operative word here.)

And most companies would prefer receiving emails than phone calls so they can review them at their convenience and not speak to customers directly to avoid any misinterpretation or miscommunication (or hearing lengthy complaints ).

That said, I believe the OP did provide ample opportunity for ED to respond to his concerns via his preferred means, and as they are now finally being addressed, we'll just have to wait for the results.

There's a fine line between being accommodating and being exploited. Each of us has our own patience threshold, and once crossed we change like Jekyll and Hyde from being nice to nasty.

Automatically ruins the working relationship going forward, but isn't the onus on the seller to satisfy the buyer?

Let's not get it twisted: The customer is the one paying.
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Old 11-30-2011, 11:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuance View Post

It sounds like this could have been resolved much easier/quicker by simply calling them instead of using the e-mail approach. I'm glad things are getting resolved, though.

Maybe. If a company provides several means of contact: phone, email, forum posts, twitter, on-line chat, or whatever, they're obligated to respond in a timely fashion to each of those. Timely means exactly what it says. The OP's email request for information was not only repeatedly ignored but contact via the forum was redacted, vanishing like a fart in a breeze. A company can not act all nice when you're ready to buy and suddenly do a Dr. Jeckyll/Mr. Hyde on you when there are legitimate questions. That is unacceptable.

Now, I just went to their website and selected YES to display items that are currently in stock. It shows that both the sub and speakers that the OP is waiting for are in stock. It should be noted that most if not all states have Consumer Protection Laws that prohibit false advertising such as stating a product is available if it's not. Frankly, if a company is waiting for a part in order to complete a product, that product is not available for sale. And if they accepted monies under false pretenses, willful or not, shame on them. It's not a customer's obligation to fund parts ordering prior to shipment!

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Old 11-30-2011, 12:25 PM
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eD has always listed many items as "instock" that are not actually instock. I think if they have time to waste on forums (5 posts today on their site) they have time to update their site. If something is going to take a month or more to ship they can add in big bold letters (Back Ordered) EST 1 -2 months for example.

Its sad after you give them your money they don't have the decency to inform the customer that it will take a little longer than projected. But instead they do nothing. The OP was told to call them that its easier, but Alex is online all the time multiple posts daily and posts here on AVS too, but he can't answer the online chat or check his emails???

I have no beef with a company that has stuff on back order. Its when they don't care to inform the paying customer that its going to be awhile before it ships.
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Old 11-30-2011, 01:21 PM
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I agree gtpsuper. ED does not strike me as a shady operation. They must be cognisant of the laws they operate under such as the following.
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Iowa Consumer Fraud Act -- Iowa Code section 714.16 -- Prohibits unfair and deceptive trade practices in the sale, lease, or advertisement of a product or service, and in the solicitation of charitable contributions. Authorizes the Attorney General to issue subpoenas, hold hearings, adopt administrative rules, and file lawsuits to obtain temporary and permanent injunctive relief, consumer reimbursement, costs and attorney fees, and civil penalties up to $40,000 per violation.

The consequences for oversights can be significant.

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Old 11-30-2011, 01:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chu Gai View Post

ED does not strike me as a shady operation.

I agree, they seem to be a reasonably ran operation. Like many in audio/HT, they're a small operation with significant ties to the on-line community.

I hope it's resolved quickly, and to the satisfaction of all involved.

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Old 11-30-2011, 02:29 PM
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Had the same issue with ED and Alex after I purchased my A5-350. All was great with communication up until actual purchase, then it became next to impossible to get Alex to respond via pm/email. I finally ended up contacting Wolvatron there and he was able to help me. There's a reason I haven't bought anything else from them, after dealing with that though I agree they're small, busy, etc. Otherwise, their products are great quality. At least in my experience. I just was looking for a different bass sound than that sub gave me, so I sold it.
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Old 11-30-2011, 02:36 PM
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Has ED billed your CC for the back ordered items, or are you billed when shipped? Bad practice if the former is the case.
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Old 11-30-2011, 03:31 PM
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Maybe this is part of the price we pay for using ID companies? It shouldn't be. I wish all internet direct companies operated like SVS did when they started in the early 2000's (they may have been around longer than that, but I didn't hear of them until 2001 if I remember right).

Back then you would get a response almost immediately from either Ron or Tom and if you bought a sub from them (I bought 2, a couple years apart from each other) they didn't charge your card until it shipped. I hear they have a lot of issues now, which is too bad, because I think they were the poster boys for how to run an ID company the right way in the early days....

I bought an MBM-12 a few years back from HSU, I can't remember if they charged me before it shipped or not. I do know that they have had great customer service that goes back even longer than SVS has been around.

This does suck, it makes me not want to buy speakers from eD. I have awhile until I plan to pull the trigger so maybe things will get better by then.
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Old 11-30-2011, 03:40 PM
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No one is...


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Old 11-30-2011, 04:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Lots of responses to the thread, I appreciate the support everyone.

Just a quick update at this time. Alex called me from his personal cell phone twice last night after being made aware of this thread by I believe the member above "nezff". He then found and replied to an email regarding the port popping out of one of the A4.mtm. I will give ED the benefit of the doubt as Alex could not find any of the email inquiries I sent after the order was processed and didn't receive a reply to his email last night for the same email tag. I have communicated with him today via email multiple times to his personal Gmail account.

Regarding the posts on the ED forum, Alex informed me that one of the "non-employee" moderators of the forum deleted my post.

Presently Alex said the A4.B may be able to ship tomorrow, the A3-300 has been set to be shipped this Friday. I will update once I have tracking info etc.

Regarding some of the other comments.
-My card was charged the full amount immediately, this is fine by me if the order is going to ship within a week or 2, but over a month I think the card should only be charged when the items ship.
-As lodit said, it's about CYA. I much prefer myself having email correspondence which I can reference back to and avoid any miscommunication which can happen often on the phone.
-I agree, anything that is going to take more than 2 weeks should be listed as so on their website. I understand most of the stuff is likely made to order so a slight delay is understandable, mentioning this on the site may be good.
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Old 11-30-2011, 11:01 PM
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Another thing I have to mention that some may feel is trivial but I do not, is I was told a long while back that the 15 and 18 inch silver driver subs were changed to black and they just hadn't updated the pictures yet. So the A7s-450 has a black cone, not silver. I honestly much prefer the black but for them to leave that picture up all this time after is deceiving. I know they have a full plate a lot but how long would it take to snap some pics of a current a7s-450 awaiting shipment? I know some owners already have the older silver driver subs. If they go on there and purchase looking for a matching sub it won't be a good surprise when it arrives.

This is the response I got back in July when asking about the silver cone: "The A7S-450 actually comes with a black cone speaker now. We no longer stock the silver cones. This change was made as of 2 weeks ago, and photos have not been updated."
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Old 12-02-2011, 03:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Just wanted to update the thread, I was out of commission yesterday with the flu. Alex personally called me about 40 minutes ago and said the subwoofer, sub grille and A4.b's are leaving today with Fedex and I should receive a tracking number via email shortly.

So all has seemed to work out in the end.

I hope in the future ED can stick on top of open orders a bit better and update the customer without the customer having to contact them.
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Old 12-02-2011, 06:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carp View Post

Maybe this is part of the price we pay for using ID companies? It shouldn't be. I wish all internet direct companies operated like SVS did when they started in the early 2000's (they may have been around longer than that, but I didn't hear of them until 2001 if I remember right).

Back then you would get a response almost immediately from either Ron or Tom and if you bought a sub from them (I bought 2, a couple years apart from each other) they didn't charge your card until it shipped. I hear they have a lot of issues now, which is too bad, because I think they were the poster boys for how to run an ID company the right way in the early days....

I bought an MBM-12 a few years back from HSU, I can't remember if they charged me before it shipped or not. I do know that they have had great customer service that goes back even longer than SVS has been around.

This does suck, it makes me not want to buy speakers from eD. I have awhile until I plan to pull the trigger so maybe things will get better by then.

I can name three other companies off the top of my head that offer that level of customer service right now (ID companies). It's not just SVS, whom still offer darn good service the last time I checked.

eD should have responded via email ASAP, don't get me wrong. But when I want to get an answer ASAP I make a phone call. Just saying... With that said, eD's behavior in this example was unacceptable. What was their "explanation" for what happened? Did their spam filter block your E-mails or something? I recall Salk Sound having an issue with their spam blocker a while back, which has since been fixed.

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Old 12-02-2011, 06:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuance View Post

I can name three other companies off the top of my head that offer that level of customer service right now (ID companies). It's not just SVS, whom still offer darn good service the last time I checked.

eD should have responded via email ASAP, don't get me wrong. But when I want to get an answer ASAP, I make a phone call. Just saying...

I didn't know there were other ID companies that don't charge your card until the item is shipped, that's great if that's the case.

I do understand however that some companies are too small to be able to do that.

If companies like eD won't respond to emails in a timely manner then they should do what Magnepan does. They have a phone number you can call but no email.
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Old 12-02-2011, 06:17 PM
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Also, I was referring to SVS 7-10 years ago, I have no idea if they offer the same amazing customer service today.
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Old 12-02-2011, 06:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carp View Post

Also, I was referring to SVS 7-10 years ago, I have no idea if they offer the same amazing customer service today.

I don't know about as of recent (SVS), but the companies I was thinking of either charge when the product is ready, or take a half down deposit at the time of order, then the rest once it ships. Either way, it's better than getting your money taken right away and then waiting weeks and/or months for the product. That's just no fun.

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Old 12-02-2011, 06:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by practal View Post

Sorry to hear about your issue. Some major supply issues must be going on as I'm having a similar issue with rythmik. I paid for 2 of their very best model oct 16 and still waiting. I was originally told 3 weeks then another then end of nov and then first week of dec.

I will be paying attention to your thread for the resolution. If rhythmik doesn't follow through I may go dual Ed or single seaton.

Rythmik does have problems keeping things in stock, but they do at least let you know when an item is out of stock. I have had nothing but a positive experience working with Brian. I work for a major company that builds electronics. Sometimes you are at the mercy of your supplier and they may even be at the mercy of their supplier. He probably told you "x" amount of weeks because his supplier gave him that commit date. Once the supplier missed the date he was most likely given a new date. It's natural to point the finger at the person who is supplying you, but it may not always be their fault. Sometimes your information is only as good as the information you have been given. Garbage in garbage out... so to speak. I have become much more tolerant with companies now knowing what supply issues are like. With that said...if Brian does not respond to your emails or phone calls in a timely manner(24-36hrs is my goal in my job many times same day) then that is a different story.

With ED however, you see these threads pop up every now and again. It always seems to be the same thing. Customer tries to contact them after not receiving product and receives no response. Customer then posts to AVS where ED cannot control negative feedback and the customer immediately gets a response. I too believe ED is a legit company, but I have read this story before. Best of luck. Once you get your stuff, I'm sure it will rock.

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Old 12-02-2011, 07:22 PM
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I think alot of companies need to really follow Emotivas example. There was a thread recently were the sub was damaged or didn't work correctly and without questioning Emo said ship it back and a new one is on the way right now. No questions, didn't imply the customer screwed up and play the sub too loud or didn't hook it up correctly. That kind of customer service can go along way. I'm not a Emo customer or have ever been but with service like that it doesn't make you think twice about buying from them.
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Old 12-03-2011, 05:22 PM
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I'm a little concerned after reading this thread. I'm waiting on speakers from them and also saw product was IN STOCK when I ordered. That tells me product will ship within a day or two at most. A few days later, I was told about missing parts and a one week delay, which is the most acceptable by me based on info given to me at time of my order.

Also, I thought normal policy was credit card charged at time of shipping...at least EVERY SINGLE online purchase I've made in the past decade...whether website was big or small biz.

I strongly hope ED revises both procedures of in stock accuracy and credit card charging policy. By doing so immediately, it will help with PR and show willingness to take big steps for a small business.

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Old 12-03-2011, 07:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gtpsuper24 View Post

I think alot of companies need to really follow Emotivas example. There was a thread recently were the sub was damaged or didn't work correctly and without questioning Emo said ship it back and a new one is on the way right now. No questions, didn't imply the customer screwed up and play the sub too loud or didn't hook it up correctly. That kind of customer service can go along way. I'm not a Emo customer or have ever been but with service like that it doesn't make you think twice about buying from them.

Based on my personal experiece, I'm going to sadly disagree with you. Every company will have issues here and there. Emotiva is no different.
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Old 12-03-2011, 07:51 PM
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no company is immune to mishaps here and there. Ive bought from emotiva and eD and never had a single problem with either.
Sometimes you cant always believe everything you read on this forum.
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