Originally Posted by rchamberlain
How does URC plan to keep selling controllers when this policy generates pages of complaints about their product?
The same way RTI and other high end control system manufacturers do, by producing a high end product that works better than the "consumer" competition, and controlling distribution to their authorized dealers so a high level of support can be maintained.
How do the resellers plan to make money selling a product who's demand will weaken when people find that the competition offers better end-user support and has fewer complaints online?
99.9% of the people who buy an URC or RTI or the like remote/control system aren't buying a remote, they're getting the control system installed as part of a system by the integrator/installer. They won't even know or care about the issues as well first they'll probably never have a problem with the setup (that's why you go URC or RTI over Harmony), and if they do, they'll call their dealer, not search the internets.
In fact I've never even heard of a situation where a product is offered less support by it's manufacturer.
URC doesn't try to support their Professional line to end users, they support their dealers. It's the dealers that are supposed
to provide the end user support. That's the whole point, to maintain the product to it's not diluted by internet "wisdom" and unqualified end users making a mess of things.
In all, I question the legality of their policy and can only imagine that the only loophole allowing it to be legal is that they place the burden of responsibility upon the dealers, who being individually responsible for the decision to distribute the software (based on who knows what qualifications), actually remove the liability of the policy from URC who could site end users who did in fact receive support. Making the real question "To what degree is the end-user/owner entitled support?"
The end user gets better support with a URC than with a Harmony, or at least should. The end user is supposed to get a system installed that just works and is bulletproof. The way they guarantee it is to restrict distribution to their resellers who are trained in how to use and troubleshoot the system.
And of course for those of us who have the skill to program one and don't want to pay/bother with having the reseller do it for us, It's not hard to get the software.
It's as if I wanted to cut a piece of wood but didn't have a saw, and when I went to the hardware store to buy a saw, I was told by the salesperson that he would gladly cut my wood, but only for more than the cost of the saw and that in fact, they would not sell me a saw (in any store), despite the fact that they have one in inventory. I'm pretty sure that's an accurate analogy for what is going on here.
Actually it's more like building a house, most people just hire someone to do it, but a few people will buy all the stuff and do it themselves. You know a lot of things are like this, some places don't sell home improvement supplies (like higher end bath fixtures) to end users only to licensed installers.
In closing I will say that I did report my issue to URC and quickly received a polite reply from Eric Johnson, VP of Technology who claimed that I would be put in touch with someone who should be able to provide the software, so hopefully that works out as promised but I must say this would make a lot more sense if end users could just download the software required to make it work. I'm not saying tech support should be free, but end users deserve at minimum, the opportunity to fail at programming a remote control and seek the help of someone to do it for them.
So see, it appears you've overreacted. Even URC will give you the software.