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Does a "Platinum" or "Gold" C4 Dealer always have more experience?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I've narrowed my home automation company down to a couple of installers. I'm most likely going to go with C4 but Savant is still lingering in that back of my mind.

Company #1 - Not a Gold or Platinum C4 Dealer. Smaller company that provides great individual customer support thus far and also provides Savant and Elan G. Owner is also the programmer. Not a CEDIA member.

Company #2 - Rated a Gold and Platinum Dealer. Bigger showrooms and staff. Customer service not as personalized and sometimes communication hasn't been the best. Owner is not the programmer. Is a CEDIA member.

Thoughts? Gold or Platinum mean anything useful? CEDIA important?
Edited by lidocaine - 2/6/13 at 6:56am
post #2 of 10
Does a Platinum or Gold C4 dealer always have more experience? No.

Gold or Platinum mean anything useful? It means they sell more Control4 than a non gold or platinum dealer and have a certain number of Control4 certified staff.

CEDIA important? It doesn't guarantee you're dealing with a good company.

Have you seen recent work from either company? Was there a difference in wiring? labeling? overall quality of the installation?
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tictactoe2004 View Post

Does a Platinum or Gold C4 dealer always have more experience? No.

Gold or Platinum mean anything useful? It means they sell more Control4 than a non gold or platinum dealer and have a certain number of Control4 certified staff.

CEDIA important? It doesn't guarantee you're dealing with a good company.

Have you seen recent work from either company? Was there a difference in wiring? labeling? overall quality of the installation?

I haven't seen any live projects from these two companies. Just photo galleries at this time.

The non Platinum company had a smaller showroom, less organized and lots of clutter on the showroom floor. But his communication thus far has been great and seemed more personalized. His website is DIY with lots of errors and not that polished. Not that I judge anyone by their website but it bothers me that there are numerous grammatical errors. I have sort of looked past the website since English is not his first language.

The Platinum company had a larger showroom, very neat and polished. But customer service and communication thus far has not been prompt.
post #4 of 10
A gold or Platinum dealer means they sell and install a lot of systems each year. It does not mean that they are necessarily "better" but chances are they will have a lot more experience than someone who doesn't do the volume that the others do.

I would caution you against one-man shops as many of them tend to come and go. If you ever need any support after the project, it might be hard to get. While they tend to be more responsive, I have seen a number of them go out of business over the years, leaving their customers stranded. I'd ask for references if you haven't already done so.
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Travisleo View Post

A gold or Platinum dealer means they sell and install a lot of systems each year. It does not mean that they are necessarily "better" but chances are they will have a lot more experience than someone who doesn't do the volume that the others do.

I would caution you against one-man shops as many of them tend to come and go. If you ever need any support after the project, it might be hard to get. While they tend to be more responsive, I have seen a number of them go out of business over the years, leaving their customers stranded. I'd ask for references if you haven't already done so.

Thanks for the heads up. That was one of my concerns. That's exactly why I was leaning towards a bigger shop. The smaller shop may not be stable over the long haul, especially in these economic times. I'm looking for someone for the next 25 years to help me maintain my home. Not saying that the bigger shop doesn't have economic problems, but I would think they would get bought out before they closed their doors.
post #6 of 10
Walmart and Best Buy sell a lot of TVs, does that make their sales people more of a TV expert than a smaller local electronics shop? Higher volume doesn't necessarily mean better product knowledge.

If you have a Control4 system that's properly designed and installed you should never be stranded, if you're not happy with your current dealer or he goes out of business any other Control4 dealer can service the system.
post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by lidocaine View Post

Thanks for the heads up. That was one of my concerns. That's exactly why I was leaning towards a bigger shop. The smaller shop may not be stable over the long haul, especially in these economic times. I'm looking for someone for the next 25 years to help me maintain my home. Not saying that the bigger shop doesn't have economic problems, but I would think they would get bought out before they closed their doors.
Perhaps even more important is making sure you're provided with ALL documentation and programming for your system, as part of your contract. Documentation should include as-built records detailing every wire in the house, and copies of the programming files. That way if for whatever reason you need to work with another company, you don't need to start over from scratch. See the link in my sig for more thoughts on the programming issue. Make sure you get a hard copy on disc or USB as a backup. Please note that the code issue is not a simple one to layout in a few sentences and varies between products, for instance it can be retrieved on some products but not others, but that's irrelevant, insofar as even if it can be retrieved t from the processor, if the processor fails, and the company that originally wrote the program no longer has it, you would need to start over. So make sure you get a backup.
post #8 of 10
Very good point!
post #9 of 10
Every A/V company I've worked for that had a nice pretty showroom is now out of business. The ones with small or no showrooms have had less overhead and are still in business.
post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by cshepard View Post

Every A/V company I've worked for that had a nice pretty showroom is now out of business. The ones with small or no showrooms have had less overhead and are still in business.
I've found that the basic rule in these threads is that the firms with showrooms like to emphasize how important it is to do business with a firm with a showroom. The firms without a showroom like to emphasize the benefits to doing business with firms without a showroom. Large firms like to emphasize the supposed benefits to doing business with a large firm. Small firms like to emphasize the supposed benefits to doing business with a small firm. I think that about sums it up smile.gif.

I have the wild idea, speaking in general terms, that those are issues that should not necessarily be determining factors smile.gif.
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