After few experiences with different audio equipment manufacturers, I’ve decided to share some.
One would expect large well known companies offering high quality support, when cheappo companies offering… cheappo customer services.
Well, at least in my experience, things are quite vice versa.
Mackie: the Mackie’s official website is presenting a link to a support forum, link leading the user to a non existing page (?!?).
Yes, Mackie decided to completely erase the user support submit page, just to get rid of all those complains.
If you are “blindly” posting your support request via email, like support@…, contact@…, hostmaster@… you will eventually find an existing email address on mackie.com domain.
In my experience, I’ve bought an Mackie Onyx-1620i with a defective fader (noisy) and with the firewire 6to4 pin adapter defective.
After 10 (ten) days I’ve received an answer, stating that they do know those adapters are cheap and low quality (why do they sell those, if they KNOW they are low quality ?!?)
Also Mackie recommended me to buy a new adapter (from my own money) or they will send me a replacement.
Answering that I want a replacement, they have never replied until today (for more than an year).
On antoher support request, they answered, as usual, after the ten days Mackie-thinking-period, telling me that my request wil be forwarded to the product manager. After another two weeks, I get a reply from another guy, asking me if I “still have the problem”.
Man, I mean, what do they do out there, lighting a fire and dancing around to heal all those defective Mackie mixers o the Planet?
On the Mackie community forum, users complaining too much about the problems they encounter with Mackie products will be banned and complaining topics will be erased from the forum.
Steinberg: I order to get email support from Steinberg, you need to be lucky enough to live in one of the few supported countries. You also need to create an account on the website and to register you products. So, if you are a prospecting customer, you cannot get any support, nor access to the online resources.
If you are unlucky to live outside the selected countries (you cannot change the country in the website profile), you are asked to contact your local dealer.
Now comes the funny part, since I’ve ordered my product from Thomann Germany, but, since I do not live there, I can’t get direct support. Contacting Steinberg local dealer by phone, they told me that they never imported that product (after more than one from launch) and they don’t know details.
Well, luckily, there is a community forum on Steinberg’s website, where you may get help from other customers.
Unfortunately, the Forum Administrator, Mr. Chris Beuermann, is not the most polite person one ever seen, posting impolite obscene messages and exercising his superiority by warning and banning honest community members.
Behringer: surprising, Behringer is having a true customer support appliance in place: after you submit a support request, no matter where do you live or that do you ear for lunch, you instantly get an automated reply telling you that your request is received and will be answered asap. In my experience, I’ve never waited more than 12 hours for an answer. In one occasion I have exchanged three email messages with the support person in the same day. All the answers where polite and written with common sense.
After these experiences, I start to believe that an independent community forum would be the best choice for some audio equipment manufacturers.