Author Topic: Fiire experience  (Read 11353 times)

totallymaxed

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Re: Fiire experience
« Reply #45 on: August 17, 2008, 11:48:13 am »
Andrew - Fiire were talking about expanding outside N.A. (EMEA, AP, AU/NZ) - seems highly unlikely at this point given they can't even service their N.A. customers, but the leaves the rest of the world outside the UK without any hope of a packaged provider...

Is there ANY chance that CHT might think about expanding at some point in the future? I realise that your business model is heavily dependant on the value-add that you provide complete/configured/integrated systems, and are not just a box dropper, which makes it difficult for you. But would you consider at least providing systems without this service, outside the UK? (I think you mentioned Germany recently, I was thinking furter afield tho!)

Hi Colin,

Yes we are expanding in a number of ways currently. CenterSonic is our brand for the German market... the site is up now here;

http://www.centersonic.com

And we are launching for the German market in October at http://www1.messe-berlin.de/vip8_1/website/MesseBerlin/htdocs/www.ehome-berlin.de/index_e.html

We are also in discussions to take Dianemo into a number of other markets too and we'd be happy to receive approaches from anyone with an interest in setting up either country based distribution, to serve dealer/installers in their local market, or those that are interested in setting up individual businesses as dealer/installers. We have discussions on both of those models underway currently.

It has always been our intention to have these 'local' Dianemo dealer/installers serve the market that is here in the Forum ie the person who wants to do most of the installation themselves but wants to purchase a supported, reliable product with a basic installation included. So instead of shipping product from the UK to wherever the customer is located we would have the local dealer/installer handle that. We think that would work well for all concerned - the dealer gets some incremental business and the customers get a local company and proper aftersales support.

All the best

Andrew
Andy Herron,
Convergent Home Technologies Ltd
United Kingdom

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grepico

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Re: Fiire experience
« Reply #46 on: August 19, 2008, 11:00:38 pm »
This is an interesting thread to me.  I've ordered 2 servers (one the 7.04 model and one the 7.10 version), a total of 13 MD's (3 of the old ones and 10 of the new prestige boxes) and 3 remotes with 13 dongles.

I was charged correctly, they shipped within the 2-4 weeks they had promised and to date everything is running perfectly.

It is noteworthy that with both of these systems are limited to DVD/CD storage and playback.  No lighting, alarm, video surveillance and the like, strictly store and play DVD's and CD's.

The older equipment is sitting in our home theater showroom connected to a D-Box motion couch and an overhead projector, with 2 MD's connected to LCD TV's in another room.  We've had no problems with the system and it's a big hit with home media people.  We'll be showing that system at our second Home and Garden Show this October. 

With the commercial installation the customer gets promo video's on CD that he rips to the server then plays on 6 TV's throughout his building and he is extremely happy with the system's performance.

As far as tech support:  I only had occasion to contact them twice and in both cases the people I spoke to through their online chat were helpful and solved my issues.

I did have a number of problems when I first started learning the system, but that was clearly my ignorance of Linux, nothing related to the Fiire equipment.  Mostly, it was me "tinkering" with the system to better understand it's capabilities and limitations.

Also, I did have many problems when I tried to install 7.10 on the older equipment, but installing 7.04 from the DVD provided by Fiire was smooth and trouble free.  It seems that the older MD's are NOT compatible with 7.10.

I'm not sure if the reason I've had no trouble is that I'm not doing much with the systems in terms of LMCE's advertised capabilities but sticking to the "out of box" installation with no customizations has been flawless for me so far.  I, myself am not a coder and have no interest in becoming one.  I was looking for a cheaper media server solution to Kaleidescape and I've found it with LMCE.  Fiire, to this point has been a reliable source for hardware and software that keeps our installation/configuration labor down and I'm careful not to advertise/promise features of LMCE that aren't 100% reliable.

With my personal system at home (custom server with 2 Fiire MD's and the Fiire remote), I tinker around and experiment all the time and the system spends more time down than up, but again, that's due to my monkeying around, no reflection on LMCE or Fiire at all.

We plan on upgrading our demo system to the new equipment before our upcoming show and I intend to implement Z-Wave lighting.  I'll post again with my experience.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2008, 11:23:38 pm by grepico »

Monkgs

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Re: Fiire experience
« Reply #47 on: August 28, 2008, 05:13:55 am »
My "shipment" arrived today. All they sent was the remotes, all of the other items are missing. What a joke.

agidi

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Re: Fiire experience
« Reply #48 on: August 28, 2008, 06:04:20 am »
 >:(

my condolences Demus

I think I'm going to have to assemble my system.

Monkgs

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Re: Fiire experience
« Reply #49 on: August 28, 2008, 07:36:57 am »
I really don't think anyone else should ever be fooled into buying from these idiots again. I have updated virtually all text occurrences of Fiire in the wiki to include a buyer beware comment. I have also created a new Fiire wiki page about the company.

http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/Fiire

Feel free to update any mistakes and add your own negative experiences to the "Issues" section.


justdeb

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Re: Fiire experience
« Reply #50 on: August 28, 2008, 08:04:43 am »
Demus,

I have added my comments and so forth to the site.

Unfortunately this information was not available when i purchased my fiire station and will hopefully advise other users not to purchase any of their products.


Regards

Justin

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Re: Fiire experience
« Reply #51 on: August 28, 2008, 08:12:19 am »
Hi Demus,

I decided to remove my comments and concur with your comments. I think your comments cover off all of the issues.

PS - No one from FIIRE has contacted me yet regarding my overcharging - nor have they responded to my issues regarding driver support.

Regards

Justin

hari

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Re: Fiire experience
« Reply #52 on: September 04, 2008, 06:35:50 pm »
My "shipment" arrived today. All they sent was the remotes, all of the other items are missing. What a joke.

sorry to hear that Demus. I've informed Aaron Balbergen from pluto about the ongoing problems with fiire. Maybe that helps. I really wonder why fiire behaves like a "black hole"...

best regards,
Hari
rock your home - http://www.agocontrol.com home automation

Zaerc

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Re: Fiire experience
« Reply #53 on: September 04, 2008, 07:52:26 pm »
Same reason as with Pluto:
« Last Edit: September 04, 2008, 07:53:58 pm by Zaerc »
"Change is inevitable. Progress is optional."
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rodercot

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Re: Fiire experience
« Reply #54 on: September 04, 2008, 08:57:25 pm »
PRICELESS -  ;D ;D ;D I think that could be the poster for a lot more companies as well...

 Dave

justdeb

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Re: Fiire experience
« Reply #55 on: September 04, 2008, 11:39:49 pm »
Hi All,

Well i sent another email to Fiiire (jeff,jane & Blake) and as of yet no one has bothered to respond to my questions. I have also advised them that i have been seeking legal advice regarding the fraudulent overcharging of freight and the deceptive/misleading way they have acted in my case and in other similar cases. It will be interesting to see whether this prompts someone in their organisation to actually get their arses into gear and do something about the complaints/issues that have been raised by myself and others in this forum and via various commmunications.

It is a sad state of affairs when a consumer has to resort to this to get a resolution one way or another but like many others i have worked hard to get my money like so many others here and don't like getting ripped off.

Rgds

Justin

fiirevictim

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Re: Fiire experience
« Reply #56 on: September 09, 2008, 03:33:26 am »
I placed an order with these jokers back in early July and still haven't received my entire order. What I did receive was either severely damaged or non-functional. DO NOT buy anything from Fiire as they are perhaps the biggest joke of a company I have ever encountered.

aaron.b

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Re: Fiire experience
« Reply #57 on: September 19, 2008, 01:38:01 am »
I'm with Pluto.  Hari pointed out all the negative comments recently about Fiire.  Since Fiire is the main reseller of LinuxMCE hardware, and Fiire pays for the LinuxMCE servers, bandwidth, etc., and had full time developers working on LinuxMCE, and was the first online shop to take a gamble on LinuxMCE, it was obviously a real concern.  First, it should be noted that Fiire is a Google checkout merchant (ID: 640928394967237), and according to Google, Fiire receives an average rating of 4 stars out of 5, which is well above average.  So not all customers are disgruntled.

As far as I could tell Demus was the main person who was really upset and posted derogatory comments in the wiki.  So I sent Demus an email asking him to explain what made him so mad and what he wanted Fiire to do about it.  But I could never get Demus to reply to me.  While there's no excuse for bad customer support, it's definitely in the best interests of the LinuxMCE community if the merchants that stick their neck out and sell LinuxMCE hardware succeed so that more merchants come on board.  So while it's good to point out the problems, and inform consumers, I think the goal should be to fix the problem rather than put them out of business.  If Fiire goes out of business that only means less support for LinuxMCE and it'll be harder to get new merchants to offer LinuxMCE solutions, and thus harder to fund LinuxMCE.

The truth is that Fiire has had a lot of problems the past few months.  Basically, the Via drivers which we licensed from Via (I organized that deal) didn't work with MythTV, and were closed source and binary-only and locked in to a particular kernel.  Via promised over and over and over again to fix them, but never did.

In the end, this presented a really difficult situation for Fiire because Fiire not only had to buy back many, many Fiire stations, which used up their cash, they also had to stop selling the hardware, which cut out their revenue, and they needed to invest money in developing new, custom hardware based on the nVidia graphics chip, rather than Via, after they already invested a lot of money on the Via platform.  The reason for the custom solution was that there was no existing off-the-shelf solution that used an nVidia graphics chip and was thin enough to go behind the TV, which was the main thing Fiire was offering; we all searched and searched trying to find an existing solution so they wouldn't need to build custom hardware.  There were some off-the-shelf solutions based on Intel chips, like the ones from Aopen, but we were never able to get any video drivers except nVidia's to do alpha blending over video.  And it cost a lot and took a lot of work to get the new hardware off the ground.

So when they've got cash out to buy back the old Fiire stations, cash out to pay to develop the new hardware, and no cash in because they stopped selling the Via-based stuff....  Well you get the picture.  They had to choose between keeping the customer support call center (yes, it was an outsourced overseas call center), or keeping the couple engineers they had who were working on the next gen hardware....   And then when they really need to get the new hardware on the market *fast*, and it all boils down to a couple high paid engineers working really long hours, they can't pull the engineers off to answer the phones.  So that explains why there was a period of time when nobody could get through.

Anyway Fiire recently came out with the new products.  Product fulfillment is also now handled by PC Design Lab instead of Polywell.  And, from what I understand, all orders for the new products are in fact now being shipped within 1 week of receipt.  I reviewed the invoices and the shipping notices, and it is true that the new products are shipping out on time, they seem work well, and the fulfillment/shipping is back to normal.

Fiire hasn't been able to startup the call center again, so it still can be hard to reach them for customer support.  However, the shipping/fulfillment side appears to be fine now, and I haven't heard of any new complaints since they switched fulfillment houses to PC Design Lab; I've only heard good things about PC Design Lab.  And at least as far as shipping/order/payment issues, PC Design Lab seems to be really responsive.  Also, I'm not sure the overseas call center was all that necessary in the first place.

I'm sure it will take Fiire a while to fully recover from the Via debacle.  And it hit Pluto really hard too because we organized the whole deal and had other customers besides Fiire that were going to license the software and sell LinuxMCE solutions, but all those deals fell apart all because we couldn't get stable video drivers.

The problem isn't apathy.  Nobody's getting rich here.  We're just a bunch of computer geeks working 14 hour days to make ends meet and trying to get this stuff off the ground.

tschak909

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Re: Fiire experience
« Reply #58 on: September 19, 2008, 05:07:14 am »
Thanks, Aaron for the response.

The only real critique for any of this was that none of this was explained sooner.

People tend to assume the worst, when nothing is said.

-Thom

justdeb

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Re: Fiire experience
« Reply #59 on: September 19, 2008, 12:46:31 pm »
Hi Aaron,

I understand/sympathise with the prediciment that fiire are in however it does not explain why no one in their organisation that i have dealt with (Jeff,Blake,Jane,Adrian) has even bothered to respond to my emails (and posts in this forum) to the point that i got the shits and have started paying my legal guys $300 and hour to consider legal options/challenge on their deceptive conductive and fraudulent activity. Whilst this is not the direction in which i want to head - based on my findings to date and the way in which the company has represented itself todate i have a very little opptions and appear to have a very strong case.

 I can only hope fiire take heed to my emails and posts /emails/comments from others and also look at the bigger picture - which is a solution that allows users(novice, intermediate, experienced) a means to purchase an off the shelf solution which provides them the level of satisfaction that they are seeking, whether it be a basic soltution or a true full home solution at a realistic price. On a positive note there are a number of providers which have ilustrated/provided a solution that not only work but also provides the end user an experience that they are more than happy with.

If fiire are happy to accept back my via based fiire station along with others and pay all costs( ie freight, hardware costs) then that makes a different - that indicates to me that they are a reputable company and are worth their grain of salt. What still concerns me at this point in time that no one from Fiire(Jeff,Blake,Jane, etc) is/has  bothered to explain this current situation that adiran has currently posted. I am more than pissed off to say the least and whilst i am new to this forum - i think it is very poor of a company to represent themselves as an entity which can make the experience of a new user 'simplied' by using their product(which is obviously not the case from the feedback from demus, msyself and others).

Again i restate my case, there are a number of people (whom have helped myself and others) who have worked tirelesly to get this project to where it is now and like many members including myself are very greateful for their comments, knowledge and assistance in making the 'users' experience as painless as possible. It seems that there are situations (Fiiire) that occur that sour the experience of users(including msyself) which ultimately undo the work of those whom have a passion and a vision to bring a unique solution which is free and has so much potential to the market place.

I could go on about this but i am sure there are other whom feel as strongly as i do in the way that we have been mistreated. I would dearly liketo hear your experiences good/bad in dealing with fiire.

Regards

Justin


Regards

Justin

 

I only hope you have some influence with fiire themselves as i am looking for a resolution to my 'fraudulent' transaction and hope that they can resolve it by either refunding my money, providing me and other users with and anlternative solution or assist me with a way forward wit the current solution that i have purchased. If they cannot or will not provide asistance in a resolution then i am and will pursue my options further and will find a way to recoup my costs from this company and will certainly assist others in pursuing their resolutions againt a company who will not honour its commitments.

That being said - please do not get me wrong - i am totally out to roll Fiire - i have simply got the shits with a company who claims that they can provide solutions based on linuxmce - which is obviously false and misleading to many user including myself. In addition to this many users have purchased their product in good faith and have either not recivied what was promised or have been provided a product which simply falls well short of the product (ie user manual, drivers, remote, hardware, etc) they ordered.