asknet customer service debacle

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asknet customer service debacle

Postby GrouchoBarx » Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:23 pm

I am uncertain as to where the best place to post this. If there is a better venue, please let me know.

I recently purchased Cubase 7. I vacillated between ProTools and Cubase, but ultimately decided to stick with what I know. I have been very pleased with the new version.

On Saturday 9-21-2013, I attempted to activate The Grand 3 SE. I went through the process and the website returned an error message saying that my transaction could not be processed. I then reentered my info and the activation went through.

Unfortunately, this morning (Monday 9-23-2013) I saw that my credit card had been charged twice. My email contains two activation license emails. I don't know about you, but I don't have an extra $100 to spare.

I contacted AskNet customer service in San Francisco and was treated very shabbily. I was never rude, profane, or threatening, but the gentleman with whom I spoke hung up on me. I called back and spoke with a woman, "Shelby" she was not quite as rude but hung up on me as well. I had indicated that since they were in San Francisco and I am in Oakland (just across the bay) that I could come into their office to resolve my issue. (That's when "Shelby" hung up.)

I placed a third call and the original gentleman threatened to call the Oakland Police department. I told him that I was just trying to resolve my issue and that if they would not talk on the phone I didn't know how I could communicate otherwise. He then provided some information that seems to indicate that the issue is being handled. I have zero confidence in this process after my telephone interactions.

I have contacted Yamaha Corporate HQ and they were sympathetic and seem to be on top of the issue regarding the double billing. I tried to be clear that my larger concern was the way I was treated.

AskNet is located in Germany, so after a couple of international phone calls, I realize that I will have to contact their corporate HQ at an inconvenient hour. I asked Shelby to speak with a supervisor and she indicated that they are a 2 person office and no supervisor is available (duh, I don't think they would behave so badly if they were actually accountable). She declined to give me the name of the gentleman I spoke with.

The email I received from these folks in SF indicated that I had double ordered. This is not true. When their website presented the error message that my transaction couldn't be processed, I did enter a new order; this was with the understanding (from their website) that the original order was not completed. The error was a software or network glitch, but I did not (to my knowledge at the time) place 2 orders.

Here's the real nut for me: I just built a beast of a computer (AUS H78 MoBo, Intel i7 4770k 3.4 GHz, 32mb RAM, 250GB SSD, 11 TB HDD). I struggled with the choice between Cubase (which I am familiar with) and ProTools (the "Industry Standard". For many reasons I chose Cubase. I have been very happy with the new version and find it easy and powerful to work with. I really love The Grand 3 SE and am thrilled to have it installed an activated.

My next purchase was planned to be Halion Sonic; I was almost certainly going to upgrade to Halion 5. Now I have such low confidence in the upgrade process, having been treated so sh*ttily by AskNet who handles these transactions. I have zero confidence in the activation process after this experience.

I do intend to contact AskNet in Germany (this will be difficult to coordinate with my work schedule, but cest la vie).

I do hope that Steinberg and Yamaha will address my concerns. It would be a shame to have to scrap my investment and transition to Avid products (i.e. ProTools). I would love to hear other users experiences with the activation process and AskNet in particular.

I apologize for the length and "rantiness" of this post, but I have to admit that I am livid to the point that I am considering dropping Cubase as my DAW.
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Re: asknet customer service debacle

Postby MoPro » Tue Sep 24, 2013 11:28 pm

GrouchoBarx wrote:I am livid to the point that I am considering dropping Cubase as my DAW.


I feel your pain! I also recently had an issue with AskNet that resolved itself, but only after much investigation... a frustrating experience I might add! Check Here!

However, I would dispute the double purchase with your bank! It is AskNet's fault for sending you two activation codes... especially if the quantity ordered dialog box only indicated the number 1 on each of the orders, and AskNet chose not to follow-up!

Oh yea! Don't threaten the support operators... It's not their fault that AskNet / Bibit's purchasing system needs work! ;)
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Re: asknet customer service debacle

Postby GrouchoBarks » Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:09 am

Thanks for the empathy.

Regarding "threatening", I never threatened anyone. When they kept hanging up on me I said that I would have to visit their office if they wouldn't speak with me. The address is published on the AskNet page for customer service. Given that, I inferred that they were saying that that was an alternative to phone/email. Pretty sure my attorney and the courts would back me on that one. If they don't want visitors, then they shouldn't publish the address on their customer support page.
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Re: asknet customer service debacle

Postby MoPro » Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:33 pm

GrouchoBarks wrote:Thanks for the empathy.

Regarding "threatening", I never threatened anyone. Pretty sure my attorney and the courts would back me on that one.


Yea... good luck with that! ;)

Did you speak with your bank? It sounds like you can make a decent case that you weren't trying to order two copies of the same software! You didn't try to register both activation numbers did you? I honestly believe working with your bank is the best way get your money back!

The trap I fell into was that I didn't initially understand that AskNet was a reseller of Steinberg products, so trying to get an answer from Steinberg is futile, and even more so here at the Steinberg forum!

Al
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Re: asknet customer service debacle

Postby Mr M » Wed Sep 25, 2013 6:34 pm

Its pretty hard to believe that they threatened to call the OPD unless they felt threatened. Who would bother with that? This may be a case where you have a disconnect between how you think you sound and how others perceive you. I live in Oaktown now,(just moved from SF). Not sure what volunteering to drop by would do other than infer a threat, especially after the phone call escalated to the point that they'd hung up. Anyway, I hope this is resolved to your satisfaction.
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Re: asknet customer service debacle

Postby Ed Doll » Thu Sep 26, 2013 8:21 am

I am sorry to hear that! Asknet is usually doing a very good job keeping the large order quantities in mind they process for us in the US, Europe and the rest of the world. I have forwarded this to Asknet here in Germany as well. Your double order was cancelled yesterday btw.
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