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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    9,564

    Manufacturer control problem

    If you were a manufacturer and you had a product that was crashing and bringing down the network how would you handle the situation?

    Here's the scenario. We have some product in a building. Access control. It's a retrofit from an existing system and new addition. The old system doesn't have the capacity, but works solid. So out go the old controllers and in with the new ones.

    System gets larger and starts crashing. Manufacturer initially blames database creation and power/interference problems. Manufacturer's software is the database tool.

    Finally after some time of going through IM's with their software techs and tech support trying various solutions. They weren't going to send anybody until the CEO has a conversation with the owner asking him why it's so critical the doors work.... (as if --- ridiculous) Results aren't any different.

    Finally, after weeks of this their guy (I respect him) comes out and re-does the whole system. It seems to work but goes back to crashing again. Doesn't matter if the controllers are on the network or if you pull network and let them run standalone.

    I have their software engineer(s) saying that there is some onboard issues whereby the controller locks up (loops) and also some issues with larger network configurations... (not that this is) The guy onsite sees issues and says "not right". However, they are holding to the existing "environment" ie; power supply and interference must be playing a part.

    In the meantime the customer has made plans to rip the stuff out because they have their tenants (many attorneys) very hot. So they do. What choice do they have? They get another company to install different product. The new stuff is working in the same environment, no problems. So, you have the old system that worked and the new system that works, but not the product from the manufacturer we represent.

    The building owner wants the manufacturer to pay for the required staff and security guard labor and pay for the controllers/installation.

    Here's the CEO's position (so he says):

    He takes "no position" on the status of the controllers.
    He is willing to take the controllers back at cost and pay for shipping.
    He will pay the related damage costs for the staff and security.

    .....and the part that gets me is that he's willing to screw his representative in the ground and not cover any costs in regards to installation and sale on controllers or negotiate any type of deal to help us spread out the hit over time.

    So, now we have some damaged reputation to deal with along with getting the screw from the company we represent. Plus, we literally have a couple hundred hours on trying to keep the system online all the while the problems really aren't anything we can access to fix.

    As far as I'm concerned, if your product has a problem, you suck it up and take care of the situation. If their product worked, it would still be installed.

    This guy is attempting to cut and run in my opinion.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    1,144
    Circon?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    735
    Tell us who? You run no liability as you are only explaining a situation.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    2,145
    To state the obvious, I think you need to find a new product line to represent. I would also have a chat with a lawyer.
    If nothing else, you can give them plenty of free 'advertising' here and on the other controls sites.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    1,720
    I know of one hospital job put in with one of the big DDC manufacturersjc that didn't work for 3 months after installation. They flew in people from all over the country to try and get it working. The hospital had to have a 24 hour fire watch for all that time also.
    jogas

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    9,564
    Quote Originally Posted by simsd View Post
    Tell us who? You run no liability as you are only explaining a situation.
    In time here.... looking for thoughts on the situation. Actually --- you seem like a rep to me so I should make you email me on it.


    EDIT -- although, the AHR show is just around the corner...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    520
    In my experience, getting a manufacturer to pay labor for warranty failures or especially product bugs is like pulling teeth.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    9,564
    It's actually a total product failure. It's not like you can get some more controllers and they are going to work.

    Did that already and the "new" devices failed also. It comes to a point whereby you are in a critical situation and you have to make a decision to get rid of the defective product. The owner made that decision.

    I understand not getting any compensation for labor if the manufacturer can provide a product that isn't defective, but that's not going on. The manufacturer failed to provide a fix in a reasonable time frame. Actually, they haven't a fix of any sort yet.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    735
    No, not a rep. Completely independant and strictly a controls contractor/designer. Curious for two reasons:

    We are installing some Lonworks equipment and are new at it and, two I want to make sure it's not the stuff we're installing. If you you would like to communicate via an alternate email, let me know. Just concerned.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    9,564
    It's not a Neuron based product. ..... that's part of the problem.

    However, the biggest problem is a CEO that was too slow on the draw, and is so shortsighted he can't see past a few dollars. He would rather risk the bad publicity, and now he's going to get that.

    If you need immediate specifics, contact me directly via the profile. I'd like to hear from a few more before I let go with more information.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    520
    My only similar experience is from dealing with some of the Honeywell nonsense in their XL5000 line, particularly with zone managers. For example, if you wanted to create a new schedule and re-bind the schedules to the XL10s through the zone manager, you stood about a 30% chance of it actually working and you were likely to lose all the other bindings: that is, the bindings would stop working. You could spend an entire day screwing around before you actually got it working, if at all. But talking with the CEO of Honeywell just ain't gonna happen, so you talk to TAC (technical assistance center) and they just don't know. Nobody really knows. It's voodoo. Then they got rid of zone managers and gave us LNS database synchronization (a ridiculous, needless complication). Me, I got rid of Honeywell. A painful transition, but ultimately very worthwhile. If you're not getting a satisfactory response, drop the product and spread the word. They'll pay and you'll ultimately win.

  12. #12
    What brand was it ? LON Bacnet something else ?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    1,144
    Quote Originally Posted by ctrlguy View Post
    They'll pay and you'll ultimately win.
    That's the sad part of it all, nobody wins.
    The manufacturer is going to get a few months of bad talk.
    Sys's client will probably tell other clients about the issue, and most likely sys's companies name will be used as the installing contractor, so other clients will assume he was part of the problem.
    And the client all this time is feeling the blunt of it all.

    Who wins? Nobody I say.

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