As president of two software firms over the past 20 years, I've dealt with hundreds of vendors. Some great, some not. But rarely has a vendor failed so miserably as Velocity Micro.
I have since learned that Velocity Micro has a lot of angry customers due to their extremely poor support. In our case, Velocity Micro failed to honor our paid for support contract. Since I run a business that prides itself on quality customer service, I find this appalling, let alone violation of law. Their poor support is so egregious that I cannot imagine this company staying in business in the competitive PC marketplace.
From our experience, Velocity Micro is a company to avoid.
Here's a history of our firms dealings with Velocity Micro:
Purchased high end computer (ProMagix™ PCX High performance Home & Office PC) from Velocity Micro for $2763. We were looking to replace all our company computers with a single vendor solution, so we purchased this system as a trial balloon to see how the hardware and support was with this unknown company. Our purchase included their top of the line on-site support: "3 years VelocityCare™ Parts & Labor, 3 Years 24/7 Support with Emergency Hours, and On-Site Service."
Velocity Micro computer dies. I telephoned Velocity Micro support. The person (miss-)diagnosed the problem as a dead graphics card and ordered one to be sent out. The on-site support we came to learn means someone will show up when we get the part mailed to us; a person will not deliver the part -- as with many other on-site support programs we have purchased from other firms. As there is no stocking center outside of their Virginia office and we're in Northern California, they said it would take 5-7 business days for us to receive the part after they shipped it. (Since we are in Silicon Valley, the heart of the computer industry, I would expect at least one stocking center here, as I would guess that Silicon Valley is likely their biggest customer base.)
I decided to simply buy a replacement graphics card that evening as this computer was heavily used and we could not wait 5-7 days. Replacing the card that evening, however, produced no improvement.
|We called Monday morning. This support person believed it was really a bad mother board and would ship it out. He repeated what we heard yesterday that it would take 5-7 business days to arrive after they sent it. He said they would attempt to send it today (it was only Noon in Virginia, 4 hours until pickup) or send it within 24 hours. This was beginning to become irritating, as I originally expected the level of support I purchased would provide on-site service. The support guy said if we were in a rush and wanted to pay them $50 they would expedite it next day air so that it would arrive Tuesday or Wednesday the latest. Since we were in a rush, I paid the $50 for rush (next day air) service.
No part arrived. I assumed he missed the 4pm shipping deadline, even though they had 4 hours to prepare the part.
As an aside, in my company, if a customer needs a part the next day, we jump though hoops to get it to him the next day! Our staff understands that customers come first. Our shipping staff will personally drive to FedEx after our normal pickup to get a part to a customer!
My opinion of Velocity Micro is now on the decline.
|Two days later, still no part arrived. Expecting morning FedEx delivery, I finally called at 2PM (5pm Virginia time). The woman said the part shipped 30 minutes ago (Wednesday 4:30pm local time)! So much for $50 rush service! At this point I gave Velocity Micro a “D” for atrociously bad service. But don't worry... it gets even worse.
No part arrived again!?! I called again, but by this time we had become distrustful of the support department, so I decided to call the Velocity Micro Concierge Desk – Dale Jamieson x246. Dale said that no such part had in fact shipped at all!!! I paid $50 for rush service and they had not even sent it after 3 days, and I was apparently lied to in yesterday's telephone call! OK, we're now at a "D-". Can Velocity Micro get any worse? The answer is yes.
Dale Jamieson had my part shipped. Thank you Dale.
I received the part from Dale. Now I was to call and schedule a technician to repair the computer. I logged a call at about 11am. No return call was received all of Friday. However, by this time I was expecting poor service so I didn't think much of it.
A Field Technician called in the morning and came out about 11AM or Noon. Things we're (temporarily) looking up. He replaced the mother board but it did not correct the problem. He said he thought it was the CPU and would take the motherboard back to his shop to check with his own CPU. He mentioned from his experience in the field, about 5% of the time it's the CPU. He's replaced many.
|The system use in my business has now been down all week, and Velocity Micro's so-call on-site service was barely that. So we purchased a replacement system (not a Velocity Micro, of course) locally until the Velocity Micro system was repaired and would then be relegated to a less critical task.
Technician called and said the motherboard was OK and his CPU work, whereas my CPU did not, meaning it was a bad CPU after all. He said he would mail the motherboard back to us and that we needed to call Velocity Micro to get a new CPU shipped out.
We called Velocity Micro and the support person said that they didn't trust their field technicians to replace CPUs! (Even though this technician was paid to do just that on his first visit and had done it many times in the past! ) If this was the case, why did Velocity Micro not send a motherboard with the CPU already installed? This made no sense at all.
The support technician said they would prefer if I sent the entire system back, at MY EXPENSE (about $100). I explained that I had purchased their top of the time 3 years of on-site support specifically so I would not have to ship systems back. I told the support person that this was in violation of the support services that we had already paid for, and further, asking me further to pay for shipping was rubbing salt in an already large open wound. The support technician was unyielding – No on-site service even though we paid for it. We pay to ship it back or too bad. Livid at this point, I asked her to speak with her supervisor and call me back with a positive response or I would take further action.
|No call was returned. I contacted the Velocity Micro Concierge Desk again – Dale Jamieson x246 - in an attempt to resolve this issue. I left a voice mail (and never got a call back.)
Wednesday 9 AM
|With no call returned from the Concierge Desk or Support Department, I called the Velocity Micro Marketing department. I explained that tech support was mishandling my matter. I spoke with Josh (Marketing Dept), a pleasant fellow. I explained that I left a message for Concierge and asked if Dale Jamieson was still with the company since I had not received a call back. He said yes and did not understand why my calls were not returned. He said the support manager, Jessica Blackwell, had not come in yet either (now Noon in Virginia), and he forwarded me to her voice mail. I left a second message with support manager, Jessica Blackwell, requesting resolution (her called was never returned.)
|Graphics card arrived (from support call of 2/10/2008, which should have been cancelled but was not.)
|I called Josh (Marketing Dept) once again telling him that, Jessica Blackwell, the support manager, had not returned my phone calls. We agreed Dale (Concierge Desk) would be best suited to assist. I called Dale and left a voice mail. Again, she never called back.
Thursday 3:30 PM
|Received Mother Board back from field technician. He had replaced the cpu in it and checked it out as OK. He had asked me to contact Velocity Micro to get a replacement CPU (Velocity Micro declined to provide).
Returned graphics card and Motherboard:
|With Velocity Micro's poor service, we were forced to purchase a replacement system locally (for about $3,000, and not a Velocity Micro of course) since we need a working system for our business.
Waited a few days and no calls from Velocity Micro have been returned (2 to support, 2 to their Concierge desk). I've spend a huge amount of time with this company with no results.
So I have written this log of Velocity Micros failures of service. We now have a $3,000 paperweight that Velocity Micro is unwilling to service even though we have paid for such service.
I will be contacting both the Better Business Bureau and the State Attorney Generals office to pursue this matter further. A class action lawsuit is on my mind.
|I filed a complaint with the Central Virginia Better Business Bureau (http://www.richmond.bbb.org) . Complaint ID #6145623.
|To my surprise, the Presidents assistant called me regarding my BBB complaint. She reiterated that they have no competent people in the field so my on-site support contract would not be honored. She did agree to pay for it to be returned, however. I returned it. Clearly I am not happy that I purchased on-site support which they are not honoring.
|Velocity Micro tech called and said it was a weak, but not totally failed, power support. (So why could on-site support handle a power supply replacement?!)
Velocity Micro is "bottom of the barrel". If one could give a score lower than "F", Velocity Micro would get it. The computer market is competitive. I cannot image this firm staying in business the way they act. Their systems are not low cost, and with such poor support there seems little reason to do business with this firm.
Other opinions of Velocity Micro on the web (I'm sorry I didn't read these before our purchase):