BEWARE: AVOID Encore Electronics.

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BEWARE: AVOID Encore Electronics.

Postby mima85 » Mon Nov 19, 2018 11:09 pm

I'd never wanted to have to write this post, but unfortunately I had to.

The story: I had a Roland Jupiter 8 without MIDI, and as I wanted to add MIDI capabilities to my synth, I chose the Encore Electronic's JP8MK. Very promising on paper, with a not a so complex installation procedure, reasonably priced and coming from a well-estabilished company whose MIDI interfaces ended in a large number of synthesizers thru the years. So I bought one.

Unfortunately, turned out that my kit was defective. I installed it in my Jupiter 8 following exactely the procedure told in the installation manual, double and triple-checked everything I did to be sure that I made no mistakes, and finally powered on the synth. The Jupiter booted up nicely with the Encore's logo scrolling on the display, hooked up a MIDI cable, the synth responded to the incoming MIDI messages from another keyboard. Yay, all was working perfectly and I was happy. Until, after some 10-15 minutes, I did a power-cycle to the Jupiter, to see if the instrument would boot correctly again. And here was where I started to sweat cold: the synthesizer froze immediately, with garbage on the display. It even didn't show the scrolling Encore logo, and after another power cycle nothing changed.

So I left the synth "resting" for 20/30 minutes, powered it on again, this time booted, but lost all the stored patches. Probably the glitch at the boot corrupted the RAM's content. OK, no problem, restore it from a tape dump backup I did before installing the kit, try again to control the Jupiter from another keyboard, it worked. Then I did again the power cycle test. This time the Jupiter booted, but the MIDI kit was frozen. When entering in its setup mode the display was constantly showing things like "22 92", and trying for example to change the MIDI channel was impossible, it was all locked, no change of the display values and no response to panel commands. Another power cycle and the synth would be frozen again. I let again the synth rest for some time, powered it on and it booted up, but another time with a corrupted RAM content. Tried several other times, some times the synth booted up correctly with the MIDI kit working, other times I had a locked MIDI kit but the rest of the synthesizer working, other times the whole synth was frozen, all of this in a quite random fashion.

OK, time to check if was the MIDI kit doing crazy things or if I messed something on the CPU board. I removed the kit and my Jupiter returned back to correct operation. No freezing nor corrupted RAM when doing power cycles, the synth was stable. Tried to put the MIDI kit back in the jupiter, and I had again erratic behaviour. OK, now I had the proof that my MIDI kit was f**ked up.

So I wrote an E-Mail to the Encore's support, to ask for advice (I always welcomed advices and tips about things to do to try to fix the issues without having to send back a defective product), or eventually to ask for a replacement. And here was when I discovered how completely unresponsive and nerve-wrecking is the Encore Electronics' support. Months, I repeat, _months_ passed from a mine E-Mail and a Tony Karavidas' (the owner of Encore Electronics) answer. MONTHS.

Here's a brief chronology (for USA readers, dates are in the european DD.MM.YYYY format):

24.09.2017: Wrote the first mail to the Encore's technical support, explaining in detail the issue and asking what I could eventually do to try to fix it, or if I could have a replacement kit.

17.10.2017: No answer from Tony, sent an E-Mail asking if he noticed my support request.

12.12.2017: Still no answer, sent another message asking for news.

08.03.2018: Tony finally got back to me, asking to send the kit back to him so he would check and eventually repair/replace it. At that moment I was away from home for some time.

24.03.2018: I finally was back home and I sent the MIDI kit. I gave to Tony the shipment tracking number and I asked to let me know when the kit would arrive to him.

15.04.2018: Again no news from Encore Electronics, asked Tony to tell me if was all OK.

21.05.2018: Still no news, asked again Tony to let me know something.

24.05.2018: Tony finally answered, telling me that he needed more info: "Did you buy one recently? Did you return one for service?". I was like "WTF, are you freakin' kidding me???? It was YOU that asked to me to send back my MIDI kit!!!". Answered giving all the detail he needed (PayPal's receipt, again tracking of the MIDI kit shipment to him), ending my message by respectfully telling him that this is not the right way to deal with technical support.

30.05.2018: Again not a single word of answer from Tony, asked if he did read my message and if there were any news.

26.06.2018: Nothing again from Tony, sent another message.

06.07.2018: Nothing again from Tony, sent another message.

29.08.2018: Nothing again from Tony, sent another message.

And now, 20.11.2018, I really have enough. I always kept a respectful and correct attitude in my messages, I had a lot of patience and kept myself from insulting him even with all the months passing without hearing a single word from him, but now my patience came to an end. This was probably the most frustrating and nerve wrecking experience with something related to synthesizers I had since the 11 years I'm into this world. Encore Electronics' support is horrible to say the least, and Tony always asking in his answers to excuse him because "life was really crazy in these last times" was really irritating and looking as if him was kidding me.

No Tony, I don't f*ckin' care about how much your life could be crazy. And no, now I don't excuse you anymore. You have a company, you run a technical support, and you MUST take care of your customers. This whole story is a complete, enormeous, freakin' FAILURE. You made MY life crazy, not to mention that I completely lost the 300$ + shipping that I paid for what substantially became a ghost product. But the 300$ you gained from me were real.

So, this is my story. To all whose are reading these words, take your conclusions. My conclusion is: AVOID ENCORE ELECTRONICS AT ANY COST. You're advised.
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Re: BEWARE: AVOID Encore Electronics.

Postby blueknob » Tue Nov 20, 2018 4:45 pm

I'm sorry to hear about your problems, I've had similar difficulties with a different long standing specialist trader. His replies to me just got more bizarre, like nothing's his problem. We need to make people aware of these traders.

We take these people on trust, many are home enterprises, some good and some shabby, hit and miss.
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Re: BEWARE: AVOID Encore Electronics.

Postby mima85 » Tue Nov 20, 2018 9:47 pm

blueknob wrote:We need to make people aware of these traders.


Exactely. That's why I decided to tell all my story, and I encourage anyone which had a troublesome story with anything to do the same.
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Re: BEWARE: AVOID Encore Electronics.

Postby Jabberwalky » Wed Nov 21, 2018 3:59 pm

I've seen this happen a lot. The least they can do is just open source their work if they're in over their heads.
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