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RE: Staad - Seismic analysis

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As a small amount of balance (I guess I do watch too much of the O'Reilly
Factor), my experience with Research Engineers has been positive. Of course,
I don't use the program regularly and probably not to the level of
sophistication most do or that it was designed to do. However, every problem
I had with the program or results, I received a prompt response and I was
never accused of being the problem.

T. William (Bill) Allen, S.E.
ALLEN DESIGNS
Consulting Structural Engineers

-----Original Message-----
From: Scott Maxwell [mailto:smaxwell(--nospam--at)engin.umich.edu] 
Sent: Tuesday, February 14, 2006 9:36 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
Subject: RE: Staad - Seismic analysis

Bill,

I can say that in my "past" life working for large A/E firms that had
STAAD licenses that I experienced similar poor customer service and
support from them.  I never had anyone "threaten" me, but certain had a
least an occasion or two where they would try to blame one of their bugs
off as a "user error".  Their treatment of me when I called for customer
support is precisely why now that _I_ get to choose what structural
analysis software program to use I can say that it will be a cold day in
hell before I would choose STAAD.  While STAAD had more than its fair
share of bugs, if bugs were my criteria for using or not using a computer
program, I would likely just scrap using a computer and do everything by
hand.  <grin>  Thus, I tend to base my decisions more on customer
support/service (i.e. how they treat their customers)...not to mention
that is one of my top criteria when I purchase/use anything.

Regards,

Scott
Adrian, MI


On Tue, 14 Feb 2006, Polhemus, Bill wrote:

> From: bcainse(--nospam--at)aol.com [mailto:bcainse(--nospam--at)aol.com]
>
> Why don't YOU ask them.  Or are you using a bootleg copy and thus can't
> access their customer service?
>
> ________________________________
>
> That's a good question--even if it's NOT a "bootleg copy."
>
> Several years ago, shortly after beginning work with a new employer, I
> found I needed to do some analysis. I found that we had some install
> disks for STAAD tucked away in a drawer somewhere--it wasn't installed
> on any machine. This was back in the day, when you had to have a "key
> disk."
>
> I installed the software, etc., and did the analysis. But knowing that
> this software was about five years old, I decided to call REI about
> upgrading.
>
> After giving the joker on the other end of the phone all the information
> about who we were, what version number, etc., he began to THREATEN me,
> because "your license has expired on this software, and you are not to
> use it unless you pay <umpteen thousands> in back-license fees" etc.
>
> Of course, everything he said was bull****. True, the company had not
> paid the MAINTENANCE FEE, which entitles you to periodic upgrades, bug
> fixes, and telephone support, but of course I wasn't calling for
> software support, and we hadn't gotten any of the upgrades or bug
> fixes--because we weren't enrolled in their maintenance program!
>
> Either the guy was full of **** and KNEW it, or he was full of **** and
> hadn't a clue. Either way didn't look good for him.
>
> I finally gave up, and just continued to use the old, outdated version.
> A couple of years after that, at yet another employer in my checkered
> career, I had the "privilege" of using a fully-maintained version of
> STAAD that by then was "for Windows"--and many of the same bugs were
> there, and the software absolutely STUNK to use on 16-bit Windows,
> causing system crashes on a regular basis.
>
> When I went out on my own, I finally had the opportunity to distance
> myself from STAAD completely, and went with another product whose
> concept of customer service is as different from REI as night is from
> day.
>
> Bottom line: My experience with REI's customer support (so-called) over
> the years has been horrendous, and I wouldn't venture a call to them if
> I could get around it. Much better to confer with other users.
>
> (Oh, and this reminds me that, after I made a similar statement here on
> SEAINT(-OT) list years ago, REI sent a letter to my employer demanding
> that I "cease and desist" and threatening to terminate our STAAD
> licenses! Wonder if they're still into that?)
>

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