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RE: Staad - Seismic analysis

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Bill:

A lot of times it is tied to who you specifically get on the phone.  From
my experience (none of which has been anywhere close to recent...all prior
to the new millenium) dealing with the main support office (out in
California, I believe) was a major bummer.  They were not particularly
helpful and many times down right "hostile".  After a few bad experiences,
I did learn that they had an East Coast office and had at least one
situation where I called/emailed them for assistance and the person that I
dealt with there was MUCH nicer and MUCH more helpful.  So, to be balanced
(I do watch The O'Reilly Factor as well as times...but if want me to buy
his "no spin" line you are talking to the wrong guy...EVERYONE spins stuff
including him), I have had positive experiences with REI...it is just that
I have had more negative ones than positive ones...plus, it usually only
takes one negative experience for me to "black list" a company (it you
want I will give you my diatribe on Dell due to a back experience and why
they are no longer my "preferred" Windoze computer manufacturer...I used to
just buy Dell by default due to their supposed better customer experience,
but after getting hosed by them but good, I consider them no better than
the rest and seriously doubt if I will buy from them again...that is the
short version of the diatribe <grin>).

Scott
Adrian, MI

On Tue, 14 Feb 2006, Bill Allen wrote:

> 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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