Digidesign: Why you NEVER should buy their products!
The story I’m about to tell you is such a great lesson in how NOT to take care of (or manage) your customers, I had to share it with you. Take from this what you will, but there are such obvious lessons here for all of us that it might be as informative for you as this experience has been for me.
Four months ago I wrote a post entitled, “My Digidesign Paper Weight…” ranting about my experience with the MBoxPro2 I purchased to drive a new, more powerful Shure SM7B microphone — and record client interviews, do voiceovers and other work — and at the time (more than two months after Apple had shipped Leopard), Digidesign couldn’t even hint at when they’d support this new operating system.
Since that post, this MBoxPro2 has been worthless to me since it no longer functions with any of my machines and, of course, imagine how agitated I am with a total investment of approximately $1,500 now gathering dust for months and months.
Over the last five months, I’ve been to their site dozens of times to check on the status of a Leopard upgrade. Never obvious and tough to find, I nonetheless did but found nothing. Since so much time had elapsed — and terribly unusual in today’s marketplace — I reached out to Digidesign Customer Support who twice responded to my queries with recommendations:
1) To downgrade to Apple’s old Tiger OS (but you know the cascading effect of upgrading an OS and all your applications which also would need to be ‘downgraded’) and I only have a Tiger upgrade disk in my office closet and Apple no longer sells it…making this ‘fix’ not an option.
2) After pointing this out, a few days later they then recommended I go out and buy a Tiger install disk and install the old OS on a bootable hard drive, reinstall all the relevant applications, Digidesign’s non-Leopard-compatible version of ProTools as well as all the ProTools-compatible plugins I purchased OR go out and buy an old Mac. If both of these options weren’t so ludicrous in putting the burden of additional investment and the time-to-install effort on me, the customer, I’d laugh.
Here’s where the obvious lessons come in from the unbelievably bad customer service job they’ve done — and are doing — and why you should NEVER give Digidesign any of your money…ever:
- Digidesign doesn’t bother to communicate with their customers. They have my email, know all customers waiting for this Leopard upgrade, but the onus is on we, the customers, to go again-and-again to check their web site, the support forums, or contact Support in order to discover the latest update status!
- When they do bother to communicate, they are very, very slow to respond. The afternoon of Tuesday, April 8th, I realize that I’d be needing audio gear this weekend and sent a support request in to Digidesign asking when Leopard support will arrive since it’s been OVER FIVE MONTHS SINCE LEOPARD SHIPPED. A reply shows up today, Friday April 11th, three business days later.
- They’ve not realized that we’re living in a time of conversational marketing that makes it imperative that customers connect with actual humans. The email is completely anonymous, coming from “Digidesign Customer Service”, and whoever threw this out simply cut-n-pasted a copy of an open letter from Dave Lebolt, Digidesign General Manager, a letter which had already been posted on their Customer Support Forum on April 5th and I’d discovered myself after not hearing back from Support after two days.
Here’s my current state of mind when it comes to Digidesign: I will never, ever buy one of their products again and will go out of my way to ensure no one else I know does either.
I suspect that there is a set of major software design problems at Digidesign, though I have no evidence to support that opinion. It’s just that I’ve seen this before like the alleged spaghetti code of the publishing software, Quark, that kept the company from innovating or even shipping upgrades in a timely fashion (plus, Quark people had the reputation of being supreme, arrogant a**holes and the company had notoriously horrible customer service…just like Digidesign does today).
So when will Digidesign ship a Leopard upgrade? How does a supposed EIGHT MONTHS from the time Leopard shipped strike you?
To quote the Digidesign GM, Dave Lebolt, from his letter I referenced above: “We hope to have the new release within between 1 and 2 months from now; some of that timetable is contingent on Apple.”
Dave, hope is not a strategy or plan and you’ve lost my hope and me as a customer.
About Steve Borsch
Connecting the Dots Podcast
Podcasting hit the mainstream in July of 2005 when Apple added podcast show support within iTunes. I'd seen this coming so started podcasting in May of 2005 and kept going until August of 2007. Unfortunately was never 'discovered' by national broadcasters, but made a delightfully large number of connections with people all over the world because of these shows. Click here to view the archive of my podcast posts.