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Guest Mik75

Worst experience I´ve ever made as a customer buying flight sim software

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Hi there!
Actually, I don´t like writing about stuff like that at all, but it just has to be done to let off a little steam:
So, I bought the XXX B748 at one of the two big stores where you can get commercial add ons for X-Plane. I already bought several add ons there (a 757, a 777...)
I bought it because I am a huge 747 fan and the reviews I read about this software were all good or very good. (many reviews of X-Plane add ons seem to be a little biased though, too positive, especially when looking at the prices of these add ons, but this is a different subject)
I directly installed the B748 and wanted to take it for a spin, doing my little test pattern around EDDK. I do that with every new add on I buy, to get an impression of its auto flight system, the FMS capabilities, hand flying characteristics and so on.
With this aircraft though, I wasn´t able to set up the FMS properly for that short flight. The CDU asked for EXEC button pushes all the time, CRZ alt couldn´t be entered correctly (I wanted to enter an CRZ altitude of 8000 with a TA of 5000 and I´ve been told by one of the devs that the CRZ alt of 8000 has to be entered as "800") and the drawing of the route on the ND was completely messed up.
I managed to get the aircraft into the air after I reloaded the sim, but VNAV calculated some strange speeds in the climb, and after the descend started, the route got completely messed up again.
After approximately 45 minutes of testing, I had seen enough, and decided to ask for a refund at the store. I also opened a new topic at the vendor´s forum with the title "Unfortunately I am very disappointed". 
I wrote in that topic, that it had been a long time since I uninstalled an add on after testing it for only 45 minutes, and that I could ask for more for that price. I have to admit that I was a little angry: How do all these positive reviews come up, why do all these users just love the plane while I am not able to set up a simple flight in a Boeing FMC? I thought to myself: Would this have been a release for FSX, how would people like it then, would all customers be happy with what they got for 59$? But that´s a different story again. By the way, I am fully aware of the fact, that the prices for quality add ons in X-Plane have to be higher, simply because the effort of creating them is the same as it is with FSX aircraft, but there are just not as many users who buy them, compared to the MSFS market. 
The store got back to me with a positive answer, concerning my refund, very quickly. Also the developers were really quick and answered to my forum topic very detailed. The developer of the FMC even tried to fly my route, took pictures of the programming and the ND and wanted to show me, that the aircraft is fully capable of flying my pattern flawlessly.
I really liked that and wrote back, that I appreciate this kind of effort, but that the aircraft in its current state simply wouldn´t fit my needs and expectations (having to use work arounds and "special procedures" to enter data into the FMC). I told them that the store already gave me a refund and that I´d be totally fine with that and that I´d have an eye on the further development of this aircraft add on, so I might be rebuying it in the future.
The other developer wrote something like "there were always people buying their plane just to seek for errors and complaining about them afterwards on the forums". I answered to that as well, stating, that I clearly wasn´t someone like that, I´d be happy with the refund and, again, I wrote that, as a huge 747 fan, I might end up buying this add on again, once the obvious quirks and bugs get sorted out.
Unfortunately, they didn't want to leave it at that. The developer of the FMC wrote another answer, that, after showing me that the plane would be perfectly able to fly my route, implied that the fault could be only on my side.
I wrote one more answer, in which I said that the refund would be the best solution and that I just didn't want to accept things like this: (please see attached image)
B748-I_5_zpsed64329d.jpg
 
After 1 hour or two, I received an email from the store:

You received a warning (I got banned from the forums for 2 days)
"747: You received a credit so stop bashing that plane!
Especially when all users who TOOK the time to really test it disagree with you
What you are doing is out of line"

 
I wrote the following answer:

"You must be joking right?
I am not entitled to have an opinion then? That's ridiculous! 
You call that bashing? Is that the way paying customers are treated?
Very rude behaviour!
Regards"

 
​The answer didn´t take too long:
"You are the one who is RUDE. You are NOT A PAYING CUSTOMER since you got a
refund without even testing it

You barely tried the 747. you asked for a refund RIGHT AWAY!!! You didn't
have the chance to test it. This is a joke. Then you proceed to bash it??
Maybe you could have tried it for more than 5 minutes before you complain.
Please stay clear from both our store and our forums."
 
That´s what I wrote back, and now, I am done with it:
"I am a paying customer at your store, or haven't I bought any software yet? 
I tested longer than 5 minutes, and believe me, it was long enough to find a conclusion! 
Have you even read the thread? Have you read through my answers? 
I wrote the "addon wasn't for me", I appreciated the fact that the developers and the store reacted competent and fast, I even wrote I might rebuy this plane after future updates, you call that "bashing"? Really?
On the other hand, XXX (developer) answered to my post, writing about "people who buy it just to seek for defects and complain on the forums" and XXX (developer of the FMC) 
didn't let me go after I wrote, that I am happy with the refund, he kept saying the fault MUST BE on my side.
Now I am even more disappointed, this must be the worst experience I've ever had in 15 years of buying software for flight simulators!"

 

Unfortunately, I cannot log into their forum anymore, so what I wrote, is the way I remember it. Probably, the whole topic got deleted, but if not, you might to want check the thread there to find your own conclusion... 

What else to say? Nothing really, other than "thank you" for taking the time to read my topic.
It´s sad that there is no wider variety of vendors for this fantastic simulator. For some add ons, you don´t even have any choice at all. Being treated like that, there is actually no other conclusion than staying away from that store in the future...
What do you think about the availability of XPX add on software and the big stores and their customer support?

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I share your pain, some developers don't like to take criticism and are over-protective and are just too sensitive when somebody reports a bug or offers feedback. I can understand it's not nice for the developer, but a good developer will take the criticism and use it to better his/her products. I'm guessing since you got your money back they don't see you as a customer anymore, and just want rid of you.

 

Personally, if I buy something on X-Plane or FSX and it doesn't work as expected, I first ask in the forum if I'm doing something wrong, how I use it (And there's always some idiot who calls me a NOOB, or with some sarcastic remark), etc.. If it still doesn't work for me, then I either ask for my money back, or if it's cheap then I just let it slip. However, there is nothing more annoying when a developer will blame the user with the "works for me" attitude. I gave up a long time ago writing bug reports, even more so if on the rare case I get my money back.

 

You are definitely not alone with complaints from that store though, so I wouldn't take it personally. At least you got your money back, which is more than a lot of people can get :)

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Michael, I am sorry to learn about that bad experience :-(

 

One question, because I did use that add-on, and liked it, not necessarily for being what I would call a finished product, but because the Team behind it is made up of b744 "lovers" just like you and me, and has always showed their will to help with the problems I reported, as well as demonstrating being working hard to bring it to a better, finished product in the future. Did you try their recently released update? The list of fixes and new features looks good, and I wonder if it might address some of the problems you had with that model?

 

Unfortunately I can no longer help you with this or any other X-Plane add-on :-/  but I believe a few X-Plane users who are AVSIM forum members use that aircraft too (?). Maybe you could get some feedback from them.

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That's a sad story,

 

When I buy a new addon, I first do some touch & goes without even touching the FMC or the autoflight system, all manual to see how the plane handles.

 

Then I do a test flight, but from airport A to airport B, preferably a 2 hour long flight. I have the impression that the VNAV system of any jet aircraft doesn't like low cruising altitudes such as 8000 feet and the FMC in general doesn't like flights from A to A, not that it can't be done.

 

As tonywob said, if something doesn't go as expected I ask on the forum or keep test-flying. 

 

I didn't like the emails you were getting and the fact they banned you from the forum. But at least you got your money back.

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Michael,

 

That is sad indeed!   For me it always gets back to the basic question of what price class the product falls into.   I agree that paying 59 bucks for an add-on is a lot of money and that suggests to me a product that actually has a properly working FMC in the very least since this is the heart of the aircraft nowadays.

 

I also don't want to try endless workarounds for issues that should have been addressed before release.   I don't want to do the developers' work for them.   I pay the money so that they can develop and I can enjoy hahaha.   I also agree that they shouldn't be so defensive and rather take the criticism to sort out the problem than treat the customer in that way.   That is not bad experience - that kind of reply is unacceptable really!

 

Be that as it may, at least you got your money back which is good.

 

Kind regards

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Thanks for your answers! I got my money back, that's correct, and I am happy with that. It really doesn't happen often that I am more or less fed up within an hour of testing.

In the case of this 747, the FMC in use, is based upon a certain payware addon that provides a FMC and CDU which can be put into many freeware and payware aircraft. As I wrote in the original topic in the vendor's forum, I bought this FMS addon too, a few years back, to use it with the x737. I already ran into some issues and didn't like the outcome back then.

Maybe that led to the fact, that I gave up on this 747 so fast, too.

A payware addon in that price range should be capable of doing base training patterns like that without any problems. In fact, all my preferred aircraft on both sim platforms can do that.

If I have to enter "800" to get a CRZ altitude of 8000 (which didn't work either by the way), or if I have to use special procedures to enter a route, this aircraft is not for me, and doesn't meet my expectations. Simple as that...

Anyways, this isn't about the technical side of the problem, but the way, I got treated as a customer. Fortunately, I cooled down again already and I know that I won't spend any money at that store again.

Even if that means that I'll probably miss some addons in the future.

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Don't lose faith, Michael.  

I can't go into "promotional/store details" for obvious reasons, but not all developers and stores are the same.  Unfortunately, you're only crime was to complain to Nicolas Taureaux (x-plane.org owner).  He hands out bans like candy to children.  

He is fiercely protective of his developers to the point where, according to him, the customer is always wrong...no matter what you show him.

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Don't lose faith, Michael.

I can't go into "promotional/store details" for obvious reasons, but not all developers and stores are the same. Unfortunately, you're only crime was to complain to Nicolas Taureaux (x-plane.org owner). He hands out bans like candy to children.

He is fiercely protective of his developers to the point where, according to him, the customer is always wrong...no matter what you show him.

You're right Goran!

I love X-Plane for its vivid community (and I really like your SAAB 340A by the way), and I won't give up on XPX for sure.

But I hate 2 things: Being treated like an idiot, and being confronted with lies! Maybe I am an user who doesn't need several days to find a conclusion. This "you asked for a refund after 5 minutes..." kind of thing, makes me mad...

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First, thank you for your comments regarding the Saab.   :good:

Second, best thing you can do is shrug it off.  Water off a ducks back.  It's a shame you went through this experience, but rest assured, being treated like an idiot doesn't make you an idiot.  You know the truth...we know the truth (by reading the quotes).  That's all that matters.

Lastly, go and fire up x-plane and take the Saab out for a spin.

:P

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I think there are too many simmers on the forums who confuse, well meaning, constructive critics with the trolls and inexperienced moaners. I hate it when a perfectly reasonable and pertinent critisism is met with disdain and aggression, like it's not possible to have an opinion that fires in the face of the majority, without being shouted down. On the other hand, it must be difficult for developers to accept criticism from customers, when they cherish their products with the same love and affection as their own child. I don't know what the answer is, but people should just try and be a little more tolerant of those who have legitimate gripes and when they share those issues on the forums in a respectful and well mannered way.

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Lastly, go and fire up x-plane and take the Saab out for a spin.

 

Slick son of a gun xD

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But I hate 2 things: Being treated like an idiot, and being confronted with lies! Maybe I am an user who doesn't need several days to find a conclusion. This "you asked for a refund after 5 minutes..." kind of thing, makes me mad...

 

Yeah, I know what you mean.

 

Sometimes the product is so bad that 5 minutes are enough to know it. But then again, you tested it for a few hours at least, right?

 

Also being treated as a noob isn't nice. Of course, if you put yourself on the developers side, they don't know your background or whether you know how to program an FMC or fly an aircraft in general. As a developer you can be treating with anything ranging from a 15 year old noob to a real 747 captain... they should proceed with caution.

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Yeah, I know what you mean.

 

Sometimes the product is so bad that 5 minutes are enough to know it. But then again, you tested it for a few hours at least, right?

 

Also being treated as a noob isn't nice. Of course, if you put yourself on the developers side, they don't know your background or whether you know how to program an FMC or fly an aircraft in general. As a developer you can be treating with anything ranging from a 15 year old noob to a real 747 captain... they should proceed with caution.

In that case, 45 minutes of testing were enough for me...

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When I saw the title of your post I knew exactly where you'd been...

 

I bought one add on from that place (actually two since I added the livery pack to the purchase) a high profile high dollar add on. Soon after I got banned for asking if the producer would be selling on another website (they had in the past of an earlier product so I simply asked if they intended to do so again in the future)

 

Oh yeah, that was a HUGE mistake. I was insulted like you, called a troll and told I wasn't welcome there.  So I deleted my account and chalked the aircraft up as a $70 loss since I would not receive any future updates or patches (this was just before 64bit release) I have never been been, nor will I ever be back at least under the current management.

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When I saw the title of your post I knew exactly where you'd been...

 

I bought one add on from that place (actually two since I added the livery pack to the purchase) a high profile high dollar add on. Soon after I got banned for asking if the producer would be selling on another website (they had in the past of an earlier product so I simply asked if they intended to do so again in the future)

 

Oh yeah, that was a HUGE mistake. I was insulted like you, called a troll and told I wasn't welcome there. So I deleted my account and chalked the aircraft up as a $70 loss since I would not receive any future updates or patches (this was just before 64bit release) I have never been been, nor will I ever be back at least under the current management.

Not receiving updates isn't right at all, what if you contacted the developer directly by email and explained the situation and gave your purchase info?

You have that right IMO

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Not receiving updates isn't right at all, what if you contacted the developer directly by email and explained the situation and gave your purchase info?

You have that right IMO

+1

 

Thats why I won't delete my account at their store! Even though that is exactly what I'd like to do, I've never seen such a poorly run business...

Luckily, some developers are selling their products directly through their own websites. But I wish that there were more vendors to choose from, just like we have it with MSFS add ons. (simmarket, just flight, Aerosoft, Flightsimstore, etc.)

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Guess I'm the minority as I've never had an issue and I routinely purchase products there, only contacted them once for an issue and someone quickly helped me out. I will say the OP did get a refund fairly easy and I doubt many companies would have been so gracious.

I do understand why the OP would want a refund as the 748 seems to be more of a WIP and should currently be considered a lite 747, but all the reviews seem to leave out a few things. The devs though seem passionate to fix and learn along the way.

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Yes, I think the team behind the 748 is passionate and willing to do their best to turn this aircraft into a very good add-on.

 

Mike, did you use their latest update released last week?

 

Unfortunately, none of the tubeliners I owned for X-Plane 10 could be considered a finished, self-contained product like the best add-ons of the type I had for FSX.

X-Plane rides well behind FSX in this area, but it is slowly approaching.

 

I didn't buy the FF 757, because the 777 was far behind my expectations specially given how much I payed for it, but have read the best about their 757, and of course the iXEG 737 appears to be the highest quality among all available so far ( in that class ).

 

I also heard the best about the FJSim 727.

 

The bar for X-Plane add-ons was still too high...

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Not receiving updates isn't right at all, what if you contacted the developer directly by email and explained the situation and gave your purchase info?

You have that right IMO

I did exactly that, right after they released the 64 bit update. They (developer) said they would help but were knee deep in beta testing their latest and it would need to be the following week.  I waited about 10 business days and nothing occurred so I asked again (these were direct email to the developer) Despite my request to avoid the .org they (probably pressed for time) sent the email string straight to good ole Nicolas where it promptly disappeared.

 

Needless to say I didn't buy their release when it came out of Beta which wasn't because I had anything against the developers (they acted like they wanted to help) but simply because it was sold exclusively at the .org. Perhaps I shouldn't have deleted my account but the whole incident left me infuriated as a paying customer and the fact that his store continued to spam the hell out of my inbox with advertisements after he insulted me and told me I wasn't welcome pushed me over my limit.

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That store pays people to write positive reviews and the guy that runs the place is not at all interested in producing quality add-ons.

 

All he cares about is a potential customer not buying that add-on because of your comments and for that reason you needed to be removed, 

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Some of the comments IMO seem kinda harsh, I mean they host a ton of files for free and give you something like 100 re-downloads of your paid products. I also notice routine sales at their store. Not sure how long they have been around but they seem to have stayed the course with helping X-plane and its 3PD reach a bigger audience. My forum posts have always been met with a polite,honest answer from a few mods. Once again I have never dealt with the owner or had an issue that wasn't quickly resolved. Have I bought a few items I wish I wouldn't have, yeah, but that's just from personal taste.

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Vincent

Not everyone has a bad experience at the org.  There are obviously people, like yourself, who have had a trouble free "existence" at their store and forums and you should consider yourself fortunate. 

There are far too many people who HAVE had a bad experience and this cannot be ignored.  This screams that there is a problem with their customer service.  There are ways to deal with criticisms.  Insulting the customer is not the way to do it.  

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Forgive me if it has been mentioned, but I've read the thread and I cannot see what store is being discussed here? As someone new to X-Plane it would be good to know which stores to be weary of. And if you had such a bad experience why are you protecting them by suppressing their name?

 

We aren't living in some totalitarian state are we? Opinions of retail experiences are allowed (or perhaps they aren't on avsim).


EDIT: And as I type the above I see Goran has replied and finally mentioned which store it is :)

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We aren't living in some totalitarian state are we? Opinions of retail experiences are allowed (or perhaps they aren't on avsim).

Avsim is great in this respect they allow for a healthy discussion of customer experience both good and bad so no need to worry about that here. 

 

The same cannot be said about the .org.  It's not unheard of to be banned there for saying something negative about them on another forum. Seeing how XP is largely dependent on freeware plug in's, utilities, scenery etc. and that the .ORG has a large library of it available,  many users will just sit tight lipped versus running the risk of a reprisal for saying anything negative about the place here or elsewhere.

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Now I start to see and feel the downside of the whole story:

I wanted to buy a livery expansion pack for the B752 and contacted the developer through their homepage.

Unfortunately, I got no answer. So, as it looks, there won´t be any future updates for me on the T7 and the 757, software I paid 140$ for... 

I really looked forward to fly the new Bell 407 in XPX, until I found out, that the only vendor for it is the store I got banned from.

I contacted the developer of it through their homepage and asked, if there might be any other way of purchasing the Bell 407, and unfortunately, now answer yet.

:(

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