B777ER

Black Marble - Know Before You Buy

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So, shame on me for apparently not reading this well and want to let everyone else know before you buy. If you are thinking of buying the new lighting system, Black Marble from Chris Bell which is the base package and vector (their Orbx compatibility patch was just released so it should all work now) you have to pay extra for support. Yes, I spent $130 dollars on 3 products and when I asked to have access to the support forum I was told  this, "support section is visible to all members who purchased support plan by default, we need to figure out how to enable this for members who don't have support in their account (3 months access), ill have our online services director look into this,"  So here I am with $130 worth of products and no access to the support forum. I already saw one user ask a question in the general forum and was told to take it to the support forum. It is just pure and simple greed to charge us additional money to even access a support forum. I get charging for telephone support but this is beyond pale. I shall never buy a single thing from him again. You've been warned.

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I must say I'm truly interested in this product but I have held off until someone says its compatible with Orbx .Reading the public forums I am so confused about how it can dovetail with Orbx.A patch has been released but I don't want to spend hours of reading to get it to work.I am just waiting on a straightforward installer which tells me what settings to use etc.Hopefully one day!!.You must feel very bitter and others on here have felt the same and have just given up.Such a shame really.

 

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30 minutes ago, B777ER said:

It is just pure and simple greed to charge us additional money to even access a support forum. I get charging for telephone support but this is beyond pale. I shall never buy a single thing from him again. You've been warned.

That's why Aerosoft pulled his products from their shop altogether. 

Kind regards, Michael

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The option to purchase support is enabled by default on the purchase page. So, while not being interested in getting into the morals of having to purchase support, the option is there and you must have chosen to decline. It is not hidden from the buyer.

Just to keep some balance in the debate.

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The idea that they charge you extra for online support tells me they don't stand fully behind their product

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I thought Chris said that every customer does get support for a specific amount of time before he needs to subscribe to another year of support, product updates, etc. Upon going through the thread below, it seems you don't get any support unless you also tick the additional $4.99 support package which is 50% discounted for the first 2 years, like that makes up for the premium pricing without any support built into it. 

I'd mentioned in same thread how us Night Environment customers were pretty much left in the dark when Mr Chris Bell decided not to carry on developing his NE products for P3Dv4 without charging everyone full price again for what is essentially, just a point update to make it compatible and give users the flexibility of options he had originally advertised but never delivered. I've wasted plenty of my money on it so I totally understand and can feel the disappointment you must feel with this brand.

It may seem like I have an axe to grind with Chris but I can't help but feel cheated which is why I take every opportunity to warn anybody that looks into his product line.

Anyway, there are those that will sing praises all day (I was one of them when Night Environment series were launched) but I, too, decided to no longer support such business strategies. Good luck to him.

 

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Just now, DavidP said:

The option to purchase support is available is enabled by default on the purchase page. So, while not being interested in getting into the morals of having to purchase support, the option is there and you must have chosen to decline. It is not hidden from the buyer.

Just ro keep some balance.

Yes you are correct of course. I glossed over the fine print and assumed it was for some extra support like via phone or the like. 

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Personally, I think Chris (the developer) could use a healthy course in both business school and customer relations training.  I will be surprised if sales are very good for his products, he'd likely do far better with sales by reducing the pricing significantly and not charging for support.

My opinion is that it's ridiculous to pay more for his products than what I paid for FSX and P3D combined - and I'm pretty sure a lot more work went into the flight sim software itself that what Chris has done.  Then compare them to any payware airliner... same thing, and I'd argue one will get far more use out of the airliner.  I just don't know what Chris is thinking.

Anyway, just my two cents.

 

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Its Shameful. You should not have to pay for a Publisher supporting its own product.

Thanks for letting us all know, Noted and will never buy.

Click to add a support plan, what a joke.......

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I just checked the website and it says 3 months of free support.  I would think that amount of time would get anyone up and running.  I figure if I were to make a purchase of $130 that a purchase of $135 wouldn't kill me to help out a small developer.

I guess if I saw such push back on 5 bucks I would just include it automatically in the purchase and state you get one year of support included.  But it's not my business and all developers can set up their business model as they please.  Best of luck to 'em.

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So you guys are too cheap for the extra 2$ while purchasing and then complain about it afterwards?

avsim at its best :'-)

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1 hour ago, DaveCT2003 said:

Personally, I think Chris (the developer) could use a healthy course in both business school and customer relations training.  I will be surprised if sales are very good for his products, he'd likely do far better with sales by reducing the pricing significantly and not charging for support.

My opinion is that it's ridiculous to pay more for his products than what I paid for FSX and P3D combined - and I'm pretty sure a lot more work went into the flight sim software itself that what Chris has done.  Then compare them to any payware airliner... same thing, and I'd argue one will get far more use out of the airliner.  I just don't know what Chris is thinking.

Anyway, just my two cents.

 

I fully agree, I for one am tempted by what appear to be very good products but am put off by the pricing structure and this support business. 

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I have been tempted to purchase Black Marble as well and must admit, the reason I have been so hesitate is NOT the cost, or paying for support. It has been the developer's direct interaction with potential purchasers. Not that he has been unpleasant, angry or ugly necessarily (lord knows we have a good bit of ego in our development community :-) ). More that he has, more than once, been catty about explaining exactly what the products are and how they work.

I consider myself pretty knowledgeable about the Microsoft ESP sim family and this developer's website seemed like it was designed to deliberately obscure exactly what the products do create its effects. This marketing projection alone was not too disconcerting, particularly on a publicly facing website.

However, here at Avsim, his responses to perfectly normal, nicely asked questions about the product have come off as condescending and clandestine. In some cases, saying outright, come to our forum and THEN l answer your question.

Just a whole creepy feel to me and why I have not purchased the product despite what appears to be a nice effect. Simply one opinion for what it's worth.

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2 hours ago, B777ER said:

So, shame on me for apparently not reading this well and want to let everyone else know before you buy. If you are thinking of buying the new lighting system, Black Marble from Chris Bell which is the base package and vector (their Orbx compatibility patch was just released so it should all work now) you have to pay extra for support. Yes, I spent $130 dollars on 3 products and when I asked to have access to the support forum I was told  this, "support section is visible to all members who purchased support plan by default, we need to figure out how to enable this for members who don't have support in their account (3 months access), ill have our online services director look into this,"  So here I am with $130 worth of products and no access to the support forum. I already saw one user ask a question in the general forum and was told to take it to the support forum. It is just pure and simple greed to charge us additional money to even access a support forum. I get charging for telephone support but this is beyond pale. I shall never buy a single thing from him again. You've been warned.

Message taken here.

Cheers, Ed

 

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I have bought both BM base as BM vector  + 2 year support .

Imho top of the art products which normally would have cost much more compared to other addons and all it's features.

So supporting the developer into the future by paying a support fee is no issue for me.

Also Prosim is changing towards a purchase price with 1 year of updates and then an update fee every year.

Fs is a niche market and I want the best products and I want them to stay for a long time...

 

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Hi,

The way some of you are reacting, you'd think you would require 24/7 tech support for night lighting and therefore must pay this fee. How much tech support is going to be needed, we are talking lights, not a sophisticated aircraft. Michael, I would be interested to know how you know that Aerosoft pulled their products due to GREED, do you work for Aerosoft and/or are the owner/operator?. That's a strong statement to make about a company, I'd like to see the proof/resources you used to make such a statement.

For those that want to know if this product works with Orbx, it works 100%. I should know, I have it running fine on my $100 thousand dollar flight deck... and I run numerous tests before "ANY" piece of software remains in my setup. "IT WORKS WITH ORBX"!

Personally, as an end user I could care less what company made what as far as 3rd. party addons are concerned. What I'm looking for as far as my flight sim experience is concerned is getting as close to reality as I can, PERIOD. If you enjoy dawn, dusk and night flight as much as I do... this purchase is a must have.

I left KTEB in NJ at night, followed the FDR drive South to the Brooklyn bridge, then followed the BQE to the Belt Parkway out to the Southern State Parkway, drifted over to the LIE for a landing at KISP. It's "NEVER" been any better than this at night!

See for yourself:

 

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Thank you Mike .Do the installers include the patch now and include instructions in a read me concerning what has to be accomplished vis a vis Orbx

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Hi,

In your account you'll see the Vector download and below that you will see the compatibility patch. Chris placed instructions with pictures showing exactly what to do on the forum. It's simple to follow and to get setup.

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Something else I'd like to know before I buy is how big (disk space) each of the modules are. Wasn't able to find that info on the blackmarble page.

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Yes, I was very excited when this product was released.

Now, support wise, I won't recommend purchasing from this developer.
His support is a joke and asking additional money for that is a pure shame.
But I must say that despite his very aggressive, fuzzy and unfriendly attitude, his last product Black Marble is a good addition for those like me who like flying at dusk or night.

Result is indeed impressive

kWO1iA.png

This is after applying the Orbx patch released today.
Result is very good but it will be my last purchase from this guy, no matter his talent.
 

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1 minute ago, David Roch said:

Yes, I was very excited when this product was released.

Now, support wise, I won't recommend purchasing from this developer.
His support is a joke and asking additional money for that is a pure shame.
But I must say that despite his very aggressive, fuzzy and unfriendly attitude, his last product Black Marble is a good addition for those like me who like flying at dusk or night.

Result is indeed impressive

kWO1iA.png

This is after applying the Orbx patch released today.
Result is very good but it will be my last purchase from this guy, no matter his talent.
 

David, that's a very disingenuous comment given the amount of times you have posted on the Black Marble forum and Chris has responded to and helped you!

I decided against the extra support (beyond the 3-month initial period) as hopefully, it will all be working perfectly after I apply the newly-released ORBX patch.

Yes, Chris needs help describing his products clearly and concisely and I'm not a fan of the modular support package, but he has helped several customers quickly and the Black Marble product is excellent.

For simmers interested in the product, just read the forums over at BM and then decide which packages to purchase, if you like the look of the product.

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ok - we've voiced opinions and before it gets out of hand, I'm shutting this down. Should anyone want to continue discussion of paid tech support - please use Hangar Chat.

Thanx,

 

Vic

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