In a previous post, I pointed out the problems with a beta test program being offered by Ricavision to early users of its SideShow-enabled Media Center remote control. After that post appeared, I received this e-mail from Ricavision’s Diane Proctor, who had not yet read my post and was replying to my original e-mail. I reprint the message here with her permission:
Dear Mr. Bott,
I am sorry for your frustration and completely agree with your statement about paying full price for a beta test unit. First off please allow me to indulge in clarifying a few key factors. First, the ‘beta’ test unit is not just a beta unit at all, it is actually a mass production unit that we are seeking user end experiences for so that we may fine tune any areas or glitches that may have snuck past us. All of the components in the beta unit at the present are identical to that of the mass production unit. Secondly, the price that we are asking for is not the retail price of $349 (I know that is what is stated below so you can understand my frustration) but at the discounted price of $249, a savings of $100. If the unit does indeed need to be corrected you are more than welcome to exchange the unit for a final mass production unit shortly after when they become available to the public.
The reason that the product ship dates have been pushed back is not due to faulty components it is due to the rigorous testing that we are currently experiencing. The remote is undergoing FCC, BQB (Bluetooth), and Safety testing to be sold worldwide. The remote is the first of its kind resulting in these entities having to alter and create new diagnostics to properly test the device. We want to ensure that we are providing the highest quality product possible for the consumer, which I know you can appreciate. I do hope you reconsider the beta testing and/or continue to stay in contact with us here at Ricavision International, Inc.
Even with an $85 discount ($100 off the purchase price minus the $15 shipping costs), I’m still not interested in purchasing what is essentially an untested unit that doesn’t offer a money-back guarantee. If Ricavision wants to send me a review unit, I’ll be happy to test it and then return it at the end of the review period.
Meanwhile, if anyone takes them up on the beta testing offer, let me know your impressions. I’ll be happy to publish a review here.
3 thoughts on “Ricavision responds”
Reminds me of a SNL sketch where two pizza restaurant employees are pitching their joint for a TV commercial. One of them proudly exclaims: “If you find any broken glass in your pizza, we’ll give you a coupon for 50¢ off a large soft drink!”
Of course, the two guys have a stereotypical New Joisey/ Italian-American accent. I think one of them was played by Adam Sandler.
At least you got a response. Last week I wrote to the two contacts at Ricavision who had contacted me about participating in the beta, and sent a link to your blog, thinking it only fair that they know about it and see the frustrated comments from you, me, and others. Not a peep in return.
I don’t know what to make of Ms. Proctor’s claim that the price is $249, even though it clearly says $349 in the acceptance letter and in two places on the order form. If it was in fact a mistake, you’d think they’d send a followup letter of correction to all beta invitees.
One thing remains clear from Ms. Proctor’s letter: No money back. If the device doesn’t work, they’ll give you another one. If you don’t like it, tough.
Count me out.
In response to your final statement, you are correct. The return policy does not in fact offer the return policy of money back but does guarentee a mass production unit if you are not satisfied or are expierencing technical problems. I am sorry that for what ever reason that you were not responded to in a timely fashion by whom ever you contacted. If you, or anyone for that matter, would like to contact me please feel free to personally email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be more than happy to answer any questions. Sadly my email server went down on Sunday the 11th and was not restored until late Tuesday the 13th. Any and all emails sent to me during that time were never received. I guarantee that you are not alone in the frustration of unanswered emails and nor am I. I look forward to hearing from you.
Retail Assistant Manager
Ricavision International, Inc.
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