Friday, November 13, 2015

ICStation [Final Update–Refund Received]

I got interested in Arduino towards the beginning of this year and ICStation came up in some Google Plus groups over and over again, so I decided to check out their site. They carry a wide assortment of Arduino related boards and accessories.  So I bought an Ethernet Shield for my Arduino UNO from them.  After a short week and a half it arrived then I tried to use it, it didn't work at all!  Turns out after putting the board under a USB microscope, that there were shorts of solder beads across about 6 of the pins of the main chip, I contacted their Support and was told to try to de-solder them myself??

That is when I should have just known that they had bad Quality Control and just forgot about my $20.  But, that isn't what I did, after several more email threads, I finally got them to agree to send me another one as a replacement.  In the course of the next week, I created a wish list on their site and kept debating whether to trust that this issue was a one time thing or place another order to see if it got better...again I chose wrong.  The replacement board came and this time I looked at it under the USB microscope first and guess what I found, more shorted pins with solder beads.  Once again I contacted Support, and asked for a Refund, after sending them pictures of the shorts through my microscope.  This has been the same woman, Wanita, that I have been exchanging emails with, she asked me to try to de-solder the shorts again and I explained that I have neither the tools or the knowledge to deal with SMT chips.

Stupid but I then ordered other items to the tune of around $100 over the course of the next 3 months. Yes, I was na├»ve thinking that something would change this time, but they had cool stuff at good prices.  In May I ordered a Nano clone and it worked for about a week, then stopped being detected but either Windows 7 or 8.  We traded emails back and forth for a short time, and later I received a replacement, but it failed to work at all.  I asked if this was a Genuine FTDI and if they could instead send me a CH340 chip based Nano, I never received another response from them at all!!

Nothing for going on 5 months now and So I decided to write this Blog piece and hope to warn others against Supporting ICStation in the future.

The Moral of this story is, go with your instinct and if it looks too good to be true, it probably is!

Update #1
Late last night I actually received an email response, from a support member name Sherry.
She said the Wanita resigned and she is now taken over her duties and mentioned that she saw my posts on Google Plus and the post.

So, one of my issues is now being looked into, there may be hope yet.

Update #2
I received an email from Sherry that she has contacted the Supplier and will take about 5 days to get a new board ready to be shipped to me.  So things are now moving and I hope to get resolution to the other issues soon.

Update #3
I contacted the ICS Station Google Plus account Person/People and after some back and forth and sending her/them emails detailing out that remaining issues, they stopped responding all together.

So, even though they offered to help, initially that all dried up and they still have horrible Customer Service.

You have been informed!

 

Final Update – Refund Received!

Just hours after posting Update #3 I was contacted by ICStation and I received a Refund in the amount for the remaining 2 items that were malfunctioning from the start.  It took a year plus, but since I am a Taurus, I am much more stubborn then any of the Chinese zodiac. 

They indicated while waiting for confirmation of the PayPal transfer, that Visuino is popular among some of their people.  So, maybe Boian can expect some sales from ICStation when they buy some more licensees…

  Winking smile 

They hope to improve their support mechanism so others don’t have to go through what I did.