View Full Version : Apex customer service is terrible

03/26/2017, 05:29 AM
If you value your time don't WASTE your money on an apex. I bought a new apex Neptune and have had nothing but problems since day one and apex customer service basically treats u like you're lying about everything in an effort to not replace stuff. They won't trust me i installed the probes correctly. So you have to be by your apex Monday through Friday 9-5 est. already a pain because like most people I have a job. Then 30 minutes later the "technician" who is just a kid who goes through a printed out checklist and knows nothing about fishtanks. My salinity probe and temp probes are bad. Ok. So now I have to get them a copy of my receipt. But you register the product online when u start using it. So y do I need to send a receipt. But I do it and now they won't send me new probes until I send in the bad ones so they can diagnose them. If they determine they're bad they'll send me new ones. So what was the 30 minute phone call about? And how long am I supposed to go with out these probes?? I would not recommend this GARBAGE PRODUCT to anyone.

03/26/2017, 07:07 AM
That stinks that you are having a bad experience with them. But apex is know for the best customer service in the industry... However what you are looking for is what is known as an "advance replacement" and I do wish more companies offer that. Most companies do require a receipt even if you register the item. I don't know why that is. but this is common. Most companies also want the bad part for testing prior to sending you a new one. So I would not chalk it up to bad customer service.

I have had apex return calls and emails on weekends quite often. So I am not sure why there was an issue there.

You may have gotten "the new guy" who is just getting his feet wet. That is too bad but is happens.

03/26/2017, 07:21 AM
Striperviper what you experienced is extremely common in the aquarium industry. These are not huge large enterprises that can afford to provide the support you may be used to say in the computer tech industry like a Dell or HP.

When you register a product that does not at all say you actually purchased a product as the original owner or prove when you bought it showing it still in a warranty period. That's common to require a proof of purchase across all industries.

You will find other companies will require and provide the same type or worse support then what you have just explained. Neptune is one of the few that will go an extra mile and try and remote into your system to try and figure out whats wrong.

03/26/2017, 07:32 AM
large enterprise or not for $800 that should be baked into the product

I love my Apex, but i am nervous if i do an upgrade. I have only once had an issue and like you it required sending it back...I'm not a fan but it is the process and with the limited pool of vendors you do it.

I would always be open to paying a holding fee so there isn't a wait in between. I have done that with Ecotech..and that is the customer service that everyone should model.

03/26/2017, 07:36 AM
Yep I get it but that's not what the majority in this industry is like regardless of how much you paid. It's not just Neptune.

That's why I always have at least two of everything on hand. I have even always had two base units. Buy one used. I have had to send my base unit in once before and that saved me going manual which is something I could do.

Lets say they will even cross ship like Ecotech. You're still out the equipment from the time of failure to the time you get a replacement. It's good to have a backup.

03/26/2017, 09:01 AM
It's good to have a backup.

True, Since (like many reefers" I am too dependent on my controller, I purchased a backup base unit. I also have a backup return pump, heater, light, ate and other items. I wish more vendors in the industry would embrace "advance replacements" Simply give them a credit card and they only charge it if you fail to send back the bad unit or if nothing wrong was found with the unit. Kessil did this for me when I broke the plastic back on my 160. I was impressed.

But this is not bad customer service to do what is common in the industry. And Neptune Systems is not known for bad customer service.

03/26/2017, 04:37 PM
OK,I do not usually go to this length of explanation, but since this customer has been a bit bombastic, I thought a detailed and accurate account of this customer's interaction with us should be put out into public view. It is the weekend but I was able to dig into this case and can provide some insight - at least based on the ticket notes. From what I can tell everything aligned to our policies and you can read this and then decide for yourselves if this vitriolic post was warranted or not.

First of all, it should be known that our "official" hours of support are M-F 9-5PM PT. We are not Dell, LG, Sony, or some multi-million-dollar-funded startup company. That said, many of us still try and jump in, off the clock, and help out fellow reefkeepers like myself. In fact, that is exactly what happened here.

Last Friday, at just after 5PM, we received a case from this customer, J. M. Our Eastern US Sales manager, Tom, helped him out by holding his hand and getting him all set up on Apex Fusion. Tom then noted in the ticket history that this customer's temp probe was reading 20.

As many of you Apex users out there know, the temp probes themselves rarely fail and getting a 20 out of the box usually means the customer has not plugged in the temp probe or has it plugged into the wrong port (many times they put them in the network or vspd ports). With this in mind, our support manager sent an email to J.M. at 9:28PM (over four hours after we'd closed) giving him some troubleshooting help. The email is below.

A little more than an hour later J.M. responded that "Tried the plug and reboot still 20".

The next day, Saturday, on his day off, Jon then emailed the customer offering to set up a scheduled phone support session with him that coming week. He gave him instructions for setting up the screen sharing software and said that we would be contacting him with a time/date slot.

J.M. did not respond to that email.

On Wednesday it appears he called Tom via his private phone number and told Tom that his salinity probe was also now not working.

J.M. then emailed and said that he would call in on Thursday (3/24) at 2PM. We responded that we already had an appointment at that time but we would try and slot him in between two appointments at 2:30PM.

After an issue with the customer giving the wrong phone number, we finally were able to take a look at the customer's Apex and felt that it was likely a faulty temp probe (or some sort of customer error) and the salinity probe was not giving consistent readings so we began the RMA process.

Our RMA process requires that we get proof of purchase. We requested the information for the RMA and the customer responded "This is a very tedious process. I spent a lot of $ on this system. 40% of the probes came not working. I would think your company would just send these probes and get the ball rolling. This is ridiculous. Call me to get the serial #s. I've had just about enough of your terrible service. "

When a product is this new, we include a return shipping label with the RMA information we send so it does not cost the customer for shipping. Also, we will offer to send the replacement parts out with a CC deposit. When the returned parts arrive, assuming no customer abuse damage and they are indeed found to be faulty, a credit is put back on their card.

Yesterday (Saturday) he sent us the proof of purchase info. Even though it was not a work day for our support team, we sent him his RMA and return shipping label. J.M. was not happy - he responded "Are u mailing me my replacement probes in the mean time??"

We then responded with our policy (stated above) and J.M. last response was: "I want a phone call from someone in management. The customer service I am receiving is unacceptable. Call me at (xxx) yyy-zzzz. I have jumped through endless hoops to get this unit fixed. I spent nearly one thousand dollars on this unit and it has two bad probes. And I feel like your company is dragging their feet in getting it up and running. I spent like 30 minutes on the phone with a "technician " to determine the probes are bad. Now you're basically telling me that was a waste of time. I'm going on every forum I belong to and letting people know how your company treats its customers. -- Actually, the technician was establishing that the Apex was likely not the culprit by doing some low-level diagnostics.

We did not drag our feet. We responded to his original request last weekend. We could have had everything figured out on Tuesday of last week. J.M. did not get back to us until Wednesday and could not talk to us until Thursday. The customer did not provide proof of purchase until yesterday. Nothing could have been done any faster on our end. The customer though could have cut three days out of the process by responding and getting a support session on Tuesday.

The fact that we have west coast support hours actually helps the east coast customers. Our techs are available until 8PM ET. Furthermore, our team - including myself - go far beyond our business hours to help customers.

I am not going to use this thread to hash out whether or not this customer thinks our policies are adequate or just - only to let everyone know what the actually course of events were in this case. I am sorry that J.M. may have received faulty equipment - I hope we are able to get him up and running as fast as possible.

03/26/2017, 05:13 PM
I work a 40 hrs a week on the phones in tech support for a major medical equiptment co.some customers just don't want to hear anything. they want a new unit, even when their stuff is a few years old.

03/26/2017, 05:22 PM
First of all, it should be known that our "official" hours of support are M-F 9-5PM PT.
. Furthermore, our team - including myself - go far beyond our business hours to help customers.


All very true. I've received email communication several times outside of those hours and weekends. Though I wasn't offered cross shipping of any kind but I didn't ask for it either. I had a spare so it wasn't a big deal.

03/26/2017, 09:02 PM
Have had nothing but awesome customer service from Neptune. Definitely not a garbage product.

03/28/2017, 12:38 PM
I tried emailing Neptune a while back after my Apex went dead after a huge storm that took out my internet router. I never got a reply back from them. So my Apex has been sitting unplugged for over a year slowly rusting away...

03/28/2017, 12:43 PM
I tried emailing Neptune a while back after my Apex went dead after a huge storm that took out my internet router. I never got a reply back from them. So my Apex has been sitting unplugged for over a year slowly rusting away...

One email? That's all the time you put into fixing the issue? No phone calls or other emails?

03/28/2017, 03:42 PM
After 20 years, I needed an excuse to take a break.