Here are the systems we were asked to re-do in just 4 weeks between Jan. 13th 2014 and Feb. 13th 2014. This unfortunately has been going on for years.
We are sometimes told our solutions are too expensive; customers then go elsewhere hoping to find systems for less. Meanwhile our phone rings every few days with very unhappy people asking us to please come and “make it right”. Frustrating for us as professional systems contractors, and very costly for anyone having to purchase these systems and services twice.
Every web site from every brand claims to be the best value, best features, best everything… Given the overwhelming choices available, most customers barely have time to research which “brands” of technology are out there, let alone what to buy. People are better served focusing on finding a company that has the experience to properly implement these systems, and spending less time focusing on a particular brand of equipment. Poor system design and poor execution will torpedo any system in a hurry, regardless of brands or price level.
Residence on Lakeshore Road. Estimated $ 10,000 to $ 46,000. to re-do.
System was originally done by a Kelowna Electronic Systems Contractor 2010.
The workmanship, equipment rack, wire terminations, programming and system design all need to be re-done. We sent the programming and photographs to Savant Systems, the manufacturer of the electronics for comment; “They put the power supplies in a drawer!?!”, and “the system is messy at best”. It is apparent that the people who did this system do not know the first thing about properly designing and installing electronic systems. Kind of like a roofer not knowing you need roofing nails to install roofing materials.
This audio video system is becoming intermittent – works one day, does not work the next, and it is getting worse as time goes on. If this was a roof it would just be starting to leak, and to fix it properly the entire roof would have to be re-done. This is what is required with their electronics.
Here is a drawer in the equipment rack packed full of power supplies. These power supplies of course generate heat, so they have been at 150 degrees or more for years. They are all starting to fail and have to be replaced. Plus there is low voltage wiring mixed with high voltage wiring – a definite no no.
Electronic components haphazardly jammed into the back of the rack, and starting to fall apart in general.
Quail Ridge $ 32,000. To fix
System originally done by a Kelowna Home Theatre Company.
“It has never worked correctly, they have been back a half dozen times. We have finally given up. After 2 years of it not working we want to hire you to re-do it and make it all work properly”.
After we were finished: “Wow. Everything works like it should have in the first place. You guys are genius. Thank you”
Devices that are supposed to be mounted in a wall are not – an electrical hazard. Messy to say the least, a ridiculously bad job overall.
This shows a video converter and video wires touching the 220 volt primary electrical feed coming into the main panel from the street. Another electrical hazard.
Equipment Racks Before and After.
Gallaghers Canyon Kelowna $ 800.
Retail stereo store sold the customer an audio video receiver, but it was the wrong one needed for the system. Then even came up and for $ 40 installed the receiver, however they did not do it properly, plus they miss-adjusted it. It never worked right, then we got the call to do it properly. It is a lot harder to deal with this stuff than it first appears, and even people working in stereo stores don’t know enough to do it right.
West Kelowna $ 8,000.
The builder recommended they use the electrician, who was replaced by us half way through the job. Speaker placements, overall system design and wiring were all poorly executed. Since the home was still under construction we were able to modify things to get it all working as the customer envisioned without major costs. We re-do systems done by this particular electrical contractor about once a year.
Sicamous – Simple Media Room $ 5,500.
Originally done by a Vernon based Audio Video Contractor, but little of it was done properly. Some items were not even hooked up, plus the system was poorly conceived to begin with. One of the “brand new” pieces of electronics was 7 years old at the time of installation. We added items, re-wired the entire system, added a remote control and made it all work properly.
Kelowna Architect’s Personal Home $ $ 3,500 to $ 15,000.
System done by a Kelowna Entertainment Systems Company. The cost range is from simply tidying up wiring to completely re-wiring half the house, requiring substantial drywall repairs and more.
This is the how the contractor left the system. It works as well as it looks. Possibly the worst we have ever seen.
Notice the electrical inspection certificate next to the wiring mess. Wow!
High Point Show Home $ 20,000 to $ 30,000. To fix
Originally done by a well know Regional Electronics Retailer. They were fired part way through the job and it needs a complete re-do. New system design, new equipment, new wiring and more. The builder ultimately decided only to tidy up some of the wires so it looks decent. “Can’t spend good money after bad in this show home. Next time we will do things correctly”.
We re-do systems by this company every 4 or 5 months, year after year – here is another job of theirs we re-did last year.
Kelowna – 3 Room Audio Video System $ 130. To fix initially, $ 4000. to come
Kelowna Based Audio Video Company. This customer called us to come and make it all work properly – “They told me it would be around $ 5000. Their bill was $ 15,000. Plus it does not work”.
His system was programmed to operate the audio and video in 1 room, but in 2 other rooms, things were hooked up but he could only operate the TV, not the ceiling speakers or his apple TV or CD Player. I took under 10 minutes to program properly.
They had also used the cheapest no-name cables, connectors and power bars. Anything that was hidden from the customer was the cheapest available. This keeps the “cost” low, and makes their “bid” seem like good value. The result is a lot of customers get duped. We see this all the time.
Vernon – Originally done by Vernon Electronics Supplier. $ 65,000 to fix (at least)
Customer got a quote from Beyond Audio inc. and decided to go with the builder recommendation. “We have worked with this guy a few times and he will do a good job”. He did not, and after the customer moved in he found that almost nothing worked properly. This original contractor failed to get things working so he was fired. Customer told us “it has never worked properly, no matter how many times he comes back he can never get it working completely, so we have given up”.
The entire system was incorrectly designed from the start. It all has to be replaced.
Kelowna – Woodland Hills – Originally done by Electrical Contractor with Audio Video Division and “Expertise”.
This home has a Multi-room audio video system plus some lighting control – none of which has ever worked properly.
We are slowly getting things up and running properly. It is a mess and very difficult to deal with in general. No proper system design, no documentation, no follow up service, no “expertise” at all. We have had to essentially start from scratch and re-construct the entire system.
Why does this happen so frequently?
If this was the roofing industry, roofs would be leaking. Leaking roofs are very easy to understand for anyone, and we can all easily see the result. Soon after it happens insurance companies and their lawyers get involved and the situation self corrects.
In technology things are more complicated.
There is no barrier to entry in the industry – NONE. Any idiot with a business card can claim to be an electronic systems expert. Throw out a few acronyms – HDMI, Cat6, iPad and anyone can sound like they know what they are talking about. The vast majority of people in this industry have no real training.
You can’t necessarily see the problem. The wiring might look OK, but perhaps the functionality is intermittent. Software programming and electrons are invisible so we can’t all stand around and point to the problem.
People don’t know what to expect and don’t know how to verbalise their expectations in the first place. Constant change and a massive range of possibilities keep expectations fluid and difficult to nail down.
There is no oversight. Think your builder actually knows a great Electronic systems guy from a bad one? As long as they show up on time, and the wiring looks OK, the builder will proceed as he does with other trades. The electronics are completed after the customer moves into the home, and if they do not call the builder to complain he will remain oblivious. Sometimes it is 2 or 3 years before the frustrated customer calls us and there is little chance the builder knows anything about it.
In order for us to compete on price we too could use the cheapest parts available, hide the shoddy workmanship, not bother with continuing education and certification but that is not how we do things.
The service and expertise we provide can be difficult to find elsewhere, and if you think hiring Beyond Audio is expensive, try hiring these companies.
Mike Ohman – Certified Electronic Systems Designer
BTW – Each example is from a different company, they have all been in business for years, and continue to operate throughout the valley. None of them are certified electronic systems designers, none have anything but the most basic certification if they have any at all, and all are significantly less expensive (at least at first) than Beyond Audio.
Smart Home Systems Design System Design is Important.A few years ago I was at an industry trade show talking to an electronics engineer who had designed an audio video remote control that, in our opinion, needed improving. This...