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Can I explain a few incidents that I have had recently, as a warning to you? This is the most recent issue:
I recently bought a digital picture frame as a gift for a friend. I also bought an ‘Aria’ branded 4gb USB Stick for it, to hold the pictures. My friend loaded her pictures onto the USB stick and plugged it in to the frame, but nothing happened. She brought it back to me and I checked the memory stick. All was well, so I reformatted it to NTFS (From FAT32) to see if this would help. Nope, still didn't work. I tried my ‘Aria’ branded USB stick and still nothing. I then tried an SD Card and it worked. So I concluded that the photo frame must have a fault with the USB port, as it clearly confirms that it supports USB Sticks (with no specific USB vendor approval list). I took the picture frame back to Aria and told them my dilemma. I was advised (by their hideously arrogant and un-empathetic staff) that they would have to charge me £2.99 to test it, but they would refund this if the picture frame was indeed faulty. I VERY reluctantly agreed. (What else could I do?????) They tested it with a 16gb Sandisk USB stick and it worked. I explained that the ‘Aria’ branded stick I had with me didn't work and they helpfully offered to test the USB Stick, if I agreed to pay ANOTHER £2.99 with the same terms and conditions outlined above. I explained that the USB stick would work on their PC and I objected to having to pay the value of the USB Stick, for them to test it and tell me it functions correctly. So, in a vain attempt to appeal to their humanity, I asked what they thought the problem could be, only to be met with a shrug of the shoulders and the helpful retort. "I can test the stick for you if you want, but I will have to charge you £2.99 if it isn’t faulty?"
Now, that is pretty poor service but the next example is going to shock you further:
I went to Aria to buy some components, to upgrade my desktop. I bought an Asrock Dual Vista MB along with a new Q6600 CPU, so I could use my legacy AGP Graphics Card (X800 PRO) and 2 x 1gb Corsair XMS DDR1 RAM. I built the PC and found I couldn't get the PC to install Windows. It kept crashing midway through install on both Vista and XP. I managed to flash the BIOS to the latest version, but still no joy. I tried a new PSU. 1 stick of RAM at a time in different slots. Nothing. I then tried a new optical drive. Still wouldn't work. I then tried an IDE drive, a Raptor and a standard SATA. It still wouldn't work. So I went back to Aria and bought 2 x 1gb of Corsair Value RAM, ran memtest086 but everything checked out OK as it did with my legacy RAM. I then tried a new PCI-E Graphics Card, but it still wouldn't work. (I think you will agree that I had pretty much tried everything that I could) In the end, I gave up, took the CPU and MB back to Aria to ask for help. Well, I guess you know what is coming next. The testing fee for any component over £100 jumps up to £5.99, so I had to part with this first, to test the CPU. There was nothing wrong with it. I had the MB tested, but again, nothing wrong with it according to Aria. I asked for advise, but again, was met with the usual shrug of the shoulders. In the end I decided I wanted to return the MB as I was absolutely sure that this was the issue. They charged me an administration charge for this of course (10% of the value of the MB’s value, if memory serves). So I bought a new Asus P5KPL MB, put everything together and hey presto, everything worked fine.
Now I am sure all these charges are legal, but, the main point is, Aria seems to want to punish anyone that builds PC’s themselves and genuinely run into inexplicable problems. I understand the need to deter people that don’t read vendor approved product lists and don’t bother exploring all the possible avenues before turning up demanding a refund, but surely a PC component company should realise that it is counterproductive to punish the people that keep them in business in the first place. I mean, if people didn’t build their own PC’s, then they would have to become another branch of PC World wouldn’t they? Surely they have to expect that people may run into issues and if the issues are justified, and there is a possibility that their testing systems could be flawed, then they have to accept some responsibility to help their customers find a sensible resolution??
Bought for my daughter a Aria 32" lcd tv about a year ago or so.
Never worked properly from day one. Picture kept breaking up into red and greens and then going back to normal for about 5 mins and then back to breaking up again.
Tried it on different aerials in other peoples houses and also on dvd input ect.
Sent it back to them and after a very lengthy wait they sent it back with no fault found.
Plugged back in same fault.
In my opinion no one even looked at it as the packing it came back in was the same as the material I sent it and selotape used hadn't even been disturbed or broken.
I know because I put a marker pen point on one of the seals just to see what happened, due to there poor aftersales comments on this site.
Got fed up with the whole thing in the end,threw it away and bought a Panasonic. (£400 odd quid down the pan).
I myself will never buy expensive single items from them again based on this experience.
Still do use them for low cost items are their prices can be very competitive at times.
Around 2002, I ordered a Mirai BP1500P-M CD burner.
This was advertised by Aria as a boxed retail version with a 2 year warranty supplied by Mirai. At that time I believe it was just over £100.
I was sent a non-retail version which only carried a 1 year warranty.
After a lot of hassle I was told to send it back and Aria would send me a retail version and a refund of my £6 postage costs. I never did see my £6 returned.
The Mirai retail unit caused nothing but problems. I later tried to telephone Mirai but their website was only available to dealers. I posted on the forum to see if anyone knew about the Mirai site and telephone access problems. It seemed that other forum members were just as wise as I, with no results offered.
In the end I gave up and bought a Liteon burner.
At that time I knew very little about computing, but have never forgotten the disgraceful Aria after sales service. It seems very little has changed.
Since then I have spent hundreds of pounds from a number of companies, but not one penny more with Aria.
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