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Old 11-29-2011, 10:07 AM   #1
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Angry HUGE CNI Frustrations...

EDIT 12/07/2011: CNI is now working with me on this. They are trying to make it right, and have shown me spectroscope plots of the replacement laser... I will update this thread as the process goes along - but it looks like they ARE finally working with me, and trying to provide good service... The forum got their attention, and it looks like CNI may want to make good on this in the long run after all. I'll update towards the end of the thread as things go on.

Ok. I just have to get this off my chest. As the details of this are still being worked out, I'm not going to reveal everything here (I'm still waiting for a repair from CNI, too, so I don't want to jeopardize that..) Understand, I feel kind of sick even posting this. I kind of wish I could keep living in a world where CNI is honest, and takes care of even their hobbyist customers -- which is is why I've pursued this for so long instead of just throwing in the towel. I want to give them the chance to make it right. But it doesn't look like it's going to happen.

Now, I've been, in my estimation, a pretty good customer of CNI. My signature should bear that out.

To make a long story short, some time ago, I ordered a laser from CNI. I paid $1000. Things tumble along - turns out this laser maybe isn't so easy to produce as they thought.

Well, CNI has a great reputation, right? They'll make it right, right?Not so this time. For the past few months, I've been trying to extract responses from Ava. And it has been HELL. Note, I also have ANOTHER "issue" with CNI on deck while this is going on, that I can't get any traction on either. So I've got even more money than this wrapped up in CNI at the moment, but I can't even manage to so much as get an email without a concerted effort on my part.

Remember, CNI *has my $1000*.:

(2 weeks pass. I check up.)
Quote:
CNI: "The laser is in production. I will give you the information asap."
(2 weeks pass again. I check up again. Not once has Ava emailed me on her own.)
Quote:
CNI: "The laser is being selected."
Me: "Selected? I thought it was being produced?"
CNI: "It is being produced, I will have the information for you within 2 weeks."
(2 weeks pass.)
Quote:
Me: "Ava, about that laser...?"
CNI: "Sorry, we cannot produce this laser for you."

Me: "What? So you're just not going to do ANYTHING?"
CNI: "Oh no no, we will try again, but slightly lower power."

Me: "Ok, I just want to make sure this isn't forgotten about."
CNI: "Do not worry, this will not be forgotten, and remember you are always welcome."
(2 weeks pass.)
Quote:
Me: "Hi, Ava. Checking in?"
CNI: "The laser is being tested. I will update you asap."
(2 weeks pass.)
Quote:
Me: "Ava, about that test?"
CNI: "Now the test has passed, now the laser is in production. I will let you know when it is ready."
(3 weeks pass)
Quote:
ME: "Ava, is there any update on this laser?"
CNI: "Sorry, we cannot produce this laser for you."
.. WHAT?! I thought the 'test had passed'!!

Quote:
Me: "Ava, what is going on here?"
(no response for a day)

Quote:
Me: "Hello, Ava? Can I get some information on what is going to be done about this order?"
(no response for a day)

... I *CALL* CNI. In China. That's right, I pick up the phone, and dial internationally. AVA PICKS UP. No, really. There really is an Ava, and she answers the phone at the number in her emails. Her english on the phone is far better than in email.

Quote:
Me:"Ava, this is Matt. I want to talk to you about this situation with my laser."

Ava: "I am so sorry, please send me another email. I have been gone on personal matter."

Me: "Uh, okay, but I just did send you an email. You want me to send another one?"

Ava: "Yes, send me another email."

Me: "oooo-kay..." (I hang up)
... I send Ava ANOTHER EMAIL, consisting basically of: "Ava, if nothing can be done, if this laser can't be produced, is there anything CNI CAN do?"

Ava responds in email:

Quote:
Ava: "I am so sorry that I have not responded in so long as my grandfather has died. I am sorry for your trouble, we cannot produce this laser for you."
^^^ I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP, FOLKS.

Maybe her grandfather did die. MY CONDOLENCES, if so. But, is this supposed to just make me drop my engagement? I don't even know!? I write back.

Quote:
Me: "Ava, I am sorry for your loss; I lost my uncle this week as well" (this is true) - "Is there anyone else I might be able to talk to at CNI, to resolve this matter?"
No response.

I go to Livechat, on CNI's site, and talk to Susan.

Quote:
Me: "Susan, I have been dealing with Ava for the past few months on a laser production situation with CNI. My name is xxxx xxxx. My email is xxxx@xxxx.xxx. I have been having a lot of trouble getting answers from Ava about my order, and I am worried that this will not be resolved."

Susan: "ok"

Me: "So I just wanted to see how this issue could be resolved somehow?"

Susan: "ok"

Me: "So is there someone I can talk to about working this out?"

Susan: "i will send this to ava."

Me: "So should I wait for an email?"

Susan: "Yes."
... 1 minute later:

Ava, in email:

Quote:
Ava:"We can produce this laser for you, but you will have to pay USD500.00 extra."
.....And that's where it stands. I replied to this, with concern, and the most kindly-worded "excuse me but " I possibly could, and I am now and once again in the 'zero reply zone'.

I don't even know where to go next. And I know I'm taking some risk here posting this story on LPF, as I know CNI has a stellar reputation and is an advertiser here. Some folks may not believe me, or may think that there's a whole lot more to this story. Really, there isn't. (I've got some folks I've kept apprised of the situation as it's gone on... who can kind of vouch for the play-by-play.)

Additionally, reactions and responsiveness to people like Glenn/Scopeguy20, as far as I know, with his group buys, have slowed to a glacial pace as well. I have this feeling that they want to wash their hands of the hobbyist scene.

I know really nothing can be done at this point. I'm guessing CNI is "firing me as a customer", and making a profit on it in this last deal.

Maybe CNI will come through at the last minute here and make things right. But I doubt it, as Ava seems to not want to answer my emails at all anymore. After 6 months, an 'extra' (her words) $500 plus the $90 bank transfer fee really isn't going to fly. And because of their behavior, I'm really very wary about throwing more good money after bad. I think I'd be a bit of a fool to think that another $500 would suddenly grease the wheels and make everything go smoothly. I've been polite every time -- bordering on "firm" after so many months. But the lack of engagement and seeming dishonesty and "lines fed" really are inexcuseable at this point. If it was a money issue, they could have been up front with me months ago. At this point, I've even offered to just take a cheaper/lesser laser -- that has been met with the 'black hole' response, too.

I know ONE person here ended up being able to talk to someone higher-up at CNI, and got their laser replaced with a MGL/lab unit after tons of trouble. I have no idea how on earth they managed that, as I seem to be firmly stuck in Ava's non-responsive cul-de-sac.

I don't know what to say. This is how it played out. What sucks is, I WANT to be able to trust them enough to buy more stuff from them. (Laserglow -- if you're reading; I'd buy from you guys but you don't offer the exotic wavelengths... )

But at this point, I had to let the forum know, if not to just let off some steam. I hope something resolves here, because, y'know, I actually do want to buy lasers from CNI going forward. But this BS and unneccessary runaround just makes it really tough to justify. At some point the man-hours, stress, and gray hairs end up costing more than the "sunk cost" of an order.
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Last edited by aryntha; 12-07-2011 at 08:27 AM.
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Old 11-29-2011, 12:08 PM   #2
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Default Re: HUGE CNI Frustrations...

Seems like they are not really interested in your money.
It's to bad that they are not as responsive....I guess they are more interested in large bulk orders.
I'v been interested in what some of their pricing is on some units but haven't followed up because of how hard it can be to get even a simple answer out of companies like this in China. More trouble than its worth, if they can't send a simple email in a weeks time than they must not be interested in providing customer service beyond a sale.

Sorry to hear your trouble, perhaps as you said, go with Laserglow...they may have better luck with CNI than you do.
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Old 11-29-2011, 12:56 PM   #3
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Default Re: HUGE CNI Frustrations...

Soo you basically lost $1000,- now ?!?! Hope it's get's solved! O.o I am definaly never going to buy from those people

Don't worry about posting this on here. A perfectly good company with much rep can also get screwed !!

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Old 11-29-2011, 01:36 PM   #4
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Default Re: HUGE CNI Frustrations...

Quote:
Originally Posted by offroadfreak8582 View Post
Soo you basically lost $1000,- now ?!?! Hope it's get's solved! O.o I am definaly never going to buy from those people

Don't worry about posting this on here. A perfectly good company with much rep can also get screwed !!

Greetings,
I second that. Plus quite a few members received yellow, blue and 593.4nm pointers with bad dot specs, although they paid for something better. I hope your case will be resolved soon aryntha. Sucks that it's $1000, but don't give up. May I ask, what laser did you ask them to produce? Oh and by no means don't pay the extra $500. Why would they change the price? Too much bullshit in the last few MONTHS. I would say THEY need to be you something.

Last edited by Elektrotechniker; 11-29-2011 at 01:37 PM.
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Old 11-29-2011, 02:45 PM   #5
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Default Re: HUGE CNI Frustrations...

Hey Matt, just go straight to ask for a full refund and they might realize they've been having your money and also going to lose this money right away. Relax. You've been a lot more patient than most guys here i bet.

If you need me to call them for you to get things solved quicker, i would like to do that. I speak Chinese, u know.

Last edited by JETLASERS; 11-29-2011 at 02:46 PM. Reason: edited by Gray jetlasers
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Old 11-29-2011, 02:56 PM   #6
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Default Re: HUGE CNI Frustrations...

Quote:
Originally Posted by JETLASERS View Post
I speak Chinese, u know.
Wow that's quite handy May I take advantage of your skills too when I need to, for payment if you want? Someday I might just need somebody that speaks chinese

greetings,,
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Last edited by offroadfreak8582; 11-29-2011 at 02:57 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 11-29-2011, 03:48 PM   #7
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Default Re: HUGE CNI Frustrations...

Quote:
Originally Posted by aryntha View Post
(Laserglow -- if you're reading; I'd buy from you guys but you don't offer the exotic wavelengths... )
We don't offer them on the website, but if you call or e-mail sales we would be happy to put together a custom order for you. People do it all the time. We'll sell you just about anything CNI makes.
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Old 11-29-2011, 04:40 PM   #8
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Default Re: HUGE CNI Frustrations...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Event_Horizon View Post
We don't offer them on the website, but if you call or e-mail sales we would be happy to put together a custom order for you. People do it all the time. We'll sell you just about anything CNI makes.
I have a related question -

When I order from CNI, I pay ~15% tax on the parcel when it arrives.

When I order from Laserglow, is Laserglow first paying 15% tax on the import from CNI, which of course would have to incorporated into the LG selling price, and then also taxing me a further ~15% sales tax on the LG-to-me sale?

IE, am I essentially paying 30% tax? Or does LG get tax exemption from the CNI-to-LG shipment, since you're collecting sales tax from me on the other end?

It would be nice to know how much of the ticket price I pay to LG actually gets eaten up by our government
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Old 11-29-2011, 05:00 PM   #9
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Default Re: HUGE CNI Frustrations...

They should have known the costs before they started to build the laser... Asking for a 50% price increase is unacceptable.

Sounds to me like they failed at building the laser a couple of times and don't want to accept the consequences and now want you to pay for the cost of their failed attempts.
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Old 11-29-2011, 05:24 PM   #10
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Default Re: HUGE CNI Frustrations...

That's really unfortunate, man. But every good thing must end, eh? I'm sure we'll find another exotic DPSS maker for hobbyists if this opportunity closes. You know what they say: for every closed window, there is an open door.
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Old 11-29-2011, 05:43 PM   #11
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Default Re: HUGE CNI Frustrations...

Quote:
Originally Posted by JETLASERS View Post
Hey Matt, just go straight to ask for a full refund and they might realize they've been having your money and also going to lose this money right away. Relax. You've been a lot more patient than most guys here i bet.

If you need me to call them for you to get things solved quicker, i would like to do that. I speak Chinese, u know.
Matt I'm sorry for your troubles. I would have gone mad months ago! I hope JL is able to help you

and at that Jetlasers: 1+ for you and your overwhelming kindness to this situation
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Old 11-29-2011, 05:49 PM   #12
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Default Re: HUGE CNI Frustrations...

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That's really unfortunate, man. But every good thing must end, eh? I'm sure we'll find another exotic DPSS maker for hobbyists if this opportunity closes. You know what they say: for every closed window, there is an open door.
Give the hobby two years to progress - I think some people will be building portable DPSS in that time.

There are a number of sources to order crystals from at this stage, and looking inside the dead CNI 589nm I got a hold of, there's nothing physically complicated about the setup. It's a C-Mount diode, with very basic forward/backward (only) adjustable crystal mounts, a single optic right after the diode, and a TEC.

There are a few hurdles that need to be crossed for this to reach hobby level no doubt. But there's nothing inside this that couldn't be reproduced by a hobbyist in theory. A few years from now, with some better crystal sources, and decent FAC'd c-mount diodes popping up, as well as some better understanding of portablizing TEC feedback controllers, and maybe some more additions to our community with CNC access - I think we'll get there. Two years is a long time when you have a number of good minds crunching away at something they're passionate about

I know people will think I'm being naive. That's fine. That / this discussion probably doesn't belong in this thread anyway.
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Old 11-29-2011, 06:01 PM   #13
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Default Re: HUGE CNI Frustrations...

This certainly sucks.

I hope the issue is resolved, but to be honest I think this is the most sensible advice...

Quote:
Originally Posted by JETLASERS View Post
Hey Matt, just go straight to ask for a full refund and they might realize they've been having your money and also going to lose this money right away. Relax. You've been a lot more patient than most guys here i bet.

If you need me to call them for you to get things solved quicker, i would like to do that. I speak Chinese, u know.
Personally I don't start projects without giving my customers at least a rough timeline, and warn them ahead of time if there can be complications. Them jerking you around for 6 months is unacceptable.
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Old 11-29-2011, 06:38 PM   #14
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Default Re: HUGE CNI Frustrations...

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Originally Posted by rhd View Post
am I essentially paying 30% tax? Or does LG get tax exemption from the CNI-to-LG shipment, since you're collecting sales tax from me on the other end?
I'm afraid I haven't the foggiest idea how those sorts of financial things work, and even if I did I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be able to divulge that information. Sorry.

There is a darn good reason I went into lasers and not.... *shudder* .....corporate finances.
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Old 11-29-2011, 06:56 PM   #15
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Default Re: HUGE CNI Frustrations...

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Originally Posted by Event_Horizon View Post
I'm afraid I haven't the foggiest idea how those sorts of financial things work, and even if I did I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be able to divulge that information. Sorry.

There is a darn good reason I went into lasers and not.... *shudder* .....corporate finances.
I'm not sure why you wouldn't be able to divulge that information.. Since when is tax law secret?

Here in the US, Items bought for resale are tax exempt(So long as you have a EIN and give the vendor a resale certificate anyway).. at least for the reseller. So people don't get taxed twice. The item is only taxed when it's sold to the end user. Though this may change if congress succeeds in its push towards a 'national sales tax' (i.e.. VAT)

Though back OT.. I'd go for the refund option.. I knew most of this story, but I didn't know about the 'extra $500' part... I think this is seriously at the 'fuck that' stage now. Sounds like they are having trouble making said laser, and are expecting you to personally fund their R&D on it now..
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Last edited by qumefox; 11-29-2011 at 07:02 PM.
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Old 11-29-2011, 06:58 PM   #16
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Default Re: HUGE CNI Frustrations...

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Originally Posted by qumefox View Post
I'm not sure why you wouldn't be able to divulge that information.. Since when is tax law secret?

Here in the US, Items bought for resale are tax exempt(So long as you have a EIN and give the vendor a resale certificate anyway).. at least for the reseller. So people don't get taxed twice. The item is only taxed when it's sold to the end user.
You know, that's probably the exact same thing here.
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SAFETY & IMPORTANT READING (threads authored and contributed to by various members of LPF):
- Federal Aviation Administration - Laser Safety Initiative (link)
- Info release from Laserglow - Default Canadian restrictions on portable lasers (link)
- The Necessity of Safety Goggles (link)

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