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Worst customer support in ANY industry
Old 1 week ago
  #1
Gear Head
Worst customer support in ANY industry

I recently purchased the Antelope Audio Orion 32HD+. I have had it for 3 days and am yet to have it operating correctly and also have not been able to get anyone on the phone in that time.

Firstly, the unit costs $2595, to some that may not be a lot of $, but to the rest of us it is. So why when making this kind of investment do I not receive a physical manual, or even a physical quick guide??? All that's in the box is a post card that someone had the NERVE to print "Getting Started" on. It's nothing but a picture of the unit and a web address. The web address has one backslash and two dashes in it, it's not even a main landing page. What a joke. Then it gets better, you enter it in and it just takes you to the product page for the device. No walk throughs, nothing specific beyond what is available to the public pre-purchase.

I finally dug up the "Manual" on their site, and it's a whopping 18 pages, for any instruction regarding their software, launcher, operation, hardware and installation. This is a digital manual and it's STILL only 18 pages!!!

Then there's the actual support. Since they are based in Europe and I am in NYC their hours begin at 1am and end around 6pm, right when I get out of work and are only Monday through Friday. Same for their live chat.

I went through the trouble of setting an alarm for 6am before work to reach out, I called 3 times in an hour and no one picked up. Left a message, no one called back. I reached out to chat and after about 30 minutes someone started working with me.

This person did their best, but it was clear they were a freelance tech support person consulting a combination of chats with Antelope personnel and a wiki.

My issue? My Pro Tools files are not seeing the Orion Outputs in the track channel drop downs even though the Hardware Engine is selected and recognized and the I/O is seeing Antelope as choices in Setup.

My chat help was able to fix this for NEW files, but not for existing, where the file still had older information. Maybe this is an AVID issue (another nightmare of support), but no one from Antelope could actually confirm that.

Besides the fact that the Controller is a detailed piece of software, even if all was working, how can I be expected to learn all it's features with almost no information being provided? I just invested in a piece of gear that I may NEVER get the most of due to their own odd secrecy of how it actually works. It's condescending.

I'm an Engineer, I can read a manual and figure it out myself, but I'm left with no documentation AND no support. I don't even know if it sounds good after 3 days!

I'm about to look into my return policy. If I knew then what I know about this company I would not have made this purchase, straight up. Buyer beware.
Old 1 week ago
  #2
Lives for gear
 

I was looking at antelope for a new interface last month and after reading various things about them online, I decided to go with an Apollo x8 instead. I don’t regret my decision.
Old 1 week ago
  #3
Lives for gear
 
T_R_S's Avatar
AAA+ support on my end - zero issues FWIW - the 2 different techs on 3 occasions were extremely helpful.
Old 1 week ago
  #4
Gear Head
Great to know you had to call 2 different techs 3 times for this product.
Old 1 week ago
  #5
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fired Wire View Post
I recently purchased the Antelope Audio Orion 32HD+. I have had it for 3 days and am yet to have it operating correctly and also have not been able to get anyone on the phone in that time.

Firstly, the unit costs $2595, to some that may not be a lot of $, but to the rest of us it is. So why when making this kind of investment do I not receive a physical manual, or even a physical quick guide??? All that's in the box is a post card that someone had the NERVE to print "Getting Started" on. It's nothing but a picture of the unit and a web address. The web address has one backslash and two dashes in it, it's not even a main landing page. What a joke. Then it gets better, you enter it in and it just takes you to the product page for the device. No walk throughs, nothing specific beyond what is available to the public pre-purchase.

I finally dug up the "Manual" on their site, and it's a whopping 18 pages, for any instruction regarding their software, launcher, operation, hardware and installation. This is a digital manual and it's STILL only 18 pages!!!

Then there's the actual support. Since they are based in Europe and I am in NYC their hours begin at 1am and end around 6pm, right when I get out of work and are only Monday through Friday. Same for their live chat.

I went through the trouble of setting an alarm for 6am before work to reach out, I called 3 times in an hour and no one picked up. Left a message, no one called back. I reached out to chat and after about 30 minutes someone started working with me.

This person did their best, but it was clear they were a freelance tech support person consulting a combination of chats with Antelope personnel and a wiki.

My issue? My Pro Tools files are not seeing the Orion Outputs in the track channel drop downs even though the Hardware Engine is selected and recognized and the I/O is seeing Antelope as choices in Setup.

My chat help was able to fix this for NEW files, but not for existing, where the file still had older information. Maybe this is an AVID issue (another nightmare of support), but no one from Antelope could actually confirm that.

Besides the fact that the Controller is a detailed piece of software, even if all was working, how can I be expected to learn all it's features with almost no information being provided? I just invested in a piece of gear that I may NEVER get the most of due to their own odd secrecy of how it actually works. It's condescending.

I'm an Engineer, I can read a manual and figure it out myself, but I'm left with no documentation AND no support. I don't even know if it sounds good after 3 days!

I'm about to look into my return policy. If I knew then what I know about this company I would not have made this purchase, straight up. Buyer beware.
Ever since their Aardvaark days, I thought they were US. They show being located in Santa Monica. I see a phone number with a SF 415 prefix. Did you try calling that?
Old 1 week ago
  #6
Gear Head
They are clearly an English company with a US phone number because they operate during UK business hours.

See link, any other number you found is not their support as it is not from their site.

https://support.antelopeaudio.com/support/home
Old 1 week ago
  #7
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fired Wire View Post
They are clearly an English company with a US phone number because they operate during UK business hours.

See link, any other number you found is not their support as it is not from their site.

https://support.antelopeaudio.com/support/home
Yeah....but....what happens when you actually DO call san francisco?
Old 1 week ago
  #8
Gear Head
First of all, where are you getting this SF 415 number from and what is it? Again, this is NOT on their site so why would I be calling it?

Secondly, 916 is in Northern California as well and it's what I called. I'm not sure what your point is here besides trolling a disappointed customer by defending a poorly performing company.
Old 1 week ago
  #9
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fired Wire View Post
First of all, where are you getting this SF 415 number from and what is it? Again, this is NOT on their site so why would I be calling it?

Secondly, 916 is in Northern California as well and it's what I called. I'm not sure what your point is here besides trolling a disappointed customer by defending a poorly performing company.
I'm not trolling..... and you.....are not very nice.

415-869-9661.

If you darn kids weren't so weblink-centric, you'd know how to look up phone numbers.

That being said, my condolences on your experience. I shied away from the two aardvaark guys around 1990. The clock looked good, but I made a better choice to go with a dtp.

Drivers were not updated often enough back then for their audio boxes....lots of complaints so I stayed away from their stuff for that reason. That certainly doesn't mean guy #1 ....Antelope.... is a repeat. But some of the same complaints seem to be around as in the previous century.

If you achieve no assistance from the phone number, be my guest to blame me.
Old 1 week ago
  #10
Gear Head
Ok, so just so everyone knows DO NOT call this 415 number above for any reason, it's a scam number. The following is not made up and drives home my point about how irresponsible Antelope is....

I called the number expecting to get a good laugh by reaching an old lady or a disconnected phone, but it rang, and I got an answering machine claiming to be Antelope Audio. It had me press a number for tech support. Much to my surprise I was put in a hold waiting room, being that it is 2am ET where I am. It then rang and I was connected to someone in Asia.

They claimed to be from "IT Pro Services", I explained my issue, and they asked my name which I gave. Then they asked for my home address and I said "why would you need that?" to which I was offered $100 for hotel stays or whatever she was talking about. I kept asking if she was connected to "Antelope Audio" and she kept saying "IT Pro Services", keep in mind, the answering machine before her call DID say "Antelope Audio". I read back the number I dialed and she confirmed it was their number.

Again, DO NOT CALL THIS NUMBER. It seems Antelope is so irresponsible they haven't even disconnected numbers they have abandoned that are still searchable by folks like thenoodle (jk) and those numbers have been taken in by scammers.

I'm sure my cell will now get lots of new spam calls. SMH.
Old 1 week ago
  #11
Gear Head
I found out I can return this currently shiny brick within 45 days and unless someone has a compelling reason why I should not, I'm probably going to get an Apollo. The issue there is I'd be getting a lot less tracks.

The goal here is to mix pro tools tracks on my analog board and then send the stereo mixes back to pro tools. I'd like to have 24-32 tracks of a mix.

Anyone have any other solutions outside of Antelope and Universal Audio?
Old 1 week ago
  #12
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by T_R_S View Post
AAA+ support on my end - zero issues FWIW - the 2 different techs on 3 occasions were extremely helpful.
Same experience here - The few issues I had was on my own end, and they helped me out in a fast and effective manner
Old 1 week ago
  #13
Lives for gear
 
loopy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fired Wire View Post
I found out I can return this currently shiny brick within 45 days and unless someone has a compelling reason why I should not, I'm probably going to get an Apollo. The issue there is I'd be getting a lot less tracks.

The goal here is to mix pro tools tracks on my analog board and then send the stereo mixes back to pro tools. I'd like to have 24-32 tracks of a mix.

Anyone have any other solutions outside of Antelope and Universal Audio?
I have no horse in this race as I have zero experience with Antelope, however from a creative POV nothing kills *my* creativity and musicianship more than the stress of wondering if I'm going to be able to complete a session without gremlins like clicks/pops etc impacting the recording. It's just that stressful fear wondering if I'm going to make it through the performance.

I'm weird, I know

But, if it were me, and since you are not happy with the product, I'd return it and move on.
Why deal with the extra stress?

Just a thought and best of luck to you!
I hope you sort it out.
Old 1 week ago
  #14
Gear Head
I appreciate that Loopy.

My perspective is I feel very un-easy about investing this much in a product with no in depth manual to study (online or otherwise) combined with that fact that I have not been able to reach anyone. My expectation is that when I call someone picks up the phone (during business hours) and even if I'm on hold a while or someone has to call me back, that takes place.

I know there are people in this thread that didn't have this experience, but the fact is no one should and I certainly have.

I'm giving it one more night of tooling around and calling at 1am local time, but I've also started to read about clicks and pops now after I purchased and I can't even test as my return policy drips away.

I just want to feel good when I upgrade and I don't feel good.

Thanks again to thenoodle, I know you were trying to help and I was heated last night. It sucks feeling bummed when you've been excited to make this upgrade for close to a year.
Old 1 week ago
  #15
Gear Head
I will say this, I don't totally mind this post being moved to a different sub-thread, but why did GS remove Antelope Audio from the title? This is my experience with them and they should be fairly called out until they respond, it's not like this thread doesn't have the reflections of those that had a different experience. Don't bury the truth.
Old 1 week ago
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fired Wire View Post
I will say this, I don't totally mind this post being moved to a different sub-thread, but why did GS remove Antelope Audio from the title? This is my experience with them and they should be fairly called out until they respond, it's not like this thread doesn't have the reflections of those that had a different experience. Don't bury the truth.
Rule #14 which you agreed to when you registered.

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/faq....q_new_faq_item

Thanks for your understanding.
Old 1 week ago
  #17
Gear Head
Fair enough.
Old 1 week ago
  #18
Lives for gear
 
T_R_S's Avatar
not having a full understanding of how the product works certainly is not the fault of the manufacturer....
Old 1 week ago
  #19
Gear Head
How would one get an understanding without any documentation or anyone that picks up a phone from the company?

Old 1 week ago
  #20
Lives for gear
 
swafford's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fired Wire View Post
How would one get an understanding without any documentation or anyone that picks up a phone from the company?

Tea leaves.
Old 1 week ago
  #21
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fired Wire View Post
They are clearly an English company with a US phone number because they operate during UK business hours.

See link, any other number you found is not their support as it is not from their site.

https://support.antelopeaudio.com/support/home
I suggest you look again, they are a Bulgarian company and all the information is on their website -

Name of the company: Elektrosfera ltd.
Headquarters and address of management: No: 7 Tsarigradsko Shose Blvd., 7th km, Building of BIC IZOT, floor 6, Mladost region, Sofia, Bulgaria
Contact address: 6 “Papa Joan Pavel II”sq., Sofia, Bulgaria
Old 1 week ago
  #22
Gear Head
Why even post this? What help is this to anyone?

Is my link not their official website? Is that not the number and chat they posted for official use that they prefer people use?

Why are you guys digging up secret locations and numbers for a public company selling gear?

Sigh.

In any case, I'll have an update on this situation soon in terms of what was actually wrong.

I can't update their customer support though because they never called me back.
Old 3 days ago
  #23
Gear Head
FINAL UPDATE:

I've decided to keep the Antelope Orion 32HD, for a few reasons. I want to be fair to Antelope since I spent so much time critiquing them to break down why I've chosen to stick with the product.

First, the technical issue:
As I suspected (but had no real way of knowing since I couldn't contact tech support by phone and didn't have a real manual), this had to do with AVID and not Antelope. Basically Pro Tools was seeing the Orion, had the correct I/O pairs set (same in the Orion Controller) but still was not producing audio output and had the old pairings as well as options. AVID had me delete all and hit default I/O, even though this produced the exact same pairings, all of the sudden I had audio. AVID being AVID. I'm still having a little trouble re-calling the I/O from my exported settings, but I'll sort that out eventually, it's undoubtedly an AVID thing.

So now that I can actually use this thing, in the first few days, it sounds good. It's functionality is good and I went down the road of checking out options from MOTU and Universal Audio but the I/O that I needed would have been sacrificed with either, even if the UA might have been a better piece in the long run. I just can't find a better solution for the Midas Venice F32 (run as Analog post-Firewire). So I had to swallow my pride and work with this device, which does seem to be of high quality.

Left without a manual, I went to youtube where I found Antelope's videos to be pretty awful. No person on camera, just a guy reading a script and another guy directing the screen to questionable timing of his words. Very dry, too fast, just bad. The decision making that went into not having a reliable manual went to their Youtube channel as well. Luckily for Antelope I found videos from John Browne who only has 2 videos on the Orion 32 HD Plus (PLEASE MAKE MORE), but broke the unit down better then all of Antelope's combined. Check out one of them here: https://youtu.be/BGH_XJZpReA. Antelope should hire this guy to make their official videos and call it a day. He saved them a return!

After I'd come to this decision privately, a rep for Antelope reached out to me here on GearSlutz via PM. He was very helpful, very sympathetic to my struggles and very honest about the situation. They are working hard to change the lack of documentation at Antelope and I was shared some documentation that will help me. I felt respected and seen and can't thank him enough. He is a credit and value to Antelope.

He also re-iterated that the only official number for Antelope is on their website, the same one linked above. Stop looking for other numbers folks. I never did get a call back from Antelope, but I don't need one anymore as the PM and Youtube help have me rolling now.

Here's to a good future with the Antelope Orion 32HD.
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