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WARNING - AVA Direct nightmare !

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Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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July 2, 2008 10:26:19 PM

I payed $4200.00(more than my last 3 cars cost!) for a buggy, malfunctioning, slow piece of garbage, and was talked into settling for choices I did not want by high level employees that are nothing more than fast talking con men. When you're buying your big bucks notebook, everything's peaches and cream and anything's possible. Once they have your money however, 'this' isn't possible and 'that' isn't compatible and they never implied that, etc, etc.

I actually pulled over $4000.00 back from AlienWare because the company seemed so shady and had terrible reviews and sent it to AVA Direct instead based on their too good to be true reputation.

I had been calling the company to ask questions and figure out the best system I could afford and was having terrible luck getting through to there tech rep Chris Vermundy. He never answers the phone no matter what time you call and always calls you back at the worst times when your in the middle of work, obviously at HIS convenience. Yet the sales peaple always say he's the one to answer your questions.

So finally after several weeks of this I asked if there was anyone else I could speak to and was transferred to Misha Troshin, the head sales rep. In what was problably an omen I now see, upon telling Misha that at this time I did not want to give personal information about myself over the phone as I did with Alienware and repeat a mistake that resulted in harassing high pressure sales tactics phone calls, he immediately got snotty and said,' well, your the one who had to speak with someone right now !'.

So, in a twist of fate, Misha ends up taking my order personally and proceeds to advise me on the best choices for what I'm hoping is a screaming state of the art notebook.
I have to fight with him the whole time to get the latest components that Alienware, Sager and ExtremeNotebooks all include in the same model Clevo notebook because AVA is so far behind the curve.
That was a 'joy' in itself and a source of constant aggravation and endless phone calls. I actually had to inform HIM of the latest wireless, graphics and WiFi cards on the market and listen to him tell me they aren't for this notebook or aren't yet on the open market when the other notebook manufacturers all had them. He would get smart or snotty with me and then eventually admitted that AVA purchases all their components on Ebay or similar places in bulk and can 'only get what they can get'... He finally agreed to check on the current availability of some of the components I wanted. Then 1 or 2 weeks later I would see them offered as choices on the AVA site.
I'M DOING ALL THEY'RE RESEARCH FOR THEM !
Funny...

So finally after all this nonsense the big day comes and I call to finalize my order. Misha advises me on no uncertain terms that the purchase of a faster 2.8mhz or so processor is a waste of money for too little of a speed increase and that the 2.4 'stepping' processor is the way to go, because they can just overclock it and it will be faster than the more expensive one. I ask if he's positive it can be done- he says sure, they do this all the time. I ask will it void the warranty- he says no, they have professionals who do this, there's nothing to worry about. So I think wow, what a great guy, this is gona be a scream'n notebook, and I saved a couple bucks.

When it came to the operating system I repeatedly told him I didn't want Vista, but he AND tech rep Chris assured me I had no choice, the notebook I picked wouldn't work with XP or anything else, even though many other OS's were offered as choices. So against my wishes Vista it was.
I also pick a 7in1 Iomega card reader because this 'state of the art' notebook only has a 4in1 reader.
I also am told by Misha this 'top of the line notebook' has an EXTERNAL volume control...
I also pick the super expensive dual SLI graphics cards...

I print out my order, put a personal hand written note with it detailing Misha's promises of overclocked processors and say if my notebook can't be overclocked for any reason to call me immediatley, in plain English.

I also waited over 2 months to recieve my purchase.

Every once in awhile I'd get nervous about Misha's shakey promises on my notebook choices and call to check up on things and he'd immedietly poo-poo my concerns and assure me they were doing everything they could to expidite my order, and I'd say no, that's not why I'm calling. I don't care how long it takes, just as long as I get what I paid for and it's done right.

I mean we're talking over 4 thousand dollars for God's sake. He'd assure me everything was just peachy every time.
He also assured me, at zero hour, that my system wouldn't be overclocked, he never said it could, I picked the processor I did based on cost, not overclocking, and overclocking usually costs a $100.00's extra anyway.

Ain't that something.

So, what'd I get for $4200.00 friggin dollars, my life savings.

A malfunctioning, buggy, slow piece of *#^&@% that didn't even have the latest drivers, sure as hell ain't overclocked, is as slow as a Pentium III, glitches and stalls on 7 year old video games, crashes in the first 24 hours, doesn't have an external volume button, has pop-up boxes that refuse to go away, won't let me install or run anything because I'm not 'Administrator' and has the WORST OPERATING SYSTEM ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH, Vista.
And get this, the Iomega 7in1 card reader, isn't even compatible !
Which it says on the Iomega website. NO ONE EVEN BOTHERED TO CHECK !
It's useless !

Where in God's name did they get all these wonderfully happy customers !?!?

I'm ready to frigg'in snap.

This is just the beginning.
IT GETS WORSE.
MUCH WORSE !
July 15, 2008 2:21:02 PM

AVADirect responds to SmityT’s allegations.

SmithyT purchased a Clevo 901C notebook in Feb 2008. Due to later release of SLI graphics technology for this notebook we asked if the customer wanted to wait for several weeks which he agreed on and processed this order, finally shipping it out in early April.

First we heard from this customer is in about a month regarding random crashes and slow Vista related performance so we issued an RMA# instructing to ship it back to us for service. Once in service the notebook was inspected, it turned out that one the hard drives went bad and because this customer expressed a great deal of disappointment with his purchase we gave him several free upgrades all by our own initiative:

1. Two hard drive upgrades from 160Gb 7200RPM to 200Gb 7200RPM

2. CPU upgrade from Q6600 to Q6700

3. Free games

4. Covered $53 in original shipping charges

Of course all backed by our outstanding support with related and unrelated questions.

We have done all this out of the desire to help and satisfy this customer expecting a great feedback after all of these upgrades only to find out that this customer keeps bashing us even more, leaving vulgar voicemails, sending email threats and ignoring our requests to call us to discuss this situation simply to find out why this customer is so mislead or perhaps confused.

At this point we were forced to alert local authorities regarding email threats and 4am profane voicemails and we are still waiting for a “normal” callback to discuss this customer’s situation but instead we only see this “campaign” to make us look bad when in fact we are an excellent company with countless great reviews from both customers and industry.

Dear Anthony, for 3rd time, if you read this, please call me ASAP!

Regards,
Misha Troshin
Sales Manager, CEO
888.363.1051 direct
July 15, 2008 5:25:46 PM

First of all, Chill out. The laptop you bought is solid. That Clevo chassis is very solid and proven and has been for quite awhile now. It just has some issues. It looks like AVA tried to make right by it. And by you getting all crazy your not doing yourself any favors. Youll get alot further by being cool, calm and collective about it.

You are spewing some nonsense however.

I know there was some back order issues for the 8800MGTX. You want bleeding edge, you may have to wait.

As far as ordering the laptop, why not use the online order form? It has all the normal selections that Xotic and others use. If you were doing all the work why didnt you go elsewhere with you money?

If I was the tech, and you were all pissy like your post, I wouldnt call you back either. Be nice to techs, they are there to help you. You have to realize your not the only customer.

Misha actually gave you the correct info on the processor in all reality. Or at least thats what Im reading. There is no reason to get a Q6700 over a Q6600. You wont see the difference in real world apps, but maybe you run benchmarks all day?

XP will run on these laptops, however if you ordered 4 gigs of RAM, XP will not see all 4 gigs, hence why they recommended Vista. Vista isnt that bad. Turn off UAC, tweak and trim the OS and its solid. Sounds alot like a PEBKAC error honestly.

The Iomega drive is a disappointment. Box it up, send it back. Get your money back. But in AVA's defense maybe you should use this little search engine called Google and checked it out prior to purchase. Anytime I drop a large portion of my money I always research to be sure it will do what I need. Kind of a misstep on AVA's part, but hardly earth shattering.

The laptop does have an external volume control, its call using the function key, Fn + one of the F keys.

As far as what AVA did:
1. Two hard drive upgrades from 160Gb 7200RPM to 200Gb 7200RPM
2. CPU upgrade from Q6600 to Q6700
3. Free games
4. Covered $53 in original shipping charges

Looks like good customer service in my opinion.

And they took the time to browse here, and defend themselves.

Those that play online games may or may not recognize this, but my final response, QQ more.



Related resources
July 18, 2008 2:39:02 AM

Holy crap the OP is ridiculous!!!
July 23, 2008 6:10:28 PM


Misha from AVA Direct sure showed me who was boss-
THE REAL STORY
After submitting my review of AVA Direct and the crappy way I was treated on (Resellerratings.com) website I was immediately besieged by emails to
contact head sales CEO Misha Troshin of AVA Direct.
Upon calling him he proceeded to inform me of how upset and concerned he was over my experience in ordering from AVA Direct and how I had ruined they're near perfect "score" on Resellerratings.
He kept repeating how this was just "business" and how he/they were prepared to do anything to make things right.
He said they were already getting calls asking questions about my review and it was upsetting business.
I was told he had decided to upgrade my 2 hard drives from 160MB to 200MB and that anything else I wanted just to let him know. Anything at all.
At first Misha kept beating around the bush saying things like my
review only told one side of the story(who else's it was supposed to tell
I'm not sure) and that it was hard to show their customers "love" if we
didn't "cooperate"....
Then he added 2 "computer games" to sweet'n the pot.
It became very clear that not only did Misha want the review changed
but he wanted it to "go away", and go away NOW, which he made clear as the conversation degenerated from him promising me "anything" to threatening to "make things difficult" for me, as in they could put the screws to me and only give me a certain percentage of my money back, ie. steal any chance of me getting a full refund, or just do the bare minimum necessary to correct the problems with the overpriced broken notebook, ie. leave it screwed up, and on and on the threats went.
And later after I caved in and boxed it up and shipped it back he threatened me again,
telling me that because I ordered with Postal Money Orders, he could just
make my money "disappear" and now that they had the computer back there wouldn't
be much I could do about it...
After a certain point the threats never ended as Misha grew bolder and
bolder. I finally emailed him and said if he didn't quit threatening me I
was gona take a ride to AVA and we were gona have a "talk".
THE BIG THREAT !!!^^^
And get this, thier tech rep Chris Vermundy makes me email my Window's Vista security code to him while they had the notebook. It's problably on every hacker warez site on the net by now....
I asked Lara from Resellerratings if they were connected to AVA
Direct because of the suspiciously perfect ratings they have, but was never
sure if she was fed up with me changing my review every 5 minutes depending
on Misha's threats or mabey they were in cohoots.
I put the poor woman through it.
Well, I did what he wanted, took down my review and told Misha I wanted the
upgraded hard drives, the next fastest processor and the RIGHT WiFI card,
since they didn't get that right the first time and I didn't catch it till later.(he refused to extend my warrenty.)
Guess what, after all that living hell Misha put me through, the threats, the 2 months of lost productivity, NOW 3, sacrificing my ethics, lost money, lost time, I DO WHAT HE WANTS, then
I get my computer back and it has THE SAME FRIGGIN HARD DRIVES IN IT, THE
EXACT SAME DAMN ONES, THE WIFI CARD SAYS IT'S STILL THE SAME...........
And who knows if they're even both working since he said 1 of the last ones
were broke.
And I'm not sure how the hell to check on the processor cause the computer
won't cough up any info on it but I bet that's the same damn one too.
ALL THEY APPEAR TO HAVE DONE IS TO PUT A BUNCH OF NEW STICKERS ON THE STUPID THING !!!!!!!!!!
Oh yea, and no games either or updated driver CD to go with the same crappy
$4200.00 paperweight...........
So, I'm sure Misha thinks I'm a real rube and he's laughing all the way to
the bank........
Real funny.
Real stinking funny.
I ain't laughing.........


July 23, 2008 11:29:52 PM

I there was anything on the original harddrives, then when they cloned your old files, they made an image of the same size drive. you got a bigger drive but you need to make the partition bigger. Moral of the story, Never pay that much money on something that could be just as lame as the cheapest option. Like a computer.
July 31, 2008 6:11:07 AM

They didn't clone anything.
They didn't make an image of anything.
Making the partition bigger won't magically make the hard drives 200 MB, or make the laptop work.
All they did was blackmail me and laugh all the way to the bank.
The hard drives actually say, Seagate reconditioned/refurbished. They're used junk, which makes me know what kind of components are all through the laptop.
I paid for new components.
Why didn't Misha just honor they're wonderful warranty and fix the thing.
Instead he's spending all day making up fake super reviews on resellerratings and scanning the internet doing damage control, trying to slander a customer who sent him over $4200.00 trying to give his little start-up company a chance.....
This man is a criminal.
Thanks for your sympathy.
February 6, 2010 2:39:35 AM

It's 2 years now and I sued them in district court after being threatened AGAIN and slandered on the internet and they REFUSED to pay the fine imposed by the District Justice.
They continue to post false positive reviews under fake names and spend huge amounts of time trolling the internet looking for negative reviews to counteract rather than actually giving people what they pay for ....
These people are Russian criminals with no conscious manipulating the American system and getting away with it.
They got me for over $4200.00 and are refusing to even follow American law.
Wake up people !
I can't spend the rest of my life defending myself on the internet from these criminals for the ignorant who just don't get it.
That's all Misha does - troll the internet looking for negative reviews to counteract.
Go ahead, buy some expensive system from them..............I dare you.
February 6, 2010 3:10:33 AM

BEWARE, MISHA TROSIN THE RUSSIAN SCAMMER HAS ALREADY STARTED A NEW COMPANY TO SCAM MORE AMERICANS AFTER THEY DUMP AVA DIRECT.
MGEPConline.com
BEWARE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
February 6, 2010 4:22:35 AM

i only trust xoticpc.com for laptops
newegg.com and buy.com for parts for desktop and notebook parts
and of course another forum in my bookmarks for parts and barebones for notebooks :)  and smithy_t that sucks dude feel bad for u
February 24, 2010 6:20:51 AM

If you have purchased a pc from this custom builder and it turned out to be a lemon we are seeking customer testimonials. We are in the discovery phase for a class action suit and as well as to bring awareness to their unethical business conduct.
http://avadirectscrewedme.freeforums.org/index.php
July 13, 2010 4:14:52 PM

AVA. What a great company. 36 complaints with the BBB over the last few years. What a shame. Even the links on their web site lead to lousy reviews of the products.
April 10, 2013 11:13:40 PM

I wrote a long complaint elsewhere (which I'll link to below), but I'll quickly summarize. I bought a laptop from AVA Direct and it took a ridiculous amount of time (something like 3 months) to get it. Fine. I'd rather have a well built quality machine anywas. Immediately I have issues with the keyboard and the random crashing, but I suck it up because I'd rather have a machine that fails once in awhile then go a month or 4 without it. Eventually the monitor begins acting up and it becomes unusable so I have to send it in for an RMA. They refuse to replace the keyboard, which is water damaged. I believe that it probably was water damaged, but it was damaged before I get it. This repair takes another 3 months. So once I get the machine back, I decide to leave a nasty review on resellerratings.

They see the review and flip a ****. After some negotiating, they decide to send me that keybaord I wanted in exchange to remove the review (which leads me to believe many of these reviews are "bought" in one way or another). At this point, I'm ecstatic, I think I got a great bargain. I was dead wrong. The laptop immediately has the same monitor issues it did before. I request another RMA, but they want proof that its acting up again. I send some photos. No response. I'm out $2200. Again, this is a very brief summary. Links below for more details. Bottom line: avopid this company at all costs. They have amazing reviews, but I seriously doubt many of them are legitimate.

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/id...va-direct.html
http://www.resellerratings.com/store...comment2369501
http://www.complaintsboard.com/compl...io-c66942.html
April 15, 2013 1:36:59 PM

Wow, thank you smithy.

I was just about to purchase $1700 desktop from them and had selected all the components already.

I'm glad I came across your post - I was actually looking for a coupon code to use, if there were any.

I'm sorry you had to go through this nightmare. I was buying this for a customer of mine but I think I'll just build my own.

Thanks again.
!