BarryMead
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Quantity Orders (When)

Tue Jun 05, 2012 8:29 pm

When will the Raspberry Pi foundation or it's distributors accept orders for quantities larger than one unit?

I have a device that I have designed using the Raspberry Pi, and need to know when I can order in quantity.

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nick.mccloud
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Re: Quantity Orders (When)

Tue Jun 05, 2012 9:20 pm

Only the distributors can answer definitively but I'd be thinking at least three more months to clear the backlog.

If you have a trade account with Farnell there is nothing stopping you putting lots of orders for singles through.

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Re: Quantity Orders (When)

Thu Jun 07, 2012 4:36 pm

IIRC the distributors will remove the one per customer limit (which doesn't seem to be being enforced that strictly/carefully) when the current backlog clears. When the one per customer order limit is lifted there will almost inevitablly be a new backlog. Afaict noone in a position to do so has made any serious attempts to gauge the size of that second backlog (if farnell/RS wanted they could have asked on the registration for interest page how many Pis a user really wanted but they didn't).

Afaict it will probablly be a couple of months at least before the current backlog is cleared and then an unknown time before the second backlog is cleared. It would not at all suprise me if Pis were still in short supply in 6 months time.

hamjudo
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Re: Quantity Orders (When)

Fri Jun 08, 2012 8:32 pm

This seems like a question for the distributors, so I asked it in the comment field in the Element14 registration of interest form. I will report back if I get an answer.

I have witnessed a few cases of businesses catching up with demand, through the mathematical magic of exponential growth. Production is still ramping up on that exponential curve. Nobody knows what, if any, issues they may hit, but there don't seem to be any obvious fundamental limitations.

The Roku boxes are based on the same SoC, and they sold 1.5 million units last year. Broadcom has other products that are sold in much higher volumes. So it is unlikely, that SoC supplies would represent a significant supply bottleneck, except perhaps, for short term production blips.

Since there are subtle differences between Raspberry Pis sold by the two distributors, we can see that they are doing at least some parts of the production independently. This means that there is a certain level of logistics fault tolerance. If one distributor stumbles, the other will stride ahead. This provides a huge incentive for each distributor to try to ramp up faster.

Production in April and before was 8K units, May was in 10s of thousands, looks like June is on track for hundreds of thousands. So, my back of the envelope calculation shows production volume roughly quadrupling month over month. This growth rate is probably constrained by training people at the factories, and all of the other logistics issues.

The good news is that production rates are high enough, that other factories will be interested in the business, should the distributors saturate the factories they're using now.

I won't be surprised if things go wrong, and slow down production, but it certainly isn't a given. It is entirely possible that schools will be able to order 30 at a time in September, and have them in October.

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bazza14
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Re: Quantity Orders (When)

Mon Jun 18, 2012 12:10 am

hamjudo wrote:This seems like a question for the distributors, so I asked it in the comment field in the Element14 registration of interest form. I will report back if I get an answer...............

.............I won't be surprised if things go wrong, and slow down production, but it certainly isn't a given. It is entirely possible that schools will be able to order 30 at a time in September, and have them in October.
This project is choking on it's own success and the foundation needs to talk tough to it's manufacturers. The likely hood of any one getting an order filled in less than 4 months is not going to happen this year and possibly not next year. We are still limited to one per customer, many people want more than one (personally I want 5 to work with initially then 20 plus), the model A is not even in production yet and the educational release is due later this year which will be a flop because there are no boards available. RS is going backwards, you are now looking at at least 14 weeks from time of order (not time of registration) and I suspect Farnell are not able (or possibly willing) to lift production much higher. This problem needs to be addressed URGENTLY.
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obarthelemy
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Re: Quantity Orders (When)

Mon Jun 18, 2012 8:15 am

Get a grip. There's no magic wand to summon up parts and production capacity. Plus it makes no sense to setup production for 100.000's of units per week and then dismantle 9/10ths of it once the initial surge has abated.
And the software is not quite ready anyway.

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Re: Quantity Orders (When)

Mon Jun 18, 2012 8:50 am

bazza14 wrote:
hamjudo wrote:This seems like a question for the distributors, so I asked it in the comment field in the Element14 registration of interest form. I will report back if I get an answer...............

.............I won't be surprised if things go wrong, and slow down production, but it certainly isn't a given. It is entirely possible that schools will be able to order 30 at a time in September, and have them in October.
This project is choking on it's own success and the foundation needs to talk tough to it's manufacturers. The likely hood of any one getting an order filled in less than 4 months is not going to happen this year and possibly not next year. We are still limited to one per customer, many people want more than one (personally I want 5 to work with initially then 20 plus), the model A is not even in production yet and the educational release is due later this year which will be a flop because there are no boards available. RS is going backwards, you are now looking at at least 14 weeks from time of order (not time of registration) and I suspect Farnell are not able (or possibly willing) to lift production much higher. This problem needs to be addressed URGENTLY.
Blimey - calm down!

Production is ramping every day. It's expected that about 500k (yes, half a million) will have reached customers by September. That's is quite a large amount from a standing start - not in the iPad2 volumes, but then we don't have the backing of Apple's $50B in the bank. Stop making assumptions about what the manufactures are doing - you have no idea what is going on behind the scenes.
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bazza14
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Re: Quantity Orders (When)

Mon Jun 18, 2012 12:54 pm

obarthelemy wrote:Get a grip. There's no magic wand to summon up parts and production capacity. Plus it makes no sense to setup production for 100.000's of units per week and then dismantle 9/10ths of it once the initial surge has abated.
And the software is not quite ready anyway.
Would you care to hazard a guess as to when the initial surge will abate? As Plugwash mentioned above RS and Farnell are not even interested in gauging the demand, it would be a simple exercise to ask people when they register how many units they would want (even though they can only order one) and I am puzzled why they haven't. Regarding production you would not set anything up other than a contract with a company that has the facilities to make the device.
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bazza14
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Re: Quantity Orders (When)

Mon Jun 18, 2012 1:45 pm

jamesh wrote:
Blimey - calm down!

Production is ramping every day. It's expected that about 500k (yes, half a million) will have reached customers by September. That's is quite a large amount from a standing start - not in the iPad2 volumes, but then we don't have the backing of Apple's $50B in the bank. Stop making assumptions about what the manufactures are doing - you have no idea what is going on behind the scenes.
I would not be making such a fuss if lead times were getting shorter but as they are getting longer that clearly indicates that production is not keeping pace with demand so production needs to be ramping a lot faster. As far as funding goes this is not comparable to Apple. They make a product ahead of orders, you don't go to a store and pay up front and then wait until they make it. These guys are getting expressions of interest so they know roughly how many are needed. Then you get invited to place an order at which point they know exactly the production quantity and then (in the case of RS) it takes 14 weeks to make it (which is ridiculous). So your manufacturers are being cautious and only building what they have been paid for. Would it not be sensible and let us order what we want and then RS and Farnell can put in build orders that match demand instead of this one per customer limit? Also you're correct, I have no idea what is going on behind the scenes would you care to let us know.

PS under the current scheme if I obey the rules I doubt if I would have the 5 R Pis I want before 2014 !
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nidO
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Re: Quantity Orders (When)

Mon Jun 18, 2012 2:04 pm

bazza14 wrote:Then you get invited to place an order at which point they know exactly the production quantity and then (in the case of RS) it takes 14 weeks to make it (which is ridiculous).
I'm not quite sure where you keep conjuring up this 14 weeks from. From the date I got my order code from RS to the date the PI they sent me was in my hands was just over 2 weeks, a friend of mine also received his this week having had his order code about 2 weeks ago. In fact, mine was less than 14 weeks TOTAL from the time I originally registered interest (29th Feb registered with both Farnell and RS, Farnell PI arrived late April, RS arrived early May, with 14 weeks from 29/02/2012 being 06/06/2012).

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Re: Quantity Orders (When)

Mon Jun 18, 2012 2:10 pm

To be fair - that is what Farnell are now quoting on their web site! They now have a table showing the dates going forward and the expected lead time in each case from the date you get to place your order. They show that lead times between placing an order and getting delivery are going to be getting progressively longer over the next few months. I had expected them to be going the other way.

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Re: Quantity Orders (When)

Mon Jun 18, 2012 2:20 pm

nidO wrote:
bazza14 wrote:Then you get invited to place an order at which point they know exactly the production quantity and then (in the case of RS) it takes 14 weeks to make it (which is ridiculous).
I'm not quite sure where you keep conjuring up this 14 weeks from. From the date I got my order code from RS to the date the PI they sent me was in my hands was just over 2 weeks, a friend of mine also received his this week having had his order code about 2 weeks ago. In fact, mine was less than 14 weeks TOTAL from the time I originally registered interest (29th Feb registered with both Farnell and RS, Farnell PI arrived late April, RS arrived early May, with 14 weeks from 29/02/2012 being 06/06/2012).
From RS website.

Code: Select all

Registration date recorded between		Estimated Invited to order date		Estimated shipping lead-time*
6th March - 12th March		Tuesday 19 June		9 weeks
13th March - 21st March		Wednesday 20 June		10 weeks
22nd March - 5th April		Thursday 21 June		11 weeks
6th April - 16 April		Friday 22 June		11 weeks
17th April - 25 April		Monday 25 June		12 weeks
26th April - 8th May		Tuesday 26 June		12 weeks
9th May - 23rd May		Wednesday 27 June		13 weeks
24th May - 7th June		Thursday 28 June		14 weeks
8th June onwards		Friday 29 June		14 weeks
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Re: Quantity Orders (When)

Mon Jun 18, 2012 2:25 pm

I think whilst the multitude of sd-card/distro/usb/power/wlan/ethernet problems are out there without a cast iron fix scenario yet its probably quite good that demand is restricted - its bad enough the amount of duplicated complaints about "this doesn't work or I can't get this to work" that are coming through on here on a standard set of a half dozen issues - can you imagine if there was 10 times as many pi's out there? :shock:
Steve N – binatone mk4->intellivision->zx81->spectrum->cbm64->cpc6128->520stfm->pc->raspi ?

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Re: Quantity Orders (When)

Mon Jun 18, 2012 2:33 pm

bazza14 wrote:
obarthelemy wrote:Get a grip. There's no magic wand to summon up parts and production capacity. Plus it makes no sense to setup production for 100.000's of units per week and then dismantle 9/10ths of it once the initial surge has abated.
And the software is not quite ready anyway.
Would you care to hazard a guess as to when the initial surge will abate? As Plugwash mentioned above RS and Farnell are not even interested in gauging the demand, it would be a simple exercise to ask people when they register how many units they would want (even though they can only order one) and I am puzzled why they haven't. Regarding production you would not set anything up other than a contract with a company that has the facilities to make the device.
You do NOT know what Farnell and RS are doing, you do not KNOW how many orders are coming in. Production is ramping as fast as RS and Farnell can manage - there are limits on how fast they can do it - it's not just a matter of turning a switch to make the conveyor belts run faster. If you were RS or Farnell, (ie a big multinational company) why would they NOT make as many as you could as fast as you could? What possible reason would they have for not ramping as fast as possible? Use Occams razor here.

To my knowledge, the queue is getting smaller. Maybe not as fast as you seem to want it (or indeed Farnell or RS), but its rate of decrease is increasing.

The problem with asking people about a quantity is that there is still a queue. So people who want a lot stop people who want one getting them. So until the queue is small enough that the disties don't pee off a lot of single item purchasers there will be no bulk orders. Knowing how many bulk orders there are make no difference to the speed of the ramp - it's going as fast as it can - so there is no point is asking for bulk numbers at this stage.
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Re: Quantity Orders (When)

Mon Jun 18, 2012 2:34 pm

SN wrote:I think whilst the multitude of sd-card/distro/usb/power/wlan/ethernet problems are out there without a cast iron fix scenario yet its probably quite good that demand is restricted - its bad enough the amount of duplicated complaints about "this doesn't work or I can't get this to work" that are coming through on here on a standard set of a half dozen issues - can you imagine if there was 10 times as many pi's out there? :shock:
Try the latest release of Debian - currently in testing - it's much better.
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nidO
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Re: Quantity Orders (When)

Mon Jun 18, 2012 2:45 pm

bazza14 wrote:
From RS website.

Code: Select all

Registration date recorded between		Estimated Invited to order date		Estimated shipping lead-time*
6th March - 12th March		Tuesday 19 June		9 weeks
13th March - 21st March		Wednesday 20 June		10 weeks
22nd March - 5th April		Thursday 21 June		11 weeks
6th April - 16 April		Friday 22 June		11 weeks
17th April - 25 April		Monday 25 June		12 weeks
26th April - 8th May		Tuesday 26 June		12 weeks
9th May - 23rd May		Wednesday 27 June		13 weeks
24th May - 7th June		Thursday 28 June		14 weeks
8th June onwards		Friday 29 June		14 weeks
Either those figures need to be taken with a pinch of salt or there've been *many many* more registrations of interest than at launch since then, as, as I said, delivery time from order is *currently* 2-3 weeks, not 9-14, however those I know of are all from registrations within a day or two of launch.
Do not also that contrary to your earlier comment, the queue is getting shorter, not longer, as is clearly shown by the table you yourself have quoted (the fact that the shipping lead-time is increasing totally neglects the fact that the wait between registration and invitation to order is being slashed from over 3 months to less than 3 weeks).
People who registered between 6th-12th of March will wait till the 19th of June to order (15 weeks) plus 9 weeks estimated delivery, totalling 24 weeks from registration to delivery, whereas someone registering on the 8th of June will wait 3 weeks to order, plus estimated 14 week delivery totalling 17 weeks - That means, assuming RS's estimates are accurate, the queue has been reduced from 24 weeks to 17, a reduction of around 2 months.

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bazza14
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Re: Quantity Orders (When)

Mon Jun 18, 2012 3:26 pm

jamesh wrote:
bazza14 wrote:
obarthelemy wrote:Get a grip. There's no magic wand to summon up parts and production capacity. Plus it makes no sense to setup production for 100.000's of units per week and then dismantle 9/10ths of it once the initial surge has abated.
And the software is not quite ready anyway.
Would you care to hazard a guess as to when the initial surge will abate? As Plugwash mentioned above RS and Farnell are not even interested in gauging the demand, it would be a simple exercise to ask people when they register how many units they would want (even though they can only order one) and I am puzzled why they haven't. Regarding production you would not set anything up other than a contract with a company that has the facilities to make the device.
You do NOT know what Farnell and RS are doing, you do not KNOW how many orders are coming in. Production is ramping as fast as RS and Farnell can manage - there are limits on how fast they can do it - it's not just a matter of turning a switch to make the conveyor belts run faster. If you were RS or Farnell, (ie a big multinational company) why would they NOT make as many as you could as fast as you could? What possible reason would they have for not ramping as fast as possible? Use Occams razor here.

To my knowledge, the queue is getting smaller. Maybe not as fast as you seem to want it (or indeed Farnell or RS), but its rate of decrease is increasing.

The problem with asking people about a quantity is that there is still a queue. So people who want a lot stop people who want one getting them. So until the queue is small enough that the disties don't pee off a lot of single item purchasers there will be no bulk orders. Knowing how many bulk orders there are make no difference to the speed of the ramp - it's going as fast as it can - so there is no point is asking for bulk numbers at this stage.
James I have a bit of experience in contract electronic manufacturing, to know how many items the market wants is vital. Companies such as Apple spend very large sums of money estimating this demand your guys just need to ask.
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bazza14
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Re: Quantity Orders (When)

Mon Jun 18, 2012 3:46 pm

nidO wrote:
bazza14 wrote:
From RS website.

Code: Select all

Registration date recorded between		Estimated Invited to order date		Estimated shipping lead-time*
6th March - 12th March		Tuesday 19 June		9 weeks
13th March - 21st March		Wednesday 20 June		10 weeks
22nd March - 5th April		Thursday 21 June		11 weeks
6th April - 16 April		Friday 22 June		11 weeks
17th April - 25 April		Monday 25 June		12 weeks
26th April - 8th May		Tuesday 26 June		12 weeks
9th May - 23rd May		Wednesday 27 June		13 weeks
24th May - 7th June		Thursday 28 June		14 weeks
8th June onwards		Friday 29 June		14 weeks
Either those figures need to be taken with a pinch of salt or there've been *many many* more registrations of interest than at launch since then, as, as I said, delivery time from order is *currently* 2-3 weeks, not 9-14, however those I know of are all from registrations within a day or two of launch.
Do not also that contrary to your earlier comment, the queue is getting shorter, not longer, as is clearly shown by the table you yourself have quoted (the fact that the shipping lead-time is increasing totally neglects the fact that the wait between registration and invitation to order is being slashed from over 3 months to less than 3 weeks).
People who registered between 6th-12th of March will wait till the 19th of June to order (15 weeks) plus 9 weeks estimated delivery, totalling 24 weeks from registration to delivery, whereas someone registering on the 8th of June will wait 3 weeks to order, plus estimated 14 week delivery totalling 17 weeks - That means, assuming RS's estimates are accurate, the queue has been reduced from 24 weeks to 17, a reduction of around 2 months.
You should pursue a career in politics.
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Msquared
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Re: Quantity Orders (When)

Fri Jun 22, 2012 5:03 am

jamesh wrote:you have no idea what is going on behind the scenes.
Indeed. A bit more transparency wouldn't hurt. We're not regular consumers, mindlessly champing at the bit for the latest and shiniest technology (well, maybe we are a bit of that, but we're not just that); we're a community of hackers, enthusiasts, tinkerers, learners, and the like.

The reason there's so much frustration around production schedules, volumes, and availability is because there are so many people who are enthusiastic about this, but the suppliers are not doing enough to keep us updated and to help us understand their situation. They may even be (inadvertently) sabotaging themselves by not seeking additional information with orders, such as "how many more do you want?", and so on. (I think someone else on this thread already made that suggestion, in fact...)

I know I'd be happier (and more patient) if I knew what to expect... (Ah, "expectation management"...)

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Re: Quantity Orders (When)

Fri Jun 22, 2012 6:41 am

Msquared wrote:
jamesh wrote:you have no idea what is going on behind the scenes.
Indeed. A bit more transparency wouldn't hurt. We're not regular consumers, mindlessly champing at the bit for the latest and shiniest technology (well, maybe we are a bit of that, but we're not just that); we're a community of hackers, enthusiasts, tinkerers, learners, and the like.

The reason there's so much frustration around production schedules, volumes, and availability is because there are so many people who are enthusiastic about this, but the suppliers are not doing enough to keep us updated and to help us understand their situation. They may even be (inadvertently) sabotaging themselves by not seeking additional information with orders, such as "how many more do you want?", and so on. (I think someone else on this thread already made that suggestion, in fact...)

I know I'd be happier (and more patient) if I knew what to expect... (Ah, "expectation management"...)
Everything that can be said, is said. Unfortunately these things cannot be completely transparent because of legal issues.
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arm2
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Re: Quantity Orders (When)

Wed Jun 27, 2012 7:15 pm

jamesh wrote:
Msquared wrote:
jamesh wrote:you have no idea what is going on behind the scenes.
Indeed. A bit more transparency wouldn't hurt. .....
not seeking additional information with orders, such as "how many more do you want?", and so on. (I think someone else on this thread already made that suggestion, in fact...)

I know I'd be happier (and more patient) if I knew what to expect... (Ah, "expectation management"...)
Everything that can be said, is said. Unfortunately these things cannot be completely transparent because of legal issues.
Very unlikely "legal issues." possibly contractual.

It is very unfortunate that the very good suggestions are not being taken up.

RS's posting raises almost as many questions as it answers. As time goes on I would have thought Farnell and RS would have learnt some lessons, sadly no :-(

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Re: Quantity Orders (When)

Wed Jun 27, 2012 8:06 pm

Legal issues = contractual issues to all intents and purposes i.e. you are legally obliged to adhere to your contract.

Suggestions are being taken up all the time, and lessons are learnt all the time. Just because you don't see the results or they are not the lessons people think should be learnt, doesn't mean things are not changing behind the scenes.
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arm2
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Re: Quantity Orders (When)

Wed Jun 27, 2012 9:19 pm

Good communications is the lesson not being learnt!

Msquared
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Re: Quantity Orders (When)

Sun Jul 01, 2012 1:39 pm

jamesh wrote:
Msquared wrote:
jamesh wrote:you have no idea what is going on behind the scenes.
Indeed. A bit more transparency wouldn't hurt. We're not regular consumers, mindlessly champing at the bit for the latest and shiniest technology (well, maybe we are a bit of that, but we're not just that); we're a community of hackers, enthusiasts, tinkerers, learners, and the like.

[...]

I know I'd be happier (and more patient) if I knew what to expect... (Ah, "expectation management"...)
Everything that can be said, is said. Unfortunately these things cannot be completely transparent because of legal issues.
Doesn't matter how you excuse it, it still comes across as poor customer service. But I don't even care about the reasons for the delay; I just want to know more about what to expect, and when those expectations change, to simply be informed...

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Re: Quantity Orders (When)

Sun Jul 01, 2012 5:42 pm

Then suggest you approach the people you are blaming for poor customer service rather than complaining about it here where it can make no difference.
Much decent customer service from larger corps went out of the window many years ago.
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