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Thread: Auto-pilot customer service issues...

  1. Back To Top    #1

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    Auto-pilot customer service issues...

    Subject title edited by SeanB to something more appropriate.
    Thanks.


    I am going to try to condense a 5-10 minute conversation into a few words while trying to be accurate. I have been researching swg for a while and was ready to buy Autopilot Total Control. Called them to ask some questions that I could not find or did not understand on their site. Remember I am paraphrasing so extremely condensed version but I beleive the gist is true. I apologize that my 1st post is lengthy and negative.
    The Total Control is $1000.00 or more than the dig48, acid add seems to be the main diff is that true?
    Tech Ans: You should have found that on the web site.
    If I choose to add acid myself will the dig48 be comparable to the Total Control?
    Tech Ans:You tell me.
    Do the orp and ph sensors need to be replaced every 2 years, and how much do they cost?
    Tech Ans:They need to be replaced every 2 years.
    And the cost?
    Tech Ans:I can't tell you.
    Huh, because that is a question for sales?
    Tech Ans:No because the price will be diff in 2 years.
    Well one more question my main goal is to have to do as little chemical handling as possible will the Total Control take care of all the chemicals for me?
    Tech Ans:You have to ask your pool store.
    There is one pool store in my town and their answer to everthing is baquacil he won't even talk to me about swg.
    Tech Ans:you have to talk to your pool store.
    Are you really a tech or just someone that Autopilot hired because its the busy season?
    Tech Ans:Is that supposed to be an insult?
    No but you haven't given me a straight answer on any question.
    Tech Ans:You need to get your stabilizer at the pool store.
    I thought the chlorine made by the Total Control was the stabilizer?
    Tech Ans: No you get the stabilizer at your pool store.
    Well thank you very much that is all I have.
    Tech Ans:You have a nice weekend.

    20x40 vinyl, sand filter, baquacil. I am sick of spending a $1000 or more a year at local pool store for 12 weeks of swiiming
    for my kids and grandkids.

  2. Back To Top    #2

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    Turning a big ship

    Dear Bestlandlord,

    In a way, I agree with you. This example of support sucks and you should not have had to get these answers. I don't mean to threadjack the title, but the best explanation is like taking a big ship and reversing its course in the middle of the ocean. You just cant stop on a dime and go the opposite position. It's going to continue going forward a little more before you can slow down enough to turn the ship around.
    We went through a major shift in manufacturing when we combined two major facilites in opposite sides of Florida, into one main location. We are going through the transition pains but I think we've gone through the worst of it.

    I read your criticism not with negativity, rather I see it as an opportunity to correct or replace terrible customer service. Unfortunately it's the company that I work for so if I can provide any answers on the Total Control, let me know.
    Thank you for the feedback.

    If you can post me off line, I would love to get the name of the rep you spoke with and the date so I can bring this to my customer service manager so it can be addressed with this rep (and the rest of customer service and tech team). We certainly do not need you, the consumer, being spoke to or treated as your example shows.

    With my sincerest apologies,
    Sean Assam - Sean@teamhorner.com
    National Accounts and Commercial Products Manager
    AquaCal Heat Pumps www.aquacal.com
    AutoPilot Salt Chlorine Generators www.autopilot.com

  3. Back To Top    #3
    that's really a shame best..on the bright side, what other company has a rep who contributes to the degree sean does..that makes me very happy i purchased an autopilot. clearly, there's at least one person at the company who can take some lessons on how to treat customers from sean. what has always impressed me in reading sean's threads is not only will he share his knowledge regularly (when frankly, at times with some questions, he could say..here's a link to the manual) but he's proactive as well LOOKING for new threads rather than waiting for contact..and maybe the most impressive thing..he is helpful, even if someone's looking for assistance with a competing product. now THAT'S customer service in my book to an exceptional degree.

    just want to make sure you know your help is appreciated sean, always
    • 15K IG gunite/plaster pool • Pentair: Whisperflo EE 1 HP • Nautilus FNS + 48 DE Filter • IntelliChlor IC40 •
    • Spectrum Amerlite SAm • Admiral S20 Skimmer - Circular Weir • Kreepy Krauly •

  4. Back To Top    #4

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    Thanks Terry.

    As an FYI... I haven't heard anything back from Bestlandlord here, or privately. hmmmmm.......
    Sean Assam - Sean@teamhorner.com
    National Accounts and Commercial Products Manager
    AquaCal Heat Pumps www.aquacal.com
    AutoPilot Salt Chlorine Generators www.autopilot.com

  5. Back To Top    #5
    and so you know best, wasn't trying to defend sean...or to berate you.he needs no defense from me, just sharing the positive experience i'd had with his him on behalf of his company. lord knows, my companies main division has such bad customer service that i refused to buy a product from them even for an employee discount
    • 15K IG gunite/plaster pool • Pentair: Whisperflo EE 1 HP • Nautilus FNS + 48 DE Filter • IntelliChlor IC40 •
    • Spectrum Amerlite SAm • Admiral S20 Skimmer - Circular Weir • Kreepy Krauly •

  6. Back To Top    #6

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    Sorry for the delay in responding. I have spent hours on this site and others reading and have noticed a few names over and over being extremely helpful, Sean being one of them, and thank you very much.
    Just as an update I am still most impressed with Autopilot Total Control and still can't find any site, and i,ve googled many with many diff terms, that sell the ph and orp sensors. I am torn between advice, much from this site, to the effect that those extra bells and whistles aren't worth the price and upkeep and wanting them because they seem at least in writing to be a great idea. I don't know if I want to spend hundreds of dollars per year if they are that expensive and need to be replaced every 2 years.
    I haven't been able to find an hour measurement for the sensors. The cell life seems to be determined that way as in 10,000 hrs. I might run my pump 1200 hrs a year. 12 hrs a day X 100 days. So maybe I would get more than 2 years out of the sensors.

  7. Back To Top    #7
    hey best..like you, i will get about 100 days a year of pool time in a season. a guy i work with has a totally automated system so i was "jonesing" a bit when i decided to install a chlorine generator. in the end, it just seemed to me for a 1/4 year swimming season to be excessive. now, if i was in a climate where a pool was almost a must due to heat or a year round option, then it's almost a way of life i expect..(and then i'd have a much bigger pool then my 18 x 33 inground kidney) where i am, it's a luxury item in the first place. my shed with controls is like out my back patio door and 20 ft away..the walk does me good..and automated or not, the maintenance has to be done and i'm not paying a pool boy to your point about life of sensors, you may well get a lot more time out of them given the length of your season. i'm certainly hoping that's the case with my autopilot cell ...given the short swimming season cycle here.

    terry
    • 15K IG gunite/plaster pool • Pentair: Whisperflo EE 1 HP • Nautilus FNS + 48 DE Filter • IntelliChlor IC40 •
    • Spectrum Amerlite SAm • Admiral S20 Skimmer - Circular Weir • Kreepy Krauly •

  8. Back To Top    #8

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    Hey Best,

    The cell life is rated at 10,000 hours of operation. IF your cell output was set to 100 %, then your calculations would work. But because the cell should not be at 100%, let's say for example 50%, your cell life would be 4 yrs. If it's at 25%, then cell life is 8yrs.
    Now, with the Total Control system, the cell only comes on when chlorine demand is lowered below the set point. This will actually extend the cell life even more as the cell is only energized as needed.

    The probe life is rated at about 2 years. This is ALMOST regardless of actual operation or anything else. It's from the time of manufacture, plus or minus a few months. The pH probe seems to last much longer.
    The probes are also supplied by CAT controls. Chemauto.com is their site. Maybe that will help get pricing on the probes from e-tailers.

    Best, if you can please provide the Autopilot reps name that you spoke with, if you recall it, I really would like to make sure my customer service manager addresses it. Even though this may happen again, I want to make sure it is addressed so that it is minimized.
    Sean Assam - Sean@teamhorner.com
    National Accounts and Commercial Products Manager
    AquaCal Heat Pumps www.aquacal.com
    AutoPilot Salt Chlorine Generators www.autopilot.com

  9. Back To Top    #9
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    The Total Control system costs more, no question about that. It deals with most of the daily chores, all I need to do daily is clean the skimmer basket. Weekly and monthly chores remain exactly the same as before. I still need to test the water and adjust everything except chlorine and PH. You still need to buy acid but you pour it into the tank a couple of times a season instead of into the pool daily (or every couple of days).

    My experience with customer service has been mixed but mostly very positive. Once I e-mailed the address in the manual and in 18 hours got an outstanding response. Once I used the form on their web site and never got any answer. Once I contacted Sean directly and he was wonderful, going way beyond what I expected.

    I looked up the probes, they currently go for $175-185 each at places like http://www.aqua-man.com/subdetails.asp?product_num=3471.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  10. Back To Top    #10
    DaveNJ's Avatar
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    I had asked a general question in the forum about my Autopilot. Sean responded and got some info from me. Poolpilot called and a tech. is coming Tuesday.

    By the way thanks Sean.

    Dave
    IG 18x36 oval vinyl, Spill over spa, Northstar 2hp-2spd, 2.5" piping, S310T 500lb Sand filter, 400k gas heater, AutoPilot SWCG
    http://www.tftestkits.net/

  11. Back To Top    #11

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    Thank you everyone for replies. First time in 7 years I have received answers to my pool questions besides put in more baquacil and run pump 24/7.

  12. Back To Top    #12
    DONNIE's Avatar
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    I can personally say that I have recieved the best customer support from Sean than I have ever recieved from any company in the past. I can also say that I am 100% pleased with my Pool Pilot and would not consider any other brand in the future.

    Donnie
    8500 Gallon Fiberglass IG / Sta-Rite pump,cartridge filter & heater / PoolPilot Dig 220-36 SWG / Testing w/K2006

  13. Back To Top    #13

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    You all are seriously making me eat some humble pie here. I appreciate the awesome feedback and kindness. I'm just trying to help.


    (don't mean to offend, but.. I give God the Glory. Amen!)
    Sean Assam - Sean@teamhorner.com
    National Accounts and Commercial Products Manager
    AquaCal Heat Pumps www.aquacal.com
    AutoPilot Salt Chlorine Generators www.autopilot.com

  14. Back To Top    #14

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    AGREE!!

    I agree with Donnie's post. Sean is a rare representative of a company. He is actually doing everything he can to make the customer happy. Unfortunately cant say that about too many people anymore. Thrilled with my autopilot also.

    Ps....Sean I do have one issue...here is NJ we have had 2 straight days of rain and temps in the low 70s. Please send up some of the warmer temps from FLA ASAP!
    14 x 32 Fiberglass Pool 10K gal. Hayward Pump and Sand Filter. Autopilot SWG Dig 48 and Heat Siphon 3.25sx Heat Pump.

    The Pool Calculator
    Chlorine/CYA Chart by Chemgeek

  15. Back To Top    #15

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    No worries Mate. That same storm front came through Florida last weekend. Dropped alot of rain that we really needed.
    Now that it's gone, it gotten nice and back to warm. The sun is coming..... it's coming.

    Sean Assam - Sean@teamhorner.com
    National Accounts and Commercial Products Manager
    AquaCal Heat Pumps www.aquacal.com
    AutoPilot Salt Chlorine Generators www.autopilot.com

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