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Thread: How are you guys dealing with mp3car, the business?

  1. #21
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    I registered just to post this, because I had bad experience with them too.

    Robert D Wray

    family (at the home address listed below):
    ********* ****
    ***** * ****

    known addresses:
    * *********** ** (mp3car), Reisterstown, MD 21136-6018
    * *********** ** (home), Reisterstown, MD 21136-6018
    ** *********** ** (********** **** ********** Corp), Reisterstown, MD 21136-6018
    **** ****** ** ***** *** (********** **** ********** Corp), Baltimore, MD 21224

    known phone numbers:
    410-***-**** (work)
    410-***-**** (home)

    alternate email: rwray@********.com

    tip: if you called his house and spoke with one of his family members, you are more likely to get a response from him. (since his family members will tell him that you called, and he will contact you because he will not want people to continue calling his house)

    that should be enough. let me know if you need more info

    best of luck

  2. #22
    Mo' Programming Mo' Problems
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    Quote Originally Posted by Injector View Post
    well it depends on your budget the main things you will need are:

    Screen
    Computer
    Power Supply
    GPS (optional)
    bluetooth dongle (optional)

    or you can buy and all in one system like this one:
    http://store.mp3car.com/Guru_Double_..._p/ccc-130.htm

    you can also buy a stage 3 or 4 package which comes with all the basics you will need to install it.

    i would recommend you take a look at our wiki before choosing what you wish to purchase here is the link:
    http://www.mp3car.com/wiki/index.php/Main_Page


    that took me a whole 2 minutes to write, not say it would problably take 30 seconds to say it. so is not that hard.
    And you did it once... for free. Now imagine having to pay someone to salary to say that all day. Knowing that the only way a customer would get your phone number was to go to the mp3car site where there's full length descriptions of each item you just mentioned.
    mp3Car.com Senior Tech Blogger (Want a product reviewed? Contact me.)
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  3. #23
    Neither darque nor pervert DarquePervert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonicxtacy02 View Post
    And you did it once... for free. Now imagine having to pay someone to salary to say that all day. Knowing that the only way a customer would get your phone number was to go to the mp3car site where there's full length descriptions of each item you just mentioned.
    See, and that brings up my major complaint that repeatedly gets removed. Since they are our of pocket currently, I'll post it again in hopes that more people will see it.

    The mp3car.com store directs potential customers to the forums before purchasing. They offer no pre-sales support.
    All the advice that forum members provide or how-to articles you post in the forums and/or wiki or product reviews you create are used as a form of pre-sales support for the mp3car.com store.

    Don't believe me?
    This page is the Policies & FAQs page for the store.

    Right there at the top:
    Introduction to the Mp3Car Store

    The Mp3Car store specializes in the sale of cutting edge mobile computing products for companies and technologists. If you are interested in learning more about the products sold by Mp3Car and mobile computing technology, you may do any of the following activities:

    1. Read Car Computing 101
    2. Read the "Getting Started with CarPCs" FAQ
    3. Watch "How to build your own car computer."
    4. Watch "Car PC Basics for the Newbie featuring the iBug."
    5. Search the Mp3Car Forums for your vehicle model and see examples for your car computer install.
    6. Join the "newbie" section of the Mp3Car forums and post some questions.
    7. Spend some time reading the Mp3Car Forums, with over 1.2 million posts you are sure to find something of interest.
    So rather than having someone educate customers about the products and would/could/should work well for their project, they pass that task onto the general forum membership.

    There are links to write-ups written by a number of people:

    1. Car Computing 101 is mostly copied/pasted from the main page of the mp3car.com wiki. I know that was pieced together by multiple forum members over a period of time when the Wiki launched. I added to it, as well as meddler, Tidder, RedGTiVR6 and others.

    2. You only have to look at the bottom of the FAQ to see all the forum members that contributed to the items in the FAQ section. 13 are listed on that FAQ alone, never mind the contributors to all the other FAQs or threads it links to or the dozens who have contributed to the current FAQs.

    3. This is Rob (aka FiberOptic, owner of mp3car.com) himself. It's actually a pretty good video, for those who haven't seen it.

    4. This is Bugbyte's setup. He is an unpaid forum administrator, as far as I know.

    5. Go directly to the forums.

    6. Go directly to the NEWBIE forum, where Tidder (another unpaid member of the moderation team) has been assigned to meet & greet new members.

    7. Go directly to the forums.


    So.... Want to get a PC in your vehicle?
    The stores response: "Don't ask US questions. Ask the hobbyists."

    Yes, I agree that the general forum membership is probably more knowledgeable about the hobby, the products, the capabilities, installations, etc. than Rob and/or Heather, however it doesn't make it any more acceptable to pass off their legwork to get customers to buy their products onto the general forum membership.

    Whether you, as a forum member realize it or not... If a new member comes to the forum and wants to know if an M2ATX will power the system he/she has in mind, there is a good chance they have been directed to the forums from the FAQ page of the mp3car.com store!

    And the mp3car.com store is utilizing each and every member of the hobby community to answer questions for potential customers. The logic is that we will answer their questions and help new members to make buying decisions, which they will get from the mp3car.com store.


    Did you know that there are people who make a darn good living suggesting products to potential customers? It's called commission-based sales.
    This sort of sales compensation doesn't work in the computer hardware market because margins have to remain absolutely razor-thin in order for a reseller to remain competitive. I get that.
    However, it doesn't do anything to recognize the forum membership that are helping to drive sales to the store, let alone who think they are just being helpful ant participatory, yet are actually providing free pre-sales support for mp3car.com customers.

    I'm sorry if Heather & Rob don't understand why I think this business practice is shady, on the best of days.
    I understand why my bringing it up repeatedly is scary. I'm an outsider and being hyper-critical of their business model and their business decisions. Am I just a bitter ex-moderator that wants to stir up old issues? Believe it or not, no.

    My presence is here because I appreciate this community. End of story.
    If you felt that a company was taking advantage of a group that you were a part of, wouldn't you want to educate your fellow group members of this company that was doing so? That's a service to the community, as far as I can tell. That's what I'm trying to do.

    The sticky wicket is that these forums are the best place to get information out to the members of this community. That includes the resellers, the developers, the hardware hackers, the installers, the audio junkies, the geeks, dweebs, fanbois, and even the MT mafia. Everyone involved in this hobby at any level comes to these forums for information, news, advice, suggestions, inspiration or whatever.
    And these forums are hosted by the same company that employs what I consider to be a poor business practice that preys upon the kind-hearted hobbyists they cater to....

    All to safe a few bucks and not have a phone line for customer support.
    Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
    How about the Wiki?



    Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.

  4. #24
    North of the land of Hey Huns
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarquePervert View Post
    My presence is here because I appreciate this community. End of story.
    It seems more like your presence here is to bash mp3car as a company at the expense of the community. You seem to have a personal issue against mp3car, which is fine everyone is entitled to their own opinions. But please keep in mind they aren't forcing you to stay here, there ARE other car computing websites. So why the attempts to dissuade users from being a part of this community and by doing so hurt the community? Bad publicity makes the community (as a forum) look bad, and constant posts like yours don't help things. While you make some good points you DO over-emphasize things that really don't matter as much as you make them seem. One such example is the fact that mp3car points users to the forums for general car computing help. They're not there as a car computing install help service. They're there as a company that sells parts. Not systems, just parts. While I agree that sometimes they take longer than they really should to answer emails, I can only imagine how many emails they receive where they have to say "Please go to the forums". Ditto that for phone calls back when they had phone support.

    Mp3car may have handled some situations wrong or differently from how you feel they should have been handled, but you're acting like they are wronging everyone on the forums and every customer that purchases from them which is just not the case. Again they are not forcing you to stay here and provide "free" support, nor anyone else. They also have been very open about the fact that they are pointing people to the forums for help.

    Please don't let your personal vendetta against mp3car hurt the community. Personally if I was new and came to the forum to see posts like yours, I'd turn around and go somewhere else. I'm not just talking about writing off the mp3car store and purchasing stuff elsewhere, I'm talking about writing off the mp3car community.


    /rant
    "stop with the REINSTALLS, what do you think we got some lame-o installer!!!" - mitchjs
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  5. #25
    And then I was mod. Tidder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by migrant View Post
    I registered just to post this, because I had bad experience with them too.

    Robert D Wray

    family (at the home address listed below):
    ********* ****
    ***** * ****

    known addresses:
    * *********** ** (mp3car), Reisterstown, MD 21136-6018
    * *********** ** (home), Reisterstown, MD 21136-6018
    ** *********** ** (********** **** ********** Corp), Reisterstown, MD 21136-6018
    **** ****** ** ***** *** (********** **** ********** Corp), Baltimore, MD 21224

    known phone numbers:
    410-***-**** (work)
    410-***-**** (home)

    alternate email: rwray@********.com

    tip: if you called his house and spoke with one of his family members, you are more likely to get a response from him. (since his family members will tell him that you called, and he will contact you because he will not want people to continue calling his house)

    that should be enough. let me know if you need more info

    best of luck
    I've edited your post to remove all personal information about another forum member. If they want to share this information, they can do it on their own.

    Business and personal should always be kept separate. Sure it's a small business, but it's still business. Posting information publicly on how to bug them at home is a sure fire way to get everything taken from us. The store (no heart-break there) and the forum, since this is where the information came from. Use your brain in the future before posting something that, in my opinion, was very stupid to try and make public.
    Tidder

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  6. #26
    Constant Bitrate
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    Well, since a few people seem to take such exception that MP3Car.com's webstore doesn't have a phone support line, here is a solution:

    Get rid of this forum which is sure to be an appreciable expense for them.
    Then there would be no hobbyist forum HERE and they could instead spend the money on phone support....

    No thank you.

    I would far rather have this forum than a phone support number: I can search for answers and info any time, at no cost to me.
    I can ask questions that may be pretty damn obscure, as most of the issues I have ever had with computers ARE, and no phone support has EVER been of any help with...

    Look folks, it is what it is, like it or not.
    Whine all you want, it's not likely to change.

  7. #27
    Admin. Linux loser.
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    Bugbyte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarquePervert View Post
    And the mp3car.com store is utilizing each and every member of the hobby community to answer questions for potential customers. The logic is that we will answer their questions and help new members to make buying decisions, which they will get from the mp3car.com store.
    Come on, man, get over it. I've heard this rant over and over and over.

    I could care less whether they point people to the forum or not. The forum IS the best place to find this stuff out and whether there's a store attached to it or not, thousands of members will always trump the four or five people at the store.

    Whether someone buys the product from China or EBay, the best and arguably quickest source for information about how to use it is on the net, either here or in forums like digital-car.uk.

    The RideRunner software license agreement points to the RR forum as the primary source of bug fixes and information. That's a business. They're doing the same thing.

    I'll use DP language to get my point across: They made a decision you don't agree with. Big deal, happens all the time. Get over and move on. Either stop contributing your free labor for exploitation by discontinuing posting, take your contributions elsewhere where you don't think you are getting exploited, or stop repeating yourself. Your call.
    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruzer View Post
    I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
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  8. #28
    Maximum Bitrate jpinkerton's Avatar
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    I want to chime in on this topic.

    Last night I attempted to place my first order with the MP3Car.com store. For whatever reason the online checkout was stating my credit card was declined despite the charge actually going through.

    I do not blame the online store for this. I blame my credit card. This same issue has happened TWICE with me this week on this credit card when attempting to pay bills. The company sees it decline, the card sees it go through. In 6 years this is the first I've had issues with this credit card company, but again I do NOT blame the store.

    Having seen this thread prior to my order, then having the issues with the online store I PMed Fiberoptic as was suggested, at 11PM. Fiberoptic, despite being on vacation, replied to my PM WITHIN THE HOUR with the correct suggestion of contacting [email protected].

    I E-mailed [email protected] at 8AM. At 11AM I had a response from Stephen, 3 hour turnaround time. Pretty damn good.

    Just now I placed my order without issue using PayPal instead of my dumb credit card.

    I'm happy with the support and turnaround times I've received thus far. Thumbs up for the MP3Car.com staff!

    Update: I received another E-mail from Stephen 15 minutes after my order confirming the successful PayPal transaction and that my order should ship today. I freaking love this place.

  9. #29
    Low Bitrate ABTsportsline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bugbyte View Post
    Looks like the issue was resolved.

    I'm not defending the practice of having no phone support, it is a business decision that they have made and these are some of the consequences. On the other hand it is pretty clearly stated that they don't provide phone support and that it takes 2-3 business days to respond.
    when i first became an mp3car customer, they DID have a phone line. the fact that they later decided to remove it is my fault? if i could go back and "undo" my patronizing of their business many years ago, i would.... but i did my due diligence when i started...

    Quote Originally Posted by archarrow View Post
    All I have to say is that MP3CAR.com has provided me with nothing but support when I asked for it. They even shipped everything I ordered to me in IRAQ. And oddly enough both time's I order somthing from them it made it here in 3-5 days. If any of you are in the miliatary or been to Iraq getting somthing from the states in 3-5 days is a good thing. As for that there are many american companys that wont ship to an APO address which I think is compelte BS its like mailing anything to a regular address in the states.
    i appreciate your situation (i'm a disabled vet, FYI), but that's just the initial transaction. i'd hesitate to completely rate a vendor based on the initial purchase alone. :beer:

    Quote Originally Posted by rogerdugans View Post
    Well, since a few people seem to take such exception that MP3Car.com's webstore doesn't have a phone support line, here is a solution:

    Get rid of this forum which is sure to be an appreciable expense for them.
    Then there would be no hobbyist forum HERE and they could instead spend the money on phone support....

    No thank you.

    I would far rather have this forum than a phone support number: I can search for answers and info any time, at no cost to me.
    I can ask questions that may be pretty damn obscure, as most of the issues I have ever had with computers ARE, and no phone support has EVER been of any help with....
    that's all fine and dandy, but that helps out their explanation of not having a phone line - not the reason why we are saying they NEED one - for warranty/legacy support of their own products, not for suggestions. I've had my products from them completely stop working - through no fault of my own. i've also ordered products from them and they've sent the wrong ones. are these not legitimate reasons to call a business? the immensely copping-out reason of stupid questions is all on their end - i can't imagine they're getting the volume of those calls that the sympathizers on here are leading us to believe. i'm sure you get a couple of calls about what will work with what - but like ANY electronics store, the sales staff should be prepared to answer those questions. when i go to Car Toys and buy a headunit for my girlfriend, i have questions on whether the headunit can work with an ipod, fit in her car, etc. you know what? the sales staff talks to me and answers my question immediately.

    i'll even take another angle - give me an example of a legitimate business that we all know of that does NOT have a phone number to call. anything. can you? i can't. Even the guy who slings used car parts on craigslist has a phone number. the absence of a phone contact number is actually one of the clues to fraud listed on the government's website regarding fraudulent internet activities & scams. I'm not calling mp3car a fraudulent company (obviously they're legitimate, albeit with ****-poor customer service), but let's be real here.....

    if you want yet another example - what if you're wanting to order parts on their website, but are wondering if you need to order another part for putting it in your car, and the description of the part on the store is not clear.... or what if you have a question about an upgrade they offer for another part they sell? these are questions directly about their own products relating to your order. honestly, this was MY case when i ordered from them years ago. given that i was making a $3,000 purchase, i think i am well within my right to make sure i'm ordering everything i need for my car, and to make sure it will all work well together.

    can't argue the "we don't want to pay someone $30k/year" either - this is clearly a mom & pop organization. they don't have an actual storefront, only have what, 4-5 "employees", and only have a webstore. no phone number. i also run a business like that, but i have a phone number. and yes i sell products off a website to regular customers around the country. i'm a small-time one-person operation, and i am able to manage all my affairs.

    i'm sure you'd be singing a very different tune if you ordered parts & they didn't show up, showed up being incorrect, or if they showed up broken or not working. put yourself in a concerned client's shoes.

    Quote Originally Posted by jpinkerton View Post
    I want to chime in on this topic.

    Having seen this thread prior to my order, then having the issues with the online store I PMed Fiberoptic as was suggested, at 11PM. Fiberoptic, despite being on vacation, replied to my PM WITHIN THE HOUR with the correct suggestion of contacting [email protected].

    I E-mailed [email protected] at 8AM. At 11AM I had a response from Stephen, 3 hour turnaround time. Pretty damn good.

    Just now I placed my order without issue using PayPal instead of my dumb credit card.

    I'm happy with the support and turnaround times I've received thus far. Thumbs up for the MP3Car.com staff!

    Update: I received another E-mail from Stephen 15 minutes after my order confirming the successful PayPal transaction and that my order should ship today. I freaking love this place.
    i'm very happy for your sucess. i would not be surprised if this thread and my issue was the genesis for your rapid service. i also PM'd fiberoptic and heather and received a response from neither. i DID get an email back from Stephen after i had emailed them but only after i had made a stink in these forums.

    i think what many of you sympathizers are failing to realize is that there are underlying issues that have caused this to come to a boil. i've been on here for awhile, been a customer of theirs for years. if i'm treated this way, what makes you think that you, a brand new customer, will be treated any better down the road? i experienced GREAT customer service before i had paid; once my money went to them, it was all downhill from there. and unlike other posters, i haven't been here my whole life complaining. at one point i was active enough where i was helping people & partaking in conversations here. but the bottom line is while i appreciate this forum & the knowledge/insight of the posters here, i don't appreciate the invisible strings that mp3car has over it. there is a bias, and apparently minions of posters who just run to mp3car's defense without understanding the issue. If you were in my position i'm sure you'd see a different angle to this.

    i'm not doubting some of you have had good experiences - and that's great, it really is. i'm talking about those of us who did not receive the same "great" service you guys did. so if you did get great service, just please understand that not all of us get that, and let us try to resolve this or figure out a solution. i'm not going to stay here indefinitely and trash mp3car, but i don't think it's uncalled for to let any potential new buyers know what they're getting in to. For your sake, i hope anything you buy from here stays working & arrives complete, so you never have to contact them. :beer:
    <.>

  10. #30
    Low Bitrate ABTsportsline's Avatar
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    lastly i wanted to say that i'm pretty sure that the removal of phone service was due to the fallout thing with Streetdeck, Infill, and Mp3car. Those of you who weren't here for it won't know what i'm talking about.... but bottom line is if you sell a part, you need to continue to cover/warranty/honor it, even if your selling agreement contracts terminate. that is how business works.

    Ford didn't stop fixing my Topaz in high school because they stopped making it.
    <.>

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