This page last updated: February 2nd 2015

Home of THE real CANADIAN James Taylor

Read BELOW (Part 2) to see why I believe
do not stand behind their warranty

Read THIS to see why I believe
you should NOT BUY these speakers.

This is PART 2 of the saga of how I got ripped off by ANTONLINE
and all of the hassle I had to go through to get any sort of resolution,
including details of the horrible support from the manufacturer Creative Labs,
and from who set up the purchase. Read this for PART 1 of the saga.

Bottom line, from my perspective, on March 9th, 2014, I paid $91.44 for speakers that were DEFECTIVE when received and the seller ANTONLINE did not stand behind the product. Initially CREATIVE, the manufacturer of the speakers told me I had to deal with the seller for warranty support. Effectively meaning NO warranty support

Eventually on April 3rd, John at Creative Worldwide Customer Response sent me an email stating "I have already forwarded your case the relevant department for a review; I'll get back to you as soon as I received a response from them."

On April 9th I got another email from John stating "I have good news for you! We have been authorized for a one time RMA exception regarding you case as a gesture of good will." He asked for some details and once I provided them he arranged for me to receive and email with an RMA# and shipping instructions "within 48 hours". Upon receipt of the defective speakers in California, they would replace them but stated: "Do allow up to 10 to 15 working days for it to be completed." WORKING DAYS ... that's 2 to 3 weeks !!!

April 11th, I received the RMA# returned the speakers. The COST for me to return these brand-new-but-defective speakers under terms of their warranty was an additional $30.69 for the cheapest method Canada Post offers. The speakers arrived at Creative in California on April 21st, and the "10 to 15 working days turnaround" clock started ticking. In the meantime I was still without speakers, which I had paid for March 9th.

Finally, on April 30th the replacement speakers arrived. But of course it would never be that simple, as you will see in my note to them of May 1st ...

Attention: John,

I have to start by saying that the decision to purchase these speakers has turned out to be ***BY FAR*** my worst ***EVER*** on-line shopping decision / experience. I don't recall ever having this much hassle in any NON-on-line transaction, for that matter.

"If it takes longer, please contact us as soon as possible and we will look into the matter."

Although they did in fact arrive within the estimated time-frame, THERE IS A PROBLEM, and hence my contacting you. I am SO not impressed.

It is now MAY 1st ... these speakers were purchased (March 9th) NEW but arrived as DEFECTIVE product, and when I contacted you, you initially refused to honour your warranty. Reluctantly you eventually agreed to accept them back, but I have to say that it's only going down-hill from there.

The replacement speakers arrived yesterday, but I was unable to test them until today, as they do not come with an audio input cord (speakers I'm familiar with always include it, usually permanently attached to the right speaker). At that point I realized that the previous, defective, speakers didn't have one either, but when I returned them to you I inadvertently assumed they had and returned MY audio input cable in error. (Much later I found out that had they sent me brand new speakers instead of used ones, the speaker cable IS included, and should have been included with these. So the error was theirs, not mine).

So, on top of the initial $91.44 purchase price and then an unexpected $30.69 postage to return defective product to you, I now have had to purchase an audio input cable at a further cost of $19.20. The cost just keeps going up!!!

But THAT is just the beginning. When I initially went to open the package of speakers I noticed that the factory sealed was broken. I didn't think too much of it at the time. But after taking out the speakers I noticed that someone had sloppily applied foam tape to the base of each speaker and that all 8 rubber feet had been removed (although the stickiness remained where they had been). This foam tape made them slightly unstable. Obviously someone else had returned these and your "refurbishing" process needs work. And here was I expecting to get NEW speakers, which is what I paid for.

And as if all this wasn't bad enough, yesterday sent me an email flyer offering (amongst other things) the very same speakers (new) that I had paid $91+ at the great price of "save 63%" i.e. pay $49. Talk about rubbing salt in the wound.

I've purchased the audio-in cable and have started testing them as I finish writing this email, and so far (about 5 minutes) they are working, apparently fine. But I've been faked out once before (after 5 minutes), so the jury is still out.

I have to repeat that the decision to purchase these speakers has turned out to be ***BY FAR*** my worst ***EVER*** on-line shopping decision / experience.

Both Creative and have forever tarnished their names for me. And ANTONLINE are nothing short of crooks in my opinion.

Not a happy camper

On May 2nd I got this email in response:

"We thank for your honest feedback. We truly appreciate you for taking the time to share your thoughts with us because your feedback is extremely important to us to improve our products and services.

Your feedback will be forwarded to our product group and higher management; your inputs will help us to improve our services."

They followed up that on May 6th with this message.

"I understand your disappointment here. You mentioned that you have received the unit with sign of damage on the box and seals are broken. I have checked our record and we send you a brand new unit.

Anyway, I am now coordinating the matter to the relevant department and will get back to you as soon as possible on how best we can further assist you."

Later that same day I received this request:

"We are already investigatint the issue, by the way to help us expedite the process, would you mind sending us a couple of photos showing the box that you have received. Please include the photo showing this latest details that you just mentioned "'speaker had been sloppily partially covered with foam tape "."

To which I replied:

Let me start by saying that I did not anticipate this turning into such a horrendous ordeal nor that I would eventually need pictures. How could such a simple transaction as purchasing a pair of speakers at the beginning of March turn into this long and drawn out nightmare?

I did not initially take any photos of the speakers, however, since you've requested them I've take some today. But there isn't really much to show anymore.

Furthermore what you call "this latest details" is NOT anything new. It was reported to you by me back on May 1st, the day after the speakers arrived and the first day on which I could test them due to having returned MY audio-in cable in error with the defective speakers and thus having to go out and purchase a new one before 'installing' the speakers and discovering the problems.

I had meticulously removed the foam tape early on, which as I also mentioned in a previous email made the speakers unstable to my way of thinking. Also, I saw a couple of characters of the S/N not covered by the foam and wanted to record that. It was then that I noticed all 8 feet were missing. The circle bases where the feet should be were all sticky inside so apparently the feet had been there at some point.

As far as the box, it was "like new" except that the 'security seal' had been neatly sliced open. I've tried to capture that in a photo below (and attached) but it's difficult to illustrate, and I would have had to cut that myself to open the box if someone hadn't beat me to it. Later, after all this hassle I have double-checked that the S/N on the speaker base matched the one on the box they came in. It did.

On May 8th they responded:

Thank you for all the photos.

We understand your frustration here, however for any damage package or any sign of rip or open in the package, you should refuse accepting it and immediately contact the courier as the courier has the main responsibility in delivering your item.

Anyway, We have already arrange another replacement for you as well as free shipping label for you to send the unit back to us.

To which I replied:

Unbelievable. Where do I begin? Let's start with:
Please be reminded once the courier deliver the package, please check the package and if there is any sign that it is already opened, please refuse to accept it and call the courier office.

NONSENSE. The outer package was perfectly sealed and undamaged and the mutilation, or "damage" as you call it, was neither caused by, nor the responsibility of the courier. The "damage" was inside the INTERIOR box and was there long before the item was ever shipped by you. No courier I know would wait while I open the outer box, and open the inner box, and then unpack the entire contents to check for "damage".

If the outer package was 'undamaged and sealed', as it was, that would be the end of it. And furthermore product tampering before shipment would not be covered by any courier, when it happened before the product was in their possession.

Additionally, in this case I could not have refused the package if I had wanted to, as the courier left it on my porch without even ringing the door bell or knocking (I was home at the time).

Then there's the whole issue of "I bought speakers to listen to ..."

Today, May 8th, is only (the start of) the 8th DAY I have actually had speakers I can use, speakers that I purchased 2 MONTHS ago, March 9th. And now you are expecting me to to return them, again, and be without speakers for yet another 3+ WEEKS, based on previous experience. (11 days to get it back to you and then "allow 10 to 15 working days for turnaround"). NO CHANCE !!! Repeat, NOT GONNA HAPPEN !!!

As I asked on May 2nd ...
"So aren't you at least going to send me replacement "feet" for the ones you ripped me off for on the speakers you sent without any?"

It's not the most ideal solution, but one that I'm willing to settle for to get this nightmare over.

Several emails went back and forth at this point, but bottom line was I would NOT return the speakers and be without speakers for another month, and they would not provide replacement rubber feet for the speakers despite that being the ridiculously cheap option for them and one that I had agreed to. It was "return the speakers or nothing".

Here's their May 22nd absurd explanation of why I must return the speakers and have them replaced:

I have received an update from our service center and unfortunately, we do not have any extra rubber feet that we can send to you. Moreover, It is not advisable to send you rubber feet only as it is very difficult to install it to the speaker. Our service center personnel did a sample to remove and put back the rubber feet and it is not easy to take it out. Then once you put back the rubber feet it can already be easily removed because the adhesive is not that too sticky anymore.

We hope that we can proceed with replacing your unit with a new set as per previous arrangement using the free shipping label.

They kept telling me I must return them and I refused ... on June 7th they sent me this email:

"As per our original email to you, an RMA number is valid for 30 days. According to our records, we have not yet received your product. As a result, this service request has been cancelled and no future return will be accepted under this RMA number."

My ultimate workaround for this fiasco was to head over to my local "Dollar Store" and for the sum of $1 purchased a set of 12 suitable stick on feet.

It seems to me that, in an economy where Customer Service should be
more important than ever, it has fallen by the wayside.

More and more I'm finding that companies seem to have little regard
for the Customer once the sale has been made.

To quote from the movie Network:
"I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore",
which is the reason for this website.

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