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LoneWolf

Ubiquiti customer service - my experience

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LoneWolf

Sit right down and you'll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip...

 

Ahem.  Anyway, our story begins about two weeks ago, and teaches the side lesson -never, ever , EVER, start any IT project, no matter how small, when you're sick.  I was home from work and had lost ten pounds due to the GI virus that's been making the rounds the past few months.  But when I saw there was an update on my Unifi controller, and all it is is mouse-clicking a button that says "Upgrade", well, you know how that works with a geek who is on the couch with too much time on their hands.

 

(Hmm, can't link the image again, jpgs cannot be linked, though I can do attachments)

http://boardgamegeek.com/camo/adc2bd8f3a986d1ed888b64e98fa2a747d8b4445/687474703a2f2f693137312e70686f746f6275636b65742e636f6d2f616c62756d732f753238382f66727569746c6f6f703636362f686973746f72795f6572617365725f627574746f6e2e6a7067

 

 

So, I pressed the button, and the unit began to upgrade.  I have done this process before, so I didn't become concerned until ten minutes later, when my UAP-AC-PRO was still flashing its lights in a decidedly not-in-normal-operation way.  Which continued.  Beyond my finally removing it from PoE for several minutes then plugging back in.  Beyond my "crap, I better hit the reset button" part.  Beyond my first technical support chat and forum post that led me to attempt to recover the unit via TFTP --which didn't work because I couldn't even ping the unit (before or after hard-resetting it).  And beyond a second technical support chat with someone who (after making me go through some steps again, but I'm okay with that) wanted me first to return it to my vendor if possible (30 days after purchase) before an RMA (and I rather firmly requested an advance replacement -which it looked like might not be available once I saw the RMA link, though I hadn't been told that).

 

By the way, at this point, knowing that the SO's home office (she's a teacher btw) is connected to our network via wireless bridge meant that I had to enable my firewall's wireless, and configure it for bridge mode as well to ensure she and other devices had the right access to the right things.  Not quite as easy as a home router, as it's designed for security, and 2 hours later (it might have been less, if I had been feeling well and fully coherent) that was done.  No switchable radio, so 5GHz only, but working.

 

At that point, I broadened my forum post to indicate everything further I had done, and that I was frustrated and a little disappointed with the experience, both as a home geek and as an IT professional who sold such equipment.  This is where a forum employee got personally involved, and took the chance to completely turn the knob to a 100% positive experience.  This employee got every bit of my information, and decided due to the weird combination of flashing lights, he wanted to get my unit in front of the dev team.  It took a bit of work, but a week later, I received the following:

 

UAPACProCloudKey.jpg

 

See that on the left side next to the replacement UAP-AC-PRO I was shipped in advance?  That's the CloudKey controller the engineer sent me for free for my troubles.  He also sent me a shipping call tag to return the failed access point so the dev team can get their hands on it.  And that --is how you do customer service.

 

And as a result, at some point, I get to tell all of you what the CloudKey is like.  I wanted to share this experience, as we so often know when we've received bad service, and are often so much better at noting that than when someone takes the time to do us a major solid to show what good service is like.

Edited by LoneWolf
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rotor

Mate, that is amazing customer service. Thanks for sharing!

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alex1002

Unifi are horrible products. I would never buy them again. I don't care how good their customer service is.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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LoneWolf

Unifi are horrible products. I would never buy them again. I don't care how good their customer service is.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

Then I would encourage you to explain your issues.  I listen to all sorts of things, but "<Brand XX> is lousy" with absolutely no explanation is something I don't even listen to, because it provides me with zero information.   I never make a decision on a product either because "xa is awesome" (mic drop); neither can I with "xy is horrible", when nothing else is forthcoming.

 

The experience I have had hasn't been perfect.  However, I've never seen an access point that made connections as fast as the UAP-AC-PRO; IP handoffs are noticeably faster than any wireless router I've ever had (and both then and now, it's my head-end unit that's doing DHCP, not the wireless side).  Throughput and range are both quite impressive.  What I cannot test, because I don't have the equipment, is how a multi-WAP environment of UAP-AC-PRO units work; I was going to buy one and add a second, but the first one appears to cover my whole house so well, it's unlikely I'll need to.  Band steering has also worked well so far, and software development, while imperfect (I keep track of issues on the UBNT forums and know some exist) is reasonably rapid, and users get listened to and responded to.

 

I don't expect my $140-150 WAP to perform like, say Ruckus or Aruba or Meraki or (other company here's) $500-600 access points.  There's a (partial) reason why some of those cost more.  But it beats out some expensive enthusiast wireless AC routers I've had when it comes to the WiFi side of things, which is good enough for me.

Edited by LoneWolf
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oj88

I've got my 2nd and 3rd AC-LRs on the way from Amazon. I was impressed with my first one as it runs circles around most consumer-grade router+APs that costs 2x more.

 

I've seen negative reviews on 1st gen units but not much on the later UAP models.

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LoneWolf

I've got my 2nd and 3rd AC-LRs on the way from Amazon. I was impressed with my first one as it runs circles around most consumer-grade router+APs that costs 2x more.

 

I've seen negative reviews on 1st gen units but not much on the later UAP models.

 

Some people have had some firmware quirks, but their experiences may not match mine.

 

My experience has been good, but not as long, and as I only have one access point in my home environment, so I can't comment on roaming performance or several other experiences others might have in a multi-WAP, clustered environment.

Edited by LoneWolf
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GotNoTime

Some people have had some firmware quirks, but their experiences may not match mine.

The 1st gen UAP AC that oj88 mentions isn't what you've got. It is a big square AP that has a completely different chipset + firmware inside. Ubiquiti revised it with a UAP AC v2 which reduced power consumption to fix the overheating problem from the original. The wireless chipsets used were some of the very early 802.11ac ones so had issues still.

 

Apart from the buggy UAP AC I've got, I'm quite happy with all of the other Ubiquiti APs in general. They're very good for the price point and the centralised controller is handy. It doesn't support some of the more advanced features that exist in enterprise APs with a hardware controller like Cisco or Ruckus but you're paying significantly less.

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itGeeks

Then I would encourage you to explain your issues.  I listen to all sorts of things, but "<Brand XX> is lousy" with absolutely no explanation is something I don't even listen to, because it provides me with zero information.   I never make a decision on a product either because "xa is awesome" (mic drop); neither can I with "xy is horrible", when nothing else is forthcoming.

 

The experience I have had hasn't been perfect.  However, I've never seen an access point that made connections as fast as the UAP-AC-PRO; IP handoffs are noticeably faster than any wireless router I've ever had (and both then and now, it's my head-end unit that's doing DHCP, not the wireless side).  Throughput and range are both quite impressive.  What I cannot test, because I don't have the equipment, is how a multi-WAP environment of UAP-AC-PRO units work; I was going to buy one and add a second, but the first one appears to cover my whole house so well, it's unlikely I'll need to.  Band steering has also worked well so far, and software development, while imperfect (I keep track of issues on the UBNT forums and know some exist) is reasonably rapid, and users get listened to and responded to.

 

I don't expect my $140-150 WAP to perform like, say Ruckus or Aruba or Meraki or (other company here's) $500-600 access points.  There's a (partial) reason why some of those cost more.  But it beats out some expensive enthusiast wireless AC routers I've had when it comes to the WiFi side of things, which is good enough for me.

I can tell you y I would never purchase UniFi products anymore. I purchased one of the UniFi AP Pro back in Dec 2012 and the performance was horrid it was like wireless "g" speeds after much trouble shooting I contacted the reseller "Streakwave" in this case and after much fighting to get them to RMA the unit I finally got a 2nd unit from them and the testing showed the same problem so again with contacting the reseller and more fighting I got a 3rd unit with the same problem so again contact the reseller and after more fighting got them to do a final return for a full refund. When you deal with a company like "Streakwave" it makes you wish you had purchased from Amazon because the RMA's would have gone with a lot less stress. Now on to the next UniFi product that is garbage. I had 2 ToughSwitches PoE Pro 8 port go south within a year of each other, It would start out with one port going dead then 2 then 3 then 4 till all my security cameras where off line and to top it off I never realized how bad the performance of these switches where till I replaced it with a brand new TRENDnet TPE-TG50g 5 port PoE+ switch, This switch has worked great and my IP cameras are now very fluid where B4 there was some delay from the time the person moved till the video moved but I got used to it thinking this was the best I was going to get because that switch is plugged into a Powerline adapter to feed the four cameras mounted on my detached garage. Personally I am done with UniFi crap as well. Another thing Ubiq does is over promiss and under deliver at time of release and that would be OK if it did not take them so long to deliver on that promise, One thing that comes to mind is the "zero handoff" that was promised many months later customers still did not have it. No thank you. I know if "pcdoc" finds this thread he will also give you his thoughts on this garbage. End of rant....

 

Have any of you tried Open-Mesh? I have and the performance and support is outstanding, I would not look back at this point. If you have not tried them then give it shot I am sure you will be as happy as I am. I have one MR1750 on my first floor and it covers my whole house 3 floors and my entire properties. Yes the controller is hosted in the cloud but hew cares? The whole system works great and there is even mobile apps for "CloudTrax"

Edited by itGeeks

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LoneWolf

The 1st gen UAP AC that oj88 mentions isn't what you've got. It is a big square AP that has a completely different chipset + firmware inside. Ubiquiti revised it with a UAP AC v2 which reduced power consumption to fix the overheating problem from the original. The wireless chipsets used were some of the very early 802.11ac ones so had issues still.

 

Apart from the buggy UAP AC I've got, I'm quite happy with all of the other Ubiquiti APs in general. They're very good for the price point and the centralised controller is handy. It doesn't support some of the more advanced features that exist in enterprise APs with a hardware controller like Cisco or Ruckus but you're paying significantly less.

 

Yes, I'm aware of the square one with the green LED.  I looked at those when released, but the negative reviews mounted pretty quickly, and I didn't bite.  Ubiquiti still has plenty of teething troubles with them and I'm sure they're glad for that to be over.  And it's unfortunate for people who bought them; 802.11AC had some very problematic first-gen products, and I'm sure my opinion would be affected if I'd owned one.

 

Cisco -- Other than the Meraki division, I've read of too many disappointments with actual Cisco-labeled wireless products of recent generations.  They do good switches and other products, but they wouldn't be on my list at all for wireless, and their Small Business AC access point has been rated a dismal failure.  Ruckus has some great stuff in the business line, but their XClaim line (for small business and such), while it uses similar Ruckus hardware, has been fraught with software development that hasn't been up to par, also from everything I've read in their forums, which have a number of people feeling like they're part of a paid beta test.

 

Aruba is good (I used them and they worked well for me) but too pricy for home, and hasn't entered the lower-cost market.  Meraki is subscription-based, which kills it for me, even if the product is good.  I was very interested in Linksys' LAPAC1750PRO line which can cluster and has a solid beginning, but their firmware development appeared very slow, leading me to question whether they'd easily abandon products when they have a fairly broad range of equipment and aren't dependent on them to survive.  It looks like they've picked up and improved some, even adding an AC1200 line for those who don't want 3x3 wireless, but I'm still waiting to see how that works.

 

Ubiquiti isn't perfect (read their forums for issues), but their forums are filled with active employees who wish to solve problems and are empowered to do so.  Plus, there are other users equally willing to contribute, and software development is quite active.  They're embracing the lower-cost niche, and provide a fair number of features for it; I had wished for a centralized virtual controller like Aruba, but at this price, it's not an issue, especially when the CloudKey can cover that function if you don't want to stand up a basic Linux or Windows VM to work as a no-cost controller.  While you can also manage multiple CloudKeys from a single Ubiquiti cloud account (also free) if you wish, you don't have to; you're not locked in to a cloud managed setup like Aerohive, which is important to me, as the old-school in me doesn't want to be tied to someone's platform that could morph into something else, with a new pricing model (something we've seen when a company decides to take a product and monetize something they've previously offered for free).

Edited by LoneWolf

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LoneWolf

itGeeks,

 

I know of your frustrations with Ubiquiti and your love of OpenMesh --which, if you want to start (or continue) an existing thread to extoll. I'm totally good with.  I really don't want this thread to derail from what it originally started as (though it kind of already has); a customer service experience with a company I actually worked with.  I'm also not going into which VARs for anyone's product are good or not.  And if OpenMesh works great for you, I'm happy; as I said, I don't use their product, but I do use the access point hardware at work (as that hardware is used by multiple vendors) and am happy with the hardware.

 

To put it in one sentence:  I don't want to get into a "Product X vs Product Y" debate with you unless we start a thread on it.  That wasn't what this was about.

 

What I was trying to do was tell a poster who responded that a "this is lousy" without a why is really no comment at all.  Just as a "I love this" means nothing to me on Amazon.com because it explains nothing.  It's the equivalent of a junk post, just like a review on Amazon with the same sentence.

 

Note that Ubiquiti of 2012 and Ubiquiti of 2016 have a vastly different product line.  Most users I know of using the UAP-PRO line though are quite happy at least with the 802.11N performance currently offered, so I'm sorry to hear of your experience.

Edited by LoneWolf

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