asknet customer service debacle

I am uncertain as to where the best place to post this. If there is a better venue, please let me know.

I recently purchased Cubase 7. I vacillated between ProTools and Cubase, but ultimately decided to stick with what I know. I have been very pleased with the new version.

On Saturday 9-21-2013, I attempted to activate The Grand 3 SE. I went through the process and the website returned an error message saying that my transaction could not be processed. I then reentered my info and the activation went through.

Unfortunately, this morning (Monday 9-23-2013) I saw that my credit card had been charged twice. My email contains two activation license emails. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have an extra $100 to spare.

I contacted AskNet customer service in San Francisco and was treated very shabbily. I was never rude, profane, or threatening, but the gentleman with whom I spoke hung up on me. I called back and spoke with a woman, “Shelby” she was not quite as rude but hung up on me as well. I had indicated that since they were in San Francisco and I am in Oakland (just across the bay) that I could come into their office to resolve my issue. (That’s when “Shelby” hung up.)

I placed a third call and the original gentleman threatened to call the Oakland Police department. I told him that I was just trying to resolve my issue and that if they would not talk on the phone I didn’t know how I could communicate otherwise. He then provided some information that seems to indicate that the issue is being handled. I have zero confidence in this process after my telephone interactions.

I have contacted Yamaha Corporate HQ and they were sympathetic and seem to be on top of the issue regarding the double billing. I tried to be clear that my larger concern was the way I was treated.

AskNet is located in Germany, so after a couple of international phone calls, I realize that I will have to contact their corporate HQ at an inconvenient hour. I asked Shelby to speak with a supervisor and she indicated that they are a 2 person office and no supervisor is available (duh, I don’t think they would behave so badly if they were actually accountable). She declined to give me the name of the gentleman I spoke with.

The email I received from these folks in SF indicated that I had double ordered. This is not true. When their website presented the error message that my transaction couldn’t be processed, I did enter a new order; this was with the understanding (from their website) that the original order was not completed. The error was a software or network glitch, but I did not (to my knowledge at the time) place 2 orders.

Here’s the real nut for me: I just built a beast of a computer (AUS H78 MoBo, Intel i7 4770k 3.4 GHz, 32mb RAM, 250GB SSD, 11 TB HDD). I struggled with the choice between Cubase (which I am familiar with) and ProTools (the “Industry Standard”. For many reasons I chose Cubase. I have been very happy with the new version and find it easy and powerful to work with. I really love The Grand 3 SE and am thrilled to have it installed an activated.

My next purchase was planned to be Halion Sonic; I was almost certainly going to upgrade to Halion 5. Now I have such low confidence in the upgrade process, having been treated so sh*ttily by AskNet who handles these transactions. I have zero confidence in the activation process after this experience.

I do intend to contact AskNet in Germany (this will be difficult to coordinate with my work schedule, but cest la vie).

I do hope that Steinberg and Yamaha will address my concerns. It would be a shame to have to scrap my investment and transition to Avid products (i.e. ProTools). I would love to hear other users experiences with the activation process and AskNet in particular.

I apologize for the length and “rantiness” of this post, but I have to admit that I am livid to the point that I am considering dropping Cubase as my DAW.

I feel your pain! I also recently had an issue with AskNet that resolved itself, but only after much investigation… a frustrating experience I might add! Check Here!

However, I would dispute the double purchase with your bank! It is AskNet’s fault for sending you two activation codes… especially if the quantity ordered dialog box only indicated the number 1 on each of the orders, and AskNet chose not to follow-up!

Oh yea! Don’t threaten the support operators… It’s not their fault that AskNet / Bibit’s purchasing system needs work! :wink:

Thanks for the empathy.

Regarding “threatening”, I never threatened anyone. When they kept hanging up on me I said that I would have to visit their office if they wouldn’t speak with me. The address is published on the AskNet page for customer service. Given that, I inferred that they were saying that that was an alternative to phone/email. Pretty sure my attorney and the courts would back me on that one. If they don’t want visitors, then they shouldn’t publish the address on their customer support page.

Yea… good luck with that! :wink:

Did you speak with your bank? It sounds like you can make a decent case that you weren’t trying to order two copies of the same software! You didn’t try to register both activation numbers did you? I honestly believe working with your bank is the best way get your money back!

The trap I fell into was that I didn’t initially understand that AskNet was a reseller of Steinberg products, so trying to get an answer from Steinberg is futile, and even more so here at the Steinberg forum!


Its pretty hard to believe that they threatened to call the OPD unless they felt threatened. Who would bother with that? This may be a case where you have a disconnect between how you think you sound and how others perceive you. I live in Oaktown now,(just moved from SF). Not sure what volunteering to drop by would do other than infer a threat, especially after the phone call escalated to the point that they’d hung up. Anyway, I hope this is resolved to your satisfaction.

I am sorry to hear that! Asknet is usually doing a very good job keeping the large order quantities in mind they process for us in the US, Europe and the rest of the world. I have forwarded this to Asknet here in Germany as well. Your double order was cancelled yesterday btw.