Neptune Apex & the worst customer service/experience of all time..

Neptune

andrewkg

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So.. not exactly a shocker to have issues given the plethora of bad reviews on customer service I have read.. but given the lack of full suite alternative aquarium controllers I went ahead and purchased the full set of products in the hopes of furthering my reef tank to the more neurotic level.

2E6C92B9-D4DC-4FEC-9775-EE22F3458ED3.jpeg


Ordered end of Nov and got it about a week later.. but here’s where the issues started
  • After several days of troubleshooting probes that would not work (not to mention 5+hours of my time wasted) I finally got someone at Apex to call me where it was concluded the Fusion itself (brand new) was defective
  • They informed me they would require a deposit... to send me a new product. Mind you I just shelled out $2k to receive a defective product I would now need to lay out additional money to get a chance to receive the product that I paid for
  • I gave the deposit.. and they shipped the new unit. NOW.. I was supposed to be refunded of the deposit upon their receipt of my original unit which I shipped back on the 10th.. tracked.. confirmed delivery... they even confirmed they have it.
  • Today is now December 30th... they have yet to refund the deposit because no one could be bothered... (believe me have reached out)
    • On top of all of this one probe is still not fully working (cant forget the wasted money buying new calibration etc...)

Given all of this I am curious why for one there is not an alternative suite of products from a company that values its customers. It’s really not a matter of money, I’ve just never come across such a terrible customer experience worth posting a BUYER BEWARE. Really disappointing experience overall, was quite excited to get this all going.
 
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JoshH

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Well, for one there is an alternative to the Apex, GHL. The only issue with them is they are based out of Germany (They do have a GHL North America branch) but I'm not sure how much returns of other things go through them.
They are more expensive but from all the research I have done and owning one of there dosers. You're paying for the quality of the product itself.

On the flip side I can see why a company, as frustrating as it is, would ask for a deposit. I don't think that you have a huge issue with them asking, moreso there lack of refunding it promptly which is totally understandable.

As for the probe not working, which one is it?? @SuncrestReef and @DarthSimon might be able to help you out.
 
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andrewkg

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Well, for one there is an alternative to the Apex, GHL. The only issue with them is they are based out of Germany (They do have a GHL North America branch) but I'm not sure how much returns of other things go through them.
They are more expensive but from all the research I have done and owning one of there dosers. You're paying for the quality of the product itself.

On the flip side I can see why a company, as frustrating as it is, would ask for a deposit. I don't think that you have a huge issue with them asking, moreso there lack of refunding it promptly which is totally understandable.

As for the probe not working, which one is it?? @SuncrestReef and @DarthSimon might be able to help you out.
Appreciate the response

Will keep watching GHL was hoping for an auto dosing type feature along to testing more than ALK

RE: the deposit - we may not agree here fully (I view it as their end of the transaction was not held up and asked for more money)... regardless it is a whole separate issue the acknowledged receipt of the item I shipped back and have still yet to refund me.

Probe is salinity, after calibration it would read the right/close to salinity then drop over time. Apex then recommend a manual calibration which read oddly as 38.00 every time post cal.. fwiw my Hannah tester has the water ~34.7 and I calibrate frequently. I don’t think my acros would still be around if these readings below were right.
B9953764-4CB8-46F9-BDBD-067A04C886B9.jpeg
 

count krunk

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I'm not sure if apex has significantly more market share, but at least here on r2r you see issues with apex all the time vs very rarely with ghl.

Plus I could never bring myself to buy a two headed doser? Why it is just two heads??
 

JoshH

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Probe is salinity, after calibration it would read the right/close to salinity then drop over time. Apex then recommend a manual calibration which read oddly as 38.00 (will add pic)

Honestly, the Salinity probes are a common issue with the Apex. Ask almost any owner of one and they will tell you they don't even remotely trust it and use it more as a guideline than anything else. Unfortunately salinity probes are usually difficult ones given there nature and how they read salinity.

Will keep watching GHL was hoping for an auto dosing type feature along to testing more than ALK

Well, as it stands right now there KH Director can test and adjust ALK. There ION Director covers almost all the rest, though not released yet looks promising.

RE: the deposit - we may not agree here fully (I view it as their end of the transaction was not held up and asked for more money)... regardless it is a whole separate issue the acknowledged receipt of the item I shipped back and have still yet to refund me.

I think the deposit thing is more to get you a functional unit quicker vs. You shipping to them, them recieving it and testing it to confirm it's defective, then shipping one back out to you. Judging by there slow refund you would probably be out of a new head unit for a couple months going the other direction.
 
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shred5

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So.. not exactly a shocker to have issues given the plethora of bad reviews on customer service I have read.. but given the lack of full suite alternative aquarium controllers I went ahead and purchased the full set of products in the hopes of furthering my reef tank to the more neurotic level.

2E6C92B9-D4DC-4FEC-9775-EE22F3458ED3.jpeg


Ordered end of Nov and got it about a week later.. but here’s where the issues started
  • After several days of troubleshooting probes that would not work (not to mention 5+hours of my time wasted) I finally got someone at Apex to call me where it was concluded the Fusion itself (brand new) was defective
  • They informed me they would require a deposit... to send me a new product. Mind you I just shelled out $2k to receive a defective product I would now need to lay out additional money to get a chance to receive the product that I paid for
  • I gave the deposit.. and they shipped the new unit. NOW.. I was supposed to be refunded of the deposit upon their receipt of my original unit which I shipped back on the 10th.. tracked.. confirmed delivery... they even confirmed they have it.
  • Today is now December 29th... they have yet to refund the deposit because no one could be bothered... (believe me have reached out)
    • On top of all of this one probe is still not fully working (cant forget the wasted money buying new calibration etc...)

Given all of this I am curious why for one there is not an alternative suite of products from a company that values its customers. It’s really not a matter of money, I’ve just never come across such a terrible customer experience that it actuallay came down to posting a BUYER BEWARE. Really disappointing experience overall, was quite excited to get this all going.

Check out the Hydros Control.
I now have 3 of them and they are great. Newer system so they do not as much stuff available but allot of more stuff is coming soon.

Salinity testing is not accurate. They are working on a different way of testing it on the Hydros Control.
 

SuncrestReef

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The most common problem with the salinity probe is air bubbles trapped inside the tube. Fully submerge your probe and tip it upside down under water, then gently tap it. You'll probably see some air bubbles escape, which will allow it to provide a stable reading. Mine has been reading consistently for nearly 3 years now. The big dip on this graph was when I was cleaning my sump and the salinity probe was exposed to the air:

114515BC-5FD3-455E-8B57-6CD5C1BED411.jpeg


I also calibrate it upside down inside a probe storage bottle so no bubbles can interfere with the calibration process. If you don't have a probe storage bottle, you can achieve the same result using a small plastic bag with a rubber band around the probe to hold the calibration fluid while you tip the probe upside down.

1587968500122.png
 
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andrewkg

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Honestly, the Salinity probes are a common issue with the Apex. Ask almost any owner of one and they will tell you they don't even remotely trust it and use it more as a guideline than anything else. Unfortunately salinity probes are usually difficult ones given there nature and how they read salinity.



Well, as it stands right now there KH Director can test and adjust ALK. There ION Director covers almost all the rest, though not released yet looks promising.



I think the deposit thing is more to get you a functional unit quicker vs. You shipping to them, them recieving it and testing it to confirm it's defective, then shipping one back out to you. Judging by there slow refund you would probably be out of a new head unit for a couple months going the other direction.
This was really helpful Josh, thank you. Hah almost false advertising then on the salinity probe. Will keep a close look on when the ION comes out with the rest.

I also get what you’re saying with a deposit, my point was just that it was pretty terrible customer service especially after receiving something broken out of the box. It’s pretty much saying sorry we sent you something broken you can wait several months to receive what you paid for or wait for us to refund your deposit at our convenience.. just bad business
 
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andrewkg

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The most common problem with the salinity probe is air bubbles trapped inside the tube. Fully submerge your probe and tip it upside down under water, then gently tap it. You'll probably see some air bubbles escape, which will allow it to provide a stable reading. Mine has been reading consistently for nearly 3 years now. The big dip on this graph was when I was cleaning my sump and the salinity probe was exposed to the air:

114515BC-5FD3-455E-8B57-6CD5C1BED411.jpeg


I also calibrate it upside down inside a probe storage bottle so no bubbles can interfere with the calibration process. If you don't have a probe storage bottle, you can achieve the same result using a small plastic bag with a rubber band around the probe to hold the calibration fluid while you tip the probe upside down.

1587968500122.png
This was really helpful, going to take a shot as soon as the new calibration fluid gets here.
 

SuncrestReef

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This was really helpful, going to take a shot as soon as the new calibration fluid gets here.
I'd recommend getting the air bubbles out before waiting on the calibration fluid. That would at least let you know if the probe can provide steady readings, then you can calibrate it later for better accuracy.

Since you're new to the Apex, you might want to take a look at my Apex Tutorial series here on R2R:

 
Tommy's Phyto

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Sorry to hear
I absolutely love them and they have shown me the best customer service more than once
 

Hydrored

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Sorry to hear
I absolutely love them and they have shown me the best customer service more than once

i’ve had nothing but great customer service as well.

I also agree with another member that I use the salinity probe as more of a guide if it changes not that it’s accurate. Salinity probe leaves little to be desired
 
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andrewkg

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[UPDATE] After stirring up a fuss they are now processing my return of deposit... So right thing in the end, but painful to get there (about a full month). This was my response to them.


CD7A9FED-5E4A-4101-B7D3-642FBBC09F3E.jpeg
 

Bob Escher

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Welcome to apex. [edited by moderator]
I’m sorry but that’s Your Opinion. I have had my Apex for 7 years.
I have upgraded to the apex 2016 version from the classic when it came out.
I have had two issues with it in 7 years. Both my fault.
you say ALL THE ISSUES ON HERE,
Did you ever think that there may be THOUSANDS OF people that are happy
with their Apex that don’t need to complain and are happy and or just ask questions

You pushing your happiness on your product on a guy that is having issues with another product doesn’t help him
 
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MarshallB

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This was really helpful Josh, thank you. Hah almost false advertising then on the salinity probe. Will keep a close look on when the ION comes out with the rest.

I also get what you’re saying with a deposit, my point was just that it was pretty terrible customer service especially after receiving something broken out of the box. It’s pretty much saying sorry we sent you something broken you can wait several months to receive what you paid for or wait for us to refund your deposit at our convenience.. just bad business
I'm sorry you had a bad experience. That sucks and we have all been there with one company or another. I love my Apex, but its not surprising that they dont bend over backwards for customers in some cases.

I wouldn't necessarily say its bad business. It's in their best interest to protect themselves from loss. They could send you out a new unit while waiting for you to return yours free of charge, but that opens up risk. Given that they dominate the market there is most likely not enough risk involved in losing a lot of customer to competitors over this practice. Most places will not send you out a replacement till they receive the return anyways. Some places even charge you the shipping.

I'm not defending them, but there is a reason they ask for a deposit before receiving your return. Would that still happen if they had major competition? Probably not. They most likely would just wait for the return until sending out a new unit. At the very least you will get your deposit back, and that definitely should happen in a timely manner. I've ran into this same situation with other things that required a deposit before getting a new unit.

At the end of the day if there isn't major competition companies can and will do what they can until there is market pressure not to.
 
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andrewkg

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I'm sorry you had a bad experience. That sucks and we have all been there with one company or another. I love my Apex, but its not surprising that they dont bend over backwards for customers in some cases.

I wouldn't necessarily say its bad business. It's in their best interest to protect themselves from loss. They could send you out a new unit while waiting for you to return yours free of charge, but that opens up risk. Given that they dominate the market there is most likely not enough risk involved in losing a lot of customer to competitors over this practice. Most places will not send you out a replacement till they receive the return anyways. Some places even charge you the shipping.

I'm not defending them, but there is a reason they ask for a deposit before receiving your return. Would that still happen if they had major competition? Probably not. They most likely would just wait for the return until sending out a new unit. At the very least you will get your deposit back, and that definitely should happen in a timely manner. I've ran into this same situation with other things that required a deposit before getting a new unit.

At the end of the day if there isn't major competition, companies can, and will do what they can until there is market pressure not to.
In my experience leaving a customer unhappy when it is the sellers fault they are unhappy (broken/defective product) is bad business. It took nearly a full month and a lot of my wasted time for me to only receive what I paid for up front and be whole. I’m not sure of anyone who would be satisfied here..
 

ca1ore

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I have been pretty happy with my various apex products (up to 18 modules now .... is there a therapy group I wonder). My experiences with their customer service have been acceptable. Odd that they would require a deposit .... usually it’s just a CC hold that never progresses to an actual charge if the defective unit is returned. Seem to recall that’s what happened with my WAV.

Getting started with apex can be a hair pulling experience. Salinity probe is particularly baldness inducing. Good news is there are a lot of experts both here on R2R and elsewhere.
 
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