What ever happened to the Vertex Cerebra?

Discussion in 'Bulk Reef Supply' started by Cyricdark, May 12, 2017.

  1. Tobe71

    Tobe71 Active Member

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    For those rooting for the success of the long awaited Vertex Cerebra 7, things are looking better than ever.

    I’ll be the first to admit, I readily ate up whatever we were given by employees in unenviable positions. I WANTED TO BELIEVE.

    Looking back, and in contrast to the true detailed transparency we are getting now, I feel like an idiot. And I better understand how deep the frustration and anger still runs with so many.

    For those that hung on, I really believe that it will have been worth the wait.
    For any forum members that have given up checking the forum, I highly suggest checking in. We are getting direct answers in a timely fashion multiple times a day at all hours.
    I think they finally have a marketing and consumer relations department that measures up to the incredibly capable controller that they’ve finally completed.

    The first 80 head units and screens are ready to go and they are going through the final QC steps on the powerbars as I type this. And they are streamlining all the QC protocols to make the following batches get through much quicker without cutting corners.
    I can’t tell you how good it feels to finally be this close to the light at the end of this long tunnel.
    I think it makes a lot of sense why Apex has been so eager to shine a light on the Vertex missteps all along the way. They are worried. If they weren’t, why would they bother here and on any FB group I’ve posted on within minutes to a couple hours at most to chime in with how bad Vertex is?

    And part of the reason I went with Vertex to begin with was the less than stellar customer service reviews and a general air of like it or lump it from Apex.
    It just felt like they knew they had you by the balls, so why go the extra mile? And why not be more backward compatible, and why not come up with new ways to not need a new module for every little thing? They had a captive audience. Now it will start to get interesting.

    I hope it can all stay above board and let science and ingenuity drive all manufactures to up their games!

    The bashing and gossiping is just tiring. Reminds me of politicians that keep people fighting amongst themselves while they pick your pockets.

    They haven’t had anyone raise the bar on them except GHL for a long time. This will ultimately be good for we hobbyists.

    And Terrance, I hope you read this as it’s intended. Constructive criticism. I would like to see a hobby where all manufactures were more focused on how cool the other guys innovations were and try to one up them instead of bad mouthing their tech, their customer service or any other laundry list of things that distract from making a better product for the customers that are giving you their hard earned cash.

    Here we go?

    The next few weeks should be very interesting....
     

  2. shred5

    shred5 Valuable Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    See this is the problem right here. They should not say a word till they are shipping. Now what happens if they do not pass Quality control and something needs to be fixed or changed? People will go ballistic.

    I hope they deliver.

    Again I do not own one but following as close as I can because this unit interest me and I would not mind getting one eventually.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2019
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  3. bkelley02

    bkelley02 Active Member

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    This is great news. I just hope it doesn't take several weeks again to test the power bars... .and then the temp probes. It would be great to have these in hand by the end of June.
     
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  4. siggy

    siggy The more I learn the dumber I become R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 R2R Secret Santa Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor

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    Well said all around.
    Your excitement is contagious and I really hope you end up on the Winning team.
     
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  5. Cyricdark

    Cyricdark Active Member

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    First off I'd like to say that I hope they actually deliver this time I would love to see a resolution to this long drawn-out ordeal, I really hope they can finally make it right by all the people's money that they took years ago.

    That being said, dude you've got to stop with all the Apex Neptune conspiracy theory stuff it's really silly, I'm in the same Facebook groups as you and the people chiming don't work for Apex I see no evidence whatsoever that they've anything to do with Neptune systems. The one guy in the one group you accused of it 3D print stuff for Apex systems and other aquarium accessories, well I 3D printed a probe holder for my tank does that mean I work for Apex? if so where's my paycheck? Lol

    I've really just jumped on the Apex scene in the past year I've had to use their customer support twice and both times it was stellar. I really don't think the buying modules thing is a big deal that's just expandability, it's a pretty well functioning unit right out of the box, I consider that to be a feature not an detraction. And saying that they are worried about the cerebra is a lot like saying Walmart is worried about some Mom and Pop Shop opening up down the road.... the only time Neptune systems has ever actually chimed in has been when someone compared the vertex release date to the Trident release which I'm sure Terrence was very understandably offended by, he very obviously loves the company he works for works hard at transparency, and goes above and beyond provide good customer relations as is his job even has a neat little YouTube show that I love watching every two weeks.

    Maybe someday vertex will actually be a threat to Neptune systems but that day is going to be years away and is going to require some major changes to their customer relations, it's going to be a long road to mend fences with all the people they've burned in this house fire of a development process. No one has had to "shine a light" on this at all, there's just a bunch of people watching to see if that house is still burning and right now it is.
     
  6. Smarkow

    Smarkow Active Member

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    From the Harvard Business Review. My emphasis added in bold. The original article was published after United Airlines dragged a doctor out of his seat, so admittedly massive differences between Vertex (Tiny aquarium company catering to hobbyists, which can't seem to deliver on promises) vs United (One of four multibillion-dollar airline companies in the US responsible for moving actual human beings from place to place). I post because I think it takes an expert's opinion to explain why this is such an emotional topic for the reef community, and why some of us who feel burned by the company are experiencing some schadenfreude with their current struggles.


    Original
    https://hbr.org/2017/04/how-service-companies-can-earn-customer-trust-and-keep-it

    "Three conditions under which any service company can cause customers to lose confidence in it..."

    "Condition 1: The failure is egregious. Most service failures are not as shocking as dragging a 69-year-old doctor down the aisle of an airplane. But with smartphone video just a couple of clicks away for a witness, any service failure that looks bad on camera may be transmitted worldwide in a matter of minutes. As Northwestern University’s Philip Kotler reminds us, “If companies behave badly, the internet will call them out. Loss of trust in these circumstances is swift and unforgiving."

    "Condition 2: The incident fits a pattern of failure. If a company has failed its customers once, doing it twice effectively creates a narrative of poor service. And once there’s a narrative, customer confidence in the firm is probably in free fall, and motivation to criticize it online is greater."

    "Condition 3: The attempted recovery is weak, yielding a double failure. When a service company fails to deliver the promised service, it must get the apology right — and certainly should not blame the customer for its failings (as when United initially called its wronged customer “belligerent”). When customers see that a company won’t own up to its mistakes, they are likely to assume that the firm cares little about serving them well and does not deserve their loyalty."

    "Here are some lessons that any service company should heed if it wants customers to see it as reliable and fair."

    "Honor customers’ “perceived contract,” not the company’s legal contract. To the customer, a purchased service is a promise of performance. For example, airline passengers should not be expected to read an entire “contract of carriage” (United’s is 46 pages long) to understand precisely under what conditions the company can take away their ticketed seat. Similarly, any company that makes customers sign legally binding “terms and conditions” should hesitate before enforcing provisions that belie common sense, even though they may meet the letter of the minutiae of the signed agreement. Contracts designed to protect a company when it delivers bad service destroy the trust on which customer relationships are built."
    <As an aside, I've signed NDAs for large corporations (two pharmaceuticals, two genetics, one bioengineering, one major university) that are shorter and less restrictive than the NDAs from aquarium company Beta tests. It's truly laughable when you compare the two.>


    "Generosity is a trust builder; stinginess is a trust breaker. As restaurateur Danny Meyer wrote in his book Setting the Table, “Generosity of spirit and a gracious approach to problem solving are, with few exceptions, the most effective way I know to earn lasting goodwill for your business.” <As another aside, this is where my disappointment in Vertex's product transformed me from an unsatisfied customer to someone who writes longwinded forum posts begging people not to use this company. My motivation is because they stiffed me $50 on a replacement pump for the $500 reactor I purchased. Aka, stingy.>

    "Use realistic slogans. Good marketing is not just about making promises; it’s also about keeping them. Slogans that raise customers’ expectations too high set up the company for failure. For example, the complexity of today’s airline operations, the emotional stressors in airline service for passengers and employees, and limited competition (four airlines control about 70% of the U.S. market), which discourages investments in improving service, make a slogan like “Fly the Friendly Skies” feel disingenuous. That’s why, after its recent failure, United was ridiculed with so many insulting mock slogans."
    <I'll close with this screenshot of Vertex's masthead. The juxtaposition of "Realizing" the modern aquarium vs their multiyear inability to produce a reliable aquarium controller is something I find ironic.>
    Screen Shot 2019-06-07 at 10.07.23 AM.png
     
  7. Tobe71

    Tobe71 Active Member

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    No doubt.
    I think that’s why it’s only on the Beta forum. Trying to mend the relationship with the beta testers and give us some assurance going forward. I was so excited I had to share! Ha!
    Time will tell.
     
  8. Tobe71

    Tobe71 Active Member

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    All fair points.
    I appreciate the civil discussion.

    And it is my understanding that Neptune’s customer service has improved since my google searches 3 years ago. So those are the steps in the right direction I’m hoping continue for all.

    As for the conspiracy, it was more just a fun aside (life UFO stuff) for me but with rumors I’ve heard over the years about some Apex tactics against Digital Aquatics with fake negative reviews (repeat RUMOR) amongst others.
    For example, a major reef retailer (I won’t make because they can’t comment publicly) I heard removed some negative reviews of various Vertex items as they all originated from just a few ip addresses (not saying it was Apex on this one) and lastly some behavior I witnessed first hand that made the suspicion of any company potentially doing this to another in our formerly friendly little reefing community more believable...

    From discussions I’ve had with Apex reps and even Terence himself years ago at MACNA or RAP, the vibe I got was condescending and eye rolly as soon as Vertex was mentioned. Just hits me weird. Doesn’t make sense to me why they’d spend any time on it unless they saw it as a threat or potential threat.

    Lastly, I didn’t accuse that 3D printing kid on Facebook of being part of a conspiracy. He was just hot to trot to try and “expose” me for not disclosing that I owned 20+ units for potential resale (I’ll actually be donating several, and yes, claiming the wrote off where I can). And I’d actually disclosed that I’d acquire several units as people bailed literally one minute before he went all SJW.

    And he was VERY eager to bash Vertex even though he never owned a unit. So I simply pointed out his affiliation with Apex and asked about his own “disclosure”...

    Once again, I appreciate the intelligent civil discussion.

    We’ll all see how it plays out.
     
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  9. Cyricdark

    Cyricdark Active Member

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    Fake reviews on anything online both good and bad are epidemic anymore. Just look at Amazon and all the little Chinese products that have 5 Star reviews and there will be 50 or 60 five star broken English reviews that obviously don't even know what they were reviewing and then one actual English review that wasn't made with Google Translate giving it a one-star and a bunch of complaints. On the flip side of that people are much more likely to complain about something then they are to praise it that's just the way humans work and oftentimes someone is mad enough that they'll go out and make multiple accounts so they can give something multiple bad reviews to bring the star rating down cuz they want to see that their complaints had an impact. It's dishonest and I've never done it personally but there's been times when I've been mad enough it has crossed my mind lol. As many people as vertex as ****** off with this whole ordeal I think it's much more likely that the multiple bad reviews from the same IP address was probably from someone they screwed over with their version one controller. that is just way more believable to me. I wouldn't see any reason in the world why Neptune would think they need to do anything like that when the community's going to do it for them.

    I firmly believe that I am the best at what I do in my area you'd have to drive 300 miles in any direction to find anyone as good as me. over the years there has been multiple times when someone told me about somebody else trying to start a business doing what I do and most the time it's someone that I had a little bit of knowledge of and I knew that they were neither qualified nor experienced enough to be successful and a couple years later proved me right as they went out of business. there's a very good chance I came off as a little bit arrogant and dismissive about the other person's capabilities, but ultimately I knew what they were getting into way better than they did and I was proved right over time. I would say that Terrance and the other Neptune reps that you talked to Knew very well that a skimmer company had no business trying to make controllers in the time frame that they were saying they were going to do it in. they knew the development process vertex had ahead of them and that it was doomed to failure in that short of a time frame. Look at all the development and iterations of the different Apex controllers through the years and even then when they rolled out the 2016 Apex it had a lot of bugs. so for some company who specializes in making things out of acrylic to just suddenly pull out of their hat the idea that they're going to make controllers and do it in a shorter timeframe than Neptune has ever spent developing one is pretty arrogant and dismissive of Apex own experience and capabilities. It would be like someone walking up to me and saying hey I know what you've been doing what you do for 20 years but I know this guy who has absolutely no experience in your field but he's going to learn how to do what you do in a year or two and he's going to be just as good as you or better when he's done. I would straight up laugh in your face and I would be right to do so. So for those reps to be a little arrogant and eye rolly is quite a bit more congenial than I would have been lol
     
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  10. Tobe71

    Tobe71 Active Member

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    Good points. Thanks Cy
     
  11. Cyricdark

    Cyricdark Active Member

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    So @Tobe71 we talked a lot about when or if the cerebra is going to come out but we never really talked about what kind of capabilities it's going to have when or if it does ( sorry for the if's I know you're positive it will come out but I'm from Missouri so they have got to show me lol) things that would Peak my interest would be a whole lot of 0 to 10 volt outputs like 10 or more and even better would be some pwm outputs like 6 or more at least. What kind of things is it going to do that Apex or ghl can't out of the box?
     
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  12. Cyricdark

    Cyricdark Active Member

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    I just really like this post it's probably one of the more well-thought-out posts I've ever read.
     
  13. rushbattle

    rushbattle Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Partner Member 2019

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    There are likes, and then there are likes. I feel like there should be a “super insightful” tag in addition to likes. Of which the above post would be, in addition to only a handful of others.
     
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  14. Tobe71

    Tobe71 Active Member

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    I’m driving all day today. I’ll try to get some specs for you ASAP.
     
  15. Braves Fan

    Braves Fan Valuable Member

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    I haven't really read this post ,, just from time to time I check it out ,,, my question is ,, at 31 pages that's a lot lol whats up with this piece of equipment ,, I think its a skimmer ,, is this something that people need to cut their losses and get something else,, or is it finally in reefers hands & working good ,,, whats up :)
     
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  16. Cyricdark

    Cyricdark Active Member

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    It's aquarium controller that came out about 4 years ago was supposed to have been a working unit turned out have so many bugs that it was not a working unit they told everybody within a year that they would have a new aquarium controller that they were going to rebuild it from the ground up then there's been multiple delays and missed release dates and nobody yet has a working unit still.
     
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  17. Smarkow

    Smarkow Active Member

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    Thanks :)
    Glad I don’t just sound like a crazy person ranting, haha.
    This hobby..........
     
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  18. Tobe71

    Tobe71 Active Member

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    They grossly underestimated the time it would take to create a brand new controller from the ground up when they decided the first one that was being built by a third party was a failure.
    They had a ton of PR blunders along the way...
    The good news is they have finally completed it and are in the final stages of QC before starting to replace all the beta testers units. They’ve also addressed the shortcomings in the customer relations/PR end with a fantastic marketing team.
    Hopefully I and the other 500 or so beta users will be seeing our units starting in the next few weeks.
    As for units for retail I’m guessing later this Summer.
    Long road but finally nearing the light at the end of a LONG tunnel...
     
  19. Tobe71

    Tobe71 Active Member

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    Got a speedy reply on the forum. Just messaged him and he said more specifics soon...

    1837952F-2276-4D7A-AB9A-C1757F6950C7.jpeg
     
  20. TheHarold

    TheHarold Valuable Member R2R Supporter

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    Hopefully the specifics include supporting Ecotech products, details about a dosing solution, and a *cough* FOURTH *cough* tentative release date.
     
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