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%% Problems with Creative Computers                                    %%
%%                                                                     %%

[Ed's disclaimer:  Amiga Report is in no way affiliated with any
Amiga or computer dealership.  Our Dealer Directory is open to any,
and is carried as a public service only.  We do not specifically endorse
any particular dealer over another.  This article has been compiled from
Usenet users and is provided as information for Amiga users.]

[Ed's note:  I first noticed this thread begin about two weeks back and
read it.  As it progressed, it seemed like there was a serious concern
to be had.  Decide for yourself.]

----- Newsgroup: comp.sys.amiga.misc -----
In article <2t1gf6$n79@usenet.INS.CWRU.Edu>,
dm139@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Charles John Statton, Jr) writes:

>I'm planning to purchase products through either one or both
>of these companies, but I wanted to know what experiences others
>have had with them first.

I have dealt with CREATIVE COMPUTERS several times without problems 
UNTIL NOW!!!  I will never do business with them again!  They lie like
dogs to sell products, then they don't back up their promises.
For further (gory) details, I am posting a note regarding my adventures 


#16770 comp.sys.amiga.misc 5k
From: (Scott Hansen)
Date: 13 Jun 1994 16:28 -0400
Organization: DECUServe

This is a warning to all interested parties that CREATIVE COMPUTERS of
Torrance, California, sells their products by telling BALD-FACED LIES about
features and functionality.  I certainly will never do business with them
again and I felt that everybody should be aware of their business
practices.  Here's what happened:

Short version:  

Prior to ordering a software product, I asked very specifically whether or
not the product contained certain functionality, and I received assurances
that it did.  I bought it, and the product does _NOT_ do what they
promised.  CREATIVE COMPUTERS themselves later confirmed this.  Despite the
prior promises, they refuse to accept a return.  I am now pursuing recourse
through VISA.  

Long version:

I recently bought (not from CREATIVE COMPUTERS) a Power Point high density
external floppy drive for my Amiga 1200.  It works great, except for the
fact that the utility I was using for backups (HDBackup, it came installed
on the 1200 when I bought it) did not take advantage of the high density
feature of the drive.  It uses the drive ok, it just writes to the floppy
in its standard double-density proprietary format.  Anyway, since I now
have this high density capability, I thought (silly me) that it would be
nice to have a backup utility that ACTUALLY USED the high densityness of
the drive.  So I read old reviews of backup products and proceeded to call
CREATIVE COMPUTERS to ask them about two products, Ami-Back and
Quarterback. I spoke to a sales-type by the name of JIM HOUSKA, who assured
me in no uncertain terms that Ami-Back does not use the high density
feature of the drive (it turns out it actually does), and that Quarterback
does absolutely write in high density with the Power Point drive (it turns
out it doesn't) and is also the best backup product in the Known Universe. 
So I ordered Quarterback (unaware that its maker, Central Coast Software /
New Horizons, was in the midst of going out of business).  Not only does
Quarterback not write the floppies in high density, it absolutely will
_NOT_ write to a HD floppy in the HD drive at all in any density.  It will
write to a DD floppy in the HD drive, and it will write to a HD floppy in
the DD drive, but with a HD floppy in the HD drive the entire backup bombs
right out.

So I called CREATIVE COMPUTERS, explained the problem and asked for a
Return Authorization number and a refund.  No, I was told, but thanks for
asking.  They actually confirmed that my results were in fact the truth;
the blasted thing didn't work, no way, no how.  I spoke to Jim Houska, the
sales guy who got me into this.  I spoke to "Veronica C.", who would not
give her last name.  I TRIED to speak to Veronica's manager, "Bill M."
(Veronica wouldn't give me his name, either), but Bill doesn't answer his
phone and doesn't respond to his voice mail.  Jim Houska freely admitted
that he had promised me the thing would work ("I really thought it would,
honest", he said).  But no, I could not have a refund.  I explained to them
that since I had purchased this thing with VISA, I had certain rights, and
that I would pursue a refund through VISA.  They seem a bit confused by
this, but didn't change their minds.

So I packed the thing up in mint condition and sent it to their return
department by U.S. Mail with RETURN RECEIPT REQUESTED, together with a
letter requesting a refund.  I later received the Return Receipt, proof
that they accepted delivery.  A few days ago, I received the package back
(they had obviously opened it), marked "Delivery Refused - Return to
Sender".  Without re-opening it, I returned it to the U.S. Post Office
together with the signed Return Receipt, and the U.S. Postal Service
happily accepted it for return to CREATIVE COMPUTERS.  I am now in process
of having VISA issue a charge back against CREATIVE.  

THROUGH VISA.  Why they even bother to try this type of tactic is beyond
me.  There are regulations, I do have rights to protect me against such
thieves, and they will lose.  They are not being very "creative" if you ask
me.  What is obvious is that they have only one objective:  sell product
at all costs and by any means, even if it involves lying.  They have lost
at least one customer, and I would advise all you to stay away from them.

Scott Hansen

#16796 comp.sys.amiga.misc 2k
From: (Ben Sutter)
Date: 14 Jun 1994 02:07:27 GMT
Organization: South Dakota School of Mines and Technology

Bradley Leffler ( wrote:
> [stories deleted]

Although it's sad and upsetting to see, hear of, or experience these
kind of stories, I am glad they are posted instead of just being swallowed
by the victim. It's called voting with your feet (or dollars) and it's
more powerful than any "comsumer protection" law could ever hope to be.

Companies that screw the customer by making fraudulent statements should
be put out of business. Filing charges cost money, clogs the courts, and
in general wastes resources that could be better spent on other things.
Rather, simply putting them out of business by letting people know about
them is much more effective.

I hope both of you come out of your situations without too much damage
done, and thanks for spreading the word.

BTW, for anyone who's thinking about flaming someone who posts such
messages, keep in mind that one of the qualifications for a statement to be
slanderous is that it be false.

Ben Sutter

#16830 comp.sys.amiga.misc 2k
From: (Kent F. Miller)
Date: Tue, 14 Jun 1994 08:09:28 GMT
Organization: Buffalo Free-Net

 I've had numerous problems with Creative and advise everyone to stay
away from them for the past few years. A friend of mine had a defective
4000 and he sent it back to them for repairs. While it was sitting around
waiting for the new motherboard, the technicians were having fun playing
the games that were on his hard drive. When the board finally came in,
it was shipped back and everything seemed fine until he put a Zorro III
type card and problems occured constantly. I told him that it could be
an old version fo the Buster chip and sure enough, it was. After complaining
to Creative for some time that when it was sent in, it had the leatest revision,
the tech guy said, "Well, to know that you have an old version means you
opened the case and your warrantee is voided so we can't do anything
for you." Well after some serious bitching and threat of a law suit,
they agreed to take it back.
	Also their adds showing fully stocked warehouse is crap. The
picture is back from the Amiga 500 days and they are trying to sell off
their amiga stock and further support the Mac platform.

#16866 comp.sys.amiga.misc 2k
From: (Nick Bonfilio)
Date: Tue, 14 Jun 94 19:20:58 GMT
Organization: Computer Science Department, Cal Poly SLO

I have encountered similar problems with Creative Computers, however, all
turned out alright in the end.  I had ordered a Bodega Bay unit from them for
my Amiga 500.  I really was steamed when upon opening the box, (after waiting
for it to come in stock and to ship it), I discovered that it was physically
damaged.  There was a terrible scrape on the side and the cover did not fit
on properly.  Thus, I was not willing to accept it in this condition.  I
telephoned my local UPS office and explained to them I have received my
parcel in a damaged condition.  Their representative asked me to check to box
for any visible damage.  Of course, there wasn't any.  Therefore, I was able
to conclude that Creative likely knew of the damage before hand, and shipped
it to me in this condition.  After telephoning Creative they helped me get a
RETURN AUTHORIZATION, and UPS picked up the defective unit, and eventually I
got a new one that was okay.  I still believe that Creative has a sort of
creepy business practice, and I am still leary about ordering from them,
although I probably would since I live in California and their products get
to me reasonable fast.

 Nick Bonfilio                    :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
 Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo        :::::IF YOU CAN READ THIS, THANK A:::::  :::::::::::::::TEACHER.:::::::::::::::: 
 STILL A PROUD AMIGA USER!!       ::::::::::::::::::::::::-how profound!:

#16879 comp.sys.amiga.misc 2k
From: (Robert A. Colbert)
Date: Tue, 14 Jun 1994 23:46:25 GMT
Organization: University of Nebraska at Omaha

    Just wanted to get my two cents worth in.  I also had problems with
Creative Computing.  Last month when I got my Amiga World, I couldn't
believe the prices on some of the stuff.  I called and waited on the line
for one and a half hours before I talked to a human, of the list of items
that I wanted (about 10), they only had one... a 49 cent magazine...
    Imagine my surprise when I opened up this months Amiga World to see
another add by Creative Computing with some more "amazing deals."  Well,
I found something very interesting in there...  they had the DKB 1202
memory board in the add three times with three different prices.  One
box showed  $119 for the board with no description of what was included
with the board, another was $99 for the board with no memory, no math co,
with clock, and another (this is not a mistake) for $79 with a 14mhz math
coprocessor (68881).  Well, I figured I would give it a shot, I called and
got through with no wait.  To my surprise they had ONE left in stock, so I 
ordered it.  Well, I got it, it works, and I know they had to have made a
mistake, because my friend paid $149 for the same deal about 6 months ago.
So maybe that will bring some satisfaction, to know that they screwed up, to 
those of you who got screwed.


#16881 comp.sys.amiga.misc 2k
From: (Doug Goodridge)
Date: 15 Jun 1994 00:36:58 GMT
Organization: CompuTech, Spokane WA

Nick Bonfilio ( wrote:
I have encountered similar problems with Creative Computers, however, all
turned out alright in the end.  I had ordered a Bodega Bay unit from them for
my Amiga 500.  I really was steamed when upon opening the box, (after waiting

Hey, I have a Creative Computers story also...

About six months ago I wanted to buy a hard drive for my 1200.  I ordered 
one from Creative Computers over the phone with my Visa and made sure 
that it was going to be shipped overnight.  I waited for 5 days and 
nothing happened, no call, no invoice, no hard drive.  I called back on 
the sixth day and asked what the problem was and they told me the drive I 
ordered was out of stock.  I asked why they couldn't have bothered 
telling me that when I placed the order so I wouldn't be hanging around 
the house for 5 days waiting for a shipment, and why they made a point of 
telling me that they wouldn't be able to ship it the day I ordered it, 
but it wouldn be shipped in the morning.  Then they told me the drive had 
been on backorder for a couple of months.  I just told them to cancel my 
order and got a snippy "As you wish, sir." in reply.
Needless to say I called another company that same day, ordered the same 
drive for 5 dollars more and got it the next day.
Creative Computers will not be getting my business again.

#16909 comp.sys.amiga.misc 3k
From: (Scott Hansen)
Date: 15 Jun 1994 12:11 -0400
Organization: DECUServe

In article <>,
(Jim Perkowski) writes...

> But in Creative's defense I must say that I have never had any
>problems with them. They shipped me my A4000 COD and it arrived on time
>and in excellent condition. Since this pruchase I have also bought
>Magic Lantern, the Retina 2.2 software upgrade and other things from
>them. No problems. Also, in Quarterback's defense, it does work on my
>A4000/040's HD floppy drive. I'm running version 6.02 and I must put an
>HD floppy in the drive before I start the backup to make sure it uses
>the HD mode. The problem you are having could really be with the drive.

My purchase of Quarterback was not my first encounter with Creative, I've
ordered things from them before and those orders arrived without exceptional
delays and in working order. But with previous purchases I never had a
problem that required trying to work with their Customer Service department,
or trying to get a refund.  As for Quarterback, I've had several users of
that product make the same suggestion that you make, and I appreciate all
your help.  However, as I understand it, the external HD drive from Power
Point differs from Commodore's A4000 internal drive in that Commodore's
drive is recognized as a native device, whereas the third-party drive
requires that a patch be run during startup, and apparently this is what
causes the problem with some (most?) backup programs which use proprietary
formats.  AmigaDOS itself has no trouble at all writing to this drive.
Nevertheless, your suggestion may in fact allow Quarterback to work, I
don't really know.  My question is this: why didn't Creative's Customer
Service people make that suggestion?  Did they check it out, try it?
They told me they had investigated the question and that there was
absolutely no way to make it work.  I have no way to know if they were
telling me the truth or not.  Whatever, as I said in my original
posting, I packed it up and sent it back, they sent it back to me again,
and I refused delivery right back at them.  It's up to Visa now.

In any case, the replies from others who have related their horror stories
with Creative Computers are enough to convince me that my problem with them
is anything but an aberration.  Based on the replies in this thread, it
seems to me that ANY order with Creative that goes without a hitch is due
to sheer luck.  Despite your good fortune, there is no defense for Creative.

Scott Hansen

P.S. I just received my Ami-Back.  It works!  And you don't have to go
through any goofy stuff.  I like it a lot!

#16961 comp.sys.amiga.misc 1k
From: (Scott Wiard)
Date: 15 Jun 94 02:07:08 GMT
Organization: Digital Dreams II

[Note about Memory World deleted]

	I have had several business dealings with Memory World and have
never had a problem with their service.  When I needed to get more RAM for
my SupraRAM board I didn't even know what I needed (ZIPS, SIMS) and the 
person who took my order knew exactly what my board would take and even 
saved me some money by recommending slower chips than what a friend had
told me.  He made his recommendation because he knew the specs of my board
and even explained it all in laymans terms so that I'd understand.

	Also I've had many friends buy products from them and never have
any of the problems you've described.  My guess is that you've just had a
run at extremely bad luck with your equipment <and I know how that sucks>.


#17114 comp.sys.amiga.misc 2k
From: (GBrawn)
Subject: Yet Another Creatve Story
Date: 17 Jun 1994 18:28:02 -0400
Organization: America Online, Inc. (1-800-827-6364)

Bradley Leffler ( wrote:
> (story deleted)

     YACCHS - Yet Another Creative Computers Horror Story.  

     The attitude exhibited by Creative Computers is nothing new.  A 
few years ago I purchased an A2000 HD from them, NOT.  In the 
beginning, delivery was prompt - so far, so good.  I booted my new 
machine: I only had chip ram, and the HD didn't show.  Reboot.  
Nothing changed.  Find the Phillips screwdriver and remove the 
     Imagine my surprise when I saw a virtually empty case - this 
was a stock 2000 - no HD and no extra memory.  I checked the 
box . . . yep, it said Amiga 2000 HD, as did the badge on the CPU.  
The waybill said the package originated in West Chester.  I assume 
that the box was stuffed by CBM and "disassembled" by Creative (who 
resold the components).

     I called Creative - no, I couldn't ship the unit to them and 
still get it back in time to meet my deadline.  "But, you could 
bring it in to our shop," the anonymous voice encouraged me.  Their 
shop was 120 miles away.  

     Reluctantly, I made the long drive north.  At Creative, the head

tech set me up with no questions (no one apologized either). 
their original intent lingered, and I've not bought from them since.

     Lately, I've been patronizing DevWare.  Their advertising 
emphasizes video, but they have a good mix of hardware and software 
(including PD).  I don't know their phone, but they have multi-page 
ads in Amiga World and VTU.          

Subject: Another Creative Story
Status: RO


Here is a Creative Computers story that is fairly short, but puzzling to me 
even now.

I called Creative in April to obtain SBase4 Pro from Oxxi.  They told me it 
wasn't in stock, but should be shipping next week.  I waited a month and 
called Oxxi to see why they weren't shipping.  They told me SBase4 had been 
out quite a while and they had just sent out their last `printing' a week 
ago.  They would be making another shipment in another week.  They asked me 
why I was concerned, and I told them I had ordered from Creative.  They 
said, "Oh, we have had some problems with them." Nothing more specific.

I immediately called Creative to cancel the order.  The clerk asked me if I 
still wanted the other item on backorder.  I searched my memory and 
cleverly asked him what it was (since I couldn't remember).  It was a 
European magazine that I had ordered in November!  After getting somebody 
else's permission (maybe his manager) he cancelled both orders.

I don't understand how Creative can be so incompetent and stay in business.

On a more upbeat note, I finally recieved SBase4 from another mail order 
concern (Savannah, GA doesn't enjoy a Commodore dealer's service).  It 
arrived with a German DML manual (one of two) and a defective disk.  Oxxi 
quickly sent me the English manual, but still hasn't replaced the defective 
disk (I am sure another call will cure that).  Maybe all this is due to 
depression over Commodore's situation, monitor radiation, or something more 
insidious.  Just make sure your publication doesn't catch the disease!

- Walt Lounsbery, Publisher
  Scientific Amigan
  POB 60685
  Savannah, GA   31420-0685
  (912) 352-1866

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

I have not intentionally left out any part of this thread, and I may be
behind in the messages.  If there are any other stories, positive or
negative, please feel free to submit it to an editor.