Terrible customer service from HQPlayer

WORD OF CAUTION TO PEOPLE CONSIDERING HQPLAYER

Been a happy Roon user for a while and decided to give HQPlayer a spin after all the hype. It was just too much for my mac mini to handle. So I sent in an email requesting a change of the license key to windows so I could use it on my I7 system. However I got the worst customer service I have ever experienced in my life.

The following is my email exchange. As of now I’m done with roon/tidal/hqplayer. Going back to Jriver till I feel less pissed off about paying for software that does not work. Quite disgusted that Roon implicitly provides support to such poor customer service.

ME:
Hi,

I recently purchased hq player for MAC. But my MAC mini is too slow to run the program. I would like to install this program on my more powerful windows pc instead.
Would you please change my licence key from a MAC to windows version please.

Jussi

Hi,

This is why there is a free trial and explicit demand to use it. I can give you a discount coupon code for the second platform license bundle. Then you have license for both.

Best regards,

  • Jussi

ME:

Hi

I have no desire to have 2 versions when I only need the windows version. Please stop trying to scam me. If you are unable to change my version please provide me with a full refund as the program does not work well on my Mac mini.

Jussi Laako

Have you read the terms and instructions on the page here:
https://www.signalyst.com/webshop.html

I think it is quite clear.

Jussi

By the way, have you even tried if it works for you on Windows either?

ME:
Hi,

As I mentioned before, the software does not work as it should on my Mac mini. It has frequent drop outs and has shut down completely on numerous occasions due to system overload.

When I tried the software initially I used it for less than an hour before purchasing it. During that short period of time, especially since the trial stops the program every 1/2 hours I did not experience any of the issues that I now have with prolonged use of the program.

Now I am writing to you as a customer to inform you that the program does not work as it should. And furthermore it’s failure is only apparent on prolonged use which was not able to be evaluated on the 1/2 hour limited trial.

I would appreciate it if you could provide me with a full refund for this program and instructions on how to return the defective software to you. I have no desire to own this defective program now especially considering your poor customer service.

Jussi

As you said it works for you. Change the HQPlayer settings to lighter ones, or buy faster computer. I am not reponsible for performance of your computer hardware. Your computer being too slow for your choice of settings is not defect in my software. Just like for computer games, your computer would be too slow to play many of today’s games at full detail settings. But it isn’t defect of the game if you cannot use full detail settinga.

Standard terms for software and other immaterial licensing applies. For most other software vendors same terms apply. You cannot return Windows licenses. And you cannot return CD’s or movies either after opening the packaging. Even if you didn’t like the content “after prolonged use”. You have taken the software into use.

There is free trial so you can make sure things work for you. 30 minutes per run and 30 days is certainly enough to see if your computer is powerful enough and the software works.

Sorry, but there are no refunds available, as clearly said on the web page. I don’t want to pay for your testing.

ME:
Hi,

As I think it’s quite unfair to ask me to purchase a new computer to run your software. Would you be able to guarantee me that a new computer would run your software program without issues? As I understand, my current computer is well within the stated minimum specifications for your program.

Furthermore the dropouts and program shut downs occur regardless of the settings I use. And as I have already mentioned, these problems only occur after prolonged use, which was not possible within the limitations of your trial program which shut down every 30 minutes.

Once again I’m politely asking you to refund my money that I paid for software that does not perform as expected and as advertised.

Jussi

Then it is not problem in the software, but likely dusty cooling system in your computer. When did you last clean it’s cooling system?

Jussi

Computers have so called thermal throttling to protect from overheating. If they detect excessive heat, they reduce speed to stay within specified thermal boundaries.

Over time dust gathers in fans and heat sinks reducing cooling performance. Clean Mac Mini doesn’t run into thermal throttling under constant high load, it has enough cooling capacity. However, with enough dust in the system this may happen…

Jussi

…also room temperature changes naturally affect cooling performance…

ME:
Hi,

My computer works fine and I’ve been using it without a problem for 2 years.

If you are unwilling to provide me with a refund for the defective software please state a reason why. You seem intent on blaming me for your defective computer program.

Jussi

I have not seen anything indicating that the software is defective. For me, on my Mac Mini (i5), HQPlayer works fine up to DSD128 upsampling, up to DSD512 without upsampling and all PCM rates.

Your description indicates a computer problem, not problem in HQPlayer.

Exact computer requirements naturally depend on what exactly you want to do with HQPlayer and with what settings.

Some of the heavier cases require bigger CPU, for example some cases are known to require either Intel i7-6950X or AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X. But this becomes very clear with one minute of playback in trial mode.

Again, your description is indicating computer problem, not software defect.

At minimum, if you are sure there’s a software problem, you need to provide screenshots of your HQPlayer settings, screenshot of HQPlayer main window while playing. Screenshot of Activity Monitor while HQPlayer playing and HQPlayer log file.

ME:

Sir you have gone from blaming me for buying your software without trying it for 30 days to blaming me for having a slow computer to blaming me for having a dirty computer.

At this point I’m done with this conversation. You have the worst customer service I have ever encountered and I suspect you behave in this manner because I am not the first person to have issues with your software.

Perhaps you should consider taking down your defective program and working on it to improve it. Attempting to scam people into a purchase and then refuse a refund with a million excuses is a very poor way to run a business.

I am done with our conversation. I will speak to higher authorities on this matter.

Roon, Tidal and HQP are three separate companies.

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Jussi is mathematically precise with his filters and his speech and in fairness it couldn’t be much clearer.


image


I feel your pain but HQP is not defective.

I have a super duper humdinger of a windows machine with CUDA offload but still can’t manage xtr filters without using the -2 variant. This does’t mean HQP is defective.

It’s probably one of those customer service scenarios that just started off on the wrong foot and deteriorated.

perhaps try the support route offered, you may even get it working to your satisfaction.

.sjb

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While we are very generous with our return policy, our partners are not us and can chose to implement whatever practices they may want.

I believe you are throwing out the baby with the bathwater here. I’m not sure what Roon Labs could have done better to fix your situation.

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I wouldn’t have come into contact with this disgusting company if it wasn’t so widely and highly praised by everyone here.

You guys are lovely to deal with. But there is obviously deep integration between ROON and HQ Player. Perhaps in view of you guys sending HQ Player so much business, the least you could ask in return is a decent support/return/exchange policy for customers you send their way.

We can ask, but it’s all we can do.


So @jussi_laako – how about it? I understand that @Wirezz did wrong by jumping ahead to purchase before effectively trialing. He was clearly excited about your product.

The rules are clear on your site, and they are written out for exactly this use case, but, in 2018, having a no-refund policy for software products bought online is not very friendly. While no one says you have to be friendly, it is just a swell thing to do.

So, help out a fellow audio-loving brother by offering an exchange to another platform and/or a refund? … and possibly look into changing that no-refund policy?

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^^^^ +1. This is leadership in action folks. Bravo Danny.

He is not the only one having these kinds of problems with HQ Player. I had a problem several months ago; asked in the HQP forums here and at Computer Audiophile AND sent an email to Jussi, but never got any kind of response or acknowledgement (and yes, I asked nicely :slight_smile: ). I eventually figured it out on my own, NO thanks to HQP. I think that HQP loves discussing heavy technical issues with HQP, but not so much when it comes to customer support. If they get any bigger, they will HAVE to do better with customer support.

HQ Player is an excellent product, and has good customer support. HQ Player license terms are pretty clear and Jussi offering you a discount code is a fair business gesture.

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HQPlayer works flawlessly on my Mac Mini 1.4 GHz Intel Core i5 with 4 GB 1600 MHz DDR3 + Roon Core with Tidal and my music collection on external HDD’s. Never ever crashed!!

100% agree.
Watch out for this please.
For technical questions he may answer with cheap platitudes.
This purchase it was my worst spent money ever!

Personally I wouldn’t be taking this tack putting Jussi on the spot like that.

Whatever he does now will irk someone.

.sjb

That’s a very glass-is-half-empty way to look at it.

If he agrees to transfer/refund, he can consider it a cost of doing business w/ customers coming from Roon.
If he doesn’t agree, he can choose to not respond or to respond saying ‘my policies are set’.

@Wirezz will end up happy in one case and no different in any other case. Roon Labs will not be offended in either case. My request & my advice is just that, with no strings attached.

Others are just bystanders watching this public drama unfold, which was already triggered by the first post on this topic.

There are a variety of views about HQ Player on the Forum. This is mine:

The software isn’t defective. It does what it says it does, but it is constrained by available processing power. I’d prefer to see a warning to that effect on the website, but would have expected a trial to have shown up such issues.

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I can’t imagine you being so gracious if someone was calling your software defective on a public forum and demanding their money back because they can’t search by folder and/or Roon doesn’t support UPnP.

It certainly looks as if things could have been handled more diplomatically but I think 2 fuses were lit.

But you may be correct about me being a glass half empty kind of guy, I’m a great believer that things invariably can only get better for pessimists and worse for optimists.

.sjb

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People have called Roon defective many times on this site as well as others (search on Computer Audiophile for example). Additionally, lack of UPnP support (their hardware isn’t supported) is the #1 reason people request refunds. Lack of folder browsing and/or their organization was not preserved is #2.

Users don’t usually go public first, they ask privately. Same went for @Wirezz. When he didn’t get the answer he wanted, he went public in an attempt to warn others about a business practice that he didn’t agree with. We don’t let it escalate it that far because we have a 30-day refund policy. We are pretty flexible on that 30 days too.

Customers are going to range from happy to angry because there are many of them. There is only 1 of you – be cool. I’ve voiced this idea on our site before (I won’t bring attention to the partner that triggered my dissatisfaction last time because they ultimately resolved the situation).

Then, in my opinion, you’ve made another bad call: you assumed it’s a zero-sum game. I’d rather assume the best and expect that it’ll only get better.

A glass-half-full way to look at refunds is to not consider them as a commentary on the defectiveness of product. They are about satisfaction. It has nothing to do with whether they are right or wrong. It’s about an easy way out of a nasty situation, even if it doesn’t agree with one’s ego.

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If I’d want to get bigger and have something like customer support department, I would have to increase the price more than 2x to somehow fund such activity… :slight_smile:

Until then, it is just me, one person, trying to handle everything.

Responses depend on what you are asking. If I don’t answer, I may not have answer. If you ask something like what hardware you should buy, you are most unlikely to get response.

There’s free trial so one can make sure things work fine. Refunds cost me money.

If you buy Microsoft Windows, install it on computer and then decide you don’t like it, you are not going to get refund. Same for most other software I know.

In this particular case, if playback begins to suffer after 30 minutes or so it is likely thermal problem in the computer driving it to thermal throttling. Small ultra-book laptops are most likely to suffer from such (not designed for constant high loads), but can happen elsewhere too for the stated reasons.

Or some other software screwing things up. I’ve seen similar things happen on some anti-virus software that re-scans HTTP streams as it is flowing and as the “download” gets bigger and bigger the scanning is taking longer and longer and eventually the entire thing collapses. But hopefully none of the AV solutions are that stupid anymore in the era of streaming services.

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Roon probably has similar challenges, depending on how Roon’s DSP engine is configured. Not all computers can probably run all Roon’s features in all configuration scenarios.

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