Total Home Technologies

Home Automation
Calgary AB T2X 3X2
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HomeStars  >  Alarm Systems in Calgary  >  Total Home Technologies  >  New Home (full A/V integration) with questionable results
Kerry in Calgary
Kerry in Calgary
2 reviews Calgary, AB
3/10

New Home (full A/V integration) with questionable results

Total Home Entertainment
403-452-0136
Calgary
AB
T2X 3X2
CANADA

I am not prone to providing reviews and given the high ratings others have provided, I can honestly say, my experience was less than satisfactory.

My background is in Computer Science with 25 years of experience managing large IT projects.

I retained this company over one year ago to design and install a fully-wired, integrated system comprised of an ELAN hub, 6 audio zones with in-ceiling speakers, 2 Sonos connect amps and 3 dedicated video sources, multi-wifi hot spots. Services with this firm were terminated in Feb, 2018.

In all due respect, I believe this person has good intentions and would be great for 'small' component based, audio (Sonos based) or APPLE TV type installs. IMHO, for large integrated IP-based systems (>$20k), less so.

I opted to use this integrator based on HomeStars ratings only. He wasn't my first choice, but a Technical integrator i had used previously had since relocated and I was somewhat constrained given the phase of our new house construction.

My BIG mistake was to not obtain references of similar (full house integration type jobs). Nor to confirm that what he sold he was experienced enough to deliver.

To cut to the chase, I took a chance on this small firm. Early on, several clues had me doubt my decision. I only wish i would've cut the chord earlier.

Issues we experienced: 1) he asked to be paid for the job in full, before installing/configuring any major components, right after the wiring phase; 2) he started my job, then after a few weeks claimed\ to not have a signed contract and because his quote was very vague it lead to confusion when design changes were discussed in mid-stream; 3) i was constantly trouble shooting after each site visit and often sharing numerous descriptive emails outlining the problems he had not resolved when on site; 4) he arbitrarily changed expensive equipment (with desired features) without my permission; 5) many of the custom cable ends he sourced are of low quality and are not properly soddered/spliced, leading to sporadic connectivity issues; 6) his wiring throughout the home was not well designed nor according to spec (no conduits used, some cables are not terminated at the stack; 7) the cable that did end at the stack was poorly labeled and in some cases improperly configured (sloppy, spaghetti wiring was how one observer described it); 8) NO surge protection at the stack leaving my very expensive equipment at risk; 9) post-project services were outrageously expensive; and, 10) his availability to respond to support issues was at times limited (an issue when your system does not work right after a service call).

After several mishaps, I decided to part ways. However this was more difficult than i expected as the system he sold me was a proprietary ELAN system (which gives him exclusive configuration rights), and before releasing his services, I had to obtain ELAN approval to change my integrator. I carefully researched my security risks and obtained two independent system integration audits of two highly regarded firms in the city. Firms who by the way have a proven track record in repairing problems created by other small time firms. This project was no exception. I dished out an additional $3k to properly wire, terminate, and configure my system.

With so many small technical integration firms today, buyer beware...

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Company Response

Hello Kerry, We are sorry to hear that you were not completely satisfied with your project from November 2016.
We pride ourselves in maintaining the highest quality standards for our clients and as you can see from the majority of our reviews, we are very knowledgeable in all areas and sizes of home automation projects we take on.
We are concerned to see that you feel that our standard work practices were not applied to your project in various forms including Elan integration, payment requests, improper equipment/installation or lack thereof. Please feel certain knowing that these concerns are unsound and we would be happy to provide you with any additional information and/or including payment, equipment and installation invoices for your records.
Excellent customer service is something we strive for in each project we complete. When we spoke 7 months after the project was completed, it was mentioned that everything was working great and all issues had been resolved. Of course when working with technology, there can be hiccups along the way however, we would never leave a client with an incomplete system and do everything we can to resolve issues quickly.
Please feel free to contact us personally to further discuss any issues regarding this project.