I just had a long conversation with Susan Hamner (sic?) of ARNAV. I very much appreciate her response to my two emails that I sent about 10 -14 days ago. Unfortunately, she told me that she was unhappy with my previous, somewhat vitriolic posts regarding the latest version of their ICDS/MFD and considered them to be ‘infalmatory,’ ‘inaccurate’ and ‘arm waving.’ She asked that I have patience and work with them. There were no apologies, only requests for additional patience and efforts on my part. I offered to apologize and retract anything that I have posted that was inaccurate, but she was unable to point out any.
I pointed out that I felt that the responses from ARNAV have been poor, both in timeliness and in content, to which she replied that their first response was, “An engineering response not a pilot response” and that, “I should get past that.” She also added that they may be unable to meet my standards (elapsed time in update rates) and I would have to meet them half way. I can only ask what is acceptable in update rates, and is 45 seconds, or half of that, even reasonable?
I asked for a refund and return to the previous version, to which she declined.
Needless to say, I continue to be very unhappy with ARNAV and the upgraded ICDS. I will continue to work with them as I would for any company whose products I use. I will offer any feedback that they request and most of all, as I have no other reasonable choice, I will wait for the ‘maintenance version’ of the software to be released, whenever that will be - she didn’t know.
I strongly recommend that anyone who is considering upgrading their older ARNAV MFDs wait until the next software is released and reviewed. We are not paid to be their beta testers with every release. Unless you are sure you will be happy with the upgraded unit, I would suggest that you save the $2,000 or apply it to an Avidyne conversion.
Neither unit is perfect, but from everything that I have experienced and read, Avidyne is the more progressive and responsive company. They seem to have the market in large screen MFDs and I presume that it due to their products and service and not because of my posts.
Finally, what annoyed me most about the call was the slightly veiled threat that I should toe the line or I would be left with an unsupported ‘legacy’ product. She went on to say that ARNAV had to make some decisions about what was profitable and ‘worth the effort.’ I find it reprehensible for the company to try to hold their customers’ opinions hostage, when the fault lies with business decisions that the company itself has made. They failed to keep their product current, and their competition passed them by. They sold version after version with bugs. They failed to meet announced deadline after deadline. They failed to meet expectations. Apparently, they disappointed their largest customer (for the product) to the point where that customer no longer offers their product. But what is absolutely the worst? They blame their customers for their own mistakes. Bottom line: they failed to keep their customers happy.
I have expressed many of these opinions with some of you individually. I have always wanted to give ARNAV the benefit of the doubt and not post such negative comments. My comments have become more negative as their products and service continue to disappoint. Finally, I feel that by keeping quiet, I would be letting down anyone who was considering upgrading. Do your homework. Do your research. But, make an informed decision. This is just one man’s opinion. I invite anyone to post their’s, even ARNAV.