Acoustic Energy & Audio Gold = good; Superfi = bad
Just thought I'd come in and share my experience with the above companies in my search for a decent home cinema system (said search has already been detailed at length in another thread).
A few weeks back, having made my decision on buying the AE Neo 5.1 package, I placed an order through Superfi for the lot, including a subwoofer cable in the order (audio cable and the amp came from the ever reliable Richer Sounds). The info on Superfi's site said that the speakers were not in stock but would be an "order on request" item with an estimated lead time of 10 days. I sat back, and waited.
10 days later, I got a short email from Superfi claiming the item was discontinued and the order would be cancelled. No offers of alternative systems, no real customer service to speak of, just a 'sorry, bye' and that was it. They even decided I no longer needed the subwoofer cable, which was in stock, presumably as I no longer was going to have a subwoofer to plug it into.
I wrote a slightly irate email to them, asking why it took them so long to find out it was discontinued and what exactly had happened to the rest of my order. The email response I got was poorly written, had no conjunctions of full stops, and only addressed half of my concerns.
Beyond that, I went straight to Acoustic Energy, and asked them what was going on. The Neo series wasn't discontinued as such, they said, just undergoing a mid-cycle revamp. They were then helpful enough to put me in contact with several places which had the new ones in stock, as well as several places that might contain residual stock of the 'old' Neo series. This, despite the fact that Superfi claimed AE was giving them no information. In a phone call and an email, I was already more informed than Superfi.
One of the companies AE suggested was Audio Gold in Crouch End. They were more than happy to order the new Neos for me and even gave me a 10% discount on them as I bought almost a whole set (I picked up a refurbished Neo Sub straight from AE on eBay). The order was placed on the Friday afternoon, and the speakers arrived the following Tuesday, direct from Acoustic Energy.
The customer service offered by both Audio Gold and Acoustic Energy has been exemplary. The reps I spoke to from both companies were more than helpful and went out of their way to make sure I got what I was after. AE's tech support were very helpful too when I fired them a quick email. I'm extremely pleased with my speakers, more so because I know they've come from a company that seems to care about its customers.
Superfi, meanwhile, were useless. Uninformed, unhelpful, and at times unintelligible. I've no doubt they have many happy customers, but the way they dealt with me left much to be desired.
Just wanted to share.