Why are you stuck with a writer without test driving it first?

Have you ever wondered how when you buy a writer, you don't even get to test drive it?   The sales person may come to your home and you play with it for 10 minutes or so, but that's it.  When you order the machine, whether you like it or not, you are stuck with it.


I cannot think of any othere business where you spend $5,000 on any equipment where you are stuck with what you purchased even if you are not happy with it. 


I purchased the Advantage Software Passport last August and tried to work with it for six months and my writing was just horrible on this machine; I just did not feel comfortable doing realtime.  Keys would be hit when my fingers were not even close to those keys.  It would stutter and stack and split.


I called Advantage repeatedly to complain and said I want my money back and, of course, they would not do that but always tried to tell me how to fix the problem.  I finally got fed up and sold the machine to a friend.  Now my friend has had the Passport in the shop in Florida twice and he has only had the machine for three months.  He is not happy with it either. 


I am affraid he will plop it back in my lap and I am stuck with it.  I just feel so frustrated that they stick you with a lemon and basically give you the run-around and never try to make it right.  In the last year I have spent $10,000 on two writers because I had to go buy another one. 


I just can't believe a company can adopt such a practice.  Still scratching my head about it.



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Yes, I would strongly second this suggestion.  It is worth a shot.  With some companies, your yearly fee includes insurance for purchases that go wrong.  American Express is particularly good about this.  I had an iPod which mysteriously collapsed after I'd had it a year and a half, six months after the warranty expired, and they paid every penny for a new one.



I am in exactly the same boat as you are.   I bought my Passport writer almost a year ago, and I absolutely hate it, hate it, hate it.  I have had nothing but problems with it-  with the keys shooting out strokes, splitting the strokes in half.  I don't dare tough the tension, because then everything goes haywire.  I've had the machine shut down completely at least three times during realtime jobs.


 I've called Advantage, and all they want are my error files, but then I get no response once the files are sent in.


I financed my machine, so I have no idea what to do from here.  I would sell it, but I hate to stick someone else with the piece of junk.  I wish I had the cash to buy a new machine right now, but I just don't.


Let me know what you decide to do or if I can help out at all.  Perhaps two voices are better than one.



Hopefully they will read these posts and realize they are sticking reporters with a piece of absolute junk.  Can't speak for everyone, but thanks for sharing your story, Heidi.  I had a feeling I was not alone.

I'm not sure what the fuss is about with Advantage Software. I find them to be a very helpful company in dealing with problems that I have had.  I bought a passport a few months ago and it worked amazing.  I love the anti-stacking software and the shadow display.  The shadow display helped me realize that some of my fingers are heavier then others.  Just recently though,  I plugged my writer in for the night to charge.  Next morning I turned it on and the battery was low.  For some reason it refused to charge.  I was about to have a melt down spending this much money on a writer and a few months later die on me.

 I called Tech Support later in the day and they said it's a problem that can be fixed.  I would just have to send the writer in.  They set me up with a RMA and sent me a loaner.  I sent my passport to them.  A week or so later I got my passport back.  It's working like new again.  No problems, no nothing.  I absolutely love Advantage Software's response time and they're very kind people.  I'll be sticking with Total Eclipse and the Passport writer.  Best customer service I've ever seen.

I am glad you are happy with your Passport.   I wish I had the same experience. 


If you were not happy with it, I wonder how Advantage Software's customer service would be.

I recently bought a ProCat Stylus, and they gave me 10 days to try it out with a full refund (minus shipping), and 30 days with a restocking fee.  I used a ProCat Flash prior to this, and I use their software as well.  Their customer service has always been great.  I'm happy with it and kept it. 


I did do a demo of a Diamante, and the touch was lovely.  But I'm not thrilled with Stenograph in general, and the inability to return the writer if it didn't work for me were definite drawbacks.  Plus the Stylus was on sale at the time, so it was quite a savings for me.   

You have me there.  I'm sure I would be upset with Advantage if I was in your shoes.  I'm cheap when it comes to spending my money, so I make sure it's something really worth it.  They did offer me a 21 day evaluation of the writer which I happily accepted.


I'm sad to hear that your disappointed with the Passport.  It's really a fantastic writer once you adjust the sensors of the keys to your touch.  Hopefully one day you'll give it another chance.

Someone told me I should start a group for writer issues.  I did.    Here is the link:





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