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Author Topic: AirNav - What its Customers Think  (Read 10164 times)

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Offline Anmer

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AirNav - What its Customers Think
« on: February 27, 2013, 10:21:32 AM »
I'm an AirNav customer.  RadarBox is a reasonable receiver but one which has a history of hardware failure, albeit usually repaired free of charge if the customer can return it to Waters & Stanton in the UK at their own expense.

Unlike competitor products, the RadarBox receiver can't provide precise enough data time stamps for the PlanePlotter Multilateration (Mlat) aircraft plotting feature.

The RadarBox software has some good features but suffers from a heavy reliance on the AirNav central server for the aircraft database, images, routes, shared traffic, alerts, logs  and the optional 3D.  The server suffered a serious outage at the beginning of this year.

AirNav's customer support is not the best and its forum suffers from severe censorship and banned membership.

This is exacerbated by AirNav's natural tendency to over promise and under deliver.  It also makes unsubstantiated claims about it's product features and business success, many of which have been deemed as such by the UK's Advertising Standard's Authority.

Since March 2009 I have personally been threatened and libelled by AirNav's owner Andre Brandao and Mark Francis, Sales Director of his main distributor, Waters & Stanton.  For the last 4 years I've been anxiously awaiting the threatened Court Summons to arrive.

Why?  Simply because I and Hamish McTorsk exposed AirNav's customer harassment and challenged it's unsubstantiated claims.  Four years later it seems we've been vindicated.

If I were to summarise AirNav and it's products I'd say:

"RadarBox is a reasonable product, let down by a lack of support and further development despite repeated assurances (since 2009) that all software bugs would be fixed.  Worryingly, our local aircraft data is harvested by AirNav without our express permission and sold to others.  There are now alternative products which, in my opinion, offer better data processing capabilities and software which is continually being enhanced.  AirNav doesn't enjoy a very good reputation for customer service or support and its product claims need be taken with a large pinch of salt."

I've been accused of an antiAirNav bias.  I refute that but don't just take my word for it.  Read what other customers are now saying:



RadarBox Software Update
« on: October 27, 2011, 12:42:47 am »Fortunately ShipTrax is almost finished and as promised many times by our team we will soon be ready to start improving the RadarBox client application again.

Did I miss something during the last year and 4 months?

I'm getting older and the memory is not what it was.



Hi John, and I thought it was just my mind and memory that had expected an update a little while back, and nothing's appeared.   I've given up hope, patience and waiting - all we get are platitudes and empty undelvered promises.



I used to promote the product to family and friends...not anymore unfortunately.  I still enjoy the package and use it daily, however some enhancements/updates would be nice.  I am making sure to cancel my network subscription next time around as well.   It's all about the almighty dollar unfortunately.



I gave up waiting for bugfixes and a new version and have bought a SBS-3 in the meantime.

Don't use my radarbox anymore. I have never experienced such a bad support with any other product I bought.




I gave up as well.  No longer running Radarbox or ShipTrax.




I am so sorry to hear that Chris.

You were the epitome of a Hero Member.  So many of us owe you thanks for your tolerant and patient guidance when helping us surmount our initial (and subsequent in my case!) difficulties and problems - not to mention your dignity in rising above the (unjustified) flak too often aimed in your direction.

You were a credit  to the company, for whatever that turned out be worth, and you remain a credit to the hobby.

I guess all good things come to an end and "the most trusted name in flight tracking" is trusted no more.




I've also given up and don't recommend the product to anyone I know or in the online communities. Few years ago I used to tell everyone.

I know some people who really wanted to by the product after seeing mine. I've told them don't waste £400+, use free flight trackers available online, which are being updated with bug fixes regularly. They have seen the forum posts both here and other online forums and will not be buying.  They are looking at cheaper alternatives if they decide to buy their own hardware in the future.




I am one of the original RadarBox owners having bought mine in the summer of 2007 for nothing less then $1,000 Canadian.  I've been patient and waited and waited and continue to wait for promised updates.  I have fed the network 24/7 for 99% of this time.

It is indeed a dark a gloomy day if we lose you Tarbat.

You were my hope that something was going to change with RadarBox but I fully understand why you are leaving.

What next?  Do we lose Rod?

Do we lose the updating team?

I can't thank all of you enough for what you have brought to Radarbox over the years.   

Is this the start of the final exodus?

AirNav take notice before it's too late.




Very disappointed to see my post about where your priorities should lie has been deleted.  Trying to silence honest criticism and advice about priorities seems counter-productive to me.   Just because I mentioned one word - a dark day in my books :(

So, I'll repeat the "headline".  There is one group of customers who have paid a lot of money, and provide, for free, the data that makes all the other services you sell to other customers possible.  That's where your priorities should lie.




What would be the result of every one not sending their feed?



very sory to see you go Tarbat, and at the same, it says a lot 'bout howe we can see the future of Radarbox : very dark !

years of promisses 'bout updates, who are eternaly "almost there"

i still love to use my RB, but one thing is for shure ; if my box would stop working now, i shure would by a other brand, i'm not gonna wait 10 more years to finaly RB Mk2 comes, ore just a software update.

if even people like Tarbat leave the ship, i know how i have to make conclusions.




I fully agree with Tarbat. The AirNav benefits of our information and in return we have very little in return. Even upgrading from a version that comes bug cover version in use.

Not wanting to incite anyone to do this, but I believe the AirNav vai really prioritize a new vesão when she realized that users stopped using RB or who stopped to share their data.

I have AirNav products for many years and like them very much, but I am very concerned about the posture adopted recently on this subject.

As a result we have seen is a flurry of other products that people are using to share data with other sites.

Sorry sincerity, but it is what I think and I have seen.




AirNav

Your stance is little short of insulting in my opinion.

How on earth can you continue to post comments mentioning "how important it is to keep customers"?? To invoke such discord from your longest serving supporters when you consider the effort and innovation they have provided is unforgivable.

Continual ignorance of your existing , albeit undoubtedly not for long, customer base is a catastrophic way to conduct any sort of commercial venture.

As forum members have suggested, you seem blind to the impact that a boycott of sharing their feeds would have on your much maligned priority of developments in other areas that we don't want.

I also no longer share. Big deal maybe, but if your mentality continues, I suspect others will do likewise?

I'm sick of defending your product, and recommending it to my fellow enthusiasts also.

Good luck with you future ventures. You're certainly going to need it.




Hi AirNav, remember me ? i`ve been waiting thirteen months for you to sort out my ShipTrax problem. :(



AirNav

I get the fact that there have been a number of issues with the server which has delayed the bug fixes (and any other improvement to the RB product). What I find very difficult to understand is the tone of your responses to Tarbat and others that have done so much to support you and the products. The amount of time and dedication that has been shown by these individuals must be a huge benefit to your company but I find that your responses to these people is insulting in the least.

If you lose the goodwill of the individuals that do so much to support you then you have lost completely. It is not just the beta testers but also the team that update the databases, Rod doing the logos, etc that have provided so much to the RB users and given your product an edge. I would have thought that treating them with a little respect is the least that you could do.

My RB is on every day but I do not have much time to devote to the hobby. I am also no expert which is why I have had little to contribute to this forum so I could understand why someone like me is of little importance to you as a company (even though I share all my data and have always done so) but the people who take their own time to help make your product better should be high up on your list of priorities. You should keep them well informed of developments and if you are concerned about details leaking then you could get them to sign NDA's (non-disclosure agreements) which are commonly used in the software world.

Rant over




Col, you've hit the nail on the head.  A company should never take advantage and insult its user base.  You don't see Apple or even a small company doing this when development is delayed.
I'm speaking from experience I had with Microsoft and Apple.  I had purchased Flight simulator X and when it failed to install on my system, I contacted Microsoft directly and surprisingly a manager answered the phone and he bent over backwards to help me for a product worth only £40.  He sent me a brand new FSX and said if I had any trouble to contact him on his direct extension at Microsoft.
Same with Apple, I had issues with my Mac Mini and put my thoughts on their forum.  Within a day I got a phone call from their Ireland based senior tech support.  I was surprised how these huge multinational companies take care of their users.
These companies know they are nothing without their loyal users/customers.
Our hobby is a small world and word gets around quite quickly.




Pretty obvious AN don't care who no longer subscribes to the product or who does or doesn't share data. After all, they are continually giving away boxes for free to make up the numbers of those users going elsewhere (many of them long-standing users and beneficial to them) !

Now it's the USA that's being targeted !

I suppose it's one way of getting rid of an obsolete product.




So, now we're being told that the new software is 90% completed - but, it feels as though we're no closer than we were 11th August 2012 - over 6 moths ago - http://www.airnavsystems.com/forum/index.php?topic=7103.msg82951#msg82951 - I still put the RB on because I can't afford to get an SBS3 or another unit.

What started off as a real innovation is, now, just suitable for use as the proverbial 'door-stop'.

When you start censoring one of your most loyal and valued supporters (and certainly one of several that have kept your product alive and kicking, when it would otherwise have gone down the pan) says it all.   The product is dead to all intents and purposes, and no-one belives your downright lies, or gives any credence anymore to your broken and undelivered promises.  It's all very sad and we, your customers, have been kicked in the teeth once too often.




I have had my radarbox since 2008 and data has been shared until yesterday.

What I find hard to accept is that so many bugs have been known about for years and these appear to be at the bottom of Airnav list of priorities as Airnav did the collaboration with Japan Airlines and more recently Radarbox 24, and then of course, not to mention Shiptrax.  I am starting to wonder if the software development team is actually a team or just one person.  I cannot see how it has taken in excess of 2 years for bugs to be fixed.

In protest at the endless delays, my data sharing is off until a new version is released.




There's alway one.  Am I surpised who it is?  No.  Let's see if the beta is released "in around a week" (let's be generous and say by 9th March 2013)?  And when might we see the new receiver and who does AirNav think will want to buy one?  Time will tell.

I have been reading the thread and wondering whether to put my head above the parapet or not.  The reason for my hesitation is that I dont hold the same views as the forum members who have being doing the posting and have been called an number of things in the past for doing so, however I have decided to put myself in the firing line by having my say.

I got my box in the first place because I wanted to know what that aircraft was trailing in the sky and where it was going etc.  I also live under the flight paths of a number airports and similarly I  wanted to know details of the aircraft flying overhead.  After some research I chose the Radarbox and was and still am happy with what I got.

I realised quickly however that there were problems with the database which required me to update my data to ensure that I continued to know the details of the aircraft I was seeing.  I then became one of the updaters as this ensured that not only was my d/b getting better so was everyone elses.  Some may see this as not the way it should be done and that Airnav should be resourcing this updating but I am more than happy with doing it and I would suspect that others doing similar work are of the same mind or else they wouldnt do it.  I am aware that some may see this as Airnav taking advantage of me but I dont but am also aware that without our efforts the product may have outlived its usefulness to me and yourselves.

Yes there are bugs and yes these should have been sorted a long time ago and the lack of focus in this area is horrendous and I wouldnt even begin to offer any explanation or understanding for it.   I can understand peoples frustration on the lack of progress of the bug fix as I share those same frustrations.  However to state for example that the product is useless and nothing more than a door stop is in my opinion ridiculous as again in my opinion, even with the bugs it still does what it did when I got it in 2009, probably better in fact.

I am sure that Airnav will look back on some of their decision making and think that they could have done it better or better communicated their reasoning behind them.  Also that some of the decision taken were wrong or havent worked out the way they thought they would have or have been received the way they had hoped and I hope that they will learn from these and develop better communications with us their customers.

Reply 16 tells us that 4.04 is 70% finished, not 90 as mistakenly stated by John and while I acknowledge the problems and disruptions caused by the server outage, I feel that this could and should have been further advanced by the time of the server crash.  I have however received an email last night which advised that work is progressing and a further beta should be available in around a week and I hope this timescale is adhered too.

While I know that a new receiver is in the pipeline, I have not been given any details on it nor would I expect to and my limited knowledge of it is only from what I have picked up on here.  From what I have gleaned however I think it will have number of innovations which will impress, time will tell on that one though.  As has been stated the receiver market is very cut throat and competative and while not being disrespectful to Tarbat I can understand why Airnav gets a bit tecchy when its possible contents are discussed, although again that could have been handled more intelligently.

While some may hope for Airnavs demise I consider they have a bright future ahead but they will have to pick up their game in some areas to ensure it and to provide better focus on the areas which need it

I have my tin hat at the ready but while I may not hold the same opinion as yourself I respect your views and hope that you respect mine even if you do not share them.




I turned my feed off 2 days ago...

It will stay off until a software update comes out.  I've had enough.  I've been a loyal AirNav customer since I bought AirNav ACARS 2, and AirNav Suite software in 2003.  I can't believe I've hung around this long with all the false promises and waiting for software updates.

AirNav stop giving out free boxes and give the people who bought your product, and feed your pockets free live access.  If that was the case you would get more people turning sharing back on.  Your coverage would be greater then giving out free boxes if the number of owners out there are as high as you report.  You can't go wrong.  Just a suggestion.




Hi all and Alan, it's good to see you join in this thread.

As I've said many times in here, it's only thanks to dedicated volunteers like Chris, Andrew, Rod, yourself and several others (also in their time Dave Reid, Anmer and a couple of others) that the RB really took off and is still a viable and useful tool.   I would be happy with the ANRB, if what was promised originally had been delivered, without the undelivered (undeliverable?) promises of features and things to come.   The bugs should have been solved long before now.

You're quite right about my typo (I'll blame it on my age and glasses), and I quote

"Reply 16 tells us that 4.04 is 70% finished, not 90 as mistakenly stated by John and while I acknowledge the  problems and disruptions caused by the server outage, I feel that this could and should have been further advanced by the time of the server crash."

What I meant to say, is that we're now being told it's 70% completed, but last August/September time, I'm sure, (but can't find it quickly and haven't got the time, energy or interest to waste looking for the actual reference!) we were told by AN that 4.04 was 90% completed (at that time) and we could look forward to it being deivered in days or couple of weeks.




Quote CoastGuardJon

"What I meant to say, is that we're now being told it's 70% completed, but last August/September time, I'm sure, (but can't find it quickly and haven't got the time, energy or interest to waste looking for the actual reference!) we were told by AN that 4.04 was 90% completed (at that time) and we could look forward to it being deivered in days or couple of weeks"

You know what - you're quite right mate. We're going backwards!! No wonder it's taking so long!!!

Alice in Bloomin' Wonderland.




Alan, you say that you received an email advising that work is progressing and a further beta should be available in around a week.  I'm guessing that since I've had no emails about beta testing since back in December, I'm no longer on the beta testing program - maybe Andre can confirm one way or the other?

Anyway, when you get a new beta, maybe you can continue with the testing log I've been working on since v4.04 development started:

1. New bug - crashes at startup - caused by ANSH code evidently.

2. On the situation when Radarbox cannot find any photo(s) for an aircraft.  Take for example the aircraft with Registration (AR) = “ZA405”.  In v4.03, it was easy to go and find a couple of photos, and save them as ZA405.jpg and ZA405-2.jpg.  The thumbnails would then automatically appear in Radarbox.  In v4.04, you also have to add the text “ZA405” into field PTTN, and “ZA405-2” into field PTTN2, and mark AUTOUPDATE = “N”.  It would be better if v4.04 used these thumbnails without having to update the database as well.  So, if PTTN is blank, use the thumbnail called ZA405, and if PTTN2 is blank, using thumbnail ZA405-2, if they exist.

3. Problem in MyLog.  For some aircraft, the Flight record contains multiple entries with the same details.  Here's an example with FOUR duplicate entries (EZY729D).

4. Aircraft thumbnails not displayed in MyLog grid window.

5. Hovering mouse over photo displays "Powered by airliners.net, this should read "planespotters.net".

6. CO field on NAVDATA aircraft table not being populated.  What is CO?  Is this needed?

7. Often lose labels on map.

Previous bugs - status:
001 - Tested OKAY.  Thumbnails correctly match photos on links at planespotters.net.
002 - Tested OKAY.  No "..." or other odd ICAO codes.
003 - Tested OKAY.  I haven't seen any problems with data assigned to wrong aircraft.
004 - Tested OKAY.  Two aircraft with same REG, display correct information.
005 - Tested OKAY.  ANZ1 displayed as EGLL to NZAA via KLAX.
006 - Tested OKAY.  6 days of testing, no flights going over more than one day except near midnight.
007 - Tested OKAY.  Aircraft going from network to local alerted on local.
008 - Cannot test – not located on the equator.
009 - Preference box can now be resized, but if you do, you lose the APPLY OKAY and CANCEL buttons.
010 - Tested OKAY.  Added a "é" into Company Name, and it displayed okay next to photo.
011 - Tested OKAY.  Sorting on DISTANCE in Network list now correct.
012 - Tested OKAY.  Range filter settings saved okay.
013 - Tested OKAY.  Not see any purple rain or aircraft out of position.
014 - Cannot test, as I've never seen this bug.
015 - Cannot test, as I've never seen this bug.
016 - Cannot test, as I've never seen this bug.
017 - Tested OKAY.  Not seen this happen.
018 - Cannot test, as I have admin rights.




I have been a member of the Airnav forum for a few years now. I recently stopped reading the forum because i saw the same responses from Airnav time after time. It will only take another server problem (even though they say its stable at present) or some other problem and the bug fixes will be delayed again.

I have cancelled my subscription to the network and will now turn of my sharing.

Hope things change but for now i have given up.




Am I missing something here????.

Have just renewed my subscription to Radarbox at nearly 70 quid for 6 months, only to find that my Radarbox must be feeding into the Free Radarbox 24 network for it to be working.

Why is there no fee reduction for people supplying the information.

In fact I think we should be being paid.

And would I be better not renewing my (expensive)subscription and just leech of everyone else.




Yup, I felt cheated as well. Got a subscription around Christmas time and along came Radarbox24.   Somebody's making money off of my sharing and its not me!

I've since moved to another monitoring solution which seems to have a much more favourable sharing arrangement.




And what has AirNav got to say for itself?

One more time we will post our current position on this issue, as stated on a previous message:

"RadarBox 4.04 is 70% finished but we had to suspend work because of the server problems we had in Dec/Jan. Fortunately everything is stable with the server now and we plan to continue to work again on this now."


Fair enough one might say.  But first of all, take a look at this "diary" of AirNav "promises" and judge for yourselves.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2013, 12:17:08 PM by Anmer »
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Sun Worshipper

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Re: AirNav - What its Customers Think
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2013, 04:57:17 PM »
Excellent post!

So, Tarbut has finally gone, when did this happen?

Offline Anmer

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Re: AirNav - What its Customers Think
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2013, 05:06:26 PM »
So, Tarbut has finally gone, when did this happen?

I don't think Tarbat has "gone".  I think he's as frustrated as everyone else.  Buy my money's on him becoming active again if and when AirNav release a new version of the RadarBox software or receiver.
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Offline Brian

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Re: AirNav - What its Customers Think
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2013, 10:37:13 PM »
From Jon...

AirNav RadarBox Discussion / Re: Remember this?
« Last post by CoastGuardJon on Today at 11:27:12 pm »
So, now we're being told that the new software is 90% completed - but, it feels as though we're no closer than we were 11th August 2012 - over 6 moths ago - http://www.airnavsystems.com/forum/index.php?topic=7103.msg82951#msg82951 - I still put the RB on because I can't afford to get an SBS3 or another unit.

What started off as a real innovation is, now, just suitable for use as the proverbial 'door-stop'.

When you start censoring one of your most loyal and valued supporters (and certainly one of several that have kept your product alive and kicking, when it would otherwise have gone down the pan) says it all.   The product is dead to all intents and purposes, and no-one belives your downright lies, or gives any credence anymore to your broken and undelivered promises.  It's all very sad and we, your customers, have been kicked in the teeth once too often.

Offline Roadrunner

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Re: AirNav - What its Customers Think
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2013, 09:57:50 AM »
My Radar Box, serial 00099, so a very early one, is only switched on about once a month jusat to check that it is still working. I had thought of selling it but I dont want to foist it on anyone else. Maybe, If AIrNav finally get their act together (miracles do somentimes happen) and release an update I will have a rethink. However, as I use ADS-B to montior military in particular, and like to use the many logos and other add on's available for the SBS-3, I dont think my RB will ever become my prime ADS-B device.........

Offline Brian

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Re: AirNav - What its Customers Think
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2013, 06:18:24 PM »
Some more users feedback coming in...

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
AirNav RadarBox Discussion / Re: Remember this?
« Last post by prbflight on Today at 06:35:24 pm »
I turned my feed off 2 days ago... 

It will stay off until a software update comes out.  I've had enough.  I've been a loyal AirNav customer since I bought AirNav ACARS 2, and AirNav Suite software in 2003.  I can't believe I've hung around this long with all the false promises and waiting for software updates. 

AirNav stop giving out free boxes and give the people who bought your product, and feed your pockets free live access.  If that was the case you would get more people turning sharing back on.  Your coverage would be greater then giving out free boxes if the number of owners out there are as high as you report.  You can't go wrong.  Just a suggestion.

Paul@cyyb

Offline Anmer

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Re: AirNav - What its Customers Think
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2013, 06:36:01 PM »
That post exposes the weakest link in AirNav's latest business venture - RadarBox24.com.

Although I don't think it will be a success, coming too late to the aircraft tracking market, it relies totally on the harvested data from existing RadarBox owners running the software and not turning off the data share option.

Surely anyone with an ounce of common sense can see that it will be commercial suicide to lose the goodwill of these RadarBox customers.  But what has Brandao done?

I can only think of one, printable word to describe his judgement.  Bonkers.
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Offline birdie

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Re: AirNav - What its Customers Think
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2013, 06:52:12 PM »
That post exposes the weakest link in AirNav's latest business venture - RadarBox24.com.

Although I don't think it will be a success, coming too late to the aircraft tracking market, it relies totally on the harvested data from existing RadarBox owners running the software and not turning off the data share option.

Surely anyone with an ounce of common sense can see that it will be commercial suicide to lose the goodwill of these RadarBox customers.  But what has Brandao done?

I can only think of one, printable word to describe his judgement.  Bonkers.


As a BETRAYED customer of AirNav Systems Radarbox - all I can say about this company is:

AirNav Systems SUCKS badly ! 

I have turned OFF my RadarBox and deprived of them STEALING my data to feed Radarbox24.

I have placed order for a new SBS-3 and anxiously waiting for its arrival.

Meanwhile, I use my AirNav Radarbox as a paper-weight - but it is not doing its job as a paper-weight because it is too light.

To give "Unique Coverage of WSSS" in www.Radarbox24.com !

Offline birdie

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Re: AirNav - What its Customers Think
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2013, 06:05:55 AM »
Brian,

You got to be joking !

That box is too light to act as a "Paper weight" - how can it be a 'door-stopper' ?

-----------------------------------------

" What started off as a real innovation is, now, just suitable for use as the proverbial 'door-stop'. "
To give "Unique Coverage of WSSS" in www.Radarbox24.com !