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Burning in NuMac Blu-Ray Burner Hell
15 February 2014
 
 
During the last quarter of 2013, a couple of months before the new Mac Pro was even available, I started to see ads for a stunning, enticing Blu-Ray Burner by NuMac.co, designed specifically to sit under, and match, the new Mac Pro.

Because I was lusting after this one-of-a-kind drive, I ordered it a full two weeks before the new Mac Pro went on sale, hoping to have it in hand and all ready to go once my new computer arrived from Apple.

However, seeing that lust is one of the seven deadly sins, I suppose I should not have been surprised that I was about to be plunged into a long, torturous burning in NuMac Blu-Ray Burner hell!
5 Dec 2013 — Day 1
I purchased the Blu-Ray Burner from the NuMac.co Web site for $149 plus $7 shipping. The Web site said I would "recive [sic] an email shortly with your order details."
6 Dec 2013 — Day 2
I never received the confirmation e-mail, so I e-mailed NuMac asking them to send it to me. Less than two hours later they sent me the following message: "Thanks so much for your order! We have successfully processed your order and your card has been charged. We will contact you again as soon as shipping information is available." Because they have already charged my credit card, I am expecting the Blu-Ray drive to ship in the next day or two. How wrong I was!
12 Dec 2013 — Day 8
I still have not received the tracking number for the shipment, so I e-mail NuMac to find out my order status. No reply.
14 Dec 2013 — Day 10
Because I did not receive a reply to my e-mail from two days ago, I send them the same e-mail again. As before, no reply.
17 Dec 2013 — Day 13
Because I did not receive a reply to my last two e-mails over the past six days (inclusive), I e-mail NuMac a third time, begging them to let me know my order status. Nearly six hours later, I received this reply: So sorry for the extended delay. You order is being shipped out later today, be on the lookout for another email from us later today with tracking information. This sounds hopeful. But at the end of the day I have not received the tracking info, so I e-mail them once again.
19 Dec 2013 — Day 15
At 1:20 AM, I order my new Mac Pro from Apple, with a vague January ship date. At least I have time to continue my struggle to get this Blu-Ray drive! Two days after they said they would e-mail me the tracking number, I still have not heard from them. So I e-mail them again, expressing some of my frustration:
This is the second e-mail I am sending to ask for the tracking number, after having sent you three e-mails asking for my order status. In my interaction with your company since I placed my order, I have been very disappointed by your lack of communication. It really makes me wonder if you are a legitimate company. I would really like to receive clear communication from you in a timely manner, rather than having to beg and nag for replies as I have had to do so far. Because you said my order was to be shipped two days ago, PLEASE e-mail me the tracking number! If there continues to be a problem with your service, I will be forced to get my credit card company involved. I don't want to take that step, so please do your part!
No reply! Things are starting to get uncomfortably hot in NuMac Blu-Ray Burner hell!
20 Dec 2013 — Day 16
For the third time in the four days (inclusive) since I was promised a tracking number, I e-mail NuMac once again, begging for a reply:
I would be so, SO happy if you would please, PLEASE e-mail me the tracking info for my package. If for some reason my order had not shipped, I would greatly appreciate an e-mail from you explaining why it has not shipped, and when you would expect it to actually ship. PLEASE don't ignore my e-mails, but PLEASE reply as soon as possible. Your lack of response has me very worried, and I would feel so much better to hear back from you TODAY with some definite information.
A bit over an hour later I received this astonishing and disappointing reply:
I apologize for the lack of communication, no excuse. It turns out we ran out of stock before we were able to fulfill your order. It was a clerical error and I apologize for this. We are look at another 7 days before the next shipment comes in. Feel free to ask for a refund at any point, we don't want you worrying.
And this reply was AFTER they told me that they had shipped it, AND after they had told me that they would e-mail me the tracking number, AND after I had to beg them three times to send me the tracking number! The flames in NuMac Blu-Ray Burner hell are starting to scorch! But this was only the beginning of the torturous sorrows to come! I e-mailed them again and asked if my order would be shipped out in about 7 days, or if there would be further delays.
21 Dec 2013 — Day 17
The next day I received this reply:
Your order will be the first one going out from the next batch (about 7 days). We are very sorry you have experienced all these delays, it was never what we wanted for you. Happy Holidays!
Yeah, right! Because I REALLY like the design of this Blu-Ray drive, I decide to slog on until the bitter end, hoping that sooner or later things will work out. How naÏve!
31 Dec 2013 — Day 27
Ten days after NuMac told me that my order would ship in about seven days, I still have not heard a peep from them. So I e-mail them yet again, begging for some word about my shipment. I slightly less than an hour I receive this reply: Your order has shipped! Here is your USPS tracking number: 9405 5036 9930 0190 0311 42

Well, isn't that encouraging! Unfortunately, as the days go by, I find that that tracking number is not showing any shipment progress. The demons are stoking the flames!
3 Jan 2014 — Day 30
It's a new year, and a month after my initial order — I e-mail them for the umpteenth time, asking them this time why the tracking number they had sent me isn't showing me anything. Just over three hours later I get this reply:
Sorry about that Brian, it looks like we sent you the wrong tracking number. Here is the correct USPS tracking # 9405 5036 9930 0191 3599 17
Looking at the tracking info, one can see that the package did not ship on 31 December like they had told me, but on 2 January. This is par for the course at this point!
4 Jan 2014 — Day 31
After a month of torturous e-mail noncommunication and miscommunication, my NuMac Blu-Ray Burner finally arrives! I'm pretty busy these days, so I don't immediately take the time to try it out.
10 Jan 2014 — Day 37
Over the past six days I have done some tests, and to my dismay I find that there is a major problem with this drive. This takes me a circle or two lower into Dante's Inferno! So I write NuMac once again:
The drive does not work properly. I can insert discs fine, and play them and even record on them. But they will not eject properly. I have tried quite a few discs, and consistently have the same problem. The only way I can get them out is to turn the drive upside down and then eject. This is totally unacceptable, especially since my Mac Pro will be sitting on top of the unit. Are all of your drives like this, or do I just have a defective model? If you have a unit which works properly, I will gladly take an exchange. If not, then I will need to have a complete refund. Either way, the drive I have now needs to be returned to you. Therefore, I will need to be sent a return shipping label.
About four or so hours later I receive their reply:
I am sorry to hear about the malfunctioning drive. We can either send you a shipping label, or reimburse you for the return shipping cost. Let us know which you would prefer. Once the item has been shipped we will send out a replacement unit. I apologize again for the malfunction.
Within five minutes I e-mail them back, instructing them to e-mail me a return shipping label, because I for SURE don't trust them to reimburse me for the money I would spend to ship it back myself. Another round of infernal waiting has begun!
13 Jan 2014 — Day 40
After four days (inclusive) of delay, I still have not received the promised shipping label! How hard can it be to send me one?! What the heck is going on over there at NuMac? So I send off yet another plea to them:
I sent the following e-mail to you on the 10th, asking you to send me a return shipping label so I can return your defective blu-ray drive for replacement. I still have not received the shipping label from you. Could you please e-mail me a return shipping label as soon as possible. I waited a LONG time to receive this blu-ray drive, and now that I have it, it does not work properly. So I really, really want to have it replaced as soon as possible.

What would be really great is if you would give me the excellent service that Amazon.com does. When I have purchased a defective item from them, they immediately send out a replacement without waiting for me to return the defective one. They give their customers 30 days to return it, and if it is not returned by then, then the customer's credit card is charged for the replacement item. It would save a LOT of time if you would do the same for me. I would really appreciate it if you would send a replacement blu-ray drive (if you are sure that discs eject properly from the replacement unit, otherwise I would need a refund and no replacement) as soon as possible. As soon as I receive the return shipping label from you, I will send the defective drive. And if you don't receive it from me, you can always charge me for the replacement drive.

I would really like to get this problem taken care of as soon as possible, and I would greatly appreciate all the timely assistance and wonderful customer service that you are able to provide.
14 Jan 2014 — Day 41
Over 24 hours later, I still have not heard back from these guys! WTF?! So I e-mail them again. Oh the exquisite pain of the burning in NuMac Blu-Ray Burner hell!
This is the third time in the past five days that I have e-mailed you, asking you to e-mail me a return shipping label for the defective blu-ray drive I bought from you, but I still have not received the shipping label from you. It's been a very long and frustrating month of interacting with you, first to get the blu-ray drive shipped to me, and now to get it replaced. I think that in more than 15 years of online shopping, this is one of my worst experiences, and it's not even over yet! It would be such a tremendous blessing if you would answer my e-mails in a timely manner and do whatever it takes to get this blu-ray drive replaces as soon as possible. If you don't think you can do that, then perhaps it would be better to give me a full refund rather than a replacement. Either way, I really need a return shipping label so this defective unit can be returned to you.
16 Jan 2014 — Day 43
TWO days after my last e-mail, and after SEVEN long days (inclusive) of waiting, NuMac FINALLY e-mails me the return shipping label — with not even a word of apology! This kind of customer service is truly pathetic!
18 Jan 2014 — Day 45
Two days later the defective Blu-Ray Burner arrives at NuMac in Minneapolis. I send them an e-mail, begging them to send the replacement drive and to e-mail me the tracking number ASAP. At this point I ain't holdin' my breath!
20 Jan 2014 — Day 47
Two days later I receive this short message from them: Your replacement is going out tomorrow. We will send you a tracking number then. Thanks again for your patience and understanding. Their extremely poor customer service is stretching my patience and understanding to the breaking point!
21 Jan 2014 — Day 48
Finally, a promise fulfilled on time! Today I received this e-mail from NuMac: Here is the USPS tracking number: 9405 5036 9930 0213 8064 12 Unfortunately, they didn't take the package to the Post Office until the next day.
24 Jan 2014 — Day 51
A HUGE day today! It is my oldest child's 20th birthday, AND my new Mac Pro is delivered, AND the replacement Blu-Ray Burner arrives from NuMac! Perhaps things are starting to come together at last!
25 Jan 2014 — Day 52
I try out the replacement drive, and it is WORSE than the previous unit! I can't even insert a disk: when I tried the CD got horribly scratched and ruined! From what I have seen in these two drives, the inner mechanism is not aligned properly inside the aluminum casing during assembly. I am plunged into the lower circles of burning torture in Dante's Inferno!
26 Jan 2014 — Day 53
I send off another infernal e-mail to those dears in Minneapolis!
After two attempts with two different drives, I have to give up on your product. It's a great idea, but the two units I got were defective, and I don't have any hope you can do better. So, here's what I need to bring this unhappy experience to a conclusion: 1.) A return shipping label so I can send the defective unit to you. 2.) A complete refund for the $156.00 you charged me when I place my order on 5 December 2013. Thank you very much for your prompt attention to this matter. I hope to receive the shipping label very soon.
These guys and their product are HOPELESS! After researching my options on Amazon, I ordered an LG Electronics 14X USB 3.0 Super-Multi Blu-Ray external rewriter.
28 Jan 2014 — Day 55
The LG external Blu-Ray drive I ordered from Amazon, with free two-day Prime shipping, arrived today — the customer service from Amazon compared to NuMac is a night and day difference! Side by side with the NuMac drive, it's for sure not going to win any beauty contests, but I'll take functionality over looks any day. I'm not very enthused about its white and silver color, however the LG drive itself seems to work just fine. I've played commercial Blu-Ray movies with it and burned my own home video Blu-Ray disc without any issues — that's good enough for me. In the end, I'm thinking that a tray-loading drive is going to have less issues than a slot-loading one.
29 Jan 2014 — Day 56
After burning in NuMac Blu-Ray Burner hell for three more days, I still have not heard back from NuMac, nor received a return shipping label. Therefore, I resend the e-mail of the 26th. No reply!
30 Jan 2014 — Day 57
I finally receive the return shipping label and this reply:
We will be mailing out a refund check today and we have attached a return shipping label. We have completely changed our method of internal assembly as we continued to experience the issue you encountered. In the future, if you can't find a suitable unit for you needs, feel free to give us a try once more, we know you won't be disappointed.
Fat frickin' chance that I'm going to give THEM a try again! I'm already disappointed and frustrated beyond remedy! It's WAY too little, WAY too late!
6 Feb 2014 — Day 64
It's been a full week since NuMac told me that they had sent a refund check, and I STILL have not received it! Are these guys for real? So I wearily e-mail them once again, from the blazing rock-bottom of Dante's Inferno! Will this infernal burning never end?! Also today a huge snow storm hit the Pacific Northwest, but it cannot quench THESE flames!
7 Feb 2014 — Day 65
I receive this reply today: I can assure you it is in the mail. It is possible that it wasn't mailed out until Monday, nevertheless, I am quite surprised you do not have it yet. If you do not receive it on Saturday we can either — A: send out another check, or B: send the funds to you via PayPal. Because of the snow storm, the Post Office decides to skip mail delivery today! Great!
8 Feb 2014 — Day 66
Besides the refund check I'm waiting for, I'm also expecting a package via the Postal Service today. It arrived in Albany this morning, but then later in the day, the tracking status says: Notice Left (Receptacle Blocked) WTF?! I walk down the street to the collective-mailbox unit, camera in hand.

I open my mailbox, but there is NO notice left. I open the mailbox for packages, and it opens just fine! I take some photos to prove that their package status is a total lie: NO notice was left, and the receptacle is NOT blocked!

Whatever happened to the pseudo-creed of the Postal Service: Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds. Those days are LONG gone!
10 Feb 2014 — Day 68
The Postal Service finally managed to make it to the neighborhood clustered-mailbox unit, and left the check from NuMac in my mailbox. Even though NuMac told me it was mailed on 30 January, the post mark on the envelope says 4 February, FIVE days later! I tried to deposit it online via my iPad Mini, but the app said there was a problem.
11 Feb 2014 — Day 69
I tried to deposit the check at an ATM, but the machine said there was a problem. Sigh! I made a special trip to my bank to deposit the refund check with a real, live, flesh-and-blood teller. Success! And after my 69-day ordeal burning in NuMac Blu-Ray Burner hell, I am FINALLY released — I finally have CLOSURE!
Well, there you have it — all the agonizing details of my journey to NuMac Blu-Ray Burner hell and back! If you are as enticed by this Blu-Ray drive as I was, be forewarned that you may have to make your own journey through that same hell before all is said and done!
This article is 8th a series of articles on this Web site related to Technology and Computing which also includes (scroll to see the entire list):
1.
26  Oct  2010
2.
11  Jan  2014
3.
24  Jan  2014
4.
29  Jan  2014
5.
5  Feb  2014
6.
7  Feb  2014
7.
14  Feb  2014
8.
Burning in NuMac Blu-Ray Burner Hell
15  Feb  2014
9.
16  Feb  2014
10.
17  Feb  2014
11.
1  Nov  2014
12.
12  Nov  2014
13.
20  Nov  2014
14.
22  Nov  2014
15.
2  Dec  2014
16.
6  Dec  2014
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Reader Comments
On April 11, 2014, Joe wrote:
I wish I had seen this earlier.. Got a fake promise delivery, no response since 5 emails into it now I have 2 emails in asking for a refund, I bet they ship before acknowledgeing my refund request. Then the hell begins.
On May 6, 2014, Kris wrote:
I've emailed them 5 times with a simple request for more information about about their payment options and have received no answers. there's hardly any information about this product online and (after a lot of searching) this is the first customer review ive found. i too was wondering if this was a legitimate business and whilst i love to look of the numac, i may sadly have to take my custom else where. im not going blindly spend that much money on something if i cant even get a reply from the company.
On May 6, 2014, Brian wrote:
In response to Kris' comments above:

My feeling is that NuMac IS a legitimate company, because they did ship me a legitimate (if defective) product twice, and they did give me a full refund in the end. But while it may be a legitimate company, my experience (recounted in the above article) has shown that it is NOT a competent company.

It seems to me that it's just a one or two man operation, probably even part-time at that. They are horribly slow in replying to e-mails. They give wrong info in their e-mails. The Blu-Ray units themselves are very nice, but the drives were not aligned properly inside the cases, making them useless.

My opinion is, in the end, that you are much better off buying an ugly drive that functions properly than a gorgeous one that doesn't work right. I'm very happy with the LG Blu-Ray drive I bought (mentioned above). I don't think I would ever buy a slot-load drive again. I'm 100% sold on tray-load drives.

If you want something a bit nicer looking with more connection options, the OWC Mercury Pro 16X External Blu-ray Burner Mac / PC / FireWire 800 / FireWire 400 / USB 3.0 would definitely be worth taking a look at, and it's only $8 more than the LG drive. I wish it had been available when I was in the market for one!
On July 8, 2014, Audrey wrote:
Thanks so much for logging the torturous trials you endured as you burned in "NuMac Blu-ray Burner Hell" for 69 days! As a recent fellow traveler in the same NuMac Burner Hell, I totally related to your stated frustrations.

I suffered in the NuMac hell from Feb.6th - Mar. 17th. My correspondence with Lucas Westlie (I found his name on Linkedin) involved a total of seven emails, 2 voice mails, and two Facebook posts from me. He deleted my Facebook posts.

After debiting the $156 from my credit card on Feb. 12th, Lucas totally ignored me for 20 days. On March 3rd, I started my emails that requested information in regards to my order. My prodding emails activated him to commence with his delaying tactics of apologizing, promising to ship, claiming to have shipped, and sending out a false tracking number. He finally agreed to cancel my order on March 16th and to my surprise, my credit card was promptly refunded the next day.

Until I found your article a few days ago, I hadn't been able to find reviews, comments, or blogs about this product and vendor.
On July 14, 2014, Nikki wrote:
This is Nikki, I work in customer service at NuMac. First of all, I am really sorry about the difficulty you had in getting your drive. It was unprofessional, and no one should have to experience that.

Also, after reading some more of the comments I thought I would share what is going on internally at NuMac. We are a 2 person, small start up business. We had a great idea, but executing it is much more difficult that either of us ever imagined, as we are both currently college students. We continued to have problems with manufactures, assembly, and also answering customer e-mails when we didn't have the exact answers ourselves. Starting a small business is extremely difficult, and while I am not trying to make excuses I hope you can understand that we are just people who have also made some mistakes. We continue to improve our product, our customer service and hope to continue to expand.

Brian, I am truly sorry that you had such a horrible experience, and I am sorry that I was unable to do more to make it better.

To all of the other people also complaining about this, I am truly sorry. We do our best to get as many drives out the door as soon as possible, but I know that is not enough. We will continue to work hard, and we understand that it is frustrating for you as well.

I just wanted to let you know that we are a legitimate business, just a small one that is still getting the hang of this.
 
You can also send comments to me privately at: 2bits@briansbits.com
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