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Can't call NI to get help selecting hardware?

I'm trying to pick out a DAQ device for counting pulses. In the past it's been very helpful to call NI to make sure I pick a device with the right speeds, number of inputs and outputs, etc. I called today and got transferred to a distributor who knew nothing about these devices. The conversation went like this:



Me: I've used NI DAQ hardware before but never the counter input, can you help me select hardware for my application?


NI: All of our pre-sales hardware selection is handled by a distributor now, can I transfer you?


Newark: What can I help you with today?


Me: I've used NI DAQ hardware before but never the counter input, can you help me select hardware for my application?


Newark: What part number is this in reference to?


Me: It's not in reference to a part number, I was hoping you could help me find the correct part for my application.


Newark: Ok sir, that's gonna be like an analog input device, so you can search for those and pick whichever one you need. Is there anything else today sir?


Me:, that's all for now, thanks



I've already posted on the hardware forums here, but I can't believe that this isn't something I can talk to an NI applications engineer about. 

Message 1 of 14

@Gregory wrote:

I can't believe that this isn't something I can talk to an NI applications engineer about. 


It's important for a distributor to at least understand the products that they are selling...

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Message 2 of 14

You would be surprised how little some distributors know (or give a **bleep**) about what they are selling...


We have constant problems with one of our distributors that:

- refuses to take training to know about machines

- refuses to follow our instructions on how to fix our machines

- takes 2 months to respond, never confirms if error has been fixed


There's more, but this one distributor is like 3/4 of our customer support.

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Message 3 of 14

My most recent encounter was similar. I pretty much knew what I wanted but wanted to confer with inside sales. Inside sales has been very helpful in the past.  I was transferred to Newark and spoke to a pleasant lady that required part numbers to generate a quote. When I asked about the standard educational discount, she said that she would have to send that to a supervisor. Three days later I self generated a quote for the following PXIe components x8 remote controller, 5442 AWG, 5122,1092 chassis w OCXO. The total after discount is ~$35k. Luckily, I am invested in these system for the research that I do because I felt like I was left hanging.

Message 4 of 14

OMG, seriously NI? 😞



"It’s the questions that drive us.”
Message 5 of 14

To Newark's credit, they did respond today via email, 18 days after my initial request. I had also emailed NI for a product suggestion, and then they forward to the distributor as a "lead". The suggestions were valid (9401 or 9402 C-series module), but not the most appropriate in my opinion. 


Thankfully, I got some expert help from Kevin_Price on the forums, and I've already been working with example code for the last 2 weeks.


Also, I found that the way to talk to an NI employee is to say "I need technical support with...". Which is true, I have a USB-6210 which is capable of counting tasks. But if you say you're looking for a product or need pre-sales support, it's off to the distributor. 

Message 6 of 14

Incredible. Used to be, a decade ago, that you could call NI and have an applications engineer help you understand what you needed for your application, talk about the advantages and disadvantages of doing it one way or the other. Now it's the typical distributor response of "what's the part number"? In my experience distributors are absolutely worthless for this kind of thing. They rep dozens of companies and know very little about each one, and have not used the products so they don't know the first thing about them.



Message 7 of 14


I feel for you Greg,

I can only assume that the bottom line has been massively hit by Covid.
I used to be able to call up and get a tech support response immediately, 20mins was bad. Now with everyone working from home they can't talk to each other across the office and can't communicate efficiently to close out cases, so 3 days for the initial response is good. - Problem is that when I have features than I need sorting in 5 days I don't have 3 days.
Forum + colleagues is the only place to go now (bit of an issue when you have specialised issues that would have been escalated up inside NI to the senior guys.
I thought at least the sales team would be there, if they've axed sales and don't have decent support what are they going to do? (sales was always my backup route to get support😟)


CLD; LabVIEW since 8.0, Currently have LabVIEW 2015 SP1, 2018SP1 & 2020 installed
Message 8 of 14

@James_W wrote:

I can only assume that the bottom line has been massively hit by Covid leadership.

Fixed that for you. Serisouly though, NI were already on the path to replacing field sales and regional AEs with a distributor arrangement before Covid. That only exacerbated the problem.


Support has become an absolute joke. There is no direct line to NI support any more, it's all gated through a local distributor. Like James, I'm seeing 3 day responses which seem to be the minimum. I've given up reporting issues - what once was a form to fill out and generate a service request is now just this:


Any new issues raised are not tracked with case numbers, so do not show in the service request history. I don't blame the distributor either, this is wholly NI's doing.


NI feels like a rudderless ship atm, time will tell if it starts sinking.

Certified LabVIEW Architect
Unless otherwise stated, all code snippets and examples provided
by me are "as is", and are free to use and modify without attribution.
Message 9 of 14

On a related note- hopefully this is a rare occurrence and not part of a trend-


I have renewed my SSP for LV IDE and Vision every year for the past two decades. I always received 1 or 2 emails with quotes many months prior to expiration which I relied on to set up a reminder in Outlook to renew.


Well, no emails arrived this year so my SSP has lapsed. 


Has this happened to any of you also?



"It’s the questions that drive us.”
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Message 10 of 14