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AARtech.ca: 5 star vendor!


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#1 Dan (electron)

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 07:32 PM

AARtech.ca is an approved CocoonTech.com Vendor Alliance member. If you have purchased from this store in the past, please consider posting your opinion/review as it will help out other members.

What is CTVA?
The CocooonTech.com Vendor Alliance (CTVA) program is all about looking out for the CocoonTech.com members, while also rewarding vendors who strive to offer the best and safest shopping experience possible. Read more about the benefits of this program.

AARtech.ca forum user name: aartech

Address:
71 Mearns Court, Unit 21
Bowmanville, ON L1C 4N4
Canada

Phone:
Bowmanville Area: 905-448-3677
Local Toronto Area: 416-800-0710
Toll Free in Canada: 1-877-760-3105

#2 ChrisDutchyn

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 01:31 PM

I have no relationship with AARTech, except to place orders, ask (sometimes silly) questions, and once speak to them on the phone.

I have used them for many products: my Elk panel and various extenders and sensors primarily. As a newbie, they pointed me at standard commodity items (OHD59, DG75, DG85) that they had already used in their own system; prices were competitive with US distributors, especially when I factor in UPS or Fedex brokerage fees to Canada. I have not had a chance to exercise their return policy. On occasion, I have saved shipping charges by adding items to an already placed order before it was shipped -- but it doesn't always work.


Chris D.

#3 clearwater

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 08:17 PM

I have purchased from AARTech before and their service is great.
I have also returned several defective
insteon switches (about 10-11 from several orders) without problem. Their return was easy,
except that they questioned my high defective rate (which I have no control) on the
insteon switches.
They also paid for my UPS label to ship them back.
I should say that I have no relationship with this store, except placing many orders
of insteon, elk systems and accessories.
Their prices are great when you factor the brokerage fee in as Chris pointed out.

On one occasion, I paid full price on about 30 insteon switches one day and they had
a 20% off sale two days later (as the switches are still in the mail).
I managed to get them price match (they said they
don't normally do this) their own sale prices.

I would recommend AARTech for those who are in Canada. :unsure:


I have no relationship with AARTech, except to place orders, ask (sometimes silly) questions, and once speak to them on the phone.

I have used them for many products: my Elk panel and various extenders and sensors primarily. As a newbie, they pointed me at standard commodity items (OHD59, DG75, DG85) that they had already used in their own system; prices were competitive with US distributors, especially when I factor in UPS or Fedex brokerage fees to Canada. I have not had a chance to exercise their return policy. On occasion, I have saved shipping charges by adding items to an already placed order before it was shipped -- but it doesn't always work.


Chris D.



#4 aartech

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 10:43 PM

Robert from AARtech here. It's nice to hear from some fellow Canadians, and thanks for your kind words! I'm proud AARtech has been able to earn a spot in Cocoontech vendor's alliance and although I've been more of an observer around here traditionally, I hope to meet more of you over time.

To clearwater... I remember helping you with that surprise sale... Smarthome decided to put on a massive sale out of the blue and fortunately we were able to work out something to pass on the sale pricing retroactively on your order. Just glad it worked out!

Cheers
Robert

#5 ChrisDutchyn

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Posted 01 June 2009 - 10:41 AM

I'm posting this here because Aartech figures prominently in the story. I have no financial interest in Aartech other than as a buyer, and I've received no special consideration related to this message or any others.

This weekend, I tried to order an Elk TRG1640 transformer to feed my P624 power supply (how I missed that when I ordered, I dunno), but I couldn't find the part on Aartech's products list. Robert at Aartech informed me that this is because the TRG1640 and TRG2440 are not cUL or CSA approved, which Brad at Elk confirmed. So, for all us Canadians, installing one of these transformers might have significant impact -- such as invalidating homeowner insurance policies. Many may not know they're using an unapproved high-voltage part: the power supplies are bundled in several Elk kits, including the M1G-SYSx (for all x), P112, and P124.

Robert helpfully pointed me at their TP4016 - NE 16V 40VA cUL Power Transformer; and Brad at Elk recommended a cUL Transformer - ATC Frost #FPS-4016 which I suspect is the same item. There's no comment on whether Elk is pursuing approval for their bundled transformers.

I have ordered two replacement transformers, one to replace the TRG1640 I received in my M1G-SYS3 kit, and the other for my added power supply. I am grateful to Robert for respectfully delivering the disappointing news that I had to replace a part of my brand-new kit.

#6 aartech

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Posted 04 June 2009 - 09:01 PM

I think this is an important issue Chris brought up. Elk doesn't really have the volume in Canada to warrant getting CSA approval so effective immediately we will stop shipping the Elk power supply in these kits and will instead include a CSA approved version.

Chris, thanks for bringing this up.

Cheers
Robert

#7 Digger

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Posted 04 June 2009 - 09:16 PM

I'm posting this here because Aartech figures prominently in the story. I have no financial interest in Aartech other than as a buyer, and I've received no special consideration related to this message or any others.

This weekend, I tried to order an Elk TRG1640 transformer to feed my P624 power supply (how I missed that when I ordered, I dunno), but I couldn't find the part on Aartech's products list. Robert at Aartech informed me that this is because the TRG1640 and TRG2440 are not cUL or CSA approved, which Brad at Elk confirmed. So, for all us Canadians, installing one of these transformers might have significant impact -- such as invalidating homeowner insurance policies. Many may not know they're using an unapproved high-voltage part: the power supplies are bundled in several Elk kits, including the M1G-SYSx (for all x), P112, and P124.

Robert helpfully pointed me at their TP4016 - NE 16V 40VA cUL Power Transformer; and Brad at Elk recommended a cUL Transformer - ATC Frost #FPS-4016 which I suspect is the same item. There's no comment on whether Elk is pursuing approval for their bundled transformers.

I have ordered two replacement transformers, one to replace the TRG1640 I received in my M1G-SYS3 kit, and the other for my added power supply. I am grateful to Robert for respectfully delivering the disappointing news that I had to replace a part of my brand-new kit.



The ELK TRG transformers cannot meet the CSA/cUL Requirements since they have a mounting tab which is not permitted by the CSA standard for Class 2 Power Supplies (I dont remember the number anymore).

There are some transformers out there that have a mounting tab and a cUL mark on them but they should not.

The rationale is that the CSA standard does not want a tool to be required to unplug the transformer (based on a canadian electrical code requirement possibly). UL standards permit the tab.

#8 ChrisDutchyn

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Posted 04 June 2009 - 10:15 PM

Robert at Aartech sent me email today indicating the Aartech and Elk are co-operating to ensure that all kits sold through Aartech in Canada will contain the correct transformers:

Thank you for bringing up this subject.. as a result we've worked with Elk to have them remove the standard transformers going forward, and we'll put in the TP4016's in the kits so that everyone is protected and satisfied...


Edited by ChrisDutchyn, 04 June 2009 - 10:15 PM.


#9 Traditore

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Posted 07 July 2009 - 08:59 PM

I have also returned several defective insteon switches (about 10-11 from several orders) without problem. Their return was easy, except that they questioned my high defective rate (which I have no control) on the insteon switches. They also paid for my UPS label to ship them back. I should say that I have no relationship with this store, except placing many orders of insteon, elk systems and accessories. Their prices are great when you factor the brokerage fee in as Chris pointed out.

On one occasion, I paid full price on about 30 insteon switches one day and they had
a 20% off sale two days later (as the switches are still in the mail).
I managed to get them price match (they said they
don't normally do this) their own sale prices.

I would recommend AARTech for those who are in Canada. ;)


I have placed about 5 orders with them, mostly for Insteon stuff. So far, only one bad switch. They exchanged it without a hassle, but if I remember correctly, I had to pay to ship it back. I don't know what their official policy is on that matter.

I think their prices are fair, a bit higher than US sellers, but it's probably to be expected. As I mentioned to them recently, it usually makes more sense for me to wait for one of SmartHome's sales before ordering what I need. My orders do take a longer time to come in, but I manage to save a few bucks, even when customs duties and the exchange rate are taken into account. (Mind you, your mileage may vary.) Of course, if one of my devices fail, that means I will be stuck shipping something back to California instead of the neighbouring province.

I, too, have been told that they don't offer price protection. Shipping is very fast. Answers to e-mails are timely. Overall, I'm very satisfied with them. What other choices do we have in Canada?

#10 Traditore

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Posted 07 July 2009 - 09:15 PM

The ELK TRG transformers cannot meet the CSA/cUL Requirements since they have a mounting tab which is not permitted by the CSA standard for Class 2 Power Supplies (I dont remember the number anymore).

There are some transformers out there that have a mounting tab and a cUL mark on them but they should not.

The rationale is that the CSA standard does not want a tool to be required to unplug the transformer (based on a canadian electrical code requirement possibly). UL standards permit the tab.

Gently sawing off the mounting tab on the ELK-TRG1640 is not that hard and it doesn't make the transformer any less functional.

#11 clearwater

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Posted 07 July 2009 - 09:48 PM

Interesting. I returned about 3-4 different times to them without paying a penny. If memory serves, they were trying
to get me pay for return shipping by not mentioning the return label during my first return. I simply waited for them to email
me a UPS shipping label so that I could attach to the box and drop off at UPS store.

Agree. I have also purchased a lot of insteon and elk stuffs from Smarthome and
when they have the 20% discount promotion, that is still cheaper than
buying from AARTech even after the exchange rate and custom. When ordering
from Smarthomes, I always make sure that I only pay for USPS shipping and UPS is a no no as UPS charges
over $50 on brokerage (for items over $50 or so) while USPS/Canadapost only charges $5 regardless
of the amount.

There is not much choice in Canada to order these stuffs indeed.

I have also returned several defective insteon switches (about 10-11 from several orders) without problem. Their return was easy, except that they questioned my high defective rate (which I have no control) on the insteon switches. They also paid for my UPS label to ship them back. I should say that I have no relationship with this store, except placing many orders of insteon, elk systems and accessories. Their prices are great when you factor the brokerage fee in as Chris pointed out.

On one occasion, I paid full price on about 30 insteon switches one day and they had
a 20% off sale two days later (as the switches are still in the mail).
I managed to get them price match (they said they
don't normally do this) their own sale prices.

I would recommend AARTech for those who are in Canada. ;)


I have placed about 5 orders with them, mostly for Insteon stuff. So far, only one bad switch. They exchanged it without a hassle, but if I remember correctly, I had to pay to ship it back. I don't know what their official policy is on that matter.

I think their prices are fair, a bit higher than US sellers, but it's probably to be expected. As I mentioned to them recently, it usually makes more sense for me to wait for one of SmartHome's sales before ordering what I need. My orders do take a longer time to come in, but I manage to save a few bucks, even when customs duties and the exchange rate are taken into account. (Mind you, your mileage may vary.) Of course, if one of my devices fail, that means I will be stuck shipping something back to California instead of the neighbouring province.

I, too, have been told that they don't offer price protection. Shipping is very fast. Answers to e-mails are timely. Overall, I'm very satisfied with them. What other choices do we have in Canada?



#12 aartech

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Posted 07 July 2009 - 09:54 PM

Hi, thanks for your kind words! Let me just answer a couple questions...

I have placed about 5 orders with them, mostly for Insteon stuff. So far, only one bad switch. They exchanged it without a hassle, but if I remember correctly, I had to pay to ship it back. I don't know what their official policy is on that matter.


Within 30 days (DOA) we pay return shipping to our office. After that the customer pays freight. In both cases we pay freight back out to the customer for the replacement/repair. Only exception is the odd vendor who prefers to deal direct with the customer. Return policy is on the site...

I, too, have been told that they don't offer price protection. Shipping is very fast. Answers to e-mails are timely. Overall, I'm very satisfied with them. What other choices do we have in Canada?


Other choices -- Does it matter? Just kidding :-) . Price protection is a touchy subject because some sales are vendor sponsored making it difficult to back track. Also pricing can change on currency since we price in $CDN and buy many products directly from vendors in $USD. In your case I recall we actually gave you a gift certificate to cover an item that had gone on sale, which hopefully you found to be fair...

Take care and thanks again for the comments. For those south the border, big thumbs up for your fireworks shows. Phenomenal!

#13 Traditore

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Posted 09 July 2009 - 12:52 PM

I can't quite remember, but I think my switch went dead after two months or so. A 30-day DOA warranty makes perfect sense to me.

As Robert pointed out, they gave me a gift certificate to cover my "loss" on a sale they ran a few days after an order I placed. Sorry I forgot to mention this. Needless to say, I spent it in the next few days. :)

Hi, thanks for your kind words! Let me just answer a couple questions...

I have placed about 5 orders with them, mostly for Insteon stuff. So far, only one bad switch. They exchanged it without a hassle, but if I remember correctly, I had to pay to ship it back. I don't know what their official policy is on that matter.


Within 30 days (DOA) we pay return shipping to our office. After that the customer pays freight. In both cases we pay freight back out to the customer for the replacement/repair. Only exception is the odd vendor who prefers to deal direct with the customer. Return policy is on the site...

I, too, have been told that they don't offer price protection. Shipping is very fast. Answers to e-mails are timely. Overall, I'm very satisfied with them. What other choices do we have in Canada?


Other choices -- Does it matter? Just kidding :-) . Price protection is a touchy subject because some sales are vendor sponsored making it difficult to back track. Also pricing can change on currency since we price in $CDN and buy many products directly from vendors in $USD. In your case I recall we actually gave you a gift certificate to cover an item that had gone on sale, which hopefully you found to be fair...

Take care and thanks again for the comments. For those south the border, big thumbs up for your fireworks shows. Phenomenal!



#14 Kazibole

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 09:37 PM

I just wanted to add a few good words for AARTech. I have had nothing but great service from them. They have a very good selection of automation and security products. If they do not have an item listed on their website, they can probably special order something for you. I purchased an Elk M1 panel and a bunch of expanders, etc. from them and Robert was always available to answer any questions I had and make recommendations. Their prices for most items are also on par with other US websites, so it makes it easier to deal with a Canadian vendor than to have the hassle of cross-border shipments and brokerage fees.

#15 nsisman

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Posted 26 August 2010 - 05:58 AM

I've used AARtech for 2 separate orders now for some z-wave goodies and would recommend them as well.

Both orders were shipped in a timely fashion and well packed.

I'm only an hour from them so shipping should be a breeze !




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