Anelace, Inc. - A glowing review

I hadn't even heard of this company before today, and I'm quite impressed with them.

Anelace, Inc. makes those lovely binary LED clocks and distributes them to resellers. I got one of their "Crystal Blue" clocks under the Discovery Channel Store name five or six years ago as a birthday present, and recently one of the LEDs failed. Since they're surface-mount LEDs, I was having difficulty figuring out which of the hundreds of items on the dozens of pages in the DigiKey catalog to order, so I quickly found the manufacturer (Anelace) through Google and fired off an email hoping for information about the LED specs. I sent this email at 9:33 this morning.

At 11:59, I received a reply from "Lyle" saying that it was unusual for two LEDs to fail in this fashion, and he wanted to mail me a new clock, and have me send back the mainboard from the old one so they could test it.

Even after I explained that only one of the LEDs had actually failed, and I had clumsily crushed the other with a too-large caliper, he still wants to send me a new clock.

I find this amazing for a number of reasons:
  1. Very prompt reply. I'm used to waiting days for customer service to get back to me. Under two and a half hours is phenomenal.
  2. Personal reply. This guy actually read my email and responded to it, rather than simply sending back a form letter.
  3. Interest in the problem. Rather than just sending me a new one to shut me up, they want to know what went wrong. As Lyle put it, "I'd like to see if there is anything we can learn to improve our design/quality/reliability."
  4. This one's the biggie. They want me to take it apart. In a world of epoxy-sealed cases and more security screws than anyone can keep track of, he was even willing to send me instructions on how to pull out the circuit board.
I'm not writing this to encourage people to try to bum clocks off this company; rather, I'm writing this to encourage people to support them. Anelace doesn't sell these clocks directly, but there are several retailers that do. Consider this my unpaid endorsement of a customer-friendly and personable company.

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kc0nlh4 years ago
wonderful to hear. Love my Anelace clock it has lasted for years and years I just had to send of an email to support my self as was / am having the occasional issue the the dim function some times out of the blue it's changing brightness although it seams to have stabilized since I sent off the email. I have rebooted it a few times it seams to be happily ticking along nicely might have just been a hiccup but ill wait till i hear back from them to know for sure.
kc0nlh kc0nlh4 years ago
they got back to me within 13 hours and within 4 day I got a replacement board. talk about first class quality of service.
Kiteman6 years ago
That is good to hear.

I rather like binary clocks. I have a binary wristwatch, but I don't have a binary clock because, at stupid o'clock in the morning, I have trouble counting in twos...
drj113 Kiteman5 years ago
That made me smile - I know this is an old thread, but I thought I would chime in.

I love the variable blue glow of my own version that I made using a PIC 16F877 that sits on my bedside table in the bedroom. In the wee small hours of the night when I wake up I *know* there is no point in reading it, but I am happy that time is passing by watching the seconds LEDs flicker.

flicker, flicker....

:-)
kelseymh6 years ago
Awesomeness. It is all too rare to encounter this kind of service; I've featured your topic to give it some more visibility. I've got one of those binary clocks myself (black with ordinary red LEDs) and it's worked great for several years.

I have had somewhat similar experiences contacting manufacturers directly in the past. I've gotten technical assistance and support in several cases, and spoken directly with engineers where I've been customizing something or trying to use a product in a non-standard way (the Salomon folks were outstanding in helping me to do the binding mounts for a special snowboard adapter for my wife).

If you haven't already done so, you might consider sending a letter to Anelace's "corporate office" (Google Street View looks pretty residential), thanking them. That often carries more weight than just an e-mail. However, Lyle may well "be" the company -- Whois lists him as both admin and technical contact.
CameronSS (author)  kelseymh6 years ago
Yep. I suppose the lesson here is to just try asking, I put off sending an email because I didn't think it would help. The other lesson is to be honest and sound intelligent. I immediately fessed up that I'd broken part of it, and I made it clear that I had some idea of what I was doing. I likely wouldn't have gotten as complete an answer if I'd said something more like "hay ur clock brok can u liek send me a new one r sumthing kthxbai."

I likely will after this all pans out. I'm planning on sending Lyle the link to this topic after I get the replacement. Not so much because I don't want to compromise my clock (which I admittedly don't), but because I'm treating this somewhat like a test, and I want to see how a customer is treated to the end of an interaction. Great, now I feel like a terribly manipulative person.
Intuitive would be a better word.
CameronSS (author) 6 years ago
Update!

I got my replacement clock today. Amazingly fast shipping! Again, I am very impressed with this company, and you guys should totally be buying binary clocks. You know you want them.
I still can't read binary though.
It restores a bit of faith in corporate America, right?
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