I wish I reviewed the negative feedback before hiring him. I wish I also waited until the job was done before I reviewed him. If you want bullet points scroll to the bottom.
I asked for help rebuilding a NAS system first, I only was one button click (literally) away from doing it all on my own. I thought I wasn't able to do it, hired help as I was head high in production of Directing a feature film. While shooting, the computer crashed and I asked for a replacement within a budget. He said he had done his research and that it would cost an extra 1k, already over budget, I agreed. He shows up a week or two later with an old HP workstation. I'm sitting here expecting a server quality (enterprise as described to me) machine. Out pops an old HP Z420 with a 1050TI GPU (mind you my workflow is 6k). I realize that I'm not going to be able to playback at full res so this will suffice. But the motherboard, the raid controller and the Ram together, in addition to the box, he tried telling me it was a 4k dollar machine and only this type of machine running legacy bios would work with the NAS I have. I was unconvinced. It wouldn't perform to that of a computer it was replacing that was nearly a decade older. He said he did hours of research however, so I did mine.
I started by searching around for machines and chat rooms and forums specifically detailing the raid controllers I had, made by ARECA. He purchased one and attempted to tell me it was worth 500$, upon asking for receipts, he only provided text within the body of an email, no proof of purchase** (thats important if you work with him to request this). I googled where he claimed it came from, and found that his 3Gbs controller wasn't even listed, and the 6Gbs controllers were in fact, 600$. I'm getting mad at this point. Very mad. I finish looking for all the parts in the computer and then on server world I build the exact same computer for a little less than $1500. I bring this up, (if there's any denial of this I have it all on emails and texts - he kept attempting to get me to call him but I wanted to make sure it was all in writing so please if there's any dispute as to the validity of this I will gladly email them over, not in the body of an email either). After having confronted him with the costs, he tells me to return it, and that I don't know what I'm talking about, (even though I work in the world of Visual Effects around some of the most computer savvy nerds whom I'm consulting frantically as a support system to double check my findings before I even say anything). I'm livid, but calm. But throughout my time researching, I email ALL the component companies my old system had, and then inquired as to whether the new components I was researching would work with the raid controllers and NAS I currently had, (all the things he said would not work with newer systems). But Andrei wouldn't even take the time to research the parts I would send him. He was right in his mind, and I was wrong no matter what. Surely enough, each person came back telling me, "we haven't tried our system with that configuration, but it should work." Every single company responded. So what research did he really do?
I return the computer, and ask for the refund, as well as a partial refund for the services that were not rendered. Mind you, his rate is 100$, you would assume he actually knows it all. But he would not return a certain portion of it, I submitted a claim through PayPal and have been awarded the refund now, through him, which still leaves me out $500. But I figure thats at least the 5 hours he did spend talking with me and driving to/from his house to my house to deliver and setup the computer. I returned the computer on my own having read another customer say he charged her for the return when he went to pick it up. Hence the part I said I wish I would have read the reviews earlier. Because he did spend his time on google at my house looking for the answers to questions we both had. Something I was literally doing on my own.
I am not someone who who computer illiterate either. I just built a whole new system and installed it from scratch, to get it working at a point that is 2x faster than my old system out the box. Something he swore would not work. All I know is, I lost $500 to a guy who claimed he was helping me, I lost over a month of time that I could have been editing the feature film, and the hours spent actually researching and asking companies questions about compatibility of BIOS/UEFI/Legacy/CPU/GPU/NAS/SAN - do I really need to go on because I feel like if you've made it this far its more about the fact you're interested in seeing if the letters you're reading start shaking because I am still so frustrated. Thankfully, I am able to write a revision to the review. You can see the original post I wrote below, I'll leave that to show I'm not grieving him for any other reason other than being a bit of a hustler.
"Extremely knowledgeable and knew exactly what to do. Having to set up a SAN/NAS so I can accomplish both my Production and Post Production work flow of an indie feature film, his experience in the past working on the same or more complex builds - RAIDs and Networks - made him the perfect candidate. Super easy going and worth every penny. "
- Make sure you ask for proof of purchase receipts (make sure you don't take his word that it came from 'certified sellers' and have him ultimately tell you he sourced it from friends)
- Don't have him come over to your house and start googling the problem, you can do that on your own, or, keep a stop watch and make sure he deducts it from your charges.
- Get a second opinion. I don't believe he truly does his research. It appears as if he sells you the platforms he knows and is comfortable with because he's sure it will work, and there may be cheaper, equivalent, or other options that he's just not willing to look into.
- Did you try googling the question before you hired him?
- Did you reach out to and ask those questions to other possible options on this site? Don't rush into his services until you know for sure he's the one, he costs $100 an hour, email me, I will see if I can do it for $60 an hour having seen what he does.
Sorry not sorry to leave this post. I just feel as if I was hustled and don't want anyone else to come out feeling this way."