Montebello, CA - December 21, 2001

Today Tascam Sales earned the 2001 International Incompetence Award, though no one at the office was available by phone, e-mail or the web to receive the prestigious award. The judges, none of which have been able to use or register their software, were unanimous in their decision.

\"That I gave Tascam my money seventeen days ago and still can\'t even download their version 2.5 software is just the tip of the iceberg\", said Jon Fairhurst, chairman of the IIA committee.

Mr. Fairhurst listed the following as the key accomplishments of Tascam Sales:

* After four months of ownership, they still haven\'t trained enough members of their staff to deal with something as simple as product registration.

* No automated registration on the web.

* No secure Internet ordering

* No toll free sales lines.

* Their upgrade discounts undercut their distributors prices, forcing cost-conscious consumers to order directly from Tascam Sales.

* There is only one person at the sales desk. That person is often not there, or the line is busy.

* The phone message, if the sales line is busy or unattended, doesn\'t say \"Hello, you\'ve reached Tascam Sales\". Instead, a raspy, New York accent tells you that you\'ve reached Marcy <unintelligible>\'s desk. Leave a message.

* When you leave a message at the sales desk, it\'s unlikely to be returned. Ever.

* Rather than letting the consumer download updates at their convenience, the consumer needs to get special codes first.

* The code given to Mr. Fairhurst didn\'t work.

* Calling within the stated business hours, Mr. Fairhurst found that the one guy who is trained in registration left early.

* Mr. Fairhurst had actually registered via the web the day before, but received no response whatsoever. So much for the 24 hour promise.

* No one will be in the office until the 26th, so, rather than a 24 hour turn around, as stated, the wait will be six (more) days.

* The reason that the registration was done so close to Christmas was that Mr. Fairhurst already had to wait an extra week for the software, since it was backordered - a fact that was not communicated at the time of the original purchase.

* In parallel, Mr. Fairhurst special-ordered the GM500 library through Guitar Center. When it arrived Mr. Fairhurst discovered that it was actually the GM150 library - with a GM500 barcode stuck on it!

Tascam Sales will be on track to receive the International Incompetence Award again in 2002, unless their management does the following:

* Get an 800 number.
* Get a real, automated phone system.
* Hire enough workers or contractors to adequately staff the auto-switching phone lines.
* Train the staff that you already have.
* Add a secure order form to the web.
* Do not require codes to download software. Only require codes to activate it.
* Provide registration codes automatically via the web. There are lots of out of work dot commers that could whip this up in less than a week.
* Provide demonstration software that allows users to determine if the software will actually work on their system.

The above is the opinion and experience of Jon Fairhurst. He and the IIA committee reserve the right to withdraw the International Incompetence Award after he gets his Gigastudio/Sibelius/XP/Echo-Mia system running AND after Tascam Sales *Management* gets its act together.

Mr. Fairhurst invites other members of the International Incompetence Award Committee to post their experiences and opinions in this forum...