Read emails from the owner of Symbient Product Development. These are evidence of extortion. Castanon threatens us multiple times with financial ruin if we do not remove negative reviews. https://www.911eda.com/symbient-product-development-emails
Symbient Product Development hired my company to design a PCB for a product they were developing. The first stage was to select components and create a schematic. They issued a PO based on our quote. When we submitted the schematic to the customer, Michael Williams wrote “From what I can see this looks great”. I explained that the next step was layout, which generates the files for manufacturing the board. At this point Michael Williams wrote “Forgive me but I’m not familiar with the entire process on your end. So to clarify things, the work that Jeff did was the design of the schematic? Now Tony will complete the layout in Altium and that will be an additional cost of $1440? Or is that part of the original PO? Once that’s completed we’ll have another cost for fabrication of the boards?”. I stated he was correct and he wrote the following to the person in charge of purchasing “Below is the latest PO for the next phase of the PCB design for (product name redacted). Can you please take care of this when you have time”.
Upon receiving the PO, we designed the PCB. Upon delivering the PCB files, Michael Williams wrote “This looks good from what I can tell” and “Thanks Tony I appreciate all the hard work getting this completed”. There was a requirement as to how long the device would run so we used a part on the initial prototypes to allow us to adjust the time. After I provided pricing for manufacturers the boards, Michael Williams wrote “To clarify, this part is added for now and is used during testing on your end and will be replaced with something that will not exceed the 3.5mm height restriction prior to us receiving them? If so, it’s a go!”. So at this point we had approval on the schematic design, the layout, the pricing for the schematic, the layout, and the manufacturing, as well as confirmation that Michael Williams understood there would be testing required after building the boards.
There was a time requirement on when the boards would be delivered. We delivered the boards on the date required, but they did still require testing, which was understood based on Michael Williams statement above. When the boards were delivered, some LEDs were the wrong color. This was a mistake on my company’s part. We tested the boards and got the timing correct. Symbient was in a rush so I hand delivered the boards to them. They couldn’t get the boards working so our tech went to their office and helped them get them going. The problem was they wanted to use certain batteries but these were not sufficient to power the part they had selected (we were not involved in selecting this part). Again, they were in a rush so we ordered new LEDs with the correct colors, installed them, and hand delivered the boards. They were functional but not to Symbient’s exact requirements. We explained that this is a normal part of PCB design. The first prototypes are tested and often need tweaks done to the schematic and PCB files.
In my opinion, Symbient was following too tight of a schedule to allow the normal engineering process to take place. Now Symbient has stated that they will not pay for ANY of our services. When I submitted the invoice for the manufacturing, Michael Williams responded “Good luck with that invoice” and “As I mentioned in my previous email we have invested thousands of dollars of engineering hours into this mishap and we’d be more than happy to recover some of that cost for our client. Are you willing to refund us $2000? I’ll have the client reach out to you directly regarding the thousands of dollars they lost in the hopes of recovering some of their losses”.
So despite the fact that Symbient approved every single phase of the project and understood the steps we needed to take to develop a functional board, they are refusing to pay for our services. I have offered to the owner Scott Castanon a credit toward all of the engineering time spent and that we will accept payment for the PCB manufacturing only. After I told him I was going to file in small claims court and I posted an earlier Google review, he wrote “I’ve budgeted $200K for the effort and you’ll probably need the same. Attorneys are expensive but I have no choice since you’ve chosen to attack my reputation. I’ll pay whatever it takes to correct this. I’ve worked too hard to just let you do this to me. I’ll fight back with everything I have. I don’t care what it costs”. So the owner of Symbient is willing to spend $200k to sue my company for libel, even though the review is factual and accurate, he isn’t willing to even compromise on paying for our services. In my opinion, Scott Castanon’s statement is a threat to destroy my business if I attempt to collect payment in small claims court and/or post any type of negative review. I believe that companies need to be aware of the lengths Symbient Product Development will go to avoid paying for services they receive.
There is another Google review that says “I would avoid doing business with them at all cost” and a response from Symbient. This response is very similar to their reasoning for not paying my company. In my opinion, this is a pattern that Symbient follows: they hire a company to do work then state the product is unacceptable and refuse to pay. In my opinion, I also would strongly advise against working with Symbient Product Development.
These statements are true and accurate based on my knowledge and understanding of the events that have occurred while working with Symbient Product Development. Statements that are not facts are clearly labeled as opinion and not claimed to be factual.
Update: Symbient has refused to pay for any of our services or for the PCBs we built AND have refused to return the boards they claim are totally non-functional. So they have the boards, refuse to pay, and could very well be using those boards for their product!