Creative Technology Ltd was founded in 1981 by Mr Sim Wong Hoo. It is most famous for its Sound Blaster line of sound cards. Other than that, Creative offers a wide range of multimedia peripherals, such as its range of Mp3 Players, its Speakers and Earphones, Headphones and Headsets. Other than that, Creative also sells products for video conferencing, such as webcams and VoIP headsets.
Creative Technology Ltd was founded in the heart of Singapore in 1981 by Mr Sim Wong Hoo. With its critically-acclaimed Sound Blaster sound cards, it set the de-facto standard for PC audio in 1989. Since then, Creative has moved from strength to strength, acquiring companies such as Cambridge SoundWorks to boost their portfolio and expertise. Today, Creative has three subsidiaries, in America, Europe and Asia, with its worldwide headquarters based in Singapore.
Creative sells a wide range of products, so I will focus on the overall feedback of the company, rather than on each individual product.
Based on website reviews, it appears that Creative is generally quite responsive. In this review from HardOCP, it was noted that they "received a response in less than twelve hours", which was very good. They also offer support via e-mail and its support forum, where some of its moderators may offer assistance occasionally.
However, among reviews from consumers, it appears that Creative sometimes have rather poor driver support, although it seems to be working hard to change it. Overall, a search on Amazon for Creative products in general seems to yield rather positive customer ratings, which is a good thing for the company.
As such, I rate its customer feedback 'Good'.
Creative is currently not BBB-accredited. On it's BBB page, it has a B+ rating, with 12 closed complaints in the last three years, and 2 failures to respond to such complaints.
Over the years, Creative have picked up numerous accolades, primarily for their innovation and design. Most recently, in 2010, Creative scored multiple wins at the prestigious German-based international “red dot design award”. Creative has also paired up with numerous brands at times, such as in its 'World of Warcraft' range of headsets, and 'Fatal1ty' range of gaming peripherals. Creative also has credible partnerships with Dolby, THX and the like, whose technologies they incorporate into their products.
Overall, their business credibility is 'Good'.
On Google PageRank, Creative's website has a PageRank of 6/10, which is rather average.
It also has a global rank of 9,220 (as of 30th November 2012) on Alexa.
On Compete, it's rank is 17,394, based on unique visitors alone. It falls behind its competitor in the speaker market, Logitech, by nearly tenfold.
As such, Creative's website popularity is rather average at best.
Creative has a good presence on social media networks. On its main page, there are huge buttons linking to its Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+ and Pinterest pages.
Its Facebook page has about 21,005 likes, which is rather little compared to the likes of Logitech. However, it is updated rather regularly.
Its Twitter page has about 4,000 followers in contrast, and is updated with great regularity, generally about once every day.
While they do not have that many followers compared to some of its competitors, on the basis that they take the effort to maintain their pages and respond to customer queries, I rate their social media presence 'Good'.
Creative is currently rated on Google SafeBrowsing as being non-suspicious, with 0 pages reported as being malicious in the past 90 days with over 1,000 pages tested. Being a reputable firm, it is unlikely that its website would host such malware.
Creative's checkout system is actually outsourced to Amazon. Therefore, all payment information is redirected to Amazon. Amazon itself uses a secure HTTPS connection when collecting payment information, and is probably the largest online retailer in the world today, so it may be a good choice on Creative's part to outsource payment.
Creative is generally well-known for providing value-for-money products. It's MP3 Players, for example, are priced from $50-$160, which are much cheaper than their alternatives from Sony Walkman and the Apple iPod. Its soundcard range however, characterised by the new Sound Blaster Z and Recon3D series, however, is generally more expensive than its competitors from ASUS and Auzentech. However, this is to be expected since they are the market leader in this range. Prices for their Sound Blaster range start from $60 all the way to over $300.
Their speakers and earphones too, are generally fairly priced, although they offer a wide range of products from $10 all the way to the $200 range. Of note is the Creative EP-630, which is generally lauded on the Internet as being the best in-ear monitors for its price range.
There are seldom complaints of Creative being 'overpriced', and as such I rate their pricing as 'Good'.
Creative has websites in many other countries, and as such you could access the Online Store in your selected location instead, instead of having to ship it from a central Online Store.
In the US, Creative currently offers free shipping for this holiday period. As its online store is handled by Amazon, its shipping policies generally follow that of Amazon, where items usually take about 1-2 weeks to arrive with an option for express shipping.
As mentioned, Creative's Online Store is handled by Amazon, and as such supports the payment methods that Amazon accepts. Amazon currently accepts credit cards from MasterCard, VISA, AMEX, Discover, Diners Club International and JCB. There does not seem to be any option to pay by PayPal or bank transfer for transactions from Creative.
Given the wide range of credit cards accepted, its payment method are Good.
Creative's US web store has a rather flexible Return Policy. New and unopened items can be returned within 30 days for a full refund. Currently, products purchased during the 2012 holiday season stand to enjoy an extended return period, which is really a good gesture on Creative's part.
Faulty items can be exchanged, though 3-5 business days are required to process the exchange. It also provides a 1-year warranty on all of its products.
There hasn't been any evidence on the Internet of cases where Creative doesn't honour their return policy.
Due to its flexibility and warranty on all products, I rate their return policy as being best in class.
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