Installed Sierra Circuits plugin - worst mistake ever

I have been using one of the PCB manufacturing plugins with my designs for over a year. I decided, after updating to 7.0, to take a look at some of the new offerings for Kicad-to-Board plugins.

I installed the Sierra Circuits plugin, and, of course, had to create an account. Their price ended up being over 10x the cost for fewer boards, longer turnaround, etc. That’s not the problem. I simply didn’t buy from them. No harm, no foul…

The issue I’m having is: since submitting my first design, and deciding against it, I’ve been getting multiple phone calls and emails per day, saying they see I downloaded the plugin, and they wanted to make sure I installed it, and was using it.

So here’s my question: is there any way to prevent Sierra Circuits in using the KiCad user’s information for blatant harassment? Shouldn’t that be somewhere in the KiCad terms for a plugin listed in the program?
I don’t care if they email me once in a while. But this is daily…

Anyone else have this experience, or am I just special?

Thank you,

They are not using your kicad user’s information because there is no kicad user information collected or shared.

They are using the information you provided in the account you created with them. You should check how you can delete your account on their website or ask support.

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My usual method is to create a special e-mail address for each company I have to deal with. When they start sending spam I usually ask them once to stop doing that, and if they continue, I delete the e-mail address.

If you did not do this in advance, then what sometimes works is

  1. Create a new e-mail address.
  2. Transfer the addressing info in that company to the new e-mail address.
  3. Send a confirmation from the new e-mail address, so they accept it.
  4. After a while, delete that new e-mail address.

You can also set up some spam filter in your e-mail program.
For the phone, you can block the caller id.

Or, if they persist, tell them you will start billing them for wasting your time.

Typical spam calls - random numbers each time. I keep blocking them, and… yep.

Beyond that, their website is a circular mess - there is no way to disable / delete an account. Their automated system requires a “business email” (which gmail doesn’t qualify), and then the pre-programmed options have nothing to do with my account. So, I choose “Other” and it goes back to asking for my business email.

Serious facepalm.

I had a similar experience with them in 2013.

Sometime in 2010 I’d had them fab a board for me and I was unhappy with the results. I’d placed a TQFP rotated 45 degrees, and while the tracks leading to the pads and the solder mask apertures were present, there were no pads.

Initially they claimed there were no pads in my Gerbers, even though every Gerber viewer I tried showed the pads clearly. After finally convincing them that they’d screwed up, their proposed “solution” was to give me a discount on a replacement board. I declined, and have not ordered from them again.

It’s not easy to hand-solder a 0.22mm wide lead to a 0.20mm wide track, especially when it’s coated in HASL which makes the tracks convex. The device has a tendency to shift causing the leads to drop into the 0.30mm gap between the tracks. But it can be done.

In 2013 I started getting phone calls and emails asking why I’d “stopped ordering from them.” Even after I explained exactly why that was, I still got repeated requests. I finally ended up blocking them.

I’m sorry to hear they haven’t cleaned up their practices. The US needs good domestic PCB fab houses, and crappy production and worse customer service doesn’t cut it.

Does the Plugin Manager have a ranking system for plugins? If not, this is a feature that might be useful (e.g. x/5 Stars). I have not worked with the Plugin Manager yet (and a company proxy prevents me from using it).

This is a pretty nice idea. Maybe create a feature request on GIT?

Done: Feature Request: Rating System for Plugin and Content Manager (#15702) · Issues · KiCad / KiCad Source Code / kicad · GitLab