[conspire] question about EIDE ATA hard drive to buy

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Tue Dec 19 21:20:10 PST 2006

Quoting Tony Godshall (togo at of.net):

> Companies change.  When a brand gets a good rep, the usual behavior of
> a corporation is to cash in by changing to a cheaper supplier
> (subcontractor, contract manufacturer, moving plant to state or
> country with lower cost of labor).

Also:  The cheapest, highest-volume retailer in your area may be
achieving price point by buying up batches of "seconds" or other
scrapings from the bottom of the barrel, or squirrely OEM offerings that
had gotten parted out from their original bundles and had hidden
limitations (ref. my NCA/Tandem/IBM story).  Maybe that high-volume
retailer has a secret policy of never sending defective-gear returns
back to manufacturers, but rather just re-shrinkwraps it and puts it
back on the shelf.

Maybe, thus, the good reputation was earned through sales of first-tier 
merchandise, bought by people smart enough to be picky about _both_ the
choice of goods and the choice of retailer, while newer sales are mostly
second-tier gear and customer returns at the aforementioned discounter.  

> The only real objective measure of how much a company stands behind
> their product is the length of their warranty.  And that's only if
> they aren't about to go bankrupt.

_And_ if there actually is a manufacturer warranty on that particular
unit, as sold.

A number of years back, one of the big PC builders (Dell or Gateway,
probably) had a big scandal about "ATI [some specific model]" cards that
were promised by the sales literature as part of a PC model the firm was
then selling.  A bunch of sharp-eyed customers had opened up their PCs, 
noticed that it was ATI model Bar instead of the claimed ATI model Foo,
and complained.  $PC_BUILDER attempted to say "Well, it's exactly the
same", but some of those customers had researched the matter, and found

o The unit shipped was an OEM model
o that had no ATI warranty,
o and having lesser technical specs than the model promised.

The customers had a point, and did get some accomodation from the
vendor --  but I was not in the least surprised by the affair.

More information about the conspire mailing list