Saturday, July 31, 2010

Escape Velocity?

I set out to buy a new PC last week and intended to buy a Dell. However, their 'advisor' chat was so bad that I figured if they can't answer a simple question in the selling cycle, the support must be even worse. By the way, the selling issue began with 'are you a business or consumer account' and ended with them transferring me to someone who asked the same questions as the previous person, then barraged me with questions about past purchases, before I was cut off as the chat failed.

Seeking refuge, and a better quality experience I went to Velocity Micro and bought a well reviewed Z35 with a 1Tb 7200 rpm hard drive. Unfortunately, the system arrived with a drive that sounds like horses galloping. I called customer support who had me take off the covers, disconnect drives, interfere with fan(s), and take off the front panel. The tech was really helpful and polite and diagnosed the offending issue as a faulty front panel. They immediately sent me a new one; unfortunately, it did not solve the problem. the horses are still galloping, just like Caligula heard them.

Today, an outsourced technician arrived to diagnose/repair the issue. He noted the galloping sound and told me "this is a fast drive which the chassis is not properly designed to handle". Not what I wanted to hear. But, I am not sure he's right. At least I really really hope he's not right. He can't be right, I just spent too many hours transferring data from my old system onto this one, for him to be right. As they say, I am now invested. I trusted a company that seems to take its products more seriously to do this to their customers. But, the alternative is that they shipped me a bad drive when their brand image is all about quality components, and extensive pre-ship QA.

This is a problem that should not have happened. I am frustrated that I've spent too many hours on this issue and am [ ] that close to returning it and taking my chances with Dell again. Or, maybe, I should throw my lot in with the Applehaulics in the household.

BTW, Velocity only has support M-F 9AM-10PM (these are posted on their site for caveat emptor)

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