Monday, June 15, 2009

Netgear Fail

2 years ago in July, I bought a Infrant ReadyNAS NV+ on Dan Wallach's recommendation (it helped that my brother in San Diego was running his office on it as well). At that time, Infrant was a startup and had fabulous customer service, an active web forum where its engineers hung out, and lots of fans.

Almost right after I bought the product, Netgear bought Infrant. Netgear, by contrast, has a reputation for horrible customer support. After I came back from Australia this year, my NV+ corrupted its own root partition. Well, some of those tech support folks must have hung around, because the efforts made by the tech support was heroic. They ssh'd to my machine over a period of a week and eventually fixed the problem, though not without some lossage (I had to rebuild the user accounts).

Then last week, the power supply on the ReadyNAS blew! Fortunately, the unit came with a 5 year warranty, and 2 years is good as far as the warranty is concerned. Unfortunately, they replaced my 1GB box with a 256MB box. I called Netgear, thinking that this must have been a mistake. Unfortunately, Netgear's reputation came to the fore. After 2 hours of back and forthing with them, I finally got to a customer service manager who told me that since that none of their units came with more the 256MB of RAM, I must have bought the unit from a 3rd party (well, I did, I bought it from Infrant!), and therefore I was out of luck. A 1GB stick of RAM is $50 on Amazon, so if it was critical I'm not out a lot of money, but this is definitely likely to cause me to build my own RAID array or buy one of those Windows media servers and reformat them to run ZFS the next time I look for a RAID box (which is another 3 years from now).
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