September 08, 2000
Well, for some reason, I figured no-one could screw up an ethernet hub, so I decided to purchase the cheapest one I could find. It turned out to be a simple 5-port 10/100 model from Linksys. It seemed fine for a couple months. When I went to plug in another computer, it wouldn't work in 1 of the ports. So anyway, I contact support, they agree the hub is faulty and get me to fill out this form to have the item cross shipped, (i.e. they will ship me a replacement before I have to ship back the defective item) and fax it back to them long distance. So a while later the courier shows up with the package and is demanding ~$70 in duty and taxes, I refused the package since a new hub is only ~$90 and I would have still had pay to ship back the defective item. After getting a call from the courier as to why I refused the item, they agreed that it was mislabeled and that I shouldn't have to pay for it, but that they can do nothing since Linksys labeled the item as "Sales" and put an inflated declared value on it. I contact Canadian customs just to be sure and to find out how to label it correctly. I contact Linksys inform them of what happened and how to ship the product correctly. No response. I email several times allowing a couple months to pass. (I was being generous and didn't require the replacement immediately since it still mostly worked.) Anyway, still no response, so I escalate the problem and emailed various sales, customer service and other high level people about my warranty not being honoured. Anyway this woke up the technical support. About this time I received my visa bill, and what do I see, but a charge for the hub I refused shipment of. (They required my credit card number on that fax back form....you know, just in case you don't bother to ship back your defective hub.) Anyway I contact technical support, complain my credit card has been charged for no reason, that my email hasn't been answered and that I still don't have a replacement for my defective product. So anyway they get right on it, reverse the credit charge and ship out the product labeled correctly. Strangely, when the product arrived, I noticed that it had been stamped with "warranty replacement" like it should.... but that means they had a stamp that says that, they also included all the correct documentation. This leads me to believe they knew what to do even before I told them in unanswered emails. Welp, the new hub works, and strangely I get faster transfers through it, so obviously the old one was flawed more than a malfunctioning port. Anyway, I am totally horrified by the technical support and pretty annoyed at a simple item such as a hub failing. (Note: I have a friend who also had a Linksys hub fail recently, and other friends have had problems with framing errors with Linksys NICs and cable modems) So anyway, I totally recommend staying away from Linksys products. They are cheap, but you get what you pay for.
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