here's one scenario--you order a couple of cases of paper on a contract that says the product will be shipped the day it goes through--then wait three months for one of the sizes to be shipped--backordered.

or---you have a problem with one of their products--and show the results to a rep who tells you there's a tech bulletin on the product and they'll have someone get back up with you. Only that never happens. So, you send several emails to their tech support and never hear back either.

another--you pay $10K for a brand new processor sold direct from the company. Within the first year it breaks down repeatedly resulting in many service calls and several thousand dollars in parts. During this time, service calls are made with technicians from the company coming out to perform the work. After a year, with the bills adding up--you decide to go ahead and get the annual contract--which includes *unlimited free spare parts* and 2 free visits along with unlimited phone consultation. The company sends some of the same personnel out to verify the machine--and upon this visit notifies you that you have unfortunately purchased "one of the bad processors"--and at this time, they replace it with a new machine. Only after you--the customer--has tried for a year to figure out what is going wrong with the machine, and nobody on the other end of the line or coming out has ever mentioned that they had made about 50 processors that were being recalled.

or recently: the machine is down and needs some rollers. you call the company, with the parts manual & diagrams in hand--the numbers of the broken parts etc. All they have to do is to send the part out--as they often have done--under the obligations of the contract. Instead, you play phone tag for a full day. Finally, upon getting a live person on the line--they tell you the parts numbers are no longer valid--they've redone the diagrams &parts manual--only now there's NO cross referencing available--so they put you on the line with an engineer. You tell them the problem in exact terms relating to the parts diagram and the actual machine--and they tell you you're wrong. They'll have to get back with you.

Hours pass--they call back and say you need part number-___--the EXACT same part number as you originally gave them. They tell you (although you should have unlimited spare parts) that the part needed is hard to come by. They'll have to "cobble it together". It arrives the next day Fed EX though.

Or....a month or two later. Most recent.

The dryer winds up needing a complete set of rollers & bushings--this would be 4 total rollers. This time--a tech comes out to make the call.

For the unitiated here--without the $2K a yr contract, this visit would cost you around 750 bucks flat out for the visit alone, with another few hundred on top for the parts. Phone consultation with the company without a contract? 45 bucks minimum--more on top as time passes.

The tech comes out--fixes the problem. No problem. Tells you they quit making the machine though. They advise you buy a used one and stockpile it. You say "but then I'd have to stockpile a warehouse full of spare parts!" they say--"no, no spare parts are still being manufactured...say, we sent you something recently though huh?" you say "yeah, a set of fixer rollers" tech--"fixer rollers?! Boy, you were lucky! Those are getting hard to come by now."

should I go on?

thought of a couple more: the new machine's top (lid) warps after a year or two. The company hems & haws over it, yet replaces the lid. then, the tanks start slightly warping--so they come out and place spacer bars in them to reinforce the shape, yet a year or so later these have to be removed becuase they cause chemistry to carryover into the next tank. Or....the dryer. The dryers were painted with this stuff on the bottom that eventually corrodes & falls off into the tanks below. You say--send us a new dryer, under the contract. They won't do it. They do send a tech out who uses stainless wool to scrub the paint off--and shows you how to do this--which you have to do every couple of months as this crap falls into the wash tank. The new dryers are made with a different finish now, though, and don't suffer from this problem.

Or..there are a half dozen fuses on the machine--one blows and the machine goes down. you can't verify the fuse type though--put the call in and they tell you the unlimited spare parts doesn't cover fuses.


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