Monday, August 07, 2006

Thunderstorm and desktop UPS and RMA policy [revised]

Saturday night we had decent thunderstorm in the area. It killed the battery-protected section on a Energizer desktop UPS. In the past two years, thunderstorm always killed TrippLite UPSes in the house. To its credit, TrippLite is quick to ship out RMA unit and doesn't care about return the broken one once confirmed it is bad.

One Belkin 350VA was killed too last December, along with a 900MHZ cordless phone connected to it. Belkin did offer me RMA only for the unit. Their rep insisted to have the bad unit returned first and warned me that the replacement unit would have to be a Belkin 500VA with 6 sockets. The dead Belkin 350VA had 8 sockets. I can barely make do with 8 scokets, so I argued for a replacement unit with at least 8 sockets. The anwer is a resounding no. Plus, It may cost me over $10 to ship the heavy sucker back. So, it sits in my fireplace along with TrippLittes.

I couldn't help but wonder whether this is a conspiracy to deter RMA ?! To me, the manufacturer should bear the cost of two-way shipping for RMA. As their paying customers, we are gracious enough not to charge them for the hassle and loss due to ineffectiveness (or defect) in their product, or handling fee!

I guess I'd need to call Energizer to see what's their RMA policy is. It definitely sucks to have the battery section of the sockets stop working. If the thunderstorm can kill UPS itself, I can't imagine what would have happened if the computers/cable modem/VoIP adapter or HDTV connected directly to the wall outlets. The house was built in mid '01, so I don't think wire age comes to play here.

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