Friday, January 16, 2009

in romania, buy retail components

I have discovered the hard-way that in Romania it is a lottery to buy bulk components.

Last month one my bulk Seagate 1T HDD died just days after moving all my photos and other important docs on it, without making any backup. My mistake and now I'm paying the consequences.

My other Seagate 1.5T HDD, also bulk, reports periodically smartctl errors and copying files from a DVD to the HDD often produces corrupted files. Lucky me, all my recent DVDs have MD5s on them, so I just make a new copy of the corrupted file until it is ok.

My other two bulk Samsung's also report smartctl errors (these are now in RAID, so if one of them fails I will not loose my data again - hopefully they will not both die at the same time).

I suspect all this is because:
  • Romania is still considered a second rate European country and we receive all the bad lots that can't be dumped somewhere else (nice conspiracy theory, right? :-) )
  • Romanian resellers don't give a s*t about how they handle the bulk compos, so these components get damaged during handling
What's more unerving is that recently I wanted to buy a Pioneer DVD 216 writer from MarioSoft.

Lucky me, I've looked carefuly at the unit when I wanted to pay it and discovered it had a bent corner. That could only mean it had been hit really hard (you can imagine what must have happened inside to the fragile compos that are there).

Of course, I refused to buy it and, as a precaution, I've written down the serial number of the unit: HFDP005942WL.

After a couple of days, I've ordered again the Pioneer DVD 216 to MarioSoft. They told me I can come and pick it up the next day.

The "new" unit looked ok (no bent corners this time), but, to my surprise, the serial number was the same!!! So somebody simply replaced the back-cover that had no serial number on it and straightened the front-cover.

When I've asked about this, the MarioSoft guy told me he sent back the defective unit to the Pioneer supplier and they received the current unit as a new one.

Just figure!

Of course I haven't bought the "new" unit either and searched at other shops for some other DVD writer. I've ended with a writer in a retail package. Hopefuly this will work ok despite of how Romanian sellers and suppliers are handling their merchandise.

I've tried to get some comments from Pioneer and MarioSoft about this, but without much success:
  • Pioneer Europe said they are sory and they hope the matter will be solved;
  • Sun Audio Electronics SRL aka Pioneer Romania told me they are not the suppliers for these components;
  • the importers Asbis Romania and RHS Company didn't reply in any way (I might have received a bad e-mail address for Asbis - I will update this article if they will reply in any way);
  • no comments from MarioSoft
My recommendations:
  • buy a retail component if you can
  • if you want to buy a Pioneer DVD 216, check it's serial number is not HFDP005942WL

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