June 3, 2013 – I ordered from Amazon a SanDisk Extreme SSD for Susanna’s iMac.
November, 2013 – The iMac died. It wouldn’t even get into any sort of diagnostic mode or boot from CD. I finally cracked open the iMac to remove the disk (no easy task), and lo and behold, it worked with the old disk fine. Something about the failure mode of the SanDisk SSD prevented the iMac from getting anywhere.
I checked the warranty – awesome; 5 years!
Dec 2, 2013 – Case 131203-001083 opened with SanDisk. Justin P asked that I try to update the firmware, which I attempted by installing in an old Windows 7 PC, but it wouldn’t even detect at the BIOS. Dead parrot dead. I replied to Justin P with my info.
Dec 3, 2013 – I contacted SanDisk again since Justin P didn’t respond. Sam B processed my RMA, but couldn’t provide advance replacement so I could get Susanna back online:
Sam B.: We cannot proceed with the Advance replacement as the Extreme 480 GB is not available in stock Sam B.: We try to ship the replacement product as soon as possible but 7-10 business days is the maximum time that we may take depending upon the inventory.
I was able to get RMA RX734332 authorized, though, and immediately shipped out the bad disk.
Dec 4, 2013 – I received email notification that SanDisk received the bad SSD.
Dec 9, 2013 – Still nothing more from SanDisk, so I contacted them again.
Ellie D.: Typically the replacement product gets shipped within 7 to 10 business days but its unfortunate that the replacement has not been shipped yet.
Ellie D.: Unfortunately the product that you returned is currently out of stock. We are expecting the product within 1-2 weeks, as soon as product get in stock it will shipped out to you.
John Stewart: Ugh. There’s no other model we can substitute, perhaps?
John Stewart: I’d be willing to pay for a differnce in cost
Ellie D.: We apologize, however there is no alternative are available for Extreme 480 GB drive.
Ellie D.: understand that you have been waiting for a working product for a couple of days now however, we don’t have alterative to offer and also SanDisk always do even exchange of the product. Ellie D.: So, we request you please wait for 1-2 weeks.
Dec 16, 2013 – Still nothing more from SanDisk, so I contacted them again (noticing a trend here now…).
Ellie D.: Unfortunately, due to a higher demand than previously anticipated, the availability of some products is currently impacted.however. we are expecting the stock by end of this week.
John Stewart: you’re REALLY expecting stock?? Because I’ve heard this before! =)
Ellie D.: Alright.
Ellie D.: We apologize for any delays that you are experiencing; SanDisk will provide replacement product as soon as it becomes available.
Ellie D.: We request you please allow us 1 week.
Ellie D.: Is there anything else I may assist you with, John?
John Stewart: No, thank you
Dec 26, 2013 – Mylie S sends me an email, yay! They’re going to send me a slightly faster replacement SSD.
We have received your device for RMA , unfortunately, due to a higher demand than previously anticipated, the availability of some products is currently impacted. We apologize for any delays that you are experiencing; SanDisk will provide replacement product as soon as it becomes available. To avoid any further delay we do have alternative available: Extreme II 480 GB. Please advise, case is pending upon your reply.
I immediately replied:
Yes, please!! I’m desperate to get a replacement, the Extreme II to replace my Extreme looks fine. Please confirm as soon as you can get it out.
Jan 6, 2014 – A new year dawns on the SanDisk saga. Since I heard not a peep more from SanDisk, I contacted them again:
Ellie D.: We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this delay has caused you
John Stewart: uh oh, this usually means I’m going to be told another 7-10 days…
Ellie D.: I can see that we have escalated your case to our shipping dept on 12/27/2013.
Ellie D.: Please note that actual shipment may take 24 to 48 more business hours. Our warehouse was closed on 12/28/2013 and 12/29/2013 as they don’t work on weekends.
Ellie D.: Also , they were closed on 12/31/2013 and 1/1/204 for new year. Your order is in process and should get shipped by today or Tuesday.
John Stewart: I’ll hold for tracking number, please.
Ellie D.: Once the product ships out, you will be notified with the tracking via email.
Ellie D.: Is there anything else I may assist you with, John?
John Stewart: Ellie, I know this is not YOUR fault, but this is ridiculous.
John Stewart: This is NOT going to ship today, nor tomorrow.
John Stewart: And I’ll on Wednesday connect AGAIN and get “we’re so sorry, ”
John Stewart: I’m an IT manager and I tell you, this is the last SanDisk product we’ll be buying for our infrastructure!
John Stewart: I either want an answer from shipping on what the tracking number is, or I want to talk to a manager.
Ellie D.: Sure.
Ellie D.: Please stay online while I transfer this chat to My Manager.
John Stewart: ok
John Stewart: Hello, Chris.
Chris R.: Hello, My name is Chris.. I am one of the supervisor with SanDisk.
John Stewart: I’m just trying to get a replacement shipped. It has now been over a month since you received the dead unit. Every time I contact you (which has been about 10 times too many), I keep getting the same “real soon now” answers.
Chris R.: John, as I have reviewed the case, it has already been escalated and I will take care of your case and coordinating with the RMA department to the send the product asap.
Chris R.: As confirmed, the new product will shipped by today end of the day or definitely by tomorrow. Once the new product is sent, you will receive a new email with a tracking number, which you can refer to, in order to track the package.
John Stewart: Chris, Ellie. I guess I have no choice but to trust this is true. I can be nothing except skeptical since it’s been almost 2 weeks since I first heard this was going to shipping.
Chris R.: John, I apologize for the inconvenience caused due to delay in shipment.
John Stewart: If I had just been told the truth in the first place, I could have had MY customer up on a temporary disk. Instead, she’s been waiting “just a little bit more” for a month now.
John Stewart: OK, well, thanks. I sincerely hope I don’t have to contact you again tomorrow… and the next day… and the next day…
Chris R.: I understand your concern and I apologize for the delay. However I assure you that it has been escalated and the new product will be shipped by today or tomorrow.
John Stewart: OK thank you.
Chris R.: Is there anything else I may assist you with?
John Stewart: no thank you
Chris R.: Thank you for contacting SanDisk, and you have a great day, John.
Jan 7, 2014 - Surprise! Silence from SanDisk.
Mylie S.: This is really an unfortunate situation where we fail to meet up your expectations
Mylie S.: and I apologize for the inconvenience caused to you.
Mylie S.: I will personally follow up with this case.
Mylie S.: and i will try to get this product shipped on priority basis.
John Stewart: Can we please get connected to someone who actually CAN speak to shipping here? Mylie S.: I am sorry but there is no way.
John Stewart: A manager then again?
Mylie S.: rest assured you will be updated soon.
Mylie S.: and product will be shipped on priority.
John Stewart: You have my disk. Please send me a check for the value of this device, currently $415. John Stewart: Or let me know to whom I should file in small claims court.
John Stewart: What is the officer of record for SanDisk in the state of Wisconsin?
Mylie S.: I will arrange a call back from my supervisor within 1-2 hours
Mylie S.: Is that ok?
John Stewart: 608-NNN-NNNN
Mylie S.: Thanx
John Stewart: Fine thank you.
Mylie S.: You will get a call back.
Mylie S.:Is there anything else I may assist you with, John?
John Stewart: I WANT to believe you Mylie, but honestly I don’t.
John Stewart: I am certain I will NOT get a callback, and I’ll be contacting you again in the morning. John Stewart: So, I’ll talk to you soon I’m sure!
Mylie S.: You will definitely get a call. Please keep my words.
John Stewart: I am keeping them! =)
Mylie S.: Thank you
Mylie S.:We’ll send you the incident number that you can use to reference this chat, and also, the chat transcript in a follow-up email. Thank you.
John Stewart: Thank you Mylie.
To her word, I did get a call from someone at SanDisk a couple of hours later. However, he could provide absolutely nothing more than Mylie, Ellie, Chris, and the rest: empty promises.
Jan 8, 2014 – Here we go again…
Ellie D.: We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this delay has caused you.
Ellie D.: I can see that you have contacted on 01/07/2014 and we have informed you please allows us 24 hours for the udpates.
John Stewart: And then?
Ellie D.: As soon as we get a update on your case we will get back to you via email.
John Stewart: This is not a lie, I don’t think, but the fact is you WON’T get an update.
Ellie D.: We have already escalated the case to our shipping dept.
John Stewart: Yes, weeks ago.
John Stewart: Can I please have the phone number for this “shipping department”?
Ellie D.: John, we don’t have shipping dept number.
Ellie D.: however, as soon as we gets update on your case we will get back to you via email.
Ellie D.: Is there anything else I may assist you with, John?
John Stewart: So I’ll get email after you get update on case. This is before or after pigs fly?
John Stewart: Or the heat death of the universe?
John Stewart: Or maybe just when the sun goes supernova and immolates the planet.
John Stewart: Then.
John Stewart: OK, seriously, if you don’t have shipping department number, how do you contact them?
Ellie D.: We contact them throughh our internal tool.
Ellie D.: We make sure to provide the update on your case by end of the day.
Ellie D.: Are you still with me ?
John Stewart: I don’t even know what to say at this point
Jan 8, 2014 - Called in to 866-726-3475, #6 for RMA department. Got Ruth. Provided reference ID. Waiting for update from shipping department team. Many cases delayed due to holiday. Lots of backlog. Ruth claims she will personally call me back by the end of the day. Am not holding breath.
Conclusion: A five year warranty is nice on SanDisk SSDs. Just don’t expect to be able to actually do anything with that warranty. Honestly, I’m probably going to have to file suit in small claims court. All I want at this point is the reasonable cost of a replacement, which at the time I write this, looks to be $415.
Edit: After publishing this blog post, I tweeted the URL to @SanDisk:
A few hours later they responded:
Jan 8, 2013 – Ruth, true to her word, just called me back as well with the same tracking number.
To be fair to those I dealt with at SanDisk, they were unfailingly polite and apologetic. None of the people above deserve any blame for this debacle.
However, it’s clear that the management at SanDisk has put these people in an impossible situation. The ONLY power they have is to apologize. Clearly they have no way to actually do any such thing as “escalate” or get anything shipped.
The only way SanDisk actually did anything here was through public shaming (though, honestly, my Twitter account isn’t that public – I now have 15 followers, including @SanDisk).
They did not enable those who interact with customers to actually have the power to help in situations like this.
This is a failure of management at SanDisk, not a failure of the front line folks I dealt with.
“Customer service only matters when it’s visible.”
My latest iOS app was just approved and is now available in the app store.
The gist of it is that your iPhone can point your way back to a particular spot on our planet.
It’s pretty amazing the technology we carry in our pockets every day. Even for an IT geek and technophile since I was a kid, who is inured to the relentless march of miniaturization and power, it amazes me.
Your phone, if outside and given a few seconds to lock GPS, can tell you your exact location on the planet within (as of this post) about five meters. Sixteen feet. So, inspired somewhat by this, I started by noodling around with the Apple API to access location data on the phone, and this app popped out.
I think it’s pretty cool. I used some iOS7-only API, such as SpriteKit. I tried to embrace the iOS7 design aesthetic. The exception is the rather anachronistic pointing hand… which, it turns out, actually has a name, I learned this past week. A manicule. I had no idea.
Anyway, there it is. DudeWhere?
I hope you find it useful.
“When I first saw the president speak in 2008…
… in a youtube clip posted to my Facebook page, I knew that he was going to be right all the time. So I support World War III. And IV. And any Moon War the president may want to start.”
The entire mainstream media seems to be of the mind that the United States is, and should be, the world police. Furthermore, they seem to be of the mind that if we don’t retaliate, we are going to lose our status as such. Why is being the world’s police force considered an admirable place for our country?
Yes, it’s awful that Assad is gassing his own people. How are some cruise missiles going to help? What is the plausible scenario in which bombing actually improves the situation for anyone?
It’s not like in Kosovo, where the UN (note that, UN, not US) bombings actually were to try and stop an ongoing genocide. In this case, the genocide has already occurred. And we explicitly can’t target the actual problem, the chemical weapons themselves, due to the risk of releasing them to cause more death. So all this would be is retaliation, punishment.
No, we should not be the world police, or judge, or jury, or executioner.
Syria’s a terrible mess. Bombs won’t help.
The summer league is an ultimate frisbee league where you sign up as a team based on your team strength, ranging from competitive down to recreational (with many divisions thereof).
One of the historical problems with the league has been the fact that even within a given division, skill levels can vary a lot, since the team strength is all based on self-rating. This often results in blowouts… and blowouts are something you rarely have fun playing in, no matter which side of it you’re on.
As of the 2012 season, MUFA combined the B and C rec leagues and implemented a swiss system*. In 2012, there were 54 teams the swiss division, and this year, there were 72. The idea of a swiss system is that you pair up teams with similar records, so as the schedule progresses, teams are paired against others of a similar strength.
In 2012, the season was severely truncated by a drought; the city closed fields for a large part of the season to prevent damage to the turf. Because of that, it was hard to get a good idea of how well the swiss system worked.
This year, however, just finished up, and my team played 17 regular season games, plus a couple in the post-season. The season started with a number of blowouts each way in our games. By mid-season, however, the swiss really game into its own. Nearly all of our games after midway could easily have gone either way, with many coming down to the final minutes.
Likewise, when we went into the playoffs, the swiss was divided into sections based on our regular season results. DiscGrace was seeded last (16th) in Swiss Chocolate, the 4th group, and we played against the top seed. We were expected to lose, and we did, but it was still a damn close game (9-10 as I recall).
This is why I play… to have fun, competitive game, not to win. I think that’s true of the vast majority of those of us in the swiss system, and I wanted to publicly say how great I thought it was and say thank you to MUFA for implementing it.
So, three cheers for MUFA, and the swiss! Thank you!
You all do a great job, supporting what is now a vast number of people in the league. It’s an all-volunteer organization and probably mostly thankless (I’m sure they hear many more complaints than thanks).
I suspect (but don’t know as I’ve not spoken to him about it in years) that Matt Merrill**, the current MUFA vice president, is the brainchild and architect of the MUFA swiss implementation. Kudos to you, especially, Matt!
* – I actually argued for implementing a swiss years ago, but this was long before smartphones and ubiquitous internet… and the swiss depends upon quick reporting of game results, so it wasn’t as practical then.
** – Fun fact… I knew Matt waaay back in the late 80′s when we were both avid tournament chess players. I am/was a relative patzer, though, while Matt actually achieved expert rating. The reason I was even familiar with the swiss system was because this is how nearly all chess tournaments work. If you have a weekend to play, typically 5 games, it’s the best way to come up with a clear winner with a field of 100 or so players.
As part of the swiss, MUFA also implemented a “performance rating”, which from appearances appears to be an implementation of the Elo system, the method used by the USCF (in the US) and FIDE (internationally) to rate chess players. Last fun fact… Arpad Elo invented this system. He was born in Austria, but moved to Wisconsin when he was 10, and won the Wisconsin state championship eight times.
I have a new app in the iOS App Store named Jot.
It’s dead-simple. When you start it, it immediately brings up a new mail with the To: and Subject: fields pre-populated, so you can immediately email yourself (or whomever you choose).
This was something I developed for myself since this is a task I do all the time, when I need to tell Future John to do something. This video demonstrates how much time Jot can save if this is something that you do frequently:
It’s free and available now in the App Store.