The drive that drove me crazy!

TranscendDo you know the cost of this pen drive (4 Gb)?

If you dismiss this with a sneer, ‘Phew.. what is the big deal, it is just 200 Rupees’, you’ll be far off the mark!

It cost me Rs. 1650-00!

Yes. A thing that sells dirt cheap was purchased by me for such a princely sum!

Don’t want to believe it? Here is the proof:

Costly pen drive

But it was in 2007, eons ago in computer parlance!

But Pen drive you view in that picture was not the one that was bought for such an astronomical sum. It was a replacement, for the old one went kaput!

When I bought the original Flash drive, it came boxed along with an 8 page manual, a colourful Warranty card, a CD, and a brochure showing Transcend’s product range (but in the current plug-n-play era, it is just the piece of plastic shrink-wrapped).

A flashy bold print on the carton claimed “Lifetime Warranty”. But I took it with several pinches of NaCl since my experience with warranties bore ample testimony to the cynical Murphy’s Law that all warranties expire upon payment of bill.

The USB drive served me faithfully for over 4 years. Suddenly the impugned pen drive conked without warning when I was burning the midnight oil dabbling in my computer (as is my wont) one night. It just refused to be recognised, Period. No amount of cajoling or repeated plug-in plug-out sequence helped (poor USB port). It remained adamantly stoic and silent. Yes, my 1650 rupee drive had breathed its last (RIP). But I was quick to look at the silver lining – it contained nothing important (as if the terabytes of junk that I have accumulated in the quarter dozen of Seagates contain anything mission-critical!). But still the pathetic sight of the pastel green flash drive that had been my constant companion in many a presentation and seminar in such a state made me poignant. With a heavy heart, I tossed it into the bulging junk basket of cyber waste to join the treasures of yesteryears with no intrinsic value.

When I was musing on the fate of the drive, a sudden flash of wisdom dawned on me – why not invoke the magical “Lifetime” warranty! And off I made my yet another pilgrimage to the Mecca of IT in Chennai – yes, you guessed it right – “Ritchie Street” it is! Actually the name encompasses all the adjacent and cross ‘gali’s in and around Narasingapuram street of Chennai aka Madras.

I was directed to the warranty management services of the Accel Frontline Ltd, who take care of Transcend products. Though I was a bit skeptical about the type of services that would be offered over there, what I found in the customer interface at Accel was a real eye opener.

The dealings were very professional and businesslike. You are given a number by a courteous operative at the entrance and asked to be seated before the assigned counter and wait for your turn. I spent the time to watch and observe the working pattern and efficiency or lack of it of the employees. I was called in a few minutes. I just handed over the dead pen drive, gave my name and mobile number and was promised a replacement inside of a month which can be collected on receipt of an SMS. The whole transaction was over in a jiffy.

And I got the new piece within a fortnight.

I found that M/S Accel is providing service support for a whole range of electronic products from mother boards, storage to satellite systems.

Yes. The customer service industry has come of age in India and is offering a staggering amount of employment opportunities. You could see many youngsters from mere 10+2 qualification to science graduates and diploma holders in engineering gainfully employed in the product service outfits of electronic goods.

So next time when something fails, dilate your eyes and take a hard look at the warranty offerings and insist on fulfilling the warranty/guaranty obligations by the warranter. For that matter you have develop the habit of not throwing away the carton, bill or any other piece of paper that arrived with the product.

Things do fail since they diligently follow the infamous Murphy’s Law that if something can fail, it will! But we must safeguard our interests by being vigilant and instant on getting what is due to us.

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