A letter to D-Link

To Whom It May Concern:

$25 worth of hardware. Seriously?

Please find enclosed one (1) mounting kit, previously missing from my shipment to you when I exchanged my “defective” D-Link 8-Port gigabit desktop switch (DGS-1008D) under RMA number CS-135234. Per your cross-shipment agreement—which stated that I would be billed “standard replacement pricing” for missing parts—my credit card was charged $25 for the missing mounting kit. Now that I have found the mounting kit, I am returning it, too, hoping that you will refund the difference to my card.

Unfortunately, my product exchange experience with this network switch has pushed me away from D-Link completely, and I am now strategically replacing my home network switches with those from another leading brand. Let me outline the facts that led to this:

  • In the early part of 2006, I purchased three new network D-Link Gigabit switches, upgrading all of the fast Ethernet (100 Mbps) switches on my home network.
  • In May 2006, I called D-Link technical support to explain a problem that I was experiencing with the new D-Link switch to which my network laser printer was attached. Specifically, whenever the printer awakened from power-saving mode, the D-Link Gigabit switch would restart itself, dropping the network link to all of the connected computers and running through its startup diagnostic cycle. Your technical support desk was unable to help me—they had no record of such a problem with the switch and questioned whether there was anything wrong with the switch itself. Nonetheless, I was given the option to exchange the unit through your Return Merchandize Authorization process, so I did. With no other option at my disposal, I agreed to accept a $199.99 charge if I did not return the original product within 15 days of your sending its replacement. It’s worth noting that the product retailed for about $100.
  • With a reminder message from D-Link, I installed the new unit that had arrived and returned my original device. Unfortunately, I failed to notice the small heat-sealed plastic bag with what you refer to as the mounting kit. To clarify, the mounting kit in question consists of two screws and two plastic wall anchors. In a few days I was notified that I was being charged $25 for the missing mounting kit. Twenty-five dollars! That’s really your “standard replacement pricing” for two screws and two plastic wall anchors?!? It’s worth noting that the cost of these components at my local hardware store is under $1.50, including tax. I checked.
  • The new unit suffered the same problem as the original. Each time my printer spun up from sleeping, the switch would reset. Ultimately, I decided to start replacing my D-Link switches with another brand. These work fine.

The epilogue to my story takes place two months ago, when I stumbled upon the D-Link Gigabit switch in question on Amazon.com. Reading the numerous customer reviews, I found that the problem I had experienced with the switch is quite common. Numerous customers report that the D-Link 1008D switch was extremely sensitive to power surges and habitually resets itself when printers or other devices draw extra amps at startup. How odd that D-Link’s own technical support folks didn’t know this.


Former D-Link customer

cc: The World According to Richard (my blog)

It is now February 2007, and I have not yet received any feedback from this letter. No correspondence and – though not surprising – no reimbursement. Maybe I should have insured the envelope for $25.

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