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altermatt
Premium
join:2004-01-22
White Plains, NY
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

SMC's "Lifetime" Isn't

Pretty upset. I've got an SMC wired router that I've been very pleased with. When I bought it, the box and printed materials all touted a "lifetime warranty"---if the router went south, they would repair or replace. In addition, at one point I had occasion to call tech support when I thought the router was dying, and the person I spoke with reassured me not to worry, if we couldn't get it up and running, my "lifetime warranty" meant they would replace it. He went so far as to give me the details: they would either replace it free upon receipt of the old one, or send the new one first, charging a credit card, and then refund the amount when they received the old one, thereby getting me the new one earlier. As it turned out, though, we didn't need to replace it; we got it working again.

Over the last few days, the router started getting flaky, so, although I got it working ok again, I figured I'd better call tech support and start the procedure for getting a replacement under the lifetime warranty as soon as it finally died. To my shock, the guy I spoke with said that the "lifetime" ended in September of last year! He said this was their "limited lifetime warranty"; I tried to explain that a limited warranty meant what was covered was limited (for instance, no misuse, spilling coffee on it, etc.) and you can't use Limited to mean "three years" and still call it Lifetime---one or the other.

He said he would transfer me to another department who could help; they agreed that I should be covered, but told me that I had to call another number and "they will take care of you if you explain." So I called the other number, and was more shocked to discover that it was a PAY support company with no authority to grant a replacement or anything, and who told me I was being charged for the call!

And get this: when I told her that SMC had said they would be able to take care of this, they said that SMC was "lying" (that was their word) and "do that to get customers off the phone."

So here I am, a past SMC supporter who has gotten SMC products for friends and family for years, with a dying router and a VERY bad taste in my mouth.

Understand that I am fully in sympathy that a company doesn't want to replace older technology forever, and if they'd said at the beginning there was, say, a one-year warranty, I wouldn't be upset at all to have to buy a new router now. Or if they'd told me at the last tech support call that the coverage was due to run out, I still wouldn't be so upset, though I might have argued about the interpretation of "lifetime". But to believe the "lifetime" warranty, and then be told today that it wasn't, and that "SMC lies to their customers to get them off the phone" was unconscionable.

Aside from a caveat for others (who may be smarter than I in interpreting "lifetime"), I was hoping someone here might know a specific contact at SMC I can write to to try to make this right, or at least voice my displeasure. I know the customer.service@smc.com email addy, but assume that will just go into the circular file . Thanks.
--
The truth of a thing is the feel of it, not the think of it. -- Stanley Kubrick

russotto

join:2000-10-05
West Orange, NJ
"Lifetime", for SMC, means the warranty lasts for one year after the product is removed from SMCs price lists. "End of life" is a standard term in the semiconductor industry, but it's confusing in a warranty.


altermatt
Premium
join:2004-01-22
White Plains, NY
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
said by russotto:

"Lifetime", for SMC, means the warranty lasts for one year after the product is removed from SMCs price lists. "End of life" is a standard term in the semiconductor industry, but it's confusing in a warranty.
Thanks, you're right about what the term meant to SMC. Actually, "end of life" would have been more understandable, since that at least implies the selling life of the product. As an attorney, I'm used to ambiguous wording---heck, I even do it myself . But this one really ticked me off.
--
The truth of a thing is the feel of it, not the think of it. -- Stanley Kubrick

bajgy

join:2003-03-24
CZ
unfortunatelly "Limited lifetime" term is pretty common in IT industry. SMC did not "invented" it, its simply kind of marketing tool which most of competing vendors are using now. Sad but real.


altermatt
Premium
join:2004-01-22
White Plains, NY
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
said by bajgy:

unfortunatelly "Limited lifetime" term is pretty common in IT industry.
Yup. But my materials (and what they'd told me on the phone earlier on) did NOT say "limited"---it said "lifetime" period.

Truth is, I've been very pleased with my router overall, and I guess that having to buy a new one after quite a few years of good service isn't the end of the world. It's just I hate being finagled (hold the lawyer jokes ).
--
The truth of a thing is the feel of it, not the think of it. -- Stanley Kubrick


mental_guy99

@rogers.com
reply to altermatt
altermatt, what's the model of the dead router? I recently got an SMC 7004VBR and it heats up more than my previous D-Link DI-604 that died, so I think this SMC won't last long either.


altermatt
Premium
join:2004-01-22
White Plains, NY
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
said by mental_guy99 :

altermatt, what's the model of the dead router? I recently got an SMC 7004VBR and it heats up more
First off, the router (thank goodness) is not dead, just seriously showing its age . It's the same model you got (how did you get one recently if they're insisting to me that it's not sold any longer?) and yes, the overheating was supposed to be an issue with these in things I read when I first got it, but mine is fine with that; I made sure I left a lot of speace around it and putting it on its side is supposed to help.

I do want to emphasize in all fairness that this has lasted quite a while, since I first got DSL, IIRC. A lot longer than associates' Linksyses. My post wasn't meant to complain aabout the performance or longevity, just about what I felt was a false promise.
--
The truth of a thing is the feel of it, not the think of it. -- Stanley Kubrick