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Re: APC UPS



On Thu, 2009-01-01 at 20:40 -0500, Robert L Cochran wrote:

> >> The APC unit serving my network support devices failed suddenly after
> >> a very short lifespan of about a year. I think it developed an internal
> >> short in it that fried my web server machine.
> >>     
> >
> > According to the APC website:
> >
> >   The APC Equipment Protection Policy pledges up to $25,000.00 USD to
> >   repair or replace your APC-protected electronics should they ever
> >   become damaged by a power surge (United States and Canada only ...)
> >
> > I'd argue with them that was what happened to your server.
> >   
> 
> Yes, well, I don't know of anyone who has made such a claim to APC and
> succeeded in getting reimbursement. I haven't looked into the process,
> but naturally the terms of that offer are complex, with the odds stacked
> in the seller's favor, and proving that damage occured to the web server
> machine as a result of the UPS alone requires electronics testing
> expertise well beyond what I possess. I think if it is my unproven word
> vs. the word of a team of APC engineers, the engineers will win; they
> will have a strong bias against the claim to start with. After all they
> know who is buttering their bread.
----
I love the defeated already attitude before you try.

I don't know how many warranty claims that they've paid out and it seems
to me that it would be in their interest to pay a few out just for the
PR because as consumers, we're not at all cognizant about the real
numbers of claims but even one claim paid and someone talking about it
can look like PR gold.

Strange experience I had with Belkin...a bunch of years ago, I bought
one of their 4 port KVM switches with USB and it didn't work very well.
I wrote them an e-mail and never heard a word back. Some 4 months later,
a manager at Belkin called me on the telephone, apologized, sent me
their new version free of charge. I still have warm feelings for Belkin.
----
> >   
> >> The one serving my personal machine failed quickly as well and the
> >> combined cost for both these devices was well over USD $300.
> >>     
> >
> > You do know you can get those units replaced under warranty.
> >   
> 
> A warranty claim seems so easy, doesn't it? Getting that claim honored
> is an expensive process. I did this for a Western Digital hard drive,
> but I had to pay for the packaging and mailing cost to send the hard
> drive I was making warranty claim for to their testing center. I also
> had to take the time to prepare the unit for mailing and then actually
> mailing it. That time is worth money and it cost me close to what the
> hard drive is worth. The entire decision to replace the hard drive
> appears to be entirely at Western Digital's discretion; they could have
> refused to replace it. In my case they decided to. The entire process of
> replacement took about 5 weeks before the replacement drive was received
> in the mail. This was not a new drive but a refurbished one. It may have
> been about as costly but much faster time-wise simply to toss the drive
> and buy a new one, and I suspect that is why Western Digital has this
> process in place.
> 
> The same would be true of a UPS unit, except that mailing it back would
> cost me an enormous amount of postage and possibly insurance.
----
you've really gotten that negative thing down pat.
----
> 
> >   
> >> The larger-rated APC units of 800 VA or more are physically very large
> >> and heavy and accordingly difficult to move around.
> >>     
> >
> > Goes with the turf--lead-acid batteries are going to be heavy.
> >   
> 
> I don't see that lead acid batteries are optimal here. There are other
> battery types such as lithium polymer which are lighter and pack a lot
> of power. And there is the point that sometimes weight and bulk are
> extremely undesirable properties: you have to pay for the space the
> battery occupies. The UPS unit may seem inexpensive on the face of it,
> until you allocate a pro-rated share of your real estate costs to it
> because it is taking up your floor space.
> 
> >   
> >> I'm aware that I can recycle UPS batteries but in my location this is
> >> inconvenient to do, ...
> >>     
> >
> > When you buy batteries, almost all of them come with a return mailer for
> > the used batteries.
> >
> >   
> I'm not interested in buying a battery unless it can be done locally and
> very quickly. And it can't, in my location. The battery shape and design
> may well be proprietary, so I'm probably (I don't know this for certain)
> stuck with the APC branded battery units if I have an APC UPS. It is
> possible I could buy a Werke battery and connect it to the UPS unit's
> circuit but I'm not sure it would recharge either safely or correctly or
> talk to the onboard communications software -- I mean, what if the APC
> batteries also have programmed microcontrollers embedded within them.
> Mail ordering one probably has a cost similar to buying a new UPS unit
> since shipping small quantities of batteries is expensive. Mail time
> distracts me from quickly restoring UPS capability to the devices being
> protected.
> 
> The original, out-of-the-box APC units I bought came with no such return
> mailer, and those units have batteries. And again, it takes my time and
> my money to package and physically mail the old battery, even if postage
> costs are paid. Standing in line at a United Parcel Service counter
> costs me money.
----
here's how it works...you buy a replacement battery, you use the carton
to return the battery with pre-paid UPS ticket (no need to go anywhere,
you just call UPS for pickup)
---- 
> Time, shipping costs, and the need to quickly protect devices rule out
> ordering online. A $50 battery is not a good deal if it is another $50
> to ship and needs 7 days of mail time.
----
You can get them overnighted if you need them that badly. Also - FWIW,
APC is not a battery manufacturer but buys commercially available
batteries so you can get replacements elsewhere. The 'trays' (series of
batteries serial/parallel/both) which are mounted can be dealt with by
anyone who wants to get their hands dirty but there is absolutely no
reason to do that to save 20% on replacement batteries.

Shipping both ways included in price when buying their replacement
batteries. APC is not a brand for people who watch pennies. APC is for
people who want quality, reliability, service and software that works
with minimal hassle. APC stuff is understood by SNMP monitoring
software, understood by every OS, everywhere.

Relatively speaking, the cost of an APC unit is a fraction of the
equipment cost that it serves and penny pinching admins don't generally
impress me.

Craig


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