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Re: APC UPS



On Thu, Jan 01, 2009 at 08:40:09PM -0500, Robert L Cochran wrote:
> 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,
> ...

Indeed.  I would do so.  Remember, offering a warranty such as that and
not honoring it in any systematic way is a good means to class action
lawsuits; if they didn't want to honor it, they'd be better off just
not offering it.  Until you actually try to get them to honor their
warranty and they run you through the mill, I'd say you're being overly
pessimistic.

> A warranty claim seems so easy, doesn't it? Getting that claim honored
> is an expensive process.

With all due respect, I disagree.  Every manufacturer has some similar
process in place--either let them have a CC to place a holding charge
and they'll send a disk with return packaging.  Otherwise, I always keep
a couple of disk packaging sets around (disks are like air these
days--consumables).  It's really not *that* onerous a process.

> 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.

Ah--no.  They send you the packing material, they send you a UPS or
other shipper's label.  Shipping to you is almost always free, and the
return cost is included as part of the battery costs.  Ok, you'll have
to put on a strip or two of packing tape, and make a phone call to UPS.

> 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.

As may be.  Sealed lead acid (SLA) batteries have several
advantages--low cost, very mature technology, low discharge during
storage.  Other technologies may give you a smaller footprint or lighter
unit, but they will cost more.  And modern UPS units, even those for a
small server room, only take up a couple of 19" rack slots.  But this
is, of course, a matter of preference.  If a heavy unit offends you,
then it offends you.

> I'm not interested in buying a battery unless it can be done locally and
> very quickly. And it can't, in my location.

You can't in most locations.  I don't understand why you've got the bias
against on-line ordering; most orders are shipped and in your hands in
just a few days even with free shipping.  Their bread and butter is
getting product to the consumer fast enough that he/she won't go to
another vendor.

> The battery shape and design may well be proprietary, ...

Not really.  There are many aftermarket batteries for various UPS units,
including (maybe especially) APC.

> ... I mean, what if the APC batteries also have programmed
> microcontrollers embedded within them.

No, they don't.

> Mail ordering one probably has a cost similar to buying a new UPS unit
> since shipping small quantities of batteries is expensive.

You generally get shipping for free or included as the cost of the unit.
Look at prices, don't just guess.

> Mail time distracts me from quickly restoring UPS capability to the
> devices being protected.

Hm.  Most UPS battery failures don't stop the unit from providing power
to the systems being protected.  In the cases that DO and you insist on
immediate repair, you're putting a value on it that makes next-day
shipping worthwhile to you.

> The original, out-of-the-box APC units I bought came with no such return
> mailer, and those units have batteries.

Of course not; you'd have a return mailer sitting in storage, in most
cases, for up to three years.  It makes sense to tie them to the
replacement 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.

Repackaging is, literally, less than 5 minutes.  Call it a minute to
call UPS and schedule a pickup.  Don't go to their counter.  Problem
solved.

> 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.

I think all of these arguments are specious and have been answered, but
you obviously have your own priorities and biases.  Good luck, and I
hope you find a local vendor that can take care of you.

Cheers,
--
	Dave Ihnat
	dihnat dminet com


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