Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Iomega StorCenter 1Tb 150d woes

Piggy on the railway track
Picking up stones,
Along came an engine
And broke piggy's bones.
"Oh," said Piggy,
"That's not fair!"
"Ha!" said the engine driver,
"I don't care!"

A tiny little user research company's bones are broken - again! The Iomega StoreCenter 1Tb storage on the network died one more time, breaking Kern's bones once again. And when Kern cried "That's not fair;" "Ha! Ha" said Iomega, "I don't care!" Oh, this is not the first time Iomega India said "I don't care!" They have said it earlier too!

Kern bought a wireless 1Tb StorCenter about a year and half back from the neighborhood Iomega retailer. Kern was happy! Now we could store all the projects backups as well as the prized photos and videos too. The happiness was shortlived! The NAS stopped serving files one fine day -- just 6 months after it was purchased.

The local support guys Neoteric were called. They promptly came and picked up the device on a bicycle and dropped the device on the way to the support center -- the already broken device was now beyond repair!

Many mails to the CEO Paras Shah, screams to the engineer Srinivas, persuasions, cajoling, heart burns, and 2 full months later, Neoteric agreed to replace the device with a new one. But, here comes the catch, they tried to upsell me the newer version 150d -- we refused. Then magically one day they dumped the new 150d in our office (with no box, no documentation, no nothing -- just the box).

All our data was back, thought the little piggy! But the data was not to be seen. The piece was fresh and without our data. Kern had lost ALL its data. Many years of data had to be found again.

Kern slowly picked up the stones and moved ahead. The new box found its place on the network and people started using it again. Another 11 months passed, Ashim cried one day "can't find the network storage!" And, since then no one could find it.

Along came an engine
And broke piggy's bones.

I went to www.iomega.com and tried to find out the local support numbers. The website is designed for people not to find support numbers, but my persistence paid off. I found the number after full 10 minutes of trial and error (and BTW we usability test websites... we usually find things faster than others!)-- a 800 number -- a toll free number, wow! Hey, the toll free number is a farce -- only people with BSNL phones can dial the number. There was no phone number that anyone can dial -- kudos to Iomega India. Thank you Iomega for being unreachable -- don't expect people to subscribe to BSNL service or run to a BSNL phone booth just to contact you.

"Oh," said Piggy,
"That's not fair!"

Neoteric engineer was called up and he shrugged off his responsibility by giving out Iomega's number -- some Mr. Annamalai in Chennai. His phone number seemed a VIP number, I assume he is a "high ranking official". I promptly called the gentleman.

Here are some excellent responses from Iomega:

a. "We sell thousands of boxes of NAS, why do we only hear Kern's complaints?" Mr. Annamalai, you hear Kern's complaints because they are the only one who could somehow find you. They are the only micro business who had the courage to buy NAS. They are just one of the companies without an IT guy who will magically "get around" things without contacting you.

b. "Kern does not want to call the call center not do they want to use online chat" Iomega must supply a BSNL phone line to all its customers to call them free with each product. Iomega US-centric people please understand that India is not US -- no one needs a toll free number! People need a number that ALL operator people can call. And, how on earth can one get to the online chat? Only PhDs can do it, I suppose.

c. "Your drive died because you idiots (didn't say but made me feel like a big idiot!) did not update the firmware" Sorry Sir! Like all small businesses around the world, we have a battalion of IT people to take care of firmware updates of each and every device on earth. Sir, we are sorry that we bought an IT product without hiring an IT guy first. Now Iomega will drive the way we do business. Next time we buy an EPABX, we will first hire a telecom engineer -- my promise.

d. "The firmware update will erase all your data, that's the way!" Yes, Iomega behave exactly the way it was designed. But some companies design it slightly differently: when the Cisco-Linksys router that runs our network silently updates the firmware, we do not loose network settings. When our Indian EPABX updates the firmware, the phonebook is not lost. Yes, but I think Iomega is highly advanced -- it starts from a clean slate each time. Mr. Iomega, please understand, micro businesses like ours use the drive as backup as we can only afford this -- and if you expect to loose all data with each firmware update -- you can go and jump! We will find a better solution, thank you.

e. "This product has a three year warranty" Oh that's a sexy thing to say! If you cant get my data back, any warranty is a hog wash. Anyway, you are not honoring your three year warranty for us. You are still honoring the one-year of the previous one.

f. "I am calling to tell you that I can't do anything" Ya, my pop will do it, if you can't! He will come with his plumbing tools -- probably that will work.

g. "Why don't you back up all your data on another drive and leave it through the night?"
Good idea Mr. Iomega. Let me run to the neighbourhood chai shop, buy another Iomega 1Tb box, back up all my data on it by sitting through the night (actually longer for my more than 500 GB of data) and then do the upgrade. And, do this everytime Iomega thinks that the firmware needs to be upgraded. If I don't do it, you know what, the box will die down as it did.

h. "We have given USB ports, just connect your computer and the problem is solved"
If my memory serves me right, I bought a NAS -- which to my limited brain power means that the box is designed to be on the network -- this one refuses to be on the network. Do you think my peanut-sized brain is missing something?

"Ha!" said the engine driver,
"I don't care!"

15 comments:

DG's world said...

Goodness... sounds painful - but it sounds like any 'normal' interaction with just about service oriented company/ cal center! Hope you guysget back your data...

Satyajit said...

We all seem to curse the government for being idiots, lazy and corrupt. the only difference i see with corporates is that they all wear ties and talk in english. they are sophisticated assholes. i vaguely remember a quote from the movie "Traffic"....where Micheal Douglas says "Washington is like Calcutta, full of beggars. the only difference is that they wear Armani suits and don't say please and thank you.

Archana Narayan said...

Ouch! That's lousy service! I hope people read yoru post and think twice about buying an Iomega product. That should serve them right. We are also part of the service industry and we devote a lot of time trying to ensure that we build a long term relationship with our clients and keep them happy. I was really shocked to hear what (and how) Mr. Annamalai had to say. Extremely shameful for a "top ranking official" to not be careful of the fact that he is tarnishing the company image.

Here you are testing the usability of several softwares and in our own office we have an awful design that has obviously not undergone a usability testing. A big boo to Iomega for:
1. Designing a bad design
2. For not being helpful in covering up their error and doing everything possible to help a distressed customer
3. For making the customer feel small and stupid to have chosen their product

Sangeeta said...

Classic case of bad customer service! One would expect better stuff from so called 'known' names/brands.

h. "We have given USB ports, just connect your computer and the problem is solved"
If my memory serves me right, I bought a NAS -- which to my limited brain power means that the box is designed to be on the network -- this one refuses to be on the network. Do you think my peanut-sized brain is missing something?

LOL!!!

Krishanu Bose said...

This one is for sure, i m not going to advice any of my client's Iomega's products. The way the product runs sounds really antique to me and the service seems to be horribly archiac.

Krishanu Bose said...

If possible please put in a complaint at:
http://www.consumercomplaints.in
http://www.corecentre.org/guest/complaint/

Regards,
Krishanu

DWE said...

You are not alone...
In Germany we have the same problems with this lousy "wannabe-nas":<
The Storcenter was longer in the Repaircenter as in use.

Anonymous said...

I'm just now experiencing the painful process... I trusted the Iomega name, and "warranty" and now am paying the price... The above experiences are being duplicated, and "they" don't care...

Ira said...

I bought an Iomega StorCenter Network 1TB (earlier model).
Frankly it is nothing but trash.
It has the *worst* user manual I have ever seen, and there isn't a better one at the website.
After 6 months, it died. I called IoMega to try to get help; thier support web site is beyond awful,
and the engineer I spoke to was clueless. I agree, a 1TB device (with RAID no less) that dies is pretty damn pointless. I will *never* buy another IoMega product,
having wasted $700 on this boat anchor.

Anonymous said...

I see I'm not alone. I'm just getting to the good part, trying to recover data lost for my entire company. It's only 36 gig, but it represents thousands of hours of work. I will never buy Iomega again, in the 16 months I've owned the 1 TB "wireless" nas I've had way too many problems, scares and finally a complete meltdown. Tech support sucks, I hope they go under.

Roberto said...

Same here..
Made the same mistake of buying Iomega.. and after 5 weeks, lost all my data (2.5TB) on this 150d (and this one was running the latest 85.85 garbage..) For all who read this: please be warned: do NOT waste your money on Iomega, and do not trust the raid-5. one powerfailure was enough to loose everything.

Jeff said...

I have also bought this piece of junk... my problem is that I cannot get files to consistenly copy from any windows box.

The buffalo TerraStation works flawlessly..

Now I have an expensive paper weight...

Anonymous said...

Absolute junk. Have the same problem and cannot recover my files. Seems IOMEGA hîs making monney with the recovery.

If I need to backup my backup, how many iomega 1tb do I need to be sure not to loose my data? I would say, that even with an indefinite number it wont make a difference, you will loose your data anyway.

ukzappa said...

UK no better!
This was my last post to the Iomega forum regarding my 150d. Iomega vet all posts - mine was immediately deleted and never appeared.
---------------------------------
'Well I've emailed Iomega support to request a dump of the OS partition.
All they told me was the cost of technical support. Also that hardware may not be available (I didn't ask for
or want hardware). No mention of whether they could or would supply what I specifically asked for!
They also said that although I would have purchased support, there was no guarantee that they could solve the problem.
Is it really that hard to make the OS partition content available?
In short, a waste of my time. If this is support well...

Oh, and why have Iomega encrypted the tar files on the recovery CD? If they hadn't I might have stood
a chance of a DIY recovery. It's as though they have gone out of their way to make things mpossible for the user.

I've also asked if any forum members could help - not a single reply.

If I had a working 150d, the very first thing I would do is clone the OS partition. Just remember, if yours fails it's a bin job - no help from Iomega or this forum.

I've also spent hours on the Internet but no luck either. However, I did discover the Netgear ReadyNAS which looks
brilliant so I've ordered one from Dabs - I can't wait.

I intend to use the drives from the 150d in the ReadyNAS and update to a larger capacity when I've checked out all the feature and plug-ins (excellent idea). I'll even be able to access the ReadyNAS content from anywhere in
the world through the Internet - brilliant! They even make an SDK freely available so you can create your own plug-ins!!! I can't seem to find anything similar on the Iomega site!

The 150d will be broken up and anything useful (very little!) will be salvaged.
I will probably try and sell the caddies on eBay.

Finally, I must say that I find it hard to have confidence when:
1. Forum member asks question
2. Company (Iomega moderators in this case) respond (if at all) with a question
3. Forum member replies with answer
4. Company never responds

Sound familiar??? Countless examples in this forum.

Well it would have been nice to get the 150d working and see what it could do but that is not to be.
Having said that, now I've had a good look at the competition, the 150d would have been a major disappointment.

In a nutshell, its time to move on and up, hello Netgear!

(I wonder whether this post will get passed Iomega screening?)'
---------------------------------

Enough said?

Anonymous said...

I bought 2 of these during Dell's sale. Couldn't really make use of it until after 3-6months. Initial firmware upgrade cause so many problems and brick the unit. "luckily" I bought 2 and after many many attempts, finally got both up and running. But stills, lots of problem. and I insist running it in RAID10 only. (taking out two HDD and dump into another one, after countless hours, manage to recover the bricked one).
FORGET about IOMEGA support, they sucks. therefore FORGET about IOMEGA products completely!!!!! (well, of those millions reading this page, i.e. you, likely hate IOMEGA already, right?)