Indian Customer Abuse

Customers from India are somewhat confused when it comes to what is a warranty failure, and what is considered as outright customer abuse. Today I received a unit back from an Indian tech company who was apparently using a Sig Gen to take measurements out in the field. Nothing unusual about that. The unit however was shipped only a few months ago from the factory, it was practically brand new. When I hauled it off rolling racks in our warranty service repair department to bring the unit back to my line, I was amazed at how thrashed this unit looked. Black stains were everywhere on the outer case. Real shabby. Numerous dents and paint chips covered the instrument from it’s front panel to the bottom cover. This thing was a wreck. I imagined guys with turbans on their heads had dragged the instrument through swampy jungle territory behind an ox cart a distance of twenty three miles.

Reading over data written in goofy-broken English on water blotched pages I came to a simple conclusion: the box fuckin’ choked. The customer didn’t know why. Or so they claimed.

Service repair is a huge part of my job now. Instead of working on new production boxes I am spending more and more of my daily time processing in customer instruments for repair. That is a bad trend. Some days I am so buried in field repairs I don’t even touch a new unit fresh off the test racks. Under normal circumstances I should see hardly any field failures. The bulk of my time should be devoted to meeting customer shipments, not staging up broke dick boxes for troubleshooting.

Placing the unit on a rollaway cart I grabbed a set of arms and mounted them to both sides of the front frame. After lifting it onto a hubie cart I rotated the instrument with it’s nose facing the ground. As I did so, I heard a faint rattling come from inside the unit like a rush of leaves, or sand being dropped through the box. That was weird. Thinking little of it I continued disassembling hardware from the outer case. I removed the unit’s bottom feet, rear feet, and side straps. I dumped all that stuff into a plastic bag, setting it on my workbench. Then I went after the outer case. Pulling from the rear I gave a good tug. Sliding backwards the cover came free and hundreds of dead mosquitoes the size of my pinky fingernail spilled out onto the floor.


I never seen anything like that before. The bastards were huge. My shoes were covered in jungle mosquito corpses. I was so baffled by what I was looking at that I called one of the technicians over and told him to bring his digital camera. Throughout the instrument there was a thick coat of dirt and tons more dead bugs. They were on everything, PC boards, connectors, microcircuits, and wiring. It was such a foul mess I started laughing. Armed with a bunch of photographs I wanted to send those back to the customer and ask them to explain how this situation was going to be covered under their warranty.




~ by factorypeasant on June 20, 2007.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: