CyberTech Rambler

March 27, 2007

Run Linux … and have problems claiming warranty

Filed under: Uncategorized — ctrambler @ 8:09 am

When I read this post at linux.com about some customer service representative claiming that simply running Linux or other unsupported operating system will mean you void your warranty, it reminded me about the same problem I have when I started working. To cut a long story short, what happened is I hit a brick wall when I mentioned that I am running Linux on the server. Despite the fact that the manufacturer in question fully expects us to, as they sold us the server without operating system and it is the BIOS fails to recognize the keybaord. All I get is “We do not support Linux”. Fortunately for me, I know what is wrong. I was also a business customer, and they cannot dismiss me that easily as they could with a private customer. In the end, they agree that the keyboard was malfunctioning and send me a replacement.

The trouble with technical support is, once you spend sometime on the phone with them and they cannot resolve the problem, they are trying to get a way out, and will start looking for something where you divert from the norm to get you off the phone. Nevermind you are paying for the phone call, and that they charge you for 10 minutes waiting before connecting you to technical support. That is why I always just stay focussed on the problem at hand, do not divulge more information than necessary and make it clear on the phone from the start that I am a technical personnel.

Her experience and mine are not unique. In some sense, as private customer, she got the shorter end of  the stick. Sometimes, in this situation, I do things on paper.  In her case, writing in black and white asking for an explaination on why  “sticky keys on keyboard” has to do with operating system usually do the trick.

With the rise of alternative operating systems, we will see such cases arise more frequently. Eventually it will reach a tipping point where  your choice of operating system will  automatically void your warranty and ludicrous  comment from PR that “in general, if you change the operating system, you void the warranty” will be laughed at.

By the way, this is not the most ludicrous comments I heard. The worst was one operating system company that claims if I install any software on its operating system, I void the software warranty.

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