Iomega reassurance fails to click with users

Users are reporting the so-called Click of Death on Iomega Zip drives despite assurances from both Iomega and Tech Pacific that there have been no problems in New Zealand. The Click of Death reportedly affects both Zip and Jaz drives, rendering disks unreadable and damaging drives in the process. Reading a damaged disk in a different drive may well damage the second drive, as Jared Licht, a technician with Vision Computing in Tauranga, found out the hard way.

Users are reporting the so-called Click of Death on Iomega Zip drives despite assurances from both Iomega and Tech Pacific that there have been no problems in New Zealand.

The Click of Death reportedly affects both Zip and Jaz drives, rendering disks unreadable and damaging drives in the process. Reading a damaged disk in a different drive may well damage the second drive, as Jared Licht, a technician with Vision Computing in Tauranga, found out the hard way.

“We had three SCSI internals straight out of the box and each one of them developed the Click of Death within an hour.” Trying the damaged disks in an external drive led to that drive also developing the Click of Death, she says.

Greg McCutchan, who works with the Hamilton PC Club, is not very amused by the amount of money he’s paid out for a product that now doesn’t work.

“My drive failed just outside its warranty and I was advised to cut my losses, but I already have around 30 disks, so what choice did I have?” After his drive failed, McCutchan reluctantly bought another but is concerned about Iomega’s seeming lack of concern about the problem.

John Foot, director of Computers for People, a Wellington company specialising in software for real estate businesses, says he has been in the computer industry for 16 years and has never come across a situation like the one he’s in now with Iomega.

Foot says his company installed a 1Gb Zip drive for a customer to back up their operation. After several months of use, the drive failed. Having contacted supplier Dove Electronics, he was told to call an Auckland number, was transferred to an Australian call centre and asked to send the machine to Sydney for testing. Instead of an expected turn-around time measured in hours, Foot was told it would take about three weeks, assuming the drive was actually faulty, for Iomega to send out a new drive.

“That’s just ridiculous. If this is the way warranty claims will be handled from now on, I don’t think we can continue recommending these drives to our customers.”

Tech Pacific’s Iomega product manager, Desmond Ling, was unable to comment on the problem. Iomega’s technical manager, Philip Lovelock, was also unavailable.

Iomega’s problems don’t end with just the Click of Death. Questions are being raised in the US about Iomega’s commitment to customer service and the company faces a class action suit brought by a 15-year-old boy and his father over Iomega’s free help line.

The action alleges that Iomega’s warranties include technical support at no charge but when customers call for support they are transferred to another number and charged a minimum of $US15 a call.

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