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Re: filmscanners: CD RW Deal

Lynn Allen wrote:

 > There was another signifficant reason listed: a lot of small 
companies geared up their factories and went "b*lls-out" to produce 
discs without purchase orders. Then they were stuck with inventories 
which they sold at bankrupcy prices (in fact the case with many 
companies). Hence, the 10-cent CD-R.
 > PC World didn't speculate whether the "Three-times Increase" would be 
for the 10-cent discs, or across the board. We'll see. :-)
 > Best regards--LRA

I realize that CD-Rs are not directly a film scanner issue, but I'm sure
we all are using them to store oure images at this point, so I;d like to
make a few other comments about the matter of CD-R quality.

Some of us rely upon these disks to store our very precious data, some
of which is literally unreplacable.  We use them to back up our
computers, and to store our images, among other things.  I think we all
know that they don't last forever, and we also know that some storage
method or media will come along and ecilpse the CD format over the next
10-20 years, if not sooner.

The comment about the small companies making CD-Rs and them going for
$.10 each is important to consider. The number of CD-R manufacturers is
far greater than the brands you see on the shelves.  Why?  Because many
of those "branded" products are not made by the company on the label at
all.  The "brand" companies simply contract companies to produce disks
which eitehr meet their specificatiions, or at least have their name and
logo on them.  Whne someone says "I buy 'Maxmembatim' disks and they are
good/bad, even taking the issue of the burner, software and computer
configuration they use, usually teh brand name is relatively
meaningless.  The reason is because these companies by from whomever can
meet their purchasing requirements at the time.

I have in front of me 4 "brand name" disks whcih all have the same brand
name on them.  Every one of them is made with a different dye type and
different reflective surface, and when I go into them with a little
utioity that reads the name of the manufacturer, not one of them says it
was made by the company whose name is on the disk and packaging, in fact
all four are made by different companies.

TWO stories, one short one long:

I bought a 50 spindle of disks.  I'll even mention the name since they
obviously have no pride as a company anyway. PINE Technology, sold by
Samtack.  It was one of my first CD-R purchases, and at the time disks
were expensive, so I tried a basically unbranded product.  The disks
didn't even have a label on the non-recordable side, so one had to look
carefully at both sides to know how to place them in the CD-R burner. 
The dye was almost clear, and the disks were silver.

These were the first disks I burned, and of the 50, 12 failed.  I 
throught the problem was either my software or my nice (and costly) 
Plextor drive.  It wasn't until I spend some time with Plextor's chief 
engineer that we were able to determine, via the error codes, that all 
the problems were media related.

Those disks came with a one year warranty, so I emailed the company and 
requested a refund on the 12 disks (that's nearly a 25% failure rate, 
and proved a big waste of my time to have to redo all those disks). 
They informed me that they didn't refund money, but would ship me 
replacement disks.  And they did, by Fed-X no less.  They asked me for 
the bad disks back, which I offered to ship them at their expense.  Then 
they lost interest.  The interesting part is the disks they sent me as 
warranty replacements.  They were a different product completely, 
claiming "Ultra Speed 12X" on the label.  They sent me 15 disks.  Of 
them, 3 had visible defects in the reflective coating (I'm taking 
numerous holes varying from pin price sized to paperclip wire diameter).
So that's a 20% reject rate before even bruning any).  When I emailed 
the guy asking if he thought that was an acceptable rate of visible 
defects, and asking if the company even had a QC system... he ignored me.

These disks are sold in Canada under the PINE (and other brands) at 
Radio Shack and Staples, and I wouldn't go near them again.

The LONGGGG story: (Yes, the one above was the short one ;-))

I am, this very day, involved in a disagreement with a major CD-R
"brand", which has been going on for over one month of calls, faxes,
emails, etc. regarding the fact that I bought these disks (in early 2000
-- I have about 500 stockpiled) and when I bought them, I did so becaus
ethey showed a gold disk on the box, and they indicated a "Lifetime
Warranty" on outer packaging as well.  It was only recently that I broke
open the master pack of one and to my surprise, the inner jewel case
info stated that the disk had a one year warranty from date of purchase
(in other words, it had already passed).  However, the Jewel case image
also showed a gold disk.  Then I opened one up.  Turns out iyts a silver
disk (cold be aluminum or silver or who knows what) with a tourquoise
dye layer. The company web site gives no rating on the stability of
these disks.

I tried to contact the company about the descrepencies between the
outside and inside warranty, and the depiction of a gold disk.  After
weeks of phone numbers out of service, mail retruned and email bounced,
I finally got hold of their customer service and warranty people.  (BTW,
this is one of the largest distributors of CD-R material in Canada, and
I imagine a huge one in the US as well (they are an international
company whose head N.A. offices are in the US).

They told me they "never made a product with a lifetime warranty"!!
They asked me to fax the info, and I did, and then (just today) called
back to again question be about it.  They apparently think I have
nothing better to do than to counterfeit their packaging!  They asked me
to send teh original outside packing, which I have refused, as I want it
as evidence at this point, but I did scan a color version (with all
three languages) to them today.

After much discussion, I discovered of the two people I've spoken with
(other than the customer service people, one of whom told me her CD-Rs
fail after only a few months of use (and she uses the companies own
product))-- one guy has been with the company for under 3 years, and the
other only one year.  They told me they woudl have to speak to someone
who has been with the company longer, in the product development
division to find out if they "ever had a lifetime warranty product"...
In other words, they still don't believe me!


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