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Re: filmscanners: CD RW Deal

Lynn Allen wrote:

  > There was another significant 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 bankruptcy 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 our 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 irreplaceable.  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 eclipse 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 either meet their specifications, or at least have their name and
logo on them.  When someone says "I buy 'Maxmembatim' disks and they are
good/bad, even when taking the issue of the burner, software and 
computer configuration they use out of the equation, usually the brand 
name is relatively meaningless.  The reason is because these companies 
buy from whomever can meet their purchasing requirements at the time.

I have in front of me 4 "brand name" disks which 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
utility called CDR Identifier -downloadable freeware at:


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 on the 
outside label 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
thought 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 prick sized to paperclip wire diameter).
So that's a 20% reject rate before even burning 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 when I bought these disks (in early 
2000 -- I have about 500 stockpiled) I did so because they 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 one master 
pack and to my surprise, noticed the inner jewel case paperwork 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 its a silver
disk (could be aluminum or silver or who knows what) with a turquoise
dye layer. The company web site gives no rating on the stability of
these disks.

I tried to contact the company about the discrepancies between the
outside and inside warranty, and the depiction of a gold disk.  After
weeks of phone numbers out of service, mail returned 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).

I was told 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 me about it.  They apparently think I have
nothing better to do than to counterfeit their packaging!  They asked me
to send the 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 the CD-Rs 
she uses at home (from the company she works for) often fail after only 
a few months of use) -- one guy has been with the company for under 3 
years, and the other only one year.  They told me they would 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 

In other words, they still don't believe me!

At this point, I'm demanding more than a refund of my money, because I'm 
pretty annoyed with the time I've wasted on this matter.

When it is all settled, I'll probably let everyone know who the company 
is, and you can make your own conclusions as to if you think the product 
is worth the pain.  I should mention, I've not used any of the disks, 
and I don't plan to.



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