I’ve been eyeing the Buffalo Terastation for awhile now, lots of storage in a nice little package. So when the opportunity to buy one came up, I jumped.

One of my clients needed a file storage / backup solution, and the Terastation seemed to fit the bill. I found it for a great price (1TB for 6 bills), punched in my credit card number, and 4 days later it was in my hands.

I received the unit the middle of December, but we were so busy at SabreTech I scheduled the install for after the first of the year. I did go ahead and set the unit up, configured everything via the web interface, and tested it. I left in on the bench for 24 hours running, and then logged in and shut it down, everything seemed to be perfect.

Fast forward 3 weeks, when I go onsite and begin the setup for the client. After plugging it in it did its Star Trek like flashy light thing, then signaled that drives 2, 3, and 4 were either full or not working. I logged into the web interface, and it said those drives were not attached. So I shut it down and then started it back up; same thing. Rinse and repeat, again, the same result… So I took it back to my office, started it up and called tech support.

Fast forward 30 minutes, on hold, finally I get to talk to tech support. They decide the controller must be the problem, as the likelihood of three drives going bad at the same time was slim to none. So they put me on hold and then forwarded me to the RMA department. The RMA department took my info and said they would email me instructions to do an advanced RMA (they ship me a new unit, I ship the old one back in the same box the new one came in, and they provide the shipping tag).

Two hours later I got the email and forwarded it to Brad. He had problems getting the link to work, so I went ahead visited the link (no problem on my computer), and printed the form we needed to fill out and fax in. Brad filled in the form later that day, and the next day I took it somewhere to fax it (we can’t fax long-distance from our office). I faxed it, the fax machine printed out the receipt when it was done, and I forgot about it… That was on Thursday the 11th of January.

Fast forward to this Monday (the 15th) when Brad asked if I had heard anything from Buffalo on our RMA status. By this time we should have received either an email saying our new unit was on its was, or at least a confirmation that they had received our fax. I had nothing, so I called their tech support number again, waited on hold 45 minutes, finally got the tech, who forwarded to the RMA department, who proceeded to tell me they had not received my fax (great)… So I drove somewhere to use a fax machine, faxed it twice (just to be sure), and then called Buffalo again.

By this time I’m not really happy that I have to wait on hold twice each time I call to talk to someone in the RMA department, so after waiting 30 minutes on hold to get a tech, and then another 15 minutes on hold to get someone in RMA, I’m getting a bit hot under the collar. I asked the RMA person whether they had received my fax, they looked and said no. They asked what fax number I sent it to and then told me that was the fax number for the accounting department. After a little bit they figured out that advance RMA requests go to accounting due to the credit card info that is needed, and then it is forwarded to the RMA department. So they had me fax everything to a different number and confirmed that they received it, said they would fast track it and I should get an email within a day or two.

This morning I asked Brad if he had heard from Buffalo, and no was the answer. So this afternoon I called AGAIN, waited on hold for 30 minutes and finally got a tech, who once AGAIN forwarded me to to the RMA department. The girl was very nice as I explained all that had transpired, and took care to read everything they had on their computers, and basically told me they had no idea why it hadn’t shipped out (they did say something about their inter-departmental computer systems taking 24-48 hours to update, what is that about?). Then they promised someone would call me by the end of the business day to let me know where things were at.

Well, the end of the business day has come and gone, and I will never buy Buffalo again, even if they fix this… I know I titled the article with some sense of hope, but by the time I finished writing this, I realized I just don’t have the time to work with companies like this.

…nuf said