Sunday, October 6, 2013

Designed For Failure: D-Link's Poorly Designed Router Sold By Struggling Office Depot

I'd like to relate an experience I had last Friday. It seems that I live in digital never-neverland. A place where phone companies, Internet companies and cable companies say is on "the fringe." Really? A few blocks north of Interstate 10, a block from a major state highway and only 5 miles south of Pasadena?

My troubles started years ago with AT&T. Their DSL simply sucked. After 22 visits to my home and countless techs over a three month period, each who did something different and usually made things worse, I gave up. Their DSL and Uverse is a joke. If you live in the wealthy suburbs you get the complete package. The hoi polloi get hind tit. Trust me, dial up was faster.

So my only other choice was cable, another monopoly if there was ever one. We signed up with Charter Cable - the three part package, phone, cable and Internet. Again, the same problem. The signal for whatever reason would not go beyond the walls of the house. So after several tries, routers, etc., they brought a second router that literally sits against the wall of the house in a bookcase. I get a signal in the garage but anywhere on the property if fluctuates wildly. Their mistake was giving me Speedtest. Now I have proof!

If They are building networks in must be
in the alternate universe of "Fringe"
Again, the signal was getting worse so with a friend who owns his own company in the telecommunications field, we bought a D-Link router at the nearby Office Depot. Since this is a Mac centric house, and it clearly said compatible with Apple products we went ahead and bought it. Friday we took the secondary Netgear router offline and plugged in the D-Link. I don't see how anyone can do it. Their instructions made no sense. We went online, followed the instructions and finally gave up.

Next we called D-Link. Apparently I was not alone. The wait was terrible and when we finally got a tech person, he was barely understandable. If anything his help only made things worse. My tech friend asked me, "Do you understand what he is saying?" Barely. We tried this and that. We had an internet signal but the D-Link router refused to see it. Following his instructions we got the same error messages with him again and again and again. After 90 minutes of this, plugging it here and there, unplugging and even plugging it directly into the laptop, I said enough is enough. I packed it all up and later that afternoon took it back. D-Link clearly was not ready for a Mac or anything else for that matter and why anyone would buy their products is beyond me. Who on earth could make it work? My tech friend simply couldn't believe what happened.
Their motto is "Taking Care of Business." It won't be mine!

Office Depot wouldn't take it back or even exchange it. The store was closing and there were no returns. Really I said? Even if it doesn't work? So I'm out $90? This store may be closing but the company isn't. Can I exchange it in Temple City. No. Sales are final. I looked at him and told him this was not over. I came home and wrote a letter to the CEO of Office Depot, a Mr. Austrian. I explained what I am writing here and said I felt that I should get my money back. It goes out tomorrow so we shall see.

I've noticed that places like Office Depot, Staples and such have tightened up their return policies. They put the onus on the customer NOT the manufacturer. They have it very, very wrong. Nordstrom's takes back everything. Obviously it helps their sales because they are far bigger and more successful than Office Depot. In fact, Office Depot and even weaker sister Office Max are merging. How our government ever allowed that to happen is beyond me. You can see how they are promoting competition and watching out for the public. If you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you. If anything the government is pushing us into the arms of Amazon. They WILL take returns and I bet they put pressure on suppliers.

Every step of this was designed. The selling of the product with absolutely no checking on it for flaws or instructions that might as well stay in Chinese where it was manufactured. D-Link who acts like they have never even heard of Apple or the fact that things should and can be simple. Their own web site didn't work and no matter how many times we did what the tech said to do it, it had the same end result.

Does anyone check these things out? Is the world truly like a Dilbert cartoon? I hate to say never but you know, Office Depot and I have had it out before. Refusing to honor rebates, warranties on items they sold and often not having sales items and then never calling you when it comes in after giving you a raincheck. I guess this is a reason they are a distant second to Staples.

Why reward poor service and lousy products. If you say or do nothing, and yes it is a pain in the butt to complain but like I quote in each and every one of my emails, "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." This was written by Edmund Burke in 1795. Strange how very appropriate it is 218 years later. I urge you to step up to the plate. Complain. Make some noise. Eventually they will hear or as so many brand names have, they will disappear. Hopefully something better and more responsive will take their place!

Please visit my unique, and after reading this my often fiery products, at

Thank you for reading.

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