A Tale of Two UPSes

It was the best of power supplies, and it was the worst of power supplies. They both have their roots in the dotcom boom, the era of transfering money from VCs to the little people, at least until the IPO when they got it back.

In that era my company bought 2 APC upses from outpost.com. And got free overnight shipping for each of them. (70 pounds of lead and steel). One of them is still humming away. The other has had a more checkered history.

It was DOA. So back it goes. APC replaced it with a slightly beefier model and shipped it back to us. Then the battery dies. So APS sends a battery under warranty, neglecting to ask if the shipping address has changed in the year since they shipped us the original replacement.

It gets refused and sent back I think.

We call, get another one sent. This one comes with the wrong connector. I have to email them pictures to prove that the connectors aren’t compatible. That battery is awaiting UPS (the company) to take it back home.

We call, and try to get (yet) another one sent. When this one arrives, we will send the old batteries back to be recycled. Unfortunately, APS is taking their merry time (1 month so far) sending the last replacement. Perhaps they’ve overdrawn their UPS account. Update: It got sent to Colorado. Why? Good Question.

To recap this power supply’s life:

  1. Free shipping from outpost.
  2. Free shipping to the factory and back to our office.
  3. Free shipping a battery to and from our old office.
  4. Free shipping an incorrect replacement to and from our office.
  5. Shipping a battery to Colorado. Unclear if it got delivered. Or returned.
  6. Free shipping a correct replacement battery and the old one back.

That’s 10 (or 11) times across the country for what is essentially 50 pounds of lead and a couple of rackmount ears. 9 of those times, APC has paid for shipping. This pretty much matches the original $500 cost of the unit.

At least the original good unit keeps humming.

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