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CD Speedwriter RW

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      10.02.2001 07:03
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      I felt compelled to write this piece after some recent discoveries, and think it’s in the consumer’s best interest to know a few facts.... Last year (2000) around about April, I was shopping in the local Staples stores and decided to buy a CDWR on impulse. My initial thought was to purchase one from a top branded manufacture, and took a fancy to one of the models from the HP range. However the sales assistant advised me that they stocked a much better machine from a company called Smart and Friendly, at £15 cheaper,bundled with £80 worth of software I decided to go with his advice. I installed the device and software and was happy with the results. Next comes the reason for writing this opinion.... My girlfriend has recently purchased a really good PC over the Internet and is looking to eventually install a CDWR, so I gave her the praise for the machine I had purchased and suggested she looked out for one. Out of curiosity I decide to scan the Internet myself and was gutted to find on the official website that the company had ceased operations, and that they offer no support for any of their products. Also that they had shipped the last of their stock in April last year and informed all the stockists that they would cease trading that month. I am angry to find this out by accident. I had registered the machine but was never informed in any way that I had bought an end of line product. I phoned Staples to explain what had happened, but the manager didn’t want to know, saying that I bought the product and that once the 12 month return to store guarantee was up then it would be up to me to find someone to repair it, pretty damn hard when everyone I have spoken too say they have never heard of the company. On top of that Smart and Friendly products are still on sale, especially on the internet. Let this be a warning to anyone out there that is considering purchasing a piece of hardware to update
      his or her machine. If you’re in the market for a new piece of hardware my advice would be, find out who the best sellers are and what guarantee comes with the product. Don’t go for something just because it has loads of recommendations plastered all over it, my box had the name of just about every PC magazine on it with lots of quotes and ratings. My final piece of advice is scan Dooyoo for a cross-section of opinions before you settle for any one product, remember the man in the shop just wants to make a profit the person who already owns the product is the one with the “real” hard facts. I will be writing to Staples to see what sort of support they can offer if I moan a bit, so I might come back and update this opinion soon. ********************************************* THE UPDATE AND SOME INTRESTING INFORMATION ********************************************* This was one of my very first opinions and I wrote it straight from the heart, mainly in anger. So whats new since I posted this op? ~~Staples~~ In their defence I've found out that they have a contract style receipt for computer based purchases, which states in small print that, "We are not responsible for products outside our standard warranty, that source from companies that have ceased to trade". My girlfriend also pointed out to me that I shouldn't grumble because we all know how fragile the technology sector is at the moment, and suppliers have no control over its vedors. I did a little research on the Smart and Friendly company and found out that although the company was about to go bankrupt, overseas companies were never informed of this action and most found out by accident. ~~Smart and Friendly~~ The official press release from the company in June 2000 was never released overseas, I think that Staples would not have stocked the line if they had access to all the
      information. This is a section of that press release..... In early April, Sanwa Bank threatened Smart and Friendly President and CEO Perry Solomon with foreclosure. Days later, representatives of Sanwa Bank arrived at the company's headquarters and gave employees one hour to vacate the premises before the doors were padlocked. Solomon took legal steps to stop Sanwa Bank from liquidating and attempted to continue operations with a smaller staff. Ironically, the company was still telling creditors and customers it was solvent with more than $4 million in assets at the end of March, sources report. By mid-May, Solomon could not stop Sanwa from taking further action and the company's assets were sold off. A number of distributors who once sold and stocked Smart and Friendly products have confirmed the company mysteriously closed operations and were unreachable by phone, e-mail or standard mail. ~~The Light At The End Of The Tunnel~~ When I originally wrote this op, I couldn't find any where that could offer support for this product. Since though I've found a great website that offers support for many products from different companies that no longer trade. www.techadvice.com/support/support-main.htm I was supprised to see some very familiar names among the companies not trading, the most significant was Packard Bell. Take a look for yourself, you might find a peripheral you own is obsolete but fear not, this site gives you all the information that's still available, including driver downloads or details of the "new" owners of a sold company. ~~www.smartandfrienly.com~~ Although the main functions of the website no longer work, the drivers are still online. Visit the link below and select your particular product. The drivers were last updated May 2000, so they are the very last versions. http://tech.smartandfriendly.com/downlo
      ad.htm Thanks for reading..... ~~K~~

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