April 23, 2002
Ethical Dilemma

Those that know me in real life know that while I am a fan of Star Trek, I do not like the episodes where the Captain is faced with an 'ethical dilemma'. Star Trek should be about mystery, fighting, and sleeping with green skinned babes.

Alas, I find myself in an ethical dilemma.

I bought an IBM hard drive for my computer about a 18 months ago. I have been buying IBM drives for several years because of their reliability. About six months ago, I began to have trouble with the drive. I did a little research on the net and found that many, MANY people were having problems with their IBM 75GXP drives like me.

I ran the IBM drive fitness test, and it said the drive was bad.

Fuck. A bad hard drive? Fuck, fuck, fuck. (Three extra 'fucks' because my Mom is reading this and it makes her squirm...)

I call IBM and request that they 'cross-ship' a replacement to me. Cross-shipping is where a manufacturer sends you a replacement part before you have returned the broken part. It is commmon in computing where without even the defective part, the computer is useless. Typically, you give the manufacturer your credit card number. If you fail to return the defective unit, they charge your card. Simple idea.

IBM refuses to cross-ship me a drive. They wanted me to ship my bad drive first. And they refused to move the data from the bad drive to the new drive. I had no way to get my data off the bad drive.

After pondering this a bit, I finally went out and bought a Maxtor hard drive. I took the time to move to Windows XP at the same time. Big problem. Windows XP won't recognize the defective IBM drive directly.

At this point I have to go through the long process of using an older 9 gig drive as a transfer drive. In a complicated procedure of booting and swapping cables, I finally move my data from the IBM drive to the old transfer drive to the new Maxtor drive.

A big pain in the ass. I decide not to buy IBM hard drives again.

Here comes the dilemma. There is a class action lawsuit against IBM for the way they handled these 75GXP drives.

Normally, I am against these large class action lawsuits for a few reasons.

1) The lawyers get rich
2) The consumer gets little of real value
3) It clogs the court system

But I am quite mad, dare I say vexxed, at IBM for the way they handled this problem. What to do? What to do?

Sue or not to sue. That is the question.

Posted by michael at April 23, 2002 06:54 AM