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[P]
What is Iomega trying to pull?

By gtx in Technology
Tue Apr 24, 2001 at 08:46:45 PM EST
Tags: Hardware (all tags)
Hardware

As most of you probably heard, Imoega recently settled the class action lawsuit against people who bought Zip drives over the last five years. What Zip drive owners get in return, however, is practically worthless.


For years, you couldn't read anything about the Iomega Zip drive without being warned about the "click of death", an all too familiar sound that signaled impending doom to whatever you were trying to write to the drive. Recently, Iomega settled the class action lawsuit against them, promising rebates for everybody who bought drives between January 1, 1995 and March 19, 2001.

At first, this sounds like you're getting money in the mail if you own a zip drive. This would make sense, as people involved in the Toshiba FDC class action settlement recieved awards upwards of 400 dollars for their loss of data. It would make sense that at the least, Iomega would be replacing drives. So what do you get if your drive was affected by the click of death? To quote the Notice, the best you can expect to get is as ollows (although you could get less if you never experienced the 'click of death':

$17.50 toward the purchase of a Zip® 250 Drive; or
$12.50 toward the purchase of a Zip® 100 Drive; or
$40.00 toward the purchase of a Zip® 250 Drive and a 6 pack of Zip® 250 disks;
or $27.50 toward the purchase of a Zip® 100 Drive and a 6 pack of Zip® 100 disks;
or
$17.50 toward the purchase of six Zip® 250 disks; or
$12.50 toward the purchase of six Zip® 100 disks; or
$12.50 toward the purchase of a Pocket Zip® PC Drive; or
$35.00 toward the purchase of a Pocket Zip® PC Drive and a 10 pack of Pocket Zip® media; or
$22.50 toward the purchase of a Pocket Zip® PC Drive and a 4 pack of Pocket Zip® media

So, at best, you can score a 40 dollar coupon towards a zip 250 drive and a 6 pack of disks. Wonderful. I was burned by Iomega drives in the past, why would I want to spend money to have it replaced with another drive? Iomega made out like bandits on this one. How did this happen?

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Poll
The Iomega Settlement
o Is quite fair 12%
o Is screwing me over 87%

Votes: 62
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What is Iomega trying to pull? | 46 comments (39 topical, 7 editorial, 0 hidden)
Complete Shit (2.40 / 5) (#1)
by randombit on Mon Apr 23, 2001 at 09:07:31 AM EST

This blows. Why even bother contacting them for your coupon, If their drives suck to begin with, why would I want another one?

And... (3.80 / 10) (#2)
by Vulch on Mon Apr 23, 2001 at 09:20:31 AM EST

...You have to live in the USA to collect, so those of us with a clunk of death suffering drive elsewhere in the world are left with our piles of worthless dusty plastic.

I won't be buying their products again in the foreseeable future.

Anthony

However (3.66 / 6) (#4)
by BobaFatt on Mon Apr 23, 2001 at 09:43:54 AM EST

If you don't live in the USA, you presumably are still free to sue them.
The Management apologise for any convenience caused.
[ Parent ]
My case (4.00 / 6) (#7)
by Tezcatlipoca on Mon Apr 23, 2001 at 10:03:00 AM EST

I live in the EU and I sent a bunch of disks that became useless. They sent back new ones, so if you make your case and you reminf them that you know about the settlement in the US you could get something.

I had not bought anything from them since then (3 years) even though I was tempted by their little Click disks and their MP3 player. Lousy companies should be kicked out giving our hard earned money to whoever pays attention to quality and costumer satisfaction. It was a real pain to find any tangible information about Iomega at all (no addresse in their products, no humans in the phone lines). It may have imporved since last time I dealt with them, but the bad impression is a life long lasting one....



Might is right
Freedom? Which freedom?
[ Parent ]
How? (4.25 / 4) (#8)
by ucblockhead on Mon Apr 23, 2001 at 11:17:51 AM EST

How did this happen?
How much did the lawyers led the class-action suit the case get?

I suspect something more than coupons.

Anyway, there's your answer.
-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup

Lawyers are evil (3.00 / 6) (#11)
by djx on Mon Apr 23, 2001 at 11:42:15 AM EST

The Class side's lawyers get up to 4.7 million USD over this one. That seems a little excessive compared to what Iomega is giving us.
-<end of transmission>-
NO CARRIER.
[ Parent ]
Some, perhaps even many, (4.00 / 2) (#13)
by gametheory on Mon Apr 23, 2001 at 12:49:25 PM EST

But not all. It has been my experience that many (not all, of course) folks who hold such a grudge against the entire legal profession have never needed the services of a lawyer.

Are corporate lawyers evil? Perhaps as an extension of an "evil" corporation. Are personal injury lawyers evil? Only as evil (or "frivolent") as the lawsuit they are arguing.

I'm not disagreeing there are plenty of of unscrupulous lawyers out there. But this sort of generalization really irks me. When/If you need representation for a legitimate case, you will be mighty happy to have a competent, hard working lawyer representing you.

Oh, heh, no, I'm not a lawyer, either ;). Just a simple programmer.

-GT

[ Parent ]
lawyers are evil until you need one (3.25 / 4) (#16)
by eLuddite on Mon Apr 23, 2001 at 01:38:14 PM EST

Hold on a second. In a class action suit, lawyers representing the class are paid out of the so called "common fund," the money recovered for the people. It is a percentage of the available funds and further subject to the court's review and approval. The benchmark percantage is 25%, adjusted according to the specific facts of the case.

In effect, Iomega is paying these lawyers 4.7 million USD.

A settlement (which is what this was) means one the following: (a) Iomega lawyers are in league with the lawyers for the class - the mi raza! arguement; (b) the lawyers for the class settled because they forgot who was paying them; (c) the lawyers for the class settled because they felt it was the best award they would have been able to get for their clients - take the money run, as it were; (d) something else which neither of us are privy to.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

Er... (4.12 / 8) (#9)
by trhurler on Mon Apr 23, 2001 at 11:27:36 AM EST

Welcome to the real world, where class action lawsuits are nothing more than tools for the enrichment of lawyers. Iomega is probably not guilty of anything more heinous than screwing up a design and then arguing in court for the best settlement they could get, whereas the lawyers probably stood to make big bucks no matter how big or small the settlement ended up being, as long as there was one - but hey, around here, blaming a corporation is more popular than blaming a lawyer, so by all means, take the easy way out. Don't upset the hordes of flaming lefties. They might vote against your story if you do!

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

this is a settlement (2.40 / 5) (#14)
by eLuddite on Mon Apr 23, 2001 at 12:55:29 PM EST

whereas the lawyers probably stood to make big bucks no matter how big or small the settlement ended up being, as long as there was one - but hey, around here, blaming a corporation is more popular than blaming a lawyer, so by all means, take the easy way out

Welcome to the real world, where litigants settle instead of pursuing their case long enough to lose it outright. And Lawyers make less money than either hax0rs (the ones who engineer your data to go *poof*) or bandits (the ones who sell these engineering designs), surprisingly enough.

How can you blame a settlement on lawyers? After a settlement, they stop charging.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

Look, man (3.33 / 3) (#15)
by trhurler on Mon Apr 23, 2001 at 01:17:07 PM EST

First of all, the whole point of a settlement in a case like this is that a company does it because they're afraid they're going to lose, and then a judge will probably let them go out of business paying out money before letting any customer "get screwed." If the company stood a reasonable chance of winning, it would probably fight on, because using lawyers you have on retainer is a lot cheaper than paying hundreds of millions to settle such suits.

Second, many lawyers might not make as much as some people in the tech industry, but the ones doing class action suits generally rake it in. That's why they settle; they have an incentive to settle for less for the people who belong to the class should get, because their fixed percentage of some huge figure that's only a fraction of what is needed to honestly pay out is still so big that they're often rich overnight. What do they care if the "class" referred to in the class action suit gets screwed?

Consider what the tobacco settlement lawyers made. They went from being well connected upper class to well connected filthy rich; figured hourly, many of them "earned" $10,000 an hour or more. They're the extreme example, but that's beside the point; many lawyers may not be getting rich, but many others are. The class action lawsuit as a concept ought to be outlawed; it rarely if ever does anyone but lawyers any good at all.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
well, I'm a man. You got that part right (2.75 / 4) (#17)
by eLuddite on Mon Apr 23, 2001 at 01:57:54 PM EST

If the company stood a reasonable chance of winning, it would probably fight on, because using lawyers you have on retainer is a lot cheaper than paying hundreds of millions to settle such suits.

But they didnt fight on. They settled. Hello?

[they settle] because their fixed percentage of some huge figure that's only a fraction of what is needed to honestly pay out is still so big that they're often rich overnight.

Oh, so that's why they settle.

many lawyers may not be getting rich, but many others are.

Only the random Randonites, surely. Come on, you specifically deflected corporate liability to lawyers in your original post. That's just silly and, irony of ironies, the kind of tactic you, trhurler, expect from the heinous "liberal left."

You cant just paint class action with such a liberal (oops) brush. Class action is the only means some people will have for getting relief in their lifetime short of winning the lottery. No one is forced to abide by a class action settlement, you know. For those people, its as if it didnt happen.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

Abiding by class actions (3.00 / 2) (#21)
by R343L on Mon Apr 23, 2001 at 04:53:45 PM EST

No one is forced to abide by a class action settlement, you know. For those people, its as if it didnt happen.

Actually, often in the US, when a class-action is settled by a court order (I don't know about non-court settlements) often included in the judgement is a statement that no one else can get anything or sue for the reasons in this case--they can only participate in this settlement (example--some of the tobacco cases, I think the Florida one, prevent residents of the states that settle from litigating against the tobacco companies again). Presumably this is to allow the corporation to not have to fight off dozens of different class-action suits. But if the settlement sucked and doesn't really help (some of) the people involved they have no legal recourse. Possibly they could appeal it (I don't know--IANAL) but that would take money, money they presumably don't have or they wouldn't need to get money out of the corp to pay medical bills, etc.

Rachael
"Like cheese spread over too much cantelope, the people I spoke with liked their shoes." Ctrl-Alt-Del
[ Parent ]

what is sucked and why is it necessarily unjust? (3.33 / 3) (#24)
by eLuddite on Mon Apr 23, 2001 at 05:20:21 PM EST

Actually, often in the US, when a class-action is settled by a court order

That is a decision, not a settlement.

often included in the judgement is a statement that no one else can get anything or sue for the reasons in this case--they can only participate in this settlement

Are you referring to members of the class or just anyone who never even heard of the decision? If individual class members are forbidden by the court from refusing the award in order to pursue their own case I imagine it would be for something other than spurious reasons.

Presumably this is to allow the corporation to not have to fight off dozens of different class-action suits.

Seems fair for identical cases. But if you return with unpresented or withheld evidence, it will be reviewed.

But if the settlement sucked and doesn't really help (some of) the people involved they have no legal recourse.

Depends on sucks. A disappointing result isnt necessarily an unjust decision. A settlement is also open to malpractice if there's a case to be made for it. Bottom line is that a class action suit is often the only way to get justice and punish the company. Its not useful to argue a decision as unjust without supporting evidence to the contrary; the whole point of a decision is to render justice.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

Re: what is sucked and why is it necessarily unjus (3.00 / 2) (#27)
by R343L on Mon Apr 23, 2001 at 11:48:55 PM EST

Okay you're right about this particular case (that it is a decision, etc.) But on to other things.

Are you referring to members of the class or just anyone who never even heard of the decision? If individual class members are forbidden by the court from refusing the award in order to pursue their own case I imagine it would be for something other than spurious reasons.

Well, both. The "other than spurious" reason is usually so the corp doesn't have to fight off any more court battles, forgetting that this particular form of compensation may not be sufficient or right for everyone harmed. For example, say there is a faulty piece of medical equipment. Most people only end up with medical bills up to say US$1000. The settlement might reasonably then award everyone affected say $2000 (some extra for their trouble) and then prohibit anymore litigation on this particular issue because the company shouldn't have to fight off cases where it's just the lawyer trying to get money. But then say there's this one guy who incurred medical bills of twice or three times what everyone else did. Is the settlement fair to him? If he can't sue later, he has no recourse. This I don't see as fair and it can happen under current class-action law.

Seems fair for identical cases. But if you return with unpresented or withheld evidence, it will be reviewed.

That's the problem--it isn't necessarily the case that it will be reviewed. And as in the case above, there didn't have to be withheld or unpresented evidence and the value of compensation could still not be fair to some. Maybe a court would, maybe it wouldn't.

Bottom line is that a class action suit is often the only way to get justice and punish the company.

That's the problem. I see civil suits as a way for one party to have it's grievances fixed, usually a monetary settlement. All other considerations should be subordinated to finding justice for the individual(s) harmed. "Punishing the company" and then excluding some people from being able to find justice is wrong.

Rachael
"Like cheese spread over too much cantelope, the people I spoke with liked their shoes." Ctrl-Alt-Del
[ Parent ]

punishment is the judgement of justice (3.00 / 2) (#29)
by eLuddite on Tue Apr 24, 2001 at 01:25:04 AM EST

That's the problem. I see civil suits as a way for one party to have it's grievances fixed, usually a monetary settlement. All other considerations should be subordinated to finding justice for the individual(s) harmed. "Punishing the company" and then excluding some people from being able to find justice is wrong.

Justice is served in a class action suit even if a few people do not get personal satisfaction. You cannot review everyone's circumstances and expect to get justice in a lifetime. Realize that nothing is perfect, that justice is about weighing rights, and that if you succeed in banning class action litigation, companies will trip over themselves in their rush to kiss you fully on the lips with gratitude.

People with extraordinary claims dont usually wait for a class action suit to come around.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

I'm not suggesting banning class-actions (3.00 / 2) (#30)
by R343L on Tue Apr 24, 2001 at 01:46:25 AM EST

...I'm suggesting they aren't the only way to solve problems when corp's screw up--and that's the way we are heading. Whenever a corp screws up the first answer seems to be "let's get a class-action lawsuit going." I'm trying to say that it's not always the best option.

Rachael
"Like cheese spread over too much cantelope, the people I spoke with liked their shoes." Ctrl-Alt-Del
[ Parent ]

nothing is always the best option (none / 0) (#39)
by eLuddite on Wed Apr 25, 2001 at 10:15:11 PM EST

I'm trying to say that it's not always the best option.

But it is an option, correct? So how do you know that that option is undertaken without consideration when it is taken? Are you suggesting that justice makes mistakes? Ok. That sometimes the profession of justice acts unethically? Ok. So now what? "It is not always the best option" is a receipe for doing nothing given that no two people ever have the same options. Why do you begrudge action when it is taken, even if it turns out against an individual's self interest? Justice is not undertaken to satisfy any individual in particular. Justice serves itself and individuals profit from this selfishness. All individuals.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

the way it's heading (none / 0) (#41)
by R343L on Wed Apr 25, 2001 at 10:36:42 PM EST

I do agree with basically everything you said above. But let me clarify. I'm trying to say our (you do live in the US?) is heading towards thinking a class-action is the only (or almost only) proper way to deal with these. It's almost knee-jerk: company does something wrong -> file a class-action. This bothers me since it doesn't appear to be a good solution in many cases. Clearer I hope...

Rachael
"Like cheese spread over too much cantelope, the people I spoke with liked their shoes." Ctrl-Alt-Del
[ Parent ]

i agree (none / 0) (#42)
by eLuddite on Wed Apr 25, 2001 at 11:09:49 PM EST

I'm trying to say our (you do live in the US?) is heading towards thinking a class-action is the only (or almost only) proper way to deal with these. It's almost knee-jerk

Well, I cant defend decisions taken in ignorance, of course, but at the same time courts are not going to file their own suits. Note, however, that there are prerequisites for the mainenance of a class action. They vary across states and federally but, in general,

  • The class is so numerous that joinder to all its members is impracticable. (And what about the guy who cannot afford anything other than participation in a class action?)
  • Questions of fact or law common to the class predominate over any questions affecting its individual members.
  • Representative parties will fairly and adequately protect the interest of the class. Not just anyone can file a class action, in other words.
  • The class action is an appropriate method for the fair and efficient adjudication of the controversy.
The court has to approve all this and also to determine what citizens are members of the class and who are not. So while it isnt always the best solution, it isnt exactly designed to be a walk in the park, either.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

Thanks (none / 0) (#44)
by R343L on Fri Apr 27, 2001 at 04:47:07 PM EST

I'd never seen a precise list of the requirements for a class-action. (Although I'd seen various reasons all over the place--in one place is nice). I guess then the problem must be that the courts aren't being very stiff about fulfilling these requirements or don't gather enough info before approving one (not looking into how varied the damage actually is in a product defect or medical problem, for example.)

Thanks!

Rachael
"Like cheese spread over too much cantelope, the people I spoke with liked their shoes." Ctrl-Alt-Del
[ Parent ]

Lawyers make *more* than techies (4.50 / 2) (#32)
by Eccles on Tue Apr 24, 2001 at 10:17:14 PM EST

And Lawyers make less money than either hax0rs (the ones who engineer your data to go *poof*)

No they don't. According to salaryexpert.com, corporate attorneys nationwide average more than $65,000/year, compared to $54K for EEs and %47K for programmers.

But in this case, the lawyers just smelled money. Any class action case like this should require that the lawyer's fees be based on the actual remuneration, or at least rebates, received by the class members. Not that I grieve greatly for IOmega, but I do have sympathy who bought defective zip drives and deserve better.

[ Parent ]

In a class action - the lawyers call the shots (5.00 / 1) (#36)
by WinPimp2K on Wed Apr 25, 2001 at 01:19:19 PM EST

So if the lawyers had settled for rebate coupons for themselves in lieu of cash, then I wouldn't blame them. But in the real world, those upstanding members of the bar who pursue class action lawsuits seem to resemble ambulance chasers on steroids.

[ Parent ]
so... (3.20 / 5) (#18)
by gtx on Mon Apr 23, 2001 at 02:28:02 PM EST

essentially what you're saying then is that it was the lawyers who made shitty drives, sold them for 5 years denying any problems and then screwed over the masses who, in complete trust of iomega quality, paid good money for them?

this is not the lawyers' fault. this is iomega's fault. if they had a shred of decency they could have performed a voluntary recall. i wouldn't mind having my drive replaced, i just don't have to go buy a new one out of pocket and only get 17.50 out of it...


--------
i don't have anything clever to write here.
[ Parent ]
You do not have to accept the settlement (4.07 / 13) (#12)
by ism on Mon Apr 23, 2001 at 12:27:21 PM EST

You are implicitly a class member but you do not have to accept the settlement. If you want to disagree with the terms of the settlement, you can appear at the settlement hearing on June 8. To do this, you need to notify the court in writing by May 24. You may also exclude yourself from the class by notifying the court in writing. You forfeit any benefits from the settlement but are free to sue Iomega yourself. The details are in the notice.

I view class-action lawsuits mainly as money-generating schemes for lawyers. While it can help in certain cases by pooling resources together, it can also be damaging in cases like this where the lawyers are more interested in their welfare than yours. The class' lawyers settled for these terms - rebates and a non-admission of guilt. They let Iomega get away with this. The only way to show your disastisfaction is to not accept the terms.

Not everyone will hear or understand (3.00 / 1) (#22)
by R343L on Mon Apr 23, 2001 at 04:59:09 PM EST

Most people probably wouldn't understand what rights they give up or gain by accepting or not accepting the suit. And they aren't going to retain a lawyer to find out. Actually, the opt-out requirement is something that really sucks in class action. In some of the class-actions, there aren't simple things like registration lists that the company can just use to make sure everyone has heard about the settlement (tires, for example, you do not necessarily register with the company) and thus some people may not even hear about settlements until it is too late. The fact that you have to opt-out to keep your rights (I don't think there is even a choice in some jurisdictions) is unfair--it penalizes people who don't necessarily have the ability to get knowledge of the suit or the knowledge to know how it affects them. At least with opt-in, the guy who didn't know what to do can always retain a lawyer at a later time and still have his rights.

Rachael
"Like cheese spread over too much cantelope, the people I spoke with liked their shoes." Ctrl-Alt-Del
[ Parent ]

ok fair enough but ... (3.00 / 3) (#25)
by eLuddite on Mon Apr 23, 2001 at 05:38:40 PM EST

It's not that unfair, it's similiar to being against a lifetime of double jeopardy.

At least with opt-in, the guy who didn't know what to do can always retain a lawyer at a later time and still have his rights.

In Iomega's most vivid dreams! Most people wouldnt do a damn thing and those few that did would amount to a measly number of zip products in total value. Certainly nothing like a class action payout. Class action is a powerful weapon against companies and a strong incentive for proper corporate practices. Is it "unfair" for for a few individual litigants? Surely. But does it serve justice for the (far) greater number? I say yes and it does so without killing a company out of litigious spite.

It's not a legal principle but You Cant Always Get What You Want kind of applies everywhere :-)

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

Double jeopardy & Iomega's vivid dreams (3.00 / 5) (#28)
by R343L on Mon Apr 23, 2001 at 11:54:41 PM EST

Double jeopardy maybe, but Iomega (and any corp involved in a class-action) has presumably harmed many people. Each one of them deserves justice, not just the majority. It would be double jeopardy if the same person could sue multiple times over the same harm.

As for the opt-in being to Iomega's benefit, I agree. In the case of a small amount of harm (in this case maybe some lost data) it is better for Iomega to be sued collectively and have the suit apply to everyone because of course no one is going to sue over say $200 (the cose of a zip drive, say.) But when it is medical bills and property damage running in to tens of thousands of dollars, people do sue individually and this is where an unfair class-action settlement could not be fair to some people.

It's not a legal principle but You Cant Always Get What You Want kind of applies everywhere :-)

Of course, but I can dream can't I? :)

Rachael
"Like cheese spread over too much cantelope, the people I spoke with liked their shoes." Ctrl-Alt-Del
[ Parent ]

Quit Complaining (2.71 / 7) (#20)
by atom on Mon Apr 23, 2001 at 04:43:32 PM EST

I don't own an Iomega zip drive, so perhaps my view will be less biased than most. How many people actually knew about this problem before the lawsuit? Don't tell me it's "most people" because if that were true, then people wouldn't buy the products. I'm guessing most people - though perhaps a smaller percentage of Kuro5hin viewers - would be completely oblivious to this problem if they didn't hear about the suit. If they ever received any problems, they'd assume it was a normal hardware problem that occurs all the time.

But now people are hearing about the suit and realizing that they're entitled to money. Greedily, they ask how much more money they can sqeeze out of the poor company and into their pockets. Are you saying that most hardware and software is perfect, and that Iomega is evil for selling a product with bugs in it? Most products have bugs in them, many of them serious. So what, you expect Iomega to go bankrupt replacing every single piece of their hardware for free? That's ridiculous. Microsoft Windows expects you to buy new upgrades to fix bugs in previous versions, and nobody is suing them. So why should Iomega pay for all the cheap bastards that are too greedy to pay for upgrades? That would easily destroy their company.

Perhaps I'm missing something, but it seems awfully selfish to expect a company that has done nothing malicious to give you free products at their expense.

well it goes something like this: (4.00 / 4) (#23)
by gtx on Mon Apr 23, 2001 at 05:12:51 PM EST

when you're selling products with a primary purpose of archiving data, you probably should inform your customers when you have recurring problems with drives that destroy data rather than save it. most of the tech industry knew about the 'click of death' long before the lawsuit, and iomega has already lost a whole lot of sales because of it.

nobody's suing microsoft for one reason: windows does exactly what it tells you it's going to do. they say they're selling you an operating system, and an operating system you get in the box. (i'm not going to comment on the quality of said operating system, but there are people who prefer windows... god help them) iomega says their product saves data, but in some cases (more than enough to discredit any 'fluke' theory) their product destroys data, and not just the data that it writes. it can destroy entire disks full of data. these are your problems. they're not selling what they say they're selling, and they're destroying data without permission. data storage is a sensitive matter. see the toshiba class action lawsuit.

i think i've answered the question?



--------
i don't have anything clever to write here.
[ Parent ]
Early adopters (4.50 / 2) (#33)
by fluffy grue on Wed Apr 25, 2001 at 12:04:52 AM EST

I was an early adopter of the Zip format. I bought an external SCSI zip drive in late 1995. The click of death problem had never been experienced at that point, much less written about on the Internet.

Two years later, my drive got the click of death, and I hadn't heard about it from anyone else. I figured my drive had just died, and rather than replace it, I just put it away into a closet for a while (since I didn't have anything irreplaceable on the zip disks, just a bunch of large downloaded files which I could easily replace).

A few months after that, I started seeing mentions from other people of their drives having a click of death problem, my aunt's (external parallel) drive died in the same way, and so on. There was a sudden explosion of click-of-death problems. That was when I stopped buying iomega products - after I knew about the problem, not before.

It's kind of hard to know about a problem before it happens. I don't know about people who are buying zip drives now, but I certainly had no reason to know about the problem when I bought my drive when it was pretty much the hottest new thing.

Also, when the CoD happened, I couldn't very well call iomega's tech support, which is, last I checked, a 900 number. I should have to pay $5/minute to be put on hold while they don't give a shit about my problem?

Of course, I can't prove that I was affected for a long period of time (I haven't even touched the drive since the CoD happened), and I hadn't turned in my registration card (which would have been moot anyway, since I've moved many times since 1995, being a freshman in college at the time). Even if I were able to claim the $40, there's no way in hell I want another faulty iomega product. I'd rather just have some of my money back for the drive.
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

Are you kidding? (none / 0) (#37)
by Danse on Wed Apr 25, 2001 at 03:07:00 PM EST

Are you saying that most hardware and software is perfect, and that Iomega is evil for selling a product with bugs in it? Most products have bugs in them, many of them serious. So what, you expect Iomega to go bankrupt replacing every single piece of their hardware for free? That's ridiculous. Microsoft Windows expects you to buy new upgrades to fix bugs in previous versions, and nobody is suing them. So why should Iomega pay for all the cheap bastards that are too greedy to pay for upgrades? That would easily destroy their company.

Any bug that renders your unit inoperable or unreliable to the point that it is useless for real work should be fixed free of charge, or you should have your unit replaced, free of charge, or you should receive a full refund for the price of the unit. It's ridiculous for a person to buy a product and then that product does not work as advertised. Windows may have bugs, but for the most part they aren't showstoppers. Serious bugs get fixed for free. That said, I still think that software companies should be held to a higher standard than we hold them today.






An honest debate between Bush and Kerry
[ Parent ]
To Clarify (5.00 / 1) (#38)
by atom on Wed Apr 25, 2001 at 03:26:08 PM EST

I left an important part out. I'm refering only to people who own the zip drives but have not had problems with it. If your zip drive fails, you should receive compensation (more than $40, agreed). But the settlement called for rebates for everyone, even those people who have had no problems with the device. It is those people, who are getting $40 for free and are whining for more, that I think are being greedy.
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[ Parent ]
My alternative (none / 0) (#34)
by kger on Wed Apr 25, 2001 at 09:40:29 AM EST

I bought a Syquest EZ-135 drive almost five years ago, and have not had a bit of trouble with it. It is speedier than a Zip drive, and holds 35% more data. Another feature I like is that they have been very inexpensive on the auction sites for a while now, both the drives and disks. They were made with all the right interfaces, too: External parallel, internal IDE, internal and external SCSI. (However, if swapping high-capacity disks with other people or systems was a concern, I would probably have conceded to also owning a Zip drive.)

True, the disks are more fragile than Zip disks, but I have only had to ditch two of 12 or more I have owned. And when I can get a drive and several disks for $30 US or less shipped, it is a bargain in my opinion. If one fails (disk or drive), throwing it out is no great loss.

When it is time to upgrade my portable storage, I'll consider the 1 GB Sparq drives as a cheaper alternative to CD-RW, especially if I want writability at each system where it is installed.



Lots of fuss (none / 0) (#35)
by ZahrGnosis on Wed Apr 25, 2001 at 01:06:09 PM EST

I've had a Zip drive since pretty much day one. As soon as I heard about them and scrounged together the cash (it was college, ya know), I had one. It has never given me any trouble. The disks I wrote for archival when I got it years ago are still intact, and I read them often enough to know that they're viable. Most of the data I've also copied to CD-R since then, but just as a matter of course than because I was losing Zip data. It just seems to me that people are complaining a bit loudly for something that works really quite well. Yes, there are better products out there now, some even from Iomega, but if you bought a Zip early enough to have encountered this problem, you've probably gotten more than adequate good use out of the hardware. My copy of Windows crashes far more than any reports I've heard of Zip drive crashes, often causing just as much damage. Let's focus our energies where there needed, shall we?

[ Parent ]
What about non-Iomega Zip drives? (none / 0) (#40)
by Dwonis on Wed Apr 25, 2001 at 10:25:57 PM EST

I know Epson and a few other manufacturers also sold their own versions of the Zip drive. Has anyone had any problems with these?

Suggestions Please (none / 0) (#43)
by Soruk on Fri Apr 27, 2001 at 09:34:19 AM EST

I've had a Zip100 parallel port drive for a good few years now, and although it's never given me the "Click of Death" it recently stopped recognising discs until I hit it gently....

Bearing in mind that I have 22 zip discs with stuff I need to keep, can anyone recommend a manufacturer who makes Parallel port drives which can read/write zip discs and work in Linux?

(Why parallel? Use on multiple machines including 486s, one of which is a laptop...)

Different problem (none / 0) (#45)
by RiotNrrd on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 04:17:33 AM EST

I had heard of the CoD, but it's not affected me yet (fingers crossed). I own a first generation external SCSI Zip100 - bought it for my Mac back when they were the latest thing, still using it on my PC now. I do have one problem though: in Windows, drive access causes the entire machine to freeze up for the duration of the access - mouse pointer, desktop, you name it - only to magically unfreeze when the access operation is complete. Anyone heard of this one?


-- There is a rational explanation for everything. Unfortunately there is also an irrational one.

Re: Different problem (none / 0) (#46)
by Soruk on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 10:35:29 AM EST

I have seen this with the latest Iomega drivers for the parallel port Zip drive - the older version(s) weren't as bad.

(and in Linux, I notice virtually no slowdown at all.)

I'm surprised you're getting it on a SCSI drive though...

[ Parent ]
What is Iomega trying to pull? | 46 comments (39 topical, 7 editorial, 0 hidden)
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