Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 16

Thread: My experience with System76

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Beans
    85
    Distro
    Xubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    My experience with System76

    Before you read any further, let me put out a disclaimer: based on the postings on this forum, it seems as though my experience is the exception, not the standard when it comes to dealing with System76. If you look through this forum, you'll find a couple more negative experiences, but those will be followed by posters saying they had a great experience with System76 support.

    Having said that, this is my personal experience ordering from System76, and as an anecdote, it will hopefully be useful to others as well as serve to vent some frustration on my part.

    I really, really wanted to support a company that is committed to open source, even though Ubuntu has come so far that I have not had any major difficulties using standard hardware from the major vendors. So having read some of the posts in these forums, I figured System76 would be a good bet.

    I decided to wait for the new Lemur (LemU4) to be released, and duly placed my order once it was available. Here is the blow by blow:

    April 9: I place my order, and a charge appears on my credit card on the same day.

    April 18: I get a notice saying there is a delay in assembly, and there will be another notice later with an estimate of the new ship date. Such a notice never arrived, and there was no other feedback on the delay. So I come to these forums and find there are others in the same boat. There is conflicting info from System76: apparently, some System76 reps are telling customers that the delay is because of a testing bug, but Isantop posts that the real reason for the delay is a backlog of orders.

    April 23: System finally ships, 14 days after my credit card was charged.

    April 26: The laptop finally arrives, 17 days after placing my order. But everything looks great, decent build quality and an attractive looking machine that is pleasantly light in feel. No difficulty in installing Xubuntu Precise, nor in restoring my home directory from Spideroak. The System76 driver installation goes off without a hitch. Peachy.

    April 27: I wake up the next day and turn on the laptop to find the battery applet switching between "AC adaptor is present" and "Battery is discharging", and the LEDs in the front of the laptop are flickering. I use a multimeter to verify that the adaptor is broken--it's putting out about 3V instead of 18.5V. I open a support ticket on the System76 website (a very friendly and nice interface, by the way.) I get a relatively quick response asking me to try a different outlet, which I do even though it seems like a stupid idea given all the other devices like my telephone are working fine in the same outlet. Just to be sure, I also check to see that it is not the battery--I do this by taking out the battery and running on AC only. Basically the adaptor works for a few minutes and then dies. I provide all this feedback to System76 support, by which point, I'd like to think I've been very thorough in checking out the adaptor.

    No response until late in the day, asking me to make sure the adaptor is firmly plugged in! I'm starting to get irritated, wouldn't you be? I reply saying I've checked and all the connections are tight, this is a faulty adaptor that needs to be replaced. Now of course, it is late in the day on Friday and the tech has gone home, so I'm left hanging for the weekend.

    April 30: I'm asked to confirm my serial number and shipping address. I do this promptly, but there is nothing more for the rest of the day.

    May 1: I'm asked to confirm my credit card info because I'll be charged if I don't return the faulty adaptor. I do this promptly as well, and again, nothing happens for the rest of the day.

    May 2: The replacement adaptor has finally been shipped.

    May 3: I receive an automated email asking how I'm enjoying my new laptop, and to share my joy with friends on social media. Feels like salt being rubbed into the wound. Or like insult being added to injury. Pick your favourite cliche.

    The shipment is scheduled to arrive on May 8, almost one month after my initial order. Sure, why send it overnight, and reduce my frustration by even a tiny iota?

    At this point, if the replacement adaptor does not work, I intend to just go and buy a reliable generic. Paying the $60 at a local store will be more effective than having to deal with System76 again, and being asked to check all the outlets in my house. I bought this laptop to use it, not to admire its looks.

    System76, I'd love for an Ubuntu-supporting company to be successful--you can choose to ignore my experience as an exception, or you can try and do something about it. All I can tell you is that you've managed to crush my expectations.
    Last edited by brdmn; May 4th, 2012 at 04:19 PM. Reason: line breaks and grammar

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Beans
    3

    Re: My experience with System76

    I have been using Ubuntu and now Linux Mint on the desktop for years at home but just never had the need for a laptop. (until now)

    While I currently still plan on ordering the updated Bonobo when available, this post does make me think twice. There just doesn't seem to be to many choices out there that have the same quality/look.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Beans
    61

    Re: My experience with System76

    It's been my experience that small companies in fields dominated by larger ones (not just computers) often have trouble when a new product is introduced. I plan to wait until the laptop line has filled out a bit before I send in my order.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Philly
    Beans
    65
    Distro
    Ubuntu

    Re: My experience with System76

    Ordered a Lemu4 the same day the OP did and also had to wait a while. And that was the only hitch I had. I've been using the laptop reliably for two weeks as my primary work machine and it's been terrific.

    Another plus is that I pestered System 76 with questions via the chat/support interface on their Web site and always received prompt and thorough responses from staff. It's definitely a level of service I wouldn't expect from a bigger company like Dell, but I've never had to deal with Dell, so I don't know.

    That does stink about the bum power adapter though. That would ruffle my feathers a bit, too.

    The only regret I have is that I'm not crazy about the keyboard. I'd buy a chicklet replacement in a heartbeat (hint hint).

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Beans
    85
    Distro
    Xubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: My experience with System76

    Quote Originally Posted by pete04 View Post
    Ordered a Lemu4 the same day the OP did and also had to wait a while. And that was the only hitch I had. I've been using the laptop reliably for two weeks as my primary work machine and it's been terrific.
    Thanks pete04, I do suspect my experience is not the norm. The odd hardware failure cannot be avoided. What I am disappointed with is the approach System76 support took: the quality of support is what I'd have expected from a big box vendor (i.e., not very good), and the time it has taken to get a replacement is appalling.
    Last edited by brdmn; May 8th, 2012 at 09:13 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Beans
    8

    Re: My experience with System76

    I also have had a very negative experience with System76.

    I work at a place with 3 System76 machines. Two of them had to be sent back, and 1 works OK. Of the ones sent back, one was a laptop, the other a desktop. The laptop had motherboard issues, the desktop had a similar problem that caused the machine to constantly hang.

    The two desktops were ordered together and took approximately 1 *month* to receive.

    The desktop that was sent back took approximately 4 weeks to fix and had to be shipped to them... in a business environment. Thank goodness we have extra machines.

    I want to support them, but I can't. I am trying to fight with finance to get a new machine, something not System76.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Beans
    5

    Re: My experience with System76

    My experience was worse, in mid to late 2011. Wireless card did not work. I sent them email after email asking for a new wireless card - somehow it got buried in their system. If I'd called or something, I would have probably gotten a better response. I had another laptop so I just lazily used that.

    A few months later they responded and sent it to me.

    I actually don't blame them for having a few days of of delay, or not sending it overnight. I figure with a small outfit like this they're probably pinching pennies to get by and can't afford to hire really good or surplus labor.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Waco, Texas
    Beans
    348
    Distro
    Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx

    Re: My experience with System76

    Wow, pretty negative thread, so hopefully someone from System76 will chime in. Just to post my experience I ordered my PanP5 laptop from them about 3 years ago after watching this form for a year or two, and overall the experience was great. The battery was defective and wouldn't keep a charge for very long, but they gave great support and replaced it quickly from what I remember. Also the webcam quit working a year after I bought it just days before the warranty ran out, and even though they offered to fix it under warranty I didn't bother with it since I honestly didn't use the camera much plus I didn't want to be without my laptop for however long it'd take to send it back. I've since just bought a USB webcam which is more convenient anyway.

    But this laptop has been my primary system for 3 years now being lugged from home to work every day plus traveled many a mile on flights and long car trips. It's a great laptop, and honestly if it wasn't capped at 4 Gigs of ram I'm sure I'd get more life out of it ... but 4 Gigs isn't enough to do what I need now'days.

    So I agree that everyone's mileage will vary with any small company, but I'll continue to support small shops like System76 whenever possible.
    Last edited by samalex; November 2nd, 2012 at 05:08 PM.
    Linux User since 1996, #242069
    System 76 PanP5 - 64bit Xubuntu 12.04

  9. #9

    Re: My experience with System76

    I just wanted to chime in and try to balance this thread. Stuff happens sometimes, and that's unfortunate. I would caution anyone who is on the fence about purchasing a computer through System76 to regard the OP's experience as an unfortunate anomaly.

    In my own experience with System76, I have found them to be friendly, responsive and helpful on the very few occasions I've needed them.

    My Pangolin Performance (panp7) has been rock-solid for over 2 years now. I have had ZERO issues with it (no hardware issues anyway).

    Having dealt with fixing computers for a living before, I know that you're going to run into problems with any brand of computer. Dell, Gateway and HPs were some of the WORST computers I've ever dealt with in terms of their build quality and support. I don't think anyone will say that about System76's computers as a whole.

    I have no particular motivation to post this other than the fact that I have been satisfied with my panp7 even more so than I'd hoped.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Vermont
    Beans
    868
    Distro
    Ubuntu

    Re: My experience with System76

    Quote Originally Posted by IAmWhatWasDavidBowman View Post
    I just wanted to chime in and try to balance this thread. Stuff happens sometimes, and that's unfortunate. I would caution anyone who is on the fence about purchasing a computer through System76 to regard the OP's experience as an unfortunate anomaly.

    In my own experience with System76, I have found them to be friendly, responsive and helpful on the very few occasions I've needed them.

    My Pangolin Performance (panp7) has been rock-solid for over 2 years now. I have had ZERO issues with it (no hardware issues anyway).

    Having dealt with fixing computers for a living before, I know that you're going to run into problems with any brand of computer. Dell, Gateway and HPs were some of the WORST computers I've ever dealt with in terms of their build quality and support. I don't think anyone will say that about System76's computers as a whole.

    I have no particular motivation to post this other than the fact that I have been satisfied with my panp7 even more so than I'd hoped.
    Same here, my system76 experience has been excellent. It was built and shipped promptly, received with no problems, support was quick and helpful.

    Honestly the OP seems a bit exaggerated, let me sum it up:

    tl;dr slight delay in shipping, and the only problem was a bad adapter which they replaced. pretty annoying sure, but hardly zomg worst experience ever material.

    Of course they asked him to check the outlets and that things were plugged in tightly, any tech support would have asked that... I'm sure OP checked all these things, but as someone that works in tech support I can tell you from experience that you cannot always trust customers to check these things.
    Last edited by screaminj3sus; November 8th, 2012 at 08:59 PM.
    Desktop: Windows 8 x64 | Intel Core i5-2500 | 16 GB DDR3 1333 | ATI 6950 2gb | 64gb Vertex 2/320gb/750gb/1tb hdd
    Laptop: System76 Lemur Ultra | Xubuntu 13.04 x64 | 2.5Ghz Intel Core i5-3210m | 8GB DDR31600 | Intel HD4000 | 500GB 7200rpm hybrid hdd

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •