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Thread: Is System76's support deteriorating?

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  1. #1
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    Is System76's support deteriorating?

    I've been using System76 machines for work and for home for several years, and I've recommended them to many friends. I've even fought against the corporate bureaucracy to allow my group to purchase workstations from System76 instead of the standard corporate approved vendor. I've found their pre-sales support to be excellent, but I've never really needed their regular technical support.

    Unfortunately, my father, at my recommendation, bought a System76 desktop, and had what should have been a minor repair issue with the front panel switch turned into a highly frustrating experience. After six weeks and no resolution, he has given up and is now looking at replacing his system. It has taken days to get a response to messages. He's shipped the machine back (only to get it back in much worse condition than he shipped it in), and only to be told there is no problem. (I've tried to help him with the machine, and it does have a hardware problem)

    Has anyone else had experiences like this lately? I've been sticking my neck out at work for System76, and I cannot afford to get stranded.

  2. #2
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    Re: Is System76's support deteriorating?

    Looks like you got the short end of the stick-it seems that each company will mess up with at least 1 customer.
    I would think that the damage to the computer would come from shipping-my old Dell laptop was jostled around in shipping, as shown when the hard drive was already failing on first boot.
    Whenever I opened a support ticket, the response was quick and within a few hours.
    Backups are amazing. 99% of data loss can be prevented by spending less than $100 on an external drive.
    If you have seen an error, there is a good chance someone else has, too. Google is your friend.

  3. #3
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    Re: Is System76's support deteriorating?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ubun2to View Post
    Looks like you got the short end of the stick-it seems that each company will mess up with at least 1 customer.
    I would think that the damage to the computer would come from shipping-my old Dell laptop was jostled around in shipping, as shown when the hard drive was already failing on first boot.
    Whenever I opened a support ticket, the response was quick and within a few hours.
    In this case, the computer came back with bent pins on connectors, and the connector not attached correctly. And the problem was not solved. Add to that the fact that they did not ship back the power cord (my father shipped the system back to them, and carefully took photos of the entire packing process, at System76's request), and it seems like the whole thing is just bad support.

  4. #4
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    Re: Is System76's support deteriorating?

    Quote Originally Posted by dallingham View Post
    In this case, the computer came back with bent pins on connectors, and the connector not attached correctly. And the problem was not solved. Add to that the fact that they did not ship back the power cord (my father shipped the system back to them, and carefully took photos of the entire packing process, at System76's request), and it seems like the whole thing is just bad support.
    Wow. The only thing I can think of is a disgruntled employee, but even that does not sound realistic.
    My guess with the power cord is that it got lost-those things can be easily lost. The good thing is that power cords are generic-one size fits all (except for laptops, but we are talking about desktops, not laptops).
    What model do you have?
    Backups are amazing. 99% of data loss can be prevented by spending less than $100 on an external drive.
    If you have seen an error, there is a good chance someone else has, too. Google is your friend.

  5. #5
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    Re: Is System76's support deteriorating?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ubun2to View Post
    Wow. The only thing I can think of is a disgruntled employee, but even that does not sound realistic.
    My guess with the power cord is that it got lost-those things can be easily lost. The good thing is that power cords are generic-one size fits all (except for laptops, but we are talking about desktops, not laptops).
    What model do you have?
    This isn't my machine - it is my father's. He has a Wildebeast. He got the two year warrenty, and about a month before he the warrenty would expire, the front panel switch stopped working properly. It takes him about 10-15 minutes to get it to power on every day now. If he takes the front panel off, the button actually responds better.

    He tried the online chat, calling them, email - he kept getting the same guy, who would go talk to the techical people. Usually took a day (sometimes more) between contact, and then with little help. He was eventually told to ship it back to them. He did, and after about two weeks or so, it got sent back (poorly packed and without the power cord), and was told nothing was wrong. Obviously, my father is furious over the whole situation.

    And I am beginning to believe that I need to rethink using System76 as a supplier. It is a shame, since I think the Wild Dog is a good machine (my entire group is using Wild Dog machines right now). But if this is the standard for support, I'm probably better off going back to our corporate supplier.

  6. #6
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    Jul 2011
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    Re: Is System76's support deteriorating?

    I've never had to send my laptop back for repairs, whenever I have had a question it's been answered over their website quickly and professionally.

    As much as I love System76 when a customer calls on numerous occasions and the issue isn't resolved after returning it for warranty service that is not cool. Replacing a switch on a desktop pc really isn't that big a deal if that was the problem.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Re: Is System76's support deteriorating?

    Fortunately for my father, I was able to find a work around for him. By changing some of the power settings in the bios, we've been able to work around the faulty switch. He can now get the system to reliably come on by using the switch on the power supply followed by hitting the reset button. Not a great solution, but a workable one. Next time I visit him, I might have to buy him a new case.

    I really want to be able to support a company that produces Linux computers. However, I also expect them to support me. This does not appear to be the case any more. I guess next time around I'll either have to purchase my own machines from ZaReason or just pay the Microsoft tax and get a Thinkpad. Fortunately, I've still had good interactions with Penguin Computing for servers at work. Maybe they can be my new option for workstations instead of System76.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    35

    Re: Is System76's support deteriorating?

    FWIW, I have a Cooler Master Case whereby the Power Switch stops working after a while. On three separate occasions I pulled the case off examine the connectors, found nothing visually amiss, put the case back on, and it worked. I can't explain it. It's almost like the contact gets dust in it or something which is jostled when I pop the case.
    If your situation was similiar to mine, it may explain why System 76 found no issue with your father's. But perhaps they can be presuaded to ship out a replacement case and let you swap it out.
    Hopefully, if the bent connectors were on the motherboard, you were able to straighten them out. You might be able to use a .9 mm machanical pencil without the lead to straighten out bent pins.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Xubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Is System76's support deteriorating?

    Quote Originally Posted by dallingham View Post
    I really want to be able to support a company that produces Linux computers. However, I also expect them to support me. This does not appear to be the case any more. I guess next time around I'll either have to purchase my own machines from ZaReason or just pay the Microsoft tax and get a Thinkpad. Fortunately, I've still had good interactions with Penguin Computing for servers at work. Maybe they can be my new option for workstations instead of System76.
    Has anyone from S76 reached out to you in response to your posts in this thread? Just curious, as it does seem S76 employees are on this forum and must have seen your posts.

  10. #10
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    Re: Is System76's support deteriorating?

    Quote Originally Posted by dallingham View Post
    Fortunately for my father, I was able to find a work around for him. By changing some of the power settings in the bios, we've been able to work around the faulty switch. He can now get the system to reliably come on by using the switch on the power supply followed by hitting the reset button. Not a great solution, but a workable one. Next time I visit him, I might have to buy him a new case.

    I really want to be able to support a company that produces Linux computers. However, I also expect them to support me. This does not appear to be the case any more. I guess next time around I'll either have to purchase my own machines from ZaReason or just pay the Microsoft tax and get a Thinkpad. Fortunately, I've still had good interactions with Penguin Computing for servers at work. Maybe they can be my new option for workstations instead of System76.
    I'm very sorry to hear about your experience! That's definitely not the standards we hold ourselves to, and I'm looking into exactly what happened with this case.

    Can you elaborate on what exactly the problem is? I'll need details about all of the problems you're seeing, and what you'd like to see to get this problem resolved.

    Also, feel free to open a new ticket on the website. I can try and ensure that you get a different tech to handle your problem.
    Ian Santopietro - System76 Technical Support.
    Open a Support Ticket!
    Ask a Sales Question!

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