A computer engineer going by the alias Linuxiac38 posted an interesting response to an article about faulty capacitors in PCs, saying that bad capacitors have adversely affected the nonprofit for which he works, Gift From God Computer Foundation. The article was dated 2005, but his comments were posted in the middle of 2008. He wrote, "A major issue here is that millions of used PCs are donated to non-profit organizations ... for free recycling with Linux [for] students from pre-K through college. ... I am looking at about 1,000 unused computer donations this year ... due to the failure of capacitors, and the ruin of motherboards, processors, memory, and power supplies."
Manufacturers won't fix the problem, the commenter wrote. "Visits to the technical support sites and phone calls placed to their support numbers are always answered with the comment that can best be summed up as, 'Screw off, you have no warranty!'
"As a computer engineer, I find this to be an unethical situation, which does affect the retail sales of those products, because word of mouth is the pre-eminent form of advertising. '[Company X] sucks' can affect both the bottom line and the stock value of major publicly traded corporations like Intel, Dell, Apple, MSI, ASUS, and others," Linuxiac38 wrote.
Has your organization been affected by this type of problem? Should computer manufacturers offer indefinite free support for pre-existing hardware problems? Please weigh in.