IBM is hard-up for My Dead Hard Drive

I have an IBM T-42p laptop.  I’ve had it a couple years.  It’s been ok, but the hard drive(s) have failed several times.

The last time I returned a dead drive was about four months ago.  I never received a “pre-paid return shipping label” as I was promised.  I called, and after 20 minutes being transferred and placed on hold, I hung up.  And I promptly forgot about the dead 60Gb hard drive that caused me so much wasted time and energy (and money).

A couple of months ago I received the first of MANY threat letters from IBM demanding almost $800 for a defective product they initially sold me, that failed multiple times, and cost me a lot of time, frustration, and money.

About two weeks ago I got my first call from them obviously from an off-shored call center.  After 3 minutes I hung up – we were literally not speaking the same language.

But tonight I realized how to get IBM their drive back, at no expense to me.

I will call tech support and report my laptop will not boot (it is under warranty)

I will spend 15 minutes convincing them that there is nothing they can ask me to do that I haven’t tried.  Finally I’ll start telling them that “I can’t even examine the boot sector data…”  and just trail off.  That always gets them – they don’t know what I am talking about and finally just tell me they will send me a shipping container overnight, explain how to pack my laptop, etc.

While waiting for the shipping container (pre-paid) I will print the following note, and include it in the box:

Dear IBM,

Thank you for taking the trouble to remind me that I have not returned to you the defective merchandise you sold me.

In my zest to get my laptop (which you built, and sold to me) functional again, I was somewhat excited to receive my THIRD “re-manufactured” drive from you.  I really couldn’t wait to reinstall Windows, all of my applications, and then my data.

Somehow either I misplaced (or you forgot to send) the return shipping label.  But I am sure it was my fault – after all, I am just a customer.

In any case, I tried repeatedly to get you to send me a shipping label and instead you sent me bills – for almost $800.  I checked eBay and I could not find a single functional hard drive that cost even half that.

Somehow I feel as if you are taking advantage of me.

In the laptop-box, please find the hard drive associated with ticket # XXXX-XXXXX.  Please remove any liens against my property and clear my account.

Sorry to have to go this route, but you really didn’t leave me any choice – after you lost my trust, you lost my respect.

PS: I hope my current hard drive lasts until my warranty expires because I am sure you’ll have some special little symbol there on my account – and I really would rather not have all of that drama!

In fact, I just looked – I have a box of 8 IBM Deathstar laptop drives that have failed over the years.  I think I’ll include them all with the returned laptop-box along with an invoice for each of them…. at $800 a piece.


  1. Ha! Good luck with that one Rob…