Dear Lacie : products and design and feedback


read on dear heart >

1. having upgraded my laptop to intel core duo 15″ 2.33, all four of my lacie products 3 hard drives and a dvd writer, now no longer power down on shutdown as they use to with my alu powerbook G4 1.5 . Manually turning off these devices is a drag is there anyway round this ? I am genuinely considering disposing of my laptop because of this and switching to a mac pro. and selling all my lacie devices!

I realise this change is due to apple re-designing the laptops to carry a small current on the usb/firewire ports to solve another problem, so that devices like the ipod can still charge I presume when connected to the machines usb/firewire when it is powered off, A subtle improvement, but also one that appears to have caught all your drives out, in terms of powering down as it use to, since your drives use detection of no current on the cable as a signal to power down the drive, which will no longer be the case since the laptop will now alwasy have some current on the firewire/usb busses ?

I’ve also tried sleeping the machine instead of fully powering off, thinking that might send a signal to the drives to power down, but this turns out not to full power off the drives either ? since I have the energy saver preferences set to power my external hard drives down when necessary, does this mean although the drives are on do they move to a state that although the light is on the drives are not in a spin state thereby no wear is enduced on physical mechanism of the drive ? this is difficult to tell ? could you inform of the various states of the drive so i know when the drive is spinning its platters ? ie all the time ? or just when the drive is communicated with by the computer for data access ? they still hum a bit to me ear which to me implies a low speed rotational state ?

It was well thought out usability features like when shutting down the computer that the drives would auto power down as well, that made your drives my recommended purchase, this feature is now no longer usable by a lack of communication between yourselves and apple, in the design of the new powerbook.

2. I have also had to replace the power supply with these drives 3 times so far, the ones that fail are identical in design, perhaps you could source some better quality ones ? As since i have four of these devices its possible for me to come into judgement on the power supplys now. three of the power supplys failing within the year of there purchase implys a quality problem in my opinion with the little brick power supplys.

3. The most recent purchase a USB 2.0 Hard Drive came with what I consider to win the award for the most measly length on a USB 2.0 cable that I have seen come with any product, apart from printer manufacturers that dont include them ? surely it costs more to get a bespoke cable that is short than a standard length one ?

4. The new USB 2.0 lacie hard drive, I bought unlike all the others has its power down button on the back of the unit in comparison to the other drives, pursuit of aesthetic too far in this drive has led to an oversight in usability, all my lacie drives are behind my screen and various other stuff on my desk, reaching through to now turn off this drive, in the new Manual power down sequence of all four drives more a pain than the others.

5. It should not be essential on a website for me to give you my entire lifestory in order to communicate with you, or give you some feedback as concerns your products I have purchased, I am not going to power down all four products I own, studiously turn them upside down and write down the serial numbers on peices of paper and then enter them into your web page, just so I can ask you some questions ! about my product.

You have designed your website in this manner whether unconsciously or not, to minimise the amount of communication you get with customers. many companys seem to be putting hurdles between them and there and customer’s, communications wise nowadays, in order to slash support costs, most make it so difficult to communicate, a large percentage of the population give up and just go buy more shoddy product because its so cheap, I am not glad to see you are part of this community of businesses (the implication being : I did at one point think higher than that of your Brands ethics), and it just happens to be the questions I have regarding the products, relates to all of them regardless of serial number, and if it were feedback why should I have to give a serial number ? and whats the likeliness of someone wanting to communicate with you if they dont own a product of yours ?

If you find this honest and frank feedback from a four times owner of your product, difficult to take, then I suggest you wake up get out of your bubble and realise how little communication you probably have with your customers in the first place in order for you to find this shocking ? and end up in this sitaution. And how valuable is honest and straight forward communication about a product ? It’s the Kind of gold you cant purchase with large amounts of money, from marketing companies that claim to be able to user test products thoroughly.

Product Feedback :

If I as a user can be bothered to write two sides of A4 about your product, perhaps you should at least be able to read two sides of A4 about your product ? this length of communcation usually doesn’t fit within the character limit of most companies submission forms ? (another example if needed that most companies wish to project the idea that they love customer feedback, but most are subconsciously or not more interested in trying to avoid the cost of it, than really getting the sompetitive advantage of really embracing it) Perhaps this length should also make you realise that your customers care about the quality values of a product greatly, and that things like where a light is and where a button is on a product, and whether they are on the same surface etc, is a serious issue and one that a manufacturer needs to realise is a serious issue that needs debate and awareness of to get right ? Hope this helps you improve your product line to back above the threshhold, by which people get turned off by a brand.

And btw for any other reader out there this kind of attention to detail about a product, is the kind of detail most supposed experts in magazines fail to mention when reviewing said products. And in defense of Lacie, I will add there are many other manufacturers who I shall not name(so as not to increase their their brand in the imagination of others) who I wouldnt even consider buying from because there design and build quality is even worse than lacie’s, who has received this communication.

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