The SilverStone parts service is great – and terrible (#R5)
After the recent ingress of computer parts I had to sort, check and get rid of stuff before my apartment overflows. I donated quite a bit at the usual hardware forums, I sold a bit, and I trashed a bunch of older parts. One of the donated things was a SilverStone CFP52B 4-in-3 hotswap case (4x 3.5″ hard disks in a 3x 5.25″ form factor if your case can take such an unit)
Well, that was in use for quite some time. Wonky construction (we call it “lidschäftig”, which apparently is local slang straight from medieval vocabulary) with flexible plastic parts encapsulating the HDD, four rubber mounts each that get ripped apart upon insertion, and a total botch of the front “hotswap” fan assembly. The aftermarket hotswap bars for the HDDs also were mediocre, as the main trays would never fit exactly due to their shortcomings, hence hotswapping was jerky and irritating.
(stolen from pcdvd.com, sorry!)
Still, as I said, it was in use for a few years, it cost me 20.74€ in March 2013, and without the front, it worked quite well as a (cold-)swappable drive bay. I had two of these in service, one got dismantled for the 5.25″ conversion of two proper Chenbro hotswap cages. The other one was donated.
But I cannot find the damn screws that are needed to bypass the rubber mounts. I know they are somewhere, I did not throw them away. So after a lot of searching offline and online (for replacements), I contacted SilverStone support about them.
First: They didn’t understand which screws I wanted. Boy, there is only one type of screw that fits my description and that is super-custom. The only other type is a friggen standard UNC 6-32 screw (in different quantity, length, head, you name it) that everybody has tons of.
Okay, so after a few mails and also a two weeks, they announced that there ARE spare parts available. Great! SilverStone offers a long-term replacement part service!
But…response time and one incorrect quotation aside, plus the need for my address and phone number (WHAT?) before telling me all this: What have they been smoking?
20.74€ – cost of a new unit in 2013 (they are no longer in production as far as I’m aware of)
16.00€ – cost of replacement screws in 2018
+ 4.00€ – shipping
+ VAT (19%)
= 23.80€ for a set of 16 screws, UNC 6-32, 8mm with partial threading.
Fortunately the guy that wanted the case has some other options. If not, that would have gone straight to the bin.
I mean, I didn’t expect it to be free, although I had that experience before and especially fan/cooler manufacturers (SilverStone sells that stuff, too!) are often very willing to support customers years after purchase. They make new mounts for new platforms and some of them even ship them to customers for free (Noctua is probably the No. 1 in doing so). DIY Storage, well, different story. But I had hoped for something like “cool that you’re still using our stuff, yes we have replacement parts attracting dust for five solid years now – let’s do a symbolic 5€ price tag plus shipping and we’re good”. Well, unfortunately not happening at SilverStone.
One more of my beloved side notes: The PDF quotation is interesting on its own. PDF title is as follows:
So the poor guy that sent me this is not only known as “USER13”, which sounds like an informal working environment, but he also created this from a FRX file. Which is a Visual Basic forms file. That sucker probably has to use Excel macros to make these quotations. Wow.