Friday, October 14, 2011

Proliferation of racks of mass destruction

At the moment, there are 5 items on my desk that should rather be placed in a rack cabinet. These include an Itanium 2 server, a couple of UltraSPARC workstations, a monitor and a pair of Sun 5 and 6 keyboards. I therefore started to actively search for a fitting rack. I figured out that I need at least a 32U, 600mm-x-900mm cabinet with a couple of shelves.

After some searching I found a Czech company which manufactures these cabinets. I noticed there were no prices on their web, only a decent PDF catalog and a configurator form for inquiries. After having filled in the form, I was expecting to receive a quotation.

To my surprise, this was not going to be the case. So far, I have received the total of 5 emails from them - none containing the desired piece of information. The conversation went like this:
  • Me: Hi, I'm interested in the rack cabinet model RMA-32-A69-BAX-A1.
  • First Triton sales: Please let us know what is the country of residence of the company which is making the inquiry.
(The inquiry form only asked for name and e-mail address.)
  • Me: I live in Beroun, the same country as you are in and I need the rack cabinet for personal purposes.  What is the price?
  • First Triton sales: We don't have the black one in the stock, but can sell you the grey one which we have. If you are not a company, please contact our distributor using the following telephone number.
I did not feel like using a phone. I don't remember myself using a phone for the
sake of buying something computer-related for ages. Since they did not provide the URL of their distributor, I had to find it myself. It was not difficult at all, but to my further surprise, there were no prices on their web either.

  • Me: The color does not really matter to me. Can you just tell me the price?
  • First Triton sales: The black unit and the grey unit both have the same price. As an end customer, you need to contact the distributor to buy them.
  • Me: I found the distributor's web, but they don't list the prices either. At the moment, I just need the price. Is the price secret?
  • Second Triton sales: The price is not a secret, but it is a common practice for both us and the distributor not to list the prices on the web. I am sure they will tell you what the price is if you call them or write them an e-mail with your phone number.
  • Me: I probably underestimated the complexity of my inquiry as I was expecting a simple answer just as if I was looking for a price of e.g. a laptop. FYI, some of your competition are not that secretive about their rack cabinets.
  • Second Triton sales: Well, you see it. If you included your phone number in your e-mail signature as is appropriate, I would have already told you what was the price. I am not sure how I can further help you. You really should contact the distributor.
WTF? Turns out that I have been using my e-mail inappropriately for years! I am not sure how this is going to end. I suspect that Triton might be in a need for a brand new sales team, because the sales lady and the gentleman with whom I have spoken won't recognize a customer even if the custmer wore a label "I am a customer."

Next Generation Jermar, model B

On October 2, 2011, I became a multi-father as my second son, Max, was born on that day shortly after 8am.

My first son, Vita, is a little bit jealous now because of his younger brother, but my and my wife's confidence that in the long term he will appreciate the new family member is high.