So I go into the bathroom to start the water for the boys' bath, and YS comes barrelling, hopping, thumping, skipping, jumping into the bathroom like a herd of elephants and pronounces to the world, "I'M going to take my TEMPERATURE!" and he proceeds to stand on our digital bathroom scale and watch the digital numbers start to blink up on the screen. His temperature... er... I mean, he weighed in at 39.8 pounds.
ES Quote of the Day
So the boys are now IN the bathtub, and I'm washing between ES's toes. He normally giggles and squirms ferociously when I do this. After I finished cleaning his toes tonight, he said, "Daddy?" Yes, son. "I know one monster that isn't mythical." (Yes, he used the word mythical.) Oh yeah, what monster is that? "The TICKLE monster!" Sorry, maybe it's not that funny or maybe you just had to be there. I was just blown away by his use of the word "mythical."
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Two-Thumbs Up for D-Link Customer Service!
First, a disclaimer: Keep in mind that the comments I will share with you here are based on a sample size of TWO, so I don't know how scalable my opinion is to the corporations at large. That being said... There are two companies that stick out in my mind as having earned my undying loyalty due to their phenomenal customer service.
The first was 3Com. We set up our first home LAN back in 1999 in Monterey so LW and I could play video games together and access the internet at the same time on our two computers instead of taking turns on the phone line. My first LAN hub was a 3Com OfficeConnect that had a built in 56.6k modem, so it dialed out on our phone line and connected to the internet and acted as the proxy server for our two computers on the home LAN (think stone-age version of a cable modem router).
It worked like a champ and our home network rocked with some epic Civ II battles. One day I tried to upgrade the firmware in the router, and it died. No worky. Non-responsive. Kaput. I called the 3Com toll free tech support number, I got to talk to a real live human being on the phone, and he immediately shipped me a replacement router via next-day air. When the delivery guy showed up at the door, all I had to do was open the box, take out the new router, put the broken router back in the box, slap the RMA address label on it, and hand it back to the delivery guy to take it away. Poof! Our LAN was back up and operational in a day, and it didn't cost me a dime.
Later, on my initial attempt to join the world of wireless LAN people, I tried to use a Linksys wireless router. I hated it. No matter how hard I tried, I could NOT get it to work, and tech support was non existent and/or not helpful.
So based on my previous high-esteem for 3Com, I did some online shopping and found that 3Com had a wireless router on the market, so I bought it. I have never been disappointed with it. The 3Com wireless router worked right away with no set-up issues or problems over the past 3 years.
Okay, I'm stepping down off of my 3Com soap box now and stepping up onto the next soap box.
The second company to earn this high praise from me is D-Link.
Sometime during our last shore duty, I replaced my Intel Print Server with a D-Link DP-300U Print Server. It's been a few years, and I'm sure that the D-Link is probably no longer under warranty. While the setup of the D-Link was by no means intuitive or "plug and play," it came with a VERY HELPFUL quick setup reference sheet that was very easy to understand and follow step by step, and it worked like a champ. The quick setup sheet is available for download from their support website, so each time I've bought a new computer and needed to map my network printer to the new computer, I've been able to quickly relocate the setup guide on the D-Link website and follow the instructions.
I decided to upgrade our cable modem router. This is not meant to put down 3Com in any way, that 3Com router was awesome and served us well. I decided to go with a Zyxel router this time that had really good user reviews on the internet, was reasonably priced, and was recommended for use with the X-Box for playing video games on X-Box Live.
The problem arose that I could no longer print after installing the new Zyxel router. The default IP address that the D-Link print server liked to use was not in the IP address range that the Zyxel router assigns to computers on the network. I emailed D-Link customer service to ask for help. I quickly received a reply email informing me it would be easier to help me fix it over the phone, and to please call their tech support available 24/7. I called D-Link tech support tonight, and with a few menu options and button pushes, I got to a live human being. He quickly understood my problem and walked me through step by step to fix the problem. He never asked me when I purchased it or if it was under warranty or anything like that, he was very professional just helped me solve the problem and got me back in business.
So there you have it. Two anecdotal stories on why I hold 3Com and D-Link in such high esteem.
What about the other end of the spectrum you ask? Hmmm... The ONE company that I will forever hold a grudge against and NEVER EVER purchase something they make is BenQ. Avoid BenQ like the plague! It's a rather long story spanning nine months of multiple RMAs and complaints to the Better Business Bureau, so I'll have to save that one for another post.