Typically, when it comes to consumer level items, very few companies stand firmly behind their products. Sure you can buy something and return to Amazon or Newegg but how about some real support when something goes wrong or when you experience some anomalies that you need help with. You have companies like Apple who go out of their way to support you, but honestly, with all the products we buy, how many companies do you know of that go the extra mile to make sure you are taken care of? If you answered like me the list is probably pretty short.
I recently had the opportunity to come across a couple of these companies and the first one I want to discuss is QNAP. Going back to August of this year, I had accidently upgraded the firmware to the beta version of 4.2 and found that the System Status module no longer worked. I reported the issue and they actually worked with me to replicate the problem even though it was a beta. They verified an issue with the code and when the final version came out, the problem had been resolved. Unfortunately, the released version fixed that issue but caused the storage manager to hang and not display correctly. After a couple of messages back and forth, they did two remote sessions to help identify the issue. As they were not able to resolve it, they elevated it and the next day the software engineers at the factory in Taiwan remoted in to review what was happening. They ran some diagnostics and the next day I received a note from then stating that saw a problem and would have a fix shortly. They stated they were updating the firmware to address this issue and others, and it would be available very soon. 10 days later a new firmware was released and the problem was corrected as promised.
The Next Chapter
Interestingly enough, my saga did not end there. Though the new firmware solved the Storage Manager issue, it re-instated the issue of the System Status locking up that originally started this. I was about ready to give up on this but decide to contact them again. I again worked with them by phone, message board, and a couple of remote sessions to gain some insight on the issue. A couple of days later I got a message from them asking what type of memory I was using. They saw that I had changed the memory in this unit and had upgraded it. This question got me thinking about the possibility of a bad stick of memory or the fact I was using two DIMMS. The next day I got a follow up message from them stating that they had replicated the issue I was experiencing and it was related to the Crucial memory I had installed. They stated that they had just addressed 6 other cases with exactly the same memory and believed the memory I was using was not compatible. After hearing that I immediately ordered a new 8 gig stick of memory, but this time I used Kingston memory. After it was installed, it fixed the problem I was having and everything worked correctly. I even found the unit to be more responsive and snappier then it was before.
Summary and Conclusion
It occurred to me when this was over that all the issues I probably had from the beginning when I updated my firmware could have been related to the memory I installed in the beginning. The various firmware updates could have changed timings and other things that would only show up under certain conditions, but I have a feeling the memory was the root cause. Things will sometimes go wrong but what impressed me the most was their perseverance in helping me resolve this issue and get to the root cause. They always replied, followed up, and never gave up until the issue was resolved. The fact I had so many issues is one thing, the fact it ended up being hardware I installed and not on the compatibility list is another, but the truly impressive thing is their support in resolving this. I dealt with Dhaval P., and Christopher N., on these two issues and they were prompt, followed up when they said they would, adhered to the schedules when setting up TeamViewer sessions, and where always professional. We often blame things that go wrong on companies but as it turns out, sometimes it is our fault or something that we do. What sets one company apart from another is how well they work to resolve these issues and support their customers regardless of who is at fault. In my book, QNAP has done an excellent job in helping me get to the root cause of these issues, and one things for sure, my next NAS will be another QNAP. Thanks guys for a great job!
Check back for the next company that set new standards for customer service.