How do I handle a supplier that delivered a faulty product?

Miles Fidelman mfidelman at
Tue Nov 25 17:15:31 UTC 2014

Baldur Norddahl wrote:
> Hello,
> We are a small FTTH provider and our main business is selling 1000/1000
> internet. Our network is GPON based.
> We recently made the mistake of buying a large shipment of Zhone 2301
> modems (ONU). We did test this device before purchase, but unfortunately we
> failed to notice a severe fault with the product. Soon after putting it
> into production we got many complaints from customers that the modem would
> crash daily.
> Turns out that the device can not handle download streams at or near 1000
> Mbps. Especially if the download originates with a server that is 10G
> connected.
> GPON downstream is actually 2.4 Gbps. The modem has to deliver on an
> ordinary 1 Gbps ethernet port. This means the packets can arrive faster
> than the modem can hand it off on the ethernet side. And when that happens,
> it will simply crash.
> The vendor then told us to limit download speed to 750 Mbps with a small
> buffer of 50 KB. Any faster and the modem can crash amongst other issues.
> When I told them I do not think I can sell 1000/1000 Mbps internet if I
> limit the modems to 750 Mbps, as that would be false advertising, I was
> simply told that the 2301 is a low cost solution, so deal with it. They are
> not going to work more on fixing the issue.
> The website and the datasheet does not say anything that would warn you
> that this product can only handle 750 Mbps:
> So what do I do now? I am thinking Zhone needs to resolve this in a
> satisfactory way, which is to either return my money or switch the product
> to something, that actually delivers what was promised. We have some of
> their 24xx series and that works perfectly well. So we know it is just the
> 2301 that is bad. Unfortunately we are apparently to small a customer to
> them.
> As this is an USA supplier, will suing them help me any? Yes I know, don't
> ask for legal advice on a mailing list, and I am not - I just want to know
> some opinions if that is even worth considering. Or if I will just have to
> eat it and drive the whole shipment into the harbor.

If it doesn't deliver to spec, that certainly seems like a warranty 
claim, followed by a lawsuit (yes - talk to a lawyer).

Also, define "large shipment" and total dollars involved.  You might be 
able to take them to small claims court (much simpler process, but 
generally for $10,000 or under).

Miles Fidelman

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice.
In practice, there is.   .... Yogi Berra

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