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

Justin M. Streiner streiner at
Tue Nov 25 17:39:57 UTC 2014

On Tue, 25 Nov 2014, Miles Fidelman wrote:

> 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).

Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, and I don't play one on TV.

Don't be afraid to march this up the chain at Zhone, if you're dealing 
with a salescritter.  You might be able to get better responses from VPs 
or CxOs.  Keep the lawsuit option in your back pocket if you need it.

Many companies don't want the PR black eye that comes with a customer 
filing suit against them, so the threat of beating them with a stick can 
be just as effective actually carrying out that threat.  If you have a 
lawyer on retainer already, maybe have them on the phone with you when you 
speak to the CxO at Zhone.

If their product is advertised as providing a service that it can't/won't 
actually provide, whether it's positioned as a low-cost product or not is 
irrelevant.  If their data sheets make no mention of the limitations that 
have been found, that's more ammunition for the cannon.

Before anyone comes back with something like "So if I buy an entry level 
car, but I expect it to perform like a high-end sports car, does that mean 
I can sue the entry-level car maker for false advertising when it doesn't 
perform like a high-end sports car?"  No, it doesn't.  There are reasonable 
expectations.  Expecting an entry-level car to perform like a high-end 
sports car isn't reasonable.  Expecting a GPON modem to be able to forward 
wire-speed gigabit Ethernet in this day and age is perfectly reasonable.


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