Yggdrasil Hassles - A Company Incapable of Service?

Yggdrasil Hassles - A Company Incapable of Service?

Post by Jason DeCa » Thu, 04 Nov 1993 04:38:05



I am curious as to whether others have had negative experiences with
Yggdrasil Computing, or if I am alone in this respect.

I have found, over the last several weeks, that it is utterly impossible
to get any meaningful service from Yggdrasil.  I am disappointed in the
extreme, and quickly losing patience.

Here are my experiences:

1)  I called Yggdrasil's 800 number, which is listed on the LGX
information sheet as being appropriate for finding "more information".
I had a couple of relatively simple compatibility questions, on which I
needed up-to-date information.  I was told that the person on the
line could not answer, nor could they transfer me to someone who could,
but that I should leave my name and number and they would return my call.
I did so, and waited 24 hours.  I was not called.

2)  I called the 800 number again.  I was told, again, to leave my name
and number.  I did so, and waited until late evening.  I was never
called.

3)  I called the 800 number again.  This time, I was told something
different.  The person at the other end of the line said to call a
*900* number to find the information.  I find it unacceptable that I
should have to pay $3/minute to find out the answer to a simple
compatibility question which would determine whether or not I could
purchase a software distribution, so I did not call.

4)  I wrote a message to Yggdrasil via e-mail.  I got no response.  I
wrote another.  It has now been about a week and a half since I sent the
original message.  I have never received a response to either.

At this point, I found a way to circumvent the compatibility issue which
I was concerned about.  Against my better judgement, but because the
Yggdrasil product, from its description, sounded superior to the others
which were avaliable to me, I decided to order the LGX CD-ROM.

5)  I called Yggdrasil, and was told that they don't accept Mastercard
or Visa, the two most common credit cards in the United States.  I was
told that I could send a check through the mail.

6)  I sent a check last Monday.  I had assumed that, if they use one-day
shipping on phoned orders, as they advertise, that they would use
one-day shipping after they receive a mailed order, since they charge
the same shipping price.  Unless I made a mistake on the order form, I
must be mistaken in this regard, since I have not received a package,
yet.  I must excuse this; no place did they promise speedy shipping with
a mailed order.  However, what I find extremely annoying is that I
cannot even contact someone at Yggdrasil who can tell me if my order
was received, or whether it has been shipped.  I called them yesterday
at 10:00am California time, and was told that the "office" people
weren't in yet, but that they would call me back.  It's now been more
than 24 hours.

I may or may not ask Yggdrasil for a refund when and if the CD does
arrive.  Regardless, I am most unimpressed, and never intend to do
business with this company again.

Am I unique in these experiences?

---
Jason DeCaro                         / The opinions expressed above are

                                   / reflect the viewpoint of anyone else
"But it's got big teeth!"         / at Binghamton University.

 
 
 

Yggdrasil Hassles - A Company Incapable of Service?

Post by Terry The » Thu, 04 Nov 1993 05:38:05


Hi Jason,

   WOW!!  I got the info off the net about LGX, and it looked pretty
   good to me also. I am/was seriously considering ordering the CDROM
   also. But now, boy I really don't like the sound of the non-service
   you see to get from Yggdrasil. I think I will wait and see what the
   results are, or perhaps do it the old fashion way, with SLS :-)
   Thanks for the report. [Don't accept Visa or Master card, I guess
   that is so you can't withold payment to the card company and have
   them land on'em).

                                                CU
                                                twthero
                 _____________________________________________
                 | Terry W. Thero: e-mail:                    |

                 |____________________________________________|
                 |    The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday         |
                 |____________________________________________|

 
 
 

Yggdrasil Hassles - A Company Incapable of Service?

Post by Tony Duar » Thu, 04 Nov 1993 07:44:52


I have the Yggdrasil distribution, and I have no complaints.

Fundamentally, service costs money.  I'd rather pay  the lower
cost that Yggdrasil charges, even if I give up some service.

(I once ran a mail order business, so I know that
VISA charges vendors that use VISA, the "up-to-date" information
available on a phone line costs money to man, the research
to answer questions costs money, and infrastructure to support
"where is my order" questions costs money.  I prefer to spend
my money where Yggdrasil spends it: Cutting disks, making it
easy to install, and a minimal infrastructure for distribution.)

Just my .02 cents,
Tony

 
 
 

Yggdrasil Hassles - A Company Incapable of Service?

Post by Paul Rub » Thu, 04 Nov 1993 08:20:41




>Hi Jason,

>   WOW!!  I got the info off the net about LGX, and it looked pretty
>   good to me also. I am/was seriously considering ordering the CDROM
>   also. But now, boy I really don't like the sound of the non-service
>   you see to get from Yggdrasil. I think I will wait and see what the
>   results are, or perhaps do it the old fashion way, with SLS :-)
>   Thanks for the report. [Don't accept Visa or Master card, I guess
>   that is so you can't withold payment to the card company and have
>   them land on'em).

Hi.  I've known the founder of Yggdrasil for quite a long time (though
I'm not financially involved with the company) and I'm happily running
LGX on my 486 box, so I thought I better say something.

Yggdrasil has lately been going through the usual small-company struggles
of moving to new office space, getting new phone service and net
connections running, hiring a new support person (previously only
one person was doing all the technical work), and so forth.  Adam Richter
(the president) has posted several messages in the past couple of
weeks about email and phone calls getting lost during this process
and asking people to try again.  I believe these things are straightened
out now.

Regarding Visa and MC for phone orders, it is very hard to get the
bank merchant accounts required to do this and Yggdrasil is still
working on it.  (The Free Software Foundation recently finally managed
to do it, after almost 10 years of operation).  If you have ever tried
to run a small mail order business, you know what this is like.  YCI
does take American Express, I think.  (Amex accounts are easier to
get, partly because the card company commission is higher).  If you
want to order an LGX disk with Visa or MC, you can order through one
of the Yggdrasil resellers such as Austin Code Works or Walnut Creek
CD-ROM.

Obviously, the quality of Yggdrasil's service can be judged only by
its customers and no one else.  But as for Yggdrasil's motives and
intentions, I can tell you from personal knowledge that they want you
to be happy, they are not trying to rip you off, and they are trying
very hard to get things right.  I think the LGX software distribution
is very well done and the company deserves a bit more sympathy.
Hopefully, you will be happy with your disc when you receive it, and
things at Yggdrasil will operate more and more smoothly as time goes on.

 
 
 

Yggdrasil Hassles - A Company Incapable of Service?

Post by Hugh Fras » Thu, 04 Nov 1993 20:53:59


It almost sounds like we're talking about a different company. When I called
to inquire about the package, the gentleman on the other end took quite
a bit of time to answer all of my compatability questions (Cirrus chip set,
Mitsumi CD, etc.). I had several questions to ask, since I'd been using 386BSD
with misc patches to make it work and was impressed by the idea of using a
CD to install rather than 90 floppies. I paid by Visa, and the disk was
here within 3 days (here being in Canada). I've been impressed by the product,
the install went flawlessly, and it's been running solid for a week or to.. two
now.

On the other hand, I realize that this isn't production - quality Unix, and
expected to have to do some hacking on my hown. The manual that comes with
the disk is a guide to getting it installed, so you're assumed to know about
Unix already or have another soiurce of help. But I cannot complain about
the software. It's more than I expected. The gentleman I talked to also
asked me if I'd mind calling back to tell him what problems I found and what
I thought of the product in general having had some experience with 386BSD
under my belt.

All in all, I felt they've done a good job and seem interested in feedback.u

 
 
 

Yggdrasil Hassles - A Company Incapable of Service?

Post by David Parkins » Thu, 04 Nov 1993 20:37:58


I have a beta copy of the Yggdrasil distribution.

I got this via Randy Just of Just Computers (who posts here from
time-to-time).  I had problems with the boot disk not recognising
my version of the Mitsumi CD-ROM drive.  This was resolved after
several weeks (Yggdrasil delay).

The service I got from Randy Just was excellent - including an un-prompted
phone call from the States to the UK.

If you like the product I suggest you find a suitable distributor
rather than deal direct.  (If I remember right Just Computers is in California).

David

 
 
 

Yggdrasil Hassles - A Company Incapable of Service?

Post by Terry The » Fri, 05 Nov 1993 08:26:51


Hi comp.os.linux

   The thread is sounding good. Positive feedback on the Yggdrasil
   CDROM product. Perhaps I will do some more research, re-think my
   position, obtain some more RAM, a bigger/or another hard disk, and
   just try out the FALL 93 issue :-)

   Thanks for all the information re: Yggdrasil.

                                                Cordially
                                                CU
                                                twthero
                 _____________________________________________
                 | Terry W. Thero: e-mail:                    |

                 |____________________________________________|
                 |    The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday         |
                 |____________________________________________|

 
 
 

Yggdrasil Hassles - A Company Incapable of Service?

Post by e.. » Fri, 05 Nov 1993 04:14:53



>   WOW!!  I got the info off the net about LGX, and it looked pretty
>   good to me also. I am/was seriously considering ordering the CDROM
>   also. But now, boy I really don't like the sound of the non-service
>   you see to get from Yggdrasil. I think I will wait and see what the
>   results are, or perhaps do it the old fashion way, with SLS :-)
>   Thanks for the report. [Don't accept Visa or Master card, I guess
>   that is so you can't withold payment to the card company and have
>   them land on'em).

I have both the old Yggdrasil cd and the new Trans Ameritech CD.

My impression is that Yggdrasil introduces bugs, missing things and
the like on purpose so one has to buy their support. Their system was
functional but the upgrades didn't work and they admitted knowing
about it but not willing to send the patches out for free.

Trans Ameritech sent me their CD quite promptly.

It seems to be a bad CD, or may be my Sony CD is not so good any more.
I could get the stuff I wanted off the CD anyway so I learned
somesthing doing it manually. When I told them by email they shipped
the *NEXT* day a free replacement and allowed me to give the old CD
away if I find someone whose player can read it better. I am very
happy about that attitude.

I have not had to ask for technical support there so I can not
comment, but the fact that everything works out of the box speaks for
itself.

They have SLS, Slackware and 386BSD so one can compare. SLS and
SLackware are being discussed here a lot and there is also the
installation guide (LaTeX) somewhere floating around.

el
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Yggdrasil Hassles - A Company Incapable of Service?

Post by Phil Hugh » Sun, 07 Nov 1993 05:47:54


Having worked with Yggdrasil, MCC, SLS and Slackware, let me insert a few
words into the discussion.  Off the top, let me point out that SSC sells
the Yggdrasil distribution.  I think you will understand our decision.

My first work with Linux was with the non-packaged kind.  Just load some
stuff off tsx-11 and put a system together.  The first distribution I
worked with was SLS and it was very nice to be able to have a well defined
starting point.  This was also where I started helping others get a
running Linux system.  As Linux grew, so did SLS.  It became the "kitchen
sink" distribution.  It also suffered growing pains.  Bugs didn't get
fixed, new distributions brought new problems, etc.  But, SLS was still an
easier starting point than building your own package.

When I was researching for a talk I was to give on Linux, I found out
about MCC.  About the same time Slackware appeared.  I tried them both.
What I found was that these distributions were quite different from each
other.  MCC offered a very stable, well documented Linux system.  Minimal
in terms of included software but a very safe choice -- even for someone
not familiar with Unix.  Slackware, on the other end, offered itself as a
"better SLS".  After trying it I found this to be true.  The things I
found to be better were a more thorough checkout of the package before
announcement and a more responsive provider.  I now recommend these two
distributions to people (and have them available locally for anonymous
uucp access).

When SSC was putting together our new catalog I suggested to my boss that
we both mention Linux and possibly offer a Linux distribution for sale.
We have a fairly large mailing list of UNIX users and I felt it would be
of interest to see what sort of response we received plus it could help
introduce Linux to people that are not on Usenet.  After research we
picked Yggdrasil because they offer a current CD-ROM in a reasonable
package for a reasonable price.  They were also reasonably responsive
to our calls and we felt we could work with them.  Finally, they offer
Linux technical support -- both through their own 900 number and by
listing consultants in their manual.

Their system does work on lots of hardware.  It isn't perfect but, getting
680MB of code for under $50 is a good buy.  We explain in our catalog
where to get Linux for free but personally I would rather buy the CD-ROM
than have to download all that code.

All these things said, let me mention that I worked for Computer Sciences
Corporation on their development of the CSTS timesharing system.  Today,
CSTS looks like about the same amount of system as a a system such as
Linux.  We had 120 people on the project including 20 people in
a testing group, 3 in integration and glorified clerical people doing all
the paperwork to keep the project together.  Expecting a one-person
company to be able to build a Linux distribution and test everything just
isn't reasonable.  That is why Linux is and needs to remain a cooperative
effort.  If you discover a bug you can complain.  But you should also try
to help the packagers and thus all of us but helping them to make sure
that bug is fixed in the next release.
--
Phil Hughes, SSC, Inc. P.O. Box 55549, Seattle, WA 98155  (206)FOR-UNIX

Quote:>>> Publishers of pocket references for UNIX, C, VI, Emacs, Ksh, MS-DOS, ... <<<


 
 
 

Yggdrasil Hassles - A Company Incapable of Service?

Post by Mark Buckaw » Mon, 08 Nov 1993 08:48:22


:  
: Hi comp.os.linux

:    The thread is sounding good. Positive feedback on the Yggdrasil
:    CDROM product. Perhaps I will do some more research, re-think my
:    position, obtain some more RAM, a bigger/or another hard disk, and
:    just try out the FALL 93 issue :-)

If it means anything, the Yggdrasil boot disk got me out of a jam. I
decided to install the new Lilo on my HD, and in the process made a big mistake and
set the root disk to /dev/fd0 and from then on could not boot.  Booting from
the Yggdrasil boot disk, selecting the correct boot image for my HD, got me
up and running.

In my case, I bought the disk for all the up to date source code on it.
It's a good product.

Mark
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