ABI are they legal???

L.Washington lwashing at sunflower.bio.indiana.edu
Mon Oct 11 14:37:35 EST 1993

In article <leach-081093150939 at med-pharm5.bu.edu>, leach at mbcrr.harvard.edu
(Martin Leach) wrote:
> Dear Netters,
> A warning to you all.
> We have an ABI 392 DNA synthesizer and it was working fine.
> Several years ago when our warranty expired we decided to start using
> reagents from Cruachem as we purchased these through Fisher for a quarter
> of ABI's extortionate prices.
> Our machine has just gone down, a valve blew.
> ABI say they will not give us a service contract until we use their
> reagents exclusively.   Is this legal????  In their warranty they say it
> becomes void if you do not use their reagents exclusively, I believe this
> is restriction of trade.   Is this legal????
> The money we have saved by not having an ABI service contract, and by using
> Cruachem reagents (which in fact give a higher yield) will easily pay for
> the cost of the repair. Furthermore, they will not give a service contract
> unless they know the machine is 100% OK. This seems common sense, but then
> why would you need a bloody service contract then!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
> A very angry scientist
> Martin Leach
> P.S. If anyone from ABI plays BOLO I want to meet you on the battlefield
> and flame you all.!!!!!!
> P.P.S. Anyone know of any other companies that service their machines as
> they are a bloody rip-off.

Whether or not it is LEGAL for ABI to write such a contract, it is
symptomatic of their way of doing business.  I've been an ABI customer
since 1984 (with
their old 380A synthesizer) and many of their actions seem to be guided by
greed.  Of all the biotech companies I've dealt with while running our core
facility (all of whom charge hugely for their goods and services) ABI is,
in my experience, by far the most frustrating.  When it came time to buy a
new DNA synthesizer we looked at every competing machine before ABI's in an
effort to get out from under not only their exclusive reagent policy, but
more importantly their generally poor service.  This continues to be my
approach in purchasing anything both they and another company make (eg. DNA
sequencers).  The other companies MAY be frustrating, but ABI has PROVEN

To be balanced, they DO make a good DNA synthesizer.

As for buying a service contract for your machine, you might try talking to
someone at ABI (not just your local sales rep) about getting a contract
without the exclusive purchase stipulation.  You may find that these things
are negotiable.

Good luck.  Request Alliance. 

More information about the Methods mailing list