Perkin Elmer-ABI PCR Machine Blues

C. Suter-Crazzolara un691cs at genius.embnet.dkfz-heidelberg.de
Fri Nov 8 10:22:35 EST 1996


Here is the follow up on our Perkin Elmer machines, that broke down. 

We decided to send in one of the two 9600 cyclers.

Repair costs were about DM1200:
3 hours, each DM250,
DM 400 for accepting the order
DM 100 for the karton (ours was not o.k. they stated, although nothing 
went wrong on the way in).

I complained to PE about the high price. They technical department informed
me that these machines must be checked ('just like a car') every 2-3 years.
They have to be adjusted, as they slowly become less accurate. 

Apparently, this can not be done in your own lab ! Therefore, this 
always costs so much (DM1200 is about $800). They were not willing 
to lower the price (even though we used large quantities of their Taq Pol 
up to now).

I think people should be aware of this. With our three machines, we 
would probably be paying this amount once every year. I guess we will
be forced to save money on other products (perhaps Taqpol ?) 
In retrospect,I think one should decide to buy cheaper machines, 
which one simple throws away if they malfunction. 
In the long run, this may proof to be a more economical strategy.

Dr. Clemens Suter-Crazzolara, PhD

(I am not affiliated with either PE or ABI)




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