I ordered an extra drive cage from Antec a while ago to supplement the Antec 1200 that I am using as a case for my FreeNAS file server. However, it did not come with any of the screws necessary for either mounting the hard drives into the cage, or for mounting the drive cage into the computer tower. They may be more marketed as replacement units, but as I do not need an optical drive in my file server1, I wanted to expand the 3.5″ capacity of the whole server and mount an additional cage+fan assembly2. So naturally (as many a customer has done previously), after browsing the forums, I file a support ticket to ask for spare screws as it appears they send them out very readily.

Unfortunately, that was over a month ago that I submitted that ticket. It took nearly three weeks for the screw to finally show up, and that included a follow up email to inquire after the expected shipping period had lapsed (10 business days). When they did show, they were only the hard drive mounting screws. So awesome! I can mount the drives, but now the cage can slide around pretty freely. I submitted another follow up email, and they got the cage-to-case mounting screws sent off. I finally received those Wednesday or Thursday of this last week, and they weren’t even the correct screws. *facepalm*

They sent me eight thumb screws that secure the side panels to the computer tower. Alas, they look almost identical to the cage-to-case thumb screws (same size thumb heads, thread length, but the tower screws are black, while the cage screws are polished/chrome), but the thread pitch is completely off (tower screws use a higher thread pitch). I had to follow them up with another email, and hopefully I’ll be receiving the proper ones this time.

I offered to send the tower thumb screws back (as eight is a lot of extras), but they said to just keep them as spares, and they’d send out the new ones ASAP.

I’m not dissing the fact that they’re doing this completely out of their own pocket, but it is a mild nuisance to have to go through this much rigamarole to obtain the pieces I need. It won’t deter me from purchasing from Antec in the future at all3, but it will make me hesitant to contact customer support unless I really need to. Thankfully, all the products from them that I’m using at present are in the file server, so it should be running for an indeterminate period of time (I hope)!

1Everything is flash-upgradeable in the FreeNAS server at the moment. If I really need to get an optical drive to reinstall anything on the unit from hard media, I can just acquire one for relatively cheap. I’m looking at acquiring a Mac Mini w/Snow Leopard Server sometime this fall to server as a static HTPC for the TV (instead of using the aging MacBook Pro whenever I bring it home), so I will likely procure an external optical at the same time I purchase the new Mac (funds permitting; hoping for refurbs on sale).
2Also, because I’m a little OCD about presentation on stuff. The tower just doesn’t look quite right without confluent blue LED lighting along the entire front face; it’s an all or nothing deal folks! Frankly, I’d go nothing (I mean c’mon, it’s just a file server, to hide out of sight when possible) if it wasn’t pricier to buy four non-LED cages than one LED cage!
3I really do like their products. The Antec 1200, albeit a gaming case, is as quiet (if not quieter) as the Mac Pro (and that’s pretty fucking quiet)! The oversized Antec 850W power supply in it helps contribute to that quietness, as the larger footprint allows for larger components that are easier to dissipate the heat over. All-in-all, they were a minor premium to purchase, but well worth it so far!