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Disclaimer: The entries you find in these pages are based on my individual opinions and thoughts. Some of the entries may be just plain wrong, and others harmful. Should you choose to act on, or try, anything you find on this site, you assume any and all risks associated with your actions. So there.


Beware Expiring Product Links

October 5, 2007

So I needed to recommend a replacement hard drive for a client's laptop. It needed to be a 2.5" ATA hard drive (not SATA). I did the research, and found a great deal on a 160Gb ATA hard drive. I sent the client the link to the product info page where he could just click "buy." I double-checked the link before I emailed it, as I often do, by copying and pasting it into another browser (not another window, but another browser altogether, in this case Firefox).

The client followed up on my email about 3 days later. He duly bought the drive, and called me when it arrived. When I opened the box and took out the drive, the drive was an SATA model!?! It was otherwise identical to what I had spec'd, but it was SATA and not ATA. Initially I thought they had just shipped the wrong thing, so I checked my original email to follow the same link. The link took me to the same drive he received-- I immediately thought I must have made a mistake. But I knew I had checked and double checked on this one.

I decided to investigate further. I looked for the same drive on the website by following a search on the site (rather than following my own link). Sure enough, I found the same drive-- but with a different link URL. I compared the two URLs to find that they were both using the manufacturer part number for the drive. The only difference between the two part numbers was that the SATA version had a "C" at the beginning.

The upshot is that the seller had run out of the desired model, and when their website responded to the link with the part number in it, it found a match in the newer model drive. Granted it was a partial match, but a match none-the-less. I plan to contact the webmaster to explain the error. But I don't expect to get very far.