Author Topic: Keysight Scary Letter  (Read 31198 times)

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Offline jjoonathan

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #425 on: February 15, 2019, 03:33:35 am »
This is the explanation I heard when I contacted Vince Harrington by phone, and it's the reason why I kept badgering people to do that. It does an excellent job of assuaging my fears. The broad strokes sound entirely plausible and the details hold reason to be optimistic. I see two possibilities:

1. The statement is largely truthful about HPAK's motivation. In this case, coercive clawbacks (e.g. of repaired equipment for purchase price) are unlikely, because they would undermine the purpose of the whole exercise.

2. The statement understates HPAK's motivation somewhat (e.g. they have DoD equipment destruction obligations to fulfill). In this case, coercive clawbacks are still somewhat unlikely because they would undermine the cover narrative.

Either way, it suggests I have a decent chance of getting out of this with my repaired spectrum analyzer still on my desk or with a capability preserving replacement, and that makes me happy.
 
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Offline Keysight DanielBogdanoff

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #426 on: February 15, 2019, 06:57:40 am »
I'd like to reaffirm that at least 90% of this isn't just "spin." This is the situation.

We honestly don't care too much about the used equipment market, especially the vintage and legacy products. I personally am glad it exists, but from a corporate standpoint it doesn't affect our business. There's not much upside and a lot of downside for Keysight in trying to affect that market.

If you ended up with that dream piece of vintage gear you've been searching for, you may or may not want to respond. The idea of a "clawback" is almost zero for that type of gear. And, it's highly unlikely for all of this equipment overall. I'm advocating internally to work on gear replacement strategies instead of buyback strategies, but legal is a funny world.
 

Offline rsjsouza

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #427 on: February 15, 2019, 07:33:40 am »
Sorry Daniel, but I cannot believe you for 100%. Instead I simply have the feeling that Keysight wants the old HP gear off the market to sell their new stuff.

OMG, this site seriously needs a *forehead smack* emoti-smiley. Do you really think they're expecting hobbyists to pony up for their new equipment? Come on... Many companies might have a hard time affording it. I believe the explanation given by Daniel is plausible, AND reasonable. I'm guessing they would like to get the equipment back and destroyed for the exact reasons he stated. If some folks would rather keep the gear with the full realization that it might be damaged goods I'm guessing they will have you sign a letter releasing then from liability or some such thing. Just in case the equipment could have a defect that could cause a fire in your home! Or electrocute you or a child in your home! Now do you maybe see why they might want these items destroyed? Sheesh, take off the tinfoil hat!
I have to agree with that. The used market is usually the only way the basic hobbyist is able to tap into quality test gear from HPAK, Fluke, Keithley, Tek, LeCroy, Advantest, Anritsu... The list is immense.

I am 100% sure the companies would rather have hobbyists buying their used products instead of brand new ones from far east. At least the branding will be alive in their heads, especially if/when they go to the professional market.
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Online tggzzz

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #428 on: February 15, 2019, 08:13:24 am »
We know our equipment is valued on the secondhand market in large part because of our reputation for building precise, high-quality, and highly reliable equipment.  We take pride in this reputation.  For the many reasons listed, the equipment we chose to destroy was not intended for sale and has the potential to damage our hard-earned reputation.

Sorry Daniel, but I cannot believe you for 100%. Instead I simply have the feeling that Keysight wants the old HP gear off the market to sell their new stuff.

I can believe HPAK 100%; their reputation is unparalleled and worth a lot. Just as "no IT manager was fired for buying IBM", so "no electronic engineer was fired for buying HP(AK)".

Let me tell one of the many "Bill and Dave" anecdotes that was used to instill The HP Way in all employees...

The HP3000 computer was introduced to meet a deadline, and didn't meet its performance specifications. When Dave (Packard) got to hear about it, he sent the manager (Paul Ely) an effective short memo: "In future, please ensure that the equipment we ship meets its specification". That was regarded as a stinging rebuke.

Paul Ely demonstrated the HP Way by framing that memo and putting it on his office wall - and went on to have a successful career in HP.

Quote
How can we be sure that replying to the Email won't bring further troubles?

For the same reason you can be sure you won't die tomorrow. (I.e. you can't)
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
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Offline Mrt12

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #429 on: February 15, 2019, 08:50:41 am »
If you ended up with that dream piece of vintage gear you've been searching for, you may or may not want to respond. The idea of a "clawback" is almost zero for that type of gear. And, it's highly unlikely for all of this equipment overall. I'm advocating internally to work on gear replacement strategies instead of buyback strategies, but legal is a funny world.

In my situation: no I didn't end up with the absolute dream vintage equipment. Its just something that I know works well because it's HP, and because it is old I can afford it. Of course I would be interested in a replacement - obviously, since this box I have here has already caused me some troubles, therefore I would love to give it back IF and only IF I receive a replacement. But I think Keysight is not able to replace the item I bought, because this item is no longer manufactured, and it is totally clear that Keysight will not exchange a almost 30 yrs old box with a brand new piece of equipment - the only thing they can do is give me the money back, and this is basically useless - because in this case I have no gear at all, and it's unlikely that I will soon find a similar good deal for buying the same instrument a second time.

But what worries me even a bit more is that Outback just gave out the home addresses and eMail addresses of his customers. I am not amused about this fact. I replied to the Keysight eMail, and told them about GDPR. And I will not give any information to nobody as long as I don't know what is going to happen.
 

Online bd139

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #430 on: February 15, 2019, 09:04:38 am »
Just a point on reputation; it takes 20 years to get a good reputation and one poor decision or uttered word to burn it all to the ground. Always base your approach to a problem on the basis that tomorrow it will have burned and you won’t go wrong.

I know that sounds cynical but I’ve been contracting to businesses with extremely good reputations on paper for years and there are a lot of bad eggs and stupid decisions made even unknowingly by distributing a problem among a lot of people.
 

Online ataradov

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #431 on: February 15, 2019, 09:46:15 am »
So why did the original letters mention IP? Do lawyers just lie and threaten because they can?
Alex
 
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Offline jjoonathan

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #432 on: February 15, 2019, 10:31:51 am »
Lawyers know better than any of us what they can get away with. That's their superpower.
 

Online Stray Electron

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #433 on: February 15, 2019, 10:44:12 am »
So why did the original letters mention IP? Do lawyers just lie and threaten because they can?

  X2.   It would have been far easier if HP would have told the truth to start with.  Assuming that the story they're telling now is the truth.  Having lawyers send letters isn't cheap.  A short explanation in a trade magazine or on the internet with an offer to replace the equipment in question would have been sufficient and would have gained them a lot of respect.  This course of action didn't.

    I for one would like to know why HP thinks that  30+ year old possibly fire damaged equipment would harm their reputation any more than any other 30+ year old damaged or failed equipment.  If HP had sold the possibly fire damaged equipment themselves or if it had been sold as New then that's one thing but since this was Used equipment sold on Flea-Bay by a used equipment dealer then no one could reasonably expect the items to be 100% perfect.

    Explanation does not compute! It sounds more like Plan B to me.

  PS but this at least confirm that HP is involved in this so that's a plus.  Thanks Daniel.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2019, 10:49:31 am by Stray Electron »
 

Online ataradov

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #434 on: February 15, 2019, 10:46:30 am »
Explanation does not compute! It sounds more like Plan B to me.
My thought exactly.

Can any of the owners detect any sort of smoke/fire damage?
Alex
 

Online Stray Electron

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #435 on: February 15, 2019, 10:54:48 am »
  Nope,  and I've owned fire damaged equipment so I know what kind of damage it causes.  FYI,  I have an HP-67 that went through a house fire (in it's plastic case) and it survived.  HP builds GOOD stuff! That's why we like it. That's also why this letter is more than a little disturbing.
 

Offline Brumby

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #436 on: February 15, 2019, 11:07:15 am »
I'm glad we now have a clear picture of the situation - and I, for one, can completely understand the protective attitude of a reputation.  I recently acquired a HP5381A - a basic 80MHz frequency counter - which wasn't working and that reputation is the single greatest motivation for me to fix it (if I can get the parts).

I'm advocating internally to work on gear replacement strategies instead of buyback strategies, but legal is a funny world.
Replacement strategies are a lot more likely to support a positive PR response (which I'm sure you already know, Daniel) - even for someone like Mrt12 who seems to be making a lot of pessimistic assumptions.  There is a lot of passion for HPAK gear because of that very reputation they are trying to protect.

Please tell the legal department that, for the limited scope of equipment involved in this one-off situation, the cost factor would not represent any sort of trade-off benefit and replacement would produce, by far, the better PR outcome - and that any legal considerations be resolved in support of that.

If they are worried about setting a precedent, then I would simply take this situation, including the overall cost of rectification and use it in future contracts and/or disposal agreements to reinforce the potential impact for such a service if they do not perform.

Seems a lot of effort to get rid of some possibly substandard equipment in the used market, howver I suspect the bill for all this, whatever it comes to,  may end up with the company that were supposed to destroy the equipment.
I would agree.  After all, it was this company's error that gave rise to the situation.  I have no qualms about billing them $3k for a replacement spectrum analyser that they got $300 by selling the old one.
 

Offline Brumby

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #437 on: February 15, 2019, 11:15:03 am »
So why did the original letters mention IP? Do lawyers just lie and threaten because they can?

  X2.   It would have been far easier if HP would have told the truth to start with.  Assuming that the story they're telling now is the truth.  Having lawyers send letters isn't cheap.
I get the feeling the legal department stepped in with their "superior knowledge" in how to deal with such situations.  Either that or someone tried to come up with some plausible cover story that didn't give the situation away - because they were in a panic.

While it's not the sort of thing I would encourage in any way, I can write off such an episode as someone's less than elegant goof.
 

Offline jjoonathan

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #438 on: February 15, 2019, 11:27:20 am »
Quote
While it's not the sort of thing I would encourage in any way, I can write off such an episode as someone's less than elegant goof.
Ditto.

If you ended up with that dream piece of vintage gear you've been searching for, you may or may not want to respond. The idea of a "clawback" is almost zero for that type of gear. And, it's highly unlikely for all of this equipment overall. I'm advocating internally to work on gear replacement strategies instead of buyback strategies, but legal is a funny world.
you da real mvp

But I think Keysight is not able to replace the item I bought, because this item is no longer manufactured, and it is totally clear that Keysight will not exchange a almost 30 yrs old box with a brand new piece of equipment - the only thing they can do is give me the money back

Let's let them be the ones to say what they will or won't do. Remember, things look very different from their angle: equipment prices are lower (cost, not price) and dealing with illiquid+crazy ebay is much more expensive. On that note, it's important to focus on preservation of capability. Refunding the price I waited years to pay on a bucket of broken parts does not preserve my measurement capabilities. Fair Market Value as assessed by the last sale of a similar model does not preserve my capabilities. There's nothing to buy at those prices. Perhaps there will be, but there isn't right now, and if they want my equipment right now, they have to help me square that circle. My "counteroffer":

0. Let me keep my analyzer and call it good.

1. 26.5GHz and a USB port. This makes me so happy I don't sweat the small stuff. New, used, refurb, last gen -- it's all good.

2. Cost of a mostly identical replacement. None to be found on ebay.

3. Cost of the nearest functional superset on ebay. No, I didn't name a figure, because ebay is illiquid and crazy, and by the time they got back it would have changed.

I could easily see #3 being more expensive than #1 for Keysight even if you don't factor in goodwill.
 

Offline Brumby

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #439 on: February 15, 2019, 11:32:54 am »
In my situation: no I didn't end up with the absolute dream vintage equipment. Its just something that I know works well because it's HP, and because it is old I can afford it. Of course I would be interested in a replacement - obviously, since this box I have here has already caused me some troubles, therefore I would love to give it back IF and only IF I receive a replacement.
Completely understandable.  I think most of us would be the same.

Quote
But I think Keysight is not able to replace the item I bought, because this item is no longer manufactured, and it is totally clear that Keysight will not exchange a almost 30 yrs old box with a brand new piece of equipment - the only thing they can do is give me the money back,
What makes you say that?  Do you have any evidence, or it is only out of fear?  Remember, this is not a normal situation.  Keysight have the ability to swap gear and the cost of doing so is likely going to land in the lap of someone who breached a contract.  You are in a good position here.  I suggest you wait for an actual offer to be presented before you embark on any more doom and gloom.

Quote
and this is basically useless - because in this case I have no gear at all, and it's unlikely that I will soon find a similar good deal for buying the same instrument a second time.
We ALL understand that one!!

Quote
But what worries me even a bit more is that Outback just gave out the home addresses and eMail addresses of his customers. I am not amused about this fact.
Before getting too wound up over this, I'd check the facts.  ALL privacy statements I've read have provisions for sharing your information which always include law enforcement and may also include affiliates and partners.

Quote
I replied to the Keysight eMail, and told them about GDPR. And I will not give any information to nobody as long as I don't know what is going to happen.
Lawful basis for processing

Unless a data subject has provided informed consent to data processing for one or more purposes, personal data may not be processed unless there is at least one legal basis to do so. According to Article 6, the lawful purposes are:[8]

(a) If the data subject has given consent to the processing of his or her personal data;
(b) To fulfill contractual obligations with a data subject, or for tasks at the request of a data subject who is in the process of entering into a contract;
(c) To comply with a data controller's legal obligations;
(d) To protect the vital interests of a data subject or another individual;
(e) To perform a task in the public interest or in official authority;
(f) For the legitimate interests of a data controller or a third party, unless these interests are overridden by interests of the data subject or her or his rights according to the Charter of Fundamental Rights (especially in the case of children).
« Last Edit: February 15, 2019, 11:35:06 am by Brumby »
 
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Offline Keysight DanielBogdanoff

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #440 on: February 15, 2019, 05:47:05 pm »
More comments :)

You may or may not find smoke damage on the equipment. I suspect it was cleaned first? Also, part of the decision to scrap gear was also based on the presence of firefighting chemicals and/or water. It wasn't exclusively heat/smoke/flame damage.

I'm not sure of the GDPR implications for Outback nor am I a GDPR expert, but I believe this would probably qualify as some sort of recall-type activity or safety activity and be exempt/have different rules. Again, I don't know and this probably isn't the place to work it out. If you have concerns, please work with Outback + Marc/Keysight legal directly.

Plan B? Nah. I'll admit that the letter looks intimidating, but this isn't a pivot. Maybe just a misstep in tone/communication on the original letter.

Finally, I of course won't contradict/nullify our official statement. But, you folks know how to cut the corporate BS and get to the heart of an issue. It's going to be darn hard for old used HP gear to hurt Keysight's reputation. If it has a Keysight logo on it that's a different story.

We're not trying to hide anything here, and we really do want the best outcome for everyone. Besides all that, isn't even the chance of new replacement gear worth responding to the letter?
 
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Online ataradov

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #441 on: February 15, 2019, 05:53:06 pm »
Besides all that, isn't even the chance of new replacement gear worth responding to the letter?
Or a chance of a stronger followup letter from lawyers and a lawsuit.

It is not "intimidating", it is pure BS with false IP claims. Pretty typical of huge corporations nowadays.
Alex
 
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Online bd139

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #442 on: February 15, 2019, 05:56:31 pm »
Need to cut all the marketing bullshit and put an offer on the table in plain sight of everyone.

Chance is not a game you play with lawyers, unless you’re rich or stupid.
 

Offline Brumby

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #443 on: February 15, 2019, 07:21:51 pm »
Besides all that, isn't even the chance of new replacement gear worth responding to the letter?
Or a chance of a stronger followup letter from lawyers and a lawsuit.
.... Or a chance of seizure order
.... Or a chance of the law rocking up and arresting you
.... Or a chance of black helicopters overhead with a special services assault team rappelling onto your roof, making a forced entry and disappearing into the night with your beloved power supply...?

You could go on ad inifinitum with conjecture - but I think our understanding is pretty clearly moving towards a much more amiable interaction, so I don't see how continuing the panic is even warranted.

Quote
It is not "intimidating", it is pure BS with false IP claims. Pretty typical of huge corporations nowadays.
How about "clumsy".  I've seen many bureaucratic exercises where someone has had a brain fart and acted before thinking it through.



We're not trying to hide anything here, and we really do want the best outcome for everyone. Besides all that, isn't even the chance of new replacement gear worth responding to the letter?
There is one word there that caught my attention .... "new".

We know where Daniel's thinking lies, so I would be really interested in seeing what sort of offer is put on the table.

I can't overstate how really interested I would be!!
 
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Offline HighVoltage

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #444 on: February 15, 2019, 08:35:47 pm »

We know where Daniel's thinking lies, so I would be really interested in seeing what sort of offer is put on the table.

I can't overstate how really interested I would be!!
After the perfect explanation, I don't get the fuss !
I would contact Keysight in a heartbeat !
What an opportunity.


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Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #445 on: February 15, 2019, 09:21:47 pm »
Besides all that, isn't even the chance of new replacement gear worth responding to the letter?
Or a chance of a stronger followup letter from lawyers and a lawsuit.
.... Or a chance of seizure order
.... Or a chance of the law rocking up and arresting you

[/quote]
We've already pretty much figured out there is no legal basis for this. If there was they wouldn't have given the heads-up via the latter

Seem some people here just want to see malice where there is none.
Or are just paranoid.
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Offline Top Gun

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #446 on: February 16, 2019, 01:30:16 am »
Well I will be interested in what Keysight offers as compensation for said equipment .Will Keysight have a list of equipment and SN# for us to look out for ?
Or will this be a HUSH HUSH thing ? Will there be some older equipment from Outback that they dont really care about ? Was some Newer Models released ?
Just would like Keysight to come forward with a list of Model Numbers and SN# that they are looking for , and also offer a viable compensation package of return of said equipment
 that is in question . Im sure some of this equipment has made its way to CHINA and is ITAR regulated stuff , Im sure some parts hit the market that should have not hit the market .

 Will Keysight Please provide a list of all these Model # and Sn # and parts that are important to you for recovery .

 Just my Humble thoughts , and what I would like to see to help hunt down this equipment  , if I come across them in the USED test equipment world or Repair World .

 But It seems it is too HUSH HUSH , but I think all when come out eventually , to the surprise of all .
 

Offline Brumby

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #447 on: February 16, 2019, 01:38:46 am »
Well I will be interested in what Keysight offers as compensation for said equipment .Will Keysight have a list of equipment and SN# for us to look out for ?
Or will this be a HUSH HUSH thing ? Will there be some older equipment from Outback that they dont really care about ? Was some Newer Models released ?
Just would like Keysight to come forward with a list of Model Numbers and SN# that they are looking for , and also offer a viable compensation package of return of said equipment
 that is in question . Im sure some of this equipment has made its way to CHINA and is ITAR regulated stuff , Im sure some parts hit the market that should have not hit the market .

 Will Keysight Please provide a list of all these Model # and Sn # and parts that are important to you for recovery .

 Just my Humble thoughts , and what I would like to see to help hunt down this equipment  , if I come across them in the USED test equipment world or Repair World .

 But It seems it is too HUSH HUSH , but I think all when come out eventually , to the surprise of all .

Much of what you have posted is answered in this thread.

For starters, Keysight already have a list of who bought what - so why should they publish a list?  Completely unnecessary.  I can understand you wanting to know out of curiosity - but there's no benefit to the campaign by doing so.
 

Offline bitseeker

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #448 on: February 16, 2019, 03:15:55 am »
Besides all that, isn't even the chance of new replacement gear worth responding to the letter?

It sure is. Unfortunately, despite having much HPAK gear, I apparently don't have any qualifying equipment. ::)

Seem some people here just want to see malice where there is none.
Or are just paranoid.

Yes, it's quite fascinating.

If anyone finds owning contraband and having to interact with Keysight to be too much of a burden, PM me to discuss potential gear trading. ;D
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Offline Jwalling

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #449 on: February 16, 2019, 04:09:26 am »
Besides all that, isn't even the chance of new replacement gear worth responding to the letter?

It sure is. Unfortunately, despite having much HPAK gear, I apparently don't have any qualifying equipment. ::)

Seem some people here just want to see malice where there is none.
Or are just paranoid.

Yes, it's quite fascinating.

If anyone finds owning contraband and having to interact with Keysight to be too much of a burden, PM me to discuss potential gear trading. ;D


Just for the record, I finally got a response from Mr. Harrington on 2/13/2019:

Quote
Please forgive me for my delayed response. First, allow me to give you some background on the issue. Keysight Technologies was in possession of equipment that was scheduled to be destroyed, however the contractor charged with destroying the equipment did not do so. Instead, the equipment was somehow diverted and ended up for sale on eBay by Outback Equipment. We have been contacting buyers of products identified by Keysight as having been scheduled for destruction from a list of transactions furnished by Outback for the purpose of identifying where the equipment ended up and whether some pieces are still available for sale.

In sum, we are asking buyers a) if they ordered the equipment listed on Exhibit A to the correspondence; b) if the items they received match those listed on Exhibit A; and c) if they are still in possession of the items listed on Exhibit A. Unfortunately, I do not have any more information on the equipment beyond what is included on Exhibit A, but I have made note of your response, specifically regarding the reimaging of the drives, and I will discuss this with our team to see if we need anything further. Again, I apologize for the late response to your emails. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions on this matter.

Thanks,

Vince Harrington | Paralegal | Durie Tangri LLP | 415-362-6666

I was able to find the 54831B I purchased, and I let him know via email. Just waiting for him to get back to me. I'd gladly trade for an DSOX3054A  ;D
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