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SyQuest users in the lurch

Newsgroups for the portable storage maker are flooded with customer complaints.

SyQuest customers have been left in a cloud of confusion after the company's announcement that it will suspend its operations.

Newsgroups for the portable storage maker were busy today with thousands of customer complaints, ranging from how they would service their drives to where to turn if their devices are already in the SyQuest fix-it shop.

Robert Pace was one such user who is waiting to retrieve his drive back from SyQuest's repair shop.

"I guess I feel dejected and abandoned...I bought the best based on performance and price and the drive met all my expectations," Pace said in an email to "Now without tech support, I will attempt to find a way to retrieve my data and switch to another media."

Pace said he contacted a SyQuest newsgroup, in search of a user who would allow him to borrow their SyJet drive, so that he could retrieve his data off his SyQuest cartridges.

Other SyQuest users complained of their inability to access the company's Web site for answers to their repair questions.

Yesterday, the company said it was shutting down its operations and considering filing for reorganization under U.S. bankruptcy laws.

Although the company stated it planned to "maintain limited support to its customers," its Web site was down and no customer support was available to customers calling its toll number. SyQuest, however, continued to operate its automated trouble-shooting customer service line.

When reached at his office today, chairman Edward Marinaro declined to comment on his company's announcement and did not readily have available a phone number or outside company for customers to call for more extensive support.

Another user on a newsgroup complained of SyQuest's management as he noted this marked another chapter in the company's long history. "[This is] the penultimate chapter in a long, sad [tale] of mismanagement, miscalculation, and questionable engineering," this person said.