MSI advised its customers that they would be banned from support if they didn't RTFM - but later claimed it was a gag.
Hardware manufacturer MSI has reportedly upset some of its customers following a strongly worded e-mail telling people to "RTFM
As reported over on the bit-tech forums
, the e-mail is believed to have gone out to all customers registered on the company's support forum - over 97,000 recipients.
The e-mail advised customers that "the MSI-forum and MSI-support team are fed-up with explaining you [sic] what can be found in the manual. I mean, come on, how hard is it to read a manual? They are printed on paper so you see them.
The e-mail then went on to claim that the company has been building "RTFM chips
" into their products for quite some time, which ostensibly detect whether the user has read the product's manual and - if not - refuse to allow them support until they have.
The e-mail claimed that "MSI [has] decided to ban people from support, RMA, and the forum who has [sic] done the damage themselves or didn't read the manual the first of next month. We know who you are, and we have gathered enough information via our RTFM-chip.
For those uninitiated into the world of the ETLA, RTFM is generally considered to stand for 'Read The Fine Manual' - or alternative expansions for the letter F when you're not feeling quite so kind. Needless to say, there is no RTFM chip in MSI's hardware.
MSI, for its part, has responded to the growing numbers of rather upset customers by claiming that the e-mail was an April Fools' prank - apologising that "people took this for prank for serious [sic],
" and claiming the company had "thought of this prank after answering the many posts where people ask the obvious that is already in the manual.
Sadly for MSI's credibility, the e-mail went out on the 25th of March - rather early for an April Fools' gag.
Did any of you receive a surprising e-mail from MSI last week? Do you believe that it was an April Fools' prank officially sanctioned by the company and merely delayed by a steam-powered e-mail engine or red tape, or is it more likely to have been a by-now ex-employees' bitter resignation? Share your thoughts over in the forums