Friday, July 13, 2007

The crazy things companies do.

I'm actually not sure how to start this post. On one hand - I want to congratulate a company for fulfilling the warranty plan on a product I purchased.

On the flip side, I'm not sure I can tell you what company it is.

What I'm going to tell you next is a system fraught with potential abuse. You never know who will pick up a post and start spreading it.

This is what happened:

A several weeks ago my monitor went limp. See how the monitor on the right is able to be pointed upward? The one on the left had lost its ability to do anything but point down giving the illusion it might actually topple forward.

Something in this mechanism gave out.

This is probably an easy fix. But I'm not going to do it, because it might void my warranty. And - if it isn't easy to fix, I've just hosed myself.

Since the monitor is still under warranty, I wanted it fixed. It's only two years old, and it's still a pretty fantastic monitor.

So, Mr S. calls the big box electronic store and explains the problem. Customer support seemed to indicate it wasn't common for this to happen, but agree to send a new monitor. Usually people are upset their pixels are screwed up. All my pixels are perfect.

A week goes by, and Mr S. was checking the online status of the monitor when he noticed the trouble ticket had been closed. Causing him to have talk to customer support again.

This is what he found out. The big box electronic store turns these matters over to a third party company who finds an equivalent product. Then sends a replacement. Not that interesting. Right?

Okay - this is the interesting part. When Mr S. asks about an RMA#, the customer support guy tells him they probably won't want our somewhat broken monitor back. He said if there was an RMA slip in the box, we should return it. If there wasn't one - the company has 30 days to request the monitor back. If they don't, we get to keep it. The new monitor was around 600 bucks. Even if they refurb'ed my old monitor they should be able to recoup half that.

Now, while I'm super happy they fixed my problem easily. I'm also generally uncomfortable with anything a company does that makes you more than whole. When you get stuff for free, it just makes things more expensive for everyone.

I'm guessing neither of the companies involved are capable of fixing these types of things and its just easier for them to let the customer keep the faulty item. But hell, it still seems like it is an expensive way to handle a problem.

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