Dream purchase becomes a nightmare

I am a frugal shopper; some would call me cheap!  I want every ounce of bang for my buck that the advertisement promises.  I can be a little unyielding when I am treated like it doesn’t matter.  It does!

During the Christmas promotions, Amazon advertised “Renewed” computers at bargain prices!  Yippee!  I fell in love!  The object of my affection was a Dell Optiplex SFF Computer Desktop PC Intel Core i5 Processor, 16 GB Ram, 2 TB Hard Drive, WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, DVD-RW, and Dual 19 inch LCD Monitors! 

The dual monitors would be amazing!  I am a writer with 12 books on Amazon!  I dreamed of working on my manuscript on one screen and my Chapters, Timeline, Characters, and reference materials on the other screen.  

I was so enamored; I checked every day to make sure it was still there, and the price had remained the same.  I checked three online stores, and low and behold, it was still on Amazon, and the price stayed the same bargain.  I happily entered it in my wish list and dreamed of how great it would be to finish the manuscript I was toiling away on, anxious to publish.

Christmas came and went, and I didn’t have the courage to order my heart’s desire.  In April, my world came crashing down; the keyboard on my laptop suddenly stopped working!  What to do?  What to do?  It appeared this was the incentive I needed to bite the bullet and order my heart’s desire.

I waited anxiously for my package to arrive.  The day finally came, and I laid everything out on my desk.  I searched the box for the packing slip and instructions to make sure it was complete.  To my surprise, there was no packing slip!  I have been a Prime Customer for several years and have bought many items that required assembly.  Never have we received an item without a packing slip and clear instructions for assembly.  Not a happy camper. Grrr!

I found one page folded to 5 X 7 colorful paper with not one word about setting it up, but there was an 800 number to call.  We decided to try the deed ourselves.  Bet you know where this is going, don’t you? 

There were several sets of cables, and we worked for several hours trying to hook everything up and finally realized some cables were missing. There was a mystery cable that I found out later was useless.

In desperation, I called the telephone number for Customer Service help on the little 5X7 paper.  I told the woman that answered that I thought they forgot the packing slip.  She informed me they do not use packing slips and asked what cables are missing.  I said I do not know since I don’t know how many should have been in the box.  She said she couldn’t help me if I couldn’t tell her what cables were missing.  I said without a packing slip, I didn’t know.  I said, “I can’t use the machine if I can’t put it together.  Maybe I will have to send the computer back because, without the proper cables and instructions, it would not work for me!”  She immediately nearly shouted at me, “You just have buyer’s remorse!”  If she had listened to me, I could have described the cables in the box.  The company could have sent the proper ones.  But she seemed to be stuck on one thing.  She hung up on me!

I admit I might have said a naughty word or two; I was getting pretty frustrated, disappointed, and angry!  Here I had my heart’s desire and couldn’t use it!

I took several deep breaths and tried calling back to apologize and try again to get help.  Amazingly there was no answer after several tries. 

I called the Amazon help number and got a message because of the COVID 19 virus. The only help available was online.  By this time, steam was coming out of my ears! 

I wrote a negative review for Blair Technologies and Amazon!  It is not smart to piss off a writer! 

I did one smart thing I purchased the Asurion warranty for $39.95.  I’ll tell you about that later!

This started to look like an uphill battle, with no help from a real live person!  I am funny that way, I like a real person or a written manual!  So with tears in my eyes, I started the process of sending back my dream computer.  I printed the label and instructions.  After reading them, I discovered that the Amazon/renewal company could retain up to 50% of my purchase price as a “re-stocking fee” if there was ANY damage!  I just knew in my little heart of hearts, there WOULD be damage!  Can you imagine how devastated I was?  Now I didn’t have a working computer and if I sent it back I could out several hundred dollars!  

Well, dammit, I decided I would get that dammed computer together if I had to hire someone!  I filed the packing label in the circular file (wastebasket) and started googling!

I watched a million Youtube videos.  Between the two of us, we figured out what was missing and ordered the cables from Amazon.  I know what you are thinking!  How could I trust them?  Well, remember, I said we have ordered many items, and they always included packing slip and instructions! 

We finally got the computer hooked up, but I could only get mirror-screens, not the promised dual-screens.  Dammit, this is a nightmare!

I remembered the warranty I purchased from Asurion and placed a call to them.  They were sympathetic after hearing my story and assured me they would help.  They discovered no warranty with Dell anymore because of the age of the original computer.  Still, Asurion agreed to honor the warranty I bought.  They sent me a box and a prepaid label to mail the CPU to them (the drive).  In a few days, my CPU came back with a new HDMI plug installed. 

I couldn’t figure out what they had done to the drive, so again I called and got a sweet patient woman tech, who educated me on why they installed an HDMI and how the hook-up was supposed to be done.  I learned the difference between a VEGA and HDMI plug and how to hook up all the cables.  I learned that you need a VEGA cable from one screen to the Vega port on the drive and an HDMI cable from the other screen to the new HDMI port they installed.

When we attached them to the proper ports, voila, we had dual screens.  I am not a demonstrative person, but I wanted to hug that woman!

The negative review did not make Blair Technologies happy, and they wanted it removed!  They offered me $10.00 AFTER I removed it!  I chose to ignore them, just like they ignored me!

I know it wasn’t pleasant, but I don’t like to be bribed!

I received the following email from Blair Technologies:

Hello Brenda, I see that your negative feedback is still against our account. I was hoping it would have been reconsidered by now. I would like to change my offer for your order satisfaction to a $20 partial refund, leading to removing the negative feedback. I truly hope you consider my offer since negative feedback impacts us greatly as a small company, and we are trying hard to keep up with the stay-at-home buyers who need computers in this crazy virus time. Once the feedback is removed, I will gladly issue the $20 partial refund to your order. Please let me know if that is acceptable to you.  Thanks for your help, Mary Blair

If Ms. Blair or another customer service person had called me.  They could have offered to help me at any time when I was tearing my hair out!  I would have gladly removed the negative feedback.  They certainly had my telephone number. 

My advice to non-techies that are purchasing a renewed item online, to also purchase the Asurion warranty.  It was money, well-spent!  I also suggest that you do a lot of research about the item that you are purchasing online. 

Published by Time Traveler of Life

Biography Creating worlds, characters, and wielding power like a madwoman, making my characters happy, sad, angry, and some of them with no redeeming qualities. I probably shouldn’t admit this, but I sometimes laugh out loud when I am writing a scene, and I have been known to cry when one of my favorites has to die. I am a left-handed Gemini, what do you expect? Reading bedtime stories to my two children until they fell asleep or until they just told me to go away, was fun. Making up wild stories for my grandchild, and creating Halloween costumes from Cowboys to a Dragon, was another favorite thing to do. I missed that so much when they were grown, that I started writing. My yearly newsletters frequently were drafted third-person by my Love Birds, Miranda our motorhome, and by Sir Fit the White Knight, our faithful Honda. Throughout the years, some of my creative talents centered around writing letters of complaint expressing my displeasure with services or products. One crucial, at least to my Son, was a note to our local school bus driver petitioning her to allow him back on the bus. He was kicked off for making an obscene gesture at his buddy. I reminded her that it was not directed at her, and that “obscenity can be in the eye of the beholder,” kids use that gesture as a greeting. He rode the bus until he graduated. I loved driving my English teacher crazy. Leaving a “continued next week” at the end of my five handwritten pages required each week. He was one of many people that suggested I “do something about my writing.” I graduated from the School of Hard Knocks at the top of my class. After 30 years, in the trenches as a Real Estate Professional, I have found that truth is stranger than fiction. My books are filled with characters I met in that profession. Their names were changed to protect the guilty. Others were from people we met traveling around the country in Miranda, our Motorhome. I am married nearly 60 years to the love of my life, Shirl, and partner-produced two exceptionally talented children, and one grandchild who is our pride and joy.

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