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 Post subject: Why You Should Never Buy LARGE PC Items Online
PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2004 4:13 pm 
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I thought, as a public service to people here, that I should take the time to provide some information that anyone should be aware of before planning purchase of a large pc related item from an online vendor, as opposed to a local, brick and mortar store.
Two weeks ao, I ordered the Logitech Z-680 surround speaker system from our favorite vendor, Newegg. Based on many positive reports, Maximum PC giving it the highest (Kick Ass) rating for any surround system, etc., it seemed like the best way to move to the 5.1 system necessary for games today. I had pondered buying a decent new, Dolbly Digital - 5.1 capable receiver, and adding three reasonable quality speakers to the two I already had, and my existing Infinity subwoofer. When I worked out the numbers, the new receiver/speakers scenario was going to cost a minimum of $700-800.00 which was just too much to justify, purely for computer gaming, which was my ONLY need for it. And so, I went an ordered the Logitech system:

Logitech Z-680 system = $225.00 + $21.98 (NewEgg) shipping and handling
total expenditure = $246.98


9/23/04 - System arrives as I'm building my new performance pc, and then tweaking, installing all necessary patches, drivers, applications and software.With everything complete, Friday night, I've run the speaker cables, gotten everything connected and am ready to spend large portions of Saturday and Sunday on some serious gaming sessions (Doom III, Painkiller, Rome Total War, etc.)to try out the new box, and the 5.1 audio. The task took two hours and I'm eagerly awaiting the fruits of my labor.


9/25/04 - I install and fire up Doom III, and its obvious the subwoofer is toast, as it distorts, rattles and otherwise is unlistenable. The remote is also completely dead. No gaming this weekend :(

9/26/04 - I ponder what to do. I've lost a lot of faith in Logitech based upon my experience. And so, between this failure (which I post about on Sharky and a couple other places) I receive many responses, including quite a few private messages informing me that a LOT of people have had problems with Logitech subwoofers, that I should have ordered A - Klipsch ProMedia's, B - Gigaworks, C- other instead. After reading a LOT of reviews, and comments, I decided I should just bite the bullet and go with the Klipsch system.

9/27/04 - I contact Newegg for an RMA, they politely provide one and e-mail me instructions on how to return the system. I also go online and order the Klipsch ProMedia 5.1 system:

Klipsch ProMedia 5.1 system = $344.00 + $12.99 (newEgg) shipping and handling (special)
total expenditure = $356.99

9/28/04 - I get home after work, spend nearly an hour and a half disconnecting everything, repacking everything, sealing up the box, labeling it, and get it ready to ship back via FedEx the next day.

9/29/04 - I stop at FedEx and give them the package to ship back to NewEgg (which comes at MY expense) and find out that the package, shipped "SuperSaver" with $225.00 insurance, will cost ONE HUNDRED AND FIVE DOLLARS to ship!!! I "could" ship it "ground" for only $29.80, but FedEx cannot ship electronics valued at over $100.00 via ground. My options are now to ship it with enough insurance to cover the packages actual value, and pay the $105.00, or pay seventy five dollars less, and hope and pray that FedEx gets it there without any damage. After pondering my options, I simply couldnt agree to pay out the $105.00, or virtually half what the package is worth for shipping.I take the risk, pay the $29.80 and walk away thinking this whole situation is a disaster.
I will now own (following delivery later this week) one Klipsch ProMedia 5.1 system, which is, by nearly universal acclaim, a very fine sound system. In the end, the cost is as follows:

$21.98 -cost of shipping paid for the Z-680's to be delivered to me
$29.80 - cost for returning the Z-680's to NewEgg
$356.99 - cost for the Klipsch system + shipping

$406.77 - total cost for ending up with one Klipsch ProMedia 5.1 system (not to mention the fact that the package returning to NewEgg is insured for only $100.00 leaving me potentially liable for $125.00 additional if the shipment is somehow damaged or lost)

The time it took me to assess the problem, call NewEgg to RMA it, order the new system, disconnect, repack, label, deliver and ship the package through FedEx

total time - 7 hours - cost = priceless




The morals of this story are:

1) Think long and hard before ever deciding to purchase any large computer related item online if there is ANY chance it may fail and need to be RMA'ed

2) Seriously consider only purchasing such items only from a local store where it can be returned and/or replaced even if the initial cost is significantly higher

3) follow the above recommendations or you will end up seriously ticked off, as I am, and remain pissed off every time you fire up the new system, no matter HOW good they are. And, knowing, in the end, you should have just bought the new 5.1 receiver and speakers, because the additional cost would have been far less, overall, than the crap you've gone through with the cheaper, pc speaker system options! Not to mention I will be sitting here waiting for a week praying that damned package mnakes it ti NewEgg safely, or I'm out another $125.00!


One last note, please understand that none of this is intended as any sort of negative towards NewEgg. They are an excellent vendor, and one I have dealt with many, many times over the years with great satisfaction. ALL online vendors require you to pay to return shipping charges for the faulty equipment. If you read the fine print, they all tell you that upfront. And we all think, the stuff will all work, we wont have any problems. But IF you do, and IF its a big item/package, your in deep $@&*!


Last edited by SwordOne on Wed Sep 29, 2004 7:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Why You Should Never Buy LARGE PC Items Online
PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2004 4:33 pm 
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SwordOne wrote:
ALL online vendors require you to pay to return shipping charges for the faulty equipment.


BZZZZT! First off, let me say I'm sorry to hear about your experience. That's a horrible feeling to have a 'deal' turn into sour grapes, as has been the case you described.

Now, getting back to the 'BZZZZT!', that statement is not true. For one, Newegg will many times refund return shipping if you speak with them. You have to actually speak with them (or even specifically request it in email exchanges) rather than going through an online automated RMA system. They're actually pretty good about this, depending on the rep you get on the phone.

To further debunk the assumption that you're always stuck with return shipping, Dell is another awesome vendor when it comes to this. I've had to do this twice with them. Most recently, I ordered a digital camera (Canon DSC-P73) and on the second day of having it, a pixel on the LCD screen constantly remained blue. I spoke with a rep to get an RMA and they scheduled a UPS pickup at my home for the faulty camera. All I had to do was put it back in the box and write the RMA number on the outside - Dell handled the rest, including the cost of shipping. Furthermore, they overnighted me a replacement via DHL that arrived even before UPS got to my door to pick up the faulty one. This was the day before yesterday.

So, if I may add a fourth moral, it would be:

4) Research customer's RMA experiences with potential vendors. Should the situation arise, SPEAK with a customer service rep and ask for return shipping to be covered. If that fails, proceed to insist that return shipping be covered. Many vendors will happily oblige as they realize the value of repeat customers and word-of-mouth advertising as opposed to one-time sales.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2004 7:11 pm 
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Well, I DID speak to them directly, they told me I had to pay the return shipping, that it was their policy. You've made some good points, perhaps I didnt make enough of a point of it. However, given that the shipping to me cost only twenty some dollars, it hardly seemed that critical at the time.
It was only when I saw the astronomical cost at FedEx today, that I was aware of the consequences, and who could have imagined that, prior to it happening, and acted on it when talking to them?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2004 7:48 am 
Smithfield
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Don't blame the vendor, blame the courier. UPS is not very nice. Dunno about fedex, never used them. Purolator - do they have this one in States? - is worse than UPS.
:evil:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2004 1:00 pm 
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Purolator is only a canadian service..........I thought a canadian would know this.........


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2004 8:03 pm 
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OtterFisker wrote:
Purolator is only a canadian service..........I thought a canadian would know this.........


BURNED


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2004 11:08 pm 
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I also had a problem with Newegg. Got A DoA GFX card and I had to pay shipping to send it back, even after talking to them on phone/quite a few emails. Pretty absurd if you ask me, considering it was DoA.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2004 9:30 am 
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don't RMA things to Newegg if the mfg will do it better.

Logitechs RMA system.

customer:It's broken....
logitech:send us the part that makes it work, so if it isn't really broken, it will be.
customer:ok


logitech, once they receive the "control pod" will send you a completely new speaker system, you only pay shipping on the control pod, which is cheap. You end up with several mostly useless speaker parts.

The only thing with logitech is that they take forever to do anything, so you have to bug them a lot.


Last edited by JC on Fri Oct 01, 2004 9:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2004 9:32 am 
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I got problem with Circuit City. I bought a car stereo system last year and had them do the installation. Everything sounded good at the shop but things got ugly 5 weeks later on a long road trip. I hit a small pot hole on while entering the interstate and the system stopped working. I drove to the nearest Circuit City (200 miles from the one I bought the system) because I wasn't going to drive all the way back home and ruin my trip just to check what happened. It turned out that whoever installed it forgot to screw in few parts, which got knocked loose when I hit the pot hole. This Circuit City gave me 2 options. The first one is to let them reinstall it at no cost and live with a scratched and dented up system. The 2nd choice is to return it and loose 15% in restocking fee. The reason for the restocking fee was that they don't carry that model anymore and they didn't do the initial installation so they are not at fault that I am not happy with the system.

I told them to do the reinstall and the thing works great. The dents and scratchs parts are not viewable, so only I (and now you) know about it. I also got them to give me the work order paper, which I took back to the original Circuit City and haggle for a 40% discount.

One thing I hate about Circuit City is the 15% restocking fee. Best Buy doesn't have it and Best Buy has much better prices. Too bad, there is no CompUSA here.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2004 2:05 pm 
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I learned the hard way that sometimes buying from a local retailer can be better as well. Quite often an extended warranty can be purchased for your product, and while that warranty is quite often a rip-off, there are times and items where it is well advised. I purchased a creative nomad zen HDD based mp3 player directly from creative, and even though it only came with a 3 month warranty, i figured creative was a good name, and took a risk on getting it online (where the extra warranty is not offered). Well, as some of you may know, the early models audio jack was not reinforced in way shape or form, just 3 little dabs of solder holding it to the PCB. This problem has since been fixed by creative for current production models, but my audio jack promptly broke just 1 week after the warranty ran out. Creative refused to cover it, despite the fact that they let these products leave the factory with a known design flaw, and i was plenty pissed. Fortunately, i know some folks who are great with a soldering iron, and i'm good with a hot glue gun, so together we got that sucker friggen LOCKED down now. Still, it took months of having an expensive paperweight to get it back together and sort through all the mess. Creative wanted $50 to fix the thing, plus shipping, and if I had just bought it at Bestbuy i would have picked up an extended warranty fairly cheap, and saved myself a lot of hassle and hair-pulling.

P.S. There are on-line third party warrantors, but i havn't used them, and i don't consider them ideal becuase they are a third party and require a seperate visit/transaction which must be completed fairly soon after the product purchase. In any case, I didn't even know about them till after this incident. Anyone have any experience with an operation like this? I'm curious to know if it's a viable option.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2004 6:26 am 
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I have bought many large items from Newegg and have always received excellent service.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2004 7:13 am 
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caniack wrote:
I have bought many large items from Newegg and have always received excellent service.


Same here, as well as various other online vendors. I shun to think of the accumulated cost had I bought all these items locally in brick and mortar stores. I'd need several big orders to go terribly wrong at this point to offset the savings I've received over the years.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2004 8:38 am 
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i agree completely with One4yu2c. i've bought thousands of dollars worth of stuff online for not only myself but for clients in my computer building busines. the convinence offsets the small amount i would have to pay extra for shipping vs. tax. but computer stores (bestbuy, compusa, circut city) dont always have availibility and almost never have better prices then online. i've bought those same speakers for a client and they worked outta the box, its unfourtunate it didnt for you. i guess there is a bit of (un)luckyness in things like that.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2004 11:39 am 
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I was in COMPUSA the other day. The only memory they carried was PNY and some other company I never heard of. I saw a case on the shelf that was TWICE the price I have seen it advertised at Newegg. You can keep them in business if you want, but personally I will continue to get my stuff online.

Fold Until A Cure


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2004 12:54 pm 
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Thanks for letting us know.
You wouldn't really think like that until something of that type happened to you.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2004 2:51 pm 
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InstigatorX wrote:
Thanks for letting us know.
You wouldn't really think like that until something of that type happened to you.


Do the math. I saw a case that costs $80 online for twice that in Compusa. Even if I had to pay $40 in shipping in the case of having to return it I'm still ahead by $40. Sheesh


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2004 3:58 pm 
Willamette
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BraveHeart, I will countinue to shop online, specifically newegg.com in November to build my new pc.

I was giving my thanks for the heads up for his particular situation.

Regardless, I would prefer to buy large items such as a monitor or speakers at a retail store, but ups shipped me monitors, speakers etc and everything worked out of box.

His situation probobly wasn't unique however.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2004 6:07 pm 
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well theres fed ex, ups and that new company DHl. All i know is that UPS is global (well in Canada for sure)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2004 6:16 pm 
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JC wrote:
Logitechs RMA system.

customer:It's broken....
logitech:send us the part that makes it work, so if it isn't really broken, it will be.
customer:ok


logitech, once they receive the "control pod" will send you a completely new speaker system, you only pay shipping on the control pod, which is cheap. You end up with several mostly useless speaker parts.

The only thing with logitech is that they take forever to do anything, so you have to bug them a lot.


I'll say. It's been 7mos and the only thing I've gotten back is 'We're sorry, but we don't have any refurb subwoofers to send you' letters. :evil:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2004 12:10 am 
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tonight i bought a wiring harness to wire up the cd player in my soon to be truck. we pay $17.49-ish. then we get home, and realize we gotta get butt connectors and a antena adapter. so we run down to Advanced Autoparts, just to see the exact same brand harness for $9.99.


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