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 $@&*!