Sub300's Subpar Service

Nathan Edwards

Sub Service

Dog, some months ago, I bought an inexpensive Linux-based PC from Sub300.com, which was selling older stock to make room for new inventory. I purchased model #13338, which had an AMD Athlon XP 3100+ and 256MB of RAM. The configuration didn’t bother me, as I figured I could upgrade it with parts from eBay. The machine was discounted from $165 to $129. With shipping it was $159. When I received the PC, the configuration wasn’t even close—the CPU was an AMD Athlon XP 1400+. I contacted Sub300.com and informed them of the mistake. They admitted that an error had been made and that they would work on their end to fix it. I shipped the PC back at the cost of $48.35 and sent the company the tracking info.

The company said a new machine was being prepped for me. Of course, the company stopped responding after that. I have emailed the company twice, asking for a tracking number, but they have not responded. There’s no answer when I call. I bought the PC with my debit card, which doesn’t let me dispute any charges after a month. Am I out the $159 that I paid for the computer? I don’t care about what I had to pay to ship it back—mistakes are made. I’m human, I make them too.

—Glenn Condrey

The Dog looked at Sub300.com’s website, and it immediately raised some concerns. After all, the Dog doesn’t know of too many PC vendors that also sell bottled water and boast of operating three SilverStar car washes in the Ontario area; on the other hand, the company is the official car wash of the Toronto Raptors, so it must be legit, right?

When contacted by the Dog, David Silverman, president of Sub300.com, apologized for the problem and said that it occurred at the company’s shipping facility, where the labels on two machines were reversed and then sent out. “Each customer received the other’s computer by honest mistake,” Silverman said. “Each customer agreed to return the wrong computer, so we could make things right and resend them out properly,” he added. “We have already given instructions to Glenn and authorization for a full refund/credit to his credit card, and we apologized profusely to both clients.

“Clearly [the mix-up] was an error, compiled with a little bit of bad communication, that was ultimately resolved to the full satisfaction of both customers,” said Silverman, who added that although Sub300.com might not seem like a big company, it does $75 million in sales annually, albeit with a staff of 10 people.

The Dog checked with Glenn, who said he was indeed promptly issued a refund after the Dog spoke with Silverman, but the story doesn’t quite end there. Glenn said that after he returned his machine to Sub300.com as instructed, apparently no one picked it up. The post office eventually returned the package to Glenn, who has no idea what to do now.

“I want to do the right thing here, but the idea of spending $48.35 again and not receiving full reimbursement makes me kind of antsy. On the other hand, I do not want something I did not pay for,” he told the Dog.

At press time, the Dog was in the process of contacting Sub300.com to see if the company would be willing to pay the shipping costs for Glenn to return his system a second time. Woof.

EMAIL THE WATCHDOG If you feel you’ve gotten a raw deal and need assistance setting a vendor straight, email the Dog at watchdog@maximumpc.com . Please include a detailed explanation of your problem as well as any correspondence you have sent concerning the issue.

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