All things Warrantied
Saturday, March 21, 2020
Actually collecting on a warranty takes tons of organization, and while I used to be organized I find it much harder now. Maybe lack of time, cluttered house, overwhelming farm chores, whatever, it is not something I even pursue lately. The problem is that items don’t seem to last even partway into their warranty anymore, and most make you jump through more hoops then a jewelry store. I did make several forays into claiming warranty on products in the last two months.
The biggest problem is the electric blanket issue. I use an electric blanket because my old farm house is cold, wind blows right through it, particularly in the Bedroom. Also because I will not fall asleep if I am cold, particularly my feet! In the last 5 years I have had 4 electric blankets, previously I had my blanket for over 10 years. The first bad one was a Sunbeam, failed 3 months after purchase, called Sunbeam, what a run around. I had to pack up the blanket and pay postage both to them and back to me, and they would let me know in 6-8 weeks. Postage was more then the blanket cost. It was December in Maine, so I went to my computer and found another one on Amazon and got it in two days. It was a Sunbeam also, mostly because then there were just not any competition in the heated blanket department. I finished the year with that blanket, and continued the falling year until spring, when one side quit. I started the next fall with one side only then bought a Simply warm blanket, more options now for other manufacturers. The blanket was extremely light weight and for some unknown reason it would slide down between the sheet and the comforter every night, which got to be a real pain, but it worked great and I liked the fact that you could set the time on it not just 10 or 12 hours like the other blankets but for just an hour or two. So this fall after about 18 months of use, one side quit. I did all the things you need to do to trouble shoot, and all the second controller would do is blink F2. I hated half my bed cold so I spent some time going through tons of heated blankets on Amazon and finally decided on a Sunbeam. I liked that it was heavyweight, nice garnet color, but didn’t get it on my bed until my 30 time with Amazon was over, it was flashing F2 on both controllers the first time I plugged it in, after resetting it would sometimes work for 10 minutes sometimes a couple hours, sometimes both controllers shut down some one or the other. After reading some reviews, I decided to try for the 5 year warranty again. It was remarkably different this time although in many ways quite convoluted.
I called Sunbeam, got someone that spoke English the first time! He asked for the model number, size and the code on the metal part of the plugin then my email. I thought it was going pretty good until he started spelling out my email using phonetic words, for some reason that totally shuts down my brain and I missed that he had an extra e in my email. So I waited for about an hour for the email then had to call back, sure enough the email address was misspelled. The email directed me to take pictures of the blanket, controllers, and the label, send them with a copy of the invoice and my address, which I did, thinking wow all done! Quite proud of myself until the spate of emails that followed, first was the invoice, they said they couldn’t see it, I had clicked send a copy to myself so I looked at it and there it was bigger then life, so I just resent it. After about a week they sent an email saying it was approved to send me a new one and wanted my address, well I would suspect since we were still working on the first email, just tacking on the info each time that they could have read it on my invoice, but thinking I was done, I sent my address anyway. Nope, another email asking me to choose between two different blankets, which I did, mentioning that it was a queen size wasn’t it? Another email, asking me to choose again, and yes it was a queen, I did. Then an email saying it was ready to ship, then another saying it shipped, then another that listed the model number and other info and said if I wanted a tracking number I had to call FedEx. That was a new one on me, I have to call FedEx? I didn’t even know the origin address, they didn’t know what I was talking about, so it is out there in the mail somewhere, they chose the “whatever FedEx calls their surepost.” So it will be 5-8 days, but on its way!
You would think I would be totally discouraged by that lengthily process but I decided to see what the warranty was on the Simply Warm blanket, it was also 5 years, so I went to their website but no contact information at all. I decided to contact them through Amazon, and got an email from them directing me to take pictures of front and back of the controllers and the blanket, and sent an invoice, which luckily Amazon keeps for you! It took me a couple days to accomplish this and sent it off, got an email that day and said it was approved for replacement and packaged to be sent. I received the new blanket in 2 days! Wow that was easy, still haven’t gotten the Sunbeam yet.
So not to be daunted I took on the task of the two Motorola boom2 bluetooth, that I use for on the phone and listening to my audiobooks. I lost two Bluetooth earpieces last year, one while on a tractor and one when I fell in the blueberry patch gashing my heal really bad. One was a boom 2 the other a h19txt. I loved the H19txts they were clear, long lasting, never dropped calls, but are not made anymore. I ordered two boom2’s and couldn’t believe this was the same Bluetooth. It dropped calls, it had a short battery life, it was hard for the other person to hear me and it would do this thing where it started saying disconnected, connected, disconnected, connected, multiple times when the phone was a foot away, and the voice that said disconnected was a real snarling mean disconnected! I emailed Motorola about how dissatisfied I was with them and they told me to get the serial numbers on the back side of the Bluetooth. I looked at my Bluetooth and could see no writing where they indicated, but decided to take a picture, after enlarging the picture sure enough there was quite a bit of writing there, 4 lines. I sent that and my invoice and magically two new ones appeared in the mail. What a difference! Like the old ones, you can go all over the house with the phone still in the kitchen, no disconnected, haven’t even heard the nasty snarling voice yet! That was sure a win-win encounter! I have been fighting with the two bad ones for so long I keep wondering if it is working since nothing is being said! Very happy encounter!
The next one was a Thermos wide mouth jar. I have been using a very old Thermos for my soup, those tall green ones. It is only mediocre on keeping things hot or even warm. It occurred to me that I have two SS 24 oz coffee cups that I use for tea, the tea stays hot enough to burn your lip after 12 hours or more. Hot and cold Thermoses have taken a big leap in technology in the last few years, and after all my old Thermos is almost 50 years old! I ordered a Thermos 16 oz SS side mouth Thermos, they are way cheaper then I paid for the tall one! The box came and I didn’t open it right away, then forgot about it, until I wanted to take some soup with me, I opened the box and there were two in there, I frowned, thought about it then washed it and put my soup in it, I would check my order later, sure that I only ordered one. Well I loved the new Thermos, soup was really hot, and it has a folding spoon in the plug cover. Cool! The next week I decided to take some hot chocolate too, I took the other one out and opened the cup cover, no stopper! Well that makes it totally useless! I checked Amazon and I did only order one, but on the invoice under the description it said missing the cover. I went back to the description and nothing was said about a missing cover, what was all that about, nothing was said about sending one good one and one incomplete one either. I was past the Amazon 30 day return, so I just forgot about it. One night while on my computer I decided to see if I could buy parts, I looked all over the thermos site and couldn’t fine a parts place so I emailed them saying it came without a cover, the kind with a spoon in it and could I buy one. The reply was just a terse what model is it! I took a picture of the still there paper tags on the bottom and then got a reply that they would send me the lid, but I would have to buy future parts. Wow that was nice until I got the package, it was only the spoon! I finally decided to call to see if I could get a lid, I knew they sell just the stoppers but you have to contact them, I got someone that wanted the number of my original email case, which I looked up, and she brought it up and said, it looks like you were very clear that the lid was missing, and the pictures are very clear that this is brand new so we will just send you the lid, nice! It came very quickly and now it is useable, although I am confused about the whole order from Amazon, why two, why no lid, I mean you can use a Thermos without the spoon or the cup but not without the lid. The most important lesson from this is open and try out things right away!
So I am not quite sure this is all worth the time, time is money and I don’t seem to have enough of either, but I also think that they need to be held accountable for all these bad products. I think people are much more apt to struggle with warranty problems on the big things like cars, lawn mowers and just go buy another one of the cheaper articles in our throwaway society. I am glad that Sunbeam has changed their previous poor customer service, and I think part of the reason is the reviews that are now such a big part of our lives, lots of very bad ones on Sunbeam! On Simply warm too!
Have you pursued a warranty on a small item?
Also wondering if this is an Amazon problem, I live in the middle of nowhere, to go to get things is 190 mile round trip and a whole day. But it seems to me that some of these products on Amazon are seconds or returns, I noticed that neither of the boxes the first Bluetooth earpieces came in, had intact seals. I think I am going to make a bigger effort to not order anything from third party sellers!