Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Buyer Beware #1 / High Tech Woes Part 2

Maybe you have previously read about my purchase of Home DVD Recorder. Well all is resolved as much as can be so I can give the details of it and my other purchase warnings. I bought an Aspire Digital Home DVD Recorder model AD-8091. It was $200 ($150 with rebate) from A great price I thought but I've had a lot of problems with it. Once customer support at Aspire (which took a few emails at the company website) confirms it is a defective machine, I get a case number to give to ECOST to get a return request (RMA). I had to buy another machine to replace it and would be credited when ECOST got the return. I was pretty scared that I was being billed for 2 machines. I have 30 days since the recorder was sent to return but I waited til I got the 2nd machine to compare and not leave myself without a DVD player. When I got the new DVD recorder, I noticed it had the same problem. What can I do? I took the old machine to Fedex to ship back because I had to get it back within 3 days. Shipping cost like $40. ECOST pays for return shipping if you fax them the receipt but only for GROUND SHIPMENT. I used a slow overnight method because I was sure they weren't gonna pay $80 to overnight a $150 recorder. No one specifically told me I had to ship ground but that I had to return it in 30 days and return shipping would be paid. ECOST told me they were only gonna pay me $25 for the shipping. I didn't argue, I was happy they accepted the return that was probably a day late. And I chalk it up to learning a lesson, so read on. BE WARNED: As of my experience, ECOST's policy is if you return something, you are charged a 10% restocking fee when the box is unopened. If you return something opened and it is not confirmed to be defective, you are charged a 50% restocking fee. You pay for the return postage in those cases too. Not when the product is confirmed defective. Also at ECOST, the website has banners all over the site that say FREE SHIPPING. Yes technically shipping is free but they charged me about $5.95 for HANDLING. My advice is always look at the small print. But in general be wary of return policies especially when you buy big ticket, heavy items. Now so my DVD player still has problems. I emailed Aspire's support dozens of times trying to find solutions. They will take it back and see if it is defective which no one is really sure. BUt I don't want to have to ship again and be without a recorder and then what if they said they don't see a problem??? I told the tech guy to check the one I returned to ECOST. He said he would probably not see it for a while. I pretty much left it at that. I have a year warranty I think in case something really goes wrong. My recorder is workable I guess. I eventually found a website where I read reviews of a lot customers of the same product that had a lot of problems. I can't find the link right now, but I think it was a shopping site.

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