Wednesday, January 09, 2008

0 for 6.

So I started off 2008 with a sniffling thud. I caught a cold (thank goodness it only lasted three days) and then I hit a string of bad luck with retail purchases.

We received a token year-end bonus at our firm, and--after taxes--I used it to build a new computer. I purchased almost all of the components at, which I highly recommend to anyone interested in purchasing any type of electronics. They have an immense catalogue of goods and have unbeatable prices. Their order processing is also very efficient.

Two of the things I purchased included a computer case made by Thermaltake, a well-known manufacturer for mid- to high-end PC cases. Although it states that the case has a standard opening for a power supply unit, it turns out that the case has a narrow opening inexplicably placed in a section of the case that is inaccessible. After about three hours, I gave up and had to return the case. (NewEgg's return system is automated and online, which makes it bearable).

Another item I purchased was a motherboard from Abit USA. For three days I tried to get this motherboard to boot up properly with no success. I even brought the computer into my local Fry's Electronics and paid 69.99 to have it checked out. A short aside: the computer technicians at the Fry's in Sunnyvale, CA definitely have their shit together -- unlike Best Buy, who managed to lose my cousin's laptop and then find it nine months later (and had the gall to charge him his diagnostic fee).

It turns out that my motherboard was dead on arrival, so I had to send that back as well. 0 for 2.

I also decided to cash in some gift certificates from I purchased George Orwell's novel 1984. Or well, I thought I did. It turns out that it is an abridged version of 1984 for small children. 0 for 3.

I also purchased a foldable treadmill from, which arrived via FedEx yesterday. It weighs about 85 lbs, so dragging the damn thing up the stairs wasn't that much fun. I put the thing together and it is a complete death-trap. It is dangerous to even stand up on it. I called up Overstock and I was pleasantly surprised that within three minutes, the person on the phone said that UPS will pick up the treadmill free of charge and I'll be given a full refund. 0 for 4, however.

And what really made my week miserable was having to deal with Netgear, which is just one of many pretty shady manufacturers of piece of shit routers (Linksys and D-Link would also qualify). My existing router died after about 8 months, and I decided to purchase a business-grade ProSafe firewall router from Fry's, but that died in just a week. It took me two days in order to return two busted routers. I was on hold for a total of 5.5 hours and once I actually got someone on the line, they wouldn't let me return two items at once, forcing me to call again and wait the long lines. Their staff was unhelpful, though only moderately rude (for an example of technical support staff that is completely rude, think Comcast). 0 for 6.

Hopefully I'll do better in week 2.


Anonymous said...

This tale is a consumer's nightmare. It's only because you are so patient that you could deal with it. I would be in nutty by now with this kind of luck!

Anonymous said...

how quickly did newegg return the items?