Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Lesson Learned: Buy Local

I thought I’d update you on the frustrating progress on the leaf blower/mulcher/shredder that I posted about previously. The webstore I purchased it from listed the seller. So when I discovered the problems, I contacted the seller via the link to email in the listing. They responded promptly, but they had no record of my sale and suggested I contact customer service of the webstore to see who really provided the product.

When I contacted the webstore customer service, I received a response stating that they were unable to send me the parts. Usually they would send out another unit, however that item was no longer available. They offered me a 20% discount, but this was the phrase that confused me:

Please know that this item cannot be returned because of health and safety reasons, we are unable to accept the return of items purchased from our store. If you are unsatisfied with a product or have experienced a problem with an item we can issue a full refund.

Sounds to me like I can keep the item AND get a full refund too? This non-return policy was not stated at the time of purchase.

Instead I contacted who I though was the original seller to explain the situation and ask if they sold the parts I needed. They did and provided me with pricing plus shipping. I then contacted the webstore customer service and told them that their offer of a 20% discount did not cover the replacement costs of the parts. The agreed to increase the refund.

So, with the replacement parts ordered and my credit card refunded, I now wait once again.

What irks me the most is the webstore says the product is sold by one seller and this seller has great reviews and feedback. However, it turns out this seller is one of four different sellers that the webstore actually sources the unit from. It’s deceptive. I know from my correspondences with the seller I thought I was purchasing from, they would have resolved my issues by simply sending me the parts.

Lesson learned, buy local. If there is a problem, drive back to the store for a refund or exchange.


  1. I remember when we got our last TV. We ordered over the internet from a company that I trust. The TV didn't work. They did get it fixed, but they have a local person come out and fix it. The person was backed up a couple of weeks. He came here and found out he needed a part so had to wait for it to come then come back. It took about a month to get fixed. It was a real bummer. If I had bought from a local store then I could have just brought it back and gotten a new one instantly.

  2. Argh. That is frustrating.
    And I'm with Daphne. We've had horrors with repair folk. I wish I could do a quick course on refrigerator repair -- it would have saved us thousands over the years. Fortunately we've found a washing machine that seems to be well-made and which refrigerator fits perfectly in our space.

  3. That sounds really frustrating! Urghh...
    My folks just bought a new leaf blower/mulcher from Sears... they swear by Sears...

  4. Another resounding reason to buy locally whenever possible to do so. Sorry this has been so frustrating for you - hopefully it will resolve soon and you will be good to go.

  5. Sounds like quite a complicated leaf blower purchase. I was thinking of getting a blower this year but then opted for one of those really large leaf rakes.

  6. Daphne: This is from a well known webstore that I have used for years. For the most part, I have had great luck until now. I will definitely try to shop local for now on.

    Stefanener: Yeah, it was pretty frustrating. I am still waiting for the parts to arrive.

    Toni: I really should have gone to Sears, they stand behind their products and replacement parts are usually available if it ever breaks down in the future.

    kitsapFG: I will really consider future purchases carefully before ordering online again.

    Dan: I should have just purchased a bagger for my mower, it would have been easier.

  7. I'm glad everything got sorted. Good for you. When it comes down to equipment, buying local is probably the way to go. A bagger for your mower would be excellent.