A one-time school project gone terribly, terribly wrong.

13 September 2005

Bog Burns

Our local peat bog is burning, and the smoke and falling ash are making it difficult for me to a) sleep and b) breathe. So here we are again at quarter past one in the morning. . .

Lately, I have been losing patience with the Rio music player. The SO purchased this item from a local electronica store. It's called the Forge 256 and as the name implies it contains 256 megs of memory for storing and playing back music or the audiobooks the SO prefers.

Note the ad copy on that page: " . . . for people who like to play hard and use music to play even harder . . . No moving parts . . . ".

This not-cheap little item functioned perfectly well through its three-month warranty (who has so little confidence in their products that they back it for only ninety days?). However, at five months it malfunctioned drastically. The SO followed the steps in the manual: reformatting the "drive", messing with the contents etc., upon which it ceased to function entirely.

The SO was steamed and wrote what I considered a rather strident, but understandable, letter to the company.

"Customer Care" as the department is (inaccurately, it seems) known, responded with a letter that stated that as the warranty had expired, there would be a $69.00 (US) "out-of-warranty replacement charge".

Let's clarify: In response to a complaint about the shoddy performance of a device made by their company, the people at CC decided to offer to sell the SO another one.

At this point I jumped in, 'cos I'm a consumer-power junkie. I scrapped with our phone company for around six months to get back $63, just because the president of the Telus company decided to be a smarmy oik one Christmas. Briefly he apologised for the lousy quality of service we were getting and specifically mentioned that we hadn't been getting what we were paying for. Naturally I wrote and told him to put his money where his mouth was by refunding one month's worth of my phone bill. I also wrote three articles on the conflict, including a cut-out form letter for anyone who wanted to do the same.

So I happily wrote to the Rio piople, specifically the Manager of customer care, indicating that 1) The SO, having been unsatisfied with the original product, was surely unlikely to buy a second (implying also that for the $100 Canadian involved she sure as hell could find something better); 2) Surely five months was an unnaturally short lifetime for such an expensive gadget? and 3)I expected the company, as a goodwill gesture, to replace the unit as though it were still under warranty.

Yesterday came a reply from an unknown functionary: Exactly the same form letter as the last, including the demand for $69.

My further reply re-stated 1,2, and 3 above and included a comment that further attempts to sell us another one of these crap-ola machines or reply by form letter would be viewed as a deliberate insult.

Waiting now for a response, grinning and grinding axe.


At 6:04 a.m., Blogger Lori said...

This is why I'm with you...

I, on the other hand, have been joining consumer review sites like a mad fool, leaving relatively balanced reviews ("Pros: compatible with, takes a flash card for more memory...Cons: 3-month warranty, lasted 5 months...")

Thanks love,


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