Holy crap, it’s almost the end of the month and I’m down one. Time to get on the stick (or rather the keyboard) and get the final post in for April. I can’t believe how fast this month has gone. For this entry I am going to share a bad experience with a recent online purchase. Earlier in the year I broke down and upgraded from the Motorola Razor to a Galaxy Mesmerize. This was a difficult task due to how reliable the Razor was and the hell I put it through while out working in the lot. Let’s just say both the secret (yeah right) water disks were bright red from all the sweat and rain it was exposed to. The new smart phone finally provided me the ability to map runs to Google with the built in GPS. Probably more beneficial, it also provided the ability to swap out the iPod Touch for my running MP3 player with the added benefit of now being able to call for help if I get lost or (knock on wood) injured while out on the long runs. In order to do this, I had to purchase a new armband. Having checked out all the Internet stores (Amazon etc.) I decided to go with one I found at http://www.galaxyarmband.com. There was some hesitation since I prefer to purchase things from companies I am familiar with, but this was pretty cheap and went ahead and used our Internet only credit card in case something undesired happen. As a note, this was the only product that actually called out my specific phone model. All the others explicitly stated it only fit one model (which couldn’t be validated since it was using model numbers that were different from the names the cell phone providers give them). Soon after hitting the submit button, the PayPal notification email came confirming the purchase and indicated the charge will show up under Talisman LLC. The email also provided their mailing address:
Several days later we received another email saying the product had shipped and if there were any issues to contact Talisman LLC directly. Sure enough the package arrives and the excitement starts to rise…. that is until I opened up the package. There was a large glue stain on the inside of the clear front of the holder.
Hoping it was superficial I tried wiping it off with water, but that was futile. With a heavy dose of disgust I dragged the camera out, took pictures of the armband condition, hunted down the memory card reader, transferred the images to the computer, cleaned them up in Photoshop to help cut down the glare, added the best one to an email along with some comments regarding my dissatisfaction with their quality control and sent it off. Probably an hour of completely wasted time because of their poor attention to good service. I did not expect an immediate email response, but actually expected something in a day or two. This was an assumption based on their webpage that had the following comment:
“We are a small company, located in the USA. We ship our products anywhere in the world. We have a customer service team that will pick up the phone. And we will ship your products to you promptly, without error, guaranteed.”
Anyone want to take a guess on when they responded? If you answered with anything other than NEVER, you are dead wrong. A week had passed since the defective product arrived and there was nothing left to do other than contact them directly. Back I went to their webpage to get the support numbers. Oddly, the support number was added at the bottom of the page as a graphic and not basic text even though there were only letters and punctuation characters. Their contact number at the time was 608.385.7795 (verified that it still has this number on their website). With some angst, I picked up the phone, dialed the number and prepared myself for some serious ranting. Unfortunately, that never happened because there was only an answering machine for a house realtor. I ended up leaving a message indicating who I was, the reason for my call and even indicated where I got the number in case this was really a realtor and not the Talisman LLC customer service number. That effort ended up with the same results as the email did… nada. A few quick searches on the Internet located this site http://evoarmband.com which looks almost like the Galaxy website with a few different colors, but the same Talisman LLC vendor and a different contact number. Note, the products looks EXACTLY the same. Thinking I was clever, I called that number hoping to be transferred to the real Galaxy number. Failed! That number was a Google Voice number which required me to state my name before putting the call through. No one picked up on the other end and guessing they were using the forward or ignore voice feature.
In a last ditch effort I asked Linda to stop the payment assuming this particular vendor was not entirely on the up and up. Guess what, according to our Visa research, we can only stop payment on a purchase if it is over $50.00. Stick a screw in me boys I’ve been turned. All I can do now is make sure others do not make the same mistake. After some elbow grease and Goop I was able to get some of the glue off that makes it useable, but the quality of the product does not warrant that price tag.
This is what I get for deviating from my standard Internet purchasing process. A lesson learned and another blog entry