Archive for the ‘Shopping’ Category

9
Jun

Provo Ink

   Posted by: Garrett

No, this is not a post about tattoos. Plus, tattoo parlors don’t last long in Provo – there is only so much skin on a very very customers. Anyway, this is not about tattoos (but, note to self – Do a post on tattoos soon).Ink Cartridges

This is about printer ink.

You see, I just purchased some remanufactured (read, refilled) ink cartridges for my HP Photosmart Premium C309g-m. And after maybe 20 pages, the printer said the ink was gone.

Now, I have been having problems with this particular printer and refilled cartridges. Basically, the printer says that using them voids my warranty and then the printer steadfastly refuses to acknowledge that they are full. So, after a little use, the printed pages start looking horrible.

I took some of my other cartridges in (to, you guessed it, a place in Provo) to have them refilled (I now have 3 sets of cartridges).

I’ve done a bit of research and asked the guy who refilled my cartridges if there was a way around this, and the answer . . . No.

Why are we letting the printer companies get away with this?

I realize that the ink is where they are making most of their money, but they are charging WAY too much for printer ink. Some estimate the charge at $800 per gallon of ink. In other words – HUGE profits.

These practices are anti-consumer and monopolistic. Where is the attorney general? Is this naked greed going to stand?

Unfortunately, I can’t even boycott HP (which I am doing anyway because their particular method is especially onerous) because it is something that all the printer manufacturers are doing, apparently.

I’d like to know which ones I can do better with getting around this ridiculous restriction, though, so if anyone knows, I’m all ears.

And the real kicker is that warranty thing. HP says that the refilled or remanufactured cartridges are dangerous for my printer. What an outright lie! Come on HP, at least tell us the truth – you care more about your profits than about the consumer. I’ve been a loyal customer of HP cameras and printers for at least 15 years, but this is the last straw – no more HP for me!

They are in clear violation of the Magnuson–Moss Warranty Act:

“(c) Prohibition on conditions for written or implied warranty; waiver by Commission
No warrantor of a consumer product may condition his written or implied warranty of such product on the consumer’s using, in connection with such product, any article or service (other than article or service provided without charge under the terms of the warranty) which is identified by brand, trade, or corporate name.”

As stated at http://business.ftc.gov/documents/bus01-businesspersons-guide-federal-warranty-law#Magnuson-Moss, this means,

“Generally, tie-in sales provisions are not allowed. Such a provision would require a purchaser of the warranted product to buy an item or service from a particular company to use with the warranted product in order to be eligible to receive a remedy under the warranty. The following are examples of prohibited tie-in sales provisions.

In order to keep your new Plenum Brand Vacuum Cleaner warranty in effect, you must use genuine Plenum Brand Filter Bags. Failure to have scheduled maintenance performed, at your expense, by the Great American Maintenance Company, Inc., voids this warranty.”

This is exactly what printer ink is to printers.

There is currently a class-action lawsuit against HP (I just found out in my searching – https://www.hpinkjetprintersettlement.com/) that is in the final stages and HP will be required to make some changes.

However, this does not appear to take this federal law into account. Instead, focusing on the messaging around how much ink is available.

I’m about ready to contact my law firm and start my own class action suit. Who’s with me?

2
Dec

Tis the Season

   Posted by: Garrett Tags:

Tis the season . . . to get ripped off if you are not careful.

I speak specifically of the extended warranties offered at pretty much every retailer for various electronic or other items.

These are RIP OFFS. Do NOT waste your money on them; the cashiers may say that it covers physical damage, including even being run over by a car, but that is a LIE!

Why are these such a waste of money?

First of all, the manufacturer’s warranty has to expire before you can even use the extended one.

Second, they only cover certain kinds of damage. For example, we bought a Nintendo DS for one of the kids a couple years ago at FYE. I got the extended warranty because the kids play rough with those. Recently, the hinge broke, causing the entire unit to fail (some wires got pulled out). I contacted the warranty people (Bankers Warranty group, I’m talking about you) since the manufacturer’s warranty had expired. They denied the claim because they only cover mechanical failures. They didn’t deem this to be mechanical – hinges are apparently not part of the mechanics of the device – go figure. I got my law firm involved and they decided to give another look at it. They just denied the claim again – even with pictures and my lawyer breathing down their neck. I’m waiting for a call back from the attorney to see what I can do next, but this post is a good place to start.

Now, looking at the reason for the denial, if there is a mechanical breakdown, one that would be covered, it would happen during the manufacturer’s part of the warranty. So, basically, you are paying these scams like Bankers Warranty Group to tell you to contact your manufacturer.

Third, the stores make A LOT of money on these things – commissions. So the cashiers – untrained salespeople – will tell you just about anything to get you to buy it. I am VERY disappointed in FYE – they should be ashamed of the lies they tell their cashiers. They are not alone though, I get the same rigmarole from WalMart, Target, Shopko, Best Buy, and so forth. Capitalism at its best worst!

Fourth, if you used a credit card to purchase the item, the credit card company may already be giving you an extended warranty.

Fifth, products are fairly reliable now. You have better odds in Vegas than in needing to use the extended part of the warranty.

Sixth, the cost of the warranty is usually close to or more than the cost for a repair in the first place. And, worse, about half of the cost of the extended warranty is the commission on the item! So, a huge percentage of that money for the warranty isn’t even going to cover eventual breakdowns – can you see why salespeople would lie and warranty groups (hello again Bankers Warranty Group – ) would defraud consumers?

Seventh, you’ll probably want an updated version of the item by the time you need it anyway, especially with electronics.

Now, to be fair, some people believe that there are some cases when extended warranties make sense (however, these people agree that purchasing extended warranties doesn’t usually make sense).

When it comes down to it, make sure you know what the fine print says is covered or not (regardless of what the cashier says) before plucking down your cash.