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Tigerdirect.com posted 680e warranty

bruisedquasar Page Icon Posted 2005-03-05 12:32 PM
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Tigerdirect clearly posts the warranty information for the refurbished Jornada 680e units they sell:

"Manufactured by: HP/Compaq; Mfg Part No: RB-680e; Shipping Weight: 3.0 lbs; Limited Warranty: 3 months parts; 3 months labor; Click here for full warranty and support information." When you click, here is what you get:

"This product has a limited warranty of 3 months for parts and 3 months for labor. This warranty is provided by Joy Systems; Support Phone Number: 973-574-1215"

After this, Tiger provides information on a third party extended warranty:
"WACA 1 Year Replacement after Mfg. Warranty Ends -$19.99"

At the end of the detailed, lengthy ad for the 680e, Tiger posts:
"Manufacturer Warranty: A full text version of the manufacturer's warranty may be obtained by mailing a self addressed, stamped envelope to the address below and requesting the warranty for item number: J162-1000"
"TigerDirect.com
Warranty Information
7795 W. Flagler St. Suite 35
Miami, FL. 33144"

Tiger also clearly posts its definition of "refurbished"
["GREAT QUALITY: "GOOD AS NEW, or NEARLY NEW"] When a customer buys a product, opens the box and tests it or uses it and then returns it, The product is inspected for damage and any necessary repairs are made, any missing materials are replaced, the product is then certified that it is complete and in good working order, is re-packaged and the merchadise is offered for sale as "refurbished" "

As I posted eleswhere, I have been a regular customer of Tiger for many years. I am a picky, but reasonable, consumer. Tiger is one of my favorite retailers. I liked only one mail order gadget company better, Lexmart. They went under several years ago.

This opinion is from a guy who placed a 240 lb $400 exercise bike (exclusively sold by Dunham's Sporting Goods) when -three days out of 90 day warranty- the pedal unit broke off the frame! The maker would do nothing. A friend arc welded the assembly back on. Two weeks later it broke off again. Dunham's wanted to give me a "so sorry." I wanted a new bike.

{During peak hours, I dropped it off in the entrance (as I told the area manager I would) and told the clerks, before dozens of customers, why I did it. (It is critical to be calm so customers will not write you off as a nut case & management cannot sic the police on you.): "If Dunham's knows 97% of all buyers of department store exercise machines quit by four weeks and makers build them accordingly, then I have a bike coming, since I asked for and paid for top of the line and we use it". Dunham's took it back and gave me a new one, provided I would remove the bad one. I then returned it to another Dunham's store for my money back and for $50 more we bought a home version of a professional bike (Life Cycle), which we have used for 13 years.}

Tiger clearly posts "WHAT'S IN THE BOX"

Tiger, which is common retail practice, simply posts the information manufacturers provide to them. They are a retailer, not a marketing department. Everything Tiger has posted about the 680e units was provided by HP\Compaq. Any deception you feel is involved in our not being informed that the units are custom made units made for the Dutch Railway is HP\Compaq deception, not Tiger deception. (I hope people realize that Sears & J.C. Penny wrote almost none of the thousands of product information blurbs in their huge catalogs & Harbor Freight does not write the blurbs in their tool catalogs )

I do not know everything but I do know a few things about retailing and manufacturing, having grown up in an extended business family and having made my own way in the business world myself. I can tell you this: A retailer of Tiger's size must be extremely cautious of giving out ANY product or warranty information without prior permission from a company the size of HP\Compaq, which has a large salaried legal department. Standard retail practice is to simply post what the manufacturing firm gives you to post. Only a retailer the size of Walmart can go head to head with a major manufacturer. Even they are shy of doing combat with Microsoft, so they hide their sale of Linux PCs in their online catalog.

I find most people have no idea of the brute power of huge manufacturers like Microsoft and Intel. Mere retailers & merely large manufacturers shudder before them.

It is normal practice for a manufacturer to license another company that specializes in refurbishing, to refurbish and ship discontinued products. It is also common for the refurbisher to contract with an insurance company to create and offer a warranty. No major manufacturer refurbishes & markets refurbished products. That would be insane, considering the pay, relaxed work environment and benefits level their labor is used to. They license out refurbishing. Most likely, the firm that actually refurbished our 680e units is in Taiwan, Singapore, Korea, China or Thailand.

I think we got one heck of a deal. For a mere $119 we get a new or nearly new 680e, which retailed for over $700 off the assembly line. And it turns out that the CF card slot we were told we wouldn,t have is there and works! Two sheets ontop of our units informed us about the custom build & exactly what we would not get, so we could have returned our unit without opening anything. We get extra keys and something I have never seen on a computer keyboard before, key access to wingbats! I told my attorney friends about this unit and they bought several. The custom key layout is excellent for lawyers. We can buy the missing external audio buttons for a small price and install them. The custom base plate is easily removed and the stabilizer that we understood we would not have is there! A new 680e with a solid main battery and no eBay crapshoot. I assure you there are not thousands of people who paid nearly a grand for a 680e and never used it or got it as a gift they had no use for & failed to exchange it for cash.

Yes, a lot of people claim they got a near new one for $140 or less. 90% plus of those owner-sellers used it alright and you get to buy a new expensive main battery, after you paid $140 or more. Fortunate is the average eBay buyer who still has a working 680e a year later. For 99% of buyers, eBay is as much a crapshoot as buying a good looking used car from a roadside used car dealer with a name like "Honest Abe" , "Trader Fred" or "Jims Quality Pre-Owned Autos". I put three friends into full-time eBay sales. For honest sellers, eBay is vicious. Every thief with a PC tries to take eBay sellers. By the way, the most dangerous instrument to accept in payment for something is a BANK CASHIER'S CHECK. They are the most stolen and forged of all instruments. It is harder for a bank clerk to steal a dollar bill from their bank than to steal a stack of blank cashier checks. Why? The Fed has no regulations placing any liability or responsibility on bank cashier checks. The same is true for bank issue debit cards, a dangerous thing to have.

I know two retired Auto Dealers. They tell me that a savy consumer who forces a good deal is RARE. Most overpay and get peanuts for the trade-in. In fact, dealers make much, much more from used cars than new! Compare that with the number of men who tell you the amazing price they got on both.

All Jornada 'e' models ship without a built-in phone modem but those & the browser software are outdated anyway. We got a fully functional wireless infrared unit and the adaptors for PCs are cheap. A little active consumerism would have informed anyone of both of these facts. On the Internet, professional reviews and consumer comments are plentiful and easily found. We cannot reasonably blame Tiger or HP\Compaq for our failure to do our consumer homework. ....Of course, this is all just my humble opinion.

Edited by bruisedquasar 2005-03-05 12:49 PM
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C:Amie Page Icon Posted 2005-03-05 1:17 PM
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Another 680e thread, great

You rather slipped up on concluding with the specific purpose of your "HPC:Factor.com Rant ™"

There is a good saying. Caveat Emptor...

In this modern society people do not like having to do their own research, it strikes me every day as I sit and watch the world float past. So I fully agree with you on that score. No question.

Let me pull you off the horse for a minute here though, as TigerDirect have recently updated that page and changed the information. They also took the formal hp specification for the Jornada 680 on their post and removed the CF slot parts.

People here are not trying to slam TigerDirect, however I for one do feel that in the presence of accurate and friendly information from us and from other users they should a) update the information to correctly reflect the product b) stop telling them it is CE3 c) stop telling them it has an upgrade path and d) stop recommending hardware accessories that don't work.

It is lucky that they are not a British company, as the idea od Caveat Emptor over here is more Caveat Venditor.
The company is liable under a sales contract to provide items as described and at the price described.
Failure to do so requires the seller to make all reasonable efforts to correct the matter or to issue a full refund at their expence.

Now, they have had my email for two weeks now. I think that as a news organisation we are entitled to make a little noise about it, as our visitors here - some who feel a little duped. Especially thouse who were under the impression that it is a CE3 device.

Tanken from the product description 04/03/2005:
Quote
Supported Operating Systems (OS/NOS): Microsoft (R) Windows Handheld PC Professional Edition (CE 3.0) with Color Support
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JC
JC Page Icon Posted 2005-03-05 10:20 PM
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bruisedquasar - 2005-03-05 12:32 PM

Everything Tiger has posted about the 680e units was provided by HP\Compaq. Any deception you feel is involved in our not being informed that the units are custom made units made for the Dutch Railway is HP\Compaq deception, not Tiger deception.
Quote


Why would HP try and deceive anyone? These units were sold to the Dutch railroad years ago and at that time HP received the profit. I am sure that HP gave the railroad a full warranty and honoured it. In fact, I am sure a special contract was drawn up regarding these units. At some point the Dutch railroad decided to upgrade their equipment and sold these units, either to a company who refurbished them or directly to Tiger's. HP did not receive any further profit from these units, so why would they incure the cost of warranty? The warranty information originally posted was accessed by Tiger's from the HP website, and not SENT to them by HP. This is why it has been changed on the site. The warranty covers the original purchaser, and is not transferable. As Jornada has been discontinued HP is trying to phase out support on these units. As you can image, continuing to have support people for a unit that has been out of warranty for several years is not a profitable situation...
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exscentric Page Icon Posted 2005-03-05 10:26 PM
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Don't know if it relates but some units like the mobilepro 880 are listed as CE 3.01 built on a core of 2.1 I think it is.

I have found tiger direct to be quite upright in dealings. They do big business and make mistakes like all other corporations I'd guess.

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Snappy! Page Icon Posted 2005-03-06 5:52 AM
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I guess it boils down to this:

When retailers or manufacturers make a bloopers, they just say sorry and change their site and expect everything to be alright (Read: Expect consumers to swallow that!). Their fineprints seem to be irrelevant at this point.

But when consumers make a blooper, they have take out the same fineprints and hold the consumers to it!

More power to the consumer please!
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Samer
Samer Page Icon Posted 2005-03-30 6:04 PM
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Ok now that we've all got out 680e working with a WiFi card, the next question is Access Point discovery? I've scanned this and other sites and nothing definitive. Tried Ministumbler (doesn't like the Jornada because it's not ported to it, I suppose). Other ideas?

Thanks,

Samer
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C:Amie Page Icon Posted 2005-03-30 6:38 PM
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There are other threads on this elsewhere on the board. Please have a search around and join in there.
This thread is on the TigerDirect Warranty.
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wsanders Page Icon Posted 2005-04-04 4:53 PM
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Be advised that the warranty now posted is

"NOTE, this item features a TigerDirect 90-day Exchange warranty only!"
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bruisedquasar Page Icon Posted 2005-04-04 6:56 PM
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Snappy! - 2005-03-06 5:52 AM

I guess it boils down to this:

When retailers or manufacturers make a bloopers, they just say sorry and change their site and expect everything to be alright (Read: Expect consumers to swallow that!). Their fineprints seem to be irrelevant at this point.
More power to the consumer please!


Snappy, having grown up in a large family of small business owners and having owned businesses myself I must point out that we must sharply distinguish between manufacturers and retailers. Let me illustrate my point: Would a reasonable person expect a Kmart clerk or manager to know the products in the department he works as well as we would an official factory representative for the product his firm makes? tigerdirect is a retailer. What makes us assume that their knowledge of the products they sell should be any more extensive than that of a man who owns or manages a store? lumping manufacturers and retailers into the same bag is to mix fruit with meat because both are food. Retailers and manufacturers often war with each other.

Ever notice that bar code stickers and bar code reader check out is not faster than old fashion cash register check out? Retailers know this. The function of bar codes is more efficient inventory control and above all customer information gathering which retailers use on suppliers for negotiation purposes. Before Bar Coding, big firms like Campbells and Morton's pushed retailers around, dictating where their products were shelved, what could be shelved near them and even insisting stores not carry certain competitors. You did not see the now routine quality budget brands in super markets until the advent of the bar code reader. Walmart is down right vicious with many of its suppliers.

I lay no claim to knowing everything about anything but I do know much more than the average bear about retailing and manufacturing. During my business days I toured many factories from the famous GM Transmission assembly complex (Hydromatic at Willow Run) to Sangean Radio in Taiwan. I was able to retire from business by age 43 and I had no help from my family except for a heck of a lot of knowledge they passed on to me. In my day, I ran accross a lot of dishonest businessmen. I found that nearly all of the dishonest ones were incompetent. Show me one of the many dishonest (90%) electronic repair or auto repair (65%) shop owners and I will show you an incompetent, often alcoholic, businessman. The business I knew the most about (family restuarants) I stayed the heck away from and went with retailing and then consulting. (family restuarants and landscaping kill a lot of owner-operators)

A person has to really be on their toes 70 plus hours a week just to make a little convenience store work. Dollar stores and privately owned video rental is hell. The owner of tigerdirect could fascinate you for days just telling you the customer scams tiger must protect itself from. A person who knows the retail game must be brave or crazy to even consider selling off-brand or minor brand made items. I will not get into why.

I assure you a price and service competitive firm like tiger can not even consider writing up the specs or basic information on the 10s of thousands of item it sells. Did you even see the bigger than telephone book color catalogs Sears and Pennys used to put out? They probably wrote, at most, 10% of the ads and made 10% or less of the photos. What large catalog firms like these did was set photo standards for manufacturers. Some had to pay to be included, just as drug makers pay for their pages in the Doctor's PDA. When a retailer is that huge they can set writing and photo standards but no way could they or should they do the catalog themselves.

You can bet on it that HP made some money on the tiger sold 680e units. It works like this. They have a warehouse full of them, mostly returned units. They sell them outright to a refurbishing company and part of the deal is they let the company sell the units as "factory refurbished". This is a common practice. I assure you HP did not make much from each unit but you might be surprised if you found out the difference between factory cost and suggested retail price.

In business, you do not think only in terms of profit or you will not last long. Many instances you must think reduced loss (or reduced risk). For instance, no bank wants to reposses a house or car. They always lose money. They usually lose a lot more, if they do not repossess. Once they do, the thinking is loss reduction, or in industry jargon "loss recovery". There are savy business people who make a fortune from understanding & working with this fact.

If you were to argue that the justdeals.com refurbished 680e units, were probably already purchased, I would agree. A refurbisher probably bought thousands of used ones for peanuts, disassembled them, sorted the main components and reassembled them for resale. Read Lensman's report on the units. He finds they consist of used parts. You could say they are 'eMachine' type refurbished J 680e units.

I do not mean to rain on anyone's parade here but I speak from years of inside experience, not from theory, generalization, or speculation. Many times customers blame retailers like many restuarant customers jump all over their waitress for the bad job the owner did with the menu description or the cook did preparing the food.

...Of course, this is all my humble opinion

--Bruised





Edited by bruisedquasar 2005-04-04 7:08 PM
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bruisedquasar Page Icon Posted 2005-04-04 7:13 PM
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wsanders - 2005-04-04 4:53 PM

Be advised that the warranty now posted is
"NOTE, this item features a TigerDirect 90-day Exchange warranty only!"


Hey! I like that better. Tiger has a toll free phone number. The other warranty involved a customer pays phone number & customer pays postage both ways for repair or replacement, accroding to refurbisher's discretion. I'll go for a 90-day Tiger swap.

--Briused
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