Our experience buying online

tncraftFebruary 14, 2012

We bought an appliance online. It was delivered a few days before Christmas. The box looked fine, no dents/scratches. With the very busy holiday/vacation time, we opened the box after the holidays. To our disappointment, the appliance is damaged with a totally shattered glass.

So we contacted the retailer first thing Monday morning. No help from them and they pointed out that it's their policy that any damage reported after 1 business day is not their responsibility. And they told us to go after the manufacturer to fix the appliance. We didn't agree that it's the manufacturer's problem. So we didn't contact the manufacturer.

We then tried to involve the credit card company. Unfortunately, the retailer's 1-day damage reporting policy stood.

Now, we have a 36" induction cooktop with shattered glass. We're hoping it can be fixed and that it will work after replacing the glass.


1. Carefully read every single line of your purchase agreement and any instructions/policy

2. Call the manufacturer right away and they may be able to help you. We had no idea they have some type of 30-day warranty that may (note: "may", not guaranteed) have covered the damage. Unfortunately, we called passed the 30 days.

3. If you don't want to take risk and potentially end up with more work/headache, it's probably best to pay more and buy locally.

****If you have any experience fixing/replacing the glass of an induction cooktop, please share. I'm crossing my fingers that after we buy a new glass and have a technician install it and test the cooktop that it will work. I'm hesitant to sink money into it because I'm worried that it still won't work and we'll end up buying a new one. But I guess we should try to hopefully lessen our loss.

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With any large purchase, always open the package before the shipping company leaves, with the delivery person watching, regardless of what your purchase agreement specifies. This is the only way to protect all parties involved. While I understand that things get crazy during a remodel, a retailer would be insane to cover shipping damage after 30 days - for all they know you could have dropped a refrigerator on your cooktop. Too many dishonest people make it impossible for retailers to take your word at face value. I'm sorry this happened to you - it's an expensive way to learn.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2012 at 10:40AM
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Yes, a very expensive lesson. The item was in our garage until after we got home from the holidays. It's still in the box and not sure how we'll do the service call. It's for our new house that is still under construction and we have no outlet in our current house that the technician can use to test it. Lots of headache!

    Bookmark   February 14, 2012 at 10:47AM
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Just a note, we called within 30 days, but the retailer's policy is 1 day!

    Bookmark   February 14, 2012 at 10:48AM
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You need to post the "retailer" up here.
Some of can "lite a fire" under their tails, and at the very least other folks won't get caught by the
"fine print" like you did!!!


    Bookmark   February 14, 2012 at 10:58AM
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.....one of the many reasons to find a reputable local source, pay a few extra bucks, and patronize them.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2012 at 11:02AM
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".....one of the many reasons to find a reputable local source, pay a few extra bucks, and patronize them."

I believe the key word here is 'reputable'. The relative proximity to me of the vendor has very little to do with how responsive a vendor is towards issues that may crop up.

I would have never ventured out into cyber markets had my local appliance vendors been consistantly reliable, knowledgeable, helpful and attentive to my requirements.

I find the vendors I discovered on-line were much more likely to have an in-depth knowledge of their goods than that of my local guys.

As for warranteed service, almost everyone in my city uses the same independent service provider. There are over 1 million folks in my metro area, and I only know of one appliance shop here that does their own service work (and not too well I might add).

I will not pay more for the same goods and lesser service simply to buy locally. Appliances are a commodity item. The same make and model is the same throughout the US. I see no extra risk when buying through the web - as long as you research the vendor properly. Indeed, you may have more protections regarding shipping when you buy online and pay by credit card. Common carriers move goods cross-country every day and, most times, deliver them without damage. But, if upon inspection, there is a problem, you make a claim. It's why they have insurance.

I am truly sorry the OP has suffered this setback. But, buying locally would not have helped her situation if the cooktop was not inspected until many days after the return period had expired.

Best wishes

    Bookmark   February 14, 2012 at 11:46AM
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We have been very lucky with online purchases.
We probably purchase about 40% of everything we buy online.

The only problem with any item out of hundreds was a Video Card for my PC many years ago, think around 2002-03 and that was entirely the fault of the Post Office.
This was not long after the bogus Anthrax Attack allegedly by that microbiologist.
Shortly after that the post office was Radiating all packages.

After the company sent 3 replacements we finally figured out between us what was happening to all of them, the radiation was destroying the on board memory.
So they wrapped the 4th one in several layers of mylar protection and viola.

They even sent me the last 3 BEFORE I sent the previous ones back so the whole process still only took like 10 days total to get 4 of them.

We have had great luck with online retailers.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2012 at 12:22PM
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I feel bad for the OP but this really isn't the retailer's fault. One should always inspect items as soon as they arrive. From the retailer's point of view, it is quite possible that weeks after something is delivered, the purchaser accidentally dropped the item and is unscrupulously trying to claim that it arrived that way. It is true that some retailers do give you 30 days to report damage but that is why you need to check the terms and conditions when you buy online. The other thing to check, by the way, is whether your credit card gives you any protection in this situation - sometimes they do.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2012 at 12:29PM
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My local guy would have immediately replaced or repaired a damaged product well beyond the 1 day period the OP referenced. I know because it happened. There are still a few service oriented retailers hanging on. Maybe not for long though.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2012 at 2:59PM
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Since we are not talking about a manufacturing defect but rather, apparent shipping damage, you really have to inspect on delivery or risk not having it covered. Freight companies will hold you to that and they will hold the vendor. Opening the box and inspecting for damage is job one. That is why they ask if someone will be there to accept delivery. If you see damage you can reject delivery and the shipping company can either take it back or send a claims adjuster to make a claim to have ti repaired at their expense.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2012 at 11:19PM
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