It's been a week and I still feel the need to talk about my alarm clock. Why? Because there isn't closure on it, but also because things started to work in my favor. There still isn't closure, but I'm down to one thing left outstanding.
I'm still struggling to get my money back from Sears. Apparently, they have never canceled an order before. I know that isn't true, but I'm having a little bit of troubling believing that a company I grew up with could have this much trouble with PayPal and their own ordering process.
I bitched about it on Friday on Twitter. Yeah, it was petty, but it got answers. My "assigned executive contact" finally answered the messages I've been leaving for a week without an answer. "I was on vacation," was the excuse. It wasn't on her voicemail message, so all I got was no answer for days at a time. I think she was annoyed at me, but it has been two weeks and I'm actually getting annoyed.
Something else must have happened because I got an email that told me that I will be getting a refund in 3-5 days. Because, they can take my money in 30 seconds, but it still takes a week after I bitch enough to give it back to me.
SMWM was annoyed that they are refunding exactly what I spent on them instead of offering something for the (apparently five) weeks of trying to handle this order. I knew they wouldn't, Sears is a big company and I assume they a) don't care and b) assume I'm never going to do business with them again. I can't answer that.
eBay Purchase #1
The broken alarm clock I got on eBay, on the other hand, went smoothly. I sent an email saying that a button didn't work. They apologized and told me to send it back. Two days later, they got the package and refunded me for the entire price. They also refunded my costs to ship it back.
I didn't get anything extra, but you know what? They were prompt, friendly, and responsive. I'm okay because they tried. I also gave them positive feedback because... well, they were nice.
eBay Purchase #2
Yeah, I bought the clock again from an eBay. This was a refurbish with free shipping. It showed up... also broken. But, they didn't say it was "factory new" like the other one. And the ways it was broken (one burned out, non-essential LED and a missing lithium battery) were acceptable things. So, I accepted it, gave them positive feedback, and plugged it in.
I didn't accept the first one because the Alarm 2 button wasn't working. I can live with not knowing it's Thursday, I don't work well without a second alarm.
Amazon is too easy, but I also don't trust them. My guidelines are "local and small" because large companies (like Amazon and Sears) stop caring about people and start obsessing about only one thing: money. They don't try to help because there is simply too much going on. This comes from Amazon's "permanent decision" that occasionally pop up or Sears struggling to refund my money after weeks of trying.
I prefer local because it means taxes. Taxes pay for the road in front of my house, services around him, and the general quality of life. People who do business on eBay pay taxes and help their communities. Companies like Amazon and Sears make big deals with counties and states to avoid taxes which means they don't help people. So, the "small and local" is to help more than just myself... though I have to pay more to get it.
Now, the biggest fear after all this drama is that the clock actually sucked. I was being picky about it because I knew what I wanted, though it was almost impossible to find. But, it is just about perfect. It isn't too bright, the color is easy on the eyes, the alarm is perfect. It doesn't do 24-hour, but that's a minor thing. In the end, it was exactly what I was looking for.
Just wished it wasn't so hard to get....