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Betsy: 1, Newegg: 0

May 12, 2010

Our package from newegg.com arrived yesterday. I eagerly opened it only to find a curious “Upgrade” sticker under the plastic wrap. I thought I had ordered and paid for a “full” version of CS4, not an upgrade. But Adobe has so many products packaged in so many bundles, maybe I made a mistake.

I contacted Newegg’s online chat customer service. She was very unhelpful. Boilerplate response after boilerplate response about how they can only guarantee the information on their website, and she doesn’t know what product I have, I have to contact the manufacturer.

I call Adobe and wait on hold for over 20 minutes. I finally get a person, who tells me that they only way she can determine which product I have is via the serial number, which is on the jewel case inside the box. The only way I can access said serial number is by breaking open the plastic seal. Which may or may not invalidate my ability to return the product if, indeed, it turns out to be the wrong version. I hemmed and hawed, quickly scanned newegg’s return policy (which as it turns out, is vastly different from their more specific software policy), and decided that I had all the original packaging, and there was no way to tell unless I ripped the damn box open. So I did.

Adobe told me I am in possession of an upsell version. Then she proceeded to explain the difference between a “full” version and an “upgrade” version. The whole reason I called is that I know the difference, I’m very aware of the important distinction between the two, and I was worried I had the wrong version, which I do, and now cannot use. Grr.

I then had to call Newegg to request an “RMA” to return the thing and get my money back. I checked the product page again. Nothing about it being an upgrade or an upsell version. I thought not. The first person I talked to told me that their system was down and I had to call back in half an hour, but that if it was listed incorrectly, they would take it back. I called back 30 minutes later. I got a jerk who gave me attitude and boilerplate about their software return policy and how if I opened it I can’t possibly return it. He passed me off to their “escalations department.” Ha. Escalate this.

Another lady put me on hold while they “investigated.” She came back several times to apologize for keeping me waiting, but to tell me again that they were “investigating.” Then she said she had to leave in half an hour and they had to talk to the person who actually talks to the Adobe rep, so she would get back to me via email, possibly in the morning. I was dubious, but felt I was winning because it wasn’t quickly resolved. If it was taking them that long to figure it out, I was right, it probably was complicated and unclearly listed on their site.

Lo, and behold, a bit later I received an email saying my “RMA” had been approved. I received a UPS shipping label, and they are not charging me their “restocking fee.” So I will get a full refund except for the $1.99 I paid for shipping. I’m annoyed that their site was wrong, annoyed that they don’t have information about the products they sell, annoyed that they automatically treat you like a dimwitted cheater trying to get away with something. But I will give them credit for listening in the end after passing me off to only one person, taking the right action quickly, accepting the return, and paying for the shipping back.

I feel vindicated, but I still don’t have my software. So I guess it’s a draw.

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