My second inkjet printer failure in one month ceded its life while putting me in a new contest with a very formidable foe. Imagining Rod Serling and “The Twilight Zone,” I entered:
the extended warranty game.
I’ll share the struggle, but tell you in advance that I won, in dramatic fashion.
The Epson Workforce 3640 succumbed to a hard-stop print error code 0x97. It was briefly resuscitated, meaning one day of print before the error returned, never to disgorge a page again.
I was 35 months into the purchased 36 months of coverage. Could the $15 fee pay off?
There would be hurdles, but I had prepared.
- The warranty was registered with SquareTrade, “an Allstate company.”
- My receipt had been uploaded to their site at the time of purchase.
- The printer had been replaced once under warranty, 11 months after purchase.
- I actually thought, “This is going to work.”
Rather than “hurdles,” this became like a final drive in an American Football game, or “extra time” in worldly futbol. The end was nigh and I desired a decisive win.
Seemingly in scoring position, I launched my play filing the claim on-line. An email requested more information: proof of purchase.
I had the aged .pdf I submitted years ago as proof of purchase; I submitted it again. A second email response requested a telephone call to discuss. Someone from SquareTrade (ST) answered my call — on the weekend!
- ST: “We need your receipt.”
- Me: “I uploaded it.”
- ST: “That’s a shipping notice.”
- Me: “Basically the same thing? It was fine 3 years ago.”
- ST: “You uploaded a file, but it’s not the right file; we never review it until you file a claim. Now we see it’s not a valid receipt.”
- Me: If this were American football, I thought, “I’ve just been sacked!” I tried to change the game.
- Me: “But you replaced the printer once under warranty, 11 months after purchase.”
- ST: “No, we did not. Before 12 months, that was manufacturer coverage; your replacement came from Epson.”
- Me: Yellow card! I’m getting further from my goal. I’ll go back to my prior play.
- Me: “What’s wrong with using shipping notice?”
- ST: “It doesn’t show the date of purchase.”
- Me: “It has a ship date, the purchase date was two days prior.”
- ST: “Yes, we have confirmation from Staples of the purchase date.”
- Me: “So you know the purchase date?”
- ST: “Yes, but your shipping notice and the Staples affirmation do not show the purchase of our SquareTrade protection plan. We need to see the original receipt with that purchase documented.”
- Me: “But Staples shared with you that I purchased the product on that date and purchased your plan.”
- ST: “We must have a copy of the actual receipt.” It was their stout line of defense. Our call ended. The opponent was winning.
- Me: Running in circles is not scoring. I must find the paper files I might have kept. Yes, I located them! I’m calling on my resources to make the biggest play in 3 years of printer football/futbol!
- Me: My paper files detail configuration and set-up; alas, no store receipt. I searched my electronic files again. No receipt found.
- Staples.com! They have electronic receipts. Alas, those are retained for two years only. I was sacked for a big loss here.
- Me: A timeout for anger management was the time I needed for one … last … gamble … one last resource … one more try. Anal retention having failed, there was a possibility that procrastination (‘pro’ sounds positive!) would provide a recourse.
- Me: Yes! Yes! Yes! I found the actual paper receipt in an accordion envelope, inside a wicker basket, relegated to the basement for sorting and disposal, “eventually.”
- But that “event” had not happened; disposal had not occurred; I was saved! I could WIN this game!!
- Me: In a triumphant act of “gotcha” I used the failing printer to scan the receipt and upload it to SquareTrade. It wouldn’t print, but the Epson would scan. I made a phone call.
- ST: “I see you have everything we need! We will not replace the printer [momentary sinking feeling for me] but we will buy you out of the warranty.”
- Me: Their amount was 50% more than I originally paid for the printer after discounts. I elected not to argue with their math.
I received the check, made the deposit, and purchased a new printer. This time I did not pay for the extended warranty. I won the game … but I didn’t want to play again. 🙂