I won this game!!

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!

  1. ST: “We need your receipt.”
  2. Me: “I uploaded it.”
  3. ST: “That’s a shipping notice.”
  4. Me: “Basically the same thing? It was fine 3 years ago.”
  5. 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.”
  6. Me: If this were American football, I thought, “I’ve just been sacked!” I tried to change the game.
  7. Me: “But you replaced the printer once under warranty, 11 months after purchase.”
  8. ST: “No, we did not. Before 12 months, that was manufacturer coverage; your replacement came from Epson.”
  9. Me: Yellow card! I’m getting further from my goal. I’ll go back to my prior play.
  10. Me: “What’s wrong with using shipping notice?”
  11. ST: “It doesn’t show the date of purchase.”
  12. Me: “It has a ship date, the purchase date was two days prior.”
  13. ST: “Yes, we have confirmation from Staples of the purchase date.”
  14. Me: “So you know the purchase date?”
  15. 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.”
  16. Me: “But Staples shared with you that I purchased the product on that date and purchased your plan.”
  17. ST: “We must have a copy of the actual receipt.” It was their stout line of defense. Our call ended. The opponent was winning.
  18. 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!
  19. Me: My paper files detail configuration and set-up; alas, no store receipt. I searched my electronic files again. No receipt found.
  20. Staples.com! They have electronic receipts. Alas, those are retained for two years only. I was sacked for a big loss here.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.”
  23. But that “event” had not happened; disposal had not occurred; I was saved! I could WIN this game!!
  24. 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.
  25. 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.”
  26. 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. 🙂

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