Read the Fine Print

Where have I heard that before? Mmmmm….lets see, ALMOST EVERYWHERE!

For those not familiar with this phrase, welcome to our planet and here is what it means.

Fine print contains information disclosing why you would not want to involve yourself with what is being offered. With medicines, the fine print lists side effects which at times can be worse than the symptoms the medication is said to relieve. With radio advertising, the ‘the fine print’ is that fastspeak at the end of the commercial that essentially tells you everything you have heard up to that point is a lie. With written ads and contracts it is that tiny hidden paragraph of print that discloses why this is a bad deal. With on-line vendors, the fine print is usually hidden in the ‘privacy statement’ or the ‘returns policy’.

Appears that the Geeks.com in California have a return policy that declares ‘ALL SALES FINAL’. In other words, they have a policy of not accepting returns at all. This means that you need to very, very, very carefully read all the fine print you find in the information they provide describing the product before you buy.

Recently I bought what they described as an ASUS motherboard. It did turn out to be a motherboard originally made by ASUS but it also had an HP sticker indicating that Hewlett-Packard had excercised their ‘magic’ on the board, found it less than acceptable afterward, and discarded it. The geeks then found it and used it to make money off it after HP had trashed it.

I ended up getting taken. Okay, it does have an ASUS stock number but it does not have any documentation or drivers or support. No support by anyone including ASUS, the Geeks, or HP. It is not just a debranded board. It is junk. $52 worth of junk if you include the price of shipping.

Unhappy customers become pessimistic customers. If the deal is a good one it is probably over rated if it is offered on the geek website. Read the fine print and make sure you understand where the product came from, what is included in the package, and any additional parts-information-drivers-instructions that may not be included but needed to make the offering work.

In the case of a socket 478 motherboard be advised that it needs a manual, driver CD/DVD, I/O shield, and bag of hardware if you want to install it in a computer. If any of those things are not included, you are wasting your time and money. Even if those things are included, you still need to have in your possession or the ability to get the required CPU and memory.

Also, when you see the word ‘refurbished’ it means that there was something wrong at one time with the product you are considering. ‘Refurbished’ may mean that now there is nothing wrong with the product and it could very well be that if it was ‘refurbished’ correctly it is even better than new.

‘Refurbished’ can also mean that the thing was declared defective in error by an incompetent technician and merely repackaged and offered to you without any other consideration.

A better and nearly equivalent term is ‘used’. Worst case, it may not only the ‘used’ but also abused and finally put back in the box in an unusable condition.

It is usually a good idea to avoid ‘refurbished’ stuff especially if the price is too good to be true because it is too good to be true.

So we chalk this one up to experience. A very bad experience and vow that it will not happen again.

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