When I first started this blog, I sometimes wrote about creativity and writing, but I also wrote about experiences that I felt had a literary quality about them. But lately, all I’ve been doing is focusing on writing about writing – which is likely monotonous for non-writers, and possibly boring even for other writers. Meanwhile, I’ve discovered some friends are tracking my life through my blog entries and I worry that all this writer’s angst too easily collides with self-absorption and complaint.
So, I’ll tell you about my vacuum cleaner. Which is also a complaint, but hopefully more interesting. And perhaps someone who googles “Eurolab Cyclonic Vacuum Cleaner” and possibly adding “directdeals.com.au” will read this. AND BE WARNED.
It was such a fine idea. My bright new apartment, my first property. I decided to get a nice, new electronic appliance, and needed a vacuum cleaner immediately upon moving in. I did a casual websearch for Sydney stores and “direct deals” came up with a special offer. A bagless vacuum cleaner. I’d seen the gorgeous and expensive Dyson models in stores, and the concept of bagless appealed to me. So, clicked on the photo. Registered retail price $230. Yours now for only $70 (plus $10 postage). Some further surfing revealed that other bagless vacuum cleaners were indeed pricy, and this seemed a bargain – my Asian bargain hunter reflexes made my heart jump all excitedly. I also thought that Eurolab sounded like a sleek name. German perhaps? Scandivian?
When it arrived in the post, it was smaller than I expected, but a fun bright blue, a cool compact shape, and worked OK, albeit the 1400 watt suction wasn’t super strong. I don’t have a big place, so it seemed to do the trick, especially since my IKEA carpet coughed up carpet-balls on a daily basis.
But as the Spanish say: Cheap is Expensive. It doesn’t matter if a vacuum cleaner costs only $70 if after six months something starts to rattle and it smells like burning electrical parts. I surfed the web, and sent an enquiry to www.dealsdirect.com.au. No warranty. Only if dead on arrival. NO WARRANTY? What was I thinking? Didn’t I check that. (No.) A friendly vacuum cleaner repairman told me that the smoke alluded to motor problems and a new motor, and labour to install it would cost: $150. I googled Eurolab and couldn’t find anything (well, actually, a number of European laboratories, but none who produced electronic equipment). I finally found a link which lead me to a conversation on a consumer discussion board that focused on Australian broadband services. Someone complained about receiving the wrong children’s toys, and being unable to return them. This lead into posts of all the problems that people have had with dealsdirect and testimonials that Eurolab is a cheap Chinese manufacturer and that a number of items: coffeemakers mainly, seemed to last about 2 or 3 months before conking out.
So, I should feel lucky I got six months.
I went out immediately to the Breville/Kambrook seconds discount place and got me a 1900 watt bagless Kambrook with a one year warranty. I sprung for the most expensive model in the shop ($120) and the suction is so strong that the paint has started to come off my walls whenever I turn it on. But my ex Michael reminded me to look for the lever on the handle that lets air in (and reduces sucking), my carpet is looking beautifully fuzz free, and my apartment is spotless.
As they say on television (or anywhere these days), “if my story only helps one person to change their life…”
Heh. Remember kids: buy products with warranties. cheap is expensive. deals direct are crooks. eurolab is not european. Words to live by.
(BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE)
Only two days after I posted this, I was notified that there was a comment on my blog. Of course, you could read it in the comments section, but I think it’s much more fun to read it here:
I work for DealsDirect.com.au and came across your post this morning. I’m really sorry to hear that you had such a bad run with your Eurolab vacuum cleaner. It’s obviously not a good situation either for you or us.
As I can see you have already purchased another vacuum cleaner elsewhere, if you are able to arrange return postage to us of the vacuum cleaner, I would be happy to arrange a refund in full. I’d also be very sorry to see you never return to DealsDirect.com.au, so would also like to offer a $30 credit on your DealsDirect account in the hope you’ll give us a second chance to make things right with another order in the future.
I’ve also requested that our inventory team flag this vacuum cleaner with our suppliers, to review the warranty terms. This may mean a sacrifice in the price, but from reading your experiences, it may be a preferable option.
I’ll check back on this post in a few days if you wish to reply. Again, I’m genuinely sorry that the wheels fell off so badly on your order and hope we can turn things around.
Imagine my surprise! On the one hand, I imagine that they don’t see many public complaints like this (i.e. bad publicity) and that most people who suffered warranty-less eurolab breakdowns had to suffer in silence. On the other hand, this is my idea of customer service! An apology, a stated intent to actually address the problems, and recompensation. I was so amused I had to recount the entire story to my poor workmate David (who was also impressed and thought that he should lodge a complaint even though he’s never bought anything).
So, I met a friend to see “Science of Sleep” that evening and then rushed home to look to see if my vacuum cleaner was still in the box that I left it in next to the trash. No such luck, and what very bad timing: the trash went out that morning! Ah well. I learned my lesson, Leigh has put $30 credit on my account, and it made a good story, don’t you think?