Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I have been a satisfied Belkin customer for years. I have bought all sorts of computer accessories. After being plagued with several incidents of fried computer components in Samsonville last summer, I bought three Belkin Surgemaster surge protectors in September 2007. I chose them solely because of the $250,000 connected equipment warranty, and because I've always liked Belkin products. Last month a surge in the cable/ethernet burned out two NIC cards, my router, and the cable modem. Time Warner replaced the modem and after much research and hassle, I filled out the Belkin claim form, documented everything, and sent them the three surge protectors. What was the result? They denied my claim, said there was no evidence of a surge. When I protested, and asked if they thought I was lying about the fried equipment, I was told that it wasn't intended to be an attack on my character. I asked to be transferred to a supervisor, who promised to get back to me in a few days after looking into my claim further. The result? An unsigned letter in the mail, denying my claim.

So save your money, and don't ever buy Belkin. Belkin surge protectors don't work, and you will not see a dime of the warranty from this company. Their surge protectors either show no evidence of surges afterwards, or the incompetent technical staff can't find the evidence, or (most likely) Belkin is just in the business of denying claims. They make it nearly impossible to file one, and finding contact information is also very difficult. Now I just run around at the mere prediction of rain and unplug everything. I will never, ever buy another Belkin product. I went from a 100 percent satisfied customer to a totally dissatisfied customer in ten minutes. I am going to trash them at every opportunity (remember, I still have not set foot in Target and how many years ago did they destroy the Defreest-Church House)? May they go bankrupt!

7/16 update: a day after I emailed them my angry follow up, and almost immediately after I posted this (and trashed them on Amazon), the phone rang and it was the claims department supervisor at Belkin. I could tell from her voice that 1) she was nervous and 2) she thinks I am a nutjob. But they are continuing the tests, and will get back to me. Stay tuned.

And yet another update, later on 7/16: I got another phone call. They are going to honor my claim! Stay tuned.

Update 3, 7/17: I got an email with a settlement offer of $82.99 for my router. On the phone they said they are sending me a new NIC and a new adapter. They already sent the new surge protectors. That isn't the total cost of my router but I am OK with it. My one problem is that some language in the letter is confusing. Not sure if signing it will mean I am forfeiting my warranty, or it it just means that I am waiving my right to make a future claim for the same surge. I have to investigate before agreeing. I hope it is the latter, because I am tired of fighting with them.

Update 4, 7/18: the replacement NIC and USB ethernet adapter arrived. I emailed to find out if signing means I will forfeit my warranty, or it it only means that I cannot file additional claims for the same surge. They are slowly redeeming themselves!

Update 5, 8/21: I almost forgot to post this! I never heard back from my email, so I crossed out the objectionable language on their settlement offer and faxed it back. A few days ago the check came. So they have completely redeemed themselves! You just have to be persistent. A pain, and it shouldn't be necessary - but there you go. I will update my posts on the various places where I wrote complaints to reflect this outcome.

No comments: