Saturday, November 15, 2008

Battle for Blood Pressure

Back in mid-October I mentioned I'd purchased a blood pressure monitor. I mentioned that it had a malfunctioning key, and that I therefore had to return it so that it could serviced.

The manufacturer, Omron, had an irritating return policy; I would have to ship the device, at my cost (and insured), provide a copy of my purchase receipt, and include a letter detailing the reason of the repair request, as well as other personal information. What choice did I have? Hey, I figured, at least there's a 5-year warranty on it. That should count for something. So I complied, dutifully attached the required documentation, and shipped it (insured) the next day. The following week I received the item back. Splendid, I thought, and prepared to take my blood pressure.

Only, I couldn't, because my HEM-790IT was still broken. The attached slip stated that the reason for returning the product, "unable to set date and time," had been addressed. How so, it failed to specify. It stated that a diagnostic had been run and the unit was found to be operating within normal parameters. Presto, return to sender. Except that the reason I'd sent it was NOT that I was unable to set the date and the time, but, as I'd explicitly (underline, bold) typed in my repair request to them, that the SET key was broken. Setting the date and time happen to be functions of the SET key, sure, but they are not the only (or most important) ones.

I spoke with customer service the following day. A pleasant representative informed me that she would mail me a pre-paid shipping slip, apologized profusely for the inconveniences, and asked ever so politely if I could package the unit and drop it off at my nearest FedEx location. You can imagine my wariness, after already being close to $20 in the hole beyond the initial cost. Very well, I said. I wouldn't have to pay anything, I had saved the packaging, and the nearest drop-off was less than a mile away. I attached a letter once again, and as you can imagine I was quite explicit in identifying what the reason for the return was.

This week, I received the unit back. Omron finally acknowledged that the original one had been defective and sent me a new one.

I'm just amazed that after opening it and making sure that everything worked, the readings showed that my blood pressure was still within normal ranges. (The wonders of regular cardio!). Beware of Omron.
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