Buying Computers By Mail
Because of competitive prices, huge selections, immediate availability, and reputable reliability, millions of consumers are now buying computers by mail. To ensure your transaction goes smoothly, BBB suggests you do some preliminary research on the type of equipment that would satisfy your needs and also consider the following points before buying a computer by mail.Contact BBB where the company is located to get a reliability report.Know what the system's specifications are. How much memory does the system have and what is the size of the hard drive. It's important to know whether the system can be upgraded. You may want to expand your capabilities later on. Ask whether there is room to add another hard drive, tape drive or CD-ROM.Look for both manufacturer and vendor warranties on the products you are considering, and read them carefully before you decide to buy. Also, if your method of payment is by credit card, check with your credit card company to see if they will extend the warranty since repairs may be needed after the manufacturer's warranty lapses.Before you order, ask if there is a "no-return" policy or a time limit on returns if the system does not meet your needs. Most companies allow 30 days to receive a full refund. Also, ask about the company's replacement policy. Usually when an item is not in stock, vendors may replace it with another brand stating in their solicitation that they "reserve the right to substitute an equivalent item." Be sure that the return policy allows you to return the system if you are unhappy with the substitution.If the company offers on-site service, find out who is eligible. Some companies may advertise on-site service; however, it may not be offered to everyone, or at every location. Also find out what kind of technical support is available. Many mail order vendors have 24-hour toll-free support hotlines which can be valuable.If you have problems with an order, first contact the company. Communicate, whenever possible in writing. Be sure to keep a record of your order and correspondence and a log of any phone conversations. If you're not satisfied with their response, you can contact your local BBB where the company is located or your local consumer protection office.