Hawaiian Breeze: 2, Lauren: 1–Game: Hawaiian Breeze

For those of you keeping score, Hawaiian Breeze has officially kicked my ass. That’s right. Some of you will remember that I found the contact information for the company who manufactures this crap product. I gave them a ring last night. Only to discover that I had to call during business hours. 9a.m.-5:30p.m. central time. Great guys, way to not even have method for receiving your questions and comments. I called back tonight and finally got a receptionist, who seemed to have no idea that her number was, in fact, the number to call for questions or comments. I explained the situation to her.

Me: Hi, is this the number for questions or comments?

Recp: Yes.

Me: Okay, well I bought your Hawaiian Breeze oscillating tower fan a few months ago and it doesn’t fan anymore. It just oscillates.

Recp: Okay, well are you calling just to comment, or did you want a replacement?

Me: Well, a replacement would be great since the thing just crapped out after 2 months.

Recp: Okay, just package the fan up and send it back to us with your return address and your original receipt and we’ll ship the replacement to you.

Me: I don’t have the receipt. I moved and I didn’t move all of my receipts with me. Especially not those for products that worked when I left home.

Recp: You can try taking it back to the store and they can exchange it with the receipt.

Me: Well, I don’t have the receipt. So am I just out of luck then?

Recp: You can try taking it back to the store and they can reprint a receipt.

Me: It’s Target, they won’t reprint the receipt.

Recp: You can try taking it back to the store and they can reprint a receipt.

Me: The. Store. Is. Target. They. Won’t. Reprint. The. Receipt. It’s their store policy.

Recp: Well, I don’t know their policy, but you can try taking it back to the store.

Me: Okay, but if I sent you the fan, you can clearly see that it doesn’t work. Does that mean nothing?

Recp: I agree that it’s broken but we can’t send a replacement without proof of purchase.

Me: I don’t have the proof of purchase. So, am I just out of luck?

Recp: You can try calling back in the morning and speaking to the president, but this is all I am authorized to say.

All you are authorized to say? Ohhhh, well that makes sense then! That’s why the conversation contained no more than 4 original sentences from your end. I really don’t understand this proof of purchase policy. You think what, exactly? That I stole a fan, broke it, and now want a new one? And will pay for the shipping to get it? If I already stole this fan, why would I not just steal another fan? Wouldn’t that be much easier. And much cheaper since, apparently, I’m too cheap to actually purchase this crap product.

You are not making any friends, Midia (USA) Inc. in North Great Southwest Prairie, Texas. But let’s be honest, how could I expect any help from people located in any place called North Great Southwest Prairie?


5 thoughts on “Hawaiian Breeze: 2, Lauren: 1–Game: Hawaiian Breeze

  1. Sad to hear it. I recently bought a Hawaiian Breeze 9″ fan, and it works great. The thing is made of fucking METAL, which apparently is a rare thing nowadays. It does make a nice breeze from a good 10 feet away when pointed at me. I actually found your site while looking for theirs (no luck) because after buying a crappy $13 Lasko box fan made out of plastic that was busted up by the time I bought it, I want to buy a metal box fan. I was hoping they’d make one.

  2. Regarding the proof of purchase issue, that is standard policy of any store (including the computer store I have operated since 1989). The proof of purchase not only proves that the item was legitimately purchased but also gives the date of purchase for warranty verification. This same model of fan has been sold for about two years now (from what I can tell based on my research) and, thus, verifying that the person is entitled to warranty coverage is appropriate and proper.

    Though you appear to be in the majority of those who would not abuse the system, there are those out there who would and, thus, require the adherence to that policy. Remember that the manufacturers give the owners of their products only a limited amount of time during which they have warranty coverage. (In the case of the CH-V9 fans I bought awhile back, it is one year.) Thus, to make sure that someone who bought his fan 18 months ago doesn’t try to claim warranty coverage, they need to verify the purchase date.

    Now, one argument that I have heard from people in the past is, “But how big a deal is it just to let someone get it fixed for free whether it is under warranty or not?” The problem is that if one person does it, the impact is miniscule but if that is permitted, then that sets precedent and others will expect (and may be legally entitled to) the same treatment, essentially giving lifetime warranties to everyone who has possession of the manufacturer’s products. This will cause the business to lose money and potentially bankrupt the enterprise.

    Think about it this way: cars often stay on the road for 20 years or more (I still see my old 1971 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu driving around, for example) yet the manufacturers give “bumper to bumper” warranties for 36 months/36,000 miles (whichever comes first) for free. This can be extended for significant cost to 60 months/75,000 miles (once again, whichever comes first) but that is as far as they are willing to go.

    Warranty coverage is kind of like an insurance policy: the manufacturer is gambling on whether it will be needed. If you are the manufacturer, then you look at the statistics and figure out at what point the equipment will generally be sure to work and, thus, minimize the cost of warranty repair/replacement but still give the customers an adequate amount of coverage and provide them confidence in your products. For cars, that is 3 years typically. If the customer wants more assurance, he pays for it. (I paid $1500 to extend my Durango’s warranty to 72 mo./75K with no deductible.) For these fans (at least the model I bought), it is one year.

    It is ludicrous to think that just because one lays claim to having a product for only a few months that the manufacturer should just accept this. The company knows nothing about the person making the claim and, thus, has no reason to believe anything that is said other than the claim that the product doesn’t work. This is why it is necessary to save receipts for anything that you feel you might wish to have covered by warranty if it does fail.

    Also, you are right that Target (who is the sole distributor of the Hawaiian Breeze fans, by the way; it is a Target Brands, Inc. line) will not bother to help you re-print your receipt. Not only is it store policy not to do that but it would also be too time-consuming and labor-intensive to try to track down a single receipt among hundreds (or thousands) that are printed each day. Given an average Target in a medium-sized community, let’s say there are 1000 receipts printed each day. Trying to track down a single receipt would take quite awhile since it is doubtful that you would know the exact time (according to the cash register’s internal clock) and exact register lane you were in when you made the purchase. Thus, all the receipts for that single day would have to be checked. If you couldn’t remember anything more specific than a week, then 7000 receipts (given 0ur assumption above) would have to be checked rather than just 1000. Beyond that, even if they were willing to try to find the receipt, what sort of proof is there that the receipt is actually yours? Anyone could walk in off the street and say, “Yeah, um, I need a copy of my receipt for a fan I bought back on May 99th (fake date intended). Could you get that for me?” A scammer could say, “Yeah, that looks my receipt” whenever one that shows the right model number shows up and then use that to fool the manufacturer into providing service.

    The typical consumer does not think about these issues from the retailer’s or manufacturer’s side: he usually looks at the small picture–his own issue against the “big corporation.” There is a reason that these policies are in place: it is not just to keep the money that the consumers choose to give for the products but it is to insure that the companies actually are still able to provide products and warranty coverage for those products to everyone. After all, the way that companies continue to stay in business is by maintaining a reputation of presumed quality and providing customer service.

    (Presumed quality is stated because a company such as a certain direct-market computer manufacturer can spend endless amounts of money on marketing to maintain its public image of high quality when, in fact, such as is the case with the four-letter computer manufacturer of which I am currently thinking, they keep my service bays full and make me lots of money due to their abysmal quality.)

  3. I had a fan blade completely break off and lodge itself in-between the grate and the vertical poles in the back of the 20″ box fan… when I googled for the company, your blog came up. Same thing w Target- no receipt, they assume it has been 90 days since purchase. They would trade it out since the mgr thought it was “defective”- but had none of the same since it is almost August. Anyhoo, I emailed Target (their phone system is straight out of Dante’s imagination) and they requested the DPCI number- low and behold, I look on the sticker and there is a phone number- try this one- they are sending me a whole new blade unit with no questions regarding receipts or anything else- 1-866-876-4332. Good luck!

  4. I bought one of these fans and when I went to plug it in it shocked me really bad. I thought my boyfriend had wired our new room wrong and pulled the plug out with something on my hand. Then I tried plugging it in somewhere else and got shocked even worse. Bad enough to put tears in my eyes and leave me with (I can only describe it as) a heavy feeling chest all night. I have been trying to find a way to contact them about this so if you have the contact information please send it to me. thank you

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