• Report: #629326

Complaint Review: RefurbUPS.com, Inc.

  • Submitted: Thu, August 05, 2010
  • Updated: Fri, August 06, 2010

  • Reported By: ProCom — Lamoni Iowa United States of America
RefurbUPS.com, Inc.
379 Spook Rock Road, Building J Suffern, New York United States of America

RefurbUPS.com, Inc. RefurbUPS Return policy is a bad joke! Suffern, New York

*Author of original report: Full Story / How We Finally Got Our RMA Honored

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Have had good experience with this company's refurbished products in the past, but haven't had to deal with CS until now. One of the units we purchased (APC Back-UPS ES 725) failed after less than a month. They asked for the serial number off of the unit, and then claimed that it didn't match their records and that they therefore couldn't refund us. We happened to buy two of the same unit, so I provided them with both serial numbers. They claimed that both serial numbers do not match!  
Don't believe their return policy, they'll just claim they didn't sell you the unit if it fails.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 08/05/2010 10:43 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/RefurbUPScom-Inc/Suffern-New-York-10901/RefurbUPScom-Inc-RefurbUPS-Return-policy-is-a-bad-joke-Suffern-New-York-629326. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Author of original report

Full Story / How We Finally Got Our RMA Honored

AUTHOR: ProCom - (USA)

As mentioned before, we purchased two APC Back-UPS 725's from RefurbUPS.  These were ordered on 7/13, and received a few days later and installed.  One of the units, SN 4B0447P16188, died on 8/5.  I opened a support case with RefurbUPS the same day.  Here is the first message I sent:

"One of the two APC Back-UPS's we purchased has died. The surge protection side still works, but the battery backup side has no power even when plugged in. The button does not light when you turn it on."

They replied with:
"Please open the unit, and ensure that the battery is properly connected to the leads.
Additionally, ensure the circuit breaker on the unit is not tripped and is pressed in.

Phillip Barbiero"

Pretty standard stuff that I had already tried, so I responded:

"Ive already done both of those things. The unit should at least light up or beep when the power is plugged into the wall if the battery was the problem, and it would still provide power to the battery backup side."

Their response:

"Please give me the serial number of the unit."

I thought this was a bit odd, but then realized that I had heard of companies being scammed by customers who have a broken model X, and buy model X from the company and then return the broken model X, keeping the working version.  Not a problem for us, we weren't trying to scam them, so I replied:


Their response:

"I am sorry James,
But that is not a unit we have sold you. I can not replace it for you."

Huh?!  I looked at the unit again.  The SN I had given them was correct.  These two Back-UPS ES 725's are the only ones we have in the entirety of our organization (most are larger APC's.)  I replied back:

"It sure is a unit you sold us! We only have two of this model of APC UPS. I personally purchased both of them and installed them both."

Their response:

"I am sorry James, but without a serial number that matches our records my hands are tied.
Doublecheck that the model number is a BE725BB as that is what we shipped."

I'm starting to get angry at this point because I think I see the scheme, here.  They're not trying to keep from being scammed, they're trying to scam me.

I replied:

"Either this is some bogus scheme to cheat us out of our warranty, or your company has genuinely made a mistake and recorded the wrong serial number.
We received two BE725BBs with our order, 4B0447P16188 and 4B0520A80985. They were part of a two-pack, a single SKU on your end.
As I have mentioned before, this company only has two of this specific model of APC UPS, both from order SO-105751. I personally purchased and installed these units, there is no possible way we could have them confused. The mistake must be on your end of things.
I would say that half of the UPSs in this company (we have about 20 of them, some server sized) have been purchased from your company over the years.
If this RMA isnt honored, we will no longer be doing business with you."

Their response:

"I wish I could help, but without a matching serial number my hands are tied. If the serial number was similiar, I would say okay but it is entirely different.
Normally I am not allowed to do this, but these are the serial numbers that I have on record: AB052P80985 and AB053295321.
You do have one that almost matches, but the one you are saying is failed is not even close to the serial number we have on record.
Additionally, the last time (and only time) your company has ordered with us was back in 2004 when a Smart-UPS 1400 was purchased. You must be confusing us with a different company as we have not sold you numerous units.
I did take the initiave on the off-chance that the serial number was incorrect entered, and dug through all of our paper history until I found your order. I have confirmed the serial numbers we have on file were correct and properly taken from the unit tag, which we save.
I genuinely apologize James, but I have to refuse the RMA request -- it is a strict company policy that serial numbers have to match. My hands are tied in this instance."

I'm angry to the point of boiling over at this point.  We have purchased a lot of products from RefurbUPS, but we operate under three different company names out of three different locations, two in IA and one in MN.  Also, Phillip's initiative must not have been very strong, as I received this response mere minutes after the previous email I sent.  My response:

"This is absurd.

I know for a fact that weve ordered multiple times with this company, as we tend to keep the boxes around (theyre sturdy boxes.)  ProCom, Inc is one of three sister companies that we support.

Although its now blatantly obvious to me that you cant keep your records straight.  

Your company makes a mistake and records the wrong serial number, and its the customer's fault.

Your hands arent tied.  When you make the rules, you can break them.  Your reason for not being able to accept this RMA is the same reason a former smoker wont take another drag, not that they cant, but because they dont want to.

You dont want to serve your customers.

Your customer will not do business with you any longer."

They did not reply to me after that point, and I promptly started the process of disputing the charge with our credit card company.

We also decided to verify the actual serial numbers off of the UPS's that we had in our possession with the manufacturer, APC.  They verified that the serial numbers on our UPS's were valid.  We then asked if the serial numbers that RefurbUPS claimed to have on record were valid.  Our message to APC:

"Could you also verify for us whether "AB053295321" is a valid serial 

number for a Back-UPS ES 725? 

The reason I ask this is because we have a vendor who is claiming that 

we're trying to return the wrong product, and the above serial number is 

what they claim to have on record. 

The two that you have already verified are the actual serial numbers 

from the two Back-UPS ES 725's we have."

APC responded:

"The serial numbers of our APC Backups are 12 digit alphanumeric. In the number you provided (AB053295321) , one of the digit is missing."

Aha!  RefurbUPS was indeed making stuff up, and they weren't even bothering to fake a long-enough serial number!  I then sent this message to RefurbUPS and attached the email from APC:

"I contacted APC about the serial numbers you have on record for us.  They arent valid. APC serial numbers are 12 digits, not 11.  The only possible explanation here is that you made an honest mistake on your end and recorded the serial number incorrectly, or (more likely, I think) that you are being dishonest and you are making up a serial number in order to avoid honoring your return policy.

The email is attached, here is the relevant portion:

[already quoted above]

Surely, you must admit that the mistake is yours."

I didn't expect a response back, but Phillip came through with some more BS:

"Hello James,
With this information, I have followed up with our fufillment department and I have confirmed that some serial numbers are being incorrectly recorded for the BE725BBs.
We will be investigating the cause of this and taking steps to prevent this from happening in the future.
I have been here for a few years, and this is the FIRST time that this issue has come up. I want to genuinely apologize for this mistake. It was very unfair for you to have to tolerate.
We have become very resiliant with ensuring products that are being replaced are in fact defective and the correct item, we recently caught a few of our customers taking advantage of our leniency and reciving several replacement units simply because we did not follow up with the serial numbers most of the time. It turned out to be a large loss for us, which is why we are now taking this policy very, very seriously. And that in turn is why this mistake is disturbing for us. We do take our customer service very seriously and stand behind our warranty.
I will be sending you a replacement BE725BB without a battery, so please reuse your current battery inside the defective unit. Feel free to dispose of the defective unit in whichever manner you find easiest.
Again, I apologize for your inconvience, and thank you for your patience in working with us on this issue. I hope that you are satisfied with this resolution. If there is anything else, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Phillip Barbiero"

Yeah, right. As if they could have a problem with their process of recording serial numbers for one specific model of APC UPS.  All APC serial number stickers look the same from model to model in my experience.  Same size print, same font.  And they aren't too hard to read, either.

Apparently, they're sending along a new unit now minus a battery.  We're supposed to use the battery out of the failed unit and throw the failed unit away.

Although this particular situation is resolved, I'm still calling this a ripoff and providing this information in case anyone else has a similar experience with this company.
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