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Taking Care of Business
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Old November 9th, 2004, 08:03 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Oklahoma City, OK
Posts: 389
Belkin Attached Equipment Warranty

I recently had an issue with my Belkin battery backup/surge protector. Whether due to a short or some other electrical mishap inside the unit (not due to lightning or electrical surge), my battery backup began humming loudly and vibrating like an electrical transformer. This is not normal, especially considering that the unit was off at the time. After entering the room and realizing what was happening, my first reaction was to unplug all of my equipment as quickly as possible. Then I plugged everything into a plain surge protector and fired up the computer. Only it didn't fire up. My PowerMac G4 is now dead.

Shortly after this happened, I called Belkin and started the claim process. According to the battery backup's box, Belkin warrants to replace or repair any attached equipment up to $500,000. However, now three weeks later, I've been offered the Orion Blue Book value as compensation for my damaged equipment. Of course I researched the book value, and the strange part is that the Orion Blue Book doesn't list my exact model, just ones similar to it. So Belkin just estimated based on the nearest available unit. Of course, this estimated value is substantially less than any repair or replacement can be purchased and the remainder has to come out of my pocket. In other words, I haven't had a computer for almost a month now, and won't have one for a while because I have to save up in order to make the new purchase.

Personally, I don't think this is fair at all. Part of the reason why I bought this surge protector was because of the Attached Equipment Warranty, and its claim to "replace or repair, up to the value specified on the box [$500,000], any properly connected equipment if it is damaged by a surge, including surges due to lightning strikes. (See warranty for details.)." After opening the box, one sentence in the page of warranty information mentions that they can use the Orion Blue Book to determine current market value. Again, I find this unfair since the box must be opened in order to find this information, and therefore can't be returned after reading the fine print. Catch 22.

After providing receipts and estimates, pointing out the inconsistancy with the Orion Blue Book value, providing current market prices, and even prices of reconditioned computers identical to the one damaged, but still less than 2/3 of the cost will be provided by Belkin, leaving me to personally cover the remaining portion of the cost. The really sad part is that this computer is only a year old, and very well taken care of.

So here's where the "Taking Care of Business" part comes in...
I've made repeated calls to the manager of Belkin's Claims Department and recieved a quoted amount, but haven't signed anything yet. I'm also considering calling the Better Business Bureau, not that the amount will change, but at least this incident will be documented. Is there anything else I can do to be properly compensated? or should I just bite the bullet and accept this as a life lesson?
Nicholi Brossia
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