Saturday, February 10, 2018

Friday, February 9, 2018

Buyer Beware

Once upon a time, around about the end of August last year, the fuel pump on The Queen's chariot went Tango Uniform. Come to find out, it's a fairly well known issue that Ford fuel pumps eventually take a dirt nap after the electrical connector in the fuel pump housing melts. Most fuel pumps installed in the gas tanks use the gasoline to keep the pump cool. Run the tanks down too low, and you have nothing to cool the pump which contributes to the electrical connectors melting resulting in fuel pump failure.

Look at the melted plastic where the red arrow is.
Guess who has a tendency to run the fuel tank down "0 miles to empty"? 

Here's another question for you: where does Ford mount the fuel pump?


If you answered "inside the fuel tank under the [expletive deleted] 6000 pound SUV", you win the "sweat your ass off in the Texas heat on a crappy asphalt driveway" award. This is not a job you look forward to doing twice. 

So, on with our story. Auto parts stores wanted $250 to $300 for a replacement fuel pump. Since I was still recovering from being laid off (again), $250 to $300 is a lot when you're pinching pennies. I went looking for a better deal, and located a new pump on eBay for $72. The seller had good feedback. The listing indicated that So, money was paid and a fuel pump arrived. After a late night of laying on crumbling asphaly under the SUV in the "cool" evening temperatures of 90 degrees with naught but a headlamp to light my way, the fuel pump was in and working. 

For a time. 

A week ago Sunday, the "new" pump decided it was a perfect day to die. 

I reached out to the eBay seller to see about getting the pump replaced under warranty:

"I purchased a fuel pump for a 2007 Lincoln Navigator in August 2017 from CN Batteries. It appears that the pump failed yesterday (pending confirmation). What is the warranty replacement policy/process?"

Polite. Reasonable. To the point.

The response I received was confusing:

"ok,we know,how about you pay $70,we will send you a new one,is it ok?
regards"

Huh?? Now, my English isn't always the best, but my guess is that English isn't this person's strongest subject. 

I decided to seek clarification:

"Your reply makes no sense. I purchased a fuel filter from you via eBay less than 6 months ago for $71.99. That fuel pump has now failed, and you are suggesting that I send you $70 and you will send me another one? Seriously? Is that your idea of a joke? 

I just got done doing the diagnostic testing. There is power to the engine compartment power distribution box, and the fuel pump fuse and relay are both good. However, there is no sound of the pump pressurizing when I turn the ignition key to the on position. In all likelihood, when I go through the trouble of pulling the dropping the tank to get to the pump I bought from you out of the tank, I am betting the pump is going to turn out to be bad. Your eBay listing indicates the pump comes with a 12 month warranty. Warranties generally mean replacement of defective products within the warranty period. We are well within the warranty period. So, again, what exactly is covered by the warranty you say your product comes with and what is the process to get a replacement?"

Perhaps I'm getting a little peaved a this point.

CN-Batteries doubled down with the following reply:

"ok,we know
the only way to get the replacement is to pay us $69
if you don't pay the money,we can't send you the replacement freely,hope you understand
regards"

Now, I'm not an unreasonable person, but this is moving the needle from a little peaved to not a happy camper. 

I strongly urge them to reconsider the error of their ways with this:

"No, I don't understand. Your product listing indicates the pump has a 1 year warranty. Does your product have a 1 year warranty or not? If it does not contrary to what your listing clearly states in the "item specifics" section of the listing, you are engaging in false advertising. If it does, how can you justify first asking for $70 and now $69 to replace a defective product under warranty. If you do not provide a proper explanation immediately, I will have no choice but to post this entire exchange on social media and escalate this issue to eBay for resolution."

They, for reasons which I cannot fathom, are either too blind to see the error of their ways or incapable of repentence as evidenced by their next reply:

"This is our company policy

the only way to get the replacement is to pay us $69
if you don't pay the money,we can't send you the replacement freely,hope you understand
regards"

Well, even an unhappy camper should give one last chance:

"Your company policy is in direct contradiction with the terms of your listing. As previously stated, your eBay listing states the product has a 1 year warranty. You are required under the eBay Selling Practices Policy "...to meet the expectations you've set in your listing." You have created an expectation that there is a one year warranty on the product sold. I don't know what warranty means where you come from, but where I come from warranty does not mean requiring a purchaser of a defective product to pay $2 less than full price to get a replacement under warranty. Since you obviously have no intention of honoring your warranty or living up to your other false promise of 100% buyer satisfaction, you leave me no choice but to escalate this to eBay and publish this entire exchange via social media in the hopes that other consumers will not fall victim to your unscrupulous business practices."

Well, I did warn them.  

So, don't expect CN-Batteries to honor their warranty. Don't expect their fuel pumps to last through their alleged warranty period. 

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go lay down in some crumbling asphalt under a 6000 pound SUV again. At least it's not 90 degrees out this time.