Friday, January 27, 2006

The ABC's Of 123 Sending Me DOA I-N-K

Recently I made an HP ink purchase from 123Inkjets ... this is an online inkjet cartridge remanufacturer ... one of the largest.

Typically, for my personal printers I try to avoid remanufactured/reconditioned cartridges ... but in a particular case I needed a lot of ink for a project and just didn't want to spend hundreds of dollars on HP OEM ink at retail.

So ... I did my homework and tried to find the best deal out there ...

After about 30 minutes of research ... I came up with the following:

1. I would go to MYPOINTS.COM and use one of their affiliates under my rewards account located there.

2. 123Inkjets were offering 750 points (roughly equivalent to $5 in MYPOINTS) to MYPOINTS members

3. I found a 25% off coupon for orders over $50 ... used that

4. I would use my Paypal debit card to get 1.5% back

5. As I used each cartridge, I would take them to my local office store to trade in for paper or $3 off my next purchase

6. 123Inkjets was (at the time) running a free shipping promotion.

7. 123Inkjets is, on average, about 40% lower cost than retail

When all was said and done ... I would essentially pay a total of $15 for 6 cartridges (3 black, 3 color)

I placed the order online. Instantly, I was deluged with emails offering me more ink at even lower prices. These all came before my receipt even arrived in my inbox.

Next, I received the order reasonably quick, but I felt that on a scale from 1 to 10 (10 being best) that the packaging was about a 5.

I waited about 3 weeks before actually installing the cartridges ... two blacks and one color were nonfunctional (dried up, bad print heads, etc etc)

I called, the ink is pretty much sold AS IS I am told, but that they could give 25% off my next order ... didn't I get that offer through email?

A little background: apparently this isn't the first time 123Inkjets has delivered me DOA ink ... my father reminded me that last year I got him some HP ink for an older printer, he didn't use it for about 2 months and it too was dried up.

Next, after 30 days ... I go to check my MYPOINTS account to see if the points have been rewarded. Nada. I email MYPOINTS customer service ... they tell me I need to send in the receipt and the date and time of purchase. They research it. The points are creditted to my account two days later. I send a followup email asking why the points were not creditted ... the message back ...

There is the possibility of a connection failure at the time during which you visited the affiliate site. 123Inkjets ordering system doesn't always communicate with our servers properly.

It is now 2 months after I ordered the cartridges ... I didn't sign up at 123Inkjets for "promotional emails" ... in fact ... I specifically remember unchecking the box for them to NOT send me ANY emails.

I receive, on average, 5-7 emails from 123Inkjets every week ... despite having also used the unsubscribe at the bottom of the email (several times)

I am also aware that 123Inkjets is a heavy email marketer and has many many affiliates that sell their ink. In other words ... they are just email spammers.

There is a very high likelyhood that that they sell customer email addresses to affiliates, despite saying the contrary on their website.

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