Lifehacker has an interesting idea for what to do when your stuff breaks: Send it back to the company. At the very least, you get rid of the stuff you were going to throw away anyways, and with some luck, the company may even replace the broken product for you. This method of product repair and replacement relies on writing an open and honest letter to the company, explaining your situation, and asking them if there is anything they can do to help. It takes a little bit of time, and it’s not guaranteed to work, but for the price of a postage stamp or the cost of the package, you could wind up with a new replacement without having to buy another. The five steps are as follows:
- Is it under warranty?
- If so, follow the manufacturer’s warranty protocol. If not, go on to #2.
- If not, throw it away. If yes, go on to #3.
- Vent your frustration if appropriate or simply admit fault, but ask for a replacement at no cost. But, seriously, be honest, even if the damage is all your fault. Companies (and people) are generally so surprised at a plainly stated admission of fault that they will try to help you out of they can.
- Get on the internet and look up the most important address you can find for the manufacturer. Avoid sending it back to the warranty houses. If you can get the CEO’s address, send it directly to him. The higher the better. And, if you can’t find such an address, add two minutes to your time and email someone for a good address.
- It might work; it might not. But, you’ve given it your best and now you can quit worrying about it. If you’re experience is anything like mine, you’ll be getting all sorts of offers and goods in return.
Sounds like good advice to me, and the author of the article gives examples of times when this has worked in the past, so it’s worth a shot. Give the company a chance, and they may just impress you with their understanding and generosity.