a good rma is so hard to come by...

At least, that's what I always thought. Until just about a week ago.

As the Orderer of Boring Office Supplies and Mildly-Fun Equipment of my company, I'm used to having to scour the internet for deals. It's my job to say "I'd never pay that much for an LCD monitor" or "You should use this website because at least their customer service speaks your native language." It's something I do on a fairly regular basis, and thus far I've had no qualms about it.

Scratch that. I normally don't have qualms about it -- until I screw up.

I had to order a few hundred blank, printable, CD-Rs for a client for a larger-than-usual dub job the other day, and accidentally ordered the wrong type. What I needed were inket printable CD-Rs, not thermal printable CD-Rs. It seemed to be both a simple and careless mistake, but regardless, it put me in a predicament because a) I had a deadline to meet, and 600 CDs to dub, and b) I knew it was going to be a chore trying to find that type of media in-town on a day-to-day basis.

I managed to snag a few hundred from a couple of different retailers, and then realized I still had problem C to deal with: How was I going to return all of those unused CDs? Could I?

The website that I ordered from was a trusted one, Newegg.com. If you haven't heard of Newegg and you're a tech geek, I would like to think you're simply a figment of someone's imagination. From their about us site, Newegg is "an online e-commerce company offering more than 25,000 computer hardware and software, consumer electronics and communications products in stock at competitive prices and ready to ship at lightning-speed."

I've ordered blank media from them before, but never this type, so I was a little wary. As a consumable item, I was 100% sure the 6th cakebox that I'd opened would be nonreturnable. I'd have to obtain an RMA for the 5 others, which can be a lengthy process (I'd done these before). The whole idea was slightly nauseating, since at the time I was dreading running around town, and trying to box up these items to ship them back. I also was aware that Newegg charged 15% for a restocking fee (quite common for online retailers and big box stores).

After reading further into Newegg's return policy, I found out that I could talk with someone online to obtain the RMA. I hesitantly fired up the chatbox, and in a few minutes I was chatting with someone by the handle of "Dicie." I wasn't sure if Dicie was male or female (or robot for that matter), but he/she/it seemed pleasant enough.

But after explaining my screw-up of ordering the wrong type of blank media, Dicie types: "Please kindly note that this item is non-refundable."

My heart dropped a little after that.

Then: "However as they are unopened, we will make an exception to issue the refund."

I bounced a little in my seat out of sheer joy.

Immediately after: "We will also honor the opened one as a one time exception."

After I fired off several exclamations and a flurry of questions, Dicie created an RMA number for me, and within minutes I had a new invoice in my inbox. There would be no restocking fee, Newegg would accept and honor the 6th cakebox with the two ruined CDs, and the only fee we would incur would be shipping.

I understand that everyone needs a break every once in awhile, but I by no means ever expect one. But a little blessing like that definitely went a long way for me. I wanted to review their customer service and give them 5 stars in any way I could. Dicie explained that there was a rating site that Newegg used, so I quickly logged in to the site and gave a concise re-telling of my Experience with the Seemingly Non-Returnable CD-Rs.

Today, I received another e-mail with a new invoice - my shipment had been received and Newegg was refunding our cost of the CD-Rs. And for reviewing their customer service on the ratings site, I also have a free T-shirt coming my way.

I love Newegg. =)