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WB
User Rank
Silver
Re: A case of serendipity
WB   12/14/2011 12:58:36 PM
NO RATINGS
Some years ago, I bought a printer from a company that sold closeouts and liquidations.   It did not work out of the box.   I opened the case and saw a spot on the board where there was a metal clip soldered on a couple of unused pins on a connector - it was also evident that the clip had been originally soldered a couple of pins over on pins that were connected to ground on the board.    I moved the clip back to the ground pins, reassembled the printer and it worked fine.

Apparently, somewhere in the manufacturing process, someone had decided that this clip was just a support foot, and made the decision to move it to unused pins.   They didn't realize that  part was necessary to ground the box to the case.

That mistake allowed me to buy a $300 printer for $20...   Bad for the manufacturer - good for me!

OLD_CURMUDGEON
User Rank
Platinum
GARAGE DOOR CHAIN, etal.
OLD_CURMUDGEON   12/6/2011 8:41:05 AM
NO RATINGS
Concerning the garage door chain...... this WAS a manufacturing/packaging error pure & simple.  Anyone making excuses for this behaviour is missing the point.  History is full of examples of the "Law of Unitended Consequences".  This is just one more example of it.

Concerning "refurbed" products...... While I cannot speak for the totality of items marketed w/ this quality, I can tell you that being an avid semi-pro/serious amateur photographer, and a CANON user for almost 50 years, I have purchased several "factory-refurbished" CANON camera bodies & lenses & other accessories from the two top-named photo stores in NYC.  EVERY piece of equipment I have purchased has come packaged in a CANON outer box w/ ALL the proper documentation.  Not ONE item has had the slightest blemish or other detraction that would indicate that it was in the hands of an end user, prior to its being "refurbed".  In the case of the CANON equipment, these items have NOT been "EOL" items, but ongoing current catalog items.  The ONLY things you sacrifice are the limited warranty, 90 days vs one year, typical, AND, a decent reduction in price compared to the usual retail price for an initial sale item.

I also purchased a "refurbed" GARMIN about 3 years ago.  It too came in the original GARMIN packaging, w/ ALL the documentation & accessory items.  Still using it today.  There wasn't a mark or scratch or other blemish on it.  When I received it, I recorded the serial # w/ GARMIN, and to this day, I receive e-mail notifications about upgrading the map base, etc.  In that case, I saved almost 50% over the equivalent price for the device had I purchased it in BEST BUY or a similar outlet.

Alexander Wolfe
User Rank
Blogger
Re: A case of serendipity
Alexander Wolfe   12/4/2011 6:16:52 PM
NO RATINGS
Slightly tangential, but I'd note that open-box and so-called "refurbished" items often don't suffer from the problems noted herein which plague fresh from the factory brand new stuff. Maybe because you can check it. Also, refurb is now often a euphemism for end-of-life or slightly blemished, as opposed to an older, actually used product. BTW, I see where Murphy comes into this, but what role did Mr. V=IR play in the shortened chain?

MYRONB
User Rank
Gold
Re: A case of serendipity
MYRONB   12/4/2011 4:45:52 PM
NO RATINGS
I recall some years ago, our local Sears store had a powered tool clearance sale.  Among the tools was a nice, brand new, variable speed saber saw marked, "Returned-As Is'.  The salesman didn't know why it was returned, but as it was marked down to a giveaway price, I took a chance and bought it.

At home, I plugged it in and cautiously started of at low speed.  Hey, so far so good, so put the boot to it, squeezing the trigger for max speed.  WOW-it almost jumped right out of my hand!  The vibration was so bad, I was unable to run it at anything above a superslow speed.  I tried cutting a simple shape on a piece of 1/4 inch plywood and noticed that the saw bounced vertically off the plywood sheet.

I realized these saws had means to convert rotary (motor) motion to reciprocal motion to drive the cutting blade.  I figured like many machines that convert motion ( I thought of an auto's crankshaft, piston, and con rod) there must be some kind of balancing method.  Figuring the factory had omitted a balancer, I opened the gear case at the front of the saw.  I found the balancer was a geared disc that was machined in a way that left a heavy side--the balancer, if you will.

With the case open, I very cautiously energized the saw at a very low speed and immediately saw the flaw.  The assmbly technician had meshed the gears so that the balance weight moved in the same direction as the reciprocating blade-holder, resulting in the extreme vibration.

I unplugged the saw and pulled the balance gear out of mesh and rotated it 180 degrees.  I assembled the case cover and turned on the saw.  From low to top speed, the saw worked with smooth perfection.  That was over twenty years ago, and the saw continues to work smoothy and reliably.  The manufacturer's goof was my gain.

Myron Boyajian

jlinstrom
User Rank
Gold
Right wrong way
jlinstrom   12/3/2011 6:23:32 PM
NO RATINGS
Nothing like that, but I recently stopped working for a company that wanted me to repay an incorrectly assumed medical payment while they had in turn not given me my final paycheck - my paycheck was more than the medical amount, but they wanted their books to balance. No concern for my monies due.

I told them in so many words "You first!" After a bit of bluster and harrumpf, they sent the final check and I in turn corrected the medical split.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: A case of serendipity
Rob Spiegel   12/2/2011 3:18:31 PM
NO RATINGS
I agree completely, Chuck. Many times I have worked around a poorly designed product or a faulty product just to get it to work. Taking it back always comes with a host of problems. Not only the time involved, but also the concern that the replacement will not be an improvement. 

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: A case of serendipity
Charles Murray   12/1/2011 10:37:27 PM
I have to admit that I've been in the same situation more than once. Sometimes it's easier to make it work than it is to pack it up and take it back -- or at least that's what you tell yourself.

Phil Hobbs
User Rank
Iron
You give enough monkeys enough time....
Phil Hobbs   12/1/2011 9:36:09 PM
NO RATINGS
And they'll eventually come up with Hamlet.  An old saw now receives expermental support!

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: A case of serendipity
Rob Spiegel   12/1/2011 2:31:46 PM
This is a funny post. The company messed up, but it was serendipitous for the customer. It's a Monkey move that worked out just right. Of course the customer already had a solution figured out to make it fit the garage.

Jennifer Campbell
User Rank
Gold
Re: A case of serendipity
Jennifer Campbell   12/1/2011 10:14:31 AM
That's exactly what it sounds like to me, Alex, though, I probably still would have contacted the manufacturer to let them know of the error/mistake - save someone else potential trouble down the road.

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