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When is a Guarantee......NOT a Guarantee?

By Charles Hopkins Published 04/23/2006 | Computer
The Internet is a much tamer, though much more exciting, place to do business than it was just a few short years ago.

The years '95 thru '00 have been called, by some, the "pioneer days". It was a wild and crazy time when just about anything could pass for a legitimate enterprise; and just about anything and everything did. If you did not understand the meaning of the Latin phrase CAVEAT EMPTOR when you started your Internet adventure, you were almost certain to understand its implications within a very short time. LET THE BUYER BEWARE----it really should have been stamped across the top of most computer screens; unfortunately for many, it never was.

An anonymous, vaguely-worded promise from an anonymous merchant in an unknown and unknowable part of the world, did not add up to much security for the tentative, soon-to-be Internet "millionaire". And yet, we bought and bought and hoped and struggled to climb aboard the "WWW.MONEY-TRAIN.CON". In short order we found ourselves with very little to show for our efforts----a sorely depleted bank account, that old familiar sinking feeling in our gut, and even fewer friends and family on speaking terms than back in our old "real world" AMWAY days.

The promises, the guarantees, the "sure things" that we counted on had mysteriously disappeared in the time it takes to delete a web page; or often simply to change a URL.

The "pioneer days" lasted much longer than they had a right to. "Newbies" were and are signing on to the Internet even faster than promises can evaporate. It's still a wild and wooly place to do business.

The difference seems to be that the legitimate vendors and "gurus" are setting a much higher standard. The "survivors", after all, have now been online for nearly a decade; and that is definitely long-term in Internet time.

Nearly everything we purchase online these days comes with a 30, 60, or 90 day guarantee. Some offer up to a full year. So how best to take advantage of these guarantees?

Here's one quick system that is working:

You can do most of the work on the desktop; so start by creating a new folder with the name of whatever you are considering.

Make a copy of the web page that caught your attention and put it in the folder. (Not just the URL---the entire page)

Then go to the search engines and check out the program and the author. There is a world of money saving info available.

Send the vendor a question. Any question will do. At this point you are not so concerned with the question as you are with their "response time". If you are not satisfied with the response or the response time, just delete the folder and move on.

Wait 24 hours and then look at it again. Then and only then, if it still looks good, do you buy. Of course, do not buy anything unless it comes with at least a 30 day guarantee.

Create immediately a folder in your mail program under the name of the new purchase. Any correspondence from them goes immediately into this folder; especially the receipt copy.

Go to the desktop, open the folder and the program and begin putting it through it's paces. This way you will get a quick idea of the program's usefulness and usability. And if you are not 100% satisfied, request an immediate refund. It is a good idea to include a short note explaining the reason for your dissatisfaction.

Only once have I had to send a second request. Usually the refund is issued within hours of my first request.

You probably have kept a lot of junk simply because you did not want the hassle of requesting a refund. Worse yet are all the programs that you did not even try, for the same reason.

When is a guarantee.......NOT a guarantee??

There are plenty of honest vendors out there. Give them a chance to prove themselves. SATISFACTION GUARANTEED (if you take the proper steps to protect yourself)