Sunday, December 14, 2008

Holiday High Jinks: Part III, Shopping as Sport

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The Mission:
Obtain a D-Link Dual Band Extreme N Gaming Router, DGL-4500, and at least one Extreme N wireless USB adapter, at the best price possible to replace our ancient modem/router that Time Warner supplied us with YEARS ago.

Round 1: Venue= Circuit City; Game Day= Thanksgiving 2008

The Deal: Buy a D-Link Wireless N router, get one of 3 models of USB wireless adapters free (savings over entire deal would add up to a free router)

Execution of the Play: DGL-4500 regularly $199.99; sale price= $179.99; savings= $20
Dual Band Wireless N USB adapter DWA-160= $69.99; but out of stock
Wireless N USB adapter (not dual band) DWA-130= $59.99

The Challenge: Rebate link is not working so no way to know what the conditions of the rebate are.

The Strategy: Assume that rebate requires purchase of router and adapter on same order to get the rebate for the free adapter; So, I want the DWA-160, but will settle for the DWA-130. Place order. Further luck out and score both Guitar Hero II and Guitar Hero Arrowsmith WITH GUITARS for $59.99 each. AND scored an extra guitar (regularly $49.99) for $9.99. Receive email confirmation that also includes a 10% coupon code.

Round 2: Date= Black Friday
Dual Band DWA-160 adapter miraculously back in stock at Circuit City. Use coupon from previous order to get 10% off the adapter AND an extra wireless control and rechargeable batteries for the Xbox 360 I bought from Target (see Holiday High Jinks: Part I).

The Personal Foul: Rebate link is now working. It seems the REAL reason that Circuit City is closing is because no one there is smart enough to perform simple math equations.

Here's the ACTUAL deal I got instead of the FREE wireless adapter:

DWA-130 Adapter= $59.99
Router Savings= less $20.00
Rebate= less $30.00; Yes, that's right, the rebate for a free adapter with regular prices ranging from $59.99 to 69.99 WAS ONLY $30!!! WTF?!

So, my "FREE" adapter ends up costing $10.00 plus tax. And that's assuming I still want to take a chance and send a rebate form into a company that may go out of existence before I can get the rebate.

Bored catStill with me?

Now, I KNOW you're expecting to see my email correspondence with Circuit City Customer Service right about now, but that's NOT what happened.

Round 3 (this past week): Circuit City puts the DWA-130 adapter on sale for $39.99, so savings over what I originally paid at Circuit City= $20.

Now we bring a new player into play- Amazon. They've got the DGL-4500 router on sale for $159.99, $20 less than the Circuit City sale price and $40 less than the regular price. AND they've got the Range Booster DWA-140 wireless N adapter that Circuit City doesn't even carry.

Offense now on da field: So, I order the router from Amazon and decide to order the long range adapter too for $59.99. While I'm at it, I check their prices for Xbox 360 accessories. The wireless controller I bought at Circuit City ($49.99 less 10% off coupon) is on sale at Amazon for $36.99. So I ordered one of those too. In fact they also have the Xbox 360 wireless adapter, which sells for $99.99 everywhere, on sale for $82! So I scored one of those too.

Defensive Play: Returned original router and Xbox 360 wireless to Circuit City. I brought the original wireless adapter with me just in case, but they DID price match it and refunded me the $20 bucks.

Bonus Round:

ME, via Amazon Customer Service Form (Thursday, Dec. 11)
D-Link DGL-4500 Xtreme N Dualband Draft 802.11n Gaming Router
Comments:As you can see, I placed this order Monday and received it on Tuesday. However, the item already has a $10 instant rebate available. Since I just purchased this item, how can I receive this rebate/credit?

Seriously, I didn't have much hope with this one because Amazon discontinued their price protection policy a few months ago.

Amazon Customer Service, via email:
Thank you for writing to us at regarding the price change.

I've requested a refund of $10 to the payment method you used for your original purchase. This refund should go through within 2 to 3 business days. You should see it as a credit on your next statement.

You can also view completed refunds by clicking the "Your Account" link on the top right-hand side of the homepage and clicking "View Recent and Open Orders" in the Orders section. Completed refunds will appear at the bottom of an individual order's summary page.

If you still have further questions please contact us:

I hope this solution is satisfactory. Thank you for shopping at

Please let us know if this e-mail resolved your question:

If yes, click here:

[customer service, we're doing it link]
If not, click here:
[customer service, we're NOT doing it link

The Final Score:
DGL-4500 Router regularly $199.99, then $179.99, then $159.99, finally $149.99. Total savings= $50.
DWA-130 wireless adapter regularly $59.99, finally $39.99. Total Savings= $20.
DWA-160 dual band wireless adapter regularly $69.99, finally $62.99. Total Savings= $7.
So, total savings so far= $50 + $20 + $7= $77.
DWA-140 Range Booster wireless adapter list price $104.54, finally $54.92. So see? I DID finally end up getting an adapter free!

Uh-oh, just checked and the DWA-140 Rangebooster adapter now has an instant rebate that brings the price down to $39.64. Dare I try Amazon Customer Service again? Yes I dare.

ME, via Amazon Customer Service contact form (Saturday, Dec 13)
D-Link DWA-140 RangeBooster Draft 802.11n N Wireless USB Adapter
Comments:I placed this order Monday and received it on Tuesday. I paid $54.92 for this adapter but it already has an instant rebate available that brings the price down to $39.64. Since it's only been a few days since I placed my order, how can I receive this rebate/credit without placing a new order and returning the first adapter?
Thank you.

Amazon Customer Service, via email TWO AND A HALF MINUTES LATER (no lie):
Hello from

Thanks for writing to us about the recent price change on "D-Link DWA-140 RangeBooster Draft 802.11n N Wireless USB Adapter". I understand you bought this item from us just recently at a different price. Unfortunately, we cannot extend a refund to you for the difference between the original price and the lower price you saw posted on our website.

While we don't always beat the best available price on every product, we do offer deep discounts on many thousands of items. From time to time, prices on some items will change due to special offers from suppliers and manufacturers or our inventory and sales volumes. When we can offer a lower price for new purchases we will, but we cannot extend these discounts to completed orders.

I understand you may have taken advantage of a 30-day price guarantee policy in the past. However, that policy was discontinued on September 01, 2008.

We recognize that you have a choice of retailers and are pleased that you would prefer to order from us.

I apologize for any disappointment that this may have cause.

We here at Amazon customer service continuously strive to assist the customers in each and every way can and feel disappointed when we are unable to address customer's concerns. I hope you can understand our limitations in this regard.

In the meantime, you may wish to visit other areas of our web site for great deals everyday.

We offer you consistently low prices on our entire selection of books, CDs, videos, DVDs, toys, electronics, and much more. In fact, you'll save up to 40% on hundreds of thousands of items.

In addition, we offer deep discounts on items from all of our product lines every day in our Outlet store:

[blah blah blah links to watch for upcoming sales blah blah blah]

I encourage you to check back on our web site in the next few weeks. Any special offers will be advertised throughout our web site.

Please be assured that we value all of our customers highly, and we appreciate your loyalty. We appreciate your business, and we hope you will be able to take advantage of our discounts in the future.

I know you are concerned about the price you paid, and certainly understand if you choose to return the item and purchase it at a lower price. I've checked your order and confirmed that you bought this item less than 30 days ago and may return it by visiting our Online Returns Center at

[blah blah blah how to return an item blah blah blah]

Best regards,

Vijay Karthick Siva Subramaniyam
[I shit you not, that is the name] -- Earth's Most Customer Centric Company

AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH! Taken out in the final play!

So, Amazon Customer Service... UR doin' it half right... or would that be half wrong... or would that be half assed.

Ah well, ya can't win 'em all, now I just have to decide if re-ordering and returning is worth it. However, I WILL be nailing Circuit City for a $34.00 refund because they just put some of the Guitar Hero accessories I bought on sale for even less than their previous sale prices. WOOT!

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Stay tuned for the laugh-out-loud antics of those oh-so-funnah Audible Customer Service employees.


MB (Leah) said...

You do realize that I've cooked the popcorn and am sitting back being thoroughly entertained, right? :D

My Christmas shopping: send cash in a card. Done. LOL

So I'm lovin your shopping tales, woes, and victories. More, more, please. :D

Madelynne Ellis said...

I'm exhausted just from reading about your shopping dilemmas. I don't know how you do it!

Do you fancy taking on my Xmas shopping for me? I promise I'll be super good and spent the time I save writing and not pointlessly surfing the net or watching Lara Croft smash pots!

Bev(QB) said...

I WANTED to just give the kids gift cards last year. Seriously. But my hubby couldn't stand the thought of them not opening presents and dragged me out shopping. I HATE shopping in brick and morter stores, but they didn't ask for anything specific so there was no other way to do it. The two of us went on a day long shopping blitz about a week and a half before Christmas last year. I'm talking non-stop shopping from early morning until evening. Whenever hubby started losing patience, I just reminded him that HE was the one that wanted to go shopping.

Believe me, you are only hearing about the exceptions. I'm not even detailing all the selection processes or the comparison shopping. I feel like I haven't gotten up from in front of this computer for about 3 weeks now.

No Madelynne, you're on your own. Shopping in the USA is bad enough. If I have to add the UK into the mix my head will explode.

Now go do some online shopping so you'll have time to write some hot monkey mansex.

MB (Leah) said...

But my hubby couldn't stand the thought of them not opening presents

Yeah, when kids are involved it's nice to have presents to open. I've only been to one Christmas my whole adult life in which my only two nephews opened presents and that was like 2 years ago when they were already 15 and 19.

Otherwise, it just seems I could only show up later on in the day or not at all for many years. So in my case, it's been adults for years and years.

However, when I am able to go to my sis', I do buy a small gift for everyone to open besides the cash or gift card. Just cause it's nice.

But shopping is a major PITA, especially around Christmas.

That said, since DH and I have been back from HI, I've been into Walmart, Target and Costco several times and the mall once or twice and I've walked right up to cash registers. No Lines. I'm ascared that the sh*ts gonna hit the fan cause of that. I feel like I'm in the twilight zone. NO LINES at Christmas time? Watching my back. LOL