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Finally Using the UPS Again!

My computer is now once again protected by the UPS, though what I should really say is that I’m hoping it’s protected and not threatened by it, considering the whole mess, which was finally sorted out today. Since I didn’t want to use the UPS before replacing the battery with what I had actually ordered, and what the store sold as being specifically for this particular UPS, I had just kept it here, unused, until now, so my computer was unprotected for almost three weeks, which included a brief storm, Tuesday. The forecast mentioned more storms, but isolated ones, and that was the only one in this particular area, and there were no problems with the power, whether then or at any other time. Since it’s getting hot, I expect at least brief power failures from now on though.

But to start from the beginning, after dropping off the UPS, I expected them to contact me quickly and tell me whether the problem could be fixed and, if so, how long it’ll take and how much it’ll cost. But after hearing nothing from them two days later, I sent an e-mail to ask what was going on, and only got a reply to it four more days later. The delay was normal, since I had sent it Friday evening and that Monday was a free day as well, but the attitude definitely was not, the message being short but revealing a lot of annoyance and simply telling me that it had been just two days, one of them a free day, and they’ll handle it. I pointed out that it had been two days when I sent it, so not including the free day, that I hadn’t sent anything else until then, just because I knew there had been free days, and that I wasn’t expecting it to be fixed already, but just to be told whether it can be and some details if so. And while I didn’t get another reply then, the next day I got a call, being told that the problem was minor and I could come pick it up in an hour, and given a price that was a fair bit less than I expected. I agreed to that price, but said there was the matter of the battery as well, and the guy say that he doesn’t know about that, somebody else will take care of it.
Once there, after another guy recognized me and said I must be there to continue reading, which was a joke I was too tired of, the guy I had spoken to on the phone brought me the UPS and told me the battery was already inside, and I paid him the fee for repairing it. Then he called someone to tell him how much to charge me for the new battery, being told the correct price we had agreed on, as in the price which had been listed when I sent the original message and not the significantly higher one it had been changed to after that, and he asked someone else to make the invoice. However, that guy asked whether I was buying for a firm, then whether I was using a card to pay, and when I said no to both questions he said he had nothing to do and to just give the money, which I did. So there was no sign of any invoice or receipt, nor of any warranty certificate, and they expected me to just walk away like that.
That definitely didn’t seem right, so I took a moment to open the UPS and check the battery inside, noticing that it was black, like the old one had been, and that it had that APC sticker on it, though it was rather torn. So I asked whether they had placed the one from mine on it, and was told they did that so they’ll know it won’t be tampered with, though I have no idea how that would ensure that. Also peeled a corner of it off, just to check that it wasn’t my old battery still there, finding no other label underneath, which at least confirmed that it wasn’t that old one but still didn’t tell me what it actually was. But instead of focusing on that at that moment, I was focused on getting some sort of warranty certificate, so that was what I asked about and the guy who repaired the UPS came with a sticker to place on it after I closed it, actually preventing the battery slot from being opened without taking it off. The warranty was for 24 months though, while the battery in question clearly had 26, and when the other guy was asked by that one to check on the site he first said it had 12, which is the period for any other battery, not the one I ordered, then correcting himself to say it’s 24 if the replacement is part of work done on the UPS, but still nothing about 26.
Still, left like that, but I was really bothered by that color, as I was seeing plenty of other batteries from that brand around there and they were all of the color of the one in the image. So I got to the end of the alley, stopped, carefully peeled off that sticker, which was easy to do, showing that it doesn’t really seal anything, and looked inside again, this time actually taking the battery out and looking on the other side as well, seeing that it was actually a 12V, 9.0 Ah Reddot. Didn’t see other information on it, but later, when I checked on-line, I saw that the other specifications were worse as well. And, either way, it clearly wasn’t what I had ordered, and was also worried that it may not be new at all, but perhaps some battery they had tested the UPS with and had accidentally left inside, so possibly just a mistake and not an attempt to trick me.
So I went right back, not telling them that I had already opened it, as I had replaced that sticker, but saying that the color keeps bothering me, so I want to check, opening it there in front of them after carefully peeling off that sticker again while they were telling me that the new batteries of that kind are black and the picture shows the old ones, one guy telling another to open a new box in front of me to show me that. Of course, I didn’t care about them showing me anything, instead taking the battery out and showing them the label, which caused a barely perceptible moment of silence before they recovered, the guy who had repaired it saying he doesn’t know anything about that, it was given to him with the battery inside, then asking me what the specifications of what I had ordered had been and then telling me that those having 9.6 Ah are for alarms and other things, and those like the one I was given, naming the brand as well, are for UPSs. When I said that they specifically sell that one, on their site, as being for this UPS, they just repeated that these are actually for UPSs, but said that they can check if I insist, yet they’re still giving me this one with a two-year warranty, and also that it’s supposedly heavier than that one, though I have no idea what relevance that has… But I couldn’t keep talking there, face to face, needed to get away, so I stupidly agreed to keep it, as long as the warranty will apply to it.
Definitely wasn’t content with the situation though, so I actually checked their site on my phone on the way back and saw that they don’t have any Reddot batteries, making me even more worried that I had been given an old one that they had just used for testing. So when I got back I sent another e-mail, calmly describing what had happened, pointing out that even Reddot batteries now seem to be a different color, not black, and that the stores that sell this model here do so for less than what I had been charged. After that, I asked whether that’s how they usually do business, without any documents, even if I had been told that I can actually pay cash after all, then said that I wanted to make sure I can get the full warranty, 26 months, if necessary, then asked whether the battery they specifically sell as being for this UPS isn’t actually for UPSs at all, as I had been told there, and added that it really doesn’t seem right to pay for one thing and be given another, especially since it’s something cheaper and with specifications that seem worse, so I’d rather have it replaced if what I actually ordered can be used in this UPS after all, or if what they gave me really is better, I’d want them to explain exactly why that is. Also mentioned that I’m not accusing them of anything other than a mistake and miscommunication, but also that I’m concerned that the mistake involved giving me a used battery they had just used for testing.
Also that evening, I first tested the UPS in the kitchen, first with the TV, then with it and a hand mixer, which should require more power than the computer but still less than the UPS should be able to provide. Then I took it to my room, plugging in the data cable as well and checking the information while I let it charge, testing it again with that hand mixer after it reported being fully charged. However, the problem appeared after that and it was entirely my fault, as I wanted to test it on a computer as well, so I took it to the living room to test it on dad’s, unplugging the power cable first, so what the software saw was that there had been a power failure and then communication with the UPS had been lost. As a result, the fact that I found my computer off, or more exactly in hibernation, when I got back, after successfully testing the UPS on dad’s computer, shouldn’t have surprised me, the software having done the only logical thing after what must have appeared to have been a malfunction of the UPS. The problem was that the system couldn’t change fan speeds again after recovering from hibernation, so I had to turn it off and back on in order to fix that anyway.
That evening I also received a reply to my e-mail, the guy saying he appreciates me and values our relationship, which struck me as odd, that he shares my opinion, which I gathered meant the fact that it was a simple mistake and miscommunication, that the battery I ordered, or any other with this kind of connectors, can’t be for alarms, it’s clearly for UPSs, therefore contradicting what his coworkers had been trying to convince me of while there, that manufacturers use the same components to make products of the same quality under different labels, though the specifications clearly differed between the two, and that I should consider that e-mail to be the 26-month warranty so I won’t make another trip. And he also sent a few short audio files which were supposed to amuse me, though they didn’t, also being connected to the sort of stuff in that book they gave me to read, in its Romanian edition, when I went there the first time. He even said to reply if I wanted more.
Well, I did reply the next day, saying that I didn’t want more but would really prefer it if making another trip will be the only problem. So I’d much rather go back and have the battery replaced with what I actually ordered, seeing that it’s in a sealed box to make sure it’s new, and also get an invoice and a warranty certificate, as I should have gotten the first time. Then, later, I sent another message to add that if paying cash is a problem, seeing as I’ll need to wait until the next week anyway, since June 1 is a free day here as well and the weekend was coming after that, I can come with someone as well, so they can return what I paid and he’ll be able to pay by card.
Another reply only came Monday night, actually after midnight, and the first one was just “OK”, sent as a reply to that last message of mine. Then, a bit later, there was another reply, to the one before it, though I had sent that one as a reply to the other one, just to make it easy to keep track. This second reply at least said I can come with the UPS, since I had asked whether they wanted me to bring it back or just bringing the battery will be enough. Gave me the very clear impression that he was too angry at first due to me not agreeing to leave things as they were, hence that initial reply with no details.
The thing is that I noticed that first reply before going to eat that night, but didn’t open it, and after I got back my Internet access stopped working, only recovering in the morning, so I could only read the messages Tuesday. Not that it mattered, since dad couldn’t come with me that day, nor yesterday, so I sent a reply to say I’ll be coming Thursday, so today, receiving another reply to say that I can come whenever I want, and if he’s not there to ask his coworkers to call him… Which was what they did before as well, since I never found this guy I exchanged the e-mails with there, and that didn’t change today either.
What did change today was that I went with dad, and once I mentioned the name of the guy I had exchanged the messages with the cashier said she knew what this was about, so don’t even know whether anyone did call him. The problem was that, even though I had told him about it, I guess dad either forgot or never even paid attention in the first place to the fact that he should be prepared to get the money back as cash and pay them again using his card. Admittedly, I was also surprised when the entire amount was mentioned, so including the fee for repairing the UPS, but he was definitely surprised when asked to pay by card, saying he wasn’t sure he still had anything on his card, and having both of them declined, which resulted in the cashier not giving us any invoice then. She did give me a warranty certificate though, even if it was printed on a page with some other order on the other side, crossed out, and had 26 months written in pen under the spot where the document itself says 12 and the date of May 23, so when I sent them an e-mail with my information to order that battery, a week before picking up anything, just added somewhere on the side. There were stamps next to both additions, which I guess makes them “count”, but a few lines at the bottom, stating that the warranty no longer applies due to the fact that the battery was used in certain ways, not that it would no longer apply in case it will be used in those ways, definitely worries me.
But I’m more worried that I didn’t check the new battery as thoroughly as I should have. There were people, the situation felt somewhat tense and I couldn’t really focus anymore, even having to ask dad now whether they replaced the battery right away or only after we came back with the money. He said they replaced it then, though he didn’t look at it otherwise, so I guess that’s what happened, and I do remember that a box with what seemed to be the right label was opened in front of me, one of the batteries in it being taken out and given to me. They were also black, and the guy pointed that out, saying that they are black now and what I see in the picture is the old model, but I had a quick look and saw what seemed to be the correct label on it, or at least listing the brand and model I expected, because like I said I couldn’t exactly keep it together anymore and didn’t check anything else, when in fact I should have read the specifications, checked the other side as well and likely try to see whether that label I saw could be peeled off, checking for any other underneath. But I didn’t do any of that, instead asking them to remove that sticker from the bottom of my UPS, giving them the old battery and putting the new one in. Also meant to use a protection I had kept from the battery the UPS originally had, but was told that was broken, which does indeed seem to be the case, and not necessary anyway, so I left it out. Now I can only hope that they didn’t trick me, as this time it would indeed be a trick and not any mistake, and that the specifications of what I got really are what I paid for.
Either way, that still left the matter of the invoice, the cashier asking whether we really wanted one and dad saying we did. She wasn’t going to give one unless we paid by card and dad needed to deposit money on the card first, and while he fortunately had enough money on him, we had no idea where we could find a branch of the bank in that area. I suggested looking on his phone, but he said sites don’t seem to load on it and my attempts only confirmed that, so he called someone and asked that guy to look up a nearby branch of that bank, being given an address that didn’t help much, considering the large areas covered by some of the numbers on that street. And we also tried the wrong side first, then he asked someone after we got on the right side but was told just that the number in question covers a large area, then just as I had managed to finally get an address for a branch that was somewhat in that area on my phone, figuring out some other method of doing so after it was clear that the bank’s site won’t properly load on it, he also called the bank, after calling that guy again to ask for some clearer instructions and a phone number to ask directly. Then he was finally able to find the ATM that was what was actually in that area, the branch being the address I had found, some distance away. Not that we couldn’t have gone there in the time it took us to find that ATM…
So it was quite some time later that we finally returned to the battery store, after also missing turns and driving around a bit longer, and the cashier could give back the money I had given them and dad could pay by card. Then she asked a guy to make the invoice, and he made it by adding the information on the computer by hand and calculating using a calculator, but at least it seems all right. Or almost all right, since he had to list price without VAT and VAT separately, as you have to do on invoices, and the total ended up being 0.01 RON less than what dad had been charged. But that’s their problem, and at least I have the invoice and the receipt, with today’s date, that should make everything legal. How much they’re cursing me for it and for insisting not to leave things as they were, I don’t know… I just hope there won’t be any problems. Quickly testing the UPS with that hand mixer and then actually with the computer seems to indicate that there are none now, but who knows what may happen later.


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