Friday, February 1, 2008

Keeping my Receipt equals $1,000

Just recently, I wrote an article about my receipt filing system. If you didn't read it, click here. And, here is another great example why.

This past April, I fell in love with this patio gazebo. It was at Sam's Club, and it was called a Hardtop Pavilion. We don't spend alot of money on things very often, but every once in awhile we do. This was one of those times. I am constantly in the back yard watching my young children and the neighbors children as they play. With a new baby, he couldn't be in the sun, so I wanted some shade for our very sunny back patio. It was beautiful...I loved last Spring we bought it and put it up. It cost us $1,062 with tax.

At first, everything was going along nicely. Everyone was commenting on how nice it looked, I had my flower gardens in full bloom and flower pots all around it. But, then, within a month of being in the sun, it started to warp. First, the roof started bowing, then the wood started splitting by the end of summer. On top of that, with only a few months in the sun, the wood was starting to turn white and lose all color. With the way this is made, the roof would be very difficult to be sanded and restained. It was too thin and brittle.

Needless to say, Sams Club must have been getting many complaints. We actually received a letter in the mail saying we were getting a reinforcement kit, as they knew there were issues with this structure. So, we immediately set to putting all reinforcements up on the roof and the leg supports. The letter also stated that if we had problems, we could return it to Sams Club for a full refund.

By the fall it looked terrible. It was an eye sore. We couldn't decide what to do. Then winter came, and we weren't out there alot, so I got sidetracked with other things. But, about a month ago, we had a winter storm roll through again, and I looked out the next morning and part of the roof had fallen off and shattered on our patio. That was the straw that broke the camels back...I was returning this thing.

So, my husband had a wonderful Saturday afternoon. I sent him out there to get it down. You should have seen him. He was so excited. He looked like a small child out there destroying it. He had so much fun! Then, we stuck it in a truck and drove to Sams Club just tonight. ( By the way, when I called the manufacturer, they said we could saw it down if we wanted. We just had to return it to Sams so they could throw it away ).

And, we were able to return it 10 months later due to the fact I had kept my letter and receipt! So, today, we got a nice $1,000 bonus and got rid of a piece of junk from our back yard.

So, the moral of this story? Keep your receipts and keep them organized. I knew we bought it in April, so I pulled my file cabinet open, flipped to the April receipt envelope and pulled out my receipt and letter and away we went. If I had neither of them, I have no idea if we would have gotten our money back. Maybe we would have, maybe we wouldn't have. But, I do know one thing...we sure did get it back with the receipt and letter.

My 2nd piece of advice. Do NOT buy this product from Sams Club. Apparently, there is a new model coming out this summer......don't bother. It will be a waste of your time and money. It is beautiful in the store, but does not hold up in the weather.

And, finally, I am not going to be posting this to my YTD total. This was a return and I strictly got the money back I spent. But, it still was another reminder of why I keep those pesky receipts!