The battery conundrum


Pretty much one year after I had bought them, my Jaybird Bluebuds broke down. They had worked really great for me so far, especially with the douchey looking but really practical “over ear” usage. If I had had any complaint it would have been that I got the impression the battery life seemed to deteriorate in the past weeks. This might be right or wrong, but it did not matter now anyhow. 

The Bluebuds simply did not work anymore. How convenient, I thought, they broke down just a little over a year that I have purchased them… So if there had been any warranty, it was certainly not valid anymore.

I got in touch with customer service anyway and quite surprisingly they asked me to send my set back for final assessment and – if my claims were confirmed – eventual replacement. That’s pretty darn great (and might be due to the rampant complaints on the web that these headphones are not as sweat proof as they claim they are – but I don’t mind as long as I’ll get a replacement). Unjustified, I am secretly hoping they will give me the newer version of the Bluebuds, the X2, but I’d be happy either way.

So the only thing for me to do was to ship them at cost back to Jaybird in the US. It’s convenient that we have DHL right there on the 6th floor at work and they’ve (more or less) successfully shipped private stuff for me in the past. Payment is cumbersome (you need to have the exact amount in cash), but it works. So I walked to the DHL counter once more.

Leo: Hey, I’ve got a personal shipment to the US…
Agent: Okay. What’s in the envelope?
Leo: A Bluetooth headset.
Agent: You’ll need to take out the batteries.
Leo: Erg, huh? How would I take out the batteries of a Bluetooth headset?
Agent: If you don’t we won’t ship it.
Agent: …
Leo: It’s a regular headset. With a cable.
Agent: Alright. Can you please fill in these documents?

So I am jumping through the hoops of filling in the proforma invoice, the delivery document and so on… 

Agent: Okay… Ah wait. Can you please fill in the cost center?
Leo: Oh, no-no. It’s a personal shipment. I cannot charge the company for that…
Agent: Oh,yeah… then this does not work.

Turns out they don’t do personal shipments anymore. Not a big deal, but would have been nice to clarify this before I spend 10 minutes to fill in all these darn documents.

Agent: You can go downstairs to the Cheers – they do DHL courier shipments, too.
Leo: Fine…

So I go to Cheers and ask for the courier service.

Not so cheery lady: What are you shipping?
Leo: A headset.
Lady: Does it have batteries? You’ll need to take these out!
Leo: No batteries.
Lady: They’ll open the parcel! Are there any batteries? 

Dude! – chill! Who are you anyway? The head of the Guantanamo torture committee? I stuck to my story and she handed me similar (but not the same) documents to the ones I had filled in before. Sigh. Alright then…

After I was done with these she called DHL and handed me the phone with the actual DHL agent. 

DHL agent: Do you want to ship it express or regular?
Leo: What’s the difference?
Agent: Express will arrive on Friday.
Leo: Okay. And regular?
Agent: On Friday or Monday.

Regular it is. He then asked for the weight of the envelope. The lady checked and it was a clean 50 grams.

Agent: That’s 60 SGD…

At that point and after filling in all the shipping information for the umpteenth’s time I was already so invested into this shipment, I did not have the nerve to stop everything and just go to a post office and do a likely cheaper express shipment from there. But this’ll teach me…

Edit Friday April 15th
Battery or not, the shipment arrived today in the US. Now I hope they’ll confirm my claim and ship out a replacement, otherwise I’ll really look stupid…

One response »

  1. We deal with this every day and I cannot tell you how much I hate DHL. We just returned a shipment from Iceland because of their mistake and they will not allow us to change reps. It came back a second time because the “Packing Group” was not checked correctl. I sent your entry to everyone at work and they laughed outloud because it is spot on. They are the K-Mart of Shipping Carriers.

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