Ordering a Portable Generator Online Can Become a Nightmare If You Don’t Follow These
Purchasing a Generator Online
If you’ve purchased a portable generator
online, you know how incredible the savings can be. It is not uncommon to see discounts on new generators anywhere
from twenty to forty percent.
And not just lesser known brands but well know generator brands. However, there is one issue that buyers
take for granted; that is their right or perceived right to return the unit in the event that it wasn’t want they
Prior to purchasing any generator online, make sure that you understand why some online retailers will not
authorize you to return the unit no matter what.
I’m sharing this incident with you, to help you understand how to properly purchase a portable generator online. Follow these instructions and
your purchase will be smooth flowing. Ignore these instructions and your online purchase could turn into a
frustrating, emotionally draining, time consuming nightmare. I’m allowing this couple to tell their story and then
I’ve got some helpful tips for you.
Our Portable Generator Horror Story
My wife and I scoured the Internet searching for a
generator to provide us with power in the event that we experienced another power outage. When we moved to
Massachusetts from Tempe, Arizona, we had never been in an outage to speak of. Needless to say, the first time was
warning enough for us. When the power came back on, we went back home, jumped on the Internet and starting
searching. We finally decided on a Briggs and Stratton
10,000-Watt 16 HP Portable Generator.
This was an ideal choice for us because in the event of another power outage
we could use the necessary items, plus have enough power to use some luxuries. This generator features a powerful
Briggs & Stratton vanguard commercial OHV 16 HP engine with a special idle control mechanism to save fuel and
reduce noise. It has an automatic low-oil shutoff mechanism that protects the engine and an extra-large, pretty
quiet muffler that lowers the noise output to an acceptable hum.
When we run our unit, our neighbors never complain and trust me, if it bothered them, they’d take their case to
the United Stated Supreme Court, just to get us to shut our generator down. Anyhow, The automatic voltage
regulation, which comes standard, allows us to use our laptops and computers during an outage and not be concerned
about the generator damaging our sensitive electronics.
In terms of ordering online, everything went great! We saved approximately two hundred and nineteen dollars. We
made the purchase through a secure Https server. Our order was confirmed via e-mail and we immediately received a
URL link that we could use to track our purchase from the warehouse to our door. When our portable
generator arrived, we noticed a major gash in the box. The delivery guy brushed it off; he said it happens
all the time and it was no big deal. He explained to us that these units are packaged so well that he had never
seen one damaged, even when the outside of the box was damaged.
What he said actually made sense and like lambs to the slaughter, we accepted his explanation and signed for the
unit; bad mistake. We opened the box and lo and behold, there was major damage! It looked like a forklift had
punctured it. As soon we saw that, we emailed the retailer requesting an authorization for a return. The person we
did the online chat with asked us if we attempted to start the unit. When we advised them that we hadn’t, they
suggested that we at least try and start before attempting to return.
Not thinking, (remember, this is our first generator purchase) we put gas and oil in the unit, cranked it and it
ran, but boy was it vibrating and clanking as in metal to metal. I shut the unit down and e-mailed the online
retailer again and explained what the unit was doing.
To my utter amazement and disbelief, they informed me they couldn’t take the unit back because it would pose a
hazardous material issue.
It took us four and a half weeks of going back and forth before getting this issue resolved. In the end, the
online retailer sent us to an authorized Briggs and Stratton Dealer and they replaced the damaged unit with a new
one. But, had we known the parameters for ordering a portable generator online from the very beginning, this fiasco
never would have happened.
While we were pushing to resolve this matter, we had an ice storm that left us in the dark and the cold fro a
week and a half. Two hours into the outage, my wife had enough; we packed our bags and drove almost fours before we
found a hotel we could check into.
Their trying experience brings to light a number of things you must know about buying a portable generator online.
1). Know The Return Policy Before You Order
If you don’t agree with the terms, find another
online retailer. It’s as simple as that. Different retailers have different policies. Some companies state very
clearly, “NO RETURNS!” Other state that you must obtain an authorization code from them before they will accept the
return. By knowing their policy, you avoid a lot of grief/
2). Don’t Start The Portable Generator If You have Valid Concerns
Once you put gasoline and oil in a generator, for all practical intents and purposes, no one is going to ship it
back to a retailer through the normal channels. The fuel and the oil make the unit classified as having hazardous
material. With this point, there is NO negotiation or debate. If you see visible damage, or the unit is not what
you ordered or expected, DO NOT put any fuel or oil in it. By not doing so, you can ship it back with no hazardous
3). Don’t Place An Order Until You’ve Done Your Homework
It is imperative that you decide on
a brand, make and model prior to ordering. You should have clarified what you’re using the generator for and
performed a generator sizing test to know for sure what
size generator you need. Prior to ordering you should know about that manufacturer’s reputation and their customer
service rating. If you follow those guidelines, you won’t have to worry about returns.