The "blog card" or why I really don’t recommend that you purchase a T3 Tourmaline Hair Dryer

Just last week, I was telling one of my team members that I had never made a threat to someone that I would blog about something (like "if you don't fix this, I am going to blog about it")  which took some restraint (which any long time readers know) and now today, a few days later, I totally want to do it. I really, really want to do it. I'm ticked. There's a story.

I've complained about my crazy hair before. It's not really a complaint as much as an acknowledgment. If you think my hair is crazy, well, I thought it first. So you aren't telling me anything I don't already know. Most days, I rather enjoy it (and I receive some compliments). But it's the mere threat of a slight breeze, any kind of humidity (either very wet or very dry), waving a hairbrush in my direction or even slightly resting my head on the headrest in my car or airplane seat; my hair goes a little nuts. Sunday at the gym, it just got bigger and bigger and I wanted to tell everyone "hey, you better evacuate because pretty soon, there's not going to be enough room in here for my hair and you. Run while you still can", but I was too busy trying to maintain some facade of coordination and athleticism while I was pretending I didn't care. Remember that movie "The Blob"? Man that freaked me out. People have known to react similarly to my hair on a rainy afternoon outside.

It's hardly "important", but there's a beauty industry for a reason. If me caring makes me vain then fine. Read on, fellow vanity indulgers.

Underneath the sink in my bathroom is a product graveyard. I try just about anything made for fine, curly or color treated hair (Oh, you didn't know? hah!). I'll use it a few times and unless it changes my life (like Sebastian Laminates did in the 80s....still using it today), it generally makes it's way to a dank resting place next to the Soft Scrub and that big vat of paraffin that you are supposed to dip your hands into....yeah, I used that thing once. It didn't change my life.

So we can say that I invest some money in haircare. Oh, we all have our thing (don't judge, especially if you are into any kind of sports or video games...just saying). So anyway, early last year, I "invested" in an ionic blow dryer (I was hoping for an iconic blow dryer, maybe for Christmas) . This isn't the $19.99 one that you see at Target. I'd heard good things about it and was willing to put up about $175 to make one mine. I was pretty happy with it; it cut my blow drying time, did a good job, etc. Until it stopped working about three weeks ago. I never fill out those stupid warranty cards, but I happened to remember filling out the card for the pricey blow dryer, so my 4 year warranty was intact. I went online, researched the return method, got my purchase documentation, filled out the form and shipped it back to the manufacturer. Then I waited. And I used a little $10 travel dryer to get by while I waited. You know the kind....your hair gets stuck in the back of it because it's so small. It has not been enjoyable.

Then, last week, I get a package in the mail from the manufacturer. And instead of my replacement for this, I get this cheapie. I'm sorry but that is NOT the same thing. I was all excited to blow dry my hair until I saw what was inside and it was a total let down. I know that sounds crazy, but I guarantee that you are crazy about something. Trust me. Ask your friends. You really are.  So I e-mail their returns department (again!) and the gal tells me the "additional documentation that is required from the Shipping Manager is a copy of the original receipt from the shipping company you used to send the item to us." So I think, OK, she is going to ask the shipping manager and in the meantime, I am going to sit around here with sub par hair because I'm not going to go and buy a new hair dryer because of the principal. I'm the customer and they should make this right, right? She told me she would get back to me and essentially 3 business days later (this afternoon), I e-mail her to find out the status because how long does it take to contact your shipping manager and hello? Did I mention the situation with my hair? Gah!

So I hear back from her and she tells me this:

"In order to resolve this issue I will need the documentation as requested from the previous email as our records indicate that a Overnight Dryer was sent in to us.  The additional documentation that is required from the Shipping Manager in the event there is a discrepancy is a copy of the original receipt from the shipping company you used to send the item to us."


I'm still not clear as to why the "Shipping Manager" would have a copy of my receipt that I used to ship it (and shouldn't it be the Receiving Manager?), but the thing that makes me care about my hair this much is the same thing that makes me save things like shipping receipts (yeah, I's fun to be me) and feel sad when I see run-on sentences. So I send it (the receipt) to her as an attachment and resist the urge to tell her that they should have response templates for e-mails so that the communications are more clear. Her mail is making it sound like I did something wrong (sent them a travel blow dryer I do not own and then lie about it) and have to rectify it by sending a shipping receipt which proves nothing more than the fact that I shipped something to them; which they have already acknowledged.


Speaking of resisting urges, I also decided not to mention to her about my blog (though if she just checked my auto-signature...) because I don't want to be *that* person. Would you have done something differently? Think about going 3 weeks without your thing, whatever your thing is. Let's say your thing is water. How cranky would you be after three weeks without water?  I'm hopping mad and I can't help it. I'm channeling Sam Kinison.  I have no way of proving to them what I shipped back and I'm stuck with this stupid little light weight travel blow dryer that I really don't want (did I mention that I already have a crappy travel dryer)?


Sometimes I read other peoples' stories of bad customer service and think to myself: chill. Only, I can totally understand how people can come unglued over this stuff. It's the principal: it's about entering into a relationship and having the other party not live up to their end of the explicit agreement. It feels shady (let's see what we have in stock and just ship her that). And while I am not going to make an explicit point to them that I have a blog that has traffic, the kind of traffic that might like to have good hair (I've seen some of your pictures and I'm predicting a high likelihood of good hair), I am definitely hoping they are checking their trackbacks or searching their brand online.


The reason why people will spend almost $200 on a beauty appliance (we won't even talk about the curling iron I bought at the same time) is the same freaking reason they will lose their minds if you withhold said appliance and not honor the warranty that was promised upon purchase. Let's see if they do anything.


Sorry so crazytown today but it's my hair y'all. Days like this the words just float onto the blog page.



Comments (13)

  1. HeatherLeigh says:

    OK, now I am done:

    "Based on the original paperwork sent in from you, you have indicated that the product sent in is the Featherweight Dryer.  Even though our records show that an Overnight Dryer was checked into our facility for warranty replacement we would be willing to make an exception and replace the item sent to you for the Featherweight Dryer as long as you have not broken the security seals on the box for the Overnight Dryer.  We would be able to send a UPS call tag for pick up and once received we can ship out the Featherweight Dryer.  Please advise."

    Of course I broke the seals. Oh man, I am so done. If I was a little more distrustful, I’d say they really do not want you to use your warranty!

  2. NathanWeinberg says:

    Don’t let them get away with this.  They screwed up, and they dare say what they are "willing to make an exception" about?  How ridiculous.

    Make sure you let us know how it turns out.

  3. HeatherLeigh says:

    I got another e-mail today again insisting that I sent back an "overnight" dryer. I can’t believe the customer service person doesn’t realize (or doesn’t care) how angering it is to basically have them call you a liar. If I were lying, I’d expect it. But it’s their error. Of course, I went online this morning and bought another blow dryer (from another manufacturer) because a girl’s got to have good hair.  After the CS rep told me I was lying, she offered to replace the dryer. I just sent mail back to let her know that I broke the seal on the package (horrors!) and I even used the blow dryer this morning. So if they still will take it back and replace what I sent them, then I’ll do it. Otherwise, I’m done. She does seem to be acquiescing but considering that it somes with a side order of accusation, it’s disturbing.

  4. crawdad13 says:

    Stuff like this absolutely pisses me off.  You know, like when you go to Best Buy to buy a Christmas present and they have some sort of rebate program that requires you to deface the packaging before you give the product as a gift.  It’s BS.  O r how if you buy a piece of software and install it on your laptop and then the laptop dies seven days later, a certain company makes you buy a brand new version of the software that you never even got to use for the replacement laptop. (I won’t mention any names on this one either)

    I have had this same expereince with a DVD player and a vacuum and have learned my lesson.  after the first vacuum broke a couple of months after the purchase and Target wouldn’t take it back because they had a "strict 60 day return policy," (hmmm, could it be because they were selling a piece of crap that kept on getting returned?)  I argued, talked to the manager, made several attempts at contacting the manufacturer.  I finally found a target store that still had one on their shelves.  I bought it, put the junky one into the new box, returned it then sold the new one on EBay.  

    I lost 10 bucks on the deal, but it was worth it (so I essentially rented a crappy vacuum for two months for $5 a month)

    For what it’s worth, I then bought a Dyson and it is awesome.

    Darren Cox

  5. HeatherLeigh says:

    crawdad13 – I hipe you aren’t talking about a certain software company that I am very familiar with. If so, I had never heard about that and please e-mail me about the situation.

    Your vacuum situation sounds unreal. I just bought a new vacuum too and I love it. Mine’s a Riccar and so far I love it.

  6. AmyT says:

    Ohh, I can remember two instances last Christmas where this happened to me! I refuse to cut out a bar code on the box of an item I’m giving as a gift! No rebate for me.

    Another note, customer service has gotten so crappy that when I actually get mediocre or even GOOD service it seems out of the ordinary. I’ve had problems with everything from returns, to cell phone companies, cable companies, you name it! Rude, inconsiderate, and a basic “you can’t make us” or “i don’t believe you” attitude.

  7. HeatherLeigh says:

    OK, so I hear back from the woman named Stephanie R (in case the T3 marketing department is reading this). Before she said that if the box was unopened they would honor the warranty. Well, the box was opened so I used the blow dryer. If I wans’t going to get a new product, I was going to use this lesser product that they sent me. Then she e-mailed me this:

    "At this point we would be unable to exchange the item since it has been used.  In the previous email you had indicated that the box was opened and you noticed at that time that the item was incorrect.  We were willing to accept the opened box, however, we would not be able to accept the Overnight Dryer now as it has been used.  We are considering this issue resolved as we have fulfilled the warranty claim as our documentation indicates that you sent in an Overnight Dryer and we have sent out a replacement Overnight Dryer to you.  If you have additional documentation to support your claim to a different product please mail this to my attention."

    Yeah, proof like a video tape of me mailing it? What kind of proof would there be? It’s infuriating. It’s bad enough that their shipping department messed this up, and that she is not willing to go grab the dryer that I sent in (because I put the serial number on the form I returned it with) to see that it was definitely not an overnight dryer. She could easily do that and the problem would have been solved long ago. But with each mail, the insistance that I returned a dryer that I didn’t return has turned me into an anti-evangelist. Sheesh, I’m one of those scary people that hate a company.

    This is some seriously messed up customer service! And if the SEO fairy needs to visit them to make them aware of that fact, then I guess that’s what needs to happen. I hate the fact that each mail from this person really angers me. I am so not an angry person. I thikn it’s the combination of injustice and powerlessness that is really making me lose it.

  8. HeatherLeigh says:

    Wow! I just got a very nice e-mail from T3’s marketing VP. Problem solved (more than solved, actually) and I should be receiving my replacement dryer shortly. I’m quite impressed by the response. I won’t go into details but they did more than they had to or I even would expect.

    Of course I feel so much better now! Was it stupid that a blow dryer got me this upset? Well, it was a person that upset me, but the blow dryer started it and I let it. It might be stupid, but I think that it shows that the trust that a consumer puts into the purchasing relationship they enter into with a company is important to them; and that to some degree, they expect to be taken care of. The response I just got from T3 helps me feel taken care of.

    I’m sure that somewhere, a phsychhologist is scratching his or her temple and recording my blog post for a case study of some kind on the unraveling that occurs as an outcome of customer service faux pas as evidenced among tightly wound bloggers (that is called self-awareness, my friends). At the very least, the blogging was an effective outlet. The response from T3 makes me feel much better.

    I should also thank the person in T3’s marketing department that found the blog post. I don’t know who you are, but good for you for monitoring your brand online because it gives you the opportunity to fix his kind of thing and that’s just smart. I appreciate you bringing this to the attention of Amy and making sure that I was taken care of. That’s good marketing and customer service. Thank you!

    I feel so much better about this now. The response from T3 was a very peasant surprise to me!

  9. Alana says:

    I am having a similar problem with T3, and also having to deal with Stephanie. I mailed them my hairdryer for repair and was finally contacted 1 month later by Stephanie at customer service stating that they just now received it and that contrary to the written warranty, they do not preform repairs, only replacements for $40. I declined and requested my original hiar dryer back. When it did arrive it was not in the original packaging I sent it in (the box with the UPC), and the hairdryer they did send me was not mine. It was the same model but definitely not mine, not the hairdryer I sent them. I immediately called Stephanie where she more or less called me a liar, and insisted that it was indeed "my hairdryer" and the box I shipped it with (UPC and all) had been thrown out. When asked to speak with her supervisor she could not find one nor name anybody who could better assist me. I was later called by her "supervisor" Theresa, who gave me the same run around. So now not only am I stuck with someone else’s hairdryer (with some of their hair still attached to it),  but I am without the box and UPC so I cannot even mail it back to the company from which I ordered it. I am disgusted with the way T3 Tourmaline handles their customers, however I am not letting this go I have no problem contacting whoever I need to in order to resolve this issue.  Thankfully you finally had a positive outcome from your T3 nightmare.

  10. I have tried everything to get the address to send in a blow dryer does anyone have that in is it in gardena??? I am really considering legal action

  11. Linda Kornosky says:

    I spent top dollar on the T3 Tournaline Hair Dryer and loved it … up until it stopped working, that is … now what?  I’ve read your blog and I can’t find the address to send the blow dryer to for repair.  Can’t anyone list the address for people like me and Trisha Espinoza?  Especially those who have already sent in their blow dryer … even though you were hassled, could you please disclose the address to us?!

    Thanks in advance for your help.

  12. HeatherLeigh says:

    It’s on their website. Just look it up online and you will find it. I didn’t save it. But I know I got it on the website.

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