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  • serial numbers and sales receipt faded away.

    About a year ago I bought two drills at Home Depot under the lifetime warrenty promotion. One of them I need to return. I taped the sales receipts to the inside of the cases with some packing tape. When I opened up one of the cases to make sure I had the receipt to return it, the reciept was blank!!! That's right...completely blank! Like invisable ink.

    So, I figured I'd contact ridgid because I did register these online and I thaught they would have records of these tools on file. But, I knew they would probably want serial numbers. So, when I looked at the serial numbers on my drills, one was fading away and the other was completely gone! No joke!! Both the serial numbers and sales receipts have faded away and show no recognisable numbers or writting on them.

    Has anyone else had this happen to them?
    Receipts from Home Depot faded away.
    serial numbers on tools faded away.

    Now what?

  • #2
    WOW! Hey, I've noticed that a lot of stores, including HD, use a register system where the ink just doesn't seem to hold up very long; but, I can't say that I've seen them fade away in just a year...especially if they are kept out of the light as yours obviously was. I scanned my receipts into the computer and I've also laminated the one's for the "Lifetime" warranty. Still, I expect that eventually the ink will fade even with the lamination.

    As far as the serial number is concerned, I just checked and my three Ridgid tools are just as black as ever. I also checked the registration card and note that it asks for either the model number OR the serial number (although there is a space for both), so maybe NOT having the SN isn't a big deal.

    The only thing I can think of at the moment, that might be of help to you, is to ask if you bought them with your credit card? If so, you would have that record for the date of purchase and perhaps that would help the Ridgid folks to see the legitimacy of any claim. If you don't have that receipt, you can go back to the credit card company and get a statement. I'd also go back and talk to the HD manager, show him your faded receipt and ask him to help you validate the purchase and any date that you can remember or approximate.

    I hope this helps,

    CWS

    [ 11-15-2004, 06:17 PM: Message edited by: CWSmith ]

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    • #3
      The reason I am worried about the serial numbers fadded is this. The serial numbers all have date codes in them which would tell a service center if the tool is under lifetime warrenty or not. If they cannot see a serial number, they likely won't cover it for me.

      Thanks for your input.

      Next time I will take a picture of the drill and serial number for safe keeping. I will also do as you have suggested and scan my receipts. Stuppid me, I don't know why I didn't think of that.

      Anyone else had this problem?

      Comment


      • #4
        FSA,

        You are not the only one with the problem of fading receipts from Home Depot. I checked several receipts that I had from them and although none are totally faded as yet, there are far too many missing dates, prices, etc. due to fading.

        I visited the local store's Service Desk earlier today and brought the problem to their attention. As usual, they gave me that "understanding look" and told me it wasn't a problem. "Just bring your tool back here and we'll take care of handling the service for you" RIGHT! I told them that the warranty stated that the service center would require a "dated" receipt and they responded by telling me that Home Depot was an authorized service center and that they had a way of cross checking the serial number and that if I had sent in the registration, that was all that really mattered!

        Of course, none of this is true and I called Ridgid Customer Support to find out exactly what is needed. They told me that HD does not handle service and that they are not an authorized service center... just the retailer. In some cases, a store may handle a return, or even a shipment to a Ridgid service center, but that is probably rare. Ridgid does require a dated receipt and a "copy" will be enough! The registration card is primarily so they can notify you in case of a recall; and it, in itself, is not the warranty authorization, the dated receipt is. They told me they have a lot of problems because of Home Depot's faded receipt thing, but that it is beyond thier direct control and that they (Ridgid and Ryobi) have notified Home Depot about the problem.

        What can be done? Well, Ridgid says that Home Depot has a journal accounting system and that if you can verify the exact date of purchase with either a check, credit card record, or something, HD should be able to make you a new receipt. Also, the tool SN (as you mentioned) is date coded, so even if you've written it down somewhere, that can be helpful. (She also mentioned that the SN number plate is often hard to read sometimes and that she understood that they (Ridgid) are trying to correct that in some way.

        The bottom line is that Ridgid is taking a lot of blame for Home Depot's faded receipts. So anyone who reads this, please copy your receipt and your serial number ASAP. As for me, I have copies of everything, but I intend to complain to higher levels of Home Depot management as I think this is a real problem for any HD consumer.

        CWS

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        • #5
          Final word regarding "faded receipts"? I spoke with someone at the HD corporate office late this afternoon and they understand the problem. Obviously it isn't a quick fix as they can't replace every receipt printer nationwide. However, I was told that a copy of a receipt was valid, so everyone should make a copy of any receipt from any store that uses thermo-printing. (Not just Home Depot.)

          Home Depot also has a customer transaction "archive" which can be searched if your receipt has faded away. However, you must be able to provide a date of purchase and a store location for them to do that. If you can't remember the exact date, perhaps that can be traced to your checkbook entry, cancelled check, or credit card record. If you can provide the local store with that info, they can request an "archive search" to validate your receipt and warranty date. This takes about 24 to 48 hours. Such a request can be done through your local store or directly to Home Depot HQ in Atlanta. Either way, you must be able to pinpoint the date and the store location as that is how the transaction is classified in the archive files.

          I hope this helps anyone who is faced with a warranty claim and a faded receipt,

          CWS

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          • #6
            the reason the receipt fades it that its not printed with ink, the recipt paper that most retailers now use is heat sensitive paper or thermal tape...i used to work at staples and we sold it all the time. the receipt will fade over time no matter what, maybe if you kept in the freezer it wouldn't just dont leave it on your dash in the sun or it will gone in a week or two. i would make a copy of it and staple the original to the copy along with any registration or what not.

            Comment


            • #7
              No doubt the thermal paper is a problem.
              This past summer I bought new Ridgid tools for my shop, and in the 2 months it took for me to purchase them all before it was time to send in copies of the receipts for rebates they were already starting to fade. Needless to say I made 2 copies.

              Comment


              • #8
                If the reciept has faded before a copy was made, just hand them the blank paper. It is the reciept and they have to accept it. It would be their fault if they can't read the printing of their own computer. Also, my HD told me that the printout they give you if you lose the reciept is not acceptable for any HD issues. I was specifically told we don't honor those. I was confused as all heck, but I didn't want to argue.

                I know I do have a few that have faded, including my 3612 reciept. Luckily, a service center has my name on record as owning the saw. I am afraid though that My lifetime warranty Ridgid 12VX2 drill may have faded as well, which would put new batteries into question down the road.

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                • #9
                  Mike,

                  Read my previous postings. First, a blank receipt is good for nothing, and if it cannot be read, it really is "your" problem and NOT theirs.

                  I'm not sure what you mean by the "the printout they give you if you lose the reciept is not acceptable for any HD issues"... I talked directly to the consumer affairs office at HD HQ in Atlanta and thier printout is totally valid! So, if your receipt has faded and IF you can in some manner give them an accurate date and specific store that your purchase was made, then the store (or you) can order a new receipt or validation from Atlanta. If you cannot specifically pin down the date of purchase, then you are probably out of luck, as their archives are filed by Store ID# and Date of Transaction. The serial number does contain a date code, which is helpful for normal 3-yr warranty claims; but, I don't know if that it would be helpful for that short 3-month introductory window in which the lifetime service warranty was offered.

                  Personally, I think this "faded receipt" problem is a major consumer issue. It exists with far too many retailers. I think something should be done about it on both a state and national level. HD and Ridgid will at least except a copy of the receipt, some companies will not.

                  As far as HD is concerned, a major problem with them is the total inconsistancy of policy and information that you get from the local stores.

                  CWS

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                  • #10
                    I was given the info at the store level about their printout not being good for anything. I would take issue to the faded reciept though. If you save the reciept like you are required to, the burden should fall on the retialer to be sure that it remains legible. I'm sure the FBI could raise the printing.

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                    • #11
                      "...IF you can in some manner give them an accurate date and specific store that your purchase was made..."

                      I try to remember to write down the purchase date, model number, serial number, and where I bought the tool right on the front cover of the owners' manual when I buy stuff. If I bought it with a check then I write the check number down too. I take the receipt and staple it inside the front cover. With the new thermal printed receipts, I have started to make at least one xerox copy and attach that too.

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                      • #12
                        receipt or no receipt, you should still be getting your warranty..

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                        • #13
                          Just went out and found as many as I could and made copies. The one for my $179 PC nailer is already too far gone. The important one is for the three year waranty on my 18 volt drill for the batteries. They say free batteries for three years, then your receipt fades away in one. Sounds like a conspericy to me. Hum.

                          Steve

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