Friday, September 29, 2017

Seeing Red with Blue Sky

I ordered two (2) "USB IR Infrared Remote Extender Emitter Receiver Repeater Adapter TV Top Box" via Walmart.com from a third-party vendor named "Blue Sky." The item (cables) is supposed to enable the user to operate their remote control device without being in line-of-sight to the TV cable box, so that you can "hide" the cable box behind the TV or in a cabinet, etc. My problem - - which I had hoped this device would solve - - is that both cable boxes (in different rooms for different TVs) are off to the side of the TVs, making it difficult to properly aim the remote control (i.e., we can't place the boxes line-of-sight).

I am a computer programmer and handyman, with more than enough experience with electronics. Furthermore, I had researched the two different cable boxes on the mfr's websites for instructions on how to mount the emitters. Despite all that, neither of the two cables worked. I tried every contortion of cable and attachment to the boxes I could think of to no avail. That was bad enough, but, okay, not everything works as advertised and/or on every device.

I attempted to return it per the vendor's 30-day return policy, but Walmart.com said they wouldn't accept it at my local store (if they offer it for sale, third-party or not, they should accept all such returns; not everyone who orders online realizes they are, sometimes, not dealing with the given website; this is also true of Amazon.com, Target.com, HomeDepot.com, et al., as well). So, I contacted Blue Sky (aka, Sunny Sky) via the Walmart "relay" system, which appears when you click "Contact " for the specific item in your online account order list.

I gave  extraordinary details in my initial and subsequent e-mails via the "relay" system (I could have used my own e-mail, but Walmart's relay page said not to do so), requesting return instructions and a subsequent refund. Blue Sky's rep responded at 2:30am ET (according to the e-mail send-time) with exceedingly poor (and seemingly phony) English, asking for even more detail! I copy-pasted my more-than-adequate original details, and stated that I repacked the cables, ready to return them for a full refund, but that still wasn't good enough for them. They reiterated their request for me to give more details in their SECOND e-mail. In their THIRD e-mail (rec'd TWO days later)
in response to my second e-mail, they requested that I try to re-connect the devices AND FOR ME TO VIDEOTAPE MY EFFORT, THE CONNECTIONS, AND THE USAGE!!!

Incredulous, I, politely, refused
(even if I wanted to do it, what in the world makes them think that everyone has a smartphone or other video equipment?).  Equally politely, I re-reiterated my request for return instructions and a refund. Their FOURTH e-mail (rcv'd the next day) INSISTED that I videotape my efforts!!!

That was the straw that broke the virtual camel's back! I complained via  Walmart.com's chat, which, although it took about 15 minutes all told, resolved the problem to my satisfaction (I won't go into details, because not every such problem may be resolved the same way).

Blue Sky's toll-free number isn't listed anywhere on the web (I wish I had checked that before making my purchase), which is very unusual (I did not call them, because I did not want them to have my phone number). They do not seem to have any online presence, which makes me believe that they are dealing out of their own home. As of this posting, Walmart.com still shows the item online, but, you cannot order it (presumably, at least, until they contact Blue Sky for an explanation), nor can I post a zero-rating review for Blue Sky.

DO NOT TRUST BLUE SKY OR WHATEVER NAME BY WHICH THEY REFER TO THEMSELVES. Given just their atrocious and outlandish customer service I truly believe they are scammers (why they even bother with customer service is beyond me!).



P.S. I decided that it isn't worth the effort to try any different company's similar device. I'll just have to do with my TV cable box setup the way it is.

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