Sunday, February 5, 2012

Alphaline and Sears

A tale of trust.   I want to share my experience with Sears. The last one.
Back in December 2011 I wanted to buy a new Mp3 player for my daughter.
I went around for a while, on-line and in shops, to see what was available on the market.
As usual the budget was not very high, so I spent some time looking for models and brands.

One day I went to Sears and saw a small touch screen Alphaline MP3 player, not too much expensive (less than 70$) and with all the requirements.

Alphaline was a brand never heard .. I usually am very suspicious about new strange brand, but I trusted Sears.
Sears always stayed back on what they sell.  So I bought it !
It worked OK, nothing spectacular but enough to have the job done.

Already guess what happened ?
Yep, after just about a month the MP3 player  become a nice small brick.
Loss totally of the memory.
Everything hardware seems working but there is no real firmware in the unit, so the only thing you can do is turn it on, watch the splash-screen and then  look a a nice piece of useless plastic and metal.

I tried to contact the  Alphaline customer support via email .. AHAHAHAHAHAH .. no answer.
Then I went to Sears, asking for a replacement, since the receipt stated that I had time until March 19 2012 to return or exchange the player.
Of course it was a lie. For the electronics, only 30 days are allowed .. small printed on the back of the receipt, so of course in the store they refused to do anything.
The clerk in the store suggested to call the Alphaline support. AHAHAHAHAHA

Back home I called the Alphaline support ... that doesn't exist.
Sears answered the call.  A brief chat to discover that :

  • they don't have ANY number or contact  Alphaline  (I seriously doubt it ever existed !)
  • Alphaline discontinued some services to Sears ... maybe a diplomatic way to say that this "company" doesn't exists anymore
  • the warranty office at Sears can not handle warranty problems via phone (!!!!) .. wonder what they do.
  • I should go back to the store and asking to talk with the store manager .. AHAHAHAHAH
Soooooo what is the lesson learned ?
First of all, always trust the instinct.
If a brand sounds phony, not reliable .. is because IT IS !  No matter where it is sold.
The store that sell crap is not more serious of the "company" who produce crap.
Sears had a name to be a serious company, a one that stands behind what it's sell.
Well .. NOT ANYMORE !  
For me  the bigger assets of a company is the NAME and the TRUST.
Maybe the greed changed also this company that I always considered reliable.

To recap .. I gained a piece of crap, trashed away some money, I can not fix the player since the producer doesn't exist anymore and Sears is willing to do absolutely nothing about that.
So Mr. Sears ... I guess there is a reason if your business is not very healthy lately.
I lost 60$ .. you lost reputation, name and a customer.  Was it worth ?

Selling crap and not willing to accept responsibility  it means only one thing :  another customer that say to you bye bye.
It will be my pleasure to advertise what happened and warn people that buying electronic stuff at Sears is only trashing away money.   I will not do the same mistake twice.

Eventually .. if somebody out there has a working version of the Alphaline MP4 player, model 18281, could he/she tries to backup the content of the memory, compress it and sends it to me ? :)
Not the contents ! Only the "system" stuff.
Actually I strongly suggest to ANYBODY that has such model to do a backup !!  One day you could turn on your player and discover that become a nice piece of brick.


  1. I have a working 18281 but I do not have the software for it. If you have the original or
    updated software for it and can send it to me or
    link me to it. Then I could try to back up the os or firmware and send it to you.

    Wish us Luck

    1. I have one but user manual is in help from sears...same thing when I purchased a Dell Streak 7 tablet, charger broke in first week of use and no universal plug works no help from Dell ( OH YEAH A WHOLE WHOPPING $10.00 CREDIT TOWARDS A NEW $390.00 TABLET) THEY QUIT MAKING DELL STREAK 7) IT WAS AND STILL IS A LEMON ! ! !) , had to spend $40.00 TO get a docking station just to charge it. any help with an ENGLISH alphaline MP3 player model #18281 users manual ?? PLEASE...AND THANKS IN

  2. I have a working Alphaline MP3 model#18281, that I purchased almost 2 years ago. Love it, havent had a problem with it. I also have an alphaline tv stand and an HDMI cable that my 2 year old siberian husky chewed threw. They offer lifetime warranties on all their cables and sent me a brand new one free of charge! I couldnt believe it. Alphaline is a company that's still in buisness and has nothing to do with Sears becides that Sears has alot of their products for sale mainly because aphaline warranties everything and Sears doesnt have to deal with the replacement. It doesnt suprise me that Sears couldnt help you since alphaline warranties pretty much everything.

  3. Anonymous, do you have a number to reach Alphaline ? Because Sears don't have it nor I was able to find it on internet. The "official" number in the instructions, listed as "Alphaline support" was actually directed to Sears. Anyway, is not really important anymore, somebody has to pay me to buy something branded "Alphaline".

  4. This is so true. hi. i am a girl whos dad bought her an alphaline mp3 and years later i found out it was on sale for 24.97 and it was reasonalble b/c it was really cheap and i really hate my dad now. First of all for the music you cant even save youre music on the music file you have to save it on recording. How fucking STUPID!!!!!!!!! Second the camera is facing the wrong way what the fuckis up with that. The browser which has an internet explorer symbol on it doesnt even go on the internet. The camera also makes the picture bad. hi people that think you should buy this peice of shit. well, you SHOULDNT. Okay then well at the end this is a total waste of money.

  5. This is so true