A Word of Warning: Test Your Tech

Before I post part III of last weekend’s travels, I’ve got a small word of warning for those looking to buy nice technology in Vietnam. I wont name names or talk smack, because that’s not my style- I’m just giving some friendly advice on how to stay friendly when things go awry with wired gear.

So I was absolutely psyched today- I had finally found a Polaroid Cube ACT II HD 1080p Lifestyle Action Video Camera (Black) – Updated Features

, a cheap, little action camera that was perfect for an amateur blogger/vlogger like myself. For 3 million VND (around $130), I had, after weeks of searching, found my perfect little starter camera.

I raced home, and even made this unboxing video, which I’m definitely going to do more of with some quintessential Vietnamese goods, because I find them really soothing to make and watch.

But before I could turn it on, I had to open it up and charge it, right? Well, this is what I found on the inside:

20180320_190414_Film1 (2)

It was, in fact, just a little box stuffed full of a wad of copper wire. I briefly thought that I had to hack my way through the wire, like a jungle explorer, to get to the charger and SD card slot, but then reality hit me.

I didn’t even have the time to be miffed- I grabbed my bike, raced back down to the store, and after 10 minutes of phone calls, talking with managers, and negotiating, I got my full refund. Of course, the key in any situation like this is to simply keep your cool. Don’t get mad, don’t get defensive- just be firm, and say “I’d like a refund or a replacement, please.”

The first point, of course, is I’ve learned to test my tech before leaving the store. I don’t want to be driving back to the store like a bat outta hell to try and get a refund, lest the next day’s workers aren’t able to honor the refund for one reason or another. The second, though, is always keep cool. I’ve been having some difficulties getting this blog to do what I’d like it to do- but I’ll learn. I bought a piece of garbage that I thought would take brilliant videos and photos- but I’ll find another.

And remember: it may have been a scam. Maybe it wasn’t just the “display model” that was so well packaged and included the SD card, micro USB cord, and all the gear that the Polaroid Cube should come with. But it also may not have been the store’s fault. Honestly, they were probably just as disappointed to lose a 3 mil VND sale than I was to lose a great camera. So don’t take it out on the salesperson, or even the manager- just keep your cool, be reasonable, and treat people like you’d like to be treated- with a little trust and respect (even if you’re secretly suspicious).

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Author: A Quiet American

I'm a former graduate student and instructor of Classical Studies (not, like, the Brontë sisters and Shakespeare, but Plato and Sappho-ancient classics), and my specialty was Ancient Greek language and literature, on which I wrote my Master's thesis. After that three and a half year ordeal, as well as a few startling changes like kicking alcohol cold turkey and a diagnosis of bipolar I disorder, I briefly worked in a Thai restaurant long enough to earn the money to get out of the US. It seemed like a logical option at the time, and it's turning out to be more than I could have ever imagined. My aim is to show people like me, people with problems and shackles and hangups, that its possible, and maybe even healthy, to change your environment for a little bit. My "little bit" went from 3 months to almost a year and counting, and I'm learning something new about myself every day. I'm learning how to stave off anger and focus on positive thinking, a bit of mediation, and the virtues of optimistic nihilism.

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