• Report:  #522

Complaint Review: Ultinet - Ontario Nationwide

Reported By:
Thu, June 17, 1999
Thu, June 17, 1999

Ontario, Nationwide, U.S.A.
Computer Mail Order

A fine day to make a purchase...

I mail ordered my computer near the end of the summer, in 1996. The

prices I saw in Ultinet's ad in the computer paper seemed quite

good and I decided that they would be the place from which I would

buy from. After I placed my order, I eventualy received a large

package several weeks later. To my dismay, upon opening the box, I

found that Ultinet had forgotten to include many crucial parts of

my order. First of all, they had given me a video card with only 1

meg of RAM, when I had ordered 2 megs. Not only that, but they had

neglected to include power cords for me to plug the machine into

the electrical socket. And as if that wasn't enough, our friends at

Ultinet forgot to include the driver disc for the CD-ROM, video

card, sound card, modem, etc. Since my computer was purchased

without an operating system, none of these drivers were on the hard

disc drive. A phone call to Ultinet resulted in me being told by an

Ultinet employee that they had simply forgotten to include the

missing parts and that they would be on their way shortly by

courrier. I thanked the man and hung up, in a false sense of

releif. Little did I know that this was actually the first case in

a string of many problems seemingly caused by what I can only refer

to now as "Ultinet Amnesia".

A week went by and still no package had arrived with my missing

components. I decided to give my old friends at Ultinet a call.

After all, their cheery employees seemed more than happy to give

out plenty of good ol' fashioned customer service. After dailing up

their number, I was told by a seemingly shocked service employee

that due to some unexplainable circumstance (sun spot activity,

perhaps?), they had ONCE AGAIN forgotten to mail out my missing

(yet paid for) parts. After some profuse apologizing on his part,

he told me that he would personally see to it himself that the

package would be shipped out that very same day. After another week

and a half (I guess it must have been a slow courrier they used)

the mising parts finally arrived. "Well", I said to myself naively,

"Thankfully this is finally all cleared up!"

I had never been more wrong in my life.

Ignorance is Bliss

Two months went by and I decided to purchase some extra memory for

my now functional computer. The thought of buying RAM through mail

order momentarily crossed my mind at the time, but thankfully a few

functional neurons in my head sounded an alarm that forced me to

reconsider the foolishness of such an act. If only I had been as

wise two months before, this web site would probably be filled with

boring pictures of my cats. Aren't you gratefull! After buying the

SIMMs from a local computer store, I gleefully opened my computer

to put the new memory into the fresh empty simm bank, which lay

there on the motherboard like a virgin waiting to be deflowered. I

felt so happy, after inserting the SIMMs, I didn't even wait to put

the case back on before turning on the computer. Yet upon pressing

the pearly off-white plastic power switch, my machine began to

sqeal an opaque shreik of noise from it's tiny little PC speaker

lung. Filled with fear and horror, my eardrums pounded by the

inscessant BEEPs, my mind filled with a horrid thought. "My new

memory is bad!" I exclaimed. And wouldn't you know it, I was wrong!

After a thorough examination by several competant technicians, it

was revealed that the new memory was fine. But the empty SIMM bank

on my motherboard was about as good as a legless soccer player. To

really drive the point home that I was in the possesion of a lemon

computer, the CD-ROM feebly opened it's tray for the last time that

evening, finally giving up the ghost.

So, in accordance with my Ultinet warranty, I paid a courrier to

ship the computer to Ultinet's Toronto location for servicing.

Since this thing cost me a bundle, I decided to pay for isurance,

after all, I need the ol' lemon back in one peice! The shipping

bill came to about $75.00. A sum I ended up paying more than once!

A week later, the computer came back, seemingly repaired.

Thankfully, when I sent them the computer, I hadn't included any

small parts (like, say, a keyboard) for them to loose. They had

replaced the motherboard and the CD-ROM, and everything seemed in


That is, until I had to save something to a floppy disc.

"That's funny," I said as I tried to save my file. "I didn't know

that this floppy was garbbled..." I foolishly inserted a different

diskette, then another, and then another. I pretty soon found

myself in the possesion of a box full of garbbled discs. I quickly

realised that the discs were not the problem. "Oh No!" I shouted,

my arms thrown in the air in a fit of desperation. "My floppy drive

must be broken!"

Would you beleive I was wrong again? To my surprise, the "new"

motherboard I was given had a fried floppy drive controller. I

shook my head in disbeleif as the technician explained the details.

"But... how could Ultinet have made such a mistake? Surely they

test their products after servicing them!" I cried. Slowly, I began

to wonder if all these problems really were just the "isolated

incidents" the friendly Ultinet techs explained gleefully over the

phone whenever my hardware failed. Hey, I never said I was a quick


I had a friend lend me an old ISA multi-I/O card so that I could

use my floppy again. Unfortunately, the card conflicts with my CD-

ROM, which dosn't always work when the multi I/O card is plugged

in. But this was a necessary arrangement, as I had some pressing

work to complete. A few weeks later, when time permitted, I sent

the computer back to Ultinet in Toronto for "servicing", along with

a detailed letter explaining the problem. You know, this computer

has more frequent flyer miles than I do! "How long will it take to

fix?" I asked the Ultinet tech over the phone upon shipping the

computer. "Not more than a couple of days!" replied the tech. So I

awaited with baited breath, my heart so full of confidence in the

skills of the zealous Ultinet service department. "I know those

boys'll prove to me just how talented they are! I'm sure my

computer will come back better than ever!" My faith in Ultinet was

as unshaken as that of a 14th century peasent's belief in the

Catholic Church. A couple of days went by, and the computer never

arrived. A week went by. Two weeks. Three weeks. Worried, I called

up Ultinet and asked what was up. "Oh, we just fixed the computer

today!" replied Waris Abdul, the man who "fixed" my computer.

"You'll receive it in a day or two."

Would you like cream and sugar with that?

Well, ol' Waris was right about the part that it would arrive in a

day or two. Unfortunately, to my dismay, upon opening the box, I

found that the computer was in exactly the same condition as I had

sent it. Nothing had been done. I opened the case and saw that the

same motherboard with the same faulty drive controller was present.

I turned on the machine, and inserted a fresh floppy and tried to

save a file. The diskettes came out garbbled. I realised that

1930's boxing matches were more fixed than my computer. Nothing had

been done at all by good ol' Waris Abdul. I can tell you one thing

about Waris, though. He drinks his coffee black. How do I know? I

can tell by the large dried up coffee spill on the back of the

computer's case.

In disbeleif, I dialed up Ultinet and asked to speak with my old

pal Waris. I told him that my computer had not been fixed. I asked

him how this happened, and all he could tell me was that he had

"forgot" to fix it! Another case of "Ultinet Amnesia" I guess. When

I asked him why he sent it back to me if he had forgotten to fix

it, he could supply me with no answer. At least he apologized for

spilling the coffee all over the case. He told me he would ship me

a new motherboard (number three in case you havn't been keeping

count) via overnight courrier.

I received the motherboard the next morning. I thought it was

unusual that there was a big scratch across the board, considering

Waris had promised me that the replacement part would be brand new.

I got a professinal to install the new motherboard.

I was completely NOT surprised to be informed by the tech that the

new motherboard was defective. The keyboard controller on the new

board is fried, rendering the use of a keyboard impossible. Maybe

Ultinet feels that keyboards aren't essential to proper use of a

computer, but I guess I am just from a different school of thought

on the matter. Needless to say, the replacement part was usless.

This fact I have had verified by several computer professionals.

So I phoned my friends at Ultinet. I had been speaking to them so

often, they were begining to become my second family, and a very

dysfuntional one at that. I told them of the situation, and they

told me that I had to send them the computer back at MY expense. I

protested; after all, their "technician" had admitted that he had

been at fault when he had forgotten to fix my computer. Shipping

the machine again would have resulted in me spending more money

than the cost of simply buying a new part (from a reputable dealer)

and I felt I should not be punished for THEIR mistake. I demanded a

refund, and I was put through to the manager, a man who goes by the

name Mike Rousardi.

The Biggest Jackass that Ever Was

If ever the word "JACKASS" could be used to describe an individual,

I would have to nominate Ultinet General Manager Mike Rousardi for

the title. I described the situation to him, and though he agreed

that I was not at fault, he told me it was still up to me to ship

the computer at my expense for repairs, and that he refused to give

me a refund. When I told him that wasn't fair, he actually laughed

and said, "It's not my problem, it's yours!" I have never been so

rudely treated by a business establishment, before or since. I

tried to argue, but Mike "JACKASS" Rousardi quickly cut in and

said, "Oh, hold on a minute, I have another call. It'll only be a

minute!" But instead of being put on hold, the man hung up on me!

This geneticaly deficient excuse for a sub-human was TOO COWARDLY

to tell me he was hanging up on me, and spinelessly had to come up

with an excuse to do so. I repeatedly tried to call back over the

next few days, only to be met with the man's voice mail. He never

returned my calls. I sent several registered mail letters, which

were also never replied to. Mike Rousardi, you are not only a

JACKASS, you are a SPINELESS COWARD! I have more respect for the

dog excrement stuck between the treads of my sneakers than I do for

the sorry DNA-impaired abberation of evolution that you are. You

are a miscreant toad, and you knowingly RIPPED ME OFF.

So why don't I sue? Well unfortunately, since I live in Quebec and

Ultinet is in Ontario, I would have to file my claim in a Toronto

courthouse, because the sale is legally considered to have taken

place in Ontario, so the case is outside of the Quebec court's

jurisdiction. The expense of going to Toronto and going through the

whole legal proceedings would be far, far greater than just buying

a whole new computer, or even several new computers for that

matter. I would end up spending far, far more than what I would get

back, even if I got a full refund. If I was loaded, I would make

the expense to teach them a lesson, but I can barely pay my rent as

it is.

However, I did contact the Gazette Probe, a consumer awerness

column published here in the local Montreal english daily

newspaper. The kind folk at the Gazette tried repeatedly to try and

get an explanation from Ultinet, to no avail. They published the

story on Tuesday, November 25th, for all those who are interested.

The Gazette Probe eventualy got a letter, in which Mike "Jackass"

Rousardi claimed that it was all my fault because I had supposedly

refused to ever send them the computer for servicing in the first

place. Seems like ol' Jackass has a pretty bad memory...

I have since complained to the Better Business Bureau of Toronto,

but sadly, they are unable to help me because Ultinet is not a

member of their organization. I have been trying to find out if

Ontario has a Consumer Protection Board, as we have here in Quebec,

but I havn't had any luck finding out if one exists or not. If you

have any info regarding this matter, please e-mail me!

Well, that's the end of the story. I still have a broken computer,

and no refund or repairs are in sight. I have grudgingly accepted

the fact that I will never see any restitution from Ultinet. I fear

my only satisfaction in the matter will be this web site. If any

new developments occur, they will be posted here as soon as


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