No bearing on the matter?

Posted On: Saturday - November 25th 2023 6:20PM MST
In Topics: 
  Cheap China-made Crap  Big-Biz Stupidity  Customer Care

OK, look, this was my screw-up to begin with. Because the local place was dragging ass on trying to find these certain tapered roller bearings I needed, I went on-line. I'd pay a decent amount more to just be able to go get 'em, but that's the world now, especially with the fallout - STILL - from the economic damage of the Kung Flu PanicFest ("supply chain, supply chain, supply chain" Ahhh, shut it...)

These were to be Timken bearings for quality, and, by mistake, I thought that any bearings with the same 5 digit model number would be made by Timken. No, the number must have become a generic spec, I guess.

I got plenty of search results from "Timken [Bearing #]". Well, lookie here, I was surprising myself by buying bearings from Wal-Mart but hey, there they were on the first page, for the lowest price around with these bearings actually in stock.* I ordered 4 bearings and 4 cups (separate outer races). They came to the house in a week, and let's see.... Whoa, these are not my beautiful tapered roller bearings! Those are not my beautiful bearing cups!

They were made in China. There were Chinese characters on the side walls. Wait, WTH? I checked the Wal-Mart site and nope, it never said these were Timkens. Now, my search was for "Timken", if you recall, but that doesn't mean all results would be. That was my screw up. However, I don't want to take a chance on these. So, I order the ACTUAL Timken bearings of this number. They came a few days back, and well, what to do with $100 in China-made parts? They HAVE to go back.

I gotta admit that the Wal-Mart on-line returns process was great. I'd expected to have to go to the store and hash it out. Now, you take care of most of it on-line, such as filling out the on-line form, you get a barcode, and you go to the store with that. Actually, this lady was very nice and efficient... unexpectedly.

What to put for down for my reason for return? "Made in China", as per the image above. Shouldn't that have some bearing on the matter? Yeah, that's my comment above. We'll see if I ever get the hundred bucks back.

PS: BTW, this was a 3rd-party vendor, not WalMart actually sending (and going to receive) these bearings. They use WalMart's "platform" in Big Biz Geek parlance.

PPS: I forgot until now that Peak Stupidity has written about cheap Chinese bearings before. It wasn't really about the quality, but about the TYPE used, in an exercise bike. The 3rd one was the charm - see The Softer Noisier Side of Sears.

* To give myself a break here, the prices were in a +/- 50% range at least, so, this seemed legit.

[UPDATED 11/29:]
Added PPS.

Wednesday - November 29th 2023 4:54PM MST
PS: That's a change for me, reading that, Possumman. Thanks. I wrote a post about going to get our 3rd of the same exercise bike years ago. The 3rd one had actual honest-to-goodness bearings*, after the 1st 2 machines had cheesy ones. Someone learned something over there.

* Hmmm, should have linked to that story in this post.
Tuesday - November 28th 2023 2:17PM MST
PS -- FWIW I have bought several sets of really nice-really cheap- aluminum oversized Chinese mountain bike pedals--bearings are smooth -machining is top notch--although they often have some god awful logo emblazoned on them--I have a few sets of Dogiewatchme pedals --have no idea what that means but the pedals work great and have gone many miles without issue
Sunday - November 26th 2023 10:01AM MST
PS: Alarmist, I'm not ignoring the comment, but I beg to differ - I can't cover everything with that statement - maybe some industrial products are pretty good now. My experience, almost solely with retail items, is that they've gotten worse quality-wise, since, say '00. I didn't want to take a chance with those bearings.

Adam, thanks for that anecdote. It covers a number of things I and we've discussed here.

You live in a small very-White area, so maybe Mrs. Smith's treatment WAS because the knew her. A 2nd factor, since the PanicFest and economic turmoil - maybe just the steady decline in competence - is that people often go for the easiest way out. Rather than box or wrap the gum up, get on the computer to get a shipping label, bring it over here... (actually if it's Wal-Mar I guess it heads to one of their own facilities on their own vehicle.

Since you mention that was 40 bucks worth of gum, financially, including everyone's time, it still would have paid of to get the gum shipped back, maybe restocked to your store there, etc. It could have been a food item thing, even though it was still sealed up, maybe?

I have a thing for this Ice Cube gum. I get it at Target, and with all the supply chain problems still somewhat with us, I usually buy out what they got, from 2 to 5 bags of it. Otherwise, next trip a week later, there may be none there. It's not like I'm buying up all the bottled water 6 hours before the hurricane, right? (As much as I have a right to, but then we're stocked up anyway.)
Sunday - November 26th 2023 9:50AM MST
PS: M, yes, I see a lot of that, some of it being sales pitches of course.

You've probably also seen search results showing great blurbs (as in, advertising a page on just what you wanted to know) that lead to some listings type sites that do not have the information you want at all! See, the blurb gets made up in real time with the general portion of it that does relate to the point of that website, along with the more specific search terms like your State or city.

See my post "Peak Search Results" Link:

There is some great discussion under that one and some subsequent posts with the "Website" topic key. Basically, what I wrote above is the same as my point (2) of 3 complaints I have about modern search "engines".

But, when it comes down to this one, the blurb almost surelyl wouldn't have said "Timken" (based on above, I'm not positive - but it was a link to the Wal-Mart item page), and I checked afterwards and Wal-Mart was on the level. The actual 3rd-party seller didn't indicate the make of the parts.
Adam Smith
Sunday - November 26th 2023 8:41AM MST
PS: Greetings, friends,

“𝑇ℎ𝑒 𝑊𝑎𝑙-𝑀𝑎𝑟𝑡 𝑜𝑛-𝑙𝑖𝑛𝑒 𝑟𝑒𝑡𝑢𝑟𝑛𝑠 𝑝𝑟𝑜𝑐𝑒𝑠𝑠 𝑤𝑎𝑠 𝑔𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑡...”

A couple weeks ago Mrs. Smith ordered some chewing gum from because our small local walmart stopped carrying her preferred flavor. (Orbit Peppermint) When the package arrived she quickly realized that she ordered the wrong gum! (Extra Peppermint)(In all fairness to her they are packaged the same and are very similar in color.)

So, she went to to initiate a return expecting to return the gum to the store. (It's pretty easy to return anything from in the store with the exception of some things from some third party vendors.) She clicked through all the boxes and such and walmart told her to just go ahead and keep the gum and they would send her the refund. Shortly thereafter she got an email that paypal was processing her refund, which arrived in the next day or two.

Long story short, she got $41 dollar bucks worth of free gum. And she says the Extra is pretty good. She may even switch flavors.(?)

I don't know if this is a real life hack or if they just gave her a free stack of gum because she is a regular customer with a good purchasing history. (I'm pretty sure that does not realize that she's a stock holder. Well, maybe they do?)

Happy Sunday!

Sunday - November 26th 2023 8:14AM MST
Welcome to "the algorithm", where your search results are not just what you want, but also what they think you should want.

I guess it's progress from exact matching, but it does mean you have to look carefully at the result.
The Alarmist
Sunday - November 26th 2023 3:20AM MST

A lot of Chinese-made stuff I get nowadays is actually pretty good quality; I think back to the'60s when "Made in Japan" was synonymous with junk and by the '70s it was the stuff you wanted and at a decent price at that.

Karma is a biotch.
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