Yesterday I took the buss downtown to treat myself to a brand new HTPC. I had read about the Amitech HomeCenter Living 412, a model based on Windows Media Center 2005 that had all the bells and whistles I would ever need and specifications that made it future proof1. I’d even been able to find a store in Oslo who sold the box and had it in stock.
I went to the store, swiped the credit card and was awarded with a cardboard box. It looked like it had been opened and in retrospect, that was probably the first warning sign that something was amiss.
When I got home and opened the box, it turned out they had given me a model that, for some reason, had been sent back to the Amitech Service Center and then returned. Both the unit itself and the cardboard box had red stickers on them with this information. Also, the way the different pieces were placed in the boxed was proof that someone had used the unit before and the seal on the unit was broken and the PCI HDMI card removed and now missing.
I called the store and told them about this and after about 15 minutes of dicking around, they explained that, yes, the unit had at some point been returned to them. The reason was that the LCD display in the front of the unit didn’t work, but this could be solved by installing some new drivers.
Fair enough, I could always install a few drivers, but what about the missing HDMI card? That they had a harder time explaining, and they started to look for a second unit that they were supposed to have in stock according to their computer system. But no second unit was found and the guy who knew were it might be wasn’t in the store that day. He will call me back tomorrow, or at least so I was told.
Another interesting questions is why I was charged the recommended retailer price for a product that’s essentially second hand? I don’t know, and it didn’t cross my mind to ask them about it at the time. I think I’ll ask the guy who’s supposed to call me tomorrow.