ES Robbins Chair Mats – Lifetime Warranty?

ES Robins Chair Mat - Cracked and Patched with Packaging Tape So about 2 years ago, I purchased a chair mat (one of those plastic guys with tons of poking thingies). After I started using it for awhile, I noticed that my wheels were starting to dig into the chair mat and soon after that it began to crack. I’ve patched it with packaging tape, hoping to stop the crack from spreading, but new cracks formed. I thought, oh well, that’s part of its life.

However, when I was at Costco this past weekend, since I had an hour and 40 minutes to spare (my tires were being rotated and rebalanced), I walked every aisle and saw my chair mat. Apparently, these chair mats have a lifetime warranty and they’re NOT suppose to crack under normal usage on top of low/medium carpet. I’m pretty sure my carpet is medium, though I could be wrong. I guess you can consider sitting on a chair for long durations of time to be abuse and outside “normal usage”. So I jot down their website in my head ( and decided to check them out when I got home.

Like most things I jot down in my head, I tend to forget. It was only after typing up the previous CFL blog entry and talking about Costco which jolted my memory. I visited their homepage which states:

E S Robbins chair mats feature many patented innovations that make our floor chair mat products a world leader in quality standards. Our chairmats are protected by our No Crack guarantee and are designed for both hardwood and carpet applications. We are the industry leader in custom chairmat manufacturing.

Their Warranty Statement states:

E S Robbins Corporation Office Products provides a lifetime warranty on all the company’s chairmat products.* E S Robbins Corporation guarantees its AnchorBar®, Anchormat®, Crystal Edge®, Trans-Stat®, and No Crack® chairmats to be free from any defects in material and workmanship at the time of sale to original purchaser, and will not crack, chip, break or shatter under normal usage. The warranty only applies to the original purchaser. Should any product during the warranty period, in E. S. Robbins Corporation’s sole opinion, prove to be defective in material and/or workmanship under normal usage, E. S. Robbins Corporation will, at its option, replace the product at no charge (except as otherwise stated herein) provided that the product has not been subjected to abuse, misuse, misapplication, neglect, accident, disaster, alteration or modification.

So far so good…

I go to their Warranty Claim Form and notice 2 ridiculous things.

First, they’re asking for the UPC code, which is located on the sticker stuck to the chair mat when you first purchased it. Like most people, I discard that sticker probably the day I purchased it, which means I no longer have the UPC code. I guess I could jot down the numbers the next time I go back to Costco.

Second, A shipping and handling fee of $20.00 will be charged for all warranty replacements. What the !@#*? The chair mat only costs $18.xx at Costco. Why would I pay you $20 to mail it to me? I guess one smart way to offer lifetime warranty is by charging a ridiculous shipping/handling fee so that the warranty claim would never be exercised.

I could probably return this to Costco with no questions asked and get a full refund. I’m still contemplating on doing that. Next to these plastic chair mats, they had these nice wooden ones for $90, which look a lot more sturdier than this plastic chair mat. However $90 vs $20 is quite a big jump, though these stupid pot holes the chair has been digging into the plastic chair mats are starting to annoy me. Once the wheels go into a pot hole, it takes significant effort to push them back out.


I finally got my college diploma! I’ve always thought I’d be back in Berkeley to pick it up myself, but every time I’ve been back, the timing wasn’t right. The office was either closed, or I didn’t have time, so on and so on. I’ve dreaded to have them mail it to me, because I can’t see how they can justify charging $12 for it.

Anyway, apparently they only hold your diploma for 5 years and given that it’s almost 3 years since I graduated (my brother inviting me to his graduation reminded me), I decided that $12 it is.

I went to the Office of the Registrar website, and apparently they don’t take credit cards. !@$#$*&&!%&!$*!@#*!&%! Apparently I am forced to write them a check, and you know how I hate checks. I decided if that’s what it’ll take to get my diploma, so be it. I wrote them a $12 check and mailed it off with my application. By god, I can’t believe I still remember my student ID number without giving a sweat.

So what did $12 net me which would’ve cost me $0.00 if I picked it up in person? Apparently the following:

  • 1 cardboard envelope with a “DIPLOMA – DO NOT BEND” note on it
  • 2 paper-sized cardboard pieces to keep the diploma from bending
  • 1 UPS label to ship 1lb to anywhere in the USA
  • Someone putting this altogether and dumping it in the outgoing mail bin

Yeah, I feel gypped too. You’d expect it to at least come with a frame or something. Haha. ;p Oh well. At least now I have proof that I graduated from UC Berkeley with a B.S. degree. If my mom was here, she’d probably frame it. Knowing me, it’ll end up in my pile of junk. Plus don’t forget, I know have Arnold Swarchenegger’s signature!

P.S. This may be my last post in awhile. Been watching a lot of Genshiken and now I’ve started watching House.

Pony Express Awesomeness

So this weekend, I sold 3 Canon PC 170 Personal Copiers for about $50 a piece. Pretty good deal considering I only paid tax for them which came out to be ~$6-7 a piece. Anyway, I typically use USPS to ship most things, usually Media Mail or Parcel Post depending on what I’m shipping using the USPS PayPal Trick. Other times, I ship USPS Priority Mail when customers pay for expedited shipping.

However, for shipping things over 4lbs, I typically go with UPS, FedEx, or DHL, depending on whichever one is convenient. UPS usually wins since I can just drop them off at Office Depot, however they also usually end up being the most expensive, but for $1-2 more, the convenience matters more to me.

However, that changed when I needed to ship a 26lb photocopier… UPS was going to charge $33 or something ridiculous like that while DHL was charging $24. However, I didn’t know where I could exactly ship via DHL and if I recall correctly, DHL is backed by OfficeMax and there’s really no OfficeMax close to me. Is the ~$10 difference actually enough to convince me to drive further?

Then I remember that as a Microsoft employee, I actually have a discount with DHL. Punching in my info, the shipping fee dropped from $24 to $17, making it even more tempting. I decided to check out DHL’s drop off locator tool and found out that there was a Pony Express next to work. I recall seeing a Pony Express before, but could not remember from where. However, Google Maps and Live Maps both pointed to the intersection of 24th and 148th and given there were malls on each corner there, I had no idea which one they were in.

I gave them a call Monday morning asking which complex they were located in and they said they were across from Safeway in the Arby’s complex. I personally don’t think that the map marker should’ve been at the intersection of 24th and 148th and now I remember seeing that store in that complex.

Anyway, I drop by afterwards and was not sure how what it’ll be like. Office Depot doesn’t like me that much when I just drop in to drop off packages as they’re not really getting a cut on the delivery fee. I had 3 26lb packages so I had to take them in 1 by 1. When I first walked in, the clerk at the desk asked me if it was a drop off. I said yes and mentioned I had 2 more. He instructs me to just put it on the table and he’ll open the door for me. I thought that was really nice.

What really surprised me next was that he actually came out to my car and helped me carry one of the 26lb packages. That was so nice!!!

Looks like DHL will be getting more of my business now. 🙂