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Friday, December 21, 2018

Giving UPS A Second Chance To Give Sennheiser Headset A Second Chance

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - As you'll read, their shipping practices may have improved, but their cardboard boxes? Dangerous.

Ever since my famous article a year ago chronicling my experience with the shipping company UPS and how they kept my amiibo hostage, I've been trying to avoid them both personally and professionally. Especially now during the November–December holiday season when they hire a bunch of clueless temporary employees—which was apparently the cause of the problem I had a year ago.

Unfortunately, bad timing struck me. I didn't mention this in another throwback to an article from a year ago, but along with my new (at the time) gaming PC, I also bought myself a Sennheiser GSP 300 gaming headset. It's served me well for the past year, with great-quality audio (and it's relatively effective in shutting off the world around me) and an okay microphone.

Well, the microphone doesn't work anymore, which just makes the headset a bulkier-than-normal set of headphones. Not great if I want to, say, record audio or voice chat with others while gaming. (And believe me, I do want to record audio. Let's just say there's a voice-acting-related project coming up for KoopaTV before 2018 ends.)

The Sennheiser GSP 300 features a 2-year warranty. I decided to use it and ship it to Sennheiser via their service portal. One slight problem: in order to ship to their Connecticut office, they provide people with a UPS shipping label. The fact that shipping will be conducted via UPS is even in their warranty conditions document. What am I going to do?

Ludwig Von Koopa plushie Plushwig Sennheiser GSP 300 gaming headset blue Nintendo Switch Pro Controller
Ludwig is probably playing Splatoon 2 and talking to teammates with his Sennheiser GSP 300 gaming headset.
(But not from KoopaTV, because no one else on the staff plays Splatoon 2.)
He can't do this without the headset! (And look how snug a fit it is on Ludwig's head.)

November 23, 2018

(Also known as the day after Thanksgiving.)

I went through Sennheiser's portal and got the shipping label. I still kept the box the headphones came in, which had all sorts of useful and necessary information, such as the product serial number. Since I originally ordered the headset via Amazon, I took a screenshot of my order invoice that included the headset and attached it to the service portal ticket.

Now what to do with UPS and the shipping label? Well, I packaged the headset back into its original box (which also featured some form-fitting cushioning), but that wouldn't be good enough to survive the trip, would it? I had to locate a cardboard box to put the headset's box in. Double protection, and then they wouldn't accuse me of mishandling my headset and violating my warranty.

I'm going to talk about why finding a cardboard box was so difficult in a sub-heading shortly, but eventually I found one big enough for the box and affixed the shipping label to it by taping it on there with clear tape. I found myself wondering if I had to set up an online order via the UPS website (the same one that scarred me a year ago with its hardness-of-use) ahead of going to the UPS store, or if the shipping label produced by Sennheiser covered that already. I don't know these details that everyone assumes I  should already know!

I drove to my local UPS location, which was open on the day after Thanksgiving after being closed on Thanksgiving itself. I didn't know what to expect, but all I had to do was give the box to the guy, who scanned it and produced a drop-off package receipt for me. (Which I have in front of me.) This receipt has a tracking number on it, though the tracking number features a "Z" in it so it's not even a real number. Regardless of the numerical correctness, the total number of currency I had to give to UPS was zero. Hm, I guess the shipping label printed by Sennheiser means that it's all pre-paid!

(The weight of the package is 1.69 pounds.)

I got home (and before Shabbat started!), pretty pleased with my overall experience. At least, so far...

A Note About Cardboard Boxes

This is a KoopaTV article written by yours truly, so I can't go talking about cardboard and not reference my problem with it. As you may know already if you've read other KoopaTV articles, KoopaTV has a war against the Nintendo Labo for crimes ranging from trying to destroy this website with a cardboard trojan version of our king, to trying to undertake a vehicular conquest of the world. (Don't forget last week's bit about the trains.)

Because of the very real danger the Labo possesses, and how any piece of cardboard out there could actually be a Labo in hiding (or be turned into a Labo or Labo-influenced disaster), I don't keep cardboard boxes around me. Unfortunately, the whole business model of shipping companies like UPS revolves around these cardboard boxes. You need a cardboard box to ship out. You need another cardboard box to ship in. Once the shipping is complete, the cardboard boxes don't just disappear. They remain. In your house or business.

And it could be a Labo, waiting to obliterate your existence and the lives of everyone you care for.

That makes shipping companies like UPS very complicit partners in the proliferation of the Labo threat. I recommend everyone be very, very careful when dealing with them.

I just uncovered very clear evidence that cardboard boxes have a mind of their own and are not just inanimate objects. In other words, I'm not just conspiracy-theorying here that random cardboard boxes are Labo in hiding. TAKE THIS:

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate cardboard box spirit
The cardboard box is a Spirit.

Not only is the cardboard box a Spirit (Spirits are of sentient beings with life already in them, as opposed to a chair or a trashcan or a Sennheiser headset), but its special ability is “Improved Escape”. Escape from... where? Why, that's a reference to what the shipping industry does. The shipping industry may look like it's transporting goods from one location to another, but that's just a guise for its true objective: moving Labo-possessed cardboard boxes from one location to another, so they can “escape” the confines of immobility and conquer the universe.

With all of that said, let's continue with my Sennheiser story.

November 29, 2018

I received three system-generated e-mails from Sennheiser.
  1. 10 AM, they received the headset from UPS to their Connecticut office. 
  2. 11:30 AM, they acknowledged the order, and stated that they wouldn't charge me. (Successful application of warranty without it being voided.)
  3. 9:20 PM, they stated that they were shipping my headset back to my address via UPS, with a different tracking number than the one that I received from my visit to the UPS store.
The third e-mail had a hyperlink with that new tracking number, which stated the scheduled delivery is Tuesday, end-of-day December 4, 2018. Now the weight of the package is 1.80 pounds, so maybe my headset gained a little weight while in repair. Or maybe the cardboard boxes have become that much more fortified and are adding to their strength!

It wasn't until I was looking at the new tracking number that I remembered I never put in the first tracking number to UPS's website. According to this, it was delivered to Sennheiser on Monday, November 26 at 9:44 AM. And UPS Ground fattened it up to 3 pounds, nearly double what my package receipt stated. Just what is going on with the weight...?

December 3, 2018

The headset was dropped off at my house! And no one was home to pick it up... meaning the UPS guy delivered it to the correct location all by themselves!

That's a huge improvement from last year. Not only did they get the headset to my house instead of failing to find it, but they delivered it ahead of schedule by a day. Excellent!

As for Sennheiser, they didn't bother to repair the first headset and they just packaged a brand-new one. Makes me wonder if this one will also break in a year. Does my warranty get extended after a repair? Per the same warranty conditions document from earlier,

“SEC may, at its discretion, choose to replace the product completely with a new or remanufactured product. In the event of product obsolescence, a suitable replacement will be chosen based upon the features, the intended use (according to SEC) and the retail price of the original product. In the event of product obsolescence SEC cannot guarantee the same color or aesthetic attributes as the original product. All warranty replacements are guaranteed for 90 days or until the conclusion of the originally purchased product's original warranty period, whichever period of time is greater.”
Sounds like it's still going off the first headset's warranty (which started a year ago) even though this is a brand-new headset. Does that mean Sennheiser doesn't believe in the quality of their work? Why limit what should be good to begin with? There's no difference between the headset I started with and the headset I have now in terms of likelihood to fail, right?

I'm worried if it'll defect on purpose. In that case, just to be safe, next year around October I should just send my headset in for a repair while it's still under warranty. Just in case.

If it lasts that long.

Sennheiser box logo designed and engineered in Denmark made in China address
“Designed and Engineered in Denmark. Made in China.”
Made in China? Enough said.

In any case, UPS successfully got another cardboard box into my home. I view it with suspicion. I mean, it's literally telling me to be suspicious:

Sennheiser cardboard box warning label stop if seal is broken check contents before accepting

By the time I've published this article, I have since disposed of this infiltrating cardboard box. With my own fire breath.

Ludwig is extremely paranoid of all things cardboard because of the Labo. Do you share his concerns? What do you think of Sennheiser as a headset-making brand? Do you have similar issues with their products? Do you think this new headset's microphone will last long, or should Ludwig keep a cardboard box around to send it for warranty again in 2019? Kept locked in the Koopa Kingdom dungeon, of course, for safety.

The Nintendo Labo now has formal Toy-Con Spirits in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate beyond a cardboard box.
Ludwig's second-chance Sennheiser headset is just as bad as the first one. If not worse. Read more about it here.


  1. I just want to let you know I have been quickly removing more and more cardboard boxes since my move. Tonight I finally put all my stored video games and DVDs back on the shelf so I told my husband to get rid of the boxes.

    As for why the package got up to 3 pounds, the headset was hungry so UPS fed it. So nice of them.

    1. Thanks for letting me know. I can count on you staying safe this holiday season and beyond. At least from cardboard boxes. It's important to me that KoopaTV's readers are in good health!

      Silly Girafarig. Headsets don't eat!
      Cardboard boxes, on the other hand, do. They eat snacks. Ravenously.
      UPS probably had my headset starve while it fed the cardboard box inside.
      I wonder if the contents of a cardboard box count as food...? I find vore scenarios distasteful (in more way than one) but... maybe that's what's going on. Maybe it ate other people's things. Maybe it ate other people.

  2. I've never used a headset because I do not care for voice chat, but I have used cardboard boxes in just the last week to ship my textbooks back. Although I did not like storing the boxes around in case they conspired against me, I had no choice but to keep them around. Thankfully, none of them turned out to be Labo kits in disguise.

    1. Headsets are actually great.
      I'll say this too — I've actually recommended the headset talked about in the article for work purposes, in that the noise-reduction is great, it's cost-efficient, and it has a microphone. And in the office, being able to do telecommunication calls with people is vital, and the gaming headsets are substantially more comfortable than the office-supplied cheap crap.

      Ship your textbooks...back?


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