The Bear Is Always Waiting (Part 4)

by John Delach

Part 4: Conclusion of the Great Hoverboard Saga


To recap: the sources for hoverboards No. 2, 3, 4 and 5 had been solved. No. 2, 3 and 4 originated through Amazon Prime. We returned No. 2 and 3 and Amazon Prime credited the cost of No. 4 to our account leaving us to do with the unit as we pleased. We were satisfied that No. 5 was UL approved and that went to Matt Delach as his Christmas gift. We still possessed No. 1 one not knowing its origin and, of course, No. 4.


Working with the credit card company, we tracked down a telephone number for the company where board No. 1 had originated. Shockingly, a person answered the phone on my first try. She identified her company as, Hoverboards 360. I explained that I wanted to return the unit and she gave me their service department’s email address and instructions to send them photographs of the box and the unit which I sent from my IPhone.


Several days later they emailed a form to me. It advised me to return this form together with the unit but it didn’t give a mailing address. I filled out the form and put in the comments section: “Please send me a return label,” and emailed the form back to the service department. Several days later, I followed up with a second email. Then I began to call the original number I used but, now, when I called, a recording periodically advised me “how important my call was” and “that it would be answered shortly” for about the first ten minutes of the call. Then it somehow flipped and I heard this message: “The mailbox you called is full. Try your call again later.”  At the end of the message my call was disconnected.


Not a good sign especially as we are without an advocate like Amazon and the same sequence occurred every time I called that number.


Christmas was now closing in. Mary Ann and I talked over the status of the Board No. 4, the grateful AM unit with Beth and Tom and we agreed to bring it up to our place in New Hampshire on Christmas morning where their family was celebrating.


They had explained to Marlowe and Cace that we couldn’t receive hoverboards as they were illegal in Brooklyn where they lived. Our idea was No. 4 would live in NH and we’d store in a separate shed located a decent distance from the house.


When we arrived Christmas morning, Tom brought it into the living room. He casually mentioned that the box in a plastic bag was a gift for me. When the opening was about finished I asked the kids to open that big box as I didn’t want to get up. Once Marlowe removed the wrapping paper, she looked up at me with a puzzled look and asked, “You got a hoverboard?”


“A hoverboard; what in God’s name would I do with a hoverboard? If I got on it I’d break my good hip for sure. No thank you. Hey, would you kids want it?”


You know that millisecond of complete silence as the realization creped into their heads. And then all hell broke loose as reality hit home. Fortunately, the weather was warm and we have a flat paved area used for basketball, badminton and other games making it ideal for mastering elementary maneuvers on the board. Ultimately the time came for the Briggs family to go home and not unsurprisingly, the board accompanied them back to Brooklyn.


As for the Hoverboard 360 unit, it now lives in a rain and snow proof plastic container on our back patio, a spare for when one of the other two breaks (unless 16-year-old drew liberates it.) I will continue trying to get satisfaction from the distributor but I’m not holding my breath waiting. My last attempt on Monday, January 18, 2016 duplicated my other experiences.


Soon after Christmas ended Mary Ann sent everyone the following text: “To all, I just heard on the radio that 12 children were admitted to Valley Hospital in New Jersey on Christmas Day having suffered wrist injuries form hoverboard falls. Please make sure your kids wear wrist pads in addition to wearing helmets. I also heard Police Commissioner Bratten say, ‘It doesn’t matter whether or not hoverboards are legal in NYC, any parent or grandparent who buys one is a moron.”


I penned this addendum: “Don’t charge them at night and make sure an adult is close by and so is a chemical extinguisher.”


I think next year we may consider drones…NOT!