eManualOnline.com - Instant Online Download: CONSUMER WARNING

Picture this:  You're working on your beloved classic, some obscure but annoyingly essential component failing to submit to your will and obstinately refusing to function.  But, as an old hand, you know you can nut it out; that all you need is a hint, a bit of guidance, perhaps reference to some diagrams and some tech specs, or, if you're really desperate, the workshop manual.


The manual, as it appears on eManualOnline.com

And so it was for me.  The passenger's side window assembly of my Fiat X1/9 had reluctantly yielded to my attempts at removal but, being part of the living, breathing and ever so idiosyncratic beast that is a classic Italian car, was resolutely not cooperating with the re-installation process!

What to do?  The workshop manual that I share with my fellow X1/9-owning father wasn't readily available (I wanted the window fixed and fixed then and there!).  

What does anybody do in the age of the interweb?  I went online, of course.  I wish I didn't but I did.

After some diligent Googling, I chose to download the 1980 Fiat X1/9 Workshop Repair Manual from eManualOnline.com, a company promising "instant downloads."  It was the better part of $30.00 Australian but, hey, it was (allegedly) instant and it would get me out of a tight spot.  Right?

Wrong!  "instant" turned out to be several hours later.  Annoying in itself and hardly helpful, given my impatience to re-fit the window.

However, it gets worse.  When the less-than-instant manual finally made its appearance in my inbox, it turned out to be the wrong document.  Sure, it was vaguely X1/9-related but it was actually three dodgily photocopied PDFs of X1/9 and Fiat twin-cam tuning and performance handbooks (Fiat aficionados will understand that X1/9s don't even have twin cam motors).  Totally and utterly bloody useless!

Fine.  Mistakes can be made.  I dropped them an email, politely asking they send me the document I ordered.  It could hardly be a problem, could it?  They've got my order.  They should be able to see what they sent me.  Compare the two, realise their mistake, forward the correct document and we're all good?  

Please note that we're talking about a PDF here.  A tiny document taking up a nanometric amount of space on eManual's server and costing virtually nothing to email.  Likewise for the tuning handbooks they sent instead of what I ordered.  In reality, they can't have cost eManual more than a few cents to have sent them to me and I didn't want the effing things in the first place!

eManual's response?  Effectively nothing.  They asked me to provide full details of my X1/9 (year, VIN, engine capacity, petrol or diesel - a diesel X1/9! Really? - etc ... ), which I sent,  but still no 1980 Fiat X1/9 Workshop Repair Manual, as ordered.  They tell me my inquiry has been escalated to a second tier response which, as far as I can tell, is a euphemism for "XXXX you, pal!  You won't be seeing your manual or your money.  Ever!"  They haven't responded to any emails for nine days now.

So, dear readers, please be careful when ordering car-related documents online.  But be particularly wary of ordering from eManualsonline.com, as their product is not instant, as they claim, nor do they provide "top aftersales care," as their website promises.  Please share.



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Alastair Watson,
Writer / Photographer,
uppermiddlepetrolhead.blogspot.com.au.

      

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