Some items we purchase or receive as gifts either don’t work properly or won’t meet our needs for other reasons. When this happens, it’s time to return the item to the store or ship it back to the online retailer from whence it came.
This can be tricky, particularly with expensive electronics. With that thought in mind, here are six tips for obtaining a refund or a replacement with as little pain, headache or hassle as possible for both you and the retailer involved:
1. Make sure the item is truly defective.
Some defects, like a cracked screen, are obvious, but other issues may be something that can be resolved by contacting a company’s Technical Support department.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Star-Telegram
2. Know the return policy. Most retailers have a period of time within which you can return a product if it is defective or you are not satisfied. But why take any chances? Check before you buy.
Many private sellers will sell items “as is,” meaning you get what you get. Some merchants offer refunds, others will replace a defective item or issue a store credit. Save or print the Return Policy associated with your purchase. You may need it at a later time.
3. Understand that there is a difference between a return policy and a warranty.
Retailers offer a return policy; warranties are generally offered by the manufacturer. It is not uncommon for an item to come with a 30-day return policy from the retailer and a six-month warranty from the manufacturer. In that case, after 30 days, the retailer doesn’t want to know you, so talk to the manufacturer or issuer of any third-party protection you may have purchased.
4. Retain your receipt for items purchased at a store and information such as order numbers and confirmation emails for items purchased online.
A return that arrives from Joe Doofus, without an order number or date of purchase is going to be difficult for the company to process, resulting in additional delay.
5. Save the original packaging materials for at least the length of the warranty. The original packaging usually does the best job of securing the purchased items.
If you are shipping an item, make sure you place it in a sturdy box or envelope and properly packed. If the item is damaged in transit, you’re going to have some “splainin’” to do and it could adversely affect your claim. If you didn’t keep the original packaging and need to ship a device, consider using a professional packing and shipping service.
It is also a good idea to purchase insurance to protect against damage while in transit.
6. Return all original accessories. If you are returning an item for a refund or replacement, be sure to include all the original accessories, such as power cords and adapters that came with the item.
These simple steps can help facilitate any returns and help resolve any pending issues. Wishing you happy returns.
Mr. Modem publishes “Ask Mr. Modem!” each week, featuring PC tips, tricks and plain-English answers to your questions by e-mail. For more information, visit www.MrModem.com.
Mr. Modem’s sites of the week
Good Riddles Now
GRiN is a site dedicated to bringing you quality riddles and jokes. When you arrive on the site, you will be greeted by the Riddle of the Day and Joke of the Day. On the day I visited, the joke of the day was, “Why is the freezer the best place to keep your money?” Answer: “Because it’s always good to have cold, hard cash.” (Stop, you’re killing me!) http://goodriddlesnow.com.
Wonder How To
Created to bring you the best video and picture tutorials from the Web. On the day I visited, the featured tutorial taught me how to cut a Mandarin orange without peeling it. I’m a better person because of it. You can use the integrated Search feature to find how-to videos for just about anything. www.wonderhowto.com.