Many happy returns

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If something you buy doesn’t work, what do you do – dutifully follow the manufacturer’s directions, or take it back to the store? Seems like a no brainer to me.

It’s an ongoing thing, but two incidents in as many days prompted me to bring it up. I’m talking about how when you buy something – typically something mechanical or electrical – the first thing you see in the documentation is a dire warning from the manufacturer. The wording varies, but generally states that if something’s wrong with the item you just bought, do NOT take it back to where you bought it.

This warning is usually accompanied with instructions on what you need to do, usually some combination of calling the company, going to an “authorized service center,” and/or packing the item up and shipping it to the manufacturer.

Well, I don't think so. If I need something now, and I go out and pay money for it now, oddly enough I want to use it now. In the case of the two incidents I noted, each was to replace something else. One was a new entry door handle/lock assembly to replace our broken old one. First thing out of the box was a sheet with the warning “STOP” in 72-point red type, followed by the admonishment not to take it back to the store.

Heck with that. My front door is broken and if there’s a problem with what I bought to repair it I’m not about to pack it up, pay shipping, and wait who knows how long to get it back. Nope. I’m jumping in the car and going right back to the store and getting a replacement. In my experience, I’ve yet to have a store refuse to happily replace it or offer a full refund.

Now, as it happened the door hardware worked just fine (as did the other item, an uninterruptible power supply for my office computer system), but had it not I would have replaced it in minutes with a quick drive down the street, not a lengthy process of going through the manufacturer.

Am I the only one who finds these “Do not return this product to the store” warnings ridiculous?

A.J.

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