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Brookstone / uncooperative customer support

456 West Hillcrest DriveThousand Oaks, CA, United States Review updated:
4.65
Contact information:
Phone: 805-373-5070

I was given an indoor radio controlled helicopter as a 50th birthday gift. The person who gave me the gift paid Brookstone additional money to purchase an extended warranty for the helicopter (Brookstone's Protection Plus). Attached to my gift was a gift receipt for the extended warranty and a brochure on the extended warranty plan. However, I was not given a gift receipt for the helicopter, itself.

Within roughly 15 minutes of use a sizeable piece of the helicopter blade broke off from the remainder of the blade. This rendered the helicopter inoperable. I went to a local Brookstone store and presented the broken helicopter and the extended warranty with a gift receipt for the warranty showing it had been purchased just the day before. The store's assistant manager told me that the damage appeared to have resulted from abuse, not a manufacturing defect. Consequently, she was unwilling to exchange the helicopter or provide a store credit. I pressed the issue and eventually the assistant manager asked me for a receipt. When I explained that I was not given a receipt with this gift the assistant manager dug in her heels and refused to give me a refund or store credit. She told me without the receipt she could not confirm that the helicopter had not been purchased on E-Bay or stolen. (It's telling that members of Brookstone's management team possess such a low regard for their patrons).

I showed her the extended warranty, which she said was currently meaningless. The assistant manager explained that the warranty could not be used until 12 months had passed from the date of purchase. Inasmuch as I had no intention of waiting a year for help with this problem I asked the assistant manager for either a refund or store credit for the money that had been spent on the extended warranty. Again the assistant manager refused.

I called the claim number on the extended warranty and the representative there told me that the "Micro Chopper" product was known for frequent defects and breakdowns. (That fact didn't seem to stop Brookstone from selling this product, however). I was given another number [protected]) to call so as to attempt to obtain support. However, I received the same response as that given me by the store's assistant manager.

I don't know how much my friend paid for the gift that had been purchased from Brookstone. However, I find it remarkable that Brookstone solicited the purchase of an essentially worthless Protection Plan on a product with known quality issues. The replacement of a simple plastic propeller would have cost Brookstone a tiny amount of money. By treating the product and policy issues I raised in such a dismissive manner, however, Brookstone has alienated me as a consumer.

I have an executive level position with a large multi-national corporation that promotes a consumer-centric approach that we refer to as "client delight." Our organization's studies have found that delighted clients are not only repeat clients (making them profitable) but tend to influence others to utilize the same organization's services. It is apparent that the concept of "client delight" is foreign to Brookstone. Products like those sold by Brookstone can be found elsewhere. If you are considering the purchase of one or more of Brookstone's products you may want to seek their purchase from more consumer-friendly merchants first.
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St
  3rd of Dec, 2008
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Except for the fact I bought the helicopter and did not buy the warranty, the story is exactly the same. I bought it Nov. 29th and within five minutes the blade broke. I brought it back to the Thousand Oaks store the next day - the very same store that the the person who wrote the original complaint dealt with. The manager said it was Brookstone's policy etc...

She clearly admitted there were numerous instances of this problem. I asked why there wasn't a sign posted explaining that this was very fragile and stating explicitly ANY damage from use would preclude return. I said certainly they now know this is an issue, so will they put a sign up now. They asked my wife and me to leave.

What's the best part of this story? The guy behind us was returning a broken helicopter. One must assume that Brookstone will go the way of Sharper Image with this type of sales practice.
La
  18th of Feb, 2009
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
To the gentleman with the plan...you should try calling the claim number again for your extended warranty. I had the same issue and just told them the helicopter wasn't working the way it should, they were able to look up all the info by just giving them the date and trans. information. Since you have a gift receipt for the plan, it should be on there. Also, the assistant was wrong. The warranty will go in effect after only 90 days. If that doesn't help, contact the micro chopper company. They are usually helpful as well.
Bi
  5th of Feb, 2010
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
They pushed the warranty on me saying I could replace the helicopter as many times as needed, for accidental damage, when I called the 1800 number, they said it was a one time, only for manufacturing defects replacement.

SCAM SCAM SCAM
Ad
  13th of Sep, 2010
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
You should have used a Pre Paid Legal Membership for that. Get an attorney involved and it is amazing how coopertive a store can be. This has worked for me many times. Contact me and I can hook you up with one like I have for my family. 574 520 7434
Mo
  30th of Dec, 2010
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Same story, I bought two for Christmas one worked one didn't, Will never purchase from Brookstone again.
Ri
  12th of Feb, 2011
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Apparently there is no communication between Brookstones stores because I replaced mine twice, broken tail motor. I was told the last time that I would have to purchase a new warranty on the next exchange, if there is one. What really upsets me is the replacement I received was a used helicopter not a new one, I did not realize this until I got home and opened the box. The bottom line for me, Brookstones sells trendy over priced Chinese made junk and outside of this heli and the promise of a great warranty I don't give them my money and I will not be giving them my money ever again.
Br
  11th of Apr, 2011
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I was guaranteed by the sales person at Brookstone that my device would be covered for any kind of damage or breakage, as many times as needed, if I purchased the additional warranty. Great deal, right? Helicopter broke almost immediately and I was told physical damage is not covered. The warranty is actually very limited. Cheap, lame customer service from such a successful business. Frankly, I'll never buy anything from them again simply because the sales person lied and they won't replace even this relatively inexpensive item.

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