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1 United States

In late January of this year, I purchased, through the internet and with a Visa card, an electronic device from, which operates out of Austin. The item was defective, and I returned the item to the manufacturer, which is common practice, to have it repaired, within days of receiving it in the mail.

After sending the device off in the mail, I decided that the device was, in fact, unusable (for reasons that I needn't explore here), and inquired about obtaining a refund. The manufacturer referred me back to to inquire about a refund, and asked me if I nevertheless wanted a replacement unit.

I then contacted They advised that, once the box was opened, I could no longer get a refund, but that I could only get an exchange for an identical product. This, they said, was "policy", that was not changeable.

As you might imagine, I'm not happy about this policy, since it assumes that all merchandise is compatible with other devices, as advertised in this case, and without exception (This unit was not compatible.), and that customer satisfaction is optional, not mandatory. The policy reverses the traditional relationship between consumer and business: in's world, the consumer serves the business, instead of the business serving the consumer.

I submit that this business practice is unethical and besmirches not only internet commerce in general and in particular, for establishing an arrogant, insensitive business environment, but also for indicating that the consumer's money is more important than the consumer's interests.


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