Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Remote controlled

It must be something they put in the Sam's Choice water. That or all the recalled hamburger meat.

This dude rolls up with a $697.00 television. Honestly, I forget what kind it was. I know it was on clearance - because only clearance prices end in .00. The television itself is unimportant. Gentleman had a receipt. The merchandise was 12 days old. It wasn't a sucky customer. It just serves to illustrate the "more money than sense" principle.

ME: "Can I help you?"
TV MAN: "I want to return this TV."
ME: "OK. What's wrong with it."
TV MAN: "It doesn't work."
ME: "OK. What specifically is wrong with it."
TV MAN: "It won't change channels."
ME: "On the remote or the TV or what?"
TV MAN: "Just the remote. The remote doesn't work." Because in this day and age, walking three feet to the television is a battle of epic proportions.

ME: "OK. Did you put the batteries in the remote?" You would be so surprised.
TV MAN: "Yes."
ME: "OK. Did you put change the batteries?"
TV MAN: "No." Because that would only be logical. But wait, you're shopping at Wal-Mart.
ME: "OK. It might be just a bad remote. Do you want me to see if we have any more of these TVs in stock?"
TV MAN: "OK." And I go check. No dice.

ME: "I'm sorry, but we don't have any more of these. It's a clearance TV. Do you want me to call a manager and see if we can work something out to get you a replacement remote or a universal remote?"
TV MAN: "No man. I don't really like the TV anyway. Just give me my money back."
ME: "Certainly."

PS MERCH RETURN, DEFECTIVE, CASH, ENTER, TOTAL, count the hundreds and change. "Sign here please sir." Go pay your rent now or go buy some drugs.

Because the first thing I do with a $700 television is return it when the channel-changer doesn't work.

It's not like the manufacturer won't ship a new remote for free. Or some Wal-Manager eager to keep a $700 sale wouldn't have marked down a universal remote for him.

I still don't understand Wal-Martian customers. Buy it, use it, rent it, return it.

If we charged restocking fees it would cut into this type of crap.


Library Rat said...

Actually, I have to defend this customer a little. (Ok, buying a $700 TV at WallyWorld, was a bad idea, but...)

If I'd just plunked down that kind of cash for an item, and a portion of it that I was going to be using regularly already doesn't work, I'd be taking the whole thing back and starting over. I wouldn't trust the rest of the thing to keep working.

FARfetched said...

I have to agree with Library Rat too. The remote was bad, there was no replacement available, and he didn't like the TV anyway. All sounds like good reasons to bring it back. He probably found a better one at Circuit City. :-)

Riohnna said...

restocking fees is a thought, but, I honestly don't think it matters. Would it be used as a tax write-off of some sort?

Say No To Wal-Mart said...

I'm going to agree with Library Rat too. (Buying anything at WM is just wrong, but never the less....)

We bought a TV ($2,000) at an electronic store. HUGE thing (62"), my husband brings it home sets it up. We watch a movie on it and the picture was horrible!! My hubby boxed it back up toted it back down stairs and returned it the next day.

If I don't like the quality I'm returning it. My hubby told them the picture sucked and we didn't want it any more. Nuff said......

Raymond Woodbury said...

Twelve days. I would have found time to solve the remote problem by then, so I have to concede that BBC's rent-or-drugs idea may be right. (People, do NOT buy big ticket items with cash; even the worst credit card allows a charge-back if the deal goes sour, and with many you get points or warranty extensions.)

I want to see a restocking fee for inflatable beds, or a 24-hour waiting period (so they don't get free-rented when homeys show up and need to crash while avoiding the po-po).

Clark said...

I'd have to ask why the TV was on clearance.
Did y'all quit buying that model?
Was it a floor display that'd been abused?
I'd have to agree with the others.
Of course, given your clientele in the past, I'd be inclined to give you part of the benefit of the doubt.

Anonymous said...

1) Whether or not traversing 3' to change the channel is a big deal or not, it was sold as having a remote control and if the remote doesn't work, a significant part of the TV's operation doesn't work. I'd return it, too.

2) Universal remotes aren't cure-alls. They might control major functions (channel, volume, power), but often still-critical-but-less-used functionality, like accessing the TV's setup menus or toggling a sleep timer, won't be supported by the universal remote. And, (re)programming those things, assuming you can find the instruction sheet in two years when the batteries give out, is a PITA.

3) Do you get up to change the channel or make DVD menu selections on your grey market imports or whatever, every time? No? You use your remote? Because it's convenient? Thought so. =)

Anonymous said...

A faulty remote is hardly a "significant portion" of a television's operation.

Honestly, I am surprised that the register allowed the return.

Anonymous said...

"A faulty remote is hardly a "significant portion" of a television's operation."

I don't know about your TV, but I have a brand new Bravia 1080p LCD. It has six buttons on the top (input select, channel +/-, volume +/-, and power). *Everything* else is controlled by the remote control. My now-7-year-old Triniton CRT is the same way. That, to me, makes a significant percentage of the TV's functionality inaccessible, thus negatively affecting a substantial portion of the TV's paid-for functionality.

Anonymous said...

You turn it on, you turn it off. You change the channel, you change the volume. That's probably what you do 99% of the time with the remote.

I have an LG with the same type of controls you are talking about.

I do agree that if the remote was broken, it would affect my ability to do other things, like change inputs, set the sleep timer, change the picture quality, add or remove channels. But I wouldn't return the tv because of that. I'd probably go on Ebay and buy a new remote, or go to the mfr website and order one.

oldbenjamine said...

One small correction, btc, if I may. "Rent it" implies that a fee is collected. With no restocking fee, it's a "borrow". It's the same insanity where I work.

The remote? I vote for "user error".

m said...

Hard to know whether the remote was really defective or not given the information. Assuming it was defective, I'm on the side of the consumer here. If I pay hundreds of dollars for an item, it should work, regardless of where I bought it from. Sure, maybe the manufacturer should be solving the problem, but why should the consumer hassle with that? A return is a way to register dissatisfaction. If enough returns happen at enough stores, maybe someone will pay attention.

Jessica said...

Except the problem, M, is that too many people at BBC's store are returning stuff for drug or beer money... or they never planned on keeping it on the first place (hence the 'renting' that frequently occurs)

Yes it is true that the manufacturer should be solving the problem of defective merchandise, and the customer shouldn't have to hassle with that... so I what I would have done was take the *remote* back to the store, and tell them to hassle with it. Then again, I shop at Circuit City and Best Buy and occasionally Radioshack for my electronics. They train their employees to pretend they care.

The kind of things BBC sees on a daily basis though? Whether the customer is right here or not, I am totally with him on the 'guilty until proven innocent' attitude.

Anonymous said...

I'd bet there is a portion of Walmart customers who aren't sophisticated enough to use anything but cash. There's still lots of rednecks who like to cash their paycheck at the bar and carry around a wad of cash. Granted they're probably meth freaks but you get occasional people who will use cash. Doesn't mean they're drug addicts or low-life rent payers!