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Author Topic: ENGADGET: 95% of returned products still work. Manuals not read  (Read 3472 times)

Josh

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willitreturn.jpg

Blame it on poor usability or just not reading the frickin' manual, but it turns out that 95 percent of all returned gadgets actually work despite what customers may say or think. That's right -- of the $13.8 billion worth of returned products in 2007, only 5 percent were because gadgets were truly broken. According to Accenture, 68 percent of all returns work but aren't meeting customer expectations -- or they are simply too confusing to use. The other 26 percent are returned due to straight-up buyer's remorse (AKA significant other budgetary freak-outs). Accenture executive Terry Steger believes that the complexity of gadgets is to blame here, and not the fickle nature of American consumers who tend to give up on product setup within a few minutes. We believe this ia all actually due to the implicit nature of -- ooh, look at that shiny thing over there!

Source

Fred Nerd

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Re: ENGADGET: 95% of returned products still work. Manuals not read
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2008, 05:04:51 AM »
Hmmm, I don't like to disagree because they've probably done a lot of research here, but I would like to know how thoroughly these returned products were tested.

 I work (part time) as a small engines mechanic, and there are a lot of problems which seem to be totally non-existent, but are still there even if they only show up once a month.

Just sounds too high for my liking. Although I could imagine it when I think of some people I know......

lanux128

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Re: ENGADGET: 95% of returned products still work. Manuals not read
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2008, 05:18:08 AM »
also from a consumer point of view, not meeting one's expectation is a valid reason to return the product if they had bought the product via mail-order, internet, etc.

Perry Mowbray

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Re: ENGADGET: 95% of returned products still work. Manuals not read
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2008, 06:05:41 AM »
I presume that our Australian experience mirrors what has happened in the US (they are probably the same companies after all)... but it seems that resources have been moved from Quality Control to Instant Replacement for Manufactures and from Customer Service to Instant Return for Retail Outlets.

Of course purchasing something "sight unseen" online is prone to produce issues with "not meeting my expectation"... but the problem in the shops is that if there is someone to help you they are generally young and/or not at all knowledgeable. Their sole purpose is to aid you to getting your purchases to the checkout, not help you to make the right purchase.

I'd assume that the Retail Outlets and the Manufactures have decided that it is more viable to operate this way, that it puts the ball into the court of the consumer to return their product if they are not happy. It's obviously better to take the money up front and take the risk on them returning it if they are not happy (not everyone will).

 :-\ Was that a rant? Came on a bit sudden to warn you, sorry...

cranioscopical

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Re: ENGADGET: 95% of returned products still work. Manuals not read
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2008, 08:00:35 AM »
but the problem in the shops is that if there is someone to help you they are generally young and/or not at all knowledgeable. Their sole purpose is to aid you to getting your purchases to the checkout, not help you to make the right purchase.
And, often, they will hand out totally erroneous "information" based on a mixture of willingness and ignorance.

It's uncomfortable to see how far into the dump-and-replace groove we've settled. Once, when something didn't work, it was second nature to take it into my workshop. That happens far less often now  -- partly, but only partly, due to complexity.

To get back to the main topic, though... I'm pretty sure that the stuff I return really does have problems. I suppose most people feel that way, which is the point of the article, but I usually get a second opinion in order to rule out user stupidity.

How do people here feel about buying open-stock or refurbished items?  Are we reassured by this report?




Perry Mowbray

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Re: ENGADGET: 95% of returned products still work. Manuals not read
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2008, 08:14:57 AM »
Second opinions are good: I've got a house full  :Thmbsup:

Once-upon-a-time we always would have gone down the refurbished/seconds line, but here the benefits have been limited by the manufactures. Like spare parts, which are priced at 80% of the new price (not what they're worth).

Deozaan

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Re: ENGADGET: 95% of returned products still work. Manuals not read
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2008, 11:42:20 AM »
but the problem in the shops is that if there is someone to help you they are generally young and/or not at all knowledgeable. Their sole purpose is to aid you to getting your purchases to the checkout, not help you to make the right purchase.
And, often, they will hand out totally erroneous "information" based on a mixture of willingness and ignorance.

Exactly! My sister was in the market looking to buy her son a Nintendo handheld, talked to the sales clerk about the difference between a Game Boy Advance and a Nintendo DS. The sales clerk told her information about the opposite products. In other words, when he was telling her about the GBA, he was really giving her information about the DS, saying the GBA could play DS games, could connect to the internet, had Wi-Fi multiplayer, etc. She ended up buying a GBA for her son when she could have just bought a DS for a relatively small amount more and gotten all the feature of the GBA and much more capabilities from the DS.

But again, back to the topic: I think the article headline is a bit misleading. In a situation as described above, I would return the product because it wasn't the product that I intended to buy. It would still be working of course, but it would be a valid return.

I've also returned video games that work because they were gifts and given to me for the wrong console (PS2 instead of GameCube). I returned an LCD monitor because about 20 days after I got it the same store was offering a better LCD monitor for a lower price.

My point in all this is that just because a product is still working that doesn't mean there's not a good reason to return it.


lanux128

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Re: ENGADGET: 95% of returned products still work. Manuals not read
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2008, 01:29:38 AM »
probably this study is in a long process into making goods more difficult to return and/or pass some of the costs back to the consumers. :)