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Author Topic: Should retailers be held accountable for recommendations?  (Read 4394 times)

cthorpe

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Should retailers be held accountable for recommendations?
« on: June 03, 2011, 03:11:40 PM »
I bought a D-Link NAS from NewEgg last month.  On the page for the NAS, they recommended that I purchase 2TB Western Digital Caviar Green HDs to install in the NAS.  I went ahead and bought the drives, because they were a good price, low heat production/energy use, I have always had luck with WD drives, and because NewEgg recommended them.

The items arrived yesterday, and I tried in vain to get the thing set up in a RAID 1 configuration.  After multiple failures, I finally found a posting from the manufacturer of the NAS that states that the specific model of hard drive that NewEgg recommended that I purchase along with the NAS is explicitly not supported by the manufacturer.

As NewEgg sold me the drives specifically to use in the NAS I purchased, I have emailed them to ask for a refund so I can purchase compatible drives.  I have yet to hear back from them (nearing 24 hours since I emailed them), but I am worried that their return policy is going to cause problems.  Specifically, their policy states that all refund requests are subject to a 15% restocking fee.  Also, the installation procedure for the drives involves sliding them past metal tabs into the enclosure.  This caused long scratches spanning the entire length of the drive.  As there is clearly physical damage to the metal, label-side of the drives, I am worried that NewEgg will deny any return at all since their policy states that they will not accept products with physical damage.

So, should the retailer refund the purchase since it was made on their faulty recommendation?  What about that 15% restocking fee?  It's not like I changed my mind after using the items.  Since the damage was caused by installing the drives into the enclosure that was part of the recommended package, should they still accept them even though they are scratched?  Does it make a difference that the recommendation came from an automated system rather than a salesperson making an honest mistake?

What are your thoughts on the matter?
« Last Edit: June 03, 2011, 03:17:31 PM by cthorpe »

mouser

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Re: Should retailers be held accountable for recommendations?
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2011, 03:23:35 PM »
Newegg is usually good about these things.  This seems like a clear case where they should wave the 15% restocking fee.

superboyac

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Re: Should retailers be held accountable for recommendations?
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2011, 03:25:19 PM »
My thoughts are this:  it doesn't matter because you are powerless as an individual consumer.  Nobody who can do anything about it cares about what you think.  The only power you wield is the ability to observe the options available to you, and choose the one that is the least painful.  I say painful and not "best" because you are going to be screwed either way.  I know you're trying to reason it out and trying to figure out what's fair or right, but I'm telling you, in the end, it doesn't matter.

The disconnect between consumers and corporations is too big for any bridge.  You can tell from the system you've described that they have set up...they want to make it as difficult as possible for you to be able to communicate with them on anything.  And you can't change that system so you're just stuck.  They've put a system in place that absolutely guarantees them of success and the ONLY risk being taken on is on the side of the consumer.  Buying anything is a gamble...there's a chance that it won't satisfy you the consumer.  In old times, you can go to the maker if you were not satisfied and have a discussion or some kind of communication to resolve the problem at hand.  Of course, you can't do that now.  So you are left with 800 numbers, automated systems, email trouble tickets, restocking fees, shipping fees, extended warranty fees, premium support fees...everything is in place to either defeat the lines of communication and guarantee profit for the big guys WHILE at the same time making sure ALL of the gambling risks is solely on the consumer's side.  Very frustrating.

Stoic Joker

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Re: Should retailers be held accountable for recommendations?
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2011, 03:41:54 PM »
I'm with mouser ... Newegg is usually really good about returns. Just look at the number of "Open Box" sale items on their site (wanna guess why they were opened... ;)) But I'd run a sharpie marker over the scratches in the black paint to make them a tad less obvious.

steeladept

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Re: Should retailers be held accountable for recommendations?
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2011, 11:49:44 PM »
I don't know.  I have to disagree with superboyac on this one.  Newegg usually bends over backwards to keep people happy and generally does a good job.  However, if you bought this as a combo pack, they state everywhere that they do not verify compatibility and that they will not be held responsible for any incompatibilities.

Quote
Newegg.com cannot guarantee the compatibility of Combo items.

Moreover, if this was not a combo and was purchased based on a user suggestion, that is even less within their control other than to eliminate the comments entirely (which would be a great loss in my opinion, even if many of them are not correct/invalid).

I would say that you might be able to talk them into it as long as you offer to purchase the replacements on the spot so they don't really loose out on any money and perhaps even make some (if the new drives are more expensive).  If that doesn't work out, perhaps you can resell them yourself at cost and save the restocking fees.

mouser

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Re: Should retailers be held accountable for recommendations?
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2011, 12:12:51 AM »
Quote
based on a user suggestion

if it was a *user* suggestion that would be quite different -- wouldn't be fair to hold them responsible for that.

Renegade

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Re: Should retailers be held accountable for recommendations?
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2011, 12:47:32 AM »
I'm guessing that you mean this one:

http://www.newegg.co...22-136-514-_-Product

If you can't bypass the restocking fee... At $80, I can't see it being worth it to return it. Assume about $10 in shipping to get it back, and then $12 restocking... $22 is almost 30% of the price of the drive. Ouch!

I'd write it off as a learning experience and buy a cheap external USB case for it.

Then again, you could look at it as losing $22 to get back $58 and call that a $22 learning experience rather than an $80 learning experience.
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wraith808

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Re: Should retailers be held accountable for recommendations?
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2011, 08:05:23 AM »
Unfortunately, Newegg does have in their policies a bit about it being the responsibility of the buyer to make sure that the things that they buy are compatible. 

i.e.
Quote
We do not offer any technical assistance. We also do not offer advice on compatibility of items. We sell ONLY individual Hardware and Software items. We are not technicians, only quality retailers with low prices. Please contact the manufacturers for accurate answers to your technical questions.

and

Quote
All compatibility or technical issues should be directed to the appropriate developer or manufacturer. These resources are provided on an "as is" basis by Newegg as a supplementary service to you, the user. We offer these resources to you strictly for informative purposes as they may lend valuable insight into products you are interested in and clarify any associated benefits.

That said, they do have excellent customer service, so it's worth at least asking, though I know from experience they won't reimburse shipping.


cthorpe

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Re: Should retailers be held accountable for recommendations?
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2011, 12:29:39 AM »
So I finally got an email back from NewEgg.  They have offered to allow returns with 100% refund on both hard drives, the NAS, or all 3 items with return shipping covered.  All of the items were shipped to me free of charge, so it looks like everything is good.  I mentioned the scratches on the HDs from inserting them into the NAS in my initial email, however I replied to the customer service tech to ensure that they will still refund on the drives despite the cosmetic damages.  Incidentally, one of the drives appears to be DOA as it won't even format in a usb enclosure that I borrowed from a neighbor, so they should be able to recoup their full cost on that one.

Originally, the drives showed up in the "Get the most from your D-Link DNS-325 with these extras!" section on the product page.  They are no longer listed, so maybe NewEgg actually read over the website I sent them where D-Link said that those drives will not work with any of their NAS offerings.

Assuming everything goes as planned, I am working on a review of the NAS that I will post sometime next week.  The web-based UI looks promising at the very least.

Ath

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Re: Should retailers be held accountable for recommendations?
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2011, 06:56:21 AM »
So I finally got an email back from NewEgg.  They have offered to allow returns with 100% refund on both hard drives, the NAS, or all 3 items with return shipping covered.

That sounds like the proper and to be expected reaction from NewEgg. Congrats it all works out so well :up:, despite the hassle you have to go through to get you a NAS...

daddydave

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Re: Should retailers be held accountable for recommendations?
« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2011, 08:24:12 AM »
I
If bad things happen to other people, it's karma. If bad things happen to me, it's kismat!
« Last Edit: June 05, 2011, 08:26:09 AM by daddydave »

cranioscopical

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Re: Should retailers be held accountable for recommendations?
« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2011, 11:26:10 AM »
I

The suspense is killing me!  :)

Or should we all take turns adding a word?

am

AndyM

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Re: Should retailers be held accountable for recommendations?
« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2011, 12:11:19 PM »
curious

daddydave

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Re: Should retailers be held accountable for recommendations?
« Reply #13 on: June 05, 2011, 12:38:44 PM »
LOL, I was going to say I have seen bogus recommendations from Newegg before and they I think the Newegg recommendation system is kind of random and not representing handpicked recommendations. I was going to make an edit to say that in this case, I think even a handpicked recommendation might have missed this incompatibility. I am very glad no restocking fee was charged to you.
If bad things happen to other people, it's karma. If bad things happen to me, it's kismat!

wraith808

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Re: Should retailers be held accountable for recommendations?
« Reply #14 on: June 05, 2011, 03:23:07 PM »
I'm very surprised that they covered shipping!  :Thmbsup:

I've had a few things I've had to return, and they've never done that, no matter what!  But overall, I've had good success from them.

cthorpe

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Re: Should retailers be held accountable for recommendations?
« Reply #15 on: June 20, 2011, 12:20:00 AM »
Just an update on the whole NewEgg thing.  Both drives were accepted back from NewEgg without hesitation for full refunds. 

After spending considerable time on NewEgg's website to determine the best replacement HDs, I made an order and ended up with 2 DOA drives that would not format in the NAS or when connected directly to my PC through onboard SATA.  So they went back as well.  Again free shipping back due to ShopRunner (see below).

While I appreciate NewEgg handling my returns with no problems at all, I need working drives for my NAS.  I ended up going to my local BB and spending a little more to buy a pair of drives so I don't have to wait for returns and such if they go bad.

New drives installed and formatted without a hitch.  The NAS is compatible with fun_plug which allows you to access the linux os, so I have been playing around with lots of cool stuff.

I will be posting a review and some more about fun_plug soon.


As for the free returns: It turns out that was a benefit of signing up for ShopRunner (http://www.shoprunner.com/) when I made a recent online purchase of an extremely heavy and bulky dehumidifier.  ShopRunner is like Amazon Prime but it works at various online retailers.  I intended to cancel before the free trial month was up, but considering it has already more than covered its annual cost, I might keep it.  The orders have arrived from NewEgg within 2 days, however returns take forever as they use the cheapest possible method to get items back to the retailers.

wraith808

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Re: Should retailers be held accountable for recommendations?
« Reply #16 on: June 20, 2011, 11:47:32 AM »
As for the free returns: It turns out that was a benefit of signing up for ShopRunner (http://www.shoprunner.com/) when I made a recent online purchase of an extremely heavy and bulky dehumidifier.  ShopRunner is like Amazon Prime but it works at various online retailers.

Ah... that's a major difference then.  All of my returns using Prime have been cross ship, and have used UPS to be trackable.  But it still sounds cool- I've been thinking about it because I use Prime so much...