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  #41  
Old 05-05-2009
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My Wife was shopping for an automotive GPS last year.

Most (if not all) of the stores we visited had "no return" policies on GPS units. Several clerks mentioned they had customers buy a unit, take it on whatever trip they needed it for and then return it.

All we wanted to do was take it out into the parking lot to see how well it worked for a simulated trip we had put together. We told the clerks we'd have it back in less than an hour if we didn't like what we saw.

No dice!!!

The really weird part about it is we never found a store where the GPS units would work in the store. I mentioned to some of the department managers that it would be nice if they'd install some kind of antennae in order to demo their units - all met with "DUH!?!?".

I've dealt with DEFENDER on some non-electronic items and have been satisfied with their service.

Paul
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Old 05-05-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AE28 View Post
My Wife was shopping for an automotive GPS last year.

Most (if not all) of the stores we visited had "no return" policies on GPS units. Several clerks mentioned they had customers buy a unit, take it on whatever trip they needed it for and then return it.
As long as the policy is clearly stated - that is not a problem at all. Businesses have a free hand in what they choose to do as long as they are upfront about it with customers.
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brak...

Actually, the no return policy was NOT clearly stated in any of the stores! We found out by asking. I think this might be a violation of New York State law - seems to me that the store's return policy must be clearly posted.

Paul
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AE28 View Post
brak...

Actually, the no return policy was NOT clearly stated in any of the stores! We found out by asking. I think this might be a violation of New York State law - seems to me that the store's return policy must be clearly posted.

Paul
Yep, that is definitely not cool. I've seen something of this nature at Walmart back when Tomtom was a hot commodity (may be a year or two ago) - they actually had a piece of paper stuck over GPS counter that said there is a restriction on GPS returns. As long as they do that, its all good. Lying in a return policy or withholding it from customers is about as shoddy a business practice as they get.
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My experiences with Defender have been good. I ordered a rig tensioning gage for wire when I should have ordered it for rod, and Defender accepted the return even though it was my error.
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Old 05-10-2009
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To complete the story - I *did* get a refund from Defender, so they did come through (though they were decidedly not nice about it). That said, it was a "special exception" for a "good customer", and the policy remains that you can't return electronics.

So things are back to normal - in fact I already made two more orders of general sailing and boat stuff from them. I will just buy electronics elsewhere, and be happy with the things Defender does best.
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Old 05-11-2009
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P.P.S.

This morning I got a call from Defender's customer service manager, Jack - who apologized for the whole issue and informed me that Defender is much more reasonable in their return policy than I was initially led to believe (and that this applies to electronics as well). We did not discuss specifics, but in general it appears that as long as the policy is not bona fide abused, there should be no issues (which sounds about right to me).

Also, they do apparently read forum messages - (which, personally, I consider a good thing - anyone that cares about their reputation with potential customers is a better business by definition ).

In any case, I am glad to have heard from them, and hope that this is a one time issue never to occur again and that everyone comes out a better business/person/whatever they are from it.


P.P.S I also received an email from the Defender's owner Stephen Lance. I am glad to report that Defender is taking customer service issues seriously.

I hope I have his permission to quote a part of the email (if I do not, I will remove it - but I didn't want to re-tell it in my own words and, perhaps, distort the meaning), I think this is important to any Defender customer:

Quote:
Defender's return policy is fairly straight-forward. If an item can be sold "as new" or in the exact same condition that it left here, we'll take it back within a fixed period of time. The intent of the policy is to limit the frequency of purchases that have not been fully researched by the end-user and to minimize the occurrence of Defender being in the less-desirable position of having to discount product that is not factory packaged or has been "tested" by a consumer. I want to be sure, for all my customers, that the product they are receiving is factory fresh and has not been "handled" by other customers, regardless of their experience level or care in repackaging the product. The facts remain, it was handled by another party and I, myself, would want to know that before being sent that product, as factory new.
I think that this is a very reasonable policy, and now that everyone understands what it is - there should not be any issues going forward.

Last edited by brak; 05-11-2009 at 11:20 AM.
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brak...
Happy to hear everything worked out well; I congratulate you and thank you for taking the extra effort to post the follow-up.
Paul
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