SOS: In-depth return policy analysis pays off in a replacement bag | Just ask us
Tote&Carry kept telling Whitney Wells about its return and warranty policies as reasons why it wouldn’t replace its faulty backpack. But finding those policies, let alone any evidence that they applied to Wells, proved difficult for both SOS and the California-based online retailer.
Wells, from Columbus, emailed SOS on April 5 to say she had ordered the backpack in September as part of a three-piece luggage set and had used it for the first time in March when she noticed the seam on one of her straps was coming loose.
The company’s website says it has a one-year warranty from the date of purchase for any manufacturing defects, she said, but “they keep getting back to me, saying that my bag is over 120 days old and I only have 30 days to report defects or I don’t know how this is possible when the warranty says one year.”
SOS was unable to directly access Tote&Carry’s warranty policy because the link provided by Wells and the company was not active. And its return/refund/exchange policy leaves room for interpretation, saying refunds or returns must be requested within 30 days and sales on discounted items are final, but also that it will replace items. defective.
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“I spent over $300 on these bags,” Wells said. “I filed a complaint (Better Business Bureau) after numerous emails with the company denying me warranty coverage, but heard nothing back.”
SOS also didn’t hear of his demands from Tote & Carry, until he told the company on April 20 that he planned to include Wells’ story in an upcoming column on retailers and other businesses that abused their customers.
This sparked a series of emails between the company and SOS that looked like this:
Tote&Carry: Please read the full policy. (Provides a link to the warranty policy.)
SOS: clicking on the link results in the display of a “page not found” message.
Tote&Carry: We have a two-year warranty that Wells didn’t buy. (Provides a screenshot of the warranty wording.)
SOS: The screenshot mentions a one-year warranty, and it costs nothing. You have provided no evidence that this customer is not entitled to a refund.
Tote&Carry: There is no one-year warranty on our products, except purchase. It is our policy that if an item arrives damaged or defective in any way, the customer has 30 days from the date of purchase to notify us and we will gladly replace that item free of charge. . It has been almost six months since Ms. Wells purchased and received her products. This is a case of normal wear and tear, which is not covered by warranty.
SOS: Show me proof, like something on your website or your sales contract with that states what you’re saying.
Tote&Carry: Also, Ms. Wells purchased using a discount code, and it is clearly stated in our returns policy that all sale items are final sale. (Provides screenshots of warranty and return policies.)
SOS: Attached is the only screenshot that SOS could find of the warranty. It’s from April 2021, accessible on the Wayback Machine. Your current warranty link is not working. If your warranty was not disclosed to her when she purchased the products in September, why should she be required to? If she is not entitled to a refund, is she entitled to a replacement?
Tote&Carry: We are sending a replacement to Mrs. Wells, as a courtesy. Going forward, she should be aware that any problems with an item must be reported in writing within 30 days or the item is not eligible for a return/exchange/replacement.
Wells confirmed on May 24 that the replacement bag had arrived.
“I haven’t heard anything and haven’t called again to follow up on my part as I’m beyond frustrated and at my wit’s end.”
With help from SOS and quick action from two retailers, the two women get what they want.
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