Tuesday, June 30, 2009

What happens to all the items customers return because they are faulty?

I can't speak for other retailers, but at Adorama, faulty items are returned to the manufacturer or distributor.

That doesn't mean that there aren't occasional problems; the manufacturers and distributors, who supply to Adorama, and of course, other retailers, do allow us to return equipment as new, because of over-stocks, exchanges etc. This can be a particular issue after the Christmas holiday when we all need to balance out our inventories.

Even if we at Adorama are completely thorough when packaging up these items for return, there is no doubt that less scrupulous retailers could well be receiving returns, trusting the customer's explanation that they never opened the box - packaging them up for return to the manufacturer or distributor. These items then form part of the inventory for sending out to other retailers.
No retailer can inspect the contents of every packaged received into the warehouse.

If the manufacturer doesn't check the equipment before sending it back out, from the customer's perspective it is the retailer who looks bad, even though it may well have not been their fault.
At Adorama we do have liberal return policies and there is no doubt that on occasion this is taken advantage of - although this does not exempt us from more closely checking any and all returns, some retailers don't.

The problem is that we are all relying upon humans to carry out the required procedures at every point in the transaction, which can, and does, result in mistakes at any place along the line.

Helen Oster
Adorama Camera Customer Service Ambassador


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