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Pay first, test later

November 3, 2008

*Shops for laser printer*

Me: I think I’ll take this one but I’d like to test it before I buy.

Shop Owner: No, you pay first, then go over there and test.

M: Why? What if the set is faulty?

S: Then we can send it in for warranty.

M: Oh, and how long does <manufacturer> take to repair these things?

S: Depends. Usually within 1-6 weeks.

M: So let me understand this. You want me to pay you money now and if the product is broken you want me to wait a month for repair?

S: Sorry, its our policy sir.

M: Ooo… I see. Then you can keep your policy and your product. *Walks off*

S: Uhhh… No sir, we’ll test, we’ll test.

M: *Keeps walking away*

Question: Whose responsibility is it to ensure that the product you’re buying is actually not broken before you pay for it? Yours or the shop owner’s?

What if you’re not allowed to even open the product’s package before you buy (remember the well-abused ad disclaimer “this picture is for illustration purposes only”?) Do you routinely find yourself taking 100% of the shop owner’s stock risk without question?

Btw, I usually hardball my way thru these situations and I mostly get what I want. I notice only store owners will panic and ask you to come back when you walk off. Salaried employees mostly shrug and put the item back on the shelf. 😀

3 Comments leave one →
  1. November 3, 2008 10:03 am

    That’s always the case. They are trying their best to bully customers esp those who donno about their rights. =_=

    Yeah, consumers are to a large extent responsible for the traders behavior. As they say, a fool and his money is soon parted.

  2. LC Teh permalink
    November 3, 2008 12:07 pm

    They spend millions advertising their products, then score their own goal with a bad ‘self-protection’ policy.

    In these times it’s obvious who calls the shots. The market’s flooded with all kinds of brands for the same type of goods. If I’m not happy, my money remains in my pocket, period.

    Walking away works pretty well with bargaining too.

    I was trying to ascertain if traders have the legal right to demand payment before agreeing to verify a product. Normally this is stuff for consumer watchdogs and associations. Not sure if they exist in Malaysia. On the other hand I do understand how traders must feel when a customer refuses to buy after testing/trying a product especially if the original packaging had to be damaged in the process.

  3. November 3, 2008 12:53 pm

    Sometimes products that are sealed can’t be tested unless you pay for it first. Anyway, they should have example product to let us try at least we know the performance of the product before paying it.

    A sample helps a lot. So would a guarantee to swap a product immediately should it fail the after-purchase test. What’s unfair is insisting that the customer send the purchase in for warranty 5 minutes after he had paid for it.

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