The Source (electronics store) return policy scam

At first, I was just upset that The Source would not honour their return policy located at:

I called them and was told that their new return policy does not allow the return of opened headphones — a perfectly reasonable policy.

I suggested that they should accept my headphones, because I purchased them after seeing the policy that is published at the above URL. I also suggested that they should change the policy or remove it from their site if it is not the current policy, as it misleads people into thinking they are protected when they are not.

They have neither accepted my return, nor fixed the return policy on their site. They are making sales knowing that their customers are being misled by a policy they have posted on their website that they will not honour.

As a result, I have decided to warn people about this scam.

**2012/01/10 EDIT:** The Source failed to respond to the first notice from the BBB. Another notice has been sent today.

**2011/12/23 EDIT:** An employee of another branch of Bell electronics heard about this, and has decided to file an internal complaint on my behalf. This, apparently, is an old return policy that they never un-published. He feels they should honour the guarantee and then remove it from their site.

**2011/12/21 EDIT:** I have filed a complaint with the BBB 2 days ago. The complaint has been validated and The Source has until Jan 4th to respond.

**EDIT: For posterity, here is the text of their satisfaction guarantee:**

If for any reason you are unhappy with your purchase, we’re committed to making it right. We will gladly refund or exchange (except as stated below) any product(s) if you return it to any The Source store:

Within 15 days of purchase for computers, GPS, laptops, monitors, digital cameras, camcorders, DVD players, karaoke, and PA systems
Within 30 days of purchase and less than 30 minutes of use for wireless phones
Within 30 days of purchase for all other products
All products must be returned in original condition including the original packaging (including UPC code, manual, and accessories) and must be accompanied with the invoice. Please be sure to obtain and keep a copy of your sales receipt and/or invoice. If you do not have a receipt, you may exchange the product for another item of equal or lesser value* or a The Source Gift Card.

*The Value is determined as the current selling price of the product being returned.

Refunds are not available on opened software, internal peripheral products (memory chips, video cards, etc.) or consumable products such as print cartridges. If the item is defective, the item can be exchanged for the same item. A 10% restocking fee will be applied to all refunds of open-box computers, notebooks, printers, GPS, digital cameras, camcorders, karaoke, PA systems and gaming consoles unless product is defective in which case the product can be exchanged for the same item. Any missing accessories and used or partially used consumable accessories will be deducted from the refund amount.

For the quickest and easiest service, you may return or exchange all Electronic Items to your local The Source corporate store. Use our online ‘Store Locator’ tab found above to discover the location nearest you.

For your convenience, we also accept returns by mail; simply send the product(s) (shipping-prepaid) back to:

The Source
RMA #5010
279 Bayview Drive
Barrie, ON L4M 4W5
PLEASE NOTE: RMA #5010 in the return address must be clearly labeled on the outside of the box or your refund could be significantly delayed or refused. When returning item(s), please indicate on the back of the invoice, or in an attached letter the reasons for the return as well as your name and phone number.

The Source will not refund any shipping charges unless we made an error in order processing or we have determined that a product is defective.

The Source is not responsible for any damage that may occur during shipment to the item(s) you are returning. For your own protection, you may wish to send your return by insured parcel post or courier or consider returning eligible products to your local The Source store. Check to see the closest store near you.

All refunds will be credited to the payment method used in the original purchase. We will make every effort to process your refund quickly and you will be notified of your refund by e-mail.

The Source does not honour policies published on their web site. Buyer beware.

The content was posted by netwiz101 on 2011-12-21 04:57:49 via reddit

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  1. So you bought the headphones online, and tried to return them to the store? Because the policy obviously outlines their online return policy for items purchased through their web store.

  2. Does that not fall under false advertising? Civil court, if you have the time, is an option.

  3. My husband and I have a similar story. He wanted to purchase headphones at the Source as he had a gift card for there. When we went to purchase them, my husband asked the clerk if the clerk could remove them, so that he could look at them closer(he wanted to see if the wires were fine as that has been an issue in the past). The clerk said that he could not take them out of the box. My husband asked about return policy and was told 14 days. We purchased the headphones and I put the receipt in my purse for safe keeping. When my husband got home, he opened the box and checked them out. He was not impressed with the wiring and decided to take them back to the store. I told him I would return them for him when I had time. When I went into the store, I was told that since the box was open that they would not allow me to return them. It is their policy and it was written on the receipt. How many people read the receipt? When we asked about returning we were told 14 days. Not a word about leaving the box unopened. I asked them if they were damaged on opening could they be returned and again was told no they could not be returned. If you are not returning headphones, then TELL the customer that you do not return headphones on purchasing them or at least, post a sign over the display of headphones stating as such. I have checked other stores and no other big store(Walmart, Future Shop, Best Buy) have a problem returning them. I can understand their new policy, but it needs to be displayed or stated more prominently. My husband and I would not have bought them at this store if we had known about the policy. I have a call into the head office to complain and at least let them know that more needs to be done to ensure that this does not happen again. As of now, I feel like I do not want to shop in that store again.

  4. The Source did not respond to the Better Business Bureau’s correspondence from December. Today, because the deadline was passed, the BBB sent another notice.

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