HMV headphone Policy

  v1asco 09:45 11 Apr 2012

HMV would not let me return/exchange a set of headphones for hygiene reasons.. My reason for returning them was they were uncomforatable on my ears, and the noise cancelling was not as good because of the bad fit. Let me already acknowledge that unless faulty I have no consumer rights to just return because I do not like them,this I accept I was just hoping for a bit of goodwill.

What I do not like is I was not told of this at the Point of Sale and there are no warning signs.

My discussion with the Manager at Customer services was very unsatisfactory.

She kept on replying the warning is on the back of the receipt (it is not) but could not explain to me how I could read the back of the receipt before I purchased or indeed visit the website (another of her suggestions).

I pointed out to her that it would be nice if there was a notice about returns policy by the Headphones, her reply was "I can only apologise Sir". I asked her why I was not told at the POS and her reply was "I can only apologise Sir", my reply to that is she is now sounding like my children, who say sorry then go and do it again. She could not answer when I asked her when was the last time she looked at the back of a receipt.

It is interesting to note that Argos, for one, warn you about returns exception at the till and all over the catologue and on line. HMV say nothing about it on their on line sales site.

The final crunch came when I asked her if she thought it strange that HMV have headphones to try on(not mine)despite knowing of the health risk. Her reply was That's your Choice.

Surely her replies should have been more positive? Such as I will pass on your comments Sir or more importantly, 'We regularly clean the headphones'

  interzone55 16:04 11 Apr 2012

I can't comment for HMV, but pretty much every retailer has the same policy.

Headphones cannot be resold if used, as they've come into direct contact with a persons head, and are highly likely to have been exposed to earwax.

If the shoe was on the other foot, would you take back a product that had no fault, and couldn't be resold?

  v1asco 16:21 11 Apr 2012


Of course not and this is why I thought I made it clear in my first paragraph I did not expect an exchange.

My point is that HMV did not warn me, their customer service reply was a pile of repetitive meaning less waffle and her reply to my question of the headphones on display indicated that all customers will be exposed to accumalated earwax.

  finerty 11:36 14 Apr 2012

its simple if they resold the item and they came down with an ear infection who gets sued????

You cant guarantee your ears are clean only your word.

and lets say they exchanged it and you came with an ear infection what then????

Its not just ear infections could be mites, virus regardless you may of cleaned the headphones with alcohol, you are not qualified to say they are 100% bacteria free or 100% cleaned. if you could afford to have it analyzed in a lab probably costing thousands of pounds, is it worth it.

  finerty 11:37 14 Apr 2012

the same would apply to jewelery, cosmetics, and underwear

  v1asco 19:18 14 Apr 2012


My point exactly about the headphones on the test beds!

I have asked HMV about this.

and a lot of stores like you to try your new underwear over your old (preferably clean) underwear

  [email protected] 23:48 15 Apr 2012

bugle, I see your point regarding the display headphones that you can try. Out of interest, if you had been warned at the till that you cannot return / exchange headphones, would you have still bought them at the time?

  v1asco 08:46 16 Apr 2012

[email protected]

This I can't say for certain. I would definitely have given it more thought, especially as they were £100. Maybe even have bought them from HMV on line as they say nothing obvious in their T&Cs about not being able to return them.

  wee eddie 09:48 16 Apr 2012

As you bought the Headphones in the Shop and had an opportunity to try them. I don't think that they are obliged to take them back or even give you a Credit Note.

Had you bought them On-line you would have been able to return them under the DSR

  v1asco 10:02 16 Apr 2012

wee eddie

I did not have the opportunity to try them and am talking about customer service rather than getting a refund and certain things are exempt from DSR if you are warned. See the argos site re headphones

  spuds 11:32 16 Apr 2012

A number of items now come in 'security sealed' boxes, which the retailer is usually very reluctant to open, especially perhaps more so, if there are 'display' models being used in a store. It was always the favourite to steer clear of any unsealed boxes at place like PC World, because they were usually returns or items that had been tampered with. I was even informed once, that a stores display model, was now classed as second-user or second-hand, and as such the warranty was nil and void, after purchase.

Its a very tricky question regarding how a retailer will respond, especially if 'fit for purpose' or the DSR are involved.

Customer service can also have its problems, depending on the person providing a response. On a number of occasions, I have had a "no can do", then going up a higher chain of command 'might' bring different results?.

I wonder how many people try on footwear in stores, and how many of those same people might object, knowing someone else as tried the footwear before them?.

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