Exchanging a broken product with a refurbished one is not ok

I recently purchased my 4th Plantronics hands-free phone. I love these phones. They last for years, and offer me the qualities I need, including a long battery life.

This time, however, I’m not happy, and am being made unhappier daily.

This time, the dial-pad came with several problems, and it refused to reset, or upload, or connect with the base. In other words, it doesn’t work.

When I first called the ‘tech hotline’ for help, and I was told immediately – with very little data offered or requested – it was broken and needed to be exchanged. I asked to speak with the supervisor (kept on hold for 10 minutes), and – to her credit – she spent a couple of days with me to try to get it working. It never did. Then she came up with the same viewp0int: the phone came to me broken.

When it became clear I’d need a new phone, I told the woman I wanted the entire process to be hassle free. As it was, I had already spent hours on the phone with several Plantronics people with a defective product, and now didn’t want to expend any more time on a problem I never asked for. Karen – the supervisor – assured me that I would be sent a handy return envelope and I could just drop the bad phone in, and send it off.


I was sent a replacement dial pad, with the notion of replacing the new one with the broken one and sending the broken one back.  As I started opening the box with the new new one, I noticed it said on the box: Refurb Phone.

They sent me a refurbished phone? But I paid full price for a brand new phone – otherwise I could have bought a refurbished one from Amazon for half the price.

With a bit of arm twisting – not too much – I convinced the supervisor t0 send me a brand new phone. But think about it: if I hadn’t noticed that ‘refurb’ was on the outside of the box the ‘new’ phone was sent in, I would never have known. Or it would have broken down in a month or a year.

Thankfully, Plantronics stands behind their products somewhat: I got yet another phone and I’m currently charging it. Hopefully, it will work. But – and here is another huge problem for me – neither of the new boxes included a shipping envelope. I got a shipping label that might be pre paid (not sure), but no shipping envelope. That means I must find a box to hold the 2 bad phones, then pack it, tape it, and get it to FedEx. Ain’t gonna happen.

So that means they will have to bug me for not sending everything back, until they decide to send the FedEx person directly to me with shipping supplies so s/he can pack it and wrap it. Or send me a shipping envelop/pack as they promised.

Why would a vendor have me pay for a faulty phone, send me a refurbished phone to replace the new one, and then want me to pack everything up for them and get it all back to them? Not to mention that this has all taken 3 weeks, and I need my damn phone! Asking a bit much from a customer, no?

What am I missing here?


1 thought on “Exchanging a broken product with a refurbished one is not ok”

  1. > What am I missing here?

    Well for starters, if they want the old phones back and forgot to send you a return envelope, that’s their problem not yours. Unless they threatened some sort of action, what’s the big deal? You don’t have to do anything at all, other than maybe tell them that you didn’t get the envelope. The “huge problem” is in your imagination. It sounds like they don’t care much about getting these old phones back anyway, and you’re the one who’s pushing for it. I don’t know why you’ve adopted this as your problem.

    Regardless, I credit them for sending the replacement without waiting to have the original one back in their hands first. That’s doing the right thing. Exactly what I’d want from a company. Why don’t you appreciate the big picture here?

    > I had already spent hours on the phone with several Plantronics people

    The first tech gave you great customer service: an immediate, correct diagnosis and an offer to replace the defective product — exactly what I’d want from a company. But you rejected it. Instead you chose to waste a couple hours of the supervisor’s time investigating something that had already been solved. You blamed the tech for doing the right thing and it seems now you’re blaming the supervisor for going above and beyond. Ugh.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top