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View Full Version : Selling Used/Refurbished as New?



samlw
2006-01-03, 12:20
I ordered a wireless Squeezebox 3. When it arrived, it behaved as though it had no wireless capability. The setup menu only provided the ethernet option. Yet the packaging clearly indicated that this was a wireless unit. After some back-and-forth with support, it was determined I should send it back, which I did.

A new unit arrived, and upon plugging it in, it immediately presented the "wired or wireless" option. Great!

But then, as I began entering the parameters for my wireless network, it was clear that this unit had been used before. It already had the network info (SSID, WEP key, etc.) for someone else's wireless network!

In my experience, when a customer purchases a new product, that is what he must receive. When a company wishes to sell a used or refurbished product, the customer must be made aware that the product is not new - and typically, in such cases a discount is offered. I believe there are government regulations governing this sort of thing.

So, my question is: What is Slim Device's policy with respect to selling used/refurbished product? Was this a mistake or is my experience standard practice?

(I could understand if my unit had been working for some time and subsequently needed warranty service that it might be repaired or replaced with a refurbished unit. But in this situation, I never had a working unit - it arrived defective. So shouldn't it have been replaced with a brand new unit?)

Thanks,

Sam

mikeb
2006-01-03, 23:32
samlw wrote:
>
> In my experience, when a customer purchases a new product, that is what
> he must receive. When a company wishes to sell a used or refurbished
> product, the customer must be made aware that the product is not new -
> and typically, in such cases a discount is offered. I believe there are
> government regulations governing this sort of thing.

Sam, I'm not sure what country you live in, but I know here in the US
this is standard practice. If I go to the store and purchase a pair
of jeans and then return them, they are put back on the rack. That
is, they are typically inspected closely to ensure the original
quality is still in tact and then they are put back in stock. In
other situations things require re-shrink wrapping but the practice is
the same.

There are unfortunately some establishments (such as Fry's
Electronics) that have policies that don't confirm failed electronics
and simply put them back on the shelf when they are returned as
non-functioning. I have been informed they have a policy of removing
it for inspection only after it has been returned multiple times.
These are the types of businesses to avoid.

Now, it's possible the mistake is simply Slim Devices not removing
their own test settings (that's -great- if they're hand testing each
device). However, assuming it was a return, they did obviously make a
mistake by not removing the previous customer's settings.

Of course the previous customer also made a mistake not removing
wireless settings.. bad security! =)

-- Mike

slimpy
2006-01-04, 02:18
So, my question is: What is Slim Device's policy with respect to selling used/refurbished product?
Have you e-mailed your question to Slimdevices?
What was their response?

-s.

jimwillsher
2006-01-04, 06:28
Here in the UK, if you buy new then you get new. BUT....if you have to return it for an exchange, THEN you will get either new or a refurbished unit. This is probably on the basis that your unit will go out to somebody else.

Not great I know, but it's standard practice. It also opens the way for sending stuff back which was ordered incorrectly, as the vendor knows that he'll be able to send your returned unit out to somebody else in a repair/exchange scenario.

mecouc
2006-01-04, 08:42
If a refurbished/returned box is in good working order it's surely much better to resell it than to throw it away.

seanadams
2006-01-04, 10:11
The WEP key may have been left over from factory test - sometimes they don't get reset. Also did you buy direct or from Slim?

To answer your question our policy has been to stockpile used inventory for warranty repair/replacement requirements, or sales maked as "refurb". In either case it goes through the exact same production processes and the only thing we save are the electronics (cases and most of the accessories are scrapped). Dealers are expected to follow similar procedure and return any used stock to us.

samlw
2006-01-04, 11:15
The WEP key may have been left over from factory test - sometimes they don't get reset. Also did you buy direct or from Slim?
I bought it online, but through a reseller. Slim Devices issued the RMA and shipped the replacement unit. Of course, I can no longer remember the SSID that was present and I did not write it down. I do remember it had the text "prog" as part of it. Does that correlate to a network name used in your testing environment?


To answer your question our policy has been to stockpile used inventory for warranty repair/replacement requirements, or sales maked as "refurb". In either case it goes through the exact same production processes and the only thing we save are the electronics (cases and most of the accessories are scrapped). Dealers are expected to follow similar procedure and return any used stock to us.
Sounds like a perfectly reasonable policy. To clarify, would my situation be considered a "warranty repair/replacement" situation? I guess in my mind there is a distinction between a unit that arrives in non-working condition and one that goes bad sometime during the warranty period. But I admit that it a customer-centric view and such a distnction might not make sense on the vendor's end.

seanadams
2006-01-04, 11:25
I bought it online, but through a reseller. Slim Devices issued the RMA and shipped the replacement unit. Of course, I can no longer remember the SSID that was present and I did not write it down. I do remember it had the text "prog" as part of it. Does that correlate to a network name used in your testing environment?


Yes



Sounds like a perfectly reasonable policy. To clarify, would my situation be considered a "warranty repair/replacement" situation? I guess in my mind there is a distinction between a unit that arrives in non-working condition and one that goes bad sometime during the warranty period. But I admit that it a customer-centric view and such a distnction might not make sense on the vendor's end.

For example if a unit comes in with, say, a failed wireless card, we'd probably replace just the wireless card, run all our tests, and then send the same unit back out. It depends on the situation, stock on hand etc.

samlw
2006-01-04, 13:22
Yes
For example if a unit comes in with, say, a failed wireless card, we'd probably replace just the wireless card, run all our tests, and then send the same unit back out. It depends on the situation, stock on hand etc.
Thanks for the info and clarification.
The new unit is working great, BTW.