Day 92/365 – No return policy

Getting used to a new technology can sometimes be a very challenging task. We are used to operating our phones in our own unique manner and if we have been using the same handset for a very long time, getting used to a new handset can be quite a challenge. We encountered this challenge yesterday, when we upgraded my wife’s phone from Nokia to Samsung Grand 2.  My wife is one of the very few people who does not like using qwerty keyboard and prefers a 4×3 keyboard. The new phone does not have the option of 4×3 keyboard, while there may be some apps available to address this issue, but most of such apps do send out data to their servers and she is not comfortable sharing that information. We went to the Samsung store today and asked them if we could return the phone. They told us that while they can buy it back, we would only get 75% of what we originally paid. So what do we do? In India – nothing. If this was US or UK, the clear answer would have been to return the phone and get the phone which gives you the required feature. The return policy in US for electronic items is very clear – the items can be returned within 30 days of buying, of course, the items need to be working condition. This not only allows the user to test the product and determine if he is comfortable using the product and all features work as expected. One thing to definitely keep in mind though is the markets in the US/ UK are much more matured and the process of dealing with returns is also well defined. However, in India there is no such return policy and once you have purchased an electronic item, there is no way for you to return it unless the product stops working within the guarantee period – and there is no guarantee that the item would be replaced.

There is clearly a need to introduce some sort of the return policy in India too – however, the probability of the policy getting misused is very high and thus companies have been avoiding it. But until those policies do come into existence, consumers like my wife are stuck with products which we are not comfortable using.