Defective Products for Christmas: What to Do Next

by Andrus Becki

There’s nothing worse than being excited about a gift that you get for Christmas only to find that it’s one of the defective products that can be such a pain to deal with. Maybe you were the one to give a gift to a loved one that ends up being defective. So what do you do next? Are there options you have to get your money back? Let’s find out.

Why Are There So Many Defective Products Anyway?

It seems like there are more and more problems with defective products these days. Have you ever wondered why?

Manufacturers are under so much pressure to produce large amounts of products to fulfill the Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and other Christmas shopping frenzies that the quality of their products end up suffering. There is no time to look over their products for possible problems or even safety risks in some cases. Because of this, millions of people across the country end up getting defective products for Christmas.

Is It Too Late to Return My Product?

The good news is that most stores, including online stores, are adding a more extended return period for items purchased near the holiday season. So if you do receive a defective gift or that you simply don’t want, don’t sit on it. Instead, make sure to return your gift as soon as possible to ensure your ability to get something back for it.

Do I Need a Receipt?

It’s incredibly helpful if you do have a receipt. Many people have made it a practice to include a gift receipt with their gifts in case you need to switch it out for a different size or some other reason. This way, you will be able to get the total amount of money either paid back or to go towards another item in the store. There’s nothing worse than spending a lot for something and then getting back half the amount because it recently went on sale and you don’t have the receipt.

Worse comes to worst, many stores will offer store credit if you don’t have a receipt. Hopefully, it’s from a store you like!

Typical Kinds of Defective Products

A warranty commonly covers many products that end up being defective. These products tend to fall into one of three categories:

  • Design defects
  • Manufacturing defects
  • Defect in warnings provided

What Can I Do to Prevent Purchasing Defective Products?

No matter how hard you try, there is no way that you will completely guarantee yourself a perfect product with every purchase. Still, there are some things you can do that might eliminate some of your risks as well as make it easier for you to get your money back if you are left dissatisfied with your latest buy.

  1. Research the Company – If you are able, and have time to do so before your purchase, look closely at the company you are purchasing from. Read reviews and find out how easy it has been for others to return items they have purchased from the same company. Also, what kind of safety problems have people had? If there have been a lot of problems, you will be able to see that clearly through a simple google search.
  2. Know the Return Policy and Warranty Before Buying – It’s smart to read and ask questions about the return policy from the company you are purchasing from. For example, if you’re buying early for Christmas, you might have a problem returning it if the item isn’t open for a few months. Also, ask about defective items and when they can be returned. Also, find out about a product’s warranty, particularly if you are buying an expensive item. If you go past the return period of the company you purchase from, you will want to know the manufacturer’s warranties and guarantees.
  3. Keep your Paperwork and Digital Records – The easiest way to get your money back after a purchase is to simply have your receipt handy when you go to return it. It’s also a good idea to keep track of the warranty that came with your product. This way, you will have all the information you need to contact the manufacturer. If you have already communicated with the manufacturer of your defective product, keep the paper trail so that you can refer to it as well as have proof of contact and the dates they were notified of a problem.

So, I Bought a Faulty Product – What Next?

Gather Your Information – Find all the information about the product you purchased. This includes your receipt, warranty information, extended warranty documents, the box it came in, and whatever else you have kept.

Read over all the information you have to make sure you have been using the product correctly and if you have, find out if your warranty is still good and what it covers.

Contact the Store You Purchased from or the Manufacturer – Even if you think that you’re past the return period or even the defective return period, it’s worth talking to the retailer anyway. Many stores will make a solid effort to work with you to provide good customer care and maintain their respectable reputation.

File a Complaint Against the Company

If you have talked with the company you purchased from, and they don’t want to honor their warranty, you can file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission or even the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Is a Lawsuit My Next Best Option?

If you have tried all that we have discussed and are not getting any kind of resolution or less than ideal feedback, it might be time to consider filing a lawsuit. Depending on the product, you may be able to settle things in small claims court, or you could end up suing.

An experienced attorney would be able to handle your case and guide you with ample knowledge of your rights as well as the process needed to resolve your situation. Contact Wormington & Bollinger for more information and to schedule a consultation.