American Express mulling iPhone return policy

American Express mulling iPhone return policy

Summary: I received this from a colleague:American Express has a Return Protection line (1-800-297-8019) in which customers (I think limited to gold and platinum, tho not sure) can return products they're unhappy with for any reason within 90 days of purchase. I took advantage of this to exchange an iPod I just bought.

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TOPICS: iPhone, Mobility
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American Express mulling iPhone return policyI received this from a colleague:

American Express has a Return Protection line (1-800-297-8019) in which customers (I think limited to gold and platinum, tho not sure) can return products they're unhappy with for any reason within 90 days of purchase. I took advantage of this to exchange an iPod I just bought.

In any case, I just called to make sure my request was going through and was on hold for 15 mins. When the guy came on I asked if the long time was b/c of iPhone customers calling -- he said yes, and that it was the single busiest day they've had since he's worked in the office (I neglected to ask how long he had worked there). They've been getting flooded with calls, but iPhone customers are basically SOL, because the offer is limited to $300 per item. (Though it works great for folks like me who are just trading in iPods).

The American Express Blue credit card also features the 90-day product return protection. When a merchant will not take back a specific item, within 90 days, American Express will refund the purchase price up to $300 per item and a maximum of $1000 annually per credit card account.

TUAW reports that AMEX is "mulling" their Return Protection policy and that iPhone claims are being "handled on a case-by-case basis and that the refunds are not an official program or policy."

Topics: iPhone, Mobility

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  • An ethical question

    If you are returning a product simply to buy a cheaper one of the same thing, at the expense of your credit card company (they bite the cost difference), are you being ethical and honest?

    I once knew a woman who would go to a store on Friday and buy a $200 dress. On Monday morning she would take it back, claim dissatisfaction with the product and use the store's return policy to get her money back.

    She thought she was being a smart shopper, too.
    frgough
    • Answer: Absolutely Not

      [i]If you are returning a product simply to buy a cheaper one of the same thing, at the expense of your credit card company (they bite the cost difference), are you being ethical and honest?[/i]

      Answer: Absolutely Not, but how many people would that stop from doing it anyway?
      Badgered
      • It's not uncommon

        Many, many years ago while working part time for a large, established retail electronics chain, people would come in and "rent" the VHS video cameras. You know, take it ob vacation or to their kid's graduation, then return it within the 30 days citing "some" reason they did not like it.

        One guy had the nerve to oome back 2 months later to "buy" the same camera.
        John Zern
        • return policy "renting"

          <i>Many, many years ago while working part time for a large, established retail electronics chain, people would come in and "rent" the VHS video cameras. You know, take it ob vacation or to their kid's graduation, then return it within the 30 days citing "some" reason they did not like it.</i>

          Yeah, this is why many retailers especially electronic retailers charge a "restocking" fee. Think of it as a <u>rental</u> fee.... You can thank the sphincters that practice that kind of "renting" and think their getting over on the stores. Now returns working or not will have a nice 10% - 20% restocking fee, even if defective since we've had some people damage an item intentionally so they could skirt the restocking fee....
          devlin_X
          • ummm... missing a break in there ;)

            Yo! ZDnet ya need to put a preview that allows WYSIWYG so we can mistakes <u>before</u> final submission..... just a thought..... ;)
            devlin_X
    • If an insurance company denies a claim

      If an insurance company denies a legitimate claim base on the
      flimsiest of excuses to "keep their bottom line" is this ethical
      or honest? (Re: Katrina victims and the "Good Hands" with
      outstretched middle fingers)

      American Express uses this as a legitimate marketing tool and
      and know the risks involved. Since they charge sellers a much
      higher rate than Visa/MasterCard to process the sales then they
      have already covered their fictitious losses.
      kd5auq
      • True, but

        "Since they charge sellers a much
        higher rate than Visa/MasterCard "

        What you forgot to add is that American Express also gives the seller thier money upfront, whereas Visa/Master Does it over time.

        If a business made say $500 a day. Visa/Master will hold on to the money and pay the seller once a month and pay $15,000

        American Express pays the seller immediatly per transaction. Whatever the amount is.

        I used to work for a company that installs Hotel Computers and Software, and was responsible to get all the information to get the software to work as the point of sale, without using the little black box.

        During this time I learned how they all work.
        BroGnorik
        • Not true

          Visa/MasterCard does not hold money and pay once a month. I accept all credit cards with my business, and get paid by Visa/MC faster than AMEX. Plus, AMEX's fees are much higher.
          mmelton
      • re: If an insurance company denies a claim

        [i]If an insurance company denies a legitimate claim based on theflimsiest of excuses to "keep their bottom line" is this ethical or honest?[/i]

        Just a question: Did you go to the "2 wrongs do make a right" school of ethics?
        Badgered
    • One would think

      that companies which sign with Amex would be obliged to go along with whatever terms Amex decides, meaning Amex would hit their bank accounts whether they like it or not. Though I'm sure there would be some sort of proof required from the customer.
      Michael Kelly
      • One would think ...

        ... that considering we've been here since the crack of dawn this morning, the management would have more consideration than to leave us sitting on our jaxies for the post mortem!
        pmong55
    • It is unethical

      After-the-fact dissatisfaction with the price of a product is not dissatisfaction with the product itself, but rather with your decision to buy the product.

      If someone bragged to me about doing this, I would think substantially less of that person.
      Erik Engbrecht
    • Many large retailers..

      are now keeping track of people who return things constantly, and are starting to
      refuse to allow them any more.
      msalzberg
      • Sometimes it's at the request of employees..

        Our sales manager use to take things back that were waaaaaay beyond the stated return policy (I'm talking MONTHS). At the same time we the employee's were being asked to sell "Product Replacement Plans" that would promise to replace the item or it's purchase price for it's warranty plus a year. We had people refusing the plan because they knew if it died they'd just go to the manager and complain & make a scene and he'd do the return.<br><br>Needless to say he no longer does this once he realized what the side effect was. As for the jerk(s) who would yell and make a scene to get him to take back the item....They can suck eggs since especially in the first year they still have the manufacturer's warranty they just don't want to have to deal with them.<br><br>As to the iPhone price drop. It is well known that there is a price for being on the bleeding edge, to say "I got one as soon as they came out!". Why should the retailers have to suffer because you bought it as soon as it was released? Early adopters always pay a premium in all areas of technology. Sometimes they even get burned when the technology flops and its discontinued shortly after its released...Is that too the retailers fault?<br><br>Suck it up people! You were willing to part with the cost when you bought it!
        devlin_X
    • Distorted view of Ethics.

      Since most of the 3rd world survive on less than a dollar a day and are practically starving is it ethical for the 1st world to consumer so much of the worlds output. Surely some food in the belly of a starving child is worth far more than being able to get the latest gadget. Or doesn't it work like that?!
      Bozzer
      • Morals vs ethics

        That's a question of morals, not ethics.
        Erik Engbrecht
  • It would be interesting to know...

    ...for what reasons people are wanting to return their iPhones?is there any
    information about that? I mean, I've been buying Apple stuff for 23 years, and the
    only two reasons I've ever returned anything are: 1) it was defective (this has
    happened only two times I can think of); 2) it turned out I didn't need it after all
    (I'm a little ditzy at times). There are always people who will shop unethically, and
    the example someone gave above of the lady who purchased dresses to use just for
    the weekend is a very, very, very common one. I don't do this as an adult, but as a
    teenager, I used to buy games from Egghead Software and return them the next
    day after copying them :-(
    adam.prall@...
  • RE: American Express mulling iPhone return policy

    Anyone who wants to return an iPhone that they were excited about two weeks ago just because someone else was able to purchase one at a lower price needs to have their head examined.

    Try that with the car you bought last month, and your neighbor got the same model with the same equipment (in another color just to be a little different than you) for $500 less from a different dealer (or the SAME dealer!). They will laugh you off of the lot!

    So now the whole world has "low price protection"? Whatever happened to folks being responsible for the decisions that they make for themselves? Why does it have to be some one elses fault all the time?
    acad2kman
  • Is there any proof of this story? if not it it's worth nothing NT

    NT
    Non-Zealand
  • Ummm

    Check it again. Visa/Master may show that they paid you, but they actually don't for a full 30 days, just in case the customer has a problem with the transaction.

    It works like a hold on your credit card but reversed. The money is really added to your account, but you cannot use spend it. Many sellers believe they can and do, because they have little problems with thier customers.

    Larger companies like Hoetels, get tons of fradulent charges complaints, where they spend alot of time proving to the credit card companies that the customer did indeed spend what they were charged, even though Visa/Master card has technically paid you they will take it back immediatly, American Express does not, until it figures out what happens.

    I never said American Express did not charge a higher rate, but when they pay you, the money is there waiting for you to spend it.
    BroGnorik