Buy.com Sells Refurbished Bluetooth Headsets Listed As New

Buy.com sold Chris two Jabra BT350 bluetooth headsets advertised as OEM, but one arrived with a broken charger and headset. When Chris contacted Jabra, as per Buy.com’s instructions, he was told that because the headset was refurbished, its warranty was void. According to Jabra, many of their service requests have come from misled Buy.com customers. Chris writes:
I recently purchased two Jabra BT350 headsets from buy.com. The were sold as New OEM packaged. The price was 16.99 each. The way I found out about the product was through their weekly email ad. I was obviously happy with my purchase because I was getting a great headset at a great price. Well, as the old saying goes; “If it seems too good to be true it is”. The item I received was not a new Jabra BT350 headset. It was actually used and repackages. How did I find out about this? One of the two headsets I received came with both a broken charger and a broken headset. I contacted tech support via email and received the following response:

“Hello Chris:

Unfortunately, you purchased a refurbished Jabra BT350, which voids the Jabra warranty. Please contact buy.com for your replacement. Buy.com will tell you to contact Jabra. Please inform them that you have, and that the Jabra warranty is only for new, in retail package product. Buy.com owns the replacement.

Regards, Bill GN, US Home of Jabra products 800-327-2230 http://www.jabra.com”;

I was extremely mad! I immediately called tech support and was told that in fact the item I received is not even refurbished. They are used headset that buy.com acquired from somewhere. Jabra claims they do not sell OEM packaged items and that the items were not supplied to buy.com by them. Buy.com has been more or less giving me the run-around concerning the deal refusing to put a supervisor on the phone and telling me it will take 3-5 days for a response via email. I am hopeful that I will receive a credit for the full purchase price of both headsets. That being said I think everyone should be made aware of the problems with buy.com and their shady dealings.

P.S: Jabra claims that they have received hundreds of calls for warranty service and all of the complaints are from buy.com purchases. They are trying to investigate buy.com’s source for them but the guy on the phone said buy.com was being less than helpful. This may actually be common from buy.com. Needless to say I wont be doing business with them anytime soon. Also, check out the return conditions on the receipt. Its a little hard to return a product to Jabra when its used now isnt it.

Sincerely,
Christopher

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http://consumermediallc.files.wordpress.com/2007/08/back-thumb.jpg?w=478&h=358

Comments

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  1. castlecraver says:

    Sounds like a “good significantly not as described” chargeback to me.

  2. Scazza says:

    Two Words: Charge back…

  3. Nick says:

    I third the chargeback.

    I used to buy stuff from Buy.com all the time. Then, all of a sudden, it got really sketchy (it went from Amazon to TigerDirect). I haven’t bought anything from there since.

  4. Crazytree says:

    definitely chargeback.

  5. Mojosan says:

    I’ve had the same thing happen to me from a couple of those “deal a day” websites.

    One bluetooth headset came in with someones ear gunk on it.

  6. 2Legit2Quit says:

    Buy.com and Overstock.com are as shady as it gets when it comes to selling refurbs. I bought a Mx700 from them last year, and while the price was a decent amount cheaper, there was no other indication that it was a refurb mouse.

    Well I wasn’t too happy when it came with the serial marked out and no rechargeable batteries. It cost me another $7 to get the batteries, which brought the total of only a few less then a new mouse.

    Thankfully, I called overstock and told ‘em of my dissatisfaction. They refunded me the $7, but i won’t be shopping there any time soon.

  7. Hawk07 says:

    I’m not at all surprised.

    I purchased what was labeled as a genuine APC battery (in the description and photo) and was sold a generic “ABC” battery. Real cute.

    I don’t show at buy.com anymore

  8. LatherRinseRepeat says:

    Wow. That pic looks like a previous customer returned it, without the original packaging. Then buy.com just tossed it in a sandwich bag and resold it.


    Be careful buying products labeled as OEM or Refurbished. Some online retailers will sell customer returned products as “refurbished” instead of “open box”. Or if they receive a return with some missing accessories, they’ll just sell the bare product and call it “OEM”. This mainly applies to consumer electronics, such as the headset in this story. But it does happen with computer parts too.


    And to add to the confusion, genuine OEM computer parts do come with minimal packaging. Usually, the component arrives in a plastic anti-static bag and a white box. And they usually come with a shorter warranty period, with some restrictions. But if you know what you’re buying and it’s legit, buying OEM and refurbished products can save you money.

  9. visualbowler says:

    buy.com has always been a hastle. I’ve tried chargebacks with them but Citi bank refused to give me one. I purchased a Wifi adapter for my Tivo which buy.com said would work and the tivo website would work. It didnt work. I tried returning it, and they gave me the runaround until after there return period was up. i then tried to get a chargeback and citibank refused to issue one. what a hassle.

  10. EtherealStrife says:

    They’re idiots, their cs folks don’t even know their own policies. I’ve had countless arguments with them over their “free shipping” and other website errors.

    As others have said, do a chargeback. I doubt the cs folks have the mental capacities to properly handle a return, and they “don’t have supervisors present” (a line I’ve been given on almost every call). Right.

  11. ungsunghero says:

    I can concur with how awful Buy.com’s CS is.

    Twice, they’ve screwed up my orders, sending me the wrong product. Once, they offered a rebate on their site, which was invalid for the item I purchased.

    All three times, I had to pay return shipping. On the most recent snafu, Buy.com decided to give me a generous partial credit of $18 (off a $29 item). It took weeks for me to get the remaining $11.

  12. humphrmi says:

    I once ordered my mom a LCD monitor as a gift from buy.com; I gave them my CC number and put my info into the “billing address”, with the ship-to being (obviously) my mom.

    A few days later, I get an email from buy.com that in order to process my order, the ship-to has to match the buyer’s CC address (i.e. effectively the bill-to address). They suggested that (get this) I call my credit card company and change my bill-to address to the address I want the gift shipped to!

    I wrote them back and said “If you can’t handle different ship-to and bill-to addresses, why do you ask for them? If you cannot process my order as placed, please cancel it and I will order it from someone who can.”

    Three days later, my mom got her LCD.

    Still, it points out how inept buy.com is.

  13. ShadowFalls says:

    @LatherRinseRepeat:

    Newegg.com is a good place to go then. When they say OEM, it is OEM. They have an entire section just for Refurbished items. Each item is clearly identified as what they are, and you are even informed on what you are getting in the box as well.

  14. thepassenger says:

    buy.com sucks; I will not give them my money.

  15. mac-phisto says:

    i would contact your state dept. of consumer protection & even the ag’s office, as well as the one in california (where buy.com’s company office is located). assuming you can find someone who cares, they might be interested in investigating buy.com’s “deceptive business practices”.

  16. SOhp101 says:

    CHARGEBACK!

    I purchased some DVD-Rs from them previously. Two days later they drop the price by a few dollars. I ask them to match their own price and they refused. Did a chargeback and ended up very satisfied.

    So much for a ‘price guarantee’ or whatever BS they have. It comes with a huge asterisk.

  17. startertan says:

    I’ve purchased a few items here and there from buy.com and haven’t had a bad experience…yet. I did try to order a wireless router a few times and screwed up the order myself but they cancelled them with no problems. One worry is that I put in the wrong info for the CC (damn autofill boxes) and figured they wouldn’t charge me since my name didn’t match the one on the account but lo and behold they did charge me. They charged S Ta $40…wtf?

  18. ColdNorth says:

    Please forgive my ignorance but, I thought that “OEM” signified that a product comes direct from the manufacturer (with all the requisite packaging, etc.) From some of the comments, it sounds like that may not be the case.

    Could someone please explain what “OEM” should mean when one sees it on a website?

    Thank you.

  19. backbroken says:

    @SOhp101:
    You executed a charge back because you changed your mind on the price? Chargebacks should be used when a company doesn’t live up to the purchase agreement. They should not be used when you discover the price of the product has been reduced. I’m no fan of buy.com, but exactly what did they do to deserve a chargeback?

  20. Ambience says:

    @COLDNORTH:

    OEM basically means “Other Electronics Manufacturer” or as I call it, “whitebox”. It basically means the manufacturer made it for others to sell or repackage. So, for example, an OEM copy of Windows XP means Microsoft just has the disc and a basic manual shrinkwrapped, and sells it to computer makers to install and sell to a customer. This is why some stores like newegg.com can’t sell it without bundling it with PC hardware.

  21. ncboxer says:

    @Ambience: Err, OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer ([en.wikipedia.org]), otherwise your explanation is exactly right.

  22. y2julio says:

    @Ambience: OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer like the poster above me stated.

  23. ab3i says:

    @Ambience:
    OEM – Original Equipment Manufacturer

  24. ab3i says:

    buy.com has become really shady in their advertising. I bought a xbox 360 universal media remote, which turned out to be some really bad generic universal remote. It wouldn’t even work with my 360-e. Needless to say, it took me the better part of my sunday getting buy.com to issue a RMA.

  25. WNW says:

    @backbroken:

    It looks like Buy.com changed their mind on the price, not SOhp101

  26. pestie says:

    I bought from buy.com once. Never again.

  27. elf6c says:

    Added to the banned businesses list.

  28. I have bought many things from Buy.com, and the vast majority of purchases have gone fine. Meanwhile, for the ones that didn’t, I finally got the Buy.com customer service telephone #:

    877-780-2464


    At least, that’s what it was in December of 2005. It wasn’t anywhere on the Web site, so I saved it for future reference. {Prof. Jonathan}

  29. superbmtsub says:

    I’ve had many good and bad experiences with BUY.com and their CS.

    Bought a camera and they forgot to apply the $10 new user credit. So ended up paying full value. They did give me the credit for another purchase. So I bought a DVD. They again forgot to put it on the list. I ended up paying the full value of the dvd $20 after S&H. 1 month later and I still don’t have the DVD. Was able to cancel it.

    Bought a set of audio video cables and they arrived fine. The $10 credit disappeared. I’ll never shop there again.

  30. KIRZEN2007 says:

    Don’t touch these people with a ten foot pole.

    I work in warranty for a large electronics company, and one of the few retailers we question on a regular basis is these ubiquitous ‘deal of the day’ wholesalers who deal strictly through online transactions. Buy.com and U-Bid come to mind as retailers where we demand downline… And they don’t provide it.

    If you buy product that might be third party, and your second party refuses to tell us where ‘they’ purchased the unit, or who ‘they’re’ selling it for, your warranty goes ‘poof’…

    Even it its a 50″ Plasma Television!

  31. mconfoy says:

    I have never had a problem with buy.com, took back merchandise (did not charge for shipping so not sure what that one commenter was talking about) and refunded money or exchanged item very fast. The one issue I had is they sent my last order in triplicate and double the one before that but did not charge me. I tried to return, evidently they can’t deal with returns unless they refund me so now I have free presents for Christmas.

  32. mconfoy says:

    @ab3i: You go to the website, bring up the order, select return button, you get an RMA. Why would that take a better part of a Sunday?

  33. mconfoy says:

    @ungsunghero: When you creat a return it creates a UPS mailing label for you to print out. Are we talking about the same site here?

  34. schiff says:

    In the case of this headset, the online return option is disabled because “you must return the product to the manufacturer”. Of course in my case the manufacturer informed me I have a used headset which has no waranty :-(

  35. PennStJeff says:

    I purchased the same headset during the same sale, except my envelope arrived in my home mailbox completely empty from buy.com. Either the item was stolen or it fell out of the poolry packaged envelope. I eventually got a refund, when buy.com sent me an email informing me that they would make an exception for me because I am a good customer and basically blamed me for the issue for not having a secure shipping address. Gee thanks buy.com, I think this “good customer” will never be your customer again.

  36. aphexacid says:

    I’ve never bought anything from buy.com, and now i never will! thanks for the heads up.

  37. Victorlazlo says:

    I was in Best Buy on Saturday, and I saw an employee in the room behind the service desk putting shrink wrap back onto products with a heat gun, and then putting them back on the shelf as new.

  38. vaultcom says:

    My friend bought two of these little guys. One was NEW and one had some scratches. He called buy.com customer service and the representative told him they would credit his credit card and that he could keep it for FREE (no need to return the scratched one)! Talk about amazing customer service! So at the end of the day he paid for one and got one free…..

  39. Julie_M says:

    I bought one for my girlfriend. It came in a plastic bag , so I couldn’t give it as a gift. It looked new. When I wrote to buy.com customer service, I asked for a refund. They apologized for the inconvenience gave me a full credit for the headset AND let me keep it. I will shop at Buy.com again. I only wrote to them once, and they satisfied me as a customer.

  40. schiff says:

    Its a week since I contacted buy.com and I’m still waiting for a refund or any communication. I’m glad that some of you received a refund but I’m still out the $34 and I have nothing but broken bluetooth headsets to show for it. I put in a dispute with my cc company however that can end up going either way. This Sux!

  41. SamidhaWendy says:

    @Scazza:
    Thats what I’m in the process of doing now.