Woot: Thanks for the Broken DVD Player

We’ve been a member of Woot since Feb ’05, but until the other day, we never saw anything we needed. Then our DVD player broke, and Woot had one, and it was like 40 bucks, and so we finally tried Woot!

5 days later a totally broken DVD player with a 30 day manufacturer’s warranty showed up at our door. The player will not even turn on.

More inside.

According to Woot’s return policy:

    “Unless we specifically tell you not to, call the manufacturer of the product you bought. You will likely get a replacement of a new model or better item from them. If we still haven’t dissuaded you, email rma@woot.com with your woot order number, the name of the product you are returning, and the detailed problem with the item. We will respond with return authorization by the next business day. Because we aren’t likely to have a replacement in stock, you should be prepared for a refund-only option if that’s all we can do. Know that return freight will be at your expense. Again, you will probably get a better deal from the manufacturer, or whoever else handling customer service for that product.”

So that leaves us with a 30-day manufacturer’s warranty (from date of purchase, which was several days ago.) The warranty does not cover any shipping costs. So, while Woot seemed like a nice idea, the reality is pretty crappy. For what we will end up paying to ship this item to California and back, we could have just bought a player from someone who would take care of us if the product was defective. Woot! is a very popular site, and we often feature deals from them on Consumerist, but we have to say that we wish we’d never wooted.

We’re not the only ones experiencing difficulty, we’ve also received complaints from two readers about a Woot!ed Belkin XM Radio and a Cobra Electronics handheld GPS 1000 not working. Woot states its policy very clearly, and that there is risk involved in purchasing from them. Is the risk worth the reward? We’re not so sure.

Since we don’t foresee needing a blood pressure monitor or a “game bridge” any time soon, we probably shall not woot again, and this makes us sad. —MEGHANN MARCO

Some Product Information:

Toshiba SD-4990 DVD Player
Pricegrabber Price Range: 71.00-116.99
Woot! Price 39.99+5.00 shipping

So, what do you guys think? Should we pay to have it sent to Toshiba and repaired “again”? Or cut our losses and get out now?