Woot Customer Demands Non-Existent Black iPod Headphones

In what is probably the second-worst consumer complaint we’ve received, Millard is mad at deal-a-day site Woot because he bought a black iPod from them and it came with white headphones. He demands black headphones. Woot needs your help in solving this consumer crisis.

Millard does not care that Apple only makes white ones (unless you’re getting special U2 iPods, which this wasn’t). Now he wants Woot to pay for the black headphones he was “forced” to buy so they would match. It was very important to both him and his daughter, for whom the iPod was a birthday gift, that the headphones and iPod matched.

Woot.com was actually the ones who forwarded over the email exchange to us. They’re hoping that Consumerist readers can offer advice on how they should react to the situation. At the bottom of the exchange posted below is a poll where you can write your tips and vote on other others’. Woot has promised to take them under advisement.

“From: MillardR
To: Service; Woot Member Services
Subject: Error in color ….

I received the item I ordered, but the ear piece was shipped to me in “white” rather than in “black” to match my black iPod.

Can you help?

Millard R

Woot Member Services wrote:


Apparently the people at Apple are not fashion-sensitive because those ear pieces only come in white. We apologize for this but unfortunately there isn’t much we can do for you in this case.


From: MillardR
To: Service; Woot Member Services
Subject: Re: Error in color ….

Hello Rutherford,

I never knew that this piece was going to come this way, and if you ask me (your customer) I fell that Woot should inform their customers of this type of detail issue. Well … it now cost me an additional $29.00 to purchase a black set of ear plugs (that are for sale) to match the IPOD that I purchased from Woot in Black. How is this fair
to me …. the customer that feels he was mislead?

I hope you can do something to off-set my additional expense.

Best regards,

Millard R

Woot Member Services wrote:

I’m not sure how you felt mislead. The picture shows white earbuds. As a matter of fact, I looked back at other iPods that we sold and ALL the earbuds were white.


From: Millard R
To: Woot : Service

Hello Rutherford,

I’m really surprised to see that you’re (WOOT) is taking this stance against one if its customers. The reason I felt mislead is because I was asked to select between “White” or “Black”, and I was under the assumption that, again “White” meant totally “White” and that “Black meant totally Black”. It never mentioned that only to IPOD itself
would be affected by the color, and that the other accessories would be shipped in a standard White color.

That’s like purchasing a new car in the color of your choice (Blue) and when you finally take it home and you open the hood or truck … its pink in color. Well when you call your sales person and report your finding, the customer support person states that it only comes in that color. Well if you were never told this information, would you feel mislead just because you never opened these areas to check for your self. Well … I feel mislead, and so did my little daughter that received it item from us for her birthday!!!

Please review your customer satisfaction policy to see if there is any language within that takes care of your customer … under this type of circumstance.

Please advise,

Millard R.”

(Photo: bbatsell)

RELATED: The Worst Tip We Have Ever Received


Edit Your Comment

  1. madrigal says:

    Wow. That’s how I recognize someone has an Ipod – by the headphone color.

    • jasezero says:


      The article refers multiple times to a she, not a he.

      “She demands black headphones.”

      “She does not care that Apple only makes white ones, unless you’re getting special U2 iPods, which this wasn’t. Now she wants Woot to pay for the black headphones she was “forced” to buy so they would match.”

    • jasezero says:


      Sorry…replied to the wrong comment.

    • S-the-K says:

      @madrigal: Exactly! The white earbuds are a status symbol. You can’t buy white earbuds on the open market. You have to get them from Apple.

      When you wear white earbuds, everyone knows you are the coolest kid in school. When you wear black earbuds, everyone knows you are a lame-o with a Zune or Sansa or some such.

      When you wear white earbuds, you are Fonzie.

      When you wear black earbuds, you might as well have “LUZR” branded on your forehead.

      • silver-bolt says:

        @S-the-K: I see white earbuds at every dollar store in the area. Can’t buy them on the open market my ass. Hell, I had a pair before apple came out with the ipods.

      • Trai_Dep says:

        @S-the-K: Actually, it’s what you have on your iPod (etc) that brands you LUZR (or not). At least w/ the crowd I hang with.
        Unless it’s a Zune. If so, you’d damned well better have Seb Fontaine/Dirty South/Deep Dish attached to it, or you’re heading for a severe beating post-club.
        Or very severe finger-pointing and tittering laughter.

        • VigilanteKitteh says:

          @Trai_Dep: nice! That’s the kind of music I listen to…Does that make me a cool kitteh?
          Anyways, I don’t see why this person’s making such a big fuss about having to buy different headphones. Here, they recommend that kids remove the white headphones, and replace them with a different colour, so as not to have their ipod jacked. (The white apple buds are too recognizable).

          • Trai_Dep says:

            @VigilanteKitteh: Yeah, actually I jest. I think that any fan of music should be celebrated. Even (gulp) Ashley Simpson/Jonas Brothers fans.
            Hey, they’ll evolve, right? :D

            Hey: advice. I just got the 4G nano and am in the market for new earbuds. I’m leaning towards in-the-ear types. Had Shure for my Touch and liked them. But where would I go for a dispassionate review of them? I don’t trust shopping site’s comments b/c of planted reviews.
            I’m sort of leaning towards the Apple ones w/ the on-cord remote, with the tweater/mini-woofer (the $70 unreleased ones), while on the opposite end, think the Bose are overpriced/overmarketed.
            What’s a good online source for neutral reviews of earphones? Any ideas?

      • BytheSea says:

        @S-the-K: My Sansa came with white earbuds.

        Every music device I’ve bought in the past five years has come with those godawful white earbuds.

  2. Anita Ham Sandwich says:

    My “other?” Charge Millard’s credit card an additional idiot tax.

    • Darkest Daze says:

      No real amount of money can cover this amount of stupidity.

      • Anonymous says:

        Idiot Tax? Isnt that what Apple products are? Much Higher priced items for idiots… ahem… I mean idiot-proof items. Everyone knowns Apple = hardly any choices. This guy already paid his idiot tax! His problem was he was smart enough to realize it.

  3. Valhawk says:

    Wow there is a company coming to the Consumerist for advice.

    We are changing the world people.

    • mackjaz says:

      @Valhawk: That was my first thought too!

    • zentex says:

      @Valhawk: Woot doesn’t count. They ‘get it’ already. ;-)

    • robodomo says:

      @Valhawk: Woot is an amazing company for customer service. They sent me the wrong item (ordered a graphic tablet, got a laser level) and immediately followed up by telling me that there had been a mistake, and that I should keep the level in addition to sending the tablet.

    • Anonymous says:

      @Valhawk: @Valhawk:
      This was not an advice request. This was an attempt to humiliate someone who sent in a customer service comment. In the debate over whether the comment was reasonable or not, I’d probably come down on Woot’s side, but posting it for all the world to laugh at and then bringing attention to it on their own site is not the right way to go.

  4. Roy Hobbs says:

    I run a small online company, and stuff like this is the bane of my existence. It is always the person who bought $17 worth of stuff that is making my life miserable by demanding an insanely high level of service that would not have been needed if they had just looked at the pictures and actually reed the text

    • chatterboxwriting says:

      @Roy Hobbs: @TacoDave: It’s always the ones who are paying the least that want the most in terms of service. I just decided not to work with those kinds of people anymore (I’m a copywriter, so I can pick and choose, thank God).

    • YourTechSupport says:

      @Roy Hobbs: I feel your pain. Sadly, you cannot patch human inattention and stupidity.

      • SadSam says:


        Apply the 80/20 rule and fire those customers the 20% that cause 80% of your problems and focus your attention and service on the 20% of your customers that provide 80% of your sales/profits.

        I appreciate those companies that provide a higher level of service to their regular customers.

        • rjflyn says:

          I work in healthcare its the same. The idiots we tax payers pay for are the biggest pains in the A$$.

        • HaddenHapjo says:


          This sort of thinking comes out of middle managers and lackluster MBAs quite often. This case demonstrates it especially well. The 80/20 rule is a nice intellectual guideline, but it fails to recognize that the top 20% of your customers TODAY are often the same as the bottom 20% tomorrow. Case in point: How does WOOT know that this guy isn’t someone who regularly drops hundreds of dollars on their site? If I go (shudder) into best buy expecting service and attention when shopping for a $20 cable, they better provide it, because I’ve bought two expensive TV’s from them and I’ll be back in a few months to get another one.

          Should Stop & Shop eliminate express lanes, because if you only have 12 items you’re clearly generating a lot of work for small revenues? NO! Because next week you’re going to have to fill your pantry, and you’ll remember if the lines are long and the service sucked.

          • snclfe says:

            The way Woot knows this is through the purchase history of the user account. Woot’s a website that sells to registered users not a brick & mortar where big-ticket regulars can slip anonymously through the express lane. I’m sure if this was a regular customer who buys a deal a week Woot would have already offered the $29.

    • Benny Gesserit says:

      @Roy Hobbs: What I found sad and ironic is Woot literally bends over backwards to spell out exactly what’s included in a Woot.

      I guess it never occurred to them that someone would not know Apple only has black headphones.

    • enriquez the water bottle says:

      @Roy Hobbs: A-goddamn-men.

  5. Roy Hobbs says:

    or *read*

  6. TacoDave says:

    Seriously – this is one of the dumbest complaints I’ve ever heard, and I used to work at Best Buy.

    Tell her “Please ship the iPod back to us.” Then when you get it back, close her account and refuse to do business with her again.

    Who needs customers like this?

  7. stephenjames716 says:

    what a moron!

  8. dieselman8 says:

    My god is she stupid.

  9. se7a7n7 says:

    Send them a $1 Sharpie Marker. 10 minutes later, they have black headphones.

  10. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    They should fish a cheapo pair of black headphones out of the BOC room and send them to the moron, with their sincere compliments.

  11. LeeKnulla says:

    Do nothing. She can follow return policy and return the item if she wants. She sounds very stupid and is just trying to take advantage and get some free money. I bought black earphones at Office Depot for $9.99 (Sony brand too), no way they are $29!

    • freelunch says:

      @LeeKnulla: heck – I have purchased a pair of black ear buds at Walmart for $0.99 at full retail value… For this person to say $29 was the ‘sale’ price means they are asking to get ripped off by everyone.

    • delicatedisarray says:

      @LeeKnulla: I have to agree, you can get earphones for a lot less then $29. I to think this person is trying to take advantage of the company to make money. If they spent $29 on a pair of earphones they should just use those anyways, most likely a better quality.

    • danegerous_21 says:


      actually, i have a pair of sony $29 headphones.i used to buy the 10 buck ones then i got these. the sound so much better.

      remember this for most things
      “Good things don’t come cheap and cheap things don’t come good.

    • katiat325 says:

      @LeeKnulla: it really does depend on the quality you’re looking for. I went out and bought sony headphones for like $40 because the buds were perfect and cancelled out noise. But that’s a luxury expense I can do without, and definately not write about how I don’t like the original headphones my zune came with.

  12. techstar25 says:

    This site needs a new tag category for articles, “Blaming the OP”.

  13. lhutz34 says:

    “That’s like purchasing a new car in the color of your choice (Blue) and when you finally take it home and you open the hood or truck … its pink in color.”

    No, it’s like purchasing a car that has different colored trim. Most carmakers make you pay extra for color-matched trim. The base Honda Civic has black plastic door handles. The upgraded EX model is color matched.

    And what brand were those $29 earbuds anyway? Apple’s (ripoff) $29 earbuds are still white. You can get black earbuds for $5.

    • qcgallus says:


      Not even. It’s more like buying a blue car that comes with a red car bra. The simple solution is to take the stupid cover off, and buy a new one of your color.

      Woot should game/set/match this crap by ceasing communication, lest this turn into another inane exchange like the last horrible consumer.

    • MentallyRetired says:


      I’m thinking it’s more like buying that new car in your color of choice (blue) and getting mad cuz the tires are black. You can spend more on white walls aftermarket, but the only ones that are OEM are black.

    • Major-General says:

      @lhutz34: I think the car analogy fails in another respect: the way I read it, they “customer” was claiming it’s like buying a car and the interior comes in a color you don’t like. But that is pretty much buying a car is like: you can often choose the paint, but not the upholstery.

      Woot! should just find a polite way of saying “You’re an idiot, don’t order from us again.”

      • maddiesdad says:


        I think the better analogy is after seeing a car advertised, you order that particular model and then complain that it doesn’t come with a profesional driver on a closed course.

  14. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    First of all, I love Woot…that’s how I got my Zune!

    Second…”The reason I felt mislead is because I was asked to select between “White” or “Black”, and I was under the ASSUMPTION that, again “White” meant totally “White” and that “Black meant totally Black”.”

    You know what happens when you assume?

    Third, there was a picture, right???

  15. Toof_75_75 says:


  16. tinky XIII says:

    There’s a point where you, as a consumer, need to take initiative and research before you buy. I’m sure Millard got a great deal on the iPod, and the headphones were no doubt functional when she received them. She’s greedy and should get no compensation.

    I mean, how many people complained about the white headphones that came with the black PSP?

  17. Tightlines says:

    Well, Millard, I would hope that when you purchase a car, one of your first acts is to look under the hood.

    I’m so sad that your daughter felt “mislead” upon receiving a freakin’ iPod for her birthday. If it will make you feel better, please send it to me and I will ease your pain.

  18. Sean Salisbury Steak says:

    That’s like purchasing a new car in the color of your choice (Blue) and when you finally take it home and you open the hood or truck … its pink in color. Well when you call your sales person and report your finding, the customer support person states that it only comes in that color.

    My head hurts…

  19. jsbaker99 says:

    The next time they sell an Ipod is see her e-mails becoming a part of their comical descrion they are famous for.

    Yes she is a customer but they very plainly show what you are getting. If she is that stupid then oh well. If i was Woot I would say take a hike or find the cheapest pair of black earphones at WalMart or biglots and send them to her. Nobody made her pay $29.00 for black ones.

  20. grimdeath9740 says:

    What part of the fact that it apple does not ship their ipods with those color headphones does this lady not get? lol This lady was not mislead, she was just wrong.

    There are a lot of people that just try to get something for nothing rather they are justified or not and this sounds like one of those occasions.

    Woot is in no way responsible for this ladies issues but the only thing extra I could suggest they have done would have been to link her to a third party site with the headphones if they do not offer something similar. I wish I had all the time in the world to gripe about headphones *rolls eyes* haha

  21. GavinEstecado says:

    How can anyone have anything bad to say about woot.com? God I love that site….

  22. What The Geek says:

    Maybe woot could have made the fact that only the ipod itself came w/ color choices, but at the same time, if apple doesn’t offer a black set of earbuds, then that’s that – woot can’t produce a product that doesn’t exist. If Millard is that bent out of shape over it, then they should offer the opportunity to refund the entire ipod.

    Furthermore, if you’re SOOOO concerned with matching accessories, don’t buy from a store that sells primarily refurbished products – buy new. I got a sansa mp3 player from woot. I’m fairly certain the headphones it came with weren’t the ones originally packaged w/ the player (guessing this because I own another sansa that came w/ different headphones) and you know what I did? I put them in my ears and enjoyed my $30 mp3 player.

    • 6a says:

      @What The Geek: I agree 100%. I know woot’s thing is “you get what you get” but I think offering a refund is the closest they can come to meeting in the middle and being done with the matter.

  23. Illusio26 says:

    This lady needs to get out more.

  24. dlynch says:

    i heart woot for bringing this issue here. huzzah, woot!

  25. BIG WHEEL says:

    Worst complaint ever!! I’ve complained about some trivial stuff before, but this takes the cake. Woot has shown a great deal of restraint here in my book. Even though it’s a business, Woot has a great sense of humor and should enlist a Maddox-like response. [maddox.xmission.com]

  26. BigBoat says:

    To be fair, the initial response was a bit snippy. She’s dumb of course but if the company is going to set a tone, they shouldn’t be surprised when people dig their heels in.

  27. lintacious says:

    I, too, am confused by $30 earphones; i know most are <$10.

    I don’t think there is anything woot should do. If the customer wants her headphones to match her ipod, then that is her choice and she is responsible for that; not woot.

  28. Cyco says:

    They should say they are sorry they were not more specific in the description of the item, but they sold the iPod the way they got it and the way any other Apple store would sell it. They can’t replace the headphones for something they don’t have and it is not their responsibilty to refund the customer for something they did not sell or ever did sell (meaning the iPod with black headphones). Buying black headphone to match is no different than going out to buy any other assessory. You should have to refund any anything because they want certain items on the iPod.

  29. lalaland13 says:

    I understand being a tiny bit surprised, maybe, when the buds and iPod didn’t match. But if the daughter is really truly that upset about it, I don’t know what to say.

    Besides, I have an iPod, and the earbuds that came with it crapped out pretty quick. Now I have another pair I bought at Wal-Mart in green. I can still hear just fine.

  30. wattznext says:

    Before even reading the article, i knew i would be siding with Woot. They are by far the nicest, coolest, most helpful company i have ever dealt with, online or otherwise.
    Every aspect of their site is done in a friendly and funny manner. Just read their faq here [shirt.woot.com]

    Any time i have emailed them for support, i have gotten quick, helpful responses. If every company was half as good as Woot, consumerist.com wouldn’t exist.

    (no, i don’t work for Woot)

  31. Duffin (Ain't This Kitty Cute?) says:

    I don’t believe there’s anything Woot needs to do at this point. Indeed, Apple doesn’t MAKE black headphones, so it’s not Woot’s fault. Even if she did have the choice of a black or white IPOD, its not like Woot can magically produce black headphones that don’t exist. Tell her to get over it. I don’t even think this warrants a real apology from Woot. This is squarely the OP’s problem if her daughter is so spoiled she simply can’t be seen with a multi-hundred dollar MP3 player and not have the F*cking headphones match >.< I stand by Woot!

  32. Tightlines says:

    By the way, I believe this customer is male. As he states in the e-mail, “How is this fair to me …. the customer that feels he was mislead?”

    • Platypi {Redacted} says:

      @Tightlines: I noticed that too! How did everyone miss that so far? Poor guy, the transgender thing has him all bent out of shape, and s/he is taking it out on WOOT!

    • norageddon says:

      @Tightlines: Thank you. I thought I was the only one who noticed. I almost want to gripe about some assumption based on the story being fashion-centric… but it’s fixed now! Yay.

  33. Mikestan says:

    Tell her to buy Neutrogena Face Wash, they currently come with free head phones.

    See Today’s Consumerist Odd deal


  34. jodark says:

    I don’t know why they would want those shitty Apple headphones no matter the color. It says something about your customers when they care more about the color of the headphones than the quality of the sound coming out of them.

    I will spend upwards of $100 on amazing ear-bud headphones and at that level they pretty much only come in one style.

    • goodywitch says:

      @jodark: I like the ipod headphones. I also bought my previous buds at the 99cent store, so what do I know?

      • jodark says:

        @goodywitch: I am pretty particular when I listen to music and on what. I realized long ago that headphones with a good frequency response can really bring things out in music that you haven’t heard.

  35. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    Where did you get the idea that someone named “Millard” was a woman? Millard is, I quote, “the customer that feels he was mislead [sic]”. Millard is also the name of a former President of the US.

    Reference this: [www.thinkbabynames.com]

  36. CupcakeKarate says:

    I’m sorry… does this woman think that the pink IPods come with pink earbuds and the green IPods come with green earbuds? This is truly weird.

  37. TakingItSeriously is a Technopile says:

    Assuming that WOOT wants to do the “Customer Centric” thing here I voted to accept a refund for the Ipod.

    They should not refund for the black headphones unless they were also purchased from WOOT, and are also returned.

    I know many may disagree, but in this situation a 5% restocking fee would not be inappropriate. This is an expensive high end electronic purchase. I wasn’t even aware that the Ipod manufactured headphones even CAME in black.

    When I bought my Ipod I bought a new set of headphones at the same time because the IPod brand ones do not fit in my ears well (they fall out).

    This is a Bad Consumer.
    – Did not do product reasearch
    – Not accepting a perfectly reasonable explanation
    – Obviously not willing to take responsibility for his own failings

    My Props to WOOT for asking our opinion!

  38. dulcinea47 says:

    Tell her to send back the iPod and the “wrong” headphones for a full refund, so she will be free to purchase an iPod with black headphones elsewhere. Let her find out the hard way that they don’t exist.

  39. EileenSilo says:

    Isn’t “she” actually a he…
    “How is this fair
    to me …. the customer that feels he was mislead?”

    Also, there is a difference between being mislead (told that it would be receiving black headphones) and being misinformed (assuming it would receive black headphones.

    • dakotad555 says:

      @EileenSilo: Does ‘it’ put the lotion in the basket or it gets the hose again?

    • violettefay says:

      @EileenSilo: I think that “she” refers to the daughter…

    • chrisfromnl says:

      If this wasn’t an Apple product we wouldn’t be blaming the consumer. Any other brand and we would be blaming the company.

      • JPropaganda says:

        @chrisfromnl: The white iPod headphone are ubiquitous. I’m not diehard apple in any way shape or form (stood by Archos for years…) but come on. Now you’re just trolling.

    • OldElvis says:

      @EileenSilo: What happens when you assume?

    • SumatiBizzert says:


      She needs to be beaten over the head with a law book, then fined over ten billion dollars for being a vexatious litigant.

      Such precedence would immediately destroy the RIAA/MPAA campaigns plus stop nearly every othre crooked bastard in the USA.

      Now give me my black headphones even though they were NEVER made black!

      /sarcasm off

    • fonzette says:

      @EileenSilo: I remember the olden days, when white headphones were a status symbol – they only came with ipods, so only hipsters with cash sported them. Ah, the ancient past….

    • Anonymous says:

      @EileenSilo: It’s really bothering me that mislead is being used in the wrong tense. If he was misled, everyone should use the work “misled”! Not mislead.

      Here are two examples of proper sentences:
      Woot.com was not trying to mislead consumers.
      Millard was misled by his own stupidity.

    • nojok3 says:

      @EileenSilo: Does anyone else not get her hood reference? Who cares what the color is under the hood of the car? If that really made a difference, she should have checked them out in person. Being uninformed as a consumer does not give you any rights.

  40. distractedbyshinyobjects says:

    What planet has she been on? This quirk of having all the headphones be white no matter the color of the iPod (and Minis/Nanos come in lots more colors than White and Black…) has been around since they started making colored iPods!

    I think she has to be pulling Woot’s leg and just trying to get free headphones. No way she did not know they’d be white going in.

  41. lalaland13 says:

    Also, Woot could tell her to purchase some Neutrogena face wash.

  42. Drowner says:

    Apologize again & be done with it. If she really finds this a problem, it’s with the maufacturer, not the distributor. She’s just trying to see if she can get something for free because her kid got mad. Don’t fall into the trap, Woot! Keep on truckin and save your awesome customer service for legit problems.

  43. downwithmonstercable says:

    If you read their FAQ it talks about the return policy plain and clear. This would be covered under that Millard, if you are interested in reading it.

  44. Sabbadeus says:

    I’m a long-standing WOOTer myself and to be completely frank with this situation at hand, the womans claims are completely unfounded since apple does not MAKE earbuds that are black. After re-reading this a couple times and looking at my past purchases on woot where I had once purchased an Ipod, it lists earbuds but not the color for the obvious fact that ANYBODY who actually knows apple, their buds are always white, there is no rainbow assortment of colors to go with it. She should do her homework and learn what she’s purchasing before foundlessly going back to the retailer and demanding something for her time when there is nothing that they can do about it to begin with.

    Does this now mean that woot is going to add another disclaimer whenever an ipod comes up, ‘THIS IS HERE BECAUSE SOME CUSTOMERS ARE NOT COMPANY-FRIENDLY IN UNDERSTANDING THAT OTHER COLORS ARE NOT PRODUCED: EARBUDS ARE IN WHITE ONLY’

    • downwithmonstercable says:

      @Sabbadeus: I could see them doing that. Adding a disclaimer with her userid every single time an ipod came up.

      • Sabbadeus says:

        @downwithmonstercable: But of course I can see them taking it a step further, I see them putting that disclaimer on ANY device that has earbuds that are white only, tagging her userid as well. Mostly because they’re a good-natured lot of comics when it comes down to it.

  45. NYYSI says:

    only on the interwebs.

  46. baristabrawl says:

    This is a manufacturer issue. She needs to leave the poor Woot guy alone. And? She needs to stop being so stupid. Who cares what color the headphones are? The Apple headphones suck anyway, and if you want nice headphones you have to buy them.

    I can’t believe that this woman is mad about the color of her earbuds. Furthermore, I can’t believe that she’s passed this stupidity gene on to her daughter. Does she not have better things to do?

  47. PixiePerson says:

    They should send her a free bag of crap.

    Everyone wants one and once she has 25 MP3 players in various states of TOTALLY BROKEN, maybe she’ll realize how lucky she is to have a luxury item that works and will care less about color.

  48. TVarmy says:

    Just tell her no, and see if she calms down. If she doesn’t, let her know about The Consumerist, and you guys post the rant she sends. She’s mocked, and either realizes she’s wrong to want a product Apple never bundles with iPods, or she decides the entire internet is out to get her.

  49. Hongfiately says:

    I bet Woot and Neutrogena could team up to solve this problem. :)

  50. citking says:

    I also owed a small business for a time and these “Millards” were the bane of my existence as well. As someone pointed out, cheap black headphones can be bought anywhere for under $10. The headphones were visible in the picture. Woot has been nothing but accommodating. What they should do is fire the customer.

  51. Brain.wav says:

    If they do anything, they should offer to send her a pair of the Audio Research earbuds they had on a month or two ago.

    Truthfully, I don’t think they should do a thing. I ordered a laptop bag off there a couple weeks ago during a wootoff… didn’t notice the liner was pink until after the order went through. Did I complain? No, I know woot has a buyer beware policy… and I found a co-worker that wanted it.

  52. Shutterman says:

    This woman is the reason they have to put “do not eat” warnings on silica gel packs and “drowning danger” warnings on buckets…

  53. PinkBox says:

    We CAN blame the consumer in this thread, yes? The earbuds come in white. End of story. Totally a non-issue, and Woot shouldn’t be blamed for something so ridiculous.

  54. Git Em SteveDave loves this guy--> says:

    OK, found the blog post from when she purchased them. [www.woot.com]

    Of you click on the picture, this is what you see:

    Did she complain the sync cable was white as well?

  55. dasunst3r says:

    I would forward this exchange to Apple and let the customer know that it’s been forwarded and that she should give Apple grief for including white headphones for a Black iPod.

  56. tcolberg says:

    The customer seems to be an idiot. I believe that Woot should offer her the option of a refund, but to also refer her to Jobs’ email. She obviously doesn’t understand that the earbuds are from Apple and that Woot doesn’t control that.

  57. mazda3jdm says:

    what you should do is take a sharpie and color the ipod headphones black

  58. Hawkins says:

    I had an issue with an order from Woot once. I forget whose fault it was, or even what the problem was. All I remember was their immediate, helpful, obedient response.

    This is what you want your customers to remember from any kind of fuck-up, regardless of fault.

    So I am prejudiced towards the Woot.

    But even if I wasn’t, I think I would still come down hard on the consumer in this case. Mr. Taco Dave, above, is correct: she should be fired as a customer.

    Life’s too short to deal with unreasonable people.

  59. jamesn1 says:

    i’m thinking of two words. One rhymes with duck, and the other is the opposite of on.

  60. mythago says:

    The picture clearly showed white earbuds. Woot explained that Apple does not make black earbuds (wow, another idiotic play by Apple? nowai!). They were even nice about it. Her problem is she wants Woot to buy her more earbuds?

  61. ideagirl says:

    she obviously is not a regular wooter or she would know that wysiwyg, ALWAYS read the description and comments, and ALWAYS google the item for sale before hitting I WANT ONE if it is a piece of “major” electronics.

  62. JN2 says:

    Tell her she won’t be able to tell what color they are when she STUFFS THEM UP HER CAKEHOLE!

  63. Gokuhouse says:

    How big of a company is woot? I’m surprised a business is taking the time to forward this on to consumerist unless the business is rather small and it’s worth it to them to argue over a few bucks. Woot should have just for fun purchased the ugliest cheapest black headphones they could find and sent it to them. That would have been worth more than flat out denying them their request because at least they could say they really tried to make this oddball of a customer happy.

  64. jwm1314 says:

    First of all…


    not ipod, IPOD, IPod, or what not. It’s been out for 7 years now?

    Anyway, tell the customer that…

    a.) If you bought this through Apple they would have sent you white ear buds.
    b.) We get ours from xxx and they give us everything Apple gave them.
    c.) Your choice was between a black or white iPod
    d.) If you don’t want this product anymore return it for a full refund, then put it on the woot-off and sell it as “that iPod from consumerist”

  65. EBounding says:

    “Well … I feel mislead, and so did my little daughter that received it item from us for her birthday!!!”

    Aw, I’m sure she’s just a precious angel.

  66. BuddyGuyMontag says:

    I know Woot is supposed to be a wacky, hip site, but the first letter from Woot Customer Service immediately came off as condescending. If the sentences were switched, the tone is much less condescending.

  67. PrestonBerryworth says:

    Reading the consumerist a lot I think that there are only bad customer expeirences out there. I worked with customers a lot in my life.(retail, waiter, over the phone). I can honestly say that 90% customers are normal. That other 10% is a whining brat(and is most cases an idiot too). People will complain no matter what. Woot did what it needed to in the emails with their client, they should really just write him a final time to say nothing more will be done.

    Buying an Ipod online is *not* like buying a car. This customer is clearly with the 10% of whining idiot brat customers. I really hope this post gets back to the customer so he can know I think he is a grade A moron.

  68. YOXIM says:

    Tell her to email Steve Jobs. I’m sure he’s got an outdated and obscenely overpriced pair of headphones lying around he can sell her.

  69. JohnDeere says:

    maybe he’s worried about his daughter getting mugged. black earbuds and your safe. and its for his daughter im sure he had hell to pay when he gave her white headphones.

  70. zigziggityzoo says:

    Just send him one free crap.

  71. Fry says:

    Vote: Other –
    Refuse to help further. Woot has taken it’s stance, and it is upto the customer to do some research on their own. Most people know Apple only has white headphones.

  72. MightyHorse says:

    jeebus…the apple ear buds are crap anyway. she probably got a better pair for her $29. i’m sure a new ipod would still cost more than a wooted one + $29.

    based on the grammar and spelling used in the email, this woman probably isn’t too smart to begin with.

  73. Hedgy2136 says:

    For my daughter’s 8th birthday, I bought her a Sansa from Woot. It does FM radio, video AND it came with black ear buds. Yay for me!

  74. CColdsmoke says:

    This calls for a Woot of black ear buds for $4.99. Tell her she should have waited and she would have gotten those ear buds for five bucks. Why spend more when you can just wait for the Woot?

  75. akacrash says:

    This is a classic example of a customer who thinks they are owed the world because they are a customer. (ie: the customer is always right.)

    The product delivered was exactly as described and pictured. It’s not woot’s fault for this person’s misconceptions. I’ve bought an Ipod from woot, it’s not misleading.

    Really, what can woot do? Their terms and conditions are clear.

    I say reply:

    “We take your issue very seriously. After reviewing our customer satisfaction policy, we have determined that the product delivered to you was exactly as it was described and pictured.
    Thank you for wooting with us, now woot-off.”

    (ps, this is also why I don’t work in customer service anymore.)

  76. Ihaveasmartpuppy says:

    Dear Millard,

    I have a nasty cheap pair of black earbuds that came with a different mp3 player I got from Woot. Send me a self addressed stamped envelope (to help offset my cost, ya know) and you can have them.

    • Ihaveasmartpuppy says:

      @Ihaveasmartpuppy: Oh, and I wanted to add, I fully expected the Woot mp3 player to come with nasty buds – they all do. In fact, I can’t stand the ones that come with the iPod either. Tell your daughter to save her allowance for some real buds, in any darn color she wants.

      And, I like Woot.

  77. howie_in_az says:

    Wait, this article and the last one were just ploys to get everyone to blame the OP and thusly get banned, right ?

  78. katylostherart says:

    this customer is full of fail. apple only makes white, that isn’t woot’s fault. in the world of ipods, i thought it was common knowledge that they come with white headphones. what a whiner.

  79. coan_net says:


    That is like buying a black chair – cutting it open and finding white stuffing inside of it!

    Woot is very good about showing pictures of what is being purchased.

    At the very most, Woot should offer a refund for the item to be returned…. and that is at the most since Woot! did nothing wrong in my opinion.

  80. neekap says:

    Well the person bought the headphones from a third party, so Woot can’t really control that at all.

    I’d offer the option of the customer shipping back the white iPod headphones, then sending them a pair of the black headphones that come with the oodles of Sansa’s Woot sells, then just sell the Sansa w/ white headphones in a bag of crap. Everybody wins, and Woot’s only out a few bucks. But I’d ship SmartPost on principle. :)

  81. tundey says:

    I actually think this customer has a valid point. If you are asked to make a choice of color, why should the customer assume the color choice applies only to the iPod and not the headphones? After all, the headphones weren’t sold as a separate item. Maybe her/his English is superb but in this case, I think this is a problem caused by Apple for their resellers. And it’s something Woot should address by being very specific in the item description.

    • GilloD says:

      @tundey: The choice of color is in regards to the iPod and not the headphones. The headphones are an iconic white. They’re practically a trademark, like the McDonald’s arches

    • ericblitzen says:

      @tundey: I don’t know how much more specific you can get than showing an actual and accurate photograph of said items.

  82. Canadian Impostor says:

    Apple doesn’t sell any black headphones for $29.

    Millard is probably just trying to get $30 from Woot.


  83. GwynethAjax says:

    While the point can be made that the customer should have figured out that the head phones may not be black, a customer centric attitude would suggest to re-imburse the customer for his extra expense.

    I had a similiar situation with Dell from all places. I bought an accessory, and my particular uncommon use case required me to buy an additional power supply for the accessory from the OEM. Dell’s website didn’t indicate I would need it. In fact I didn’t even ask Dell for it, I simply wrote a customer review for the accessory and gave it some low marks. Dell customer service e-mailed me asking for more details, and after explanation offered me a full compensation for the power supply including shipping from the OEM, all in the name of customer satisfaction. Needless to say, it impressed me. And it stuck with me, which is why I’m writing about it here reading this story. The brand / PR cost to Woot of having this case disucssed here on Cusumerist is way more than the $29 they saved. Of course appropriate abuse policies have to be in place, but in general those are great opportunities to delight a customer and turn him into an advocate.

    • bnpederson says:

      @GwynethAjax: I don’t think that’s the same thing at all. With Dell, you couldn’t use the product to its full capacity without the power supply, correct? With the iPod, however, he or his daughter could use it just fine. It’s an issue of looking pretty, and shouldn’t be reimbursed at all.

    • Craysh says:

      @GwynethAjax: This is something different. Woot is a one-day-one-deal thing, you get a steep discount. Something like Dell would happily write off something like a power adapter (that probably costs them 5$ to make) since the profit margin is so much larger.

    • OldSpinDoc says:

      @GwynethAjax: It’s WOOT fer Chrissakes! They sell at a huge discount and are pretty clear to their clientele that they really need to examine the product details prior to ordering.

    • QuestaHelva says:

      @GwynethAjax: @GwynethAjax: Wait a minute, you left a poor rating because the accessory didn’t come with TWO power supplies (as your admitted “uncommon use case” needed). That is unacceptable – you used the feedback as an extortion device to get a freebie. Clue to you: all devices you buy retail that require a power supply come with ONE…but you already knew that, didn’t you? Scammer.

    • Traveshamockery says:

      @SadSam: Best Buy gets crucified regularly on consumer sites for having a corporate policy exactly like what you just described.

    • DanC922 says:


      “The brand / PR cost to Woot of having this case disucssed here on Cusumerist is way more than the $29 they saved.”

      I highly doubt there’s anyone who reads Consumerist and buys from Woot that isn’t intelligent enough to realize that this customer is wrong.

    • k4ffy says:

      @GwynethAjax: i think this makes woot look better, if anything.

    • SundhaEspio says:

      The difference with the Dell accessory vs. the headphones though, is that the piece you needed was *necessary* for the device to function. The color of the headphones is not at all necessary. It is simply a preference, and if the consumer was that concerned about it they should have looked into it better. I wouldn’t give her anything. No one told her to go out and purchase a $30 pair of headphones.

    • Anonymous says:

      @GwynethAjax: @GwynethAjax:
      Do you people not know what an iPod is? Why in the word would you expect Woot! to provide something that “Apple” does not even provide? iPods come with “white” earbuds. For the 10 years the iPod has be in production they have never come with any other color except “white”…with the exception of the U2 model. Hence the advertisements featuring them prominently, often contrasting the white earphones (and cords) with people shown as dark silhouettes. Woot! should tell that guy to suck it! And because he is obviously too stupid to know that iPod earbuds are symbolic of the brand and only come in white, he should be asked to return the iPod.

    • Anonymous says:

      @GwynethAjax: Gwyneth. I think there’s something you don’t get. Apple has only ever made white earbuds. Not knowing that a black ipod comes with white earbuds is almost tantamount to not knowing that water only comes in clear. Woot should’nt have to do dookie for this whiner.
      Oh, there’s one other thing I don’t think you get. Woot submitted this story to the consumerist INTENTIONALLY. This is not costing them PR. There is no such thing as bad publicity. Especially when you’re an obscure deal a day website that relies heavily on its reputation of being snarky and indifferent.

  84. katylostherart says:

    also double fail for thinking the engine should match the color of a car. that just annoys me…

  85. KatrinaPoe says:

    That’s like purchasing a new car in the color of your choice (Blue) and when you finally take it home and you open the hood or truck … its pink in color. Well when you call your sales person and report your finding, the customer support person states that it only comes in that color.

    Um, have you ever looked at older cars, the engines were actually painted a different color than the car (Mopar orage, Buick Blue…)

  86. rreimund says:

    I jokingly said “Other” to send them a Bag O Crap at the next woot-off.. But frankly, I think Woot has expended enough energy on this customer already. I don’t think the customer deserves or has any reasonable right to any additional compensation.

    I say a return email with an apology that he feels the way he does, but the picture clearly shows white earbuds, and it’s common knowledge that Apple’s classic trademark is their white earbuds. There’s nothing they can do about it and if they feel that strongly about it they are welcome to return the iPod for a refund per the standard return policies.. No way they should be getting $29 on top of the likely excellent price they paid for the iPod in the first place.

  87. edicius is an acquired taste says:

    I think the buyer thought that having an Ipod would make his daughter “cool” and now that things won’t match, she won’t get invited to all the “cool” parties that the “cool” kids with matching Ipods and headphones attend.

    I’ve got a black set of earbuds. $12 Skullcandy ones. If I really wanted to, I could have gotten a pair of cheapy black earbuds from Walmart for $5.

    This guy needs to get a life. Seriously.

    • edicius is an acquired taste says:

      Oh yeah, and my earbuds just so happen to match my Zune 80GB, so thbbbt.

    • alexcassidy says:

      @edicius: Amusingly enough, white headphones are how people know one has an Ipod. So this customer is lessening the “status symbol” effect by buying black headphones. She’s also lessening the “getting mugged” effect, so I guess it’s a wash.

  88. tundey says:

    Why are people insulting this customer? While I don’t think Woot should refund her $29.99, I think they ought to admit their mistake (not properly labeling the color choice) and either ship her free black head phones or offer her a full refund.

    This is not like white stuffing in a chair. You don’t need the stuffing to seat on a chair like you need the headphone to listen to an iPod. Besides, everyone knows iPod is part mp3-player, part-fashion accessory.

    • cordeliapotter says:

      @tundey: If everyone knows that iPods are part fashion accessory, then everyone should know that part of that fashion statement includes iconic white earbuds.

    • rellog says:

      @tundey: People are blaming the customer because the customer is completely off base. Why would anone assume that ear buds match the color of the ipod? The customer is an idiot. And to make this big of a deal out of white ear buds… what a putz!

    • aerialmaps says:

      @tundey: You may not need stuff to sit in a chair, but you also don’t need matching headphones to listen to an iPod.

    • gzusone says:

      1. There was a picture when the sale was on.

      2. Seeing that the iPod has been out for 7 years and they have ALWAYS shipped with white earphones, why would this one come with a black pair?

      3. Research- She/He can always research a product to see if the specs, colors, battery life, etc… will live up to his/her standards.

      4. Read the disclosures on the website:

      Will I receive customer support like I’m used to?
      No. Well, not really. If you buy something you don’t end up liking or you have what marketing people call “buyer’s remorse,” sell it on eBay. It’s likely you’ll make money doing this and save everyone a hassle. If the item doesn’t work, find out what you’re doing wrong. Yes, we know you think the item is bad, but it’s probably your fault. Google your problem, or come back to that product discussion in our community and ask other people if they know. Try to call the manufacturer and ask if they know. If you give up and must return it to us, then follow on to the next FAQ entry.
      How do I return a defective product?
      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 member service for that product.

      5. No one “forced” him/her to buy a matching black pair. This was a personal choice. Much like the personal choice to buy the iPod on Woot in the 1st place.

      In other words most people on this site are just telling this person to grow up, be responsible, and accept the purchase that he/she engaged in. Whatever happened to personal responsibility in this country? Why must it always be someone else’s fault? The buck has to stop somewhere, God forbid you would ever do anything wrong.

    • ericblitzen says:

      @tundey: So in your scenario, after shipping him black headphones, he will complain that they did not provide genuine Apple branded headphones, right?

  89. Adisharr says:

    Some customers believe that how they view things should be the way it will be. Unfortunately Millard did not actually inquire ahead of time. You know what assuming does..

  90. SamTheGeek says:

    iPod headphones have never come in black. Not with the U2 iPod, not ever. Even looking at the apple site could tell you this.

  91. humphrmi says:

    As another commenter pointed out, even the customer used the words “I assumed…” when explaining their position. W00T is not responsible to fulfill their assumptions.

  92. rallyfanche says:

    WOOT…you just can’t make everyone happy. Suffice it to say if you want to make the best business sense: tell the customer that you have done all you can for them. If you REALLY want to go above and beyond, even in the face of lunacy, you can offer them a refund.

    Personally, Im inclined to believe this fella bought the ipod, her daughter had a hissyfit, she had to go out and buy black earphones to shut her up, and is simply trying to con her way into 30$. That or she is braindead. But Ill let her decide.

    And seriously. 30$ for earphones? What, were they laced with gold? Do we need any more proof that she clearly doesnt what she’s doing in electronics?

  93. Poochy.EXE says:

    My suggestion: Send her a can of black spray paint, the cheapest crap you can get. Even if it’s flammable.

    And add a note:
    “We will not be responsible if you forget to let the paint dry before wearing the headphones, set the paint on fire, eat the paint thinking it’s coffee, or anything else you do wrong with the paint.”

  94. starrion says:

    Woot has excellent Customer Service.

    It’s customers like this that cause business owners to hate dealing with the public.

  95. rick_knowles says:

    Send a final message to Millard stating:

    “We have reviewed our website and found the following:

    Will I receive customer support like I’m used to?
    No. Well, not really. If you buy something you don’t end up liking or you have what marketing people call “buyer’s remorse,” sell it on eBay. It’s likely you’ll make money doing this and save everyone a hassle. If the item doesn’t work, find out what you’re doing wrong. Yes, we know you think the item is bad, but it’s probably your fault. Google your problem, or come back to that product discussion in our community and ask other people if they know. Try to call the manufacturer and ask if they know. If you give up and must return it to us, then follow on to the next FAQ entry.

    Your complaint is with Apple, not us.”

    Then, set your system to recognize this customer’s information and ban them for life from doing business with you. You don’t need to deal with idiots.

  96. yevarechecha says:

    That’s like purchasing a new car in the color of your choice (Blue) and when you finally take it home and you open the hood or truck … its pink in color. Well when you call your sales person and report your finding, the customer support person states that it only comes in that color. Well if you were never told this information, would you feel mislead just because you never opened these areas to check for your self.

    No. No, I would not feel misled. I would feel stupid first of all for not looking in the trunk myself. Then I would feel even more stupid for wanting my trunk upholstery to match the outside of my car. What does this example even mean?

    The picture clearly shows the black iPod with the WHITE headphones. Woot is not responsible for Millard’s stupidity because he didn’t look at the picture that was right there. They should tell him to have a nice day and stop responding to his e-mails.

    Maybe Millard has an excuse for not realizing initially that all iPod headphones are white. My parents wouldn’t know this either. But what’s his 13-year-old daughter’s excuse for asking for something that doesn’t exist? Has she really never seen an iPod before?

    The next e-mail will probably complain that the iPod only works with iTunes.

  97. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    1) Woot just turned The Consumerist into customerssuck.com

    2) Millard is a man, man!

    3) In what is probably the second-worst consumer complaint we’ve received
    The worst one was the guy demanding a pink for-breast-cancer-research USB for $5 because the one that was on sale was sold out, right? IIRC, this guy was driving back and forth to Best Buy the weekend of Black Friday trying to use expired coupons and wanted Black Friday prices after the sale had ended.

  98. BadAxe says:

    Just wanted to drop some love on Woot. I ordered a refurb Sansa from them a couple of months ago and it got lost in shipping (not their fault). I knew it wasn’t their fault and didn’t complain, but asked what they could do. They shipped another one out, which showed up a couple of days later… the same day that the “lost” one magically appeared on my doorstep. I emailed back asking how I should ship the second one back back and they offered it to me for 50% off to save everybody the trouble. Very easy, very flexible, very helpful. Love the Woot.

  99. ohiomensch says:

    She should just do what Barbra Streisand did when she was on Oprah. She painted her microphone cord white (it was originally black) to match her outfit

    • DrGirlfriend says:

      @ohiomensch: I heard Kathy Griffin tell that sotry, and from what I remember, oprah was not amused about her mic being painted white.

      However, I voted for the “spray paint some earbuds black” option.

  100. 3drage says:

    Customer is not always right.

  101. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    Oh, I forgot to say:

    They better not refund this dude the earbuds. Let him send the iPod back if need be but don’t buy this guy black earbuds because he decided to assume the photo would not be accurate.

  102. emich27 says:

    Millard should have bought his daughter a Zune. My earbuds are black.

  103. MayorBee says:

    All I know is that if I opened the hood of my blue Camry and saw a pink engine, I would be freaking thrilled. If my car came with some earbuds too, I’d be ecstatic. And if it came with a pink engine and some earbuds, I’d need a new pair of shorts right about now.

  104. jecowa says:

    The descriptions “White” and “Black” are not intended to be complete descriptions of the merchandise; they are merely meant to distinguish between the two colors of iPods available, obviously. Melvin needs to look at the pictures and descriptions before making purchases, and he/she needs to grow up and quit blaming his/her stupidity on others. I think white earbuds look better anyway, even with black iPod.

  105. mugsywwiii says:

    I can’t believe people actually voted that they should give him/her/it $29… I hope that’s a joke.

  106. The_Red_Monkey says:

    I would scan my rear end and draw an arrow to the crack and write place ipod and earphones here.

    And how dumb can someone be to not recognize the icon nature of the white ear bud. How else are muggers supposed to spot you?

  107. SkokieGuy says:

    Another issue is that the customer didn’t contact Woot! to discuss this issue prior to spending $29.00 on headphones.

    It’s like if any vendor makes a ‘mistake’. You give them the opportunity to correct it before you take action.

    If you correct the ‘problem’ yourself prior to letting the vendor know of your dissatisfaction, it is unreasonable to expect them to pay your expenses.

    While in this case Woot! wouldn’t not have fixed this non-problem, at least the customer would have been able to make a decision fully knowing his options.

  108. tmlfan81 says:

    wOOt lists their items with full color photos and at the very end of their elaborate stories a full product description. You get what you pay for, hands down. When I got a Sansa e260 player for $50 back in March, all I got was the player, headphones, and a USB cable. Everything was pictured on the listing. They even offered links to the product manual and software to convert photos and videos.

    The consumer in this case did not do their research – and yes, regardless of the good things one would hear about wOOt it is your duty as a consumer to do your homework. Just because it is on wOOt for $xxx.xx does not make it a good deal.

    wOOt could stand to do one of two things in all honesty:

    a) Offer the consumer a full 100% refund (less shipping) for the item and close their account. They agree to no longer do business with one another based on the difficulty in processing this transaction, the confusion that may have lead to the customer’s dissatisfaction, etc.

    b) wOOt simply refers the consumer to the original listing, wherein it shows what the buyer will get when they submit their order. wOOt did not knowingly (or unknowingly) attempt to deceive the consumer or perform a “bait and switch” in order to draw up a sale.

    Even before the matter is closed out – which could take a while if the consumer is smart enough to try a chargeback – wOOt re-establishes a firm policy that clearly states what is included in the sale of a particular product. This could also involve removal of their humorous stories leading up to the production description so everything is front and center. They also clearly broadcast a new refund policy.

  109. valthun says:

    the 29 dollar back buds probably have better sound that the white ones and hopefully don’t look like the apple buds to reduce the chance of theft.

  110. Ns1 says:


  111. chrisjames says:

    Can I take back my vote of offering a refund? I read the “What is Woot?” section:

    Will I receive customer support like I’m used to?
    No. Well, not really. If you buy something you don’t end up liking or you have what marketing people call “buyer’s remorse,” sell it on eBay.

    I vote Other: tell Millard (Millard?) to think before acting.

  112. IR1 says:

    Wow I mean seriously even if she thought she was getting black headphones, why blame Woot? They came in Apples box… Woot didnt pack it.

    Also I would tell my daughter, tough crap the headphones are white, deal with it. I am not spending $30 friggin bux over something that pointless.

    • HogwartsAlum says:

      @IR1: “Also I would tell my daughter, tough crap the headphones are white, deal with it. “

      Hear, hear. The problem isn’t Woot not sending black headphones; it’s that Millard is raising a screaming, entitlement brat.

  113. R3PUBLIC0N says:

    The customer should have asked first. It is not reasonable to see white headphones in a picture and expect black ones.

    I really dislike this guy.

  114. Hanzo says:

    As a long time customer I’ve seen first hand the level of care Woot provides.

    This person should be ashamed of themselves, and while I would love to encourage woot to fire an acidic missive….

    I think the best thing to do is simply stick by the facts and kindly tell them to stuff it.

  115. durkzilla says:

    I love Woot! (11 to 25, baby!), but the right thing for them to do is refund the money and not air their customer relations issues to a public forum like this to humiliate a (former, I’m certain) customer. No matter how right they are (and I do think Woot! is in the right here) this is a bad precedent to set.

    If I were the androgynous “Millard”, I’d be right pissed if I came across this thread. I might even think of invoking lawyers.

  116. DwightIsMyCopilot says:

    There was a picture of the iPod on woot.com when the customer ordered it, so I don’t see what the problem is. They got exactly what was pictured. If I were woot, I would NOT offer to return or refund. Just because a customer assumes they get something doesn’t mean it’s true. Too bad for them.

    And the sense of entitlement in their e-mails really got on my nerves. Anyone else?

  117. cosby says:

    It is interesting to see a company as a site like consumerist for advise here. Personally I agree with the idea of telling her she can return it if she isn’t happy. Woot shipped the unit with the headphones it comes with. End of story.

  118. watduck says:

    “Offer to let her send back the iPod for a refund 32% (771 votes)”

    WTF is going on? Why are there so many people voting for this choice? You’ve seen woot’s return policy. The customer got it wrong. Woot should not assume responsibility for this. What else is there to talk about?

    • IR1 says:

      @crice: Its called being a good company. Even if you are right sometimes its better just to take the refund and avoid bullcrap like this.

  119. gqcarrick says:

    All they had to do was go to the Apple website and see that every single iPod came with white ear buds, and then save themselves some embarassment.

  120. Cocotte says:

    My red Zune came with black headphones… I suppose I should be angry because they weren’t red.
    /shakes fist at the sky

    p.s. And yes, I am the same Cocotte that posted about getting a replacement iPod out-of-warranty. When it died less than a week after I got it home (the 3rd replacement in under 2 years), I said to hell with it and got a Zune. Which I am LOVING.

  121. satoru says:

    I think this is truly one case where dropping the customer is what is needed. I mean any other reasonable person with even a single brain cell could tell that this request is unreasonable and stupid. Woot is not going to lose any business because no one is going to listen to this blow hard’s complaint and actually boycott them. If they were to, then they are just as stupid and inane as this person and you wouldn’t want their business either.

    There is a reality that the customer isn’t always right.

  122. Tank says:

    “i want you to supply me with something that’s not available because i can’t read and know absolutely nothing about what i’m buying.”

    what a fuckin tool

  123. Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ゜-゜ノ) says:

    This reminds me: I love my old Gameboy headphones. Clearly Nintendo was ahead of their time by including them in every unit sold… up until the Gameboy Pocket line, where they saved a cool $0.84 per pair. *tragic*

  124. Randman1 says:

    I think that some smarty IT guy that reads this post should find out this dude’s mailingaddress (looking it up from the Woot site somehow) and publish it on the Net somehere.

    Then the rest of us can each send this bozo a pair of $5 black earbuds. It would be a wonderful thing if he got a couple hundred pair from Woot supporters like myself.

  125. pfeng says:

    Wow. If my daughter got an iPod of any color and had the nerve to complain the earbuds didn’t match, the iPod would be given away to somebody grateful to have an iPod at all.

    Millard should be offered a refund for his misleading iPod and headphones, not given free money. However, if Woot does offer to give Millard even part of that $29, they deserve an Above and Beyond tag.

  126. jasezero says:

    Sh shld STF nd gt bck n th ktchn!

    • dtracker says:

      @jasezero: Misogynistic and irrelevant. Nice!

      Besides, being “in the kitchen” all the time is probably why she didn’t know that the white headphones are Apple’s signature piece for the iPod.

    • Wit says:

      @jasezero: You mean HE should, right?

      Though if he’s popping out kids, I’d be interested in how he’s doing that.

    • crackers says:

      @jasezero: Millard is a dude. HE should STFU and get back in the kitchen!

    • jasezero says:

      @jasezero: @jasezero:

      From the poll…

      Offer to let her send back the iPod for a refund
      Send her some black-spray-painted gameboy headphones
      Tell her to email sjobs@apple.com
      Send her a free Zune


      “She demands black headphones.”

      “She does not care that Apple only makes white ones, unless you’re getting special U2 iPods, which this wasn’t. Now she wants Woot to pay for the black headphones she was “forced” to buy so they would match.”

      Though i will agree it is a male name…the post does clearly reference a she multiple times…

    • anonymouscoworker says:

      @jasezero: Yeah, if the “How is this fair to me …. the customer that feels HE was mislead?” isn’t clear enough, perhpas I can introduce you to Millard Fillmore, the United States’ 13th president.

    • onesong says:

      @jasezero: and you should stfu, period. c-m-roz, is disemvoweling really enough for this troll???

  127. cubsd says:

    Tell hime to shut his Woothole.

  128. ludwigk says:

    The white headphones are a feature. Apple has spent copious marketing dollars to prominently display the white headphones in television and print advertising. It is a key component of the iPod brand, and Apple does not make black headphones.

    The product delivered was accurate as per the description on Woot, and free of defects. Woot cannot help you if you do not like a particular feature of the Woot’ed item. That is an issue that you should take up with Apple by contacting their customer support at 1 800 MY APPLE. iPod support provides 1 free call within the first 90 days, each additional support call costs $49.

    Millard has what marketing people refer to as ‘buyer’s remorse’ As such, Woot clearly has a contingency for this on their website. They can sell the iPod on eBay if they don’t want it.

  129. jscott73 says:

    Holy f*ing crap, if my daughter complained about the color of the headphones after I gave her an iPod for her birthday I would have taken that iPod and half of everything else she has and donated it to charity.

    Seriously people, this kind of entitlement crap we are teaching our kids will be the downfall of our society.

  130. maddiesdad says:

    What a twat!

    Maybe poor Millard has one of those daughters who stamps her feet and says shit like I hate you for not getting me black ear buds and I hope you die, you know, like that spoilt brat in Charlie and the chocolate factory…What was her name?


    Kudos to Woot for getting the Consumerist involved, I love that site.
    I had a similar problem in that the Dyson I bought kept getting filled up with dust that didn’t match the snazzy colours of the main unit, I did write to register my displeasure but i never heard back from them which was dissapointing.

  131. virtigo311 says:

    I think my favorite part is where on the Woot FAQ it states:

    “Will I receive customer support like I’m used to?

    No. Well, not really. If you buy something you don’t end up liking or you have what marketing people call “buyer’s remorse,” sell it on eBay…”

    Essentially they are trying to badger the company into providing her something because she didn’t research enough before clicking “I want one”

    Send her the link to the process for returning the product and let her get her money back, nobody needs a customer that is just going to try and extort product/compensation out of them.

  132. YoungTexasConsumer says:

    What perplexes me is that after learning that every Ipod comes with white headphones, regardless of the color of the Ipod, this person continues to embarras themselves by implying that this was some deception on the part of Woot. Woot should apologize if she was confused, but beyond allowing her to return the Ipod if she just can’t deal, they can’t help her any further.

  133. shadowboxer524 says:

    “The reason I felt mislead is because I was asked to select between ‘White’ or ‘Black’, and I was under the assumption that, again ‘White’ meant totally ‘White’ and that ‘Black meant totally Black’.”

    Yet the gray scroll wheel and multicolored LCD are not a problem. But she wanted ALL BLACK!

  134. Jabberkaty says:

    Okay, okay, I know it’s off-topic, but I feel like there is o much pent-up blame the OP that people just flock to these topics -maaaaybe this could be a good advertising opportunity of Consumerist. You know, a sponsored blame the customer rant page – it feels good to be bad.

  135. mavrc says:

    I know others have said it, but I’m sitting here in utter shock and amazement that the refund option is in 2nd place. I’ve been in this position before – buy something that you think has a certain feature or attribute only to find out that it does not. That doesn’t make the seller liable, because it was an error on my part. In the specific case of an iPod, virtually every earbud ever sold with an iPod was white, so one would logically assume the earbuds included would also be white.

    This was obviously the seller’s error and they do not deserve to profit by it. Send them a pair of spraypainted gameboy headphones. Or better yet, dip them in paint for maximum paintedness.

  136. alaysias says:

    silly millard, it’s misled not mislead.

    good luck getting non-existent apple ipod black headphones.

  137. Wolzard says:

    Dumbest complaint ever.

    That ranks up there with the customers I’ve had come back with batteries and complain they died. I asked how long they used them, they said “A few hours a day for a couple weeks.” I look baffled and explain “That’s normal then, it’s a normal battery.”

    Customer responds “The battery package says they are good til 2011, that’s false advertising.”

    I waited for a laugh or a hidden camera to pop out. She was serious.

    Some people have no common sense.

  138. philipbarrett says:

    I bought a computer from Woot and had issues with it 6 weeks later. They took it back for a full refund without a question (and with a smile).

  139. theblackdog says:

    This customer is probably the same one who posts LOLCat or some seriously sick pictures during a WootOff while chanting “Bag o Crap!”

  140. scientisttz says:

    Tell the guy to get bent.

    If he had bought this from buy.com or some similar site he wouldn’t even have gotten a reply. The options would be 1. Nothing 2. Ship the item back for a refund less 15% restocking 3. Nothing

  141. MisterE says:


    Your ignorance does not justify woot to spend the extra money to make your daughter happy; Your lack of research is to blame. I doubt the white headphones would have been a deal breaker for your daughter; unless she’s one of those spoiled sweet 16 kids that Mtv heavily promotes. You see, there’s this thing called the internet which is useful for finding product information. You should try it some time. Perhaps this is the only parenting skill you have is to buy your kid merchandise so she could love you. Or, again, your ignorance is pervasive throughout the rest of your life nobody took the time to correct you. Well, thanks to consumerist, there are many of us here to tell you you’re wrong. Get a life.

  142. DrGirlfriend says:

    Seriously, I think Woot should refuse the refund and not allow that person to order from them again.

  143. Trai_Dep says:

    That’s like purchasing a new car in the color of your choice (Blue) and when you finally take it home and you open the hood or truck … its pink in color.

    Actually, it’s like buying your brand-new blue car, popping the hood, seeing that the engine is not painted blue, then returning back to the car showroom, hopping up and down in pedantic rage, complaining mightily, until you realize that everyone within a two-block radius is pointing at you and laughing.
    Then slinking off in mortified shame and woeful self-loathing at your own misinformed, overly-entitled ignorance.

    At the risk of sounding a bit harsh, perhaps if the Woot customer gouged his eyes out with rusty, heated pruning shears, he wouldn’t notice the color of his daughter’s ear pods? At the risk of sounding, y’know, harsh…

  144. Trai_Dep says:

    And, any chance of seeing some of the things that commentators wrote when they chose “Other”? With over one hundred entries, some of them have to be pretty good…

    • patleeman says:


      I wrote that they should have her go to the apple store to ask to exchange the ear buds for a black set and watch as the genius condescendingly makes her feel like a dumb ass.

      • Trai_Dep says:

        @patleeman: I wrote that the customer should store them in a hard-to-reach body cavity until the ear buds turned black.

        Harumph. And some say I’d make a lousy babysitter. HA!

  145. QueenHawkeye says:

    Give ’em zune headphones. They’re black. But then again, he might go and whine because they’re ZUNE headphones.

  146. morganlh85 says:

    Actually it’s like buying a new car that is blue, and opening the door to find that the seats inside are gray. Which happens, like, ALL the time. Jeebus.

  147. fjordtjie says:

    i have a black ipod (well, i had a second before it died, so technically I have 2) and I knew full well it was going to be white headphones because I researched my ipod before buying one.

    I hate the earbuds the apple makes (i know, gasp) so i bought some CHEAP ($7 ones?) that I like better, and happen to be (unintentionally) black too. END OF STORY.

    I think the guy should get over it. I get he is upset because the color is “wrong” but really, he didn’t know, based on the picture? and he didn’t do any prior research of the product? aside from that, blowing a few dollars on a replacement set of headphones shouldn’t be such an issue, as he just blew a few hundered on an ipod (and saved a bunch thanks to woot!).

    i guess i just don’t care about the frivolous crap people come up with. I have no sympathy for him.

    in my mind, purchasing an ipod is like purchasing a stereo, you get to pick the quality of your speakers. The fact that any headphones at all come with the damn thing is a bonus. take what you can get, guy!

  148. Shannon says:

    Someone throw this customer a “teet” to suck on. What a bunch of crap.

  149. mrbill says:

    I’m all for the consumer normally, but wow what a whiner.

    “Sorry, we did not advertise black headphones with this iPod and any assumption otherwise is not our responsibility.”

  150. SwahaHizello says:

    The black headphones were not a necessary expense. It was a choice of the purchaser. Now,if the ipod had not come with any headphones at all.THAT would be different.
    With google there is simply no excuse for customers to make errors like this. I agree there is no reason Apple couldn’t make black earbuds but thats not WOOT’s fault. I would give them a $10 Woot credit and not a damn thing else.

    • Corporate_guy says:

      @SwahaHizello: That is too much. They should just offer him a refund or a free shipping credit. And refer him to apple. Since apple is the one that purposely leaves the white headphones white to make you buy a second set of the right color. This is really just a customer who doesn’t understand apple is a hardware company and thus tries to make as much money on hardware as possible.

    • OprahBabb says:


      I agree with this comment here. It is generally understood that Apple only makes white headphones as iPods have been around for YEARS.

      The black headphones were not a necessary expense to the customer, as she could have told her daughter you got an iPod deal with the white headphones. How old is she anyways?

      She was not misinformed or mislead about the product, she made an assumption as Woots explains, the picture was in plain sight.

      I would offer the customer a 10% discount back towards her purchase of the iPod itself, but nothing more.

    • superhalo says:

      @SwahaHizello: I completely agree, but I wouldn’t give them any type of credit. Just because he can’t take the time to look at the picture of the item doesn’t mean that he shoudl get rewarded for it. The ipod works with the standard headphones. Since the product works I think that there should be no credit issued, maybe he would like to return the ipod, and go and buy a black ipod from the apple store…oh wait he would still be getting black headphones.

    • Anonymous says:

      I pretty much agree with the comments here. The customer got EXACTLY what they ordered. This person shouldnt be offered any special credit. If a customer wants to customize a product the expense is totaly on that customer.

  151. Gmork says:

    Please review your customer satisfaction policy to see if there is any language within that takes care of your customer … under this type of circumstance.

    The type of circumstance being the buyer is a retard.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      @Gmork: Don’t you just love how the customer is also expecting Woot to review their own policy instead of reading the policy themselves?

      They’re obviously assuming (again) that their policy is in their favor. It’s also a very condescending statement, as if they don’t know their own policies.

  152. fuzzysapiens says:

    Does Millard does realize he bought from Woot? Where they specialize in closeouts, and they are not a traditional sort of store? Where their description for an iPod starts like this:

    “5th Generation 30GB Apple iPod sighed. Each year he said it would be the last time he came to this place. And yet, time and again he made the long trek just to see. He came in 2012, the year the Mayans attacked Texas and captured every piece of land but the Alamo. He came in 2014, despite the riots that followed the United States winning their first World Cup. He even came in 2023, after Canada revealed they had been manipulating the world for the past one hundred years. And all that time, she never once met him there.”

    Woot is cheap- that’s why I buy there. I’m not going to complain if I get a great deal on a product. In fact, I’m expecting a Sansa in the next couple days that I am fully prepared to have “Refurb” plastered across the back. Guess what? Even though the description said it was refurbished, it didn’t specify that detail, I read it in the forums- they link to a discussion about every product.

    Also, I’m guessing he saved WAY more than $30 off retail, more than enough to pay for his daughter’s choice of headphones.

  153. trujunglist says:

    I dunno on this one. This consumer is obviously very uninformed. So much so that he/she/whatever frequently refers to the iPod as IPOD. Obviously the consumer did not know that the iPod headphones only come in white. I’m not sure why this person can even use a computer, but I digress… it is clear to me that the consumer is so clueless that this could easily happen. Since that is the case, the suggestion here would probably be to just stick with whatever return policy is already in place. If they want to return the iPod, fine. The chances are that they won’t ever shop there again anyway (and probably does little online shopping overall based on their I’m from last decade attitude).

    • Tankueray says:

      @trujunglist: I agree. My family has no clue when it comes to technology. They don’t really even know how to research something online. That’s what they have me for. I tell them what to buy based on what they say they want. Although, my grandfather just bought a GPS by himself and did okay, but that’s a rarity. Anyway, I think it’s much more likely that the parent and possibly the child aren’t very tech savvy. Maybe they’re not very well off and were looking for a deal and the kid wants to look cool to the other kids by having an iPod, not really knowing what was in the package. Sure, they seem a little entitled with the “customer is always right” attitude, but for people to whom this is a lot of money it doesn’t seem far fetched. They act like spending $30 on other headphones is a big deal, it may be for them. I bought $150 black headphones for my black iPod because I knew the white ones sucked. I think Woot! should refer them to their return policy and be a little kinder when explaining that Apple has never made them in anything other than white, but they shouldn’t do anything else. I imagine this will be this person’s last foray into online shopping, believing that they’ve been mislead. It’s probably better this way, as they are probably the type of people to get scammed.

  154. XianZhuXuande says:

    Stop. Inbreeding. Now.

  155. samurailynn says:


    Advise him that all engines DO come in the same color, regardless of the color the exterior of the car is painted.

  156. padams89 says:

    I think this definitely falls on the consumer. Especially considering there were pictures accompanying the item description and color choices. Consumers bear responsibility for knowing what they are ordering (based upon the description and pictures of course) especially when the information is right in front of your face.

  157. kduhtoe says:

    It seems to me the customer made an assumption, and the customer is wrong this time. It would be like me purchasing a Rick Astley CD on Amazon and writing Amazon to complain and ask for money because Rick Astley himself did not show up to sing and dance for me (and my daughter).

  158. erratapage says:

    Not every complaint deserves a response. I’d say this complainant got as much of a response as the complaint deserved. No response necessary.

  159. reznicek111 says:

    There seems plenty of trouble with reading comprehension in the comments…Millard – the father, who is writing the emails to Woot – bought the iPod for his daughter. She is the one complaining about the headphones not matching the case. Millard should probably have told his daughter to save up her allowance and buy her own darn black headphones.


  160. CTJoyce says:

    If her or her daughter would spend like 5 minutes on the Apple site, or read any review, or just look at a damn picture they would know that Apple doesn’t make a black pair of headphones, except the iPhone Bluetooth headset.

    If you want black headphones buy them with your own money, and stop being a money grubbing housewife.

  161. The_IT_Crone says:

    The ipods come with white headphones. If they want black 3rd-party headphones it is the same as if they wanted to buy an ipod case. It’s an OPTIONAL accessory.

  162. Ubermunch says:

    Sorry… But I have a lot of negative things to say about Woot and the way they treated me. I haven’t spent a dime with them since. Woot would like you to think they are warm and fuzzy with customer service. Have a problem and you’ll find out the truth.

    Bottom line: Woot treated me like dirt and I will never do business with them again.

  163. Tallanvor says:

    Seems like a case of a company needing to fire a customer.

  164. gnubian says:

    I bought my wife a black 8GB nano a few weeks ago .. I never assumed the headphones came in anything other than white.

    you think if I complain enough that I can get some black headphones and a matching black usb cable? Maybe I could even get a matching package too .. I don’t think the white packaging was correct and made the nano look wrong ..

    you want black? a little sandpaper and black lacquer go a long way .. need the cable black too? Get some neoprene to coat it with.

  165. thatlukeguy says:

    …and ladies ;)

    I would like to point out for those not familiar with Woot.com (I love you Woot!), a little somethin’-somethin’ from their website FAQ [www.woot.com]):

    “Will I receive customer support like I’m used to?
    No. Well, not really. If you buy something you don’t end up liking or you have what marketing people call “buyer’s remorse,” sell it on eBay. It’s likely you’ll make money doing this and save everyone a hassle. If the item doesn’t work, find out what you’re doing wrong. Yes, we know you think the item is bad, but it’s probably your fault. Google your problem, or come back to that product discussion in our community and ask other people if they know. Try to call the manufacturer and ask if they know. If you give up and must return it to us, then follow on to the next FAQ entry.”

    So, there we are. Know that more amazing information can be gleaned just by *reading* the FAQ on woot.com, which I recommend the OP to do before ever using that website again. Thaaanks!

  166. shagybones says:

    In my experience woot will always do what they can for you. If black headphones were available they would have sent them to the customer. One time I ordered a shirt from them, never wore it for six months, realized it was too small and emailed them. They overnighted me the correct size shirt!

    The only time I had some issue with them was with the Zune sale last year where they sold 10’s of thousands at $79, more than they had. This only took a few days to get to me longer than a normal order.

    Viva WOOT

  167. ceilingFANBOY says:

    Since when is the color of your engine and inside of your trunk the same as the outside of your car? Bad analogy.

    • EyeHeartPie says:

      I would say a better analogy would be like someone earlier said: imagine buying a black car and finding out the leather on the inside is gray instead of black like you expected. Sure the car (iPod) is black. That doesn’t mean the inside (headphones) will be black as well.

  168. I_Spy says:

    I still have my iPod headphones in the box from when I purchased my black 30GB iPod brand new. (I use Shure headphones, that’s why the Apple ones are still in the original packaging.)

    The color? White.

    I wonder if I can get Apple to reimburse me the $99.99 I paid for the black Shures that I “had” to buy; not only for color matching but for sound quality as well.

    In other words Woot should do nothing since they did nothing wrong to begin with.

  169. MadameX says:

    Does anyone else but me think that his daughter (assuming she is of a fairly young generation) might PREFER the white headphones?

    I mean, wasn’t there some stigma attached to having the white headphones way back when iPods were becoming popular? That’s how everyone knew you had an iPod.

    Sheesh, if Millard is so inclined, he/she can buy the black headphones that came with my Zune (which hey, I bought from Woot and replaced on my own dime).

  170. madog says:

    Wahhhhhhhhhhh I don’t want to admit to being a dumbass so I’ll just bitch and moan and take the defensive stance to cover up my feelings of shame and stupidity while blaming everyone else for my idiocy.

  171. lowcajones says:

    it’s woot.com. they’re not a regular retailer as far as i know. i did not even realize there was any kind of a return policy for things that were not actually broken.

    as far as black earbuds go, it’s not like the earbuds that come with an ipod are the only ones on the market. sucks to spend money on a second set of headphones, but truthfully, the one you get from apple (as far as i know) are not noise-canceling. they were not when i got mine a couple years, anyway. my laptop came with noise canceling earbuds, and frankly, it’s better for your ears to use headphones that call for a much lower volume. using the ipod, i need most headphones set to like 70 or 80% volume (as many users do) and absolutely, you get hearing damage that way. with the noise-canceling buds (and you can frequently find them on clearance at FYE or coconuts for $5-$15), i only need the volume set to 25-30%; better clarity at a lower volume because of the superior design of the headphones.

    ultimately, don’t buy earbuds from apple when a thousand other companies make them cheaper (and often better) with noise-cancellation.

  172. Vander says:

    Send them a link to this post and comments section. Seriously, if you’re buying iPods off Woot just now and never taken the time to do the least bit of homework you suck.

    Even the goddamn ads that have been running for YEARS have never shown anything besides white headphones.

  173. EthnicRedneck says:

    This is the type of customer that has ruined the American economy – they piss off your support staff and consume more resources than are provided by the profits on what they bought. If corporations weren’t such gutless wonders, they would tell these idiots that their business isn’t worth the costs associated with it.

  174. BeerFox says:

    Dear Woot,

    I would like you to rectify a problem with the purchase I made from you recently. I purchased one of the mini-kites in your recent woot-off. Actually, I purchased three – so I’m a big customer! However, I am very disappointed in their functionality.

    Even after attaching all three kites to my shoelaces, I am unable to fly. While personal flight was not mentioned on the listing, I feel it was reasonable to assume that enough kites would permit me to get airborne. I had to go out and purchase a Cessna in order to achieve full flight, at a cost of $107,541.22! Please apply a reimbursement for this amount to the card from which I purchased the kites.


  175. hypoxia says:

    The solution to all issues of this caliber is a flaming bag of dog poop.

  176. DanGarion says:

    It’s people like this, that make businesses the way they are.

  177. EyeHeartPie says:

    Wait…does this mean my lime green iPod will come with a lime green headset? Seriously, the iPod has never come with anything other than white headphones. What this guy did (guy ordered for his daughter, hence the use of both “his/he” and “her/she”) is akin to buying Coca-Cola and expecting it to be packaged in a blue bottle. The white headphones (like the red packaging for Coca-Cola) are the iPods’ trademark look.

  178. albear says:

    millard, you are an idiot!

  179. GeoffCJ says:

    The problem is that stupid phrase, “The Customer is always right”. It creates this feeling in consumer’s that they should always get their way, and it’s just dumb.

    Many years ago, I worked at a Starbucks, and some lady was berating a fellow employee, to the point where my co-worker was near tears, about some perceived problem with her drink. Just being really mean. I opened my till, took out the amount of money she’d paid, handed it to her, took her drink out of her hand, and told a very shocked lady to leave the store. She said, “What about the customer is always right?” I said, “Not this time, please leave.”

    She stormed out, yelling that she would get me fired. She did write a letter to the company, which got to the district manager, who called my manager. We’d already told the manager what had happened. She told the DM our side of the story, and I got a little Gold Pin for good service.

    The customer is not always right, and this sounds like one of those situations.

    I’d point her to the refund page and say, “The product was as described, and works, but if you’d like to return it, our return policy is here:”

    • Starsmore says:

      @GeoffCJ: I abhor that line. Usually because it’s parrotted back to me by an absolute douche of a customer. Usually that same way- “But haven’t you heard that the CUSTOMER is always right!!”

      If I’m feeling really smarmy I’ll reply “Yes, I have, it was a great tagline for those Sears ads.”

  180. malcs says:

    Personally, I would point out that in any case, $29 is way above the price of ipod-equivalent earbuds, and that it was not woot’s decision to supply a black ipod with white earbuds. It would also be a slightly different story if apple actually MADE black earbuds, which they do not. It is not woot’s responsibility if the customer wants to have the ipod match the colour of the earbuds that come with it.

    From my perspective it would appear that Apple’s decision to supply the ipod with white earbuds is a design decision as the earbuds in question could be seen to be “iconic” and that an entire marketing campaign for the product was based around white earbuds. Theoretically, the white earbuds do match the product as a contrasting design statement.

    Personally, I would reply to the customer that he should inform apple if he thinks that black earbuds would make a good design change to their product.

  181. thenerdykatie says:

    If the kid that got the ipod as a gift was that upset over the color of the headphones the ipod needs to be sent back or sold on craigslist, that is SO ungrateful. I personally can’t stand the ear buds that came with the ipod, I have some very nice Sony ones that I got dirt cheep, and they are black! Another, depending on the age of the kid they shouldn’t even be wearing ear buds due to the damage they do to your ears!

  182. Greenzo says:

    Maybe someone should direct him to back to this:

  183. madog says:

    I think you, the Consumerist, should save one article of this type for use once a month to satiate the masses. It’s good release for all of us and I think would improve the overall quality of posts for legit complaints. Either that or it would increase the number of OP blamers after becoming more rabid after giving in to their blood lust. Hmmmmm…..

    On second thought, maybe not.

  184. lvixen says:

    Since every iPod with the exclusion mention above of the U2 version has always come with white headphones, the picture showed white headphones…someone is really out of the loop. If the consumer is so unhappy, return the iPod. Pay full price to STILL get white headphones. No making up the difference in replacing the headphones. They work, they are white, get over it. You don’t like it, buy others which they obviously did. So if I wanted “all black” and bought the headphones I have now, I’m going to send Woot a bill for $150? I don’t think so. As stated, they could have bought the least expensive and probably still saved money. It’s their choice. No extra money, if the headphones didn’t work, different story, the do, get over it.

  185. RandiSparta says:

    That car comparison is stupid – when I open my hood it is a mixture of black, gray, metal, rust, silver and even some read. The inside of my trunk is black and white and metal colored. Yet the rest of my car is gray. I did not get angry when I saw some unpainted parts in my car – because everyone knows THATS HOW THEY COME.

    Just tell the Customer that you agree black earbuds might be cool but they’re not mad, and if they don’t like that they can email apple and complain. Otherwise, I’m sure your kid will be glad you got them an ipod with…GASP….the same earbuds as all their friends have.

  186. reflection717 says:

    I’m a big fan of personal responsibility. Consumer in this case should have been responsible enough to research (the biggest personal media player) before purchasing. Sounds like someone is afraid of their child… another pet-peeve of mine.

    “Veruca” can’t always get what she wants – stand up to your spoiled brat!

  187. Vilgrom says:

    send her a bag of crap, woot. A literal bag of crap. on fire.

  188. lizk says:

    I actually thought Woot could have handled this with a lot more tact. There’s a fine line between answering a customer’s direct question and giving customers the impression that you’re brushing off their concerns. Stupid or not, this customer has a legitimate question that needs an answer, and Woot has been less than helpful. At the very least, they could have directed the customer to the manufacturer of the product if the customer wanted to voice complaints or request reimbursement from them. Just saying “nothing we can do” isn’t very helpful for the customer, even if it’s true–give them some direction and they’d probably go with it.

  189. Verucalise (Est.February2008) says:

    Who CARES. Unless the headphones don’t work, there is no case here. If she’s feeling mislead about the color situation, why doesn’t she return the black iPod for a white one? Then EVERYTHING MATCHES HER HIGHNESS DAUGHTER.

  190. Traveshamockery says:

    It’s funny that Millard got a deal on an iPod through a discount site, then got totally TAKEN for $29 black earbuds for a kid.

  191. MyPetFly says:

    Send a free Sharpie to the not-so-sharpie.

  192. Joedel263 says:

    further proof that the person who coined the phrase “the customer is always right” should be shot in the head..

  193. kabuk1 says:

    OK lemme see if I have the story straight- just because this d-bag ASSUMED it would come with black headphones even though the picture SHOWS white ones, Woot should reimburse him for the black headphones he absolutely HAD to buy to satisfy his spoiled whiny brat of a daughter? Do I have that about right?

    MIllard- you FAIL.

    I fail to see why Woot should reimburse him for ANYTHING or even so much as CARE about this loud-mouthed malcontent. Nothing about the iPod was actually defective and he did not HAVE to purchase anything. He CHOSE to. And BTW- I’ve seen plenty of headphones that are significantly less than $30!

    100% on Woot’s side here. I can’t believe a mature adult would make such a huge stink over some damn HEADPHONES. What an ass.

  194. eskimo81 says:

    Until woot wrote to an outside service for assistance, that then posted a private conversation on a public website, they were perfectly fine to just say ‘We can’t do anything to get you black headphones, but if you’d like to return the whole thing, here’s how”.

    But now you’ve gone an publicly humiliated a customer. THAT is over the line, and the customer now deserves whatever will make them happy.

    • ratsgnawingatmyface says:

      @eskimo81: I am not sure how your logic works here. You are saying that it is not OK for a company to go to an oustide party for assistance and for that outside party to then post the email conversations between the company and the consumer they have a problem with. What makes it OK in you eyes then for the consumer to do exactly that here? Is it because the big ol’ mean company is picking on the poor little douchebag who apparently has lived in a cave for several years so does not comprehend that the headphones come in only one color? The consumer in this case is an idiot who deserves nothing from Woot. Their site even covers this stuff:

      Will I receive customer support like I’m used to?

      No. Well, not really. If you buy something you don’t end up liking or you have what marketing people call “buyer’s remorse,” sell it on eBay. It’s likely you’ll make money doing this and save everyone a hassle. If the item doesn’t work, find out what you’re doing wrong. Yes, we know you think the item is bad, but it’s probably your fault. Google your problem, or come back to that product discussion in our community and ask other people if they know. Try to call the manufacturer and ask if they know.

      • durkzilla says:


        I’m sorry, but you’re wrong. As a consumer, you are entitled to fair treatment and reasonable responses (which may include “sorry, you’re out of luck, you should have read our Ts and C’s).

        Woot! taking this case to a public forum and holding the consumer up for ridicule is not what I would consider fair treatment. I would consider it harassment and threatening behavior – God forbid you complain to Woot! in the future, you might end up the subject of a Consumerist headline too.

        • ratsgnawingatmyface says:

          @durkzilla: Maybe if the consumer was not an unreasonable dick about it this would never have happened. The CSR did give them a resonable response which I think was in line with the tone of the Woot site. In fact, the CSR responded pretty appropriately multiple times and the consumer chose to keep demanding something he was not “entitled” to per the site’s own FAQ’s so he should suck it up, deal with life and quit whining.

          Harassment and threatening behavior? How about all the times on this site that consumers go after companies and CSRs? Do you think that they feel harassed and threatened if they read their email exchanges here? I mean, they were just trying to do their jobs and all of a sudden their email echanges are posted to this blog for all to see. I call double standard on that. It seems to me that some of you think all is fair until the tables are turned and then it’s scary and intimidating. Screw the consumer on this one, they are an asshat and not “entitled” to anything.

  195. Doofio says:

    This is beyond retarded. If you buy a black iPod in the store, the headphones are white but as far as i’ve seen, it does not say that on the box…so by this asshat’s logic, he should be reimbursed by apple if he bought new headphones? BS. The customer was not mislead, he was ignorant.

    And if the color of the headphones is so distressing to him and his daughter…they’ve got much bigger issues.

  196. ogsoleysol says:

    Hmm…suspiciously named consumers and customer service reps– relatively obscure presidential first names anyone? That aside, they should tell the customer to sit on it.

  197. BytheSea says:

    Good customer service isn’t always giving the customer whatever they want. Sometimes you tell them no. If any large, established store had this complaint, they’d tell the customer to stop whining and either buy the black headphones or go away.

  198. Lepoth says:

    White case = protection and headphone matching! Problem solved!

  199. Corporate-Shill says:

    White earplugs, black earplugs, whooppe sheitzky. Even I know that Apple uses white earplugs and I don’t own an Ipod.

    BUT, having said that, I also agree with the customer. Woot was sloppy with their website. First for allowing a choice when a choice really was not available. And secondly for not clarifing the results and limitations of the choice.

    Time to belly-up and pay off the customer. A responsible company would be writing the check as we speak.

  200. parad0x360 says:

    Stuff like this really makes me angry. Time and time again i run into terrible customer service. Then I see people who just act like total jerks after getting a great deal, demanding something that doesnt even come with the full priced product…give me a break.

    I hope the ipod gets stolen.

  201. SoundSystem says:

    Woot is great with taking care of any legit issues. I recently had a Sansa 4gig, which is sweet by the way that had a faulty headphone jack. One simple e-mail and an hour later, I was e-mailed with a response, from a person, that they would ship a new one out. They did say I would get a prepaid return shipping, but I haven’t came across it, but whats $3 in shipping?

    I’ve had many woots, and only one problem. They promptly took care of it. I was actually surprised.

    In the case, tell the customer they are a dumbass and forget em.

  202. AustinTXProgrammer says:

    Woot should offer the refund minus shipping like any other ecommerce site. The customer could show what an idiot he is by following through, and then going and buying an iPod for a whole lot more money, and still having black ear buds.

  203. trillium says:

    It’s customers like this that create the hostile customer service environment for the rest of the general population. iPod = white earbuds. They do now, they did last year, they did (wow how many years has it been?) when you could buy a gen 1.

  204. Illiterati says:

    Send them a Bag of Crap (BoC).

  205. ShadowFalls says:

    Here is my other vote:

    “Tell her she is an idiot, but politely.”

  206. erika says:

    Maybe they should appeal to the customer’s vanity. . . I know that there are many out there who see the white earbuds as a status symbol that equals ipod ownership. Silly, but true. This functional moron might just fall for that line of thinking.

  207. DePaulBlueDemon says:

    I can’t believe 57 people voted that Woot should refund her the $29 for the headphones. C’mon! iPod headphones are white, always have been and probably always ill be! That’s just obnoxious….

  208. West Coast Secessionist says:

    Stupid customer. They should tell him to kiss their ass. Everybody knows iPods have white headphones, and he should have looked at the picture. Personally, i’d be pissed if they HAD substituted out some cheap knockoff black ones in the name of “making it match.” (Even though i replaced my ipod’s ‘buds with nice black ones).

    I think he just made the whole thing up and is trying to scam them for $29 bucks. In other words, he didn’t buy black ‘buds, there is no daughter, and the iPod is destined for eBay.

  209. MsAnthropy says:

    Well I hate to blame the OP here, but…

    a) Doesn’t everyone know by now that iPods earphones are white, all of them? Apparently not. Hmm, the daughter is going to look like a right dumbass if she really cares about this and starts complaining to her little friends about how terrible it was that her iPod came with white earbuds.


    b) All that outraged customer is always right/I’ve been sooooooo terribly inconvenienced/I demand compensation for what you people have put me through stuff is waaaay over the top given that he’s talking about the color of a set of earbuds. Guy needs to get a grip.

    I voted that he should email Steve Jobs, and take it up with him.

  210. MaaseyRacer says:

    They should have pointed the customer to Apple’s website. It is a retail package from Apple and they are not responsible for the contents.

  211. ophmarketing says:

    Why in God’s name would anyone use those awful iPod earbuds in the first place? I use a pair of Audio-Technica sound isolating earbuds. They’re black. My iPod is white. Who cares? At least I can hear the music.

  212. chornsby says:

    I believe Millard misled himself with his own assumptions. The main item that he bought was the Ipod, not the charger, not the usb cord and not the headphones; these are accessories that come with the phone. Did he raise a complaint that the usb cord is white? If he truly believe what he is saying he should have every right to. Was the box black? His car example was way off. If he stated, “I bought a car thinking it was black just to find out that the armrest was grey”. I would recommend a refund and nothing further.

  213. jeebussez says:

    its woot. anyone familiar with woot should know that you’re lucky to be getting anything from them at that price since everything there is so cheap. besides, woot’s usually on the ball and has a very clear YMMV clause.

  214. Jesse in Japan says:

    Use a black marker. End of story.

  215. cccdude says:

    Evidently Ms Millard doesn’t know the expression “A picture is worth a thousand words” or “what you see is what you get”. If she could go to BestBuy or Costco and get the same model with black head phones, it might be a different. But as things stand today, that’s how the Apple falls…

  216. Suaveydavey says:

    Send the daughter to Target for a tube of facial scrub. WinWin.

  217. f3rg says:

    Woot, you should do absolutely nothing. The buyer could see the headphones came in white, via the picture, and I thought it was pretty much common knowledge that Apple only made them in white. Worst case, you lose 1 customer that may have never bought from you again, anyway.

    I’ve bought a few Woots over the last couple years, as well as a bunch of Woot Shirts, and I’d have to reconsider being a loyal customer if you actually lowered yourselves so much as to play into this idiot’s game.

    (that’s a lie, I’d still buy Woots, but you get my drift)

    • EdnaLegume says:

      @f3rg: amen.

      Woot should:
      Tell him to suck dirt and stop being a whiny asshole. They’re WHITE for fuck sake not broken. I’ve never seen anyone with anything but white headphones.

  218. EuniceMalboro says:

    Respond to the last e-mail thusly. Regarding the car analogy, it is after buying the car, you are SHOCKED to discover the tires are black, when you were under the misguided, uninformed opinion that the cars tyres should match the paint color. You did not take the time to discover that all tyres of cars come in black, but now that you discover this, you still rather banally blather about as to how all tyres should match the paint scheme of the automobile.

  219. kgmoome says:

    This guy should of known it came with white earbuds, since it was shown in the detailed photo…


    I am surprised that woot customer service, did not point that out to the customer…


  220. RamseyDampyman says:

    when will people learn that giving money away due to stupidity on the customer’s part is not customer centric. With that motto every company out there would be bankrupt in no time, cuz word would get out that just make a complaint and you get stuff for free.

    that isn’t how it is supposed to work. This is a win/win for both parts the store/service and the customer.

    The customer is supposed to be thankful that the store/service is there to meet their needs and wants and not treat the store/employees like their own toy chest where they get stuff for free , nor treat employees like slaves or heck less than slaves.

    This person is asking for something not possible. he went out and purchased the earbuds assuming incorrectly once again that woot will cover the cost.

    why not simply teach your daughter that not everything is perfect in life and live with a great ipod that half the world can’t afford and get over the color of the earbuds. I bet once she looks at all her friends with white earbuds she won’t care

  221. Derv says:

    Poor behavior on Woot’s part. Do something to make your customer happy. They just bought a friggen iPod from you. How much does it cost to go find a cheapo pair of black earphones and send them to the customer. Even if you didn’t want to do that, there was no reason for the snarky response. For all you know, the customer could of been a grandmother/father who was forwarded the link by someone else.

    I work in the telephone/direct division of a certain clothing company that has been featured in Consumerist recently due to it’s website having problems. We would never treat a customer that way, and if we did, we’d be fired on the spot. The clothing company that I work for gives us wide leeway to make a customer happy, including up to a certain amount in free giftcards as well as the usual coupon override and free shipping options. The company certainly isn’t perfect, but they are certainly trying a lot harder than Woot.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      Poor behavior on Woot’s part. Do something to make your customer happy.

      @Derv: They did. They sold them an iPod. The customer being old doesn’t change the fact that there was an accurate photo of the product on the page. And while saying that Apple isn’t fashion forward may be snarky it isn’t insulting the customer either.

      The customer isn’t asking to be sent a pair of black earphones. The customer is asking to be reimbursed $29 because they ran out and bought the most expensive earphones possible.

  222. MorvenBabboon says:

    GwynethAjax has a point.
    Sure the man’s complaint was frivolous, petulant and persistent, but he’s still “the” customer, and you can’t afford for him to go away mad.
    A good company might have offered him the choice of a refund or an exchange for an all white version; the price of one returned good. A great company would have offered to reimburse $29 for the new black headphones.
    Even a $25 restaurant card and a note regretting the misunderstanding (but we still don`t have any /”$%?& black headphones) might satisfy the customer.
    But putting him up for public debate and almost certain ridicule is a bit cruel and unusual. I hope this episode is already resolved and not a real-time dispute, else this novel approach to Customer Relations may cost WOOT hugely in Public Relations.

  223. gStein_*|bringing starpipe back|* says:

    well, Woot has a great community on the forum…
    whenever people have questions about the daily sale, they ask. and someone else will usually answer, with links to back up their answer. i, personally, thought that it was obvious they came in white, but i’ve owned an iPod for about 2 years. might not be as obvious to an apple virgin

  224. blipsman says:

    His car analogy is off — it’s like ordering a blue car but getting it with black tires. That accessory only comes in one color and that’s just the way things are.

  225. deweydecimated says:

    Dear Woot,

    Print the original complaint email on a Woot shirt. Send the customer one without charge. Enough people will pony up $10 for one that you’ll make oodles.

  226. wickedpixel says:

    tell him/her to sell the white headphones on craigslist for $29. problem solved.

  227. kyle4 says:

    It’s an iPod, they are iconic for their white earbuds. Anyone alive for the last 8 years unless you were hiding under a rock would know this. From my experience, even people who didn’t know what the hell an iPod did knew they had white earbuds. This person should suck it up and stop being so OCD.

  228. STrRedWolf says:

    My other is:

    Prep the lawyers, and have the person email Steve Jobs. If she wants to continue to complain to Woot, even though it was clear it was a problem on Apple’s end, then a warning shot needs to be fired off.

  229. AlmiraCorcyra says:

    As a Wootaholic, I think that Woot should, as a courtesy, offer a refund for the return of the ipod. However, they should not give the customer a credit or pay for the black headphones he chose to buy. Greedy! The black ipod was pictured with the white headphones! Don’t give in to terrorists’ demands! (har har har)

  230. LeonardoOgygus says:

    Offer to take back the ipod at full cost (not the earbuds) and then tell her that you are no longer interested in doing any form of business with her and that you consider the issue closed.

  231. Zagroseckt says:

    I would look at it like this.

    unsatesfied custimer.
    1. how much profet is involved if the headphones cost less than the profet/markup then offer that otherwise offer refund.

  232. GinoOmega says:

    I bought a Dodge Dakota new in 1993. It was black, but if you opened the hood, most of the engine compartment was still the grey primer. I should have demanded a new set of headhones…

  233. Ein2015 says:

    This is why I love woot and am a loyal customer there. Y’ALL ROCK!

  234. MyrtleGoldfinch says:

    Apple’s markup is very low, and, well, I hate customers.

    Seriously, next thing you know they’ll be an email about how they cannot change the battery, or no one said itunes cost money.

  235. banmojo says:

    Woot is a top notch group and I’m sure they will continue to be polite to this blithering idiot. For f$#@’s sake, dude, do your own research online before making a purchase, whydontcha? my god!!

  236. Ubermunch says:

    Woot sucks by default for coming to this site to bully and ridicule a customer… but that’s their way IMO. Personally I think the a-hole here is the one who felt that this is an appropriate behavior for a company.

    And SHAME on Consumerist for providing the forum. How is allowing a company to bully a customer a positive for a consumer? And Consumerist folks should take a long look at why Woot gets this courtesy. Will Comcast be allowed to post the kind of idiots/”d-bags” they have to deal with? If not, why Consumerist? Does only Woot get to bully their customers here?

    BTW: You can often find the same bullying attitude from the kool-aid drinking Woot forum community members which you are told to turn to when Woot corporate fails to provide you info or customer support. There you will be treated to ridicule and harassment all while being told you should be **thankful** that Woot allows you to do business with them.

    That’s why I stopped buying anything from Woot.

    They are the soup nazis of the refurb/liquidation world. Plus, they think they are a LOT cooler than they actually are. Woot is Woot’s biggest fan. Just count me out.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      Woot sucks by default for coming to this site to bully and ridicule a customer…

      @Ubermunch: No, Woot came to The Consumerist asking for advice. The people commenting here choose to call the customer an idiot and possibly a scammer. If it isn’t bullying to call a CSR or clerk an idiot then it isn’t bullying to call a customer an idiot.

      I don’t know what your experience with Woot was but the customer in this case is clearly wrong.

      • Ubermunch says:

        @Rectilinear Propagation:

        Do you really think a multi million dollar company like Woot needs customer service advice from Consumerist? Why? Because they can’t figure this out privately? Really?


        Woot came here to rally the “shame and blame crew” and you all (mostly) took the bait. You should be ashamed that you jumped on the bash-the-consumer band wagon. Consumerist should never have posted this blame festival and once again… I ask… what other company will have the right to post their “request for advice” here… Comcast? Verizon? Is this a new feature:

        ***! Blame A Customer !***

        Woot likes to use their cult following to bully those who may (or may not) have legitimate claims. Their flip attitude and sarcasm should really be the subject of Consumerist’s focus… not some frustrated and/or demanding customer, not matter how goofy their vitriol is.

        Shame on Woot for coming here to bully. Shame on the Consumerist for creating the bully pulpit. Shame on those who think this is an appropriate response by a company in regards to *any* customer service issue. And finally… shame on the moderators for being so obviously absent during this giant “blame the customer” festival. Guess when it comes to Woot the rules here are suspended.

        A couple of years ago I and dozens of other’s orders were essentially held hostage by Woot’s inability to obtain import licenses in a timely manner for the product they sold. Instead of being communicative about this or offering refunds… they dodged any request for info on order status, situation, estimated delivery, etc. choosing to refer all questions to an uninformed forum crowd. When people began to complain in the forum they were bullied by the Wootists who, at their core, claimed that no one has any right to complain about Woot because they are soooooooo wonderful. Forum members made fun of people’s names… and even attempted to determine personal information on negative posters which resulted in a community call to spam a poster’s personal email account. The only response from Woot was to delete the complaints but leave the bullying and harassing comments – including the calls to spam someone’s personal email account. Wow. Great attitude there, eh?

        Needless to say I will not do business with this kind of company… and you would be well advised to do the same. Woot is great until it’s not… and then you will be ignored and mistreated by the company and their customers alike (which you are forced to deal with if you go according to FAQ). I was stunned to see a company provide (and seemingly stoke) such a negative customer experience.

        In any case… You may now return to your clever bashing comments like: “Millard is a dumb name”. Bravo! The level of discourse on this topic has been truly a new low, IMO.

        • Rectilinear Propagation says:

          You should be ashamed that you jumped on the bash-the-consumer band wagon.

          In any case… You may now return to your clever bashing comments like: “Millard is a dumb name”.

          @Ubermunch: Me personally or the commenters in general? Because I haven’t “bashed” anyone. The customer in this case is wrong. That’s not bashing. Furthermore, I haven’t made fun of anyone’s name.

          …shame on the moderators for being so obviously absent during this giant “blame the customer” festival.

          1) Have you e-mailed the moderator or anyone at Consumerist about any of the comments here or the appropriateness of this post?

          2) The rule is “no blaming the victim” not “the customer is always right”.

          • Ubermunch says:

            @Rectilinear Propagation:

            You really don’t address my point: Woot demonstrates poor judgment and/or a bullying attitude when they “ask for advice” here. This is a way to shame and embarrass the complaining customer and it’s their little corporate tactic. IMO, it demonstrates that their immature corporate behavior is on the same level as the whiner who originally complained. Was it too much to politely offer to let the customer return the item and leave it at that? No… they have to be vindictive.

            If you look at Woot’s original response it was in no way polite or sensitive. I found it condescending and flip. You start off that way with a customer at issue and I think you lose the right to complain about their vitriolic attitude later. You certainly do not have the right to publicly embarrass them.

            It’s not that the complainer is some great angel (I think they’re kind of ridiculous)… it’s that Woot is an obnoxious bully for coming here for “advice” and Consumerist is aiding a company’s attempt to publicly humiliate a customer. Seems kind of antithetical to the site theme, IMO.

            I makes me wonder…

            How would you feel if you had an email exchange with a company made public for ridicule? How would Consumerist react if Comcast posted some of the idiots they deal with to ask for our collective “advice”. I bet the Consumerist would tell them to go hang. So how come Woot gets the right to use this site as a bully pulpit?

            Once again… It’s not about the idiocy of the complainer (yes, they are obnoxious). It’s about Woot’s flippant and childish behavior through the whole thing – and Consumerist’s bad judgment for posting it here for the torches and boiling oil/blame the OP crowd.

            Finally, the headphone dude did feel like the victim and he was dealt with questionably from the get go. Yes, they’re a bit much with the headphone color… but they felt cheated. Someone explain to me why it’s ok to say derogatory remarks about Millard and how that is NOT blaming the victim. Unless Woot is the victim here? Does anyone believe that Woot is a victim here? Seems to me like they are taking great delight in getting revenge on a troublesome customer more than they are dealing with victimization or loss of business.

  237. EvelynDeiphontes says:

    It is your responsibility as the consumer to make sure all the elements of your purchase are to your liking before you spend money on the product.

  238. mcjake says:

    I’m really impressed that Woot is actually coming to the Consumerist for advice. But I’m thinking they aren’t really liable for this issue. If and only if its still within the return time limit I would suggest offering them a refund for the return. But nothing more… Heh heh, except maybe some some black-spray-painted gameboy headphones.

  239. leftystrat says:

    I love this. There is simply no end to the entitlement some people feel.

    In the early 80’s I worked for a doctor. He spent megabucks computerizing the practice. After it was all set up, he was visibly upset because the monitors didn’t match the computers and wanted to know why this was. To this day he can’t operate one.

    At the next job, I watched Holy Hell break out because after the black flatscreens went in, the keyboards and mice persisted in being white (on purpose, no doubt). I think they honestly believed that no work could be done with that kind of horrendous mismatch. Or it was a convenient excuse.

  240. Feminist Whore says:

    Does anybody remember that Kids in the Hall sketch where the guy in the resaurant is flipping out on the waiter…

    “I don’t want it NOW! I wanted it 5 MINUTES AGO!! AAaaaiiigggghhhh! What’s wrong with you? I WANTED IT 10 MINUTES AGO!”

    I looked for it on youtube, couldn’t find it, but it’s just the perfect depiction of the “bad consumer”

  241. SujalaKabobward says:

    It seems like even people who get it are missing the point. The product was shipped as per the MANUFACTURERS specifications…. the complaint is PURELY with Apple not with Woot! Woot! doesnt decide in anyways how Apple packages product, it wasnt an open box, it was refurbished from Apple….everything was EXACTLY as it was suppose to be….

    Woot! wash your hands and be done with it….

  242. P_Smith says:

    If you buy an ipod, you’re stuck with Apple’s colors. Buy an MP3 player and you can use any brand of headphone, most of which are black. Problem solved.

    • tweemo says:

      @P_Smith: Wrong, you can use any standard headphones with any iPod.

      • P_Smith says:

        @tweemo: Really? Then those selling them in Apple stores were uninformed or lying, saying, “Only ipod headphones work” when I wanted to test it with my own high-end headphones with a standard 1/8th jack. I wasn’t willing to stick earbuds in my ears that a dozen or dozens of other people with dirty ears had already tried. That’s why I didn’t buy one in the first place, and am glad I never did.

        Even if an ipod can use any headphone set, why pay hundreds of dollars to put up with DRM when one can buy an MP3 player for less than $100 that sounds the same? And have to put up with Apple’s restrictiveness, lousy batteries and easily damaged screens? No thanks.

        • tweemo says:

          @P_Smith: Were you testing an iPhone? I think there was something about the 1st gen iPhone that you had to use Apple earbuds with it, but not the new ones. iPods have nothing to do with DRM either. I have music from CDs and Amazon.com on mine, and when I used to use Limewire it went on my iPod with no problems. Yes, if you buy an iPod the hardware costs more, but the music can come from any source (except maybe DRM-protected files that aren’t from the iTunes store).

          • P_Smith says:

            @tweemo: Were you testing an iPhone?

            There were no iphones at that time, only ipods, a few years ago when I first started looking at MP3 players.

            As for the rest of how you responded, the point is moot. Perhaps and ipod can play other formats, but I’ll stick with “disposable” MP3 players for which the repair and service from the company I’ve bought from is good (no product plugging) and not have to put up with the problems Apple customers have had to endure. An ipod also required a special recharger, but I can plug into the laptop or a USB recharger anywhere.

            • tweemo says:

              @P_Smith: Definitely not moot. You said something inaccurate, I corrected you. If you still don’t want one, that’s perfectly fine with me.

  243. Namrepus says:

    Ya know what lady….

    I just opened the hood of my car and guess what…


    Trunk, however is.

  244. christoj879 says:

    Millard is a stupid name. End of story.

  245. GrantShella says:

    go to starbucks and demand a red straw. won’t happen. white headphones trademark ipod. starbucks trademark green straw. this guy needs to bite the bullet and learn about frequency response and the quality of headphones that come with and item for free. *i’d never use headphones less about $40 simply because i like to hear the music…. even on mp3 it’ll sound better.

  246. Ayo says:

    Good god i love woot, and good god what planet is this guy from?

    “Daddyyyyy, i want black head phonessssssssss”

    Seriosuly? I voted for “Offer to let her send back the iPod for a refund” but in regards to Woot’s humor I probably would of done all of the above except the refund.

    • Ayo says:


      Plus… i guess they should have been more specific in the SlickDeals post the customer found the woot deal from. hahaha

  247. octajohnny says:

    What a cheapskate and whiner.

    First, she cheaps out and buys her kid a REFURBISHED iPod, then wants everything to be perfect. Then, she goes out and OVERPAYS for a replacement set of headphones, most likely jumping at some overpaid set at Best Buy that happens to have a nifty “ipod compatible” logo on the packaging – like they all aren’t.

    What a bad shopper.

    That being said, if I were Woot, I’m sure they have tons of bargain buy earplugs that are waaaay better than Apple’s anyway… I would offer her a free set of those. If she refuses because she already opened the $30 set, then they’ve offered a more than fair resolution by offering her a BETTER set of headphones for FREE, even though they’ve done nothing wrong in the first place – so I would just offer a full refund on the ipod at that period because Woot should not be responsible for people’s own shopping carelessness – plus I doubt she’ll ever order from them again anyway.

    She isn’t the type of “smart shopper” that Woot is / was meant to attract, but I guess that’s one of the growing pains of having a rapidly expanding business. She’s more of the lowest-common-denominator shopper that annoyingly replies to your Craigslist ads with stupid questions.

  248. pigbearpug says:

    I’m not going to read all the comments, but I hope someone has corrected the use of the word “mislead.” It’s MISLED. Morons.

  249. glater says:

    Firstly, Woot.com has always been a good company in my experience; always funny, always honest about what they’ve got, and with good service. That being said, they could’ve been more talkative and open starting with their first reply, rather than perhaps appearing a bit short.

    Blaming the customer is not cool – so many cases on Consumerist genuinely are the company’s fault – but how far can a company really go in a case like this? They delivered exactly as promised and depicted, reported back and were completely forthright about the issue. They’re not in the business of custom-accessorizing the stuff they sell. WYSIWYG has always been a Woot.com thing.

    They _could_ go the super-UBER-nice route and say “hey look, to be clear, the picture showed white, apple has never sold anything but black except in one circumstance, and we don’t normally provide accessories like this – but since you misread, here’s a pair we got for you”. That’d be above and beyond above-and-beyond, and would admittedly feel a little like capitulating to extortion. The customer came off sounding like a demanding jerk. “I want to buy the dog there, in the window.” *purchase* “I am extremely disappointed that this is not a cat.”

    Woot would be perfectly above-and-beyond in my opinion by saying “we’re sorry you misunderstood, we’d be happy to accept a return and pay the shipping for you, here are some other decently priced headphones and mp3 players from other vendors, have a nice day”.

  250. RomeoHaruhism says:

    “open the hood or truck … it is pink”.

    I love that he is buying a car and opening the hood… or the truck… And then finding a pink engine. By his analogy, he is going to request that the car, or truck, manufacturer pay him $5000 so he can get a black engine. No, not the manufacturer, the used car dealer he bought it from, after the guy showed him a picture with the hood open that clearly indicated the engine was pink.

    I’d like to have a pink engine in my car. Under my hood… or truck.

  251. Tansis says:

    I understand why the man is all fustrated about the white headphones. He’s worried about his daughter’s safety. Every thug knows that white headphones mean they have an Ipod, and that leads to a mugging.

  252. Xero says:

    Assuming makes an ass out of you AND me… bad joke…

    But seriously, consumers need to be INFORMED before making assumptions about a product.

  253. mir777 says:

    No, it’s not like your car analogy. It’s like when you buy a red car but wanted it to be driven by pink bunnies made of easter candy. Because they DON’T EXIST.


  254. rockett1 says:

    Any functioning human would know apple only made white ones. I highly doubt the daughter would care. Sounds like some stupid soccer mom to me.

  255. SumanaHaoiet says:

    I’ve used Woot successfully many times but they have been misleading in the past. For instance, I purchased some webcams from them that were “new” and they came OEM (not mentioned in the description) and had clearly been used before. I like Woot, but I wrote them asking about it and they never bothered to respond.

    You win some, you lose some I guess.

  256. IrmaGalupie says:

    This may have been mentioned earlyer, but I am gonna be lazy and not read through all the comments. White earbuds are practically a friggin apple ipod trade mark. In fact fiirst thing I think of when somone starts talking about an ipod is white earbuds. Apple had an entire ad campaign that was pictures and video of people wearing WHITE EARBUDS how ignorant can this person be to not know that unless they live in a cave that they dont leave and do not own a television. If thats the case why in the world would they be purchassing an ipod for their daughter. I say they are just being a rotten consumer some people will never be pleased. Sounds like you just met the lowest common denominator.

  257. LucindaPansa says:

    Ask the customer to return the iPod, stamp on it until its in several pieces and return it to them with a compliments slip. My god what a moron. If the spoilt brat acts anything like its parents she has no hope of getting on in life.

  258. SwatiJalopomy says:

    The other half side of the iPod is silver also, is the customer going to then complain about the color of the headphones only being black and not color coordinated to match the black and silve on the ipod? Where does it end?

    I say offer to send the customer back their money and be done with it.

  259. xthexlanternx says:

    $29… what a sucker.. you can get the apple ones for like 99 cents on ebay. you can also get some really really high quality headphones that blow the default ones away for $29.

  260. dewsipper says:

    In all seriousness, the thing that gets me is the “consumer” didn’t give Woot any real opportunity to pull a pair of old black earbuds out of some drawer somewhere before purchasing the expensive “replacements”. On those grounds alone, maybe a giftcard, offer to take them back, but the customer really just needs a smack on the head with some blunt instrument.

  261. graffight says:

    i really thing the CSR was a jerk in the way he was speaking to the customer. he was sarcastic and didn’t try to hear the customer’s point at all. The tone of the email might have made me upset as well. I coach people on customer service every day, and though i wouldn’t broadcast it i probably would have offered to meet the customer half way and pay for half of their headphone purchase. I to would have explained that Ipods only come with white headphones, but i still would have given him a credit…maybe store credit that way i didn’t have to send the customer a check…

  262. CatherineStevenson says:

    I work for Consumer Protection in Western Australia and I get calls like this daily.
    Consumer – You dickhead, don’t ever assume. Ask the question. You had a change of mind – You’re not entitled to anything.
    Grow up, and learn to think for yourself.

  263. Echelon1566 says:

    I would let Woot know, that losing some customers is inevitable – you can’t always meet all needs, especially when you have an irrational customer.

    Woot already has quite a cult following, and I don’t see it being effected by the nut-jobs out there, anytime soon.

    In other words, offer a refund, or tell them to suck it.

  264. Mysterry says:

    What… this is ridiculous. I don’t think Woot should pay for the consumer’s expense because he assumed that the headphones would be black. Anyone who has ever bought an Apple product knows that most of their product accessories come in a standard white format–especially when you’re buying something like an iPod or anything audible.

    I don’t believe that Woot should pay the $29.00 as the consumer could of easily bought headphones that were cheaper then that, and in the color black. There’s no point in buying a $29.00 pair of head phones when you could easily get one of the same quality in a $10.00 pair of headphones.

    I think the consumer is just trying to get free money from Woot.

    Woot is doing a fine job of handling the consumer complaint. And if the consumer really feels like they want to return the item, then they should just follow the standard return policy. Granted, they already gave it to their daughter so *shrug*

  265. xnihilx says:

    1. ipods have only been known for their signature WHITE headphone since they came out almost exactly SEVEN (7) years ago. I don’t see the issue.

    2. Who buys $30 ear buds seriously? (yes I know there’s a difference but for most people it doesn’t matter) I own a pair of Razr headphones from Woot that retail for $30 but I think I paid $15. I’m a audiohpile but I’ve used Nintendo DS headphones before and been fine. I’ve lived and survived the HORROR of owning $10 headphones.

    3. sounds like “but dad I want THOSE headphones, I can’t wear white ones those are lame.”

    If your biggest problem in life is that your headphones don’t match your $150 music player you’re doing pretty well. Seriously, get over it.

  266. steegness says:

    My sympathy-meter’s needle isn’t moving. Is that bad?

    All of the poll options are too generous for my taste. Woot fairly portrayed the items and their condition, so ‘send the whole thing back for a refund’ seems like the only logical option here (and even then… because the headphones weren’t black?).

    My hat is off to Woot for coming here with the question.

  267. PaoloKollina says:

    if it was that big of a deal, s/he could have just emailed customer service and ASKED if the headphones were black or white…i don’t think laziness should be rewarded. 30 bucks is a decent price to pay for a lesson like that.

  268. KoiKeeper says:

    From woot’s own website:
    “Will I receive customer support like I’m used to?
    No. Well, not really. If you buy something you don’t end up liking or you have what marketing people call “buyer’s remorse,” sell it on eBay. It’s likely you’ll make money doing this and save everyone a hassle. If the item doesn’t work, find out what you’re doing wrong. Yes, we know you think the item is bad, but it’s probably your fault. Google your problem, or come back to that product discussion in our community and ask other people if they know. Try to call the manufacturer and ask if they know. If you give up and must return it to us, then follow on to the next FAQ entry. “

    Looks pretty cut and dried.

  269. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    I don’t even get how this is a problem. For Millard, I’m sure not having black headphones is a problem, but there’s no reason Woot should want to keep this customer.


    From what we at the Consumerist have discussed over the past few weeks, I’ve gleaned that:

    1. Men don’t tell their friends about their poor experiences as much as women do. Example: [consumerist.com]
    Millard is a man (I think), so it’s not as likely he would tell his friends. If his daughter were to tell her friends, they would all go “O-M-G!” and forget about it within 10 seconds.

    2. Awesome that the iPod is a gift, but there was a photo that depicted white headphones. If you weren’t focused enough on what you were doing to see the white headphones, I don’t feel sorry for you.

    3. Millard should’ve just asked whether the white headphones were a mistake, whether there are black ones available (through Woot or if Apple made them) and once he was told, “No, Apple does not make black headphones to go with the iPod” he should’ve either sucked it up or bought his own headphones, WITHOUT asking Woot to compensate. It’s not Woot’s fault that Apple only makes white headphones. He’s not going to return the iPod, his daughter’s probably already using it.

    4. Blaming the innocent here. I don’t believe that Millard’s daughter is the one who is upset about the black headphones. Maybe she is, but Millard is either caving to his daughter’s (bratty) demands and has no parental gumption to say “no” or he is secretly the one who is upset and is blaming his daughter.

  270. Snullbug says:

    “I bought what you advertised and now I’m pissed because you didn’t send me something else.” Refund this idiot’s money and put her on a “do not accept orders” list.

  271. chumleyex says:

    @ GwynethAjax
    Woot ownz.. I think I will go buy something from them just because of your dumb comment.
    This guy is a cry baby, I’ve never ever heard of anyone caring what color some head phones are. this customer = IDIOT .. GO WOOT GO

    • Ubermunch says:


      At least she put time and thought into her comment and didn’t resort to name calling like a 5th grader. If her comment is “dumb”… yours is “truly retarded”.

      Just keep drinking that Woot kool-aid… until you have a problem with your order and the cult turns on you.

  272. RedBraid says:

    This may sound crazy, but I can’t believe Apple is selling black iPods with white ear buds.

    I thought they were the epitome of fashion conscious electronics.

    I have to admit, I would’ve expected them to match. I mean, it’s _Apple_! It’s not like it’s some Creative Labs cheapo thing.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      @RedBraid: Personally, I think it’s dumb that they don’t have black ear buds for their black iPods but Apple wants people to be able to tell that you’re listening to an iPod and the white ear buds make that obvious.

      Of course then the question becomes, ‘Then why make the iPod black?’

  273. OsmondElpenor says:

    Well, I can see where both the consumer and WOOT are coming from. WOOT, doing everything in it’s power to provide great customer service is trying to resolve the issue, but it’s more of an issue with Apple packaging than with WOOT. And the consumer wanted an ipod for a gift, and Apple has tried to instill in the general public that when you buy one of their products that it’s as much of a fashion/lifestyle statement as the clothes you where. Honestly I don’t know what WOOT can do, it’s damned if it does, and damned if it doesn’t. I do hope that someone comes up with something.

  274. LoriLynn says:

    Why do I picture the girl receiving this iPod as having her “Super Sweet Sixteen” birthday on a yacht with MTV cameras covering her every tantrum?

    My other tell him “I’m…sorry…in this circumstance.”

  275. iboost79 says:

    Sorry Millard. Unless you have been living under a rock for the last 7 years, you would know that Apple earbuds are white. I think they made a set that were specifically for a special edition iPod. Maybe the US edition? Anyhow, Woot.com has always been a great merchant. They have no fault in this customer’s stupidity.

  276. gtabacchi says:

    I really hope the consumer sees themselves getting bashed here and realizes just how stupid they have been.

    • Ubermunch says:


      I really hope the consumer sees themselves getting bashed here and realizes just how stupid they have been.

      Yes… the world would be so much better if all companies shamed and bullied their customers on consumer web sites and held them out for public ridicule. I’m sure that kind of behavior would be good for the retail business. Maybe Macys and Best Buy can do the same thing! {ahem}

      I would assume you have no problem with another company… say your bank… tossing out your supposedly private discourse in a public forum, right? How about it… is it ok for ANY company to do this kind of thing to you?

      Just wondering…

      • h3llc4t, breaker of office dress codes says:

        @Ubermunch: Who would know that it was you? Unless you had already pissed and moaned enough on the Internet about whatever problem you had with the company, chances are no one outside the company would ever know who you were. It’s like being Batman, but a version that’s a bigger jerk.

  277. AMetamorphosis says:

    Have the customer send back the IPOD for a full refund and don’t do any business with them.

    THANK YOU WOOT for asking Consumerist reads what should be done.

    We LOVE ya WOOT and I LOVE ordering items from your establishment !!!!

  278. AlbionCormorant says:

    I thought the Woot return policy was “suck it, you are shopping at WOOT.” I buy for the funny descriptions, great deals and attitude.

  279. motojen says:

    Woot, if it only costs you 29 bucks to get rid of this Millard moron then it’s worth it. Reimburse him for the headphones and then flag his account so he can never do business with you again.

    I was going to suggest that Millards daughter needs to be smacked for being so ungrateful and petty but she’s just emulating Daddy who obviously needs a foot in his @ss.

  280. jimv2000 says:

    HAHA, $30 for a pair black earbuds. Looks like he paid the Apple tax for those. Should have just gone to Wal-mart and got a pair of Sony earbuds (best I’ve ever owned) for $10.

  281. shadax says:

    Send her 3 complimentary bags o’ crap. Flames optional.

  282. Jthmeffy says:

    If Millard had bought the ipod at Best Buy, would he have tried to take it back because of the white headphones? If so, the fellows as Best Buy would inform him thats the way it comes, and if the matching of those two parts of the product is that important to him (or his daughter), then they would direct him to some headphones he can buy. This guy is ridiculous and WOOT has done everything they should. I hope they don’t give in and DO NOT SEND HIM ANYTHING.

  283. VikingP77 says:

    Really….is it worth the stress for black headphones? I can’t believe this customer…..wow really? *scratches head*

  284. redbess says:

    Millard needs to realize that those white earbuds are going to break in less than a month. My husband I bought iPods on the same day and had our earbuds break within the month, almost on the same day. I’ve spoken to other iPod owners with similar problems.

    So wOOt did him a favor by making him buy new ‘buds.

  285. maverickuw says:

    Honestly, this is not Woot’s fault in any way. Just because the customer didn’t bother to do any research, or even look at the picture for an item that’s been sold for several years now (in various incarnations of course), shouldn’t mean the company has to suffer. Yes, at times there are misunderstandings, but this is just demanding too much.

    I guess the real option would be to find the cheapest pair of black earbuds that are similar in size/shape/etc to the iPod ones, and then offer to either send a pair of those earbuds, or send him the amount they cost. Seriously though, you don’t have to spend $30 for black earbuds, that’s just him trying to milk them for more than he should.

  286. RedwoodFlyer says:

    Or he could have bought an Airtran ticket for $29 and kept the freebie black headphones.

  287. erikislame says:

    OP is a complete pantsshitter. You see the way…

  288. itmustbeken says:

    I’m amazed at the amount of free time some people have.

  289. ELC says:

    He’s an idiot. Apple has been selling their iPod line for 5 years of more and they have ALWAYS had white earbuds and cables. It’s a part of their marketing. Has he never seen their commercials on TV?? Tell him “we sold you the Apple product as it is manufactured, it is not our job to detail it to your specifications.”

  290. DeeTapir says:

    I’ve shopped on Woot several times and it does not take much common sense to realize that what you see advertised is what you are going to get. I think Woot should just say they are sorry the customer was dissatisfied with his purchase and he can return it for a full refund or keep it as is. It’s not the resposibility of Woot to customize each customers order. If they give in to this guy, they can expect a lot more problems like this to start popping up. Especially now that they have Woot Shirt & Woot Wine.

  291. charlie.evans says:

    Seriously…anyone that knows anything should know that Apple only makes white headphones. Big friggin’ deal. I mean since I have known about the iPod, I have known that they come with white earbuds. I think the customer shouldn’t get anything because of an assumption.

  292. WEGGLES90 says:

    Tough shit for the customer. It’s fairly well known that iPod headphones are white. If they want black headphones they gotta buy black ones. It’s not up to woot to pay for them, since they’re cosmetic not necessary.

  293. liz72701 says:

    “Millard”… no wonder he/she/it’s angry.

  294. picardia says:

    Entitlement ahoy. The photo made it clear the headphones were white; also, pure and simple observation of iPod ads/the world outside Millard’s own butt should have informed him these things are only white. Woot has already been more polite than necessary to someone this clueless and entitled.

    Personally, I HATE earbuds and purchased over-the-ear, noise-canceling headphones for my iPod, but I didn’t demand that anybody refund me the purchase price for something that is ultimately my own personal preference.

  295. kemosabee says:

    you gotta be kidding me.. ipods have been around for quite a bit now and have never came with anything other than those crappy white headphones. Obviously this person knows nothing about woot or (cr)apple.

  296. thoseturtles says:

    this is disgusting, WOOT should just tell her that her point isn’t valid and she can take it up with their lawyers.

  297. EdgarChautauqua says:

    WOW! with a website called ‘consumerist.com’ where all I read is how people keep getting bad service from Best buy and alike, these comments are pretty discouraging.
    This completely depends upon the business. What do you want to do? Earn someone’s respect so that they are repeat customers or are you expecting most of your customers to never come back? I ran a business, so here’s what I would have done. Give her a discount on new headphones, maybe have her send the old ones back. Tell him/her that you appreciate their business and look foward to more of the same in the future. Put a disclaimer on your website that states that headphones for Ipods are only available in White. This person will not gain much with two headphones, i believe she’s geniune in her concern, not trying to fraud you. Believe it or not, there are a lot of people out there that have no idea what an Ipod is, and how to use one. They usually buy it because their grandkids have asked them for it or something similar. Most of the commentors seem to be pretty rude, which again is pretty shocking considering they usually bitch about what kind of service they get from bestbuy and circuit city. have some shame.


  298. SudeviAegialeus says:

    I have owned 3 ipods they all came with white headphones apple doesn’t send you black ones, and had the customer or the daughter had a lick of freakin sense they would have known this. Go to Walmart, their white, Best Buy yeah them too, and everyone other place selling ipods tell this moron to go eff themselves and Ha I got a good laugh out of this. Personally my ipod is black and my earbuds are pink.

  299. SudeviAegialeus says:

    It is because of people like this they have the Caution Hot label on coffee cups.

  300. JackWalker says:

    I personally feel the customer shouldn’t receive a thing. Yes, he was polite in tone in his letter to WOOT’s customer service department, but why should he be reimbursed for something as menial as a pair of black headphones?

    Also, his analogy of buying a blue car was probably one of the worst I have ever read. He was never misled, he was however, misinformed. ALL iPods come with white earbuds.

    Like I said, I wouldn’t give the customer anything. Most consumers tend to feel as if they are privileged and the sad reality is that they’re not.

  301. tvh2k says:

    Where’s the option “Tell customer to go buy some neutrogena face wash” ??

  302. MillicentCephalus says:

    I work retail and had almost the exact same experiance recently. A lady complained a purse was damaged [when it clearly was not] and demanded a discount. Our policy is not to do that, so the manager dealing with her politely ecxaplined that and refused. She ended up complaining to my DM and got a $25 gift card out of her. It would have been easier to just give her 10% off in the store to shut her up. Basically, if you just refund the $29 fo, it’ll shut him up and get him off your ass. It’s just less of a headache in the long run.

  303. Wynner3 says:

    Hasn’t this person seen an ipod ad? It has always shown white earphones, look at any ipod owner and they most likely have white earphones. They should write to Steve Jobs or Apple, it’s their product not Woot.

  304. gzusone says:

    “Contrary to what people may say, there’s no upper limit to stupidity.” Stephen Colbert

  305. hi says:

    It’s a tough one… he/she obviously feels misled. You can’t say they don’t… if a customer feels misled then they feel misled. He/She was wrong to assume and should have researched what he/she was buying but in the end the store should just let him/her send the item back and maybe even give a coupon for good measure and be done with it. You don’t need to lose a customer, and it will build up his/her confindence on future purchases with your company.

  306. lostalaska says:

    Ignorance is bliss, unless your the customer service representative dealing with it.

    If ignorance is bliss and patience is a virtue you can get through life pretty happy if your stupid and don’t mind hanging out.

  307. nerdherd628 says:

    This is utter tripe. I work at a big box electronics retailer and we get these people from time to time. They always have unreasonable demands and flip their sh*t when they don’t get their way.

    I think people just want moral victories, especially bullies.

    My first reaction was to say, he can take a hike, my second reaction was to just offer the return, but if they really want to demonstrate above and beyond customer relations, they could refund him the 30 bucks for the headphones. This might open the door for people to abuse their generosity however.

  308. babel116 says:

    29.00 dollars for a set of ear buds? I’m sorry but a 5 dollar back of ear buds is fine for a kid who will most likely lose or destroy them. Woot should not be resonsable for paying for a set of skull candy ear buds. STAND YOUR GROUND!

  309. Jordan Lund says:

    The solution is simple… Point to the last 10 years of iPod advertising featuring, EXCLUSIVELY, white headphones.

    iPods have always only come with white headphones. It’s the customers fault for not realizing this.

  310. fall_farewell says:

    A company should not be required to pay to compensate for the complete and utter stupidity displayed by its customer. Woot should send a link to amazon to buy black spray paint.

  311. SarojCookies says:

    Just use the white headphones they looks perfectly fine and stylish too! Let steve Jobs sleep in peace he only has another year or so left on him and he still has to design the new Mac pro, Mac mini and Imac also a new iphone would be nice! And the macbook tablet should be created! they are just headphones which dont last that long either anyway! And if you didnt realise thats an old ipod i think just take ur product and be quiet I would love for the new macbooks to have a little monitor under the touchpad and for the macbook to be totally aluminium but we cant get everything we want it seems so….. Life sucks im afraid! Oh yeah btw! If you realy want black headphones I would either spray them black or buy a new pair which are 3 times better and cost half the price like Sony or Sennheiser or Just try spread a rumour about new black ipod headphones and Maybe Steve Jobs might say “Well black headphones that might sound like a good idea” but in a perfect world that would never happen because the white headphones have a really cool look and Apple like to stick out from other mp3s. Hope you find your new headphones bad and have to buy a new pair of ipod ones which are guess what WHITE not BLACK!!!!

  312. xskeptictankx says:

    Sounds RACIST to me!


    The guys analogy about the blue car is ridiculous. My car is white on the outside but it’s pretty thoroughly black & grey under the trunk AND the hood. I’m pretty sure they’re all that way and I’m pretty sure no one has ever sued a car manufacturer or dealer for misleading them about the color of the guts of the vehicle.

    Another reason why this is ridiculous, black ear buds can be purchased for less than $30 (on sale or not) so paying him back for his purchase could set a really bad precedent. Who’s stopping him or anyone else from buying a $199 set of Sennheiser headphones and then demanding that WOOT pay for it?

    Also, wasn’t there a moment in time when people were buying iPod white earbuds and using them with their non-iPod mp3 players (or CD players, even) so it would appear as though they were iPod owners? I thought everyone knew that iPod headphones are white. All of them.

    Sure, WOOT should have probably specified iPod = black, headphones = white just like McDonald’s now has to legally specify coffee = hot, but if the photo wasn’t misleading I don’t think they have any responsibility to give in to his demands.

  313. Mythandros says:

    I agree with the majority of almost everyone here.

    The pain in the ass customer should get absolutely jack squat. They’re only doing this out of a false sense of entitlement.

    The onus falls on the CONSUMER to research the product, not the company to tell you every single detail and make sure that you memorize them.

    Too bad, so sad. Sorry buddy, white earbuds for you.

  314. trk182 says:

    …”The reason I felt mislead is because I was asked to select between “White” or “Black”, and I was under the ASSUMPTION that, again “White” meant totally “White” and that “Black meant totally Black”.”

    Millard is Racist.

    20 Obama remarks but…must not ….offend.

  315. CharityBunting says:

    stupidity is not a crime, nor is it necessary to do anything for people who are acting stupid, however, if public image is at stake, it may be neccessary (sadly) to oblige stupidity, then legislate decisions and bylaws against such a happenance so there will be no valid complaints. However, is this stupidity, or oversight, or perhaps just attempting to get more than you payed for?

  316. Papa Midnight says:

    I personally feel that absolutely nothing should be done on the part of Woot. If the person wishes, they can take their issue up with Apple, who for 7 years, has manufactured iPod’s in the exact same way: iPod with White Headphones, with the exception of the U2 Edition iPod which comes with Black headphones.

    This is one of those times when Woot was just not in the wrong. I’ve purchased items from Woot before and hold their Customer Service in high regard. This just seems to be a clear cut case of “Bad Consumer”.

    • Papa Midnight says:

      @Papa Midnight: On another note, if he wants black headphones, Sony manufactures them for $49.99. Skullcandy manufactures it’s “Ink’d” line which goes for anywhere from $10.99 to $21.99 depending on where you buy, and by the way, they come in Black.

  317. Anonymous says:

    What if Woot refunded Millard’s money, sent him a new one for free, took down the site, and had the webmaster shot, would that be satisfactory?

    Good grief this guy needs to get a life. It’s hardly Woot’s fault if Apple only makes WHITE headphones.

  318. Watcher95 says:

    Seems like woot learned thier lesson with this one.


  319. Curtis Dietrick says:

    The photos of products on Woot! are there specifically to show the customer what they will be receiving. The customer admits that getting black headphones was an assumption, that fact alone should close this case. It seems that the mass of American consumers have replaced common sense with some idea of entitlement and irresponisibility when it comes to purchasing things.

  320. Anonymous says:

    I commend Woot.com for at least turning to the people to try and figure out the best solution for this customer. That being said… ARE YOU KIDDING ME? The Ipod came out in October of 2001, and has NEVER had anything but white earbuds packaged with it.
    As an owner of my own retail store I try to practice the highest customer service, and use a business model designed to put the customer first… But as a retailer, I also refuse to let myself be walked on by people who refuse to take accountability for their lack of information. I agree with other posters who think they should return the product through normal means, and disallow this individual to purchase from woot.com in the future.
    “The customer is always right” is from a time when people took the time to learn about the products they were purchasing, and also treated the store and individuals they were purchasing from with respect. That term no longer applies to situations like this.

  321. Anonymous says:

    Was the customer not EQUALLY upset that the data cable was not also black!!! Id be furious – LOL. Seriously though, if you dont know enough about Apple to know their product ‘standards’ then you arent worthy to buy (or even own) an Apple product

  322. snclfe says:

    “No Millard, what you’re doing is buying a blue car and then getting ridiculously pissy about the fact that the tires are black. Did you really think they’d be blue? Really?”

  323. Anonymous says:

    Woot.com, I am totally with you folks on this one.

    It is ultimately up to the CONSUMER to verify what he or she is purchasing. There are thousands of websites out there that can tell you that the earbuds come in white only. Instead of bothering to actually look it up, the purchaser just decided to make an assumption.

    It’s not up to companies to take the hit for consumers’ laziness, ignorance, or (in extreme cases) blatant stupidity. I often wonder how inexpensive many items would be for the rest of us if the producers and retailers of goods didn’t have to expend the time and money that they do to deal with these types of situations that are obviously caused by consumer error?

  324. Joshua Raddatz says:

    If they’d bothered to look anywhere online, they would have seen that the iPods always ship with white earbuds. It’s just one of those facts of life.

    Also, $30 earbuds don’t sound that much better than the $10 ones at Wal*Mart…

  325. Justin Gutwein says:

    Anyone with common sense that has ever heard of an Ipod knows that black headphones don’t exist.

    A. Don’t be so ignorant. Learn about something before you buy it.
    B. You bought a $250 item for $100. Get over it, go to CVS and buy some KOSS headphones for $1.50. They’ll sound like crap, but at least they’ll be black.

  326. Anonymous says:

    I used to be a supervisor at a dept store and I have dealt with tons of people like this who like to gripe about something ridiculous like this and they expect to be compensated for their own stupidity. I say apologize for their misunderstading the product and offer to take back their iPod. They will probably decide that they actually got a good deal and suddenly the earbud color won’t be an issue anymore. It’s amazing how the issue disappears when you offer to take back their good deal.

  327. Anonymous says:

    Find the cheapest, crappiest black headphones back in the armpit of your warehouse. Send him five pairs. The customer will think he “won” and you’ll have cleared out some crap to make room for more crap!

  328. Randy Treibel says:

    Millard is your standard idiot consumer. Millard sorry but you are “That guy”

  329. Anonymous says:

    I think it is a bad strategy on part of woot to bring a customer complaint in the public forum. Even though they are 100% right and are not in a position to help a misinformed (not mislead) customer, their action exposes their attitude towards customer service. It is quite common for a buyer to make certain assumptions about the products purchased on the internet and woot needs to be sensitive to customers making incorrect assumptions (unless they are willing to post each and every detail about the product on their website). Again, not to say that woot should do anything about it more than politely point out the facts (and at the most offer a refund). But bringing it in a public forum is a bad idea.

  330. Jocelyn Green says:

    Ban him/her (whatever it is) from ever WOOTING again. In the words of the “Soup Nazi” from “Seinfeld” “No WOOT for you!”

  331. Marcus Cassius Scaeva says:

    Millard…you’re a total tool. Take your sense of entitlement and move to Canada with it. Also, you could have bought cheaper headphones than $29 if you just wanted them for aesthetics. Just to be sure, you went out and spent too much money on something you didn’t need and you want someone else to pay you for it? No. I don’t feel you’ve been wronged. I’m glad Woot displayed this on the internet this way to make sure everyone that subscribes to Woot knows you’re a total moron. If you could do us a small favor I’d say post a picture of yourself so every business you come in contact with knows they have to explain things to you as if you were two or had the mental capacity of a yard ape.

  332. Anonymous says:

    Ask him to send the iPod back if he’s unsatisfied. Say that you’re sorry that there are no black apple headphones, it’s a common misconception (whether or not it really is)… but unfortunately, it is not physically possible for you to send them black Apple headphones as they do not exist. Give him a few bucks of store credit. (Hell, give’im $50, he’s not going to use it.)

  333. Anonymous says:

    I definitely think woot should send somebody to smack some sense into this guy using a large fish of woot’s choice (i recommend a nice tuna or something)

    if you’re going to complain about customer service you should check to see if you’re completely stupid first and if so don’t

  334. Anonymous says:

    Reminds me of my old neighbor who used to get so many viruses on his dell pc that when it stopped working he would bitch at dell till they sent him a new one. funny thing was he would always get one

  335. Anonymous says:

    They are a ‘he’ and not a ‘she.’ It’s clearly a father buying a gift for his daughter. And while most people know that apple makes predomenantly white only accessories, it’s not necessarily easily found. I see how he was misinformed, I mean, really, if I were to ask my father for an all black ipod (I hate ipods, but) I know he would go to great lengths in order to achieve my wishes. So I can see where this guy is coming from. But because he was misinformed rather than mislead, he should be allowed to send back/receive a refund on the entire purchase if he chooses, but there’s no real reason why woot should pay the $29, since you can’t get an ipod anywhere that COMES with black ear buds. My point is I really do see the customer’s side on this; sometimes things obvious to some or less so to others. Woot should take this and the type as an example to actually add more consumer based details to what their selling.