From my experience, I've always received a full refund, including what I paid for shipping, when I've had to return video games. I've never returned a DVD to my recollection. Never bought any CDs. And with books, since they switched to 96 cent shipping, I've never received any kind of shipping discount if I had to return an item from an order (nor was I expecting one since all of my book orders where I've had to do a return have been multi-book where I kept other books).
I'm a long time lurker and first time poster. I registered specifically so I could pass on some Hastings policy change information that I received via an overly chatty representative in their customer service department earlier this week. I apologize in advance for the length of this post.
Hastings has always been exceptional about correcting mistakes when one is made. Many times they would simply refund the amount of a purchased product and let you keep it if it was the wrong item, non-functioning, etc. Also, they were notorious for being generous if you received the wrong item and wished to purchase it at the same price when it came back in stock at a later date. In such a case, they would create a ticket, have you reorder when in stock, then refund the difference to make it the same price as your original order.
When I called earlier this week to do just that (I received A Bug's Life DVD rather than BD/DVD combo) I was informed that my only two options were to keep it with no refund being issued or return it for a refund minus the cost of original shipping. When I inquired about purchasing the product at the same sale price on a later date, I was informed that this was no longer permitted.
Per the agent I spoke with, strict policies were put in place as of September 1st. Apparently, too many people were placing orders, then calling and requesting full or partial refunds on many items of their orders. Others were seeking reimbursement for damaged art work or cases which Hastings does not guarantee but had been gracious enough to offer partial refunds for. Obviously this does not allow them to make a good profit if they are essentially giving away product or refunds left and right based on customer demands.
The agent went on to tell me that there will no longer be the option to keep the item received whether it is damaged, incorrect, or whatever, and still receive a refund if the total price of the item pre-discounts is greater than $5. They have also nixed any courtesy refunds for damaged cases and art work. Additionally, they have killed off the option to return items and buy them again at the same price (via manual price adjustment) at a later time.
Regardless of the customer's product problem, if the total price is over five bucks, the customer now has two choices:
1) Keep the wrong/damaged/etc. item and be billed for it accordingly
2) Return said item (Hastings will pay for return shipping) and receive a refund less the original shipping costs once the item is processed in their central hub.
I do not know how it is handled if the item is less than $5; she did not specify. All in all, it sounds like a case of the bad apple (or many bad apples) spoiling the bunch, but Hastings had to tighten up policy to prevent abuse of the generous system they had tried to keep in place.
Don't take this as the gospel, but based on the details the representative gave me and the specifics she listed, it sounded like she knew what she was talking about. So, if you find your experiences with Hastings customer service to be different than before, it is likely because of these new policy implementations.
But if they're now going to make you eat the shipping costs, that seems like it's really going to make people even more uneasy about buying video games if they're going to be out $2.28 for, say, not receiving a working product.
I just had one video game return process and post to my credit card account and I got the price + shipping back. I've actually got a book return from an order that was just that book that's been processed and I'm just waiting for the credit back to appear on my account. I'm curious if I'll get the 96 cent shipping back on that. I've also got two video game returns from my smoke-game and my Previously-Viewed-Instead-Of-Used game processed but the posting to my credit card account pending. Now I'm really curious if they're going to give me my full refund or if they're going to try to make me eat $4.56.
Edited by kodave, 17 September 2012 - 08:25 AM.