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#4531 kodave

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 08:15 AM

So I was looking at Hastings' Facebook page and came across some posts about return policy changes that basically point back to another forum (a Blu-Ray forum). Here is the relevant post:

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.

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).

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.



#4532 hamokmonky

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 11:16 AM

So I was looking at Hastings' Facebook page and came across some posts about return policy changes that basically point back to another forum (a Blu-Ray forum). Here is the relevant post:

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).

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.


I really hope that the CS rep just didnt really know what she was talking about, because charging people shipping for an issue that was your fault is just wrong. I can understand requiring a return of the item instead of letting you keep it (although I will be disappointed to have to repackage all of the things I get and go to the post office to drop it off - what a hassle). Hastings CS is the reason I keep coming back and "chancing" the orders. If they require me to pay postage without a chance at refund, then chances are I will buy considerably less.

#4533 creator

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 12:35 PM

I really hope that the CS rep just didnt really know what she was talking about, because charging people shipping for an issue that was your fault is just wrong. I can understand requiring a return of the item instead of letting you keep it (although I will be disappointed to have to repackage all of the things I get and go to the post office to drop it off - what a hassle). Hastings CS is the reason I keep coming back and "chancing" the orders. If they require me to pay postage without a chance at refund, then chances are I will buy considerably less.


I completely agree.

About 30% of my purchases have been defective (note: I buy CDs), but the customer service has been so wonderful that I have kept buying buying buying.

#4534 kklems

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 01:06 PM

The rep seemed to forget another option. Filing a credit card dispute for not receiving the correct item. I will be damned if I am going to pay shipping costs for an item that is damaged, not working or incorrect.

#4535 RayBay

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 02:50 PM

I ended up having to return a few items about a week ago and can somewhat confirm the no refund of shipping costs. This was the return email I got from GoHastings customer service:

I have attached a merchandise return label for your convenience. Please follow the instructions on the attachment to return the item to our facility. Using your packing slip as a return form, please write the reason for the return on the front of the packing slip. If you do not have the packing slip, please write the reason for the return and the order number on a piece of paper.

Please allow 2-3 weeks for the return process. Once processed, you will receive an email. The refund should post back to your method of payment in 2-10 business days dependant upon your bank’s policies. Your shipping cost will not be included in the refund.

Please feel free to contact us at 877-427-8464 during the hours of 9 am-9 pm Monday-Friday, Central Standard Time if you would like immediate assistance. Please note that our customer service representatives can not take orders by phone. Thank you for your patience and your loyalty.

I just checked my account and I did receive the shipping amount in my refund, so maybe the policy hasn't fully gone into effect yet?

#4536 hamokmonky

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 03:04 PM

I did just return something a week ago, but havent gotten the refund posted yet. We will see, but there was 0 mention of shipping costs not being refunded by the person on the phone, which was about 2 weeks ago.

#4537 Cheaplikeafox OS X

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 03:22 PM

It would suck if this policy changed, but to be honest even from this thread seems some people have been overly picky about the quality of their products and returns so I guess they had to tighten that belt strap.

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#4538 hamokmonky

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 03:43 PM

I can understand charging the buyer shipping if the return is due to something undesirable, but not gaurenteed by the current system (like smoke or rips in the artwork) but if the item is defective? Thats not being overly picky....

#4539 Squarehard

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 03:56 PM

I've never had this problem at all before, but the Hastings rep also just confirmed there is indeed a "$5" policy for the return of items. However the rep did not confirm whether or not shipping cost are returned as per the $5 policy, so now it's getting more complicated. I think it is about time to have a long talk with Hastings again to clarify these issues.

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#4540 Bizzquik

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 04:35 PM

Man, I guess I've just stacked up on too many GoHastings strategy guides already. Too bad - these sales are great for getting guides of older games for ~$4. But after looking through 14 pages of video game strategy guides here, there's nothing I want. :cry:

Thanks anyway for the tip, though. Good sale. :D

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#4541 Blade

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 04:41 PM

The Hastings rep I talked to about exchanging a book they sent me for a book I actually ordered (<$2 for the book) told me they wouldn't refund my shipping because I was not supposed to even receive the item; they sent me the wrong item, and I was supposed to return it, but they wouldn't send me the item I actually ordered because the order was already completed. Which makes zero fucking sense. Shipping to return the book was more than the book was worth, according to them, so I kept the sucker. I asked to speak to the manager and was put on indefinite hold.

Their customer support has been incredibly shitty for me. And that sucks, because they sent me a game with two cracks in the middle that I need to return/exchange.

#4542 hamokmonky

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 04:47 PM

I have to say, the more people are posting the more worried i am getting. If hastings CS/return policies goes to heck in a handbasket like it might be appearing, then their laxidasical trade in standards will keep me from ordering from them, and I am a long standing purchaser of probably thousands of items.

#4543 fyahbwoy

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 05:45 PM

is there some way to ensure i get the 50% off a certain game? do i have to buy them in a certain order?
i want the more expensive game for 50% off....anyone?

#4544 Cheaplikeafox OS X

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 05:47 PM

is there some way to ensure i get the 50% off a certain game? do i have to buy them in a certain order?
i want the more expensive game for 50% off....anyone?


Are you serious?

The way these deals work most of the time is the lowest price item will be 50% off. It's computer automated. No way to game the system, unless I missed a glitch or something.

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#4545 hamokmonky

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 05:52 PM

yea dude, you cant pick what game you get 50% off on, it automatically gives you 50% on the lower priced game, otherwise this deal would be insane... purchase something for $2 and get 50% off a $60 game... uhhh yea....

#4546 whitereflection

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 06:27 PM

Actually, there have been glitches like that, the most recent one being the PS2 games for $5 sale. It was fixed up quickly, but I think the promotion was Buy 2 Get 1 for $1. Well, the $5 PS2 games were initially calculated by their normal listed price, like a soccer game was listed at over $1000 and Dance Dance Revolution at $36, so some current-gen games were counted as the cheaper game if you added these to cart. Of course you'd have to buy one or two PS2 games you didn't want for $5 plus shipping apiece, but I was able to pick up Dragon's Dogma for $20ish.

#4547 kodave

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 06:44 PM

I have a feeling Hastings is going to become way more familiar with credit card charge backs in the near future.

They really need to get their shit together in terms of consistent trade in quality, sending the product ordered, and protective shipping.

I know Hastings' website says one thing and that's the policy we have to play by, but for comparison's sake, they also list their used items on Amazon and they list everything in "Very Good" condition. Here are the general standards for Amazon's "Very Good" listings:

Used - Very Good: A well-cared-for item that has seen limited use but remains in great condition. The item is complete, unmarked, and undamaged, but may show some limited signs of wear. Item works perfectly.

In addition to having to meet the quality described above, there are these other conditions for category specific items:

Books: Used - Very Good: Pages and dust cover are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine is undamaged.

CDs: Used - Very Good: The packaging, cover art, liner notes, or inclusions may show limited signs of wear.

Video, DVD & Blu-ray Discs: Just the General standards apply for "Very Good."

Video Games: Used - Very Good: Activation codes for bonus online content may be missing or expired. Product may not include downloadable content.


Same deal for their listings on eBay, where Hastings lists used books and CDs as "Very Good" and used Video Games as "Good":

Books:
Very Good: A book that does not look new and has been read but is in excellent condition. No obvious damage to the cover, with the dust jacket (if applicable) included for hard covers. No missing or damaged pages, no creases or tears, and no underlining/highlighting of text or writing in the margins. May have very minimal identifying marks on the inside cover. Very minimal wear and tear. See the seller’s listing for full details and description of any imperfections.

DVDs & Movies, Music, Video Games:
Very Good: An item that is used but still in very good condition. No damage to the jewel case or item cover, no scuffs, scratches cracks, or holes. The cover art and liner notes are included. The VHS or DVD box is included. The video game instructions and box are included. The teeth of disk holder are undamaged. Minimal wear on the exterior of item. No skipping on CD/DVD. No fuzzy/snowy frames on VHS tape. See the seller’s listing for full details and description of any imperfections.

Good: An item in used but good condition. May have minor damage to jewel case including scuffs or cracks, or to the item cover including scuffs, scratches, or cracks. The cover art and liner notes are included for a CD. VHS or DVD box is included. Video game instructions are included. No skipping on CD/DVD. No fuzzy/snowy frames on VHS tape. See the seller’s listing for full details and description of any imperfections.


Though Hastings circumvents eBay's product's listing standards by stating:

Due to the nature of used and PV products; booklet inserts, digital content and manuals are not guaranteed in our used video games, used movies and CDs.


Here is all Hastings' own website says about their used item conditions:

We strive to provide high quality products to our customers.

USED/Previously Viewed Product
We 100% GUARANTEE the full functionality of all used and previously viewed product. Due to the nature of used and previously viewed products; booklet inserts, digital content and manuals are not guaranteed in any used or previously viewed product. Select downloadable and online content/features may require an additional purchase.

USED - is product we have purchased through our trade in program or from other merchant partners. These products are carefully inspected before purchasing and tested to ensure they have full functionality. This product may not include additional discs, digital content, inserts or other inclusions typically associated with new product. All items are reconditioned and packaged for purchase. Select downloadable and online content/features may require an additional purchase.


So to summarize, Hastings' own website only guarantees "full functionality" and does not guarantee manuals or additional discs.

The last part (additional discs) is a huge problem.

You can't have a listing for say, a Blu-Ray/DVD 2 disc combo pack, then ship the combo pack without the DVD disc. Any and every credit card company is going authorize a charge back on that purchase if Hastings isn't going to provide full refunds including shipping.

As for the rest, Hastings only guarntees "full functionality." Do they really mean to imply that if everything but the disc is snapped and ripped in half in a poly bag mailer, it's still "functional" so tough shit? That if they send me a book with its spine snapped in half, tough shit as long as I can turn the pages to read it?

If you had purchased from Amazon or eBay instead of direct from Hastings, you'd be getting a full refund no questions asked by Amazon or eBay after a dispute is opened. Those companies are buyer friendly and don't screw around with the stuff Hastings' is trying to pull. The condition guidelines are on those websites for a reason.

It sounds like Hastings needs to hire a new person to run their online operations. They need to get unified trade in standards that are actually enforced at the store level, then clearly list those item standards on their website and under the closest matching Amazon and eBay item condition guidelines, and ship the products in a way that preserves the condition of those items. Because in practice, Hastings' is only guaranteeing maybe "Good" but likely "Acceptable" at best products across Amazon and eBay despite the "Very Good" listings and even the video game "Good" listings on eBay. But it's unlikely they'll drop their condition listings to accurately reflect their guarantees because then people aren't going to buy from them as much as they would under "Very Good" listings.


#4548 slainviper

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 07:08 PM

I still have to return those two Blu-rays I got. Not sure if I should send them out now or wait until this has all been sorted out.

Edited by slainviper, 17 September 2012 - 07:18 PM.


#4549 WNYX585AM

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 07:09 PM

I have only ordered a limited amount from Hastings, but have been very happy with the condition of everything I have received. I have only ordered used books and used games, but all of them came in a condition that I felt was good to excellent. Perhaps my standards are generally low, but for the price I paid for those items, I was not expecting perfection. When I compare Hastings to Gamestop, the quality has always been better from Hastings (I know that's not saying much).

I have never ordered a set of anything, so I can't speak for those issues. I suppose I purposely avoid sets of things when buying used because those seem inherently problematic.

The only item I got that was problematic was a DS game which worked, but did not hold any saved game. They immediately offered to give a full refund with shipping when I called them.

#4550 edson13

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 07:54 PM

I have only ordered a limited amount from Hastings, but have been very happy with the condition of everything I have received. I have only ordered used books and used games, but all of them came in a condition that I felt was good to excellent. Perhaps my standards are generally low, but for the price I paid for those items, I was not expecting perfection. When I compare Hastings to Gamestop, the quality has always been better from Hastings (I know that's not saying much).

I have never ordered a set of anything, so I can't speak for those issues. I suppose I purposely avoid sets of things when buying used because those seem inherently problematic.

The only item I got that was problematic was a DS game which worked, but did not hold any saved game. They immediately offered to give a full refund with shipping when I called them.


Ive gotten some truly messed up items from hastings, cracked games, dvd sets with writing on them, tons of items with multiple punctures on them(Like honestly, about 15% of games I buy, seemed to have been poked for fun), and also more than a few with with food stains over the covers(obviously from hastings employees).
Still about 75%, of stuff comes very good to like new. Even though, I only return games that actually dont work, If theyre really not going to refund shipping cost, IDK if that 75% chance of a good game is going to be worth the risk.

#4551 Cheaplikeafox OS X

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 10:43 PM

For the prices I'm still willing to risk it. Yeah, they list items for better condition on ebay or amazon, but they also charge a ton more to buy them through there. Their website has rules and you agree to them when you order from them.

Their policy sucks and I wish they just banned individual users who abuse the policies, of which I am sure there are a ton, rather than making everyone pay for it. If they still pay for return shipping just wait and order when shipping is free or .80 cents or whatever so the loss isn't huge if an item isn't up to par.

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#4552 kodave

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 01:02 AM

Got two packages of poly bags in the mail today with books. Luckily none of the books appear to have any corner or spine damage as a result, which is a nice change from some of the poly bag book orders I received recently.

Today's haul included the Wolverine Noir HC, Marvel Weddings TPB, and Robin: Search for a Hero TPB. Some of the other books I didn't name earlier out of an irrational fear of jinxing them shipping to me that arrived today were the Batman: Face the Face TPB and the Batman: Mad Love and Other Stories HC, both of which are usually a little pricey but were steals at $7 a pop.

With Face the Face, Mad Love HC, Robin: Search for a Hero, Nightwing: Year One, Contagion, and Harley and Ivy, Hastings has had a gold mine of pricey Batman books for cheap lately. And I got the Batman: Harley Quinn TPB from an Amazon seller for $13 during this time too when it usually sells for $60+. My Batman collection is pleased.


#4553 Tsel

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 01:39 AM

I also got two graphic novels in today and surprisingly they came in one of those infamous boxes! I was pleasantly surprised. They weren't anything special, I simply bought them because they were cheap. Why I do this to myself I have no idea.

#4554 kodave

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 02:02 AM

Spoke too soon about my Batman: Face the Face TPB. I went to flip through it when I was putting it away... the entire cover is detached from the spine. Luckily its an absolutely clean separation. I don't know how that even happens. Its something a Hastings employee should have noticed pretty quickly after examining the book and it never should have been allowed to be traded in. I'm not particularly mad about it because I can just fix it with some glue since it was a clean separation, but it just shows that someone taking trade ins was just not giving any fucks.


#4555 Cheaplikeafox OS X

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 05:46 PM

Got my CDs from the .99 cent sale. The most expensive one was in good condition. Insert could be better and CD is a little scuffed, but will do. Second CD is in very good condition. Last CD has an insert that's got tab indents and is all wrinkly (probably water damage) but for the price for a 20 year old CD I won't complaint. Had I paid full price I might have since they wanted collector's prices for it.

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#4556 blucadet3

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 05:57 PM

Got two packages of poly bags in the mail today with books. Luckily none of the books appear to have any corner or spine damage as a result, which is a nice change from some of the poly bag book orders I received recently.

Today's haul included the Wolverine Noir HC, Marvel Weddings TPB, and Robin: Search for a Hero TPB. Some of the other books I didn't name earlier out of an irrational fear of jinxing them shipping to me that arrived today were the Batman: Face the Face TPB and the Batman: Mad Love and Other Stories HC, both of which are usually a little pricey but were steals at $7 a pop.

With Face the Face, Mad Love HC, Robin: Search for a Hero, Nightwing: Year One, Contagion, and Harley and Ivy, Hastings has had a gold mine of pricey Batman books for cheap lately. And I got the Batman: Harley Quinn TPB from an Amazon seller for $13 during this time too when it usually sells for $60+. My Batman collection is pleased.


Everyone buying graphic novels do me a favor and see if they have evidence of having an RFID tag ripped off the back inside cover (they may also have a white square RFID tag in them still) or tape on the hardcover under the dust cover. Trade paperbacks will have a harder plastic coating on the cover and tape reinforced spines. We just had a guy arrested for selling hundreds of our library graphic novels and books to Hastings and many of them were sold in the last couple of weeks. We recovered a few hundred, but many more went out the door. Just curious how many made it into the mail.

Thanks.

#4557 hamokmonky

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 06:07 PM

wow... was he a library employee or did he just manage to walk out with that many books....

#4558 kodave

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 06:21 PM

Everyone buying graphic novels do me a favor and see if they have evidence of having an RFID tag ripped off the back inside cover (they may also have a white square RFID tag in them still) or tape on the hardcover under the dust cover. Trade paperbacks will have a harder plastic coating on the cover and tape reinforced spines. We just had a guy arrested for selling hundreds of our library graphic novels and books to Hastings and many of them were sold in the last couple of weeks. We recovered a few hundred, but many more went out the door. Just curious how many made it into the mail.

Thanks.


None of mine are ex-library. That would have raised flags. Wouldn't your books have library stamps too, either on the edges or on the inside? Also, knowing your location would help.


#4559 supershammy

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 07:41 PM

Everyone buying graphic novels do me a favor and see if they have evidence of having an RFID tag ripped off the back inside cover (they may also have a white square RFID tag in them still) or tape on the hardcover under the dust cover. Trade paperbacks will have a harder plastic coating on the cover and tape reinforced spines. We just had a guy arrested for selling hundreds of our library graphic novels and books to Hastings and many of them were sold in the last couple of weeks. We recovered a few hundred, but many more went out the door. Just curious how many made it into the mail.

Thanks.


I have received 40+ graphic novels/comics from GoHastings over the last few months, and none have been former library books. Good luck, that is pretty horrible stuff.

#4560 blucadet3

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 07:48 PM

wow... was he a library employee or did he just manage to walk out with that many books....


No he wasn't an employee, just walked out with stuff. Obviously our security must have let the gates go off and not stopped him multiple times.

Our property labels are easy to peel off of slick plastic covered trades and are on the Mylar cover of the hardcovers. No actual stamps like in the olden days. Just some stick on labels and RFID tags.

I'm not trying to recover anything I was just curious is all. The Hastings manager actually brought up the fact that a lot of the stuff had gone out from web orders.