Return Lines Filled With People Who Got The 'Wrong' Technology As Presents

from the restocking dept

Ah, the post holiday traditions keep on changing. When it comes to tech items, it usually involves a few days of setting it up, trying to figure out how it works and then wondering where the hell you left the manual that you should have read in the first place. However, for many people, it seems to consist of returning whatever gadget they got, because it’s “the wrong one.” With so many choices these days, the non-savvy buyer has a pretty good chance of screwing it all up — and there are a lot of non-savvy buyers out there. While this might seem like a minor deal, it is interesting to step back and recognize just how confusing the technology buying process is for most people. Just about everything these days comes with all sorts of different features and options, many of which don’t make sense. There are competing products that work on different standards or systems, and it’s nearly impossible (unless you’re a gadget-a-holic) to keep it all straight. While the impact of this may be hidden behind decent sales, it’s likely that it’s still confusing and scaring off a lot of potential buyers.


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Comments on “Return Lines Filled With People Who Got The 'Wrong' Technology As Presents”

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14 Comments
S Clark (user link) says:

Manufacturers must do better also...

True enough, but it doesn’t help when some companies try to fool people through bait-and-switch, either by portraying the product as turnkey (knowing full well it’s not) or by outright lying about the products appearance or capabilities (such as the recent eStarling photo frame fiasco)

I hope that the participatory internet will drive consumers to say more and make noise about products they love or hate rather than just making long days for the poor CSRs behind the counter at Frys.

B Funk says:

RE: Manufacturers must do better also...

Neither of those complaints (portraying the product as turnkey (knowing full well it’s not) or by outright lying about the products appearance or capabilities) is bait-and-switch, but are false advertising, instead.
I do believe it’s the responsibility of the buyer to know not only what’s being bought, but what’s *wanted*. Buying your cousin a wonderful AGP video card doesn’t do much good if he wants a PCI-E card.

Bumbling old fool (profile) says:

Wrong Tech?

My kids got a cubic tonne (metric, thanks for asking) of Thomas the Tank Engine train stuff for xmas.

Unfortunately, it was all the wrong stuff. My kids have the wooden set, and they love it. They have no desire for the cheap plastic stuff with motors in it, but for some reason, thats all you can find in the stores. So that’s what everyone bought.

And wouldn’t you know it… The two techs are not compatible with each other. At all.

So I’ll be standing in line to do a bunch of returns.

Andrew Pollack (profile) says:

Lots of good, but not quiet good enough tech.

I asked for, and received, a ZEN Vision-M player. As a tech oriented person, it’s a fine device for me — but given to an end user type, it will not satisfy. The software side is simply too complex and problem prone.

Apple understands this. iTunes is simple, inflexible, and so forth — but anyone can use it. As a result, Apple owns the bulk of that market.

Roykabob says:

Re: Lots of good, but not quiet good enough tech.

>> I asked for, and received, a ZEN Vision-M player. As a tech oriented person, it’s a fine device for me —
>>but given to an end user type, it will not satisfy. The software side is simply too complex and problem
>> prone.

My 10yo isn’t having any problem with the Zen Media Explorer…a hell of a lot easier to use than iTunes.

Sanguine Dream says:

Lying doesn't help...

Lots of people that deal in selling tech stuff are on commission (especially cell phone dealers) and like car dealers they may outright lie just to make a sale. Yes the customer should have an idea of what they are buying but that doesn’t justify the fact that many employees of these stores are just there for the commission or are not knowledgable about their product. If a customer is expected to know about a product shouldn’t an employee be expected to know about that product since she/he is being paid to sell it?

And the truth about a product is more important than ever these days with stores getting more strict on return policies.

jeff says:

zen vision? to complex to use?

The zen vision M will use media player to upload music if you don’t want to use the creative software. GG for giving up so quickly, “techi”.

And yes, ipod owns a good deal of the market cause people are stupid. Be it either falling to marketing, or because they don’t know how to use a computer. Be it known, ipod users are mearly making it easy for us to pick out the idiots.

Friggin Apple says:

I hate

And have since I bought the 128k Mac, only to be told to make it actually work I’d have to buy the $1500 512k upgrade after having spent $2700 on the base model. My beef with them in this century is the various generations of the Nano.

My mother bought a Nano and to be a good son I got her a dock for the car and one for the desk. Since we all know that everything from Apple “just works” while anything else will require you to do hours of work checking compatibility I thought it would be as easy as buying Apple accessories bearing the Nano model name. Not quite, as they make two generations of the Nano, and not only do they not mark the Nano itself, but only after market manufacturers bother to mark the accessory. The defining difference between the generations? They’ve moved the connector on the bottom a few millimeters, so it won’t fit.

Frigging Apple.

Philip says:

Not just with technology

This is nothing new; this has always happened, not just in technology. For example, last year my sister gave me a drawing pad and pencils as a gift, but they were the wrong type of pencils for the type of drawing I did.

I think it’s just more proponent these days with technology becoming a large if not key part of many people’s lives. In the past, the “wrong type” items have always been centered around professional items.

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