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TV buyers are finding much shorter return policies

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Posted at 5:34 AM, Apr 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-07 06:39:07-04

(WXYZ) — Many people will be spending their tax refund or stimulus check on a TV upgrade this spring.

But before anyone tosses the box, make sure to know about shorter return policies these days.

Gladys Watson has a giant 75-inch blank screen in her living room.

“It’s on, believe it or not!” Watson said.

She purchased the $700 Hisense television at Walmart for Christmas.

“What do you see on it? Nothing!” Watson exclaimed.

So she called the store, but quickly learned she had missed the 30-day return window.

“Walmart said they can’t help, they said I have to call and get in touch with the company,” Watson said.

So she called Hisense. First a customer service again helped her reset the TV.

“Television played for another two or three days, then it went back out,” Watson said.

Finally, Hisense agreed to send a repairman.

“He said, ‘I can’t guarantee to you this is going to work,'” Watson recalled.

Sure enough, a few days later, diagonal lines, then black.

That’s the problem with trying to fix a flat screen TV. It’s often easier and cheaper to just replace it.

But store return policies are so short, that returning it is often no longer an option.

Walmart lets customers return a TV for 30 days, unlike 90 days for most other items. Amazon and Target have a 30-day return policy, as well. But at Best Buy, customers only have 15 days — unless someone is a premium member.

Otherwise, customers must deal with the manufacturer.

Adding insult to injury, Watson got an email saying her case was closed.

“[The email] stated that the television was fixed, completed. And it’s not,” Watson said.

So, we contacted Hisense USA and asked if they could please swap out Watson’s TV for one that works.

This is a reminder to always open a TV box and test it as soon as it’s purchased.

Never wait a few weeks, so you don’t waste your money.