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HMV UK return policy - beware

December 09, 2003
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You will probably be spending some amount of money on CDs, DVDs and console games this Christmas so please think twice before purchasing at HMV. Their return policy is not what you may be used to.

Basically, HMV offers no refunds or store credit; only exchanges are allowed and this only if the item is in "perfect condition and original packaging".

The consequence is that if you purchase something wrong or get an unwated present the only option you have is to take it back to HMV and pick something else with "similar value". If you don't, or not to the full value of the previously purchased item, the money is lost. If you cannot decide on something to replace the item with (with the same value again) within 21 days, the money is lost... and, most annoying, make sure to carry the item with you at all times in case you happen to walk into an HMV that day and happen to find something you like.

This strict policy is printed on the back of the receipt but if you do have a read, it is already too late because the purchase has been made.

After the bad luck with the manager in the store I phoned up HMV head quarters (0207 467 1109) to confirm this strict policy. Yes, HMV changed their policy June 2003 due to "hard market conditions the passed year" was the answer.

I am not quite sure what it means but if it means that HMV has been affected by the recent recession in world economy let me just state that I too have been affected.

Apparantly it is up to the managers discretion to offer gift vouchers. I recall that when I mentioned this offer to the manager it was refused. I guess I was not representable enough or that the manager was having a bad day. Too bad that her bad day reflects this badly on HMV and will affect where I (and anybody I managed to inform) makes future purchases.

Update 15/12/03
I was lucky enough to sell on the unwanted purchase to a colleague. If similar has happened to you, you can help by linking to this story (http://www.davidkaspar.com/archives/2003/12/hmv_uk_return_policy_beware.php) on your website to make more people aware and to try to send a message to HMV....

Update 05/03/08
A reader has pointed out that the HMV return policy has changed. I have in fact not been shopping in HMV for the last 4 years so I cannot confirm this.

Best thing you can do is to ask a manager in the store about the return policy for "sealed items with original receipt" before you buy a present.



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Comments

  1. Troy Says:

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    So because of "hard market conditions the passed year," they have decided to alienate their customers and decrease their customer service. Makes no sense to me. If you want to increase your market share and help your business, then practice even better customer service so that people will want to return to your stores!

    Where do companies hire people with such dumb ideas?

  2. David Kaspar Says:

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    I hope that if enough people complain or are aware about this and change shopping habbits, it sends a message to HMV.

    Anyways, I will give it another go. Maybe there will be another manager in better mood.

    The manager I spoke was "Rosie" but don't let that to fool you; there was nothing rosie about her or her way of treating customers.

  3. Mental Says:

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    I have just had exactly the same experience at the Sunderland branch of HMV, I was trying to return a unwanted gift, the items were unopened in perfect condition with receipt (paid cash) and I was told it wasn't their policy to give cash refunds. I'm in the process of checking if this is legal and I shall post if I find they're breaking any comsumer laws! Basically don't BUY FROM HMV!!!! I know I won't be going back there!

  4. Christian Metcalfe Says:

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    I just had the same problem. Found the item cheaper at Blockbuster so returned it. Yep no money or vouchers and nothing I wanted to purchase. HMV was my entertainment shop of choice but now i am going to stick to online. If it is up to the discretion of the manager then i am going to try again.

  5. Anon Says:

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    The exact same thing happened to me at HMV Oxford Street only I was not lucky enough to sell my product bought in error on. Sadly it is happening in nmost music stores. Maybe due to copying going on. But its a shame that genuine customers are not given the benefit of doubt. But thanks for the advice of Blockbusters. I'll try them next time. DO NOT SHOP AT HMV

  6. Anon Says:

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    All the legal mumbo jumbo is on this page.

    I just got vouchers from the Manager in Croydon HMV, the only reason they gave me vouchers was because i wouldn't except no for an answer and i was getting in the way. I swapped vouncher with the next person in the queue, much to the manager discust and the queues amusement.

    According to the law the reason for return is all important, i wasn't asked why i'm returning it.

    http://www.tradingstandards.gov.uk/cgi-bin/calitem.cgi?file=ADV0043-1011.txt

  7. stuart & james Says:

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    HMV-the only store where customer service really sucks!!!!

    We tried to get a refund on a gift we bought for a friends birthday. She already had the same item from another friend, so we said it was ok, we would get a refund as we had the reciept. The item was still factory sealed. We went into the store near Bond St. tube station, and were horrified that NO REFUNDS are given by HMV. We could exchange it only. We explained that it was bought as a present for a friend, but she already had it. Again we were told NO REFUNDS. After debating the issue for over half an hour with the staff we left in disgust.
    So we then called their H/O. Spoke to a guy on the customer service team. I asked to speak to a supervisor straight away, rather than having to repeat myself before speaking to someone in authority. He told me that all supervisors finished at 5pm. Lucky for them.
    So I called the following day. A lady called Carole Hall was the supervisor. She explained the new policy. I explained my situation. She explained the policy.
    This went on for some time!!!!!

    I asked her why they didn't have a notice stating that they dont give refunds!!!!! She avoided the question and never asnwered it. So I told her the reason why they dont advertise the fact they dont give refunds is because it is a criminal offence to do so. She went quiet.

    We debated for some time. I pointed out that we had asked Virgin, Woolworths, WHSmith, and Boots would all give a refund if you had the reciept and the item was still sealed. Obvioulsy these stores offer a far better customer serevice than HMV.
    Carole Hall stated that they dont give refunds, and you can exchange only, but within 21 days.

    So the moral of this shopping experience is this.....

    NEVER SHOP IN HMV BECAUSE THEY DONT GIVE REFUNDS.
    CUSTOMER SERVICE IS NON EXISTANT.

    MAY WE SUGGEST EVERYBODY STARTS ARGUING FOR A REFUND AND CONTACT CAROLE HALL AT HEAD OFFICE...

    PLEASE USE OUR EXAMPLE IF YOU REQUIRE......

    Stuart & James

  8. Swedish Meatball Says:

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    Good on you guys,

    too many customers take any kind of treatment from increasingly greedy companies.

    By putting up a hassle and enquiring about customer rights maybe enough of the "managers" time is wasted to make them rethink.

  9. musicman Says:

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    if you buy the wrong thing, why should you expect the seller to buy it back off you? if you are all too loose with your money and want to throw it away by buying the wrong thing, you deserve to hear someone say no.
    my local hmv is great and the staff are always friendly. i look after my money and dont expect to get it back if i am stupid.
    lets face it, how many refunds do you get from a car dealer?

  10. David Says:

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    Good for you if the HMV staff in BATH is more customer oriented than the staff at Oxford St branch.

    Be a sheep and keep buying at HMV but other visitors have been warned that their customer rights are LIMITED at HMV since June 2003.

    ...and don't be a kid, once is enough.

  11. Simon Says:

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    You are only entitled to a refund by law if the item was not of satisfactory quality (Section 12, Sale of Goods Act 1979). If the CD is of satisfactory quality then you are not even entitled to exchange it, unless the contract stipulates that you can. In the case of HMV, the contract states that you may only exchange items within 21 days. I think it depends on the store whether they offer vouchers or not - I have been offered vounchers on 2 occasions, no questions asked.

  12. Justin Says:

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    Sod HMV !

    Give http://www.streetsonline.co.uk a bash!

  13. Mr Sasha Gulzar Says:

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    Respect to all of you and thank god I found this little site.

    I recently bought 7 music CDs for a cousin of mine but as it happens he already has them (I just bought numbers 1-7 in the charts). Even the security seal was UNBROKEN but they still refused to give me a proper refund in cash.... THUS I did my own investigation ... I found this rule on the trading standards website:

    LAW NUMBER ONE:
    "We don't give refunds at all - you must accept a credit note. "
    THE LAW= "Again, it depends on why you want to return the goods. If you have changed your mind, the shop doesn't have to do anything. But if the goods are faulty, incorrectly described or not fit for their normal purpose, you are entitled to your money back (provided you act quickly), and you certainly don't have to take a credit note"

    SECOND LAW "No matter what returns policy a vendor has, it will not affect your statutory rights. These basic consumer rights are laid down in Sale of Goods Act 1979 (amended by the Sale & Supply of Goods Act 1994) and they refer to faulty or substandard items. "
    THE ACTUALL LAW APPLYING TO US = "The goods are not fit for their purposes. This includes any particular purpose mentioned by you to the seller; for example, a computer game that cannot be played on the machine you had specified would be classed as unfit."

    SO HERE IS THE ANSWER TO ALL YOUR PROBLEMS:

    Write a letter to the head office and forward a copy to trading standards / watchdog and any other place you know of. Write that you were advised these CDs will work on your DVD player but "obviously there will be no picture" .... These music CDs now do NOT work on your DVD player and you would like a refund... simple and they cannot refuse PERIOD . It may take some time ... possibly a month as everything must be in writing but YOU WILL GET THE RESULT.

    I am currently undergoing the above.

    anyone please email me if you have any comments, suggestions, advice or want advice [email protected] as we must not let them get away with this.

  14. David Kaspar Says:

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    Good luck with that Mr Sasha Gulzar, make sure to let us know how you faired against them.

    d.

  15. martin Says:

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    i bought die hard 3 on dvd from bradford hmv and wanted to take it back cos i changed my mind (i'm dizzy git) and hmv had been ok before. it now says "returns" not refunds on the receipt. to me that's misleading. i used to buy dvds from there cos its the only place where you can buy discs still sealed inside the box all nice and clean. ill have to go without now.

  16. Tariq Rajput Says:

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    I just had the same experience at the Bristol Cibbs Causeway branch of HMV. I went back the next day with the original CD pack untouched and was told I could only exchange it. After some heated discussion, the manager exchanged the CDs for vouchers (£40). I will sell the vouchers and I will never be going back to HMV again.

  17. Dave Says:

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    Yup, I too am a mug, having looked online I can get the DVD's I bought yesterday from HMV for collectively £15 cheaper and feel a right idiot as I know I should have done my shopping online in the first place as I have just gifted HMV £15 pure profit.
    Having looked at the above postings there is no way I'll be getting my money back so I'll guess I have to stick with it this time and remember never to go there again!

  18. matt Says:

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    Hey, I'm sorry to hear that your local HMV store seems a bit rubbish, but just to let you know cash refunds are given at the managers descrition. I know this as i work in the HMV store in Merry Hill Centre. Now it does state that only exchanges can be done on items with a reciept and within 21 days but at my store if the customer is genuine we do give vouchers and, if the customer wants it and the item is resellabe, a full cash refund. So i think you have just come across managers on a bad day.

  19. David Kaspar Says:

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    Hello matt, nice to hear that the opinions regarding cash refunds vary among the managers.

    However, from the CUSTOMER posts above it seems that cash refunds at HMV are a rarity; despite items in question being unopened and fully resellable :-(

    I hope that you can forward a message to the management that unfair return policies will loose HMV loyal customers. Especially in a competitive market.

  20. susan wood Says:

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    my nephew bought a copy of harry potter in the oxford street h.m.v. on 23rd december 2004. He noticed that down stairs they were £11.99 and up stairs they were £17.99. He thought that this copy was perhaps more expensive as it may have special effects etc. so he purchased this copy. Only when he gave this dvd as a gift to his sister he discovered from her that it was a normal copy. He went back to the shop on the 28th december and they to would not give him any refund or vouchers. this copy as sealed He was disgusted. I am going to contact head office like the other people I have been reading about. This advice has been very helpful.
    from susan

  21. x Says:

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    i am an employee for woolworths and have to say that i am astounded by the reactions to people not being offered refunds on this site!! whilst HMV's policy may seem harsh it is totally within the law and follows the sale of goods act which states that an item should only be exchanged for an item exactly the same if it can be proved to be faulty. HMV has no obligation to take the burden simply because your friend or relative has taken the time to buy you a gift and you dont want it!

    I have to say that i think that the policy employed by woolworths is the best solution. They offer a refund if returned within 28 days and in its original condition (including selefane wrapping) or if the item is faulty. This meets the halfway mark although people still complain.

    Poor old us living in great britain where we can afford to waste money on dvds and music which the equivalent money could provide water for a family for weeks in africa.. think about it its not that damn important people!

  22. David Kaspar Says:

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    I don't understand, you seem to be defending a competitors return policy which is inferior to the one your own company is offering.

    Without going in to whether it is legal or not what HMV is offering their customers, it is good to point out that HMV return policy has A) changed for much worse without letting their customer know and B) offers customers less protection than any other UK high street store.

  23. stuka Says:

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    I used to work at HMV during the time the refund policy changed and I know that the policy changed as a direct result of piracy. In our store we had a number of customers who would buy large quantities of CD's, only to return them a few days later claiming they didn't like any of them or that they were all unwanted gifts. It was fairly clear that in most cases, the customer had made copies of the CD's and returned them. Although you would imagine it would only be handful of customers who would attempt this, the number of people who did it and got away with it was incredible. Whilst working in the store, the number of people you would hear say to their mate 'just copy it and bring it back' was a joke.

    Unfortunately this lead to a change in policy which was inevitably going to upset many geniune customer returns. However, it was believed that the offer of an exchange or vouchers in most cases, still provided good customer service above and beyond that of many other high street music retailers and prevented the people who were regularly abusing the returns policy.

  24. kerry Says:

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    I am pleased i am not the only person who has complaints about hmv.I have been trying to contact this company through e-mail and do i have a reply?No
    I am fuming at the mo can you believe such customer service!
    I have returned a cd i had ordered online because of wrong information about what tracks were on the album,i have waited,waited and so so angrily waited for a reply for confirmation that they had recieved my order back and refund me the money.
    NOTHING HAS HAPPENED I AM SO SO SO PXXXXX OFF NOW I HAVE REALLY LOST MY PATIENCE WITH THIS COMPANY,DO NOT BUY ANYTHING FROM THEM AGAIN!!!!!
    kerry

  25. hmv'er Says:

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    get over it. listen to it before you buy it or just buy gift vouchers so you don't have to worry about it being a duplicate. there are bigger things to worry about other than returning a cd/dvd!

  26. BOB Says:

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    HMV do not give out refunds as people are copying cd's onto their home computers then bringing them back and saying they have already got it. So that's the reason TROY.

    David says:

    Yes, that *might* have been understandable even though other high street media shops like Virgin and Tower Records still offer refunds.

    The big problem is that HMV refuses refunds on factory sealed items that are often gifts.

    I find that *greedy*.

  27. Jim Says:

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    i work for hmv and our store will give refunds at the managers discretion if the item is sealed with a receipt and its within a few days of purchase (managers decision) Within 21 days we will give vouchers You are not entitled to a refund unless the item is faulty.You are not entitled to a refund of you didnt like the product, we are not a library! And you certainly wont get anything with unstickered products and no receipt! I have never heard of any store refusing to give vouchers fo a customer with a receipt within 21 days unless its a multiple return or a known returner who has brought back a large amount of purchases.Its a shame that these stores make the rest of us look bad, everyone at my store is friendly and polite and we've never had any problems with customer complaints.It annoys me when people moan on about being entitled to a refund, think before you buy! You wouldnt believe the amount of people who try to con us every day!My biggest bugbear is no receipt, how do we know your not just bringing in some of your old dvd's to try and get some store credit, or something from another store? Do you really think we should take back something you cant prove you bought from us?
    Sorry, ranting. Its a shame for all those people who got bad service from our company but please dont generalize we are people too you know

    David says:
    I have never heard of any store refusing to give vouchers [...]
    Oxford Street, Manager Rosie. Other stores according to user comments
    [...] think before you buy!
    Think unwanted presents
    [...] how do we know your not just bringing in some of your old dvd's
    Don't be silly. We are talking about factory sealed items only

    As always comments show just the bad side. The satisfied customer will not come to this page.

  28. sophie Says:

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    The refund policy makes sense to me and i totally agree with the above post, i also worked for HMV and i worked my butt off to make sure i gave excellent customer service.

    The only thing i found hard is the fact that we didn't give refunds to factory sealed products as you can clearly see they haven't been opened.

    I always offered vouchers as an exchange and HMV offer refunds after Christmas for genuine unwanted gifts, they know there are going to be unwanted gifts at this time so if that's bad customer service i don't know how hmv can win.

    whats wrong with a voucher, are you saying you are never going to buy a dvd or cd again or you cant possibly give that to the person who you bought the original gift for so they can get some thing for themselves??

    and as it goes for this hmv has bad customer service statement, we had strict customer service to meet each month and we all worked very hard to please every customer when we could, so if you don't like it there's just no pleasing some, you will find hmv's service is generally much better than most shops!!

    The policy is within the law. I got moaned at regularly by customers that i wouldn't exchange a cd that's got no proof of purchase, not even a sticker on it, surely this is common sense that with out a receipt we wont take it back????? shock horror!!

    one last thing hmv's head office sticks to the policy for a reason. Ive had customers threatening to beat me up after work and reduce me to tears because i wont give them a refund (how petty), i needed to put them through to customer services, and i needed to trust they will help me out!!

    anyway, i think hmv is great and some of these posts are ott

    sorry some of you had bad experiences that's not hmv's goal or aim, don't waste your time building a hate club about it, I COULD EASILY BUILD ONE ON RUDE CUSTOMERS THAT US SALES ASSISTANTS HAVE TO AND HAD TO DEAL WITH!!

    anyway happy shopping !!!!

    David says:

    I had a factory sealed item
    I had the receipt
    The item was 24 hours old
    I was refused vouchers even after talking to the manager on duty
    I am not shopping at HMV again until they offer similar refund policy to other high street shops.

  29. sophie Says:

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    "MAY WE SUGGEST EVERYBODY STARTS ARGUING FOR A REFUND AND CONTACT CAROLE HALL AT HEAD OFFICE..."
    yes good idea upset us sales assistants more - that will get you a refund!!!!!

    "Basically, HMV offers no refunds or store credit; only exchanges are allowed and this only if the item is in "perfect condition and original packaging" - basically they do offer in store credit to correct you and why would it be seen as acceptable to come back with a tatty cd to exchange - how do they re sell that

    "Makes no sense to me. If you want to increase your market share and help your business, then practice even better customer service so that people will want to return to your stores!
    Where do companies hire people with such dumb ideas?" - they are helping there business and protecting it from piracy and multiple exchanges

    "anyone please email me if you have any comments, suggestions, advice or want advice [email protected] as we must not let them get away with this." - anyone would think they are murderers, you just admitted you randomly bought 7 cds from the chart, numbers 1 to 7 how silly is that, and you can open cds with the security tag on


  30. dudett Says:

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    Bought some blank dvd's, machine broke, can't use the item. Brought back the blank DVDs still in original packaging to HMV. Got mindless droning "we will only exchange...". Terrible customer service.

    WOULD TELL MY FAMILY AND FRIENDS NOT TO SHOP AT HMV BECAUSE OF THEIR REFUND POLICY AND ABHORRENT CUSTOMER SERVICE. DO NOT SHOP AT HMV.

  31. the danster Says:

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    hi David,

    i too have had the bad luck to have to deal with hmv in croydon.

    my hubby bought me a CD for Christmas that i did not want, when i took it back to exchange it they did not have the one i wanted.

    to cut a very long story short, i am very p----d off and have 14 x £1 vouchers in my purse. customer service is also crap and i explained that the CD had not been opened and the security tag was still intact but DANNY NOTALOUDTOGIVESURNAME - TWATHEAD was the thickest person i have spoken to in a long time.

    please carry on warning people about this company and lets hope that they go out of business quite soon.

    happy new year

  32. Adam Says:

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    We spent over £150 between us (my partner and I) at HMV in Birmingham. We both received a CD each for Christmas that we did not like. We wanted a refund for the 2 CD's and were flatly refused. Apparently, we can swap These items for something else that we want, so I guess I'll have to wait until they start selling the clothes I wanted to buy with MY CHRISTMAS MONEY!!!

    I used to work for HMV 10 years ago, when they were massively more customer oriented. I even obtained NVQ's in customer service whilst I was there which was paid for by the company. The golden rule of GOOD customer service is, that a customer should leave the store more than happy to return - ensuring future sales. In essence, HMV have disappeared up their shareholders' proverbial butt-holes.

    Has anyone seen "The Corporation"?

  33. Ash Says:

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    The people on here defending HMV make the company sound hard done by, but this is the same company that charges £19.99 for most of their dvds!

    David says:

    If that is not robbery then I don't know that is!

  34. carly Says:

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    They charge more some times because supermarkets don't make money on the cds, they do on your veg or tea bags etc, but things are getting cheaper some real bargains crop up!!

    Lets not generalise all HMV's as having crap service, its silly. It makes me not want to get up and go to work in the morning as i try my hardest to give the best service on the high street :)

    Hopefully people who use our store agree were all friendly i haven't had a complaint in god knows how long...! which is great, were doing some thing right and we have many regular customers!

    Hmv now give refunds to items factory sealed or returned in complete original condition within the date shown.

    You can also exchange cds games or dvds if you decide you don't like them, but fair enough no multiple exchanges are offered. Its like getting a free rental in a way!

    - Its easier to pick out the bad things than the good, like its easier to hate someone than it is to like them - anyway lifes too short to moan on so see ya and enjoy your life!!

    David says:

    Returns on factory sealed items within a certain date would be good news as it's common policy among other high street shops.

    Let's see if any other HMV customer has some recent shopping experience.

  35. Bebe Says:

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    I had exactly the same problem as anyone else on here with refunds. After spending £1000's at hmv I am buying nothing more and encouraging my friends and family to buy elsewhere! If everyone else wises up to them, lets see if they stay top!

  36. carly Says:

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    funny how that last post was put on the site straight after mine next to the two vertical lines like you had put it there, dave....?

    looking at the post dates there seems to be a new one on average, each month, but one a few hours later... thats amazing response to my post - such a positive post too....

    do you see what im getting at??

    David says:

    I have already stopped shopping at HMV and could not care less how this thing evolves. There may be other visitors that are still upset.

    I have sent you my and the poster's IPs (last 2 octets masked) for you to compare... oh, turns out that you are an anonymous poster.

  37. anthony Says:

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    quit all your whining, fact is this is the same in most stores now, due mostly to the fact people have taken to copying cd's and then returning them. I don't blame the company for this, really i think it should be within a shops right to give no refund at all - so long as the goods are not in any way faulty or misadvertised.

    just have a more careful think about what you want before you buy next time

    David says:

    We are talking about returns of factory sealed items. There is no way to copy a factory sealed items. Instead they are always an unwanted gift or mistaken purchase.

    Other stores do not punish their customers like HMV has been doing lately and it is important to spread the message so that people know about this and avoid HMV for their high street purchases.

    Thanx for your input!

  38. Unhappy Bunny Says:

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    Even though the CD was sealed, HMV in Ipswich would only give me vouchers and now I find I cannot use the vouchers on the HMV internet site.

    I think HMV should not sell unsealed CDs

    Who should I contact at HMV? The address?

    David says:

    You are lucky if you got vouchers, many of us did not even get that.

    Try calling 0207 467 1109 which should be their HQ.

  39. Amanda Howe Says:

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    I would not advise anyone to shop at HMV, when I bought a birthday prezzie for my daughter, only to find out someone had already purchased the same item. Thought in this day & age of customer service that no problem with a big store refunding me.. oh no, only offered vouchers.. no good so stuck with the same product, I wanted a refund to buy something different not another game.. I am gobsmacked & infuriated, please please do not shop there at all & advise others not to.

  40. disgusted customer Says:

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    Unfortunately I can only add to the tales of corporate thievery that are being perpetrated by HMV. Like most angry customers, I purchased a gift (A DVD to the tune of £30!)that somebody else had already bought for the recipient of said gift. When I tried to return the DVD (still factory sealed, tagged and receipted)I was told flatly that I could only exchange and that if the items I chose for the exchange were of lower cash value than the original purchase then I would quite simply lose that money!!

    There are no highly visible sales/returns policy signs on display in the store (Stafford branch) meaning that the first I could have known about the terms and conditions of sale would have been on the back of my receipt, AFTER PURCHASE!!

    HOW IS THIS CUSTOMER ORIENTATED SERVICE????


    I will quite simply never shop at HMV again.


    I now look forward to seeing this shoddy rip-off store losing it's market share and going into administration as a result of their crap customer service.

  41. Andy Says:

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    "Unfortunately I can only add to the tales of corporate thievery that are being perpetrated by HMV" Looks like someone got a thesaurus for Christmas!

    Hey David. I used to work in HMV for around 5 years and was working when the returns policy was changed. It was horrendous when we had to tell people they couldn't even have store credit. I mean, as staff, we were embarrassed in my store. Thankfully though this has changed. The fact of the matter is, why are you entitled to a refund on something factory sealed? On what basis? Legal? I think not. I was a team leader, and it was company policy that only management could give refunds. I used my discretion, if a customer was genuine and pleasant and showed good manners towards me and my staff I was quick to offer a refund. Not that I am accusing anyone of being a difficult customer, but judging by the lengths that some (not all) will go to get something which by law you are NOT entitled to, I would place some of you in that category. Some people come in on your high horse, throw the item back in my face and demand a refund. Guess what? You'll get no chance with me or any other manager. The last difficult customer that I had demanded refunds on two box sets that totalled over £100. They were factory sealed, but had no receipt and no proof of purchase. Would it surprise you to learn that I was the worse person in the world when I refused him a refund?

    Anyway, the policy has changed David so if you walked in now you would get to exchange it or get vouchers. You keep stating that HMV "punish" customers three years and two returns changes after you wrote your first email. You sound like a broken record mate.

    And prices have changes now, on most new release DVDs and CDs there generally isn't much difference between supermarkets and high street stores. I did a few bits this Christmas in other stores now that I don't work for the company any more and was surprised to see that they were invariably cheaper that Woolworths, Virgin and even GAME. So, get your facts straight please.

    Adam, you didn't like a CD? So you opened it to listen to it? And you expect a refund? It's not a library! I'm only out of the company, but I wouldn't go into a store and expect them to swoop it when I say "ermmmm, yeah I listened to it but I didn't like it."

    For the lady that returned 7 cds! That is outrageous quite frankly. You bring 7 cds back and expect a refund? If a customer came to me I would assume (rightly or wrongly) that you had copied cds. Even though there is a security seal on them, that is not the same as factory sealed as they can easily opened.

    As for the person above me, to be told that you would lose the money is ridiculous. If a member in my store had have said that when I was working there I would have gone mental. That is not company or store policy and id guess you would have been speaking to a Christmas Temp, most of whom work for a couple of weeks over Christmas and are usually as thick as two planks. They don't use their discretion ever and make the rest of us look bad when we would do our best to sort you out (not in a mafia type way). I'd go back and get a manager who will very embarrassingly apologise and sort you out.

    Anyway, if you are unsure of returns information ask before you buy for God's sake. Don't blame the store for you not thinking ahead long enough. I do it before I buy anything in any store. Its pretty common practice.

    To Amanda, why are vouchers no good? Because...? You could ANYTHING in the whole shop with them for God's sake! You could have bought yourself something as well!

    If you have a complaint here's a tip. There is an address on the back of the receipt. Write a letter or even phone. Don't send emails. It's waste of your time.

    To the person though who said that the company is crawling up its own hole, I couldn't agree more. It has become too corporate, and the managers they promote these days have no people skills for staff let alone customers. And of course it was Team Leaders like myself and other staff who take the brunt of this.

  42. rob_parkinson Says:

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    im glad that HMV's shortcoming are being highlighted somewhere, i have just got off the phone with one of there complaints managers and im fuming. for me its the fact that they offer next day delivery at a cost on items that are completely out of stock with no warning that the items will need to be obtained from their suppliers first. im in my 3rd week of waiting for a CD (admittedly a little obscure) that was advertised on the web site as being dispatched withing 48 hours.

    ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

    David says:

    We feel your pain. Don't get me started about their recent PS3+PSP pre-order bundle which only guarantees a PSP and not actually the PS3.

    It may be a small consolidation that the HMV share price is plummeting (timesonline.co.uk put it as 'going to the dogs').

  43. Andy Says:

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    LOL let me pitch in on the PSP/PS3 bundle. Isn't it the WORST idea you have ever heard of? I mean who wants to buy a PSP just to get a PS3 WITHOUT guaranteeing it? Man am i glad i don't work there any more because i could do without having irate customers wanting my blood! I say again, i used to work for the company and they are increasingly being run by idiots. The MD is leaving and it seems everything is going to pot. And they treat their staff nowhere near as good.

    David says:

    I would want your blood AND your first born child if you sold me a PS3/PSP bundle but only delivered a PSP :-)

  44. Knight Says:

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    David...you whinging little turd!

    Get it through your thick skull that you are not legally entitled to a refund! HMV don't even have to offer you vouchers if they don't want to.

    So what if the cd's dvd's are factory sealed. If they were a present then you've not actually lost anything and if they were a mistaken buy then it's your own stupid fault for buying something you don't want in the first place.

    Please understand that it was market issues and not some deep hatred of people that have caused HMV to adopt this policy.

    Fair play to HMV. If you don't like it then shop elsewhere. Don't whinge on with very very weak arguments with no logical backing.

    David says:

    Thank you for your feedback (dear HMV employee).

    I provide the information here so that customers can make a decision. I agree with you that everyone should shop elsewhere.

    Let's see how the HMV stock performs this year and take that as an indication on which high street shops customers are choosing for their media purchases.

  45. Lee Says:

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    I have taken a number of items back to HMV in the past and got either credit (on a gift card) or an exchange (usually either the Sunderland/MetroCentre/Newcastle store). I would never expect a FULL refund on a CD/DVD/Game as its all to easy to copy them these days and stores like HMV know this, hence the change in policy. (GAME DO NOT REFUND OR EXCHANGE ON PC GAMES UNLESS THEY ARE FAULTY!)

    LEGALLY - YOU ARE NOT ENTITLED TO A REFUND IF YOU SIMPLY CHANGE YOUR MIND!

    I work in M&S and think that our refund policy is way to relaxed, and it annoys the hell out of me when people bring bags full of stuff back and expect a full refund.

    David says:

    Thanks for your feedback but let me reiterate that nobody is expecting full refunds.

    a) I was denied store credit and b) this was for a factory sealed item (no copy possible) just one day after the purchase

    This is much stricter than other high street media shops (CD/DVD/games) and I simply recommend people to spend their hard earned money elsewhere.

  46. Lee Says:

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    I've always either been offered store credit on a gift card or an exchange, and if my exchanged item is less then the rest is placed on a gift card - this has happened everytime I have taken something back.

    I know someone who works in the Durham store and she says that you can take 'unsealed' items (i.e. security seals) back for an exchange or a gift card but they do not do refunds (again, this is just re-iterating something we all know!)

  47. Nick Says:

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    Same thing happened to me.

    I suggest we all have a nominated day and store were by we just storm a HMV store and nick what ever we want in order to sell on ebay and reclaim our money. Any excess that we make could go to charity or be sent back to the store less our charges of course.

    HMV are going bust so let's hurry up and choose a date, time and store!

    David says:

    Hey Nick, let's not lower our selves to their level by stealing!

    Instead make sure to tell all your friends and family about the non-existent HMV UK return policy.

    HMV UK will notice if enough customers turn away from HMV and choose Virgin, Amazon or other better alternatives for their games, CD, DVD and music purchases.

  48. Samy Says:

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    I have two unwanted gifts, each of them sealed, my brother lost the receipt. Can I get an exchange for other items that amount to the same value?

    David says:

    Sorry but I think it is very unlikely that HMV would offer you exchange for items without receipt. They can state (and rightly so) that the items were purchased at some other location.

    If at least there are some HMV product codes or labels on the packages you may have some chance.

    This article was originally written because HMV refused to take back or offer credit for a 1 day old item, sealed and with the original receipt.

    good luck

  49. Payum Says:

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    Hello,
    ive had a problem along the same lines.
    Today was my birthday, i had money, i was a proud happy 14 year old, i walk in and plan on buying the Xbox 360 Elite in a bundle offer, but the bundle offer was pathetic you get the xbox and 2 games but you cant choose what games you want!
    What's the point!?
    all the xbox games there are the same price unless they're old games and the games in the bundle were not old games, neither were the games i wanted to buy, its pathetic, they would still make the same amount of profit out of it, infact they wouldve gotten a profit from me if it was so pathetic.
    ARGH AND THEYVE NOW RUINED MY FRICKING BIRTHDAY.
    GO TO HELL HMV YOU ALWAYS RUIN EVERYTHING, THIS IS LIKE THE 9TH TIME NOW.

  50. stephanie Says:

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    Bought a 2 gb iscream mp3 from hmv in Woodgreen to find that it did not allow you to put the songs on it. i took it back to the to the store the very next day and explained this to the manager . who refused to give me a refund, i then argued for about 20 minutes, then he offered me a exchange or vouchers which you have to use in HMV, therefore i lost my money. however i could not see the point so i was very persistent so they called the police and the mall security, i wrote to customer service and they still refused to give me a refund as well, however am still fighting them and i will take the matter further.

    David says:

    Good luck taking it further. Small claims court should be a small risk venue of pursuing it.

    I suspect that HMV, like many other corporations, rely on the customer just giving up... and most of us do because we have busy lives.

    Next time purchase from a shop that allows no hassle money back guarantee.

    Did you know that distant shopping (eg on the Internet) always includes a 7 day cooling off period where you can return the goods for a full refund (excluding shipping).

    Distance Selling Regulations

    Let us know how it goes.

  51. Shakera Says:

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    My God there are some idiotic people on here. EVERY customer should be able to refund products and needing to doesn't make them stupid either.

    I recently bought my brother a game, which he paid for, but it turns out he's not allowed it which means I have to pay him the money back while the game lies there useless. Every other shop on the high street provides refunds so HMV have to realize that customers, like myself, will no longer buy from them which in turn will lower their profits, the only thing they care about.

  52. Fedel Morrisey Says:

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    'customer service' is by no means the same as 'company policy'. my daughter is home from working in hmv this evening in tears as she got screamed at and spat at in hmv today as spoilt customers did not get what they wanted. Shop policies are not the doing of young sales assistants please keep this in mind ! we,in contrast to this small minded blog, are researching laws that may help to protect young sales assistants against the vicious tempers and attacks of cranky customers who are responsible for humiliating these young people as they do not have the courage to walk in and calmly debate it with the management. this time in ten years there will be no cd shops to be seen as the download generation takes hold, and all that will be left is the unconfidence instilled in these helpers by miserable people with nothing better to do than complain complain complain. lighten up, these people are our future. Mr. F Morrisey

  53. nina Says:

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    wish I'd read this before I purchased the same cd for my daughter as my husband for Xmas. returned to HMV, within two hours of purchase, where to be honest the sales assistant offered a voucher but no refund- not a problem really as we needed a ds game too. however the game not in stock and so when i politely asked the sales assistant when they started policy of not giving refunds he started to explain only to be rudely and agressively interupted by one of the store managers asking if i had a problem (up until then i hadn't had!!) he was so rude to me that my husband intervened.he asked the guy his name and was asked what it was to do with him? he was really rude and very intimidating told us they'd been on their night out last night and it was a busy time for them and he had better things than to deal with awkward customers who were only trying to make trouble! Wish i had thought to exchange the gift voucher with somebody in the Queue as i really dont feel like going back ever
    THE MORAL OF THIS STORY DO NOT USE HMV IF YOU EXPECT GOOD CUSTOMER SERVICE!!! (Apologies to the Sales assistant who was polite)

  54. M Bhalay Says:

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    On the 9th of Dec I spent £40 on two DVD boxsets as Christmas presents on HMV online. The DVDs hadn’t arrived on the 21st of Dec. Rang HMV online and they told me to buy them from a HMV store because they wouldn’t arrive in time for Christmas. I bought the same DVDs from the store on the 22nd of Dec. However, the ones that I had ordered were delivered on the 23rd! So I took a copy of the email from HMV online confirming my order, the DVDs and the receipt back to the store. I explained what had happened and I asked for a refund. The manager refused to give me a refund. After a lot of arguing he eventually relented and gave me a refund. I was going to spend more money in the store on some video games but I certainly won’t be shopping at any HMV store again, that includes the online stores as well!

  55. HMV Staff Says:

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    Actually we do give store credit if you have purchased or are bringing back an unwanted item. Also the item doesn't have to be in its original packaging but it does have to be in perfect condition which is a very reasonable thing to expect!

    The owner of this site is making out like it's the people that work in HMV that are the bad guys. The HMV store in Bath has high standards of great customer service and those people that ask about our return policy get a full and honest answer.

    If the HMV stores suddenly closed down you would be complaining a whole lot more.
    If you ask about the return policy we always say "You can exchange your item for another or you can have store credit but we do not give refunds" If you do not ask us then it clearly states it on the back of the receipt for you.

    I'm just another member of staff and the reason I am writing this is because I feel that the owner of this site doesn't know what he/she is talking about.

    David says:

    The owner of this site knows exactly what he is talking about because he brought back a duplicate present to the Oxford Street store the day after purchase in original shrink wrap and with receipt but was refused in store credit.

    Buyers beware!

  56. Paul Williams Says:

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    It makes me laugh that HMV will give a refund if you buy online..Have a duplicate xmas pressie and had no refund as asked for instore on the Isle of wight..Will advise people and will never buy from HMV again..BEWARE

  57. Mary Says:

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    What a ridiculous thread this is, I am embarrassed to be adding to it! But I think it is important to remember that the customers are at fault here. If someone gave me a gift I did not want, a) they clearly don't know me well!, but also b) returning it for cash is not very grateful. The law is simple... if something is faulty then the store must offer a like-for-like exchange or a repair. What HMV offer far exceeds this.

    I am recently retired and am buying more DVDs of late, I find the staff in my local store (Leicester High Street) incredibly knowledgeable and helpful. I treat them with the respect they deserver while they run around finding my old films and trawling through computer screens, and I find it very sad to see other customers being so unpleasant!

    A word of advice - be cordial and polite. In the past few months I have very easily exchanged items and even received a cash refund. So I urge you not to go in all guns blazing and torment the sales assistants, no wonder you find the staff uncooperative!

    And perhaps think more carefully before making a purchase - I wish that I had the money to go and chose 7 cds at random for my cousin without first checking the returns policy!

    Mary L

    David says:

    Thank you for your comment Mary.

    You will always find many negative comments on the internet about a product or a company but very few positive ones. I suspect that we often find time and strength to be vocal when we feel that we have been treated poorly or unfairly.

    So thank you for the positive comment about HMV, it is nice to hear that your local HMV branch has great staff.

    Just to make clear we are not claiming that what HMV is doing is necessarily illegal; just that it is of lower standard than other media shops and the customer should consider her options before shopping at HMV next time.

    If you look at the dropping HMV share price one might think that many customers already are looking elsewhere than at HMV shelves!

  58. Caz Says:

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    I just received a DVD as a gift that I do not want, but do not have the receipt (and the person has lost it), so would HMV still allow me to exchange it?

    David says:

    It seems that the HMV returns policy varies from store to store and depends on what manager you talk to. Go and ask in your local store and make sure to be polite.

    If the DVD is still wrapped in plastic and maybe even carrying an HMV sticker it should be easier to replace it!

  59. share holder Says:

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    David

    Have you got a life ? or do you just sit at your pc each day?

    Have you checked the share price at present, and do you know the current performance of HMV - obviously not ?

    HMV are the only high street retailer left, with the depth and range to be a credible entertainment retailer look what happened to Fopp musiczone even virgin (no zavvi) - yes they have gone.

    Do you think that your thread will put HMV out of business - I do not think so

    Do want people to loose there jobs ?

    Were do you work ? so that myself and fellow hmv colleges can pick fault

    If you came into our HMV store and asked politely and professionally you would have got a refund.

    The refund policy is only there to stop people persistently bringing goods back - as HMV is not a Library

    David says:

    What I care about when I choose to purchase media is the price and the level of service.

    If you care to read my article it says that I went back to HMV with a factory sealed item and a receipt the day after making the purchase and was refused both refund and credit (vouchers).

    My options were to change the item for something else (same value or less) or come back another day, once again bringing the purchased item with me.

    I find this worse service than other shops and want to alert potential buyers to this.

    If the HMV management notices my poor shopping experience and decides to review their return policy it is a bonus!

  60. Get your facts straight Says:

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    To the owner of this site, the customer exchange policy has changed in the FOUR years since he started this thread. So in fact you are consistently misrepresenting company policy every time you make some sort of 'point' regarding the refund you didn't receive. The new policy which has been amended several times since your first posted was in fact in response to this type of problem. Yet you maintain that it is unchanged. It makes you look very petty indeed

    'I find this worse service than other shops and want to alert potential buyers to this'-in fact you 'found' this experience over FOUR years ago. Have you been in HMV since? I would say not considering your post. In fact Virgin, Zavvi and Game all operate the same policy as HMV now.

    There is a company wide policy that will give you vouchers/store credit though it is entirely up to to the manager if you get a refund. I think this is not entirely ideal, but nonetheless, if you come in with a civil tone then you should have no problem getting one.

    As a manager i would advise anyone who has been dissatisfied with your treatment to phone head office whose number is on the back of the receipt. I am usually well mannered, but to my shame one one occasion i found myself short tempered and to be honest rude. I received a real dressing down from the area manager and rest assured it had a positive affect in the future!

    To Payum since no one else has responded to you, in fact we would not have made the same profit. Bundles are sometimes set my the games distributors themselves and therefore we receive discount on specific games. For example, there is an EA bundle at he moment so therefore only EA games are included in the bundle. It is simple economics I'm afraid and is the same for all stores. That is why by enlarge, most bundles are the same no matter the chain.

    David says:

    Thank you for the update Janeen. I have in fact not been in HMV for the last 4 years. I have amended the article.

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