Most Returned Electronics Aren't Broken

Consumers often can't figure out how to use them
By Laila Weir,  Newser User
Posted Jun 3, 2008 6:30 PM CDT
A Sansa View digital audio-video player.   (AP Photo)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Just 5% of the electronics that consumers return to stores actually don’t work, though often the buyers believe they’re broken, a new study says. In 68% of cases, “they thought it was defective when it wasn't, or there was an expectation gap,” an executive of the firm releasing the study told PC World. US electronics returns cost $13.8 billion in 2007.

The executive suggested returns would drop greatly if companies made products easier to set up and use, and worked harder to educate consumers. "I don't believe the returns issue is the result of lax retail return policies, or customers taking advantage of the ability to return," he said. Another study showed average US buyers return a product if they can’t make it work after 20 minutes.