Unable to return a damaged monitor

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So I just had a terrible experience in the Houston store.

I had purchased a monitor on 3/27/2021, put it in the back of my SUV, and brought it 1.5 hours back home (no we don't live in Houston). I purchased several other items during the same trip. None were damaged. Nothing was set on top of the monitor nor was it jostled around. I've bought and transported numerous large and widescreen LCDs in the back of this same SUV over the years and had no issues with damaging any screens.

I got the monitor home, brought it upstairs in our home, and left it in a hallway next to the attic where I planned on installing it on the wall, still in the original factory packaging. It stayed there for a couple weeks until I got the additional hardware I'd need to hang it off a VESA mount. When I got this mount I took the monitor out of the box, plugged it in and immediately it was clear the LCD was cracked.

I went to your online chat support mechanism and was told I had 30 days to return the monitor after learning the monitor was cracked. OK, fine. The chat CSR did not make it explicit that it had to be less than 30 days or that there would be any issue with returning something that was damaged before I ever received it. The box, the plastic case / shell of the monitor and even the LCD itself showed no visible signs whatsoever of having been crushed, cracked, etc. One would think if I had done something to damage the screen that be apparent (broken LCD crystals, etc.)

When I got to the store on 4/17/2021 the customer service manager grilled me on what I had done to damage the monitor. I had done nothing, of course. Why did I wait so long to return the monitor? Well, the Houston location is 3 hours there and back from my home. When we travel to Houston we try to make it a part of a large set of stops and things we need to accomplish, including, if necessary, trips to return items to Microcenter. It was within the 30 days per the terms of the return policy so obviously felt that was justifiable.

While I understand it is their job to protect the company against scam artists, shysters, and the like from exploiting or subverting the company's return policy it was clear I was being accused of damaging the product and trying to return it nonetheless. In fact, I had done nothing other than transport it home, remove it from its factory packaging, and turned it on. I never dropped it, hit it, had the monitor box fall, tip over, or anything of that nature. In fact I was puzzled why and how the screen could have cracked under the circumstances.

I was told by the CS manager that they could not accept the item for return because I had not "returned a damaged item within 15 days" yet when you review the company's stated return policy here: https://community.microcenter.com/kb/articles/28-what-is-the-return-policy?rd=1 monitors (and your online chat CSR) indicate if you return within 30 days you are entitled to a refund. There is no mention explicitly or implicitly that "damaged" items must hold to a stricter return policy of 15 days. If that is actually the case then why not mention it? You're opening yourself up to criticism or worse if one of your employees who "decides" these things does not adhere to stated policies themselves.

The return policy also indicates clearly "Products with customer-induced damage" so clearly I was being told I must have damaged the product even though apparently I may have had more options if I had returned it within 15 days - I guess? Even though your return policy doesn't say this? Also - I personally didn't actually damage it. So there's that.

I like Microcenter. I recommend you to people and I'm glad you're around. I respect that CS managers have to walk a fine line to maintain profitability, avoid scamsters, and try to keep customers happy all at once. In doing so they may annoy, disrespect, and anger otherwise unsuspecting customers who simply want to return a damaged product they had no part in damaging. The money involved isn't important. It's much more about principle. I am disappointed your CS managers were inflexible, unwilling, and unable to work toward a mutually beneficial solution to resolve my issue.

Please do better next time.

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