Folks, have you ever bought anything refurbished, especially electronics? Many of you must have. This story is from my own experience and my suggestions coming out of that.
With so many years of nice online shopping experience, I am usually very much in favour of buying online. The option to return most of the things, if not liked or has got any issue, is the thing that I like the most. With that kind of experience and expectation I was exploring my options to buy a slightly older flagship mobile phone. Slightly older, because of much cheaper pricing and flagship due to it superior hardware.
As you may already be aware there are quite some options if you want to buy used or refurbished. Some of the options are given below:
and many more I can’t recall at the moment.
After a lot of search and research I finally zeroed in to a refurbished LG G5 on Quikr. The description confirmed that it’s a 4G phone and also stated that the condition of the item is excellent or ‘like new’. Though normally I’m quite confident on my decisions, that day since a friend was around, I just casually asked him for his opinion. Not sure why, he was totally against buying from Quikr.
However, I’m best at what I’m known for in my circle, I never listen to anyone once I decide on something. So I went ahead, made payment online in advanced on Quikr and placed the order. The delivery was pretty quick, I received it in about 3 days of ordering. It’s actually after opening the package that the surprises started to unfold. Here they go for your reference:
1. The AC charger was not original.
2. There was a cheap chinese ear phone instead of the original one.
3. The bottom panel (it’s removable in G5 to remove the battery) was replaced with a DAC one. They say it’s an upgrade module that produces better sound. But it did increase the length of the phone to my dislike.
4. The glass covering the back camera was full of scratches. The camera is considered the strongest point of this phone.
5. It was not a Indian variant phone. The Indian variant is Dual SIM and this was Single SIM. I needed Dual and there was no reason for me to think that the item could be imported (or smuggled).
So I decided that even if I got it for a very less price, it still doesn’t match the description of ‘like new’ and also they probably deliberately didn’t mention all details about the phone. E.g. they didn’t mention whether it’s Indian or imported, how many SIMs it support, what original accessories are available or not available etc.
I emailed the customer care of Quikr Cerified and reported my issue. Surprisingly they didn’t even respond for a day. Then I escalated it to their management via an online form and also called their customer care number to report. The customer care guy just asked me to send photos of the phone showing the problem and also a copy of the invoice, which I did immediately. Then I received a call from their escalation team asked me about the problem. After listening my problem, she said, that they’ll replace the phone but only because the camera glass has scratches, not for any other of the reasons I stated. I repeatedly told them that they’re going to leave customers dissatisfied with that attitude. When they say ‘like new‘, it should be like that. If it is refurbished then it should clearly mention what components have been replaced or repaired. They should also mention if it’s an Indian or imported variant, because both variants have differences in some configurations and the frequency bands they support. But she was not ready to accept, she said their website doesn’t allow them to mention so much of details; quite laughable.
I saw no point in arguing any further. So just told them that it’s in their hands and should do their best to keep customers happy.
As on 21-Mar-2018, it’s been 3 days since they promised a replacement and I’m still waiting for any communication from them, leave the replacement apart.
My Suggestion: If you’re looking to buy something refurbished or used then DON’T order anything online by making advanced payment on sites like Quikr; because you have no control on what they would send. Also the replacement would be only on their terms and conditions, if they agree at all in first place. Only way you should buy from Quikr or Olx is to select an item locally, meet the seller at a safe place and finalise the deal only if you find the item in order. I’ve no experience in buying refurbished from Amazon or Ebay, but I would advise to trade carefully, unless there is a return/replacement option with no questions asked.
Choose a physical store instead that sells used or refurbished electronics, like ‘http://in.webuy.com‘ or ‘http://www.usedyetnew.com‘. They have their outlets in Hyderabad, they must be there in some other cities too. Go there, find a nice device to your liking, buy it then and there. I’m particularly confident about ‘Webuy’. Any used items they buy goes through very stringent procedure. If they get slightest feeling that the device is opened or repaired before, they just won’t buy it to resale. They also classify their devices into A, B and C, depending on their condition. I have sold them some of my devices and I have bought/exchanged some from them too, I must say I have never had a complaint with their quality so far.
Hope my experience and suggestion will help someone.