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to think the service from this shop was not only bad but also rather gross

(65 Posts)
DanNickBen Tue 26-Jul-16 22:25:29

Loooong time lurker first time proper poster. Would really like to know what you all think?

So I purchased some new in ear earphones from a large long running well known cd/dvd shop last week (don't think I can name the shop here) and immediately discovered they were not working properly, they kept cutting in and out whilst using, not a lot but definitely in a noticeable way when walking whilst listing to music with my phone in my pocket.

I mananged to find the time yesterday to return them to a different branch so went in to return them and the first person I went up to said that's fine but she will have to test them, she then proceeds to put them into her ears and listen to some music

I immediately thought umm that's a bit gross but let her carry on as I just wanted the refund. She then goes over to another member of staff who does the same and they wiggle the cable whilst listening, then they finally come over to me and tell me they do work (!?)

might just need to point out now these are the in ear earphones, the type that you full on wedge into your ears so definitely not hygienic to share.

Immediately I just say 'they don't work' and stress the problem is not consistent but he just continues to say they work and tries to get me to listen whilst he plays music (after they have been in both staffs ears)

So I get a manager over who proceeds to do the same, yes puts them in his ears and listen to some music whilst shaking the cable a bit, he then says he can't see a fault so won't be refunding them.

So I am left with a pair of earphones less then a week old which have been in three strangers ears and certainly do not fully work.

They certainly do not fully work, I tested them on two music players on two days.

So AIBU to think the service from the shop was poor as testing them in this manner was not adequate and expecting a customer to take back a pair of in ear earphones after 3 staff members had put them in there ears is just plain gross?

CaptainCrunch Tue 26-Jul-16 22:28:35

But they do work, and how else were they supposed to test them? Are you in the habit of trying to get refunds for no good reason?

GirlWithTheLionHeart Tue 26-Jul-16 22:32:23

Didn't you say anything about not wanting them now due to being in 3 different sets of lugholes??

anorakgirl Tue 26-Jul-16 22:34:03

The putting them in their ears wouldn't bother me (give them a wipe with anti bacterial). You say they had to shake them to get them to work, something to follow up though?

DanNickBen Tue 26-Jul-16 22:34:37

No not at all. I probably return about 2 to 3 items a year if that. Perhaps they could take them away to be tested properly by the manufacturer or at the same time if a shop sells a lot of a item surely they should have adequate testing facilities set up in house.

The hygiene factor doesn't sit right with me.

They don't work at all and the issue is slight. I'm not surprised they couldn't replicate the fault by just jiggling the cable a bit

DanNickBen Tue 26-Jul-16 22:36:39


I mentioned to the first guy I don't want them in my ears and he had had them in his but after all 3 staff members were there doing the same and implying I was lying I was just so taken aback I didn't really know what to say. Like I was in some sort of bizarro world where I must be wrong but now in hindsight it's even weirder then when I was there

HappyHeart87 Tue 26-Jul-16 22:36:59

Nah I agree with you, OP!

I get horribly grossed out by sharing in-ears and I'm not a squeamish or hygiene-precious person usually. I'm in a band and occasionally somebody will have to use some communal techy in-ears. We have a pack of antibacterial wipes for that specific purpose because it's clearly got the potential to be minging.

If you're describing a fault that can't easily be evidenced in store then they should give you the benefit of the doubt, surely? Did you have the receipt / packaging etc? Cos there must be some returns policy....

FasterThanASnakeAndAMongoose Tue 26-Jul-16 22:37:36

I don't think I'd mind them testing them - easy enough to clean.

If they've got an intermittent fault then that's obviously really annoying. Twitter?

DanNickBen Tue 26-Jul-16 22:39:07


Yes box in perfect condition with receipt. Purchased last Thursday

DanNickBen Tue 26-Jul-16 22:40:49


Yes Twitter was the first thing I thought of but I'm not a social media user at all, annoying for things like this as it's the only incidents like this I think I would find it useful

Shinyshoes2 Tue 26-Jul-16 22:41:42

I have thrush in my ears so I certainly wouldn't share earphones
I'd make them swap them for that reason alone
Make a call to their head office

Oooopsididitagain Tue 26-Jul-16 22:43:01

That is disgusting - i dont share earphones because they get grimey and some people dont clean out their ears!!! Go back and say you have spoken to head office and want a full replacement or refund. Under the sales of good act, goods must be fit for purpose which those clearly were not and faulty good must be replaced or refunded. Explain again that as three members of staff have had them on their you certainly wouldnt want them back even if they did work. Basically kick up a stink as they are trying it!!

FasterThanASnakeAndAMongoose Tue 26-Jul-16 22:46:11

I signed up for twitter for just this sort of reason. Do you know anyone who could tweet on your behalf?

Call their head office too, I agree with pps. Quote the sale of goods act. Don't back down.

ChaseAvenal Tue 26-Jul-16 22:51:19

That's not on. I work at a different retailer but we do sell headphones, if I felt the need to test them I would put the device I was using on its loudest and put them NEAR my ears, you don't compromise the hygiene of a product you'll potentially be giving back to someone! We don't test for faults on (I'm assuming) small value items like that, if other retailers feel they need to test the items I support that, but it needs to be done in such a way that they're not giving you back something in poorer (unacceptable imo) condition! Please contact their head office/customer services department.

leghoul Tue 26-Jul-16 22:52:49

Consumer Rights Act 2015

DanNickBen Tue 26-Jul-16 22:55:20


Ah so yes they are certainly small value, if they were fine then broke in two or three months I would probably just bin them anyway. Really glad it's not large value and they do sell ones that cost over the £100 mark! I hope they don't treat those the same!

DanNickBen Tue 26-Jul-16 22:57:28


Yes the consumers rights act 2015, that's the one that's overtaken the Sales of Goods Act 1979 right?

Happyinthehazeofadrunkenhour Tue 26-Jul-16 22:59:51

Sounds gross! You def should have insisted on a refund or exchange. It's not too late. Good Luck. Was it HMV shop ?

DanNickBen Tue 26-Jul-16 23:05:23


I don't think we can name shops on these boards :/ spesh when negative

Am definitely going to follow it up. I quite like a classic snail mail letter so will be sending one of those to head office

Glad most of you are saying its a tad gross because I've been wondering all day if it's just me!

agentmarmalade Tue 26-Jul-16 23:06:51

IT is gross and I don't agree with the way you've been treated. Would you consider making a formal complaint? They would have to answer that.

Memoires Tue 26-Jul-16 23:10:51

I mention shop names when they've pissed me off and when they're good.

TattyCat Tue 26-Jul-16 23:11:25

YANBU. I doubt very much that the staff are trained to determine whether such things are truly faulty or not and sticking them in their ears to find out absolutely isn't acceptable.

Needing to return 2/3 items a year sounds a lot though? I've only had to return something once in about 10 years!

BreconBeBuggered Tue 26-Jul-16 23:13:02

Yes, yuck. I'd have expected an immediate exchange.

MsJudgemental Tue 26-Jul-16 23:15:17

I'm surprised that they didn't just take your word for it- you were just after a replacement, weren't you, not a refund? Even if you were, as Chase said, they could just have held them near their ears to check. You shouldn't have to waggle the wire to get them to work or have them back after they've been in three people's ears- contact customer services.

PinkyofPie Tue 26-Jul-16 23:22:13

I'm totally with you OP that is rank! I won't even share DHs earphones!

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