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Amazon stops giving refunds on electronics items

24 May 2016

If you've bought an electronics item apart from a TV from Amazon say a tablet, laptop, desktop PC, monitor, camera, or camera accessories - after 11 May, then your product is not eligible for a refund, as Amazon recently changed its returns policy. Under the new policy brought in by the ecommerce site without much fanfare, you would only be eligible for a replacement and not a refund on such products.

A statement on Amazon's website reads, "All tablets, laptops, desktops, monitors, cameras, and camera lenses that are fulfilled by Amazon and purchased on or after 11th May 2016 are eligible for a replacement only policy and will no longer be eligible for refunds. In case you have received a defective or a damaged product, you will be eligible for a free replacement."

Other product categories still allow you to return items for a refund, even if you no longer need the item - for example, if you buy multiple products and decide to keep only one. However, in the case of certain electronic products - mobile phones, tablets, laptops, desktops, monitors, cameras, and camera lenses - the window to return a defective or damaged product is only ten days, and you can't return items you no longer require; all you can get now is a replacement. This is also the case with furniture.

Amazon had enacted this return policy in February for mobile phones, but other products were still eligible for a refund.

According to a check on comparable policies of other major ecommerce sites in India, Snapdeal's returns page shows than one can return electronics items for a refund if the item is damaged, or varies from the description, or is missing parts or accessories, but you can't return the product if you're dissatisfied with the item. This seems on par with Amazon's new policy.

On Snapdeal, for electronics, you need a document from the brand's service centre confirming that the item is defective, and all original packaging and accessories must be included in the return.

In the case of Flipkart, according to the help page, refunds are available if the seller cannot provide a replacement. Also, Flipkart's help page notes that in the case of defective / damaged products that are covered under the manufacturer's warranty, it does not provide returns.

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