If you were Apple how would you go about dissuading OCD types from exchanging phones?

Hal~9000

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Sep 13, 2014
2,019
1,767
I see so many people on the forum say they are going to take back a phone because:
- they think something is wrong with their screen when its not
- they think something is wrong with their battery life when its not
- they just want a different color and couldn't figure this out ahead of time
- they didn't realize they wanted a different memory size
- they just took whatever they could get on day 1 and figured they could return it and get the one they want once it's in stock
- they didn't do their homework ahead of time to know the 6+ was too big
- they didn't do their homework ahead of time to know the 6 was too small
- because it's not a big enough difference from their 5s

The list goes on and on of irresponsible people who cost the Apple good money by simply being fickle buyers who either don't do their homework or can't figure out what they want ahead of time :rolleyes:

If you were Apple, how would you shut down these OCD types from constantly making poor decisions and costing you money by thinking they can simply exchange over and over or constantly return/rebuy instead of simply doing their homework and making the correct purchase the first time?

Perhaps restocking fees? A time limit of 30 - 60 days before you can buy another iPhone after a return? What?

Of course there will be people in the thread saying "how dare you not let me exchange my phone 396 times, I'm a consumer dammit and I get anything I want!" but I don't care about hearing from them, I'm simply asking: If you were Apple, how would you shut down these types from costing you money by thinking they can return or exchange many times over instead of simply doing their homework and figuring out the best choice before buying?

I look forward to reading your ideas :)
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
66,658
33,496
Boston
So you're basically advocating the concept that apple become less consumer friendly and not try to help out a consumer who is not happy with their purchase?

I don't think that will go very far.
 

Hal~9000

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Sep 13, 2014
2,019
1,767
So you're basically advocating the concept that apple become less consumer friendly and not try to help out a consumer who is not happy with their purchase?

I don't think that will go very far.
Carriers and retailers do this already to some degree and they seem to be doing fine. I'm simply doing a hypothetical that it would help Apple if they did this and how the forum members would do it if they were Apple.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
66,658
33,496
Boston
I might add, doing your home in advance doesn't help you when you actually start using an IP6+ and find out how truly large it is.

----------

Carriers and retailers do this already to some degree and they seem to be doing fine.
You mean not letting people return their phone because they didn't realize it was too big?
 

Hal~9000

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Sep 13, 2014
2,019
1,767
I might add, doing your home in advance doesn't help you when you actually start using an IP6+ and find out how truly large it is.
Which is why they might want go to the store and use it for a good amount of time before purchasing online with no idea if it will work out or not.

You mean not letting people return their phone because they didn't realize it was too big?
More along the lines of restocking fee's. Although anything else you could think of to curb this behavior in consumers is what I am wondering.

You say "OCD types". I say "Macrumors types"
LoL :D

Probably true, wasn't enough space though in the title ;)

Stick one of these signs in all Apple stores:

Image

No Refunds or Exchanges
Hah, love it :)
 

braddick

macrumors 68040
Jun 28, 2009
3,847
799
Encinitas, CA
The problem with a restocking charge on iDevices that have no real issue- just the consumer wishing for a different device- is the possibility of the buyer then fraudulently forcing an issue so as to save on the fee.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
66,658
33,496
Boston
The problem is the huge influx of pre-orders, people were unable to check them out in stores.

Even now many carriers have pulled the iPhones from the shelves because of kids bending them. Again its making it harder to buy, and now you're advocating making it harder to return.
 

Hal~9000

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Sep 13, 2014
2,019
1,767
The problem is the huge influx of pre-orders, people were unable to check them out in stores.

Even now many carriers have pulled the iPhones from the shelves because of kids bending them. Again its making it harder to buy, and now you're advocating making it harder to return.
So lets say you were Apple and you had a meeting and Tim Cook says "You know what guys these consumers thinking they can just return stuff anytime they want is KILLING us, no matter what we need to figure out a way to stop it!"

What would be the best way in your opinion? Not have online pre-orders? Showcase the phones in store a few weeks ahead of time so people could figure out which one they wanted? A t-mobile test drive program of sorts?

Give me your ideas :)

You keep using the term OCD. I don't think it means what you think it means.
Yeah, there were only 3 character spaces left in the title so I ran with it. What term would you use instead?
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
66,658
33,496
Boston
I may add, that you might find yourself in a situation where you're unhappy your purchase, perhaps the screen is too pink for your liking. How would you feel if you brought the iPhone to the store, the genius checked it out and disagreed and forced you to pay for a restocking fee for something you believe is defective?

You throw the term OCD around but its really not OCD. People are unhappy with a particular attribute of their purchase and want it resolved. Making it harder is counter to Apple's desire to be consumer friendly.

----------

So lets say you were Apple and you had a meeting and Tim Cook says "You know what guys these consumers thinking they can just return stuff anytime they want is KILLING us, no matter what we need to figure out a way to stop it!"
But I wouldn't, stopping them from returning phones will basically piss off consumers and they'll just move to a product that is more consumer friendly
 

kovey

macrumors 6502a
Apr 10, 2011
595
182
There's unfortunately no policy that you could have that would please these types of babies. They would just go buy some random android because the grass is always greener where they're allowed to take a dump.
 

zoonyx

macrumors 6502
Oct 18, 2011
434
35
Northern England
I took the **** this time, I admit it. I screwed up.

But over the years I've spent a lot of money with apple. I do, perhaps wrongly, expect apple to 'cut me some slack'.

I've also spent a lot of money at the likes of Currys (in the UK). They don't give a crap. Which is why I try not to spend money there anymore, and why I continue to spend money at apple.

Most of the returned phones go into refurb brown boxes anyway don't they?
 

golfdude

macrumors regular
Aug 5, 2005
249
30
It's one thing to return something because it's defective, but it's another with all these people buying 2 phones, trying both out and just returning the other. Or people "exchanging" for a different color or a different memory size. There should be some form of fee for indecision. That's my opinion, Apple doesn't seem to care, they have a gazillion dollars.
 

antiprotest

macrumors 65816
Apr 19, 2010
1,446
248
I think the cost is already covered in the prices of the devices. In other words, every customer is paying for those people. If the phone is really defective though, then of course the customer should have the right to exchange it until he gets a good one.
 

zoonyx

macrumors 6502
Oct 18, 2011
434
35
Northern England
It's one thing to return something because it's defective, but it's another with all these people buying 2 phones, trying both out and just returning the other. Or people "exchanging" for a different color or a different memory size. There should be some form of fee for indecision. That's my opinion, Apple doesn't seem to care, they have a gazillion dollars.
But we know apple won't reduce the prices - so IF they can truely afford to take a hit on returns, does it really matter? Who loses out? You don't - because as I said, prices would not go down, and the guy returning doesn't either.

In summary: Why does it matter IF it's affordable to apple?
 

mojolicious

macrumors 68000
Mar 18, 2014
1,561
310
Sarf London
The problem is the huge influx of pre-orders, people were unable to check them out in stores.
Yeah, I can't get my head around pre-ordering. For an 's' variant, perhaps, but a completely new and significantly larger model, and without even knowing the phone's specs let alone the 'hand feel'?

Apple were just asking for trouble.
 

powerstrokin

macrumors 6502a
May 18, 2013
696
1
OP, I just wanted to say DAMN. You post a lot.

~32 posts per day. You LIVE on this site bro.

Carry on.
 

mrnoglue

macrumors member
Jul 14, 2011
55
9
If I was in a meeting with Tim Cook and he asked how to reduce returns of Apple products, I would probably answer as follows.

First, what is the motivation? Why do you want fewer returns? Is it because the rate returns are rising each year and eating into product margins? Or is it because profit margins are remaining flat, and lowering the rate of returns may allow the company to squeeze another percentage out of revenue?

If rate of returns are rising, it indicates a much bigger problem than if rate of returns are flat over time.

Assuming rate of returns are rising, we need to find out why. Is it the increasingly complicated product portfolio that is driving returns, decreasing product quality or quality control, software issues, lack of supply, something unknown?

Product returns are not a silo, with a zero sum solution. I have a feeling its a combination of the factors outlined above, but it would be impossible to know without access to insider information.

From my anecdotal observations, it seems that Apple's product line is becoming too complex, and this lack of focus is straining the resources of the company, resulting in a decrease in quality.

For example, instead of having one resolution to develop for, Apple now has to support 3.5, 4, 4.7, 5.5, 7.9, and 9.7 inch displays for iOS, all at varying resolutions that require scaling for compatibility. Designing an OS that feels natural at each resolution and size is an order of magnitude more difficult that designing an OS that runs on one screen size and resolution. Carry this same example over to the Mac computers and OSX line, and the same problem becomes apparent.

I think Apple is having a really tough time designing for both retina and non-retina displays, and the lack of focus on the "right" display for their content is a huge mistake. But this is just one small aspect of their company, that may or may not be related to rate of returns.

So I guess my answer would be... it depends.
 

kmj2318

macrumors 68000
Aug 22, 2007
1,614
582
Naples, FL
I see so many people on the forum say they are going to take back a phone because:
- they think something is wrong with their screen when its not
- they think something is wrong with their battery life when its not
- they just want a different color and couldn't figure this out ahead of time
- they didn't realize they wanted a different memory size
- they just took whatever they could get on day 1 and figured they could return it and get the one they want once it's in stock
- they didn't do their homework ahead of time to know the 6+ was too big
- they didn't do their homework ahead of time to know the 6 was too small
- because it's not a big enough difference from their 5s

The list goes on and on of irresponsible people who cost the Apple good money by simply being fickle buyers who either don't do their homework or can't figure out what they want ahead of time :rolleyes:

If you were Apple, how would you shut down these OCD types from constantly making poor decisions and costing you money by thinking they can simply exchange over and over or constantly return/rebuy instead of simply doing their homework and making the correct purchase the first time?

Perhaps restocking fees? A time limit of 30 - 60 days before you can buy another iPhone after a return? What?

Of course there will be people in the thread saying "how dare you not let me exchange my phone 396 times, I'm a consumer dammit and I get anything I want!" but I don't care about hearing from them, I'm simply asking: If you were Apple, how would you shut down these types from costing you money by thinking they can return or exchange many times over instead of simply doing their homework and figuring out the best choice before buying?

I look forward to reading your ideas :)
Apple is aware that some customers cost them more than others, but these customers are in the very small minority. What ends up happening is the more lax customers subsidize the more difficult ones. The same way a retail store can try to discourage shoplifting, but up to a point, it has to be practical and just expect some shoplifting, and price items accordingly.

Apple's lax policy is similar to a 100% money back guarantee. Most people won't use it, but it's a way to build trust with consumers, and get them off the fence. Some people will take advantage, but most people's lives are too busy for that. I think adopting too many restrictive policies will cause a *****torm that will hurt Apple's image more than it will help them save money from picky buyers.

And adding stringent policies will also hurt people who have legitimate issues. It's difficult reduce Type I errors without increasing Type II errors.
 

BenTrovato

macrumors 68030
Jun 29, 2012
2,892
1,954
Canada
Apple produces premium devices and charges a very premium fee. When you're in that territory, you will have people that expect perfection and as a result many returns.

This isn't a big deal, many people aren't OCD and are just happy with their phone. The devices are super expensive and if someone isn't perfectly happy with their purchase then they should absolutely return it until they are satisfied. The fact that some people have issues with people returning a device to a company that makes billions of dollars is the real issue.
 
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