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Target Should Refund My Money for Defective DVD

Posted Sat June 28, 2008 12:00 pm, by JoAnne N. written to Target

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On 6/21/2008 I visited Target Las Vegas Far Northwest location and purchased several items totaling over $700. Included in my purchase was a Sabrina the Teenage Witch Season 2 boxed set for my niece who is visiting for the summer. The price of the set was $19.99. The next night we sat down to watch the discs and they wouldn't play. Not one of the four discs in the box set were working. My first thought was that my DVD player was broken, but I took the discs into another room and tried to play them and they didn't work either.

On 6/23/2008 I returned to the same location with my receipt and explained that the discs I had bought were defective. The person working at the return desk told me that since the set was open that I could only exchange it for the exact same item which was no problem because we wanted a new one anyway. I went over to the electronics department only to find that they didn't have any more of that set on the shelf. I returned to the desk and told the girl who said that she would call and ask them to see if there were any in the back. She had me waiting off to the side for several minutes when she finally said that since they had no more and I had opened the discs there was nothing that she could do for me other than to call another Target and see if they had any in stock.

After calling several locations in the area she finally found one set at the North Las Vegas location which is 20 miles out of my way. Since my niece really wanted these discs I decided to go ahead and drive there. The girl helping me told me that she instructed them to leave the set at the customer service desk so that it would be ready when I arrived.

When I arrived at the North Las Vegas location, they did not have the discs at the desk, nor did they even know what I was talking about. The employee working there had to call electronics several times because someone there had apparently pulled the discs from the shelf but never brought them up. I ended up waiting another 20 minutes.

If this had been the end of it, although annoyed, I wouldn't have even bothered writing this letter to you. However when I brought this second set of discs home, they too were defective! It is not my DVD players either as I have tested several other discs with no problem.

My question to you is- where does this leave me? If no one else has this item in stock does that mean that I am just out of luck because you are selling defective items? I understand that many people may try to defraud sellers these days by buying DVD's, copying them, and then trying to return them- in fact I don't disagree with your policy at all in regards to only being able to exchange for the same item. The problem comes in when we are talking about a situation like this where the item I purchased is defective, I am well within the return policy time limit, and no one has this item in stock for me to exchange it. I already wasted almost a gallon of gas driving across town trying to abide by your policy and I will not do it again nor should I have to.

Your employees should be able to make decisions based on individual situations and common sense instead of repeating the return policy printed behind them on the wall like robots. She should have been able to look at my receipt, see that I bought a large number of items- including two other DVD boxed sets and see that my intention was not to defraud the store by returning a set of already watched DVDs and go ahead and refund my money. It would have even been acceptable if they would have let me exchange it for another type of DVD - but to make me drive across town because you sold me a defective item is a lot to ask of a customer.

I would like Target to allow me to return the second set of defective discs regardless of weather or not you have any more in stock. I will not drive to another store out of my way to make this exchange again.


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by rfb Posted Thu December 23, 2010 @ 4:08 PM

What absolute nonsense! The DIGITAL MILLENNIUM COPYRIGHT
ACT is the culmination of treaty negotiations between Europe and the
United States. No provision of this act prohibits any retailer from
refunding money for defective or UNWANTED copyrighted material.
Claiming it does is bogus. Granted, the act is updated regularly, but
the legislation's intent is to address illegal infringement of
copyrighted material and does not consider recorded movies an issue.
As a matter of fact, federal legislation as upheld in the courts,
stipulates that any copyrighted material that is broadcast via cable
or public airways is not longer subject to copyright exclusion in that
the public may record such media for its personal use, meaning we can
make copies as long as we don't sell or distribute them.

Costco will accept returns on DVDs, CD, Blu-rays, etc. Best Buy, if
the clerk is trained to handle your objections, will quote a federal
statute it calls Chapter 7. Actually, the reference should be to
Chapter 5 of the Copyright Law of the United States of America
and Related Laws Contained in Title 17 of the United States. It does
detail a wealth of limitations on "service providers" but only
mentions retail in passing, not once prohibiting stores from taking
back or refunding purchases.

If the no-refund policy is based on a federal statute, retailers
should know what the name of it. I had Best Buy refuse me a refund.
They are a corporate bureaucracy with no management authority to do
anything outside of company dictates. I simply exhanged my unwanted
open Blu-ray disc in one Best Buy store and exchanged it in another. I
took all three receipts -- original purchase slip, exchange slip, and
refund slip and told the store manager what I'd done and asked that
she swear a complaint with the local police. She declined. I'd
e-mailed and telephoned their corporate people and received the same
"It's a federal law" nonsense, so I also contacted and told them THEY
had broken and I wanted to know where I could file a complaint. I
leave it to your imaginations as to where they told me to go, which I
did with a chuckle.

by Jo23 Posted Mon July 21, 2008 @ 10:17 PM

I mailed back the DVD's as requested and received a $30 gift card in
the mail today. The set was $19.99 and the shipping was around $5 so
it was just enough with a bit extra to spare. Although it was kind of
a pain to have to ship the items back, overall I am happy with the

by Jo23 Posted Sun June 29, 2008 @ 5:49 PM

Here is an email that I received today. I'm surprised that they
responded so quickly and on a Sunday. Their solution is still a bit
inconvienent, however I am willing to accept it rather than to be out

Thanks for contacting Target via PlanetFeedback about your recent
experiences at the Las Vegas Far Northwest and Las Vegas North Target

I'm sorry for the trouble you've had with the Sabrina the Teenage
Witch DVD sets you bought at Target. I know how frustrating it can be
when an item doesn't work out, and I hope we can help you out.

I'd be happy to take a look at the DVD set and see if we can reimburse

Please mail the DVD and a copy of the original receipt to me at:

Target Executive Offices
Attention: Dana
Reference Number:
PO Box
Minneapolis, MN 55440

Once I verify any quality issues, I'll mail back a GiftCard to you.
I'll get this taken care of as soon as I get the DVD, so send it in

Expect more. Pay less - that's what shopping at Target is all about.
We work hard to make sure we have only the best products on our
shelves. Your comments are a big help to us, and I'll make sure to
share them with our buyers. We'll keep working to make sure you can
always count on the quality you've come to expect from Target.

Thanks for shopping with us. I look forward to hearing from you.


Target Executive Offices


I'm really glad they responded. by BellaSera Sun June 29, 2008 @ 8:30 PM

Interesting proposal by Donno Sun June 29, 2008 @ 9:02 PM

I agree with you Donno by Marty5223 Mon June 30, 2008 @ 8:19 AM

Quick response! by Jessica P. Wed July 2, 2008 @ 2:22 AM

what a garbage offer from Target by APCO25guy Mon July 7, 2008 @ 11:35 AM

by J C. Posted Sun June 29, 2008 @ 4:43 PM

How about contacting the manufacturer of the DVD? If it is indeed a
defective batch, they should refund or replace the set. Target had no
idea that the merchandise shipped to them was defective in any way,
and since the manufacturer won't credit them for opened DVDs, your
best bet is to try to contact the manufacturer directly and see if
they'll ship you a replacement.


by seraphimsong Posted Sun June 29, 2008 @ 11:43 AM

I use to work for the customer service dept in Target. The reason that
they cannot return your movie for a refucd is because it is part of
the copyright law. If they were to return the DVD then Target would be
breaking this law. Have you ever notced that when you do bring a DVD
back that when you exchange it the customer service rep has to open it
up for you before you leave the store?? This is because people would
go home, copy it, say it didnt work, get a new one, and then later
return the new one for a refund. Everything they do makes sense. I
understand that it can be frustrating, but its really out of Targets
hands, and every retail store is supposed to do the same. It is a law.
Perhaps like the others stated, your dvd player is older and can't
play it. I can assume that is probably is since you had problems with
both the sets. In that case its probably time for you to update your
equipment, because you will probably just have issues again in the
near future.

Its sad that they have had to come to this, but you can thank your
peers for once again ruining your ability to do something as simple as
return a defective dvd.


by Just Brenda Posted Sun June 29, 2008 @ 12:42 PM

It is NOT against the law for them to return a DVD.

by The_Tim Posted Sun June 29, 2008 @ 8:29 PM

Argh! I was fed this same lie by a pair of Target employees in
Washington State today.

Copyright law does NOT prohibit a retailer from refunding a customer's
money for a defective DVD. Other merchants are happy to do so
(including Costco), and would be violating this law DAILY if it really

It's a crappy, anti-customer Target corporate policy, NOT A LAW.


Yes, there is a law. by White Tiger Mon June 30, 2008 @ 2:19 AM

OMG White Tiger by MA Cunningham Mon June 30, 2008 @ 1:24 PM

Bzzt. Wrong again. by The_Tim Mon June 30, 2008 @ 9:21 PM

It's not the law. by Just Brenda Mon June 30, 2008 @ 10:46 PM

Sorry, you're seriously misinformed. by The_Tim Mon June 30, 2008 @ 1:49 PM

Tim by Just Brenda Mon June 30, 2008 @ 10:46 PM
by Anonymous A. Posted Sun June 29, 2008 @ 5:08 AM

While it will be great for retailers to have employees do as they
please in return policies,it will never happen. It really isn't fair
to the employee to be put in a decision making situation, because they
aren't managers. That is what the managers are there for. Great
letter, but I would have to disagree on the "employee decision making"


by Jo23 Posted Sat June 28, 2008 @ 3:12 PM

Thanks to everyone for your comments and suggestions. In this case I
doubt it is my DVD player as of of them is a brand new Sony Hi Def DVD
player that we bought when we set up the home theater in the family
room a few months ago. As for the other DVD player that I have- yeah
it's one of those $50 specials from Costco or where ever I bought it a
couple years ago. I had also purchased the Sabrina set for seasons 1
and 3 and they both work fine in both players. I think that there was
just a bad batch made for this season- on one of the discs you can see
thin scratches. I will update you as to weather or not Target
responds and how they plan to handle this situation. Thanks again.


by puyro Posted Sat June 28, 2008 @ 2:13 PM

Having the same policy of not returning opened defective DVDs, at my
store the associate checks the inventory to see if there's any in
stock, if not, a gift card is issued for the purchase price. A note is
also put on the customer's purchase history in the computer.

by subhumanguy Posted Sat June 28, 2008 @ 2:07 PM

If your DVD players are older they may not play Double Layer Discs
(essentially DVDs that hold 8.5 GB of information versus the 4.7 GB of
a single layer DVD).

I have read that some older (and certain brands) DVD players simply
will not be able to read the discs.
I would bet that the problem is your DVD player.


yeah I swapped the same DVD three times by Marty5223 Sat June 28, 2008 @ 2:13 PM

by Marty5223 Posted Sat June 28, 2008 @ 1:58 PM

The problem is the DVD player. I had the exact thing happen with my
last DVD. The older DVD players and some newer ones will not play any
DVD that has any HD features.

You can exchange that DVD all day long and it will NEVER PLAY.

I ended up buying a 49.99 DVD player to play my DVD fro TARGET that
would not play.

If you want proof the DVD is not defective make TARGET insert it in a
player in the video dept. I promise you it will play perfect!

I don't even begin to understand all the technical reasons they don't

We tried the DVD in three different players. It would not work.

I think all DVD are coming out Blue Ray at Target. You might as well
wait until the new players come out to buy one.

There was some battle between HD and Blue Ray at one point. I think
Sony finally threw in the towel and is going to do Blue Ray.

PS all my old DVDs played fine in the players that would not play
these DVDs.

Just a racket it to make us buy more players.


Blu-ray VS HD-DVD by puyro Sat June 28, 2008 @ 2:10 PM

Blue Ray is the new one, Target did tell me they were only going to have Blue Ray players by Marty5223 Sat June 28, 2008 @ 2:15 PM

Not quite correct by David H. Sat June 28, 2008 @ 4:23 PM

Thanks for the info by Marty5223 Sat June 28, 2008 @ 4:37 PM
by Hello Kitty Posted Sat June 28, 2008 @ 1:46 PM

Normally, I'm a big proponent of Target's return policy, but in this
case I completely agree with you.


by The Original Nethead Posted Sat June 28, 2008 @ 11:42 AM

Target.com has different inventory. If Target has a brain and
anything resembling ethics (a big stretch and probably a vain hope)
they should order it from the on-line division and ship it to the OP's
home free of charge. The customer should get what she paid for.


by BellaSera Posted Sat June 28, 2008 @ 10:04 AM

"Your employees should be able to make decisions based on individual
situations and common sense instead of repeating the return policy
printed behind them on the wall like robots."

Normally I would disagree with this statement because it puts
employees in the continual position of having to make judgment calls,
and while that sounds great in theory, in practice it leads to
policies being ill-defined and subject to argument. A
one-policy-for-all practice is much more fair and easy to enforce.

However, in this situation, I agree with your letter. If Target
doesn't have the item in stock, how are you supposed to exchange it? I
suppose you could wait for it to come back in stock, but who knows
when that will be, and that's hardly fair to you or your niece.

So, I don't know what the answer is. I hope you do get a refund or
they are able to get you a working copy of the DVD.


I agree.. by Harleycat (aka Usual Suspect #2) Sat June 28, 2008 @ 11:12 AM

Options to get refund by ST Sat June 28, 2008 @ 11:53 AM

I used to work at Kohls' service desk by BellaSera Sat June 28, 2008 @ 1:14 PM

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