Tuesday, May 08, 2012
Then the fun began. The appliance didn't perform as it should. Because of "improvements" and "government regulation," several features--although on the dial--couldn't be used. And when we talked with the people at the store, we learned that their policy wasn't "If you don't like it, you have 30 days to return it." Theirs was, "Once it's in your home, it's yours. Call the manufacturer if you have a problem."
After many service calls and phone conversations with the manufacturer and the appliance store, we finally got this straightened out. The offending appliance is no longer in view, and we'll start over with a different store. But I got to thinking about this, and decided that the store's policy--the one which upset me--is pretty much what happens with a book. When a publisher sends books to a retailer, the retailer has the right to return them within a reasonable length of time. (That's why they don't want me or any other author to autograph too many copies--they may need to return them). But when the consumer pays for a book, once it's out of the store, that's it. I'm sure there may be people who read a book and then try to take it back to the store from which it was purchased, but they're probably few and far between, and I don't think their chances of success are good.
What do you do when you buy a book and it turns out not to be worth they money you paid for it? Do you complain to the bookstore? Do you find the email contact for the author (the Internet makes it easy) and send them a message? Or do you just mark it down to experience and vow not to make that mistake again? Or are you one of those fortunate people who've never bought a book, only to get fifty pages in and wonder why you shelled out for it? Let me know.