Big Bazaar’s ‘your money is gone in 15-day’ return policy

I was looking for a multi-region DVD player and hopped into Big Bazaar, a multi-brand chain store which sells everything from vegetables to LCD TV. The sales guy pitched me to a buy a Philips DVD Player stating that, “it will play everything!”. To my surprise there was no region code mentioned on the box packaging of the DVD player (Philip’s own deceptive packaging). As a skeptic, I asked that guy whether the item is returnable. Yes, he said.

Once unpackaged, the DVD player only played region 5 (India/Asia) DVDs; and not the ‘Region 1’ (US/Canada), a cache of which lugged from US.

Went back to Big Bazaar after 10 days, was able to return the item with a little play of words but to my surprise was a credit-note instead of the cash Rs. 3500, I paid. The credit note was okay as that may be a way to dissuade fraud. The fine line was that the credit note expires in 15 days from issue date. The money will evaporate if I don’t go back to the same store and spend it all. This is unfair. I’m planning to file a complaint with the ministry of consumer affairs on this practice. It may not be illegal from Biz Bazaar’s point of view as in India returning an item itself is a new concept!

There are a few things Big Bazaar should fix to avoid consumer complaints:
1. Issue a non-expiring credit note or make it 6 months/12 months to the least
2. Allow that credit-note to be encashed at all Big Bazaars and not just the specific store where the note was issued.

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