Wednesday, December 30, 2015

My curling iron is considered hazardous waste.

Ok, so this story is kinda weird and kinda funny and really long. Sorry.

For Christmas I had asked for a bunch of really basic things that I just needed. Socks, arm holder for my phone while running, hair dryer, curling iron, punching bag...totally need that.

My mother in law got me a curling iron, purchased off of Amazon, and while it wasn't the exact model I had requested was the same brand and pretty close. She included a gift certificate and said that if it wasn't the one I wanted, to exchange it. Well, after a couple days I decided that what I really needed was the hair dryer. There's actually only one hair dryer in the house right now that Ali and I are sharing between the bathrooms and it's not a great one to begin with.

So, yesterday I scanned in the little bar code on the Amazon gift receipt and requested an exchange.

A message popped up that said this item was unavailable for return due to specialized shipping needs.


I thought that couldn't possibly be right and clearly this little app was confused. It's a curling iron. What's so specialized about shipping a curling iron?

There was an option to email customer service, so I did and said that I was trying to exchange a gift I got and wanted to send back the curling iron for the hair dryer, what's up?

I got a response back an hour or so later from a customer service rep who said she was sorry I was unhappy with the product but that it was not eligible for return to Amazon because it was considered hazardous waste but that she would send me a gift certificate for the full amount so I could still get the replacement item, and please do not throw out the item but follow instructions in the included link to properly dispose of it.


It's a curling iron...

I responded back to her saying that I was confused, again, this can't possibly be right. It's a curling iron! What about it makes it hazardous??

I really just wanted to know. It had reached a level of curiosity that couldn't just be left alone. It's a CURLING IRON!

So then, I got a response back from a second customer service rep who said she was sorry for any confusion, that the item was considered hazardous...and that in recompense for the trouble she was crediting back the full amount to the original method of payment...

So, I emailed her back and said, wait a minute, this was a present. I've already been issued a gift certificate, and now you're crediting my mother in law also. I just can't figure out why a curling iron is considered such a big safety concern and really want an explanation, especially why you'd send a gift certificate with an item that is not eligible for return.

A third rep emailed me back and said that it looked like due to Amazon error, this order had been credited twice (duh) but she hoped I would consider it a good will effort on their part given all the confusion and inconvenience and that:

Due to safety reasons, we cannot accept the return of any hazardous materials--these include but are not limited to items that are flammable, gas-powered or use propane or natural gas, have rechargeable batteries or contain powerful magnets--at any of our fulfillment centers. 

At least she gave me some sort of explanation of hazardous material, but still, IT'S A CURLING IRON!!!!

So, at the end of a crazy afternoon full of really weird emails, I have a credit to Amazon to purchase my hair dryer. My mother in law has been refunded her money. And, I still have a brand new but apparently hazardous curling iron.

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