How not to return an item - from humour to horror stories!

At Black Cat PC we are lucky to have quite a low return rate. However, over the years we have had all sorts of products sent back in a range of conditions. Most customers are decent and return the items with care but others couldn't give a damn, or they return their old product back and still try and get a REFUND!
P.S: The comments at the bottom of the page make for good reading too!

Case 1 - I promise this isn't my old broken one (Or is it)
This lovely person had only had their brand new Dell 65w USB-C charger for just under a week and then decided to start a return. The reason was "No longer needed" so the return was approved, and a few days later and this is what arrived!
Dell return adapter

dell ladpter
Dell laptop charger return

Well, this customer was taking the biscuit. The adapter came back slung a box completely trashed. The adapter clearly had more than a few days use and was falling apart. They had attempted to tape it back together to no avail. And to top it off they included a note saying please refund!

Obviously, this was not our adapter. The part number wasn't even the same as the part sent. So we refused the refund!
Case 2 - I've oiled your battery, broken it, and given you a free yellow rag
It was a warm summer morning and we were sitting in the office doing worky things.....Probably. When DPD delivered a return. We opened the box and what did we see a dirty yellow rag! Time to fetch the gloves! Within the rag was a battery. The battery looked like it had been lathered in oil and kicked about a bit, damaging the tabs and case.
damaged dell return
Dell return battery
Dell battery
I then looked on the system to see that he'd only had it a week. It must be his one. Of course, it's his old one. The part number didn't match. No refund! Plenty of arguments with the customer!
Case 3 - Lucky it didn't go BOOM at Christmas!
This customer didn't return an item as such but did send a battery to us for recycling. Our website states this is allowed, correct disposal of batteries is very important. However, the battery must be sent to us via courier in a dangerous goods labelled foam-lined box we sent the new battery to the customer in. 
Instead, this resourceful individual  decided to ignore all the instructions and send it in an envelope with Royal Mail!
Unfortunately, It gets worse. They didn't have a big enough envelope so this is what they did:
folded battery
Folded dell return
Yes, that's right! they folded the battery in half like a book. The envelope also had water damage (Lithium-Ion and water DOES NOT MIX WELL). But the Christmas tape was a beautiful touch to an otherwise dangerous parcel. The first thing we did was check the battery had no charge. Luckily it had very little. We never did get a response from the customer! 
Case 4 - It wasn't me - It must have been DPD
Now we move on to a "wrong part ordered" return from Europe. The customer contacted us after receiving the EXPENSIVE battery stating he ordered the wrong part. We asked the customer to ensure it was well packed in its original box and sent him the return label. A few days later we received the return. We knew already it was going to be bad as DPD had re-bagged the package. Here we go AGAIN! 
damaged battery return 
damaged battery return 1
damaged battery return 2
damaged battery return 4
The box looked like it had been thrashed to within an inch of its like by the hulk on a bad day. That poor battery, did it survive...… No, of course not! The damage to the battery casing and cable meant we couldn't sell it again! long story short the customer blamed DPD. DPD blamed the customer and they all lived happily ever after. Except for us, we still had to refund the customer at a big loss. 
Feel free to share your comments and stories below! 
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A customer of mine sold a 27-inch iMac on eBay and shipped it in its original box with added bubble wrap for the screen. On the day he shipped it, he got an email from the buyer saying that he no longer wanted it. My customer pointed out that he had won the auction and that the item had been shipped. A few days later he got a request through eBay for a full refund as the item had been received with a broken screen. It finally found its way to us and it was clear that someone had taken a hammer to the screen which was so smashed you could hardly see any glass. The box itself had no damage but eBay upheld the claim. We helped him out by selling off various parts of the remains of the iMac so that the customer was not totally out of pocket. We even used some parts in our repairs and gave the money to the client.


I brought a “new other” laptop on ebay listed as brand new open box. The seller took over a week to ship it. When it arrived the laptop was obviously well used and smelt of mr sheen polish. So I called the seller….. No answer. Emailed…No answer. Then I came across another contact number after a few days of searching and finally go through to someone. They swore that I was sent a brand new open box laptop and said I had damaged the laptop. He then had the audacity to report me to ebay. After reporting the purchase to eBay myself a case was opened. The seller then called an hurled abuse at me calling me every name under the sun. This got worse and frequent when eBay finally sided with me and gave me a full refund. I was getting late night calls from multiple numbers to the point when I turned of my phone and reported it all to the police. To sum, buying an expensive laptop at a cheaper price was a risk. But didn’t justify the hell that was sent my way. It can cause lots of stress, sleepless nights and anger and just remember…. you cant polish a turd!


Back in the day I worked at a computer shop that sold parts from broken down laptops on eBay to bring in a bit of extra money. We had a 3 year old laptop that had a faulty motherboard so we sold the top end screen assembly and other parts off. The screen sold on the Monday and the customer started a return on the Wednesday with a comment saying “damaged”. So we got the return back on the Friday and the box was so bad that we knew the screen was broken. When we opened it up THE SCREEN WAS CURVED AND SMASHED! We then contacted the customer but got completely ignored. The fun of selling on eBay!


HAHA, this made me chuckle. I have a computer shop and fixed a laptop for a rather rude lady. She brought in an old laptop with a dead screen so I replaced it for quite a reasonable price within 3 or 4 days. She paid and I thought that was the end of it. A week later she came back fuming. She stormed into the shop and said "You broke my F***ing laptop. It smells like burning! I want a new one! I tried to get information about the issue but I couldn’t get a word in. Other customers walked out and she continued ranting. I opened up the laptop and pressed the power button and nothing happened. I took the charger out of the bag and it smelt of that burnt electrical smell. So I tried another adapter and yes, the laptop worked. At this point, she calmed down and I explained that her adapter (It was in a right state) had failed and not the laptop and she reluctantly, brought the adapter and walked out red-faced and embarrassed.

Brian G

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