One of the many overlooked things when buying a massage chair is the return policy of the retailer from whom you are purchasing your new chair. Buyers are most focused on the chair model, chair pricing, shipping time, and any extra perks that come with the chair, like in-home delivery & setup or extended warranty options, but very few actually review the return policy of a retailer before choosing that retailer.
Return policies for massage chairs can be anywhere from 7 days to 90 days, depending on the retailer. But, knowing that is not enough! Here are some other things you need to be aware of before taking the next step:
- Does the return policy begin when the chair is ordered, when it ships, or when it arrives at your home?
- Does your chair have to be back in the possession of the retailer before the policy expiration time frame? If the retailer has a 30 day return policy do you have to contact the retailer requesting a return authorization anytime before 30 days or do you have to have the chair back in the possession of the retailer before the 30th day?
- Do you have to arrange for your own return shipping? If not, do you have to pay for any or all of the return shipping costs? If so, do you know how much the return shipping will roughly be? Will you be back billed for the original shipping costs of the chair to your home?
- Will the retailer charge you a restocking fee? If so, how much is the restocking fee?
- Does the retailer have a contingency plan in place for the customer, if you don't meet the refund policy deadline?
- Do you have to pack up the chair yourself before it ships back to the retailer?
- Do you need to keep the original packaging of the chair?
- Will you be charged any shipping costs if you don't keep the original packaging and the chair has to be shipped back without that packaging?
- Does the retailer charge you a certain percentage to cover credit card fees charged for the refund and/or the original purchase amount?
- How will the retailer handle a situation where there is some damage to your chair, i.e. pet scratches on the upholstery, scratches to plastic parts of the chair, shipping damage coming back to the retailer, etc.?
- Is there any part of your original order for which no refund is given, i.e. white glove delivery, extended warranty, etc.?
- Do you have to send back all the manuals and accessories that came with the chair? If so, you should definitely keep them, along with the packaging.
- Is the return policy easy to find on the website (or at the brick and mortar store)? Or does the website try to obscure it or hide it in a little corner of a page so that you have trouble finding it? Does the staff know the policy? Is the policy specific enough that it removes the majority, if not all, questions and doubts that can come up?
- Does the retailer tell you about the return policy, either by word of mouth or by email or snail mail...or all of the above?
- In what form will your refund be paid, i.e. credit card refund, check, Venmo, Zelle, etc.? When does the retailer typically issue the refund to you?
- Can you exchange your chair for another one from the same retailer? If so, what costs will be associated with the exchange?
- Does the retailer offer a return policy for a pre-owned chair you buy from them? How about discontinued, close-out, refurbished, open box, or floor model massage chairs?
- Does the retailer offer refunds for shipments to Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico or any international destination? If so, will they pay for the return shipping or is that all on you?
- How many massage chair exchanges are you allowed by your retailer? Any additional charges for multiple exchanges?
- If you want expedited return shipping, who pays for that?
This might see like a lot to know about, even nitpicky, but these are the things that can burn you if you don't know about them beforehand. Some return policies are so vague that, when you do return your chair, you may suddenly be charged for things that you had no idea about. Make sure that the return policy is specific and covers many of these areas so that there aren't any surprises if you decide to return your chair.
Hopefully, your return experience is a positive one. I've had a couple over the years that were not positive and they leave a bad taste in your mouth. I can tell the moment someone starts talking about returning their chair, if they have even ever read my policy. That is when things get tough. Make sure that the return policy is easy to find and read it through thoroughly. The more specific, the better, in my opinion. It makes for a less troublesome return experience.
I have been in the massage chair business for almost 2 decades and I still regularly tweak and refine my return policy. It is a document in constant refinement. I do that to protect not only the buyer, but also my business. It serves everyone. This article is written to avoid heartache when it comes to returning a massage chair.
I hope this helps, without overwhelming you!
Dr. Alan Weidner
P.S. Give us a "Like" or "Share" and leave me a comment or question below to share what you learned or ask any questions, so other folks can benefit from this material.