What a waste of time...and, of course, there's no ethical question
Ethical Question? Let me address that snide comment first.
Regardless the price offered by HFT, the tool is warranted to work as
described and the offer provides for the customer's satisfaction with
the tool for ten days or so. More often than not, the tool lives up to
one's expectations and dies a peaceful death in the bottom of his or
her tool box some distant day after the initial purchase and use.
On the other hand, the experience I read from the OP seemed to
describe a situation in which the tool did not work as advertised,
promised and warranted to.
So suggesting he return it to exchange it or claim a refund is hardly
unethical one my part nor would it be on his.
Every such transaction include, in effect (an often at law) a contract
between vendor and vendee and each has a right to expect the other
will fully comply with the stated terms as well as any law (26 USC, I
believe) that applies.
Last I checked, every product sold comes with an implied warranty of
suitability for intended use (United States Code), though things may
have changed since last I applied same in (Palm Beach, FL) County
Court (Senf vs., General Motors & Adams Chevrolet).
As to the "waste of time issues, you may have a point. If you are
employed and earning sixty-five dollars per hour it would be difficult
to justify an hour round trip and visit to the local HFT much less an
expected return visit to collect the refund as the cost in your time
when added to the price of the discount item will likely approach the
cost of the brand name gizmo.
But if the fine tool costs nearly ten times the price of the HFT
competition and you're an average Joe who visits HFT as much for the
pure shopping enjoyment and picks up generic stuff and expendables as
well as "serious" tools, there was no "cost" to visit as you were
going anyway. And the return-it visit is often combined with a special
coupon or "deal" you've been waiting for.
As I said, my experience with HFT Return Policy has been favorable and
they have often excused the delayed return when the item was in
original packaging, in "as new" condition even when I could no longer
produce the receipt.
If they had a "no returns" policy, they would go out of business in
three weeks. The returns policy is part and parcel of their business
plan and is accounted for generously under "Returns and Allowances."
I've several HFT tools about my shop that I seldom use. A Heat Gun and
a pneumatic file come first to mind although there are lots of others
that fit this category. It is likely that, were I employed in some way
where the use of a heat gum or an air-file were part of my daily
routine, these two would have been tossed or returned and fine
replacements purchased at a significant premium.
You can't look down your nose at the OP for taking HFT up on their
If they offer it, try it. If it "works for you," keep it. If not,
exercise the Returrn Policy clause in the implied contract and get a
credit on your Mastercard.