One of the pleasant Aldi purchase surprises for me over the last year has been the Bauhn Foldable Headphones. The headphones are comfortable, versatile, and look kind of cool. And, most importantly, the sound is excellent.
Alas, it was too good to be true. Problems developed that gave me a reason to contact the manufacturer.
About six months after I purchased the headphones, a short developed in the 3.5 mm cable, causing the sound in the left ear to go out if the cord wasn’t bent a specific way. (The cable is removable, so I was able to isolate the problem by testing another 3.5 mm cable.) Because the headphones have a 2-year warranty, I wrote to the email address in the manual and asked for help. I did not identify myself as a writer for Aldi Reviewer; as far as they knew, I was just another customer.
I sent the email on May 28, 2018. It read:
To whom it may concern,
Last December I bought the Bauhn Foldable Headphones from Aldi. The last couple of days I have had the sound going out in the left earphone. I tested the cord and determined that it appears to be a short at the end of the cord going into the headphones. (I do not have the problem when I swap in another 3.5 mm cord.)
The headphones themselves are fine; it’s just the 3.5 mm cord with the volume control that is faulty. Is it possible to get another cord?
I heard back the next day: May 29, 2018. (Not bad, considering that the day I sent the email was also Memorial Day.) The email address of the sender was Tempo, a global supplier of consumer electronics, and the email read, in part:
Thank you for your email and sorry to hear about the fault you have experienced.
Unfortunately this is not a serviceable item and in regards to replacement stock we don’t have any replacements left. Therefore we can certainly process a full refund.
I was a little disappointed to hear this — I like the headphones — but I figured getting a refund was at least something.
The email from Tempo went on to explain how I could go about getting the refund. I was asked to provide specific information about the product, as well as attach some proof of purchase. That proof could be a receipt, a bank statement, or, if I didn’t have a receipt or statement (i.e. if it was a gift), a statutory declaration explaining the situation. The email attached the statutory declaration, which was supposed to be notarized if used.
There was one other important part of the email: it requested bank information for the refund. It probably won’t surprise anyone to know that I was wary about sending my bank information via email. In my reply, where I attached my product information and my receipt, I expressed my concern about emailing my bank information and asked if there was an alternate way to process the refund.
In the return email, which I received later that day, while they promised to keep my information secure, they also said they could send a check if I sent my full mailing address. I provided my full address, and later that day was told processing would take 7-10 days.
It look a little longer than that. I received the check in early July, about 6 weeks after the correspondence. It did arrive, however.
While it was unfortunate to have problems develop with the Bauhn headphones, and also unfortunate that a replacement part wasn’t available, I do have to give props to the manufacturer for responding quickly to my email and for refunding me for the trouble. I would say that, overall, this was a good outcome for a product problem.