Is it unhygienic to use someone else's earbud headphones? - ehMac.ca
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Old Sep 28th, 2005, 06:56 PM   #1
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Is it unhygienic to use someone else's earbud headphones?

I recently bought a pair of earbud headphones from a certain mac store at Bathurst and Dupont, and they won't let me return them for refund OR exchange because it "wouldn't be hygienic". I couldn't try them before i bought them (the salesman told me that Beyerdynamic was a "good" company). I have been able to try earbud headphones in stores before...so why is it an unhygienic practice now? Are there any new diseases that we should be aware of; maybe tell apple they shouldn't have any on display in their stores? I still have the receipt and the packaging is still intact; do i have a right to gripe?
Thoughts?
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Old Sep 28th, 2005, 07:17 PM   #2
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Unhygienic? I certainly wouldn't want someone else's earwax in my ear. Health hazard? Perhaps...swimmer's ear is a fungal infection, but I am unsure if it could be passed from the ear canal (is it behind the waterproof eardrum...can't remember) to the earbuds and then into another person's ear and proceed to cause infection. In any case, I would not want to buy second hand ear buds...yuck. From the store's perspective, I wouldn't want to take them back either. If there's a possibility of spreading an illness (and if their return policy precludes all of this by stating you can't return them) they certainly will not want to take them back (spreading an illness through your products is never a good thing). Sure, listening to earbuds first hand is the best way to know what they're like, but I would rather read reviews online than put the communal bud in my ear.
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Old Sep 28th, 2005, 07:35 PM   #3
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Yeah, I bought underwear last month, didn't like it a tried to return it. They wouldn't take them back! Can you believe that?!?!

Would YOU buy used earbuds?
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Old Sep 28th, 2005, 07:39 PM   #4
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Eww - no thanks. I even clean my own every so often with alcohol.



(talking about earphones - not underwear. )
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Old Sep 28th, 2005, 07:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Howard2k
Eww - no thanks. I even clean my own every so often with alcohol.
(talking about earphones - not underwear. )
Phew... I thought I was the only one! (Again, earbuds)
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Old Sep 28th, 2005, 07:49 PM   #6
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Same policy at the Sony store here in town.. picked up a pair of new in-ear headphones and the salesman mentioned I could not return them if I did not like them since it would not be hygenic.

I guess it is understandable..

RtC

P.S. They are not the best headphones I've heard in the world, but they will be sufficient for now
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Old Sep 28th, 2005, 07:57 PM   #7
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I would check to see if they had their store policy in writing somewhere, if they don't specify that they do not take returns on ear buds anywhere, I would raise a fuss.

How is this any different than any other item that you can take back? Any other store would re-sell it as an open box item -10% and call it a day.

What else are they going to not take back? Who knows what people touch, would they not take back mice, or keyboards? How about cell phones or telephones? They are just as close to your ear. Believe it or not, all bodily fluids are sterile, the worst thing someone else would get (their own fault for not cleaning used ear buds) would be an ear infection. People need to stop being such germophobs, or we are all going to start dieing from the common cold.

And yes, I buy open box items all the time, as long as they have the same warrenty.
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Old Sep 28th, 2005, 08:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
How is this any different than any other item that you can take back?
Because most other things aren't stuck half-way into the side of your head. Seems like a fairly obvious difference to me.
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Old Sep 28th, 2005, 08:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JumboJones
Believe it or not, all bodily fluids are sterile, the worst thing someone else would get (their own fault for not cleaning used ear buds) would be an ear infection. People need to stop being such germophobs, or we are all going to start dieing from the common cold.
Umm.. sure.. I guess you don't work in a microbiology lab? I work in a clinical setting and I am sorry, but some people are disgusting! Not all bodily fluids are sterile. Ear wax is a good example, there are tons of bugs that are normal flora in the ear canal that are embedded in the ear wax. But you also have to remember, ear wax is there to protect your ear in a sense from getting an infection; therefore it keeps a lot of "bugs" out of there...

The big problem, you can clean the surface of a keyboard, mouse, hard drive, computer, but it is next to impossible to clean an earbud!

Cheers,

RtC
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Old Sep 28th, 2005, 08:07 PM   #10
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I'd like to add.. if the guy/gal wasn't told the return policy.. I think the merchant should accept the return since the customer was not informed of this fact... I was told in my case, and I accepted that fact when I purhcased mine....

RtC
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