Open Thread

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  1. scdeb

    My questions are about gift giving. My question is a about what happens after you give a gift. The recipient loves the gift at that moment but in the days and weeks that follow the recipient begins to complain that buttons are loose or it uses too many batteries or when they dropped it the thing chipped or whatever. They still just love the gift but there are issues. On and on it goes until you wish you had never gifted this person.
    How do you put a stop to this in a polite way? Or is it better to just give in and replace the gift even though months have gone by? I did just that recently just to put a stop to the “I think these are defective.” The item in question worked fine (I kept it for my own use.) but I replaced it just to stop the complaining. Is there a time limit for your responsibility?

    • Winifred Rosenburg

      It’s rude to complain to someone about a gift that person gave you. If it is defective, the only time you can bring it up is if the giver asks how you’re enjoying the gift, in which case you can explain that it seems to be defective. Even then, it is up to the giver to offer to replace it, and if they don’t you should just appreciate the thought put into the gift.

    • Elizabeth

      I would definitely not replace the gift, especially as the malfunctions seem due at least in part to the owner’s carelessness (in dropping it). If the thing really is defective, the natural thing to do would be to direct the person to the store or manufacture where it was sold or produced. Companies stand behind their products and would be willing to fix it or replace it. It is absolutely not up to the gift-giver to act as the ‘warranty’.

      Personally, I do not think the onus is on you to act perfectly politely when confronted by extreme rudeness. You can say once, “I’m so sorry you’re having trouble with it. Here’s the receipt/I bought it at Best Buy. They’ll be able to help you with any warranty claims.” And then ignore all future comments.

  2. Jody

    SCDeb, I think the recipient isn’t being very gracious. If the gift does in fact turn out to have a defect, there are politer ways to say so. I think there are several ways to handle it. If you still have the gift receipt, you could give that to the recipient, apologize for the gift being defective, and allow the recipient to return or exchange it. If the person does this all the time, and is somebody you’d normally exchange gifts with (like a close friend or family member), maybe a gift card is appropriate in future so the recipient can choose something he/she likes (if the recipient questions a gift card, you can say there seemed to be a problem last time with the gift you chose). Does the recipient habitually raise such complaints well after the fact? Maybe it’s time to stop exchanging gifts with this person. In any case I think you were very nice to exchange the gift so long after the event.

  3. scdeb

    Yes, this is a family member that I can’t dodge & this has been a problem no matter what I give. I always buy good quality gifts & try to get items that this person has mentioned in the past. I’ll try the gift card ideal & see how that goes over. Thanks for the suggestion. And thanks to everyone for responding–I hope I can try to remain less involved when there are complaints from this person since the gifting will continue. I need a stiffer spine! Thanks.

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