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My headphones broke this week… again! It’s frustrating but I’ve worked out how to come to terms with it ALWAYS happening and not lose money.

The set I got with my iPhone isn’t great for blocking out other sounds – especially since I travel to work everyday on the tube! I’m always listening to music when I’m on the move, so buying a better set is essential.

I’ve tried expensive ones, I’ve tried cheap ones. Build quality varies but no matter how well I care for them they always break.

It could be no sound in one of the earbuds, the microphone failing or even the wires fraying nearer the connector. They rarely last more than a couple of months. It’s annoying, but at least I’ve found a way to ensure I’m not out of pocket.

Don’t chuck them in the bin

Headphones are covered by a guarantee, warranty or the Sales of Goods Act. Time limits vary, but in the first six months (at least) you’ll be entitled to a refund, replacement or repair. Unless you’ve been careless with the item, throwing them away is throwing away money.

You’ll need to post your broken headset to the retailer or manufacturer at your own expense, or take them into the shop you bought it.

The seller or manufacturer then assess it to see if it’s likely to be an defect with the item or how you’ve treated it. If it’s not your fault, you should then get a new pair or a refund.

This can take time – my experiences ranged from two to eight weeks before the money was back in my account. But the last few times I’ve managed to get it sorted in just a few days without it costing me anything extra. And that’s by using Amazon.

Buy “Fulfilled by Amazon” orders

When buying electricals I’ll always shop around for the best price. However, with headphones I’ve discovered the easiest way to get a refund is via Amazon, so I think it’s worth paying a little extra at times for this.

When you order something on Amazon, you can buy three ways: direct from Amazon; direct from a retailer; or “fulfilled by Amazon”.

I order my headphones via the latter. When they inevitably break, a four minute live online chat results in an email with a freepost label to stick on your return packet. Once Amazon receive the return, they’ll process your refund.

If you order a replacement at the same time you should get that in the post within five days if you choose free delivery, or quicker if you have Amazon Prime or pay a little extra.

Worst case scenario, and you’re without headphones for a week. But at least you aren’t shelling out every few months for a new pair or waiting months to know if you will or won’t get a refund.

P.S. It’s worth keeping the unused headphones you get with your phone (or MP3 player) in their original packing, as it helps increase the value when you sell the phone on.


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