Returning Warranty Items by Post

I had a pair of Bose Soundsport earphones that failed after 9 months. I rang their service department and was emailed a mailing label to return the earphones for repair or replacement. I popped the earphones in the mail, with Bose’s mailing label, and they promptly disappeared. Bose say they never got them and I should pursue the issue with Australia Post. Australia Post acknowledge they never delivered them but say only Bose is entitled to compensation because it was their return label. So I’m out a $250 pair of earphones and neither Bose nor Australia Post will deal with me. Any thoughts from the community about what to do next?


Hi @dgw2, such a shame that Australia Post has decided to try to pass the buck in this way, especially after admitting fault. It will help if you have a record to say that the package hasn’t been delivered, but in any case give the Commonwealth Ombudsmen a call between 9-5pm (1300 362 072) and explain the situation as you’ve described above. It sounds like it needs a human touch and dose of common sense to sort out, so hopefully you can get the right outcome here.

Let us know how you go, if that fails I can potentially make other suggestions for you.


(@BrendanMays posted while I was typing, and the ombudsman might indeed be a good place to go.)

The problem many of us face in that situation is that the contractual relationship is between the buyer and seller, and in this case it is Bose who has bought delivery services from Auspost.

In your place I would use the ACL letter of demand template and state exactly what happened and demand Bose replace your headphone. Include documentation/statements that Auspost will not deal with you and why, and Bose should know that so they are being disingenuous at best and fobbing you off at worst.

Keep voluminous notes of every conversation and get receipts for everything you send (eg automated email receipts and if you use email, set the option “return receipt” (although not all companies will honour that). You can also use a fax and use the transmission receipt as proof they received it, while the gold standard remains a receipted registered letter addressed to a senior executive, with a tracked letter second best.

Good luck and please let us know how you go.


Thanks @PhilT. Any chance you can provide a link to the “ACL letter of demand template”? Thanks,



I’m with @PhilT on this - your contractual relationship is with Bose - theirs is with Australia Post - Bose have not only prescribed the method of return, but provided it at their expense. If said method has no insurance or other capacity to deal with loss in transit, that is a risk Bose have taken - not you. You have the mailing label and I assume enough tracking to prove it disappeared into the Australia Post quagmire - you have done all that was asked of you by the company you have the relationship with - Bose.

I’d be talking to fair trading and lodging a formal complaint, at the same time as letting Bose know what you are doing.

As for Australia Post and the Commonwealth Ombudsman - it’s no surprise they won’t deal with you because you aren’t the customer. Even if they did, their multiple layers of teflon and indifference make them both equally impervious to anything … I had a similar experience with the Financial Ombudsman Service - they refused to deal with me after I’d been messed around repeatedly by one of their organisations because I wasn’t a customer - yet trying to become a customer and being messed around was the cause for complaint …


Best of luck following the Fair Trading path.
For just on 12 months now, I have been trying to extract a refund from a man who sells oven parts on eBay (lesson number 1: never take up the suggestion to trade outside eBay like I did). I paid for the goods by bank transfer. Some parts were not right for my model and the man, let’s call him Tony, said he would give me a refund if I posted them back. He claimed the goods didn’t arrive. Australia Post said they had and that he, as the receiver, would have to out in a claim for compensation. He ignored me from that point. I have followed the legal path: NCAT and the Local Court. I obtained a Garnishee Order for the very bank account into which I had paid the money originally…BUT the bank in question says that the account is in the name of his Pty Ltd business, not his name, so they won’t fill the Order. Because he is in another State, the next step is to register the judgement in the Court in that State and arrange for the Sheriff to go to his house and seize some of his property.
It is obvious that Tony has learned from experience that, after a while, people will give up and not pursue their right to a refund if you keep ignoring them (and NCAT and the Court). It’s too difficult, time-consuming, and expensive.
At least in this case, dgw2, you know who you are dealing with. I had thought that Bose was a reputable company.


Sometimes those of us prepared to go on a crusade seem like the last line of defence - I don’t mean to make it sound heroic or wonderful in some way, but the bad guys seem to have the advantage at every turn and its us who seem like the loonies for ‘not letting go’ … I hate to think what would happen if we all gave up without trying things like you’ve tried with ‘Tony’ !


While I think that Australia Post is the epitome of an unreliable, untrustworthy, unresponsive business I actually think in this circumstance my beef is not with them. I agree with @draughtrider and @PhilT so I am penning (another) letter to Bose (the first one was just ignored) but this one has deadlines and points out that I will take the matter to Consumer Affairs unless there is a satisfactory answer. One can only hope that Bose is more mindful of its reputation in the marketplace than “Tony”.

One of the few advantages of getting old is that one has the time to engage in endless correspondence and sort and store ALL one’s correspondence just for circumstance like this.


Also drop your complaint on their Facebook page (if you use it) and send a tweet to their twitter account (again if you use it). Social Media aired complaints sometimes hasten the answers.


Forget about the Ombudsman - just go to your state Fair Trading department. They’ll go in to bat for you and usually get satisfactory outcomes.


The reason they make it so difficult and long winded is because they hope we will give up and they dont have to deal with us.
We all need to perservere so they come to realise their little game is not working for them anymore so they stop the nonsense

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Crittenden said, “I had thought that Bose was a reputable company.” Not in my opinion, I’m afraid.

I spent weeks trying to get sound on my Bose Quiet Comfort Bluetooth Noise cancelling headphones ($499 rrp) from my new Samsung, bluetooth-equipped TV. I am a bit deaf in my left ear from gunfire and need help to follow the TV sometimes. Eventually I phoned Bose (several times until I got a reply) and this is part of what they said:

"We are very sorry to hear that your QC35’s are not cooperating to their full potential with your Samsung HD Television.

Our QC35 headphones have been created to work at optimal performance with; Mobile devices, tablets and computers.

Although our headphones can translate with the bluetooth drivers located within a television. We cannot guarantee the results of this connection.

The Bose dealer from whom I bought them gave me a refund, and I suspect this was news to him.

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Encouraged by the feedback from this site, I decided that my dispute was with Bose (and their dispute was with Australia Post) so I sought out the right person to talk to in Bose. This turned out to be Customer Service Escalations. A registered letter containing the whole story and all the appropriate documentation brought an instant and highly satisfactory response. The lessons I took away from this experience are:

  1. Never, ever trust Australia Post to deliver anything, or to take any responsibility when they lose stuff
  2. Assuming that big name companies are more than likely to want to protect their reputation in the marketplace, one just has to find the right person to talk to and that person is likely to respond quite reasonably (the corollary is that even these companies are going to be stuffed full of people who couldn’t care less about their company’s reputation).
    So, I’m one happy chappy at this point and thank you to all those that commented.

You nailed it with your point number 2) . Really glad it turned out well for you .

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