How do you get your money back for a hoverboard? How do shoppers know which hoverboards are being recalled?
On 7/6/16 the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) announced that over 500,000 hoverboards have been recalled. There have been 99 reports of hoverboards catching fire. Scroll down for more info or click here to jump down to the hoverboard recall list. Consumers who experience trouble getting their money back should contact the CPSC (click here).
Lots of parents who bought a hoverboard this Christmas are getting an unwanted extra surprise: Hoverboards around the world have been catching fire.
The two-wheeled, Back to the Future inspired toys aren’t all deadly, but house fires all over England and America are being blamed on the popular toys. The Christmas terror has many parents wondering which brands are OK and which are not, and how to get their money back if they’ve got a model that might be dangerous.
Update: Hoverboards Recalled
On 7/6/16 the U.S. CPSC issued a recall for hoverboards sold by eight companies. Does this mean you should get your money back for your hoverboard? If in doubt, yes. Scroll further down to see which actual brands and models have been recalled or click here to jump down.
Until 2/18/16, many hoverboards already had a UL certification. The rating applied to battery packs and other electrical components. On 2/18/16 however, the CPSC called for a new certification for all hoverboards. Since the certification is new, no hoverboard has yet passed it. Does that make the hoverboards dangerous? Not necessarily. It does mean they can’t be guaranteed safe. Put it this way: If your house hasn’t had a fire safety inspection, is it going to burn down? Probably not. Can you be sure it won’t? No.
The new rating doesn’t mean all hoverboards will suddenly burst into flames. It does mean nobody can be sure whether the hoverboards are safe or not. The recommendation seems to be, if you own an “older” hoverboard, get your money back or stop using it. If you keep it, store it in a safe place, like inside a metal trash can in the garage or outside the house. If you’ve bought a hoverboard that passes the new UL rating or one that’s still currently for sale, it’s most likely not dangerous. If you’ve got one of the recalled hoverboards, get your money back or get a refund.
Hoverboards: How to Get Your Money Back
Run through the checklist below in your quest to get a refund on your board. The list includes first finding out if your board is dangerous or not. The list comes from data from the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
If you just want a quick answer to the “How to get your money back for a hoverboard” question, it’s simple. Go to the retailer you bought the hoverboard from and demand your money back. Include a link to the CPSC’s hoverboard safety letter. Any retailer that doesn’t offer to give your hoverboard purchase money back after that is probably acting in a bizarre fashion.
|If the hoverboard is on the recall list below:||Get your money back or get a refund. Scroll down to the next section to see how.|
|If the hoverboard was bought at Amazon:||ON 1/20/16 AMAZON ANNOUNCED THEY'LL REFUND ALL HOVERBOARD SALES. Amazon also sent emails to customers who bought recalled hoverboards.|
|If the hoverboard was bought in a retail store:||If in doubt at all, return to the hoverboard to the store and get your money back.|
|If the hoverboard was bought online, but not at Amazon:||If in doubt, contact the retailer immediately and ask for a refund, then follow their instructions.|
|If the hoverboard was bought at Amazon but you're still in doubt:||Contact Amazon and ask for a refund.|
|Check for a UL listing on the charger.||UL is an independent safety testing lab. The UL listing won't always be a sticker. It may be imprinted in the plastic. As long as the UL listing isn't counterfeit, there's a much better chance the hoverboard won't catch fire. (UPDATE: The new UL rating means NO hoverboard has passed, even with a UL sticker or trademark.)|
|If the hoverboard was bought from a mall kiosk or other unofficial source:||Return the hoverboard immediately.|
|If the hoverboard cost $300 or less:||Return the hoverboard. Legit hoverboards cost $400 to $900. Cheaper ones carry a higher risk. (UPDATE: The CPSC's new UL rating means even expensive hoverboards haven't yet been verified safe.)|
|If in doubt:||Check with the CPSC for recalled model numbers (see link below). If still in doubt, return the item. Better safe than sorry.|
|Do a google search:||Google your hoverboard's brand name and the words "fire" or "recall" or "lawsuit." Note that just because a manufacturer is being sued, that doesn't mean it's definitely dangerous.|
U.S. Recalls 500,000 Hoverboards
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced the recall of 501,300 hoverboards on 7/6/16. This does not mean all consumers who own a hoverboard should panic and return it. It does mean consumers should be wary of all hoverboards sold before the new UL classification for hoverboard safety was put in place on 2/18/16. It also means consumers should check the list below and see if their hoverboard is on it. Anyone who bought one of the hoverboards below should definitely get their money back for it. Scroll down below the table to find out how.
Hoverboard Recall List: Get Your Money Back if You Have One of These Hoverboards
|Company||Number of Units||Brand/Model Sold||Action|
|Digital Gadgets LLC, of Monroe, N.J.||16,000||Hover-Way/Model # HWSBB601-R||Call Digital Gadgets toll-free at 866-696-3421 and mention hoverboard recall 16-213|
|Hoverboard LLC, of Scottsdale, Ariz.||70,000||Powerboard||Call Hoverboard LLC at 800-750-6714 and ask for a refund. Mention U.S. CPSC hoverboard recall #16-210|
|Hype Wireless, of Edison, N.J.||25,000||Hype Roam||Call Hype Wireless toll-free at 866-449-7186 and ask for a replacement with a newer, safer product. Mention CPSC hoverboard recall #16-217|
|Keenford Ltd., of Hong Kong||84,000||iMoto||Call Keenford Limited toll-free at 877-280-8401 and ask for a refund. Mention U.S. CPSC hoverboard recall #16-216|
|PTX Performance Products USA of Irvine, CA||4,900||Airwalk Self Balancing Electric Scooter||Call PTX Performance Products toll-free at 844-837-7346 and ask for a replacement with a newer, safer version. Mention U.S. CPSC hoverboard recall #16-208|
|Razor USA LLC, of Cerritos, Calif.||28,000||Hovertrax||Call Razor toll-free at 866-467-2967 and ask for a replacement. Mention U.S. CPSC hoverboard recall #16-215|
|Swagway LLC, of South Bend, Ind.||267,000||Swagway X1||Swagway toll-free at 1-866-248-5302 and ask for them to repair or replace your hoverboard. Mention U.S. CPSC hoverboard recall #16-211|
|Yuka Clothing, of Miami, Fla.||800||Wheeli, 2Wheelz, Back to the Future, Mobile Tech, Hover Shark, NWS, X Glider and X Rider||Call Yuka Clothing toll-free at 800-616-0765 and ask for a refund. Mention U.S. CPSC hoverboard recall #16-209|
|Boscov’s, of Reading, Pa.||1,300||Orbit||Call Boscov's at 800-284-8155 and ask for a refund. Mention U.S. CPSC hoverboard recall #16-212|
|Overstock.com, of Salt Lake City, Utah||4,300||All hoverboards sold on Overstock.com||Call Overstock.com at 800-843-2446 and ask for a refund. Mention U.S. CPSC hoverboard recall #16-214|
Do you have one of the hoverboards listed in the table above? If so, it’s been recalled. To get your money back or to get the unit replaced with a newer, safer one, follow the instructions in the table. Note that some hoverboards above are available only for replacement, while some can be returned for a full refund. Be aware that there will be thousands of people calling those few businesses, so their phone lines are likely to be jammed at first. To see where we got this info, click through to the CPSC’s page on hoverboard recall here.
Trouble Getting Money Back?
Several readers told us they tried to get their money back for a Hoverboard360, distributed by Keenford Ltd. They complained that Keenford only offered the refund as credit for their apparel store. After contacting the Consumer Federation of America and the Consumer Product Safety Commission multiple times, we learned the following: Keenford/Hoverboard360 were originally offering only store credit in exchange for recalled hoverboards. We were originally told by Patty Davis at the CPSC that the 84,000 consumers who bought a hoverboard from Keenford could request a full refund if they didn’t find items to their liking in Keenford’s store.
“If consumers cannot find items they like on Keenford’s website, they should request a refund for their hoverboard,” said Davis. When asked if that meant Keenford will honor cash back refunds, her answer was, “That is what I am saying, yes.”
However, Scott Wolfson at the CPSC later told us a full refund was not part of the Keenford recall deal. More recently on 9/16/16 we learned that Keenford now has a deal with the CPSC to replace all defective hoverboards with UL 2722 certified electrical systems and batteries. There is still no way to get money back for a Keenford or Hoverboard 360 board, but at least customers can get a new replacement board from the company that meets the new UL certification requirements. Please be aware that Keenford has two different refund options: clothing store credit AND/OR a replacement hoverboard. To get the replacement hoverboard, call Keenford at (877) 280-8401. We have reports from readers of getting shunted into the clothing store credit refund involuntarily.
Any consumer who experiences trouble getting their money back for a hoverboard should contact the CPSC to complain at 800-638-2772. Consumers who are unsatisfied with their interactions with Keenford should file a complaint directly with the CPSC. According to Wolfson, the CPSC is taking these complaints very seriously and will work with individual customers and will take further action collectively if enough consumers complain. The short answer is, if you have trouble getting your money back for a hoverboard and the company isn’t helping you, make sure you file a complaint with the CPSC.
New Hoverboard Safety Standard as of February 2016
The CPSC has warned all importers, manufacturers and distributors of hoverboards that they must meet safety standards. If they don’t, the hoverboards face drastic measures like seizure at ports. You can read the CPSC’s new notice from 2/18/16 here. What the notice does is warn the hoverboard industry that its products must carry a new UL rating and meet basic safety standards. Contrary to media reports, what it doesn’t do is declare all hoverboards unsafe. However, UL just recently updated its hoverboard testing certification to the new UL 2272 certification.
UL 2272 is a brand new certification. It was created on 2/18/16. That means any hoverboards bought before that date likely haven’t been tested against the new standard yet. There’s no word yet whether the UL 2272 hoverboard certification can be applied retroactively. That is, it’s not certain whether boards already sold can be declared safe after the fact.
To see the new hoverboard UL 2272 certification, visit UL’s website here. The video below shows some hoverboard safety tips from UL.
Your First Clue to a Burning Board
There are literally dozens of makes and models of the toys known collectively as hoverboards. To date there’s no complete list of all the hoverboards that might catch fire. Knowing whether the board up in your child’s room is safe or not can be a daunting task.
As of 7/6/16, there is a definitive list of which hoverboards have been recalled. Click here to see that list.
Search SaferProducts.gov for your brand, to see if it’s been reported. Check to see if your board is still for sale at Amazon. While that’s no guarantee of a safe board, it at least means Amazon has proof the boards they are selling meet current U.S. safety standards. Finally, google your board’s brand and the words “recall,” “fire” and “lawsuit.”
Has the Swagway X1 Hands-free Smart Board pictured below for $499 on Amazon been recalled? Yes!
Amazon reportedly demanded proof from manufacturers that their hoverboards were safety compliant. (Some customers report getting no such email, though their brand is gone from Amazon.) The retailer yanked all brands that haven’t complied. As of 7/6/16, the only hoverboard still for sale on Amazon is the Swagtron T1. Brands that have been pulled from Amazon’s site include:
- Razor. All Razor hoverboards have been pulled from Amazon’s site.
- Swagway. The Swagway X-1 has been recalled. Other brands are still for sale.
- Glyro. Glyro hoverboards are no longer for sale on Amazon.
- Sharper Image. We’ve found no evidence of a Sharper Image hoverboard recall. In fact, on their product page, they cite their safety standards. Here’s a quote from the page: “Our Hover Board and its charger carry the CE mark, which is recognized around the world for meeting high safety, health and environmental protection requirements.”
- Leray. This brand of hoverboards claims to have a “certified safe battery pack” but is no longer for sale on Amazon.
- Anhell. No longer for sale on Amazon.
If you’re in doubt about your hoverboard, one good strategy is checking to see if Amazon still offers it for sale. If not, it may be a fire hazard.
Amazon Customers Have Already Been Notified
On 1/27/16, Amazon announced that buyers of all brands of hoverboards could return them for a refund, no questions asked. This is not a mass recall by Amazon but a customer service outreach. The retail giant is apparently trying to make things easy on shoppers.
According to reports, people who bought known defective hoverboards at Amazon have already received emails from the company instructing them what to do. If you bought your hoverboard on Amazon and you haven’t yet got a letter like that, then chances are your hoverboard is safe. However, some readers have informed us that their brand has been pulled from Amazon but they never got an email.
Amazon’s instructions to customers for getting a refund on their hoverboards are simple. Just take the hoverboard to any certified recycling facility and get a receipt. Amazon will refund the money in three days at most. (Note that the email was only sent for certain boards bought before 11/1/15).
Non Amazon Hoverboard Customers: When in Doubt, Refund it Out
What about hoverboards that weren’t bought at Amazon? Without an instant email from Amazon informing customers they’ve bought a poison pill, how do shoppers know? The answer is, they don’t – not yet. Of course parents can check with the Consumer Product Safety Commission as the recall list fills in. But does it really make sense to sit and wait with a potential house fire under your child’s bed?
The CPSC added a report on 7/6/16. To read the most recent hoverboard report, click here.
When incomplete information meets risk of death, the best thing is to err on the side of caution. Our advice is, if in doubt, return.
- If you bought a hoverboard in a retail store, return it to the store to get your money back.
- If the hoverboard was bought online, contact the online retailer immediately to ask for a refund. The retailer may suggest Amazon’s solution of taking the hoverboard to a recycling center. Shipping the hoverboard back to the retailer may just transfer the fire risk to the shipping company.
- If you keep the hoverboard, never charge it while sleeping, and never leave it fully charged overnight.
Some Clues That You Should Get Your Money Back
As of 2/19/16, there’s a list of the known dangerous hoverboards (see above). However, there’s some indication that cheap hoverboards (less than $300) carry more fire risk than others. It’s not a bad idea to ask for a refund on boards down in the cheaper price ranges.
The following brands have been cited in the media as potentially hazardous:
- Erover (There is actually a report of an Erover hoverboard catching fire filed at SaferProducts.gov. Click here to see the report.)
- Monorover (No longer for sale at Amazon)
- Hover X (No longer for sale at Amazon)
- Phunkeeduck (Hoverboard no longer for sale at Amazon)
- IO Hawk (Not for sale at Amazon)
- Nevaboard (Recalled by manufacturer)
- XNow (Reported for catching fire by at least one user. Click here to see the report at SaferProducts.gov. This hoverboard has been pulled by Amazon.)
- Sanway (According to one reader, Sanway was for sale on Amazon before Christmas. If so, it has since been pulled.)
- For a complete list of the fully recalled hoverboards, see the section above called “500 Hoverboards Recalled.”
Hoverboards with UL stickers on both their battery packs and their chargers are much less likely to catch fire. That’s because the engineers at UL (Underwriter’s Laboratories) run each component through rigorous testing before certifying it. If either the battery pack or the charger is missing a UL sticker, a refund isn’t a bad idea.
The image above actually shows a counterfeit UL sticker on a knockoff night light. The only way for a hoverboard to be certified safe is if it carries the new UL 2722 rating.
Can Hoverboards Be Returned?
Return/refund laws and policies vary by state. That said, it would be a rare store indeed that would refuse to refund a customer’s money in the face of the hoverboard fire scare. Consumers in doubt about whether they’re eligible for a refund should take heart. The CPSC is on the job and helping people to get their money back for defective hoverboards.
New Hoverboard Recall
So far, several brands of hoverboards have been recalled. There have been 99 incidents of hoverboards suddenly catching fire so far in the U.S. Complaints about faulty hoverboards can be filed with the CPSC’s SaferProducts.gov website by clicking here.