We may be moving in that direction. In WSJ interview with Kazuo Hirai the newly named Sony president is laying the groundwork for it: "Hirai described his strategic goal as teaching the company's 168,000 employees that past successes in manufacturing must be replaced by selling the harder-to-quantify 'user experience.' The world has moved on, he said, "We can't just continue to be a great purveyor of hardware products, even though some people expect us to do that."
Why not just focus on making products that are inherently easier to use, instead of putting the burden on the customer and having him or her have to learn via DVDs, in-showroom instruction, training, and other methods? That seems more sensible to me.
Returning deffective products maybe a way to force retailers to buy from quality suppliers. They now combing the world for the cheapest and whimpest, knowning that shorter life time equals more future sales. They are killing America while creating mountains of junk. We have to say no and get our money back.
I always look at the return policy before making a purchase. If it doesn't work as expected, I want an out. If there is a no return policy, the store has to expect less sales. It is a trade off between high sales and low return costs.
Very good return policy is confidence of vendor in product it sales. Exemplary example is Costco, they always support their products and consumer consider it very reliable source. In general we purchase around $12K per year. However, our return rate may around $500.
Here's my opinion: retailers and suppliers should consider non-defective product returns to be a GOOD thing. It means that sales and marketing have done a good job convincing people to buy things they don't need. Sure, some consumers realize their mistake and take the trouble to return the useless gewgaws, but most don't and that's lots of useless products sold that would not have been otherwise. JMO/YMMV