Bed, Bath and Beyond Will Let You Return, Like, Anything

Reader John bought a Eureka vacuum cleaner from Bed Bath and Beyond in March. When the vacuum stopped working in August, John called Eureka. They asked that he get the vacuum repaired himself. John took said appliance to a local Brooklyn hole-in-the-wall repair place where it was “repaired” and by “repaired” we mean “stored for several days and returned.” From John’s email:

“He kept asking “did you check the hose? there’s probably something in the hose” there wasn’t, we get the “repaired” vacuum back… still broken. I called him back and he repeats the same “something in the hose” story and I decide its time just to buy a new vacuum.”

That’s when John’s wife hears that Bed, Bath and Beyond had a “liberal” return policy:

“I walk in with the credit card I bought the vacuum on and after a relatively short wait in line… done. They’d credited me the full amount back to my credit card no suspicious glares, long interrogations or CSR’s with attitude. So I was in and out with a credit and a new vacuum in about a half hour (most of that was waiting in Manhattan sized lines). The checkout guy was even nice and funny…”

Conglatulations to you Bed, Bath and Beyond. Your gracious acceptance of a broken, obviously well-used vacuum has earned you the love of a consumer and a tip of the hat from Consumerist. We feel warm. We feel fuzzy. We think we’re going to return that broken coffee pot. Read the rest of John’s adventure after the jump.

Hey Consumerist,
Just wanted to drop you a “yay big box store” email. I’m not a big fan of said big box stores in general, but Bed Bath and Beyond wins points for its liberal return policy (as long as you follow the rules).

Last March I bought a Eureka Mighty Mite vacuum at the Bed Bath and Beyond in Manhattan, all was well until about a month ago. The Mighty Mite up and went dead on us, so being past the usual 90 day warrantee for defects I went to the manual to see what to do. Eureka specifically asks that if there are problems take it to an authorized service center instead of returning it to the company. So I hit the web and find the local repair center. I take it to the repair center, its a very small old school brooklyn repair shop where I’m not sure they did anything to it. He kept asking “did you check the hose? there’s probably something in the hose” there wasn’t, we get the “repaired” vacuum back… still broken. I called him back and he repeats the same “something in the hose” story and I decide its time just to buy a new vacuum. I kind of want to rat the place out because they definitely prefer up selling to repairs but that’s not what this letter is about.

Then my wife finds out that Bed Bath and Beyond has a liberal return policy. We have all the parts, we have the receipt, so off to BB&B I got. I walk in with the credit card I bought the vacuum on and after a relatively short wait in line… done. They’d credited me the full amount back to my credit card no suspicious glares, long interrogations or CSR’s with attitude. So I was in and out with a credit and a new vacuum in about a half hour (most of that was waiting in Manhattan sized lines). The checkout guy was even nice and funny…

So hats off to Bed Bath and Beyond they’ve earned me as a loyal customer for a good long while.
Thanks

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. avg says:

    I was told by a cashier that even though their coupons have an expiration date, they never really expire. I haven’t been back with an expired coupon to confirm, but when I returned something I bought using a coupon, they gave me a new coupon of the same value to apply towards my next purchase.

  2. hhorton says:

    Great to hear that BB&B has a great policy. The other big retailer I know of that has a great return policy is Costco. No matter when or what your purchased, if you have the original receipt, they will accept any returns purchased from them. I know of this first hand and they are a great retailer to deal with.

  3. kittikin says:

    They will also let you use expired 20% off coupons and use several of them at one time. At least in Houston, they will. My friend saved over $150 doing this.

  4. DeeJayQueue says:

    That’s because BB&B is actually not a bad company. They have their flaws, like bad communication, poor management choices and some terrible mid-level buyers, but by and large they (and Linens ‘n’ Things) are pretty customer-centric companies.

    They train their employees not only how to do their jobs but how things work, and how people respond to them. They hold classes on everything ranging from cookware, knives and kitchen electrics to pillows, sheets and window treatments. These classes teach employees not just how to sell things to customers but how things work, what they’re made of, and what the benefits of the expensive ones are versus the value ones. It’s easy to steer someone to the Calphalon cookware or the Henckels knives but we were always told to give them what they needed instead. Add in the kick-ass registry (compared to stores like Macy’s) and liberal coupon/return policies and you can see why it costs a little more to shop there than say target. It can be worth it.

    I was also under the impression that BB&B wasn’t trying to compete on a cost basis with Target and Wal-Mart, but with major dept. stores like Macy’s Bloomingdales, etc. If you look at it that way the prices aren’t so bad, in fact they’re almost cheap.

    Aside from the fact that they seem to be turning into the “As Seen On TV” crap store, I still like going in there for random kitchen gadgetry, and everyone’s got a 20% coupon laying around.

  5. AppTechie says:

    Just my .02 cents :)

    Henckels knives rock… :)

  6. FMF says:

    I’ve had great experiences with BBB as well. When we were considering whether or not to by some bedding there, the clerk made the decision for us by saying, “Take it home and try it. If you don’t like it, we’ll take it back. We take EVERYTHING back.”

    We tried it, didn’t like it, and returned it with no problem. And though we didn’t keep that item, we have started shopping there more often and they’ve more than made their money back on subsequent purchases.

    One more thing — I had a reader note that a friend opened their wedding registry at BBB and for the items not purchased by someone, gave the bride and groom 20% off on all of them. They used some of their wedding money and picked up all the things they wanted.

  7. xboxishuge says:

    I worked at BBBBBB&B when I was in college, and I can say that I am 100% not surprised by this story. When I was ther, a guy came in with a teapot that had obviously been used for several years (it was a discontinued model, and had the heat-discolorations of heavy use). We let him exchange it.

    I said it every day when I worked there – it’s an AWESOME place to shop, but working there sucked. We had to bend over backwards to help everyone, regardless of how inconvenient it was for us.

    On the plus side, most of our staff was 20-something college kids, and they got it on like nobody’s business.

  8. valkin says:

    BB&B will take current and expired Linen and Things coupons as well. They rock.

    So wait, don’t you at least need the original packaging to return something? The couple kept the box the vacuum was packed in?

  9. TeamSAM says:

    You sure don’t need any kind of original packaging. I bought a EuroPro Shark vac there back in ’05 and suffered with it overheating avfter 5 minutes of use for about a year before I returned it. No packaging, no problems. Didn’t even need the receipt.

  10. E-Nyce says:

    BB&B’s return policy has been THE best-kept secret for Manhattan yuppie-shopping for years! And now you’ve outed us. NOOO!!

    Go to Manhattan parties and everybody raves about their BB&B deals, but nudege-nudge-wink-wink whenever the topic veered close to returning items.

    Over a six-year period I exchanged two expresso makers for the next-better model. Never a snide sniff by the staff at what I returned.

  11. twigg says:

    BB&B will also take the 20% off coupons for “excluded” items.

    I was told this on one visit to a store and have found it to be true every time I’ve tried to use the coupons for exempt items including my Dyson, All-Clad pots, etc. This has also worked for me at Linens ‘N’ Things.

  12. albertwine2001 says:

    I have worked in retail for over 30 years and this last year I switched to BB&B. It is very nice to be able to treat every customer with respect and dignity and have the 100% backing of the company. My customers never leave unhappy; it is not allowed. Do some people take advantage of us? Yes, they sure do. My boss told me that if I don’t feel that I have been taken advantage of at least once a day, I am not doing my job properly. I do not know of another retailer (except Nordstroms) that insists on customer satisfaction…the rest just talk about it!

  13. j-yo says:

    Good for John for adding a rare praise for a large company! And good for him for keeping his receipt. I keep receipts for all my large purchases for at least a year (depending on how expensive the item was) for this purpose alone. It’s all in one envelope that doesn’t take up a lot of room and it’s not that hard to do.

    I’ve always had good experiences with BBB and Linens n Things. Even when they don’t have what I need, the employees are always friendly (many times approaching ME to see if I need help — imagine that!) and seem fairly knowledgeable.