It sounds like sports-equipment company REI actually enjoys providing good customer service—their official Return policy seems pretty lenient, and it turns out they stand by that,at least for Tom’s family:
Ronald was in a hurry and wondered if he could delay returning a camera to Target until a few days after the 90 day deadline. He called them up and they told him it wouldn’t be a problem. Guess what? It was a problem.
Kirk and his wife spent over $4,000 last year at Target, but we have a feeling that figure is going to drop dramatically for 2008 after Target refused to refund Kirk $24 because they said they didn’t have a record of his purchase in the system. In fact, they didn’t have any record of the lampshade he was holding in his hands—it wasn’t in their computer, and therefore it didn’t exist, even after his wife went and brought an identical lampshade from the store shelves to the customer service counter. Said the clerk, “We don’t carry this lampshade.”
Target doesn’t accept returns without receipts to keep criminals at bay, but Chrissy recently discovered that their policy also extends to wedding registry gifts. Chrissy and her husband ended up with several duplicate gifts when Target failed to keep track of her registry. Chrissy didn’t want a refund or cash, just store credit, but Target refused to consider any proffer until Chrissy provided receipts. One manager even urged Chrissy to call her wedding guests to ask for their receipts, because in Target’s book, that’s not extraordinarily rude or anything.
Reader Matthew bought a new MacBookPro and an iPod from Apple. The MacBook was ok but the iPod came with a scratch on the screen. He decided to try to exchange it for an undamaged iPod. He sent it back to Apple and instead of a new iPod he got his old one back with an additional scratch on it.
S.F. writes back in to let us know that another restaurant in the Bel Air area, Freddies, will accept those suddenly-worthless Crackpot gift cards at 50 cents on the dollar. Thanks, Freddies—your skull logo rocks.
Reader Chaely C tried to return a gift to Urban Outfitters, only to find that the website in the store showed that her item was on sale for $19. Chaely knew her friends paid $58 for the item via Urban Outfitter’s website, and told the cashier this.
The XBOX that I bought on Black Friday had recently been scratching my discs.
July 2, 2007
Darin’s iPhone was defective, so he tried to return it to the AT&T store where he purchased it. No dice. AT&T told him that Apple was responsible for the device. When Darin tried to exchange the phone with Apple, they told him he’d have to deal with AT&T for the first 14 days.
The clerk told the customer that Microsoft handles all warranties on the Xbox360 and that Microsoft would not allow BestBuy to exchange the device.
An Eddie Bauer in downtown State College, Pennsylvania replaced Anne’s pricey old umbrella without any charge or hassle. Anne purchased the umbrella several years ago, and was assured Eddie Bauer would “take care of it” if anything went wrong. In accordance with Murphy’s law, the umbrella broke one rainy day.
When I get to the desk, I proffer it and say that it’s broken, and that I was told that they’d deal with it, but I don’t know if that means that they’ll fix it, or send a replacement, or what. The girl checks with her manager, who’s standing right next to her, but is on the phone. The manager interrupts her phone call to tell me to go pick out another one. They don’t even look at it to see if it’s actually broken.
Best Buy quoted four different policies to Mark when he tried to exchange his step-daugher’s iPod speaker. The speaker was purchased as a gift from BestBuy.com by her father, who is currently serving in Afghanistan.
After we received the items, we decided that she would take back the iPod speaker set because we already had one in the house. That way she could get something that she would enjoy, and she could still use our speakers. It sounded simple, just return the item, get a store credit, and let her pick something out. We were so wrong on that one.
Mark brought the speaker to Best Buy, where he was told that the stores could only return, not exchange items purchased through the website. Not wanting to argue, Mark went home and called customer service. A supervisor said only the corporate office could help. When Mark reached corporate, he was told stores could accept exchanges. The CSR gave Mark a case number and an 800 number to call if there was a problem exchanging the speaker at the store.
The tree is shedding needles and the cheap champagne hangover has faded along with your memory, which means it’s time to think about returning all those crappy gifts you got. Consumer Reports Shopping blog has some tips on making your returns happy:
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:
This one is not what you think.