This summer, outdoors equipment co-op REI made a change: they cut back on their return policy. They no longer accept any item back for any reason indefinitely. Other companies continue the practice, most notably L.L. Bean and Costco. It must be expensive and there must be customers who abuse it. So why do they do it? [More]
REI is a retailer of outdoor equipment and claims to be the world’s largest consumer co-op. They’re also famous for their generous return policy, similar to that of Consumerist favorites like L.L. Bean and Costco: they’ll take anything back for just about any reason, indefinitely. At least, they used to. That policy changes, as of today. [More]
Cheryl picked up an iPad sleeve from Target on Christmas clearance, because apparently no one buys iPads during the rest of the year. Great! What if she grabbed the wrong one or had to return it for another reason? Too bad, says Target. She bought the sleeve on January 4th and they gave her only until the 5th to return it. [More]
A few years ago, Costco changed its famously generous return policy when it comes to electronics. Customers have only ninety days to bring back gadgets that break or don’t make them happy, unlike the previous seemingly infinite return policy. Nick, however, bought his Vizio TV from Costco before the return policy changed. Back when he had as long as he wanted to bring it back. Now the six-year-old set won’t turn on, and he thinks that Costco should take the set back for a refund, which was the policy at the time he purchased it. [More]
Reader “Nick” manages a store that sells DVDs. And while store managers have many, many legitimate gripes that they could share with the Consumerist Nation, Nick has a very specific complaint about Walmart. It’s his belief that Walmart is making Americans stupid. Well, stupider. Hear him out. [More]
Retailers are always tweaking their return policies, weighing the delicate balance between protecting their bottom lines and treating customers with fairness. No two return policies ever seem to be the same, and even if they are, changes come along soon enough to differentiate them once again. [More]
When one of the suitcases from Jon’s decade-old Kirkland (Costco house brand) luggage set broke, he didn’t fret. Why, Costco has one of the greatest return policies in the world! Maybe in the universe! When he attempted to bring the item back, though, he learned the hard way that the famed warranty only applies to the original member who bought the item. Which can be a little awkward when the item was a gift. [More]
Michael says the first bullet point on the Return Policy plaque at his local Hobby Lobby (and also online) reads, “If for any reason you need to return merchandise purchased at Hobby Lobby, please return the product with the original sales receipt within 60 days of purchase.” That sounds great–you can shop with confidence that they’ll handle returns without too much trouble–but the reality is that the store can and will refuse any return, with or without a receipt, if someone there thinks it might lose them money in the short term. [More]
D says he bought some clippers from Walmart, then turned around and decided to take them back and exchange them for something of higher quality. Management turned him down because he had no receipt, despite the fact that the move apparently broke away from Walmart policy. [More]
UPDATE: Macy’s does accept cash refunds with a receipt, according to a CSR at a Tucson location. [More]
A man in Michigan grew so angry that GameStop wouldn’t take back his Xbox without a receipt that he threatened to kill someone and went to get something from his vehicle. The GameStop clerk called 911, and “Four Troy police officers, armed with rifles, stormed into [the] Oakland Mall store” and subdued him. He had an illegal stun gun on him but no firearm. [More]
Target recently changed their return policy. It’s more consumer-friendly. We think. What we can tell you for sure is that it’s more confusing.
This weekend Costco really justified its annual membership fee to me with its amazing return policy. Eight weeks ago my wife bought two four-packs of printer cartridges that cost $146. She didn’t realize they weren’t the type of cartridges for our printer before she’d not only opened the plastic clamshell prison in which they were encased, but a cartridge from each package.