(The Joy Of The Mundane)

Between Microsoft And PayPal, Somewhere I Have A Refund

Steve bought a digital download of Windows 8, but decided that it wasn’t for him. He downgraded to Windows 7, got rid of all traces of the upgrade, and got a refund of the purchase price. At least that’s what Microsoft says. The refund is trapped in some kind of terrifying digital underworld between Microsoft and PayPal, serving as a warning. [More]

Victoria’s Secret Sends $50 Apology Gift Card, Still Doesn’t Make Any Sense

(Mary T.)

Last week, we shared the story of Debra, who returned $114 worth of merchandise to Victoria’s Secret, but only received $97 back. When she complained, Vicky’s response was that sending items back meant that her purchase was under the $100 threshold to get a $15 off discount. Except, um, her purchase was well over the limit, and she sent everything back. She complained again, and the refunded her $15. After our post ran, the chain tracked her down and sent an apology and a $50 gift certificate, along with a second explanation that doesn’t make any sense either. [More]

(Mary T.)

Victoria’s Secret Charges Me $15 For The Privilege Of Returning Stuff

When Debra placed an online order from Victoria’s Secret and then returned everything unworn, she didn’t know that she would have to pay an underpants rental fee. She returned merchandise that she had paid $114.16 for, and received $96.69 back. Was that a shipping charge? No, Debra paid to ship the items back herself. Did the items go on sale and she didn’t have a receipt? No, that wasn’t it either. She bought them during a “$15 off a $100 purchase” promotion, and Vicky’s kept the $15 discount that they had given her. Huh? [More]

(Mike Rollerson)

Zombie Amazon Returns More Common Than You Might Think

Earlier this week, we asked whether our readers had any experience with zombie refunds: items that you sent back to a retailer, only to have your refund later reversed for no clear reason. We heard from a surprising number of people whose transactions have risen from the archives and devoured their bank accounts. [More]

Sam’s Club Manager Makes Up Own Return Policy, Won’t Take Back Cracked TV

Sam’s Club Manager Makes Up Own Return Policy, Won’t Take Back Cracked TV

What kind of difference can a local store’s management make? A bigger one than you might think. Shanna ordered a new television online from Sam’s Club that arrived broken. For the sake of convenience, she went to exchange it at the local store after figuring out that it fit in her car after all. The problem was that that store’s management made up its own return policy that has no basis in the actual policies of Sam’s Club. [More]


Lenovo Is Confused About How Buying And Selling Works Again

After Alex ordered his laptop from Lenovo, he received an e-mail telling him that, oh yeah, there was a delay and it would ship out within a month. He bought another laptop instead. Because that’s the way the world works, Lenovo shipped out his new computer later that same day. He and Lenovo arranged things so that UPS just “sent the package back,” even though their tracking system said that it had never left the dock at Lenovo. A few days after that, they charged his credit card. Then things really got annoying. [More]


How I Turned A Walmart Gift Card Into An EA Game Preorder By Way Of A Kitchen Appliance

Reader O. wanted to preorder a new game from 2012 Worst Company in America champ EA, and he wanted to use some money that he had on a Walmart gift card. Fair enough. What he did have was a $50 Walmart gift card and some cash. Walmart theoretically carries EA gift cards, so he should have been able to visit his nearest Wally World, pick up a card, take it home, and pre-order a delicious Crysis 3 download. Indeed, he was able to do that, but only after he took a pocketful of cash across the street and bought his desired EA gift card at GameStop. You can use a Walmart gift card for anything that the store sells…except prepaid debit cards. [More]


Returning Something To The Gap Without A Receipt Is Super Inconvenient

Gift receipts are a great invention. They let you give a gift recipient the opportunity to take back what you got them without hurting your feelings, but also without learning how much you spent if they don’t need to return the item. Traci tells us that if you’re buying a gift for someone at the Gap, though, you should make sure to ask for a gift receipt. Otherwise they’re in for a long wait, two separate trips to the store, and ultimately maybe no gift at all. [More]


Gamefly Wants 80% Restocking Fee For Defective Xbox Game

Colleen’s mom bought her a thoughtful and frugal gift: a Zumba game disc for her Xbox that came from Gamefly’s selection of used games. She never got to play it, though, because it arrived not working. That’s not a problem, though, because you can always send defective items back. Right? [More]

Barnes & Noble Will Happily Price-Match Website…When You Return Something Without A Receipt

Barnes & Noble Will Happily Price-Match Website…When You Return Something Without A Receipt

Marjorie has discovered a really irritating flaw in Barnes & Noble’s online price-matching procedures. As we discussed shortly after Christmas, you can place orders on the chain’s website for in-store pickup, but prices differ on many items between retail locations and the website. Unlike many other stores, orders placed online but picked up in person go for the in-store price, not the online one. This annoys a lot of customers, and may hurt the company’s real-life retail operations. Marjorie discovered an interesting flip side to this, though: she had to buy a gift in the store, even though the online purchase price was $22 lower. When she went back to the store to return it, after her son had lost the receipt, the only price they would give her was the lowest one they had charged for the same book online. [More]


Microsoft Store Can’t Exchange A Defective Computer Properly, Sends Me Wrong Refund

Albert wrote to us about his problems with his Cyber Monday purchase from the Microsoft Store. No, we haven’t been sitting on his message for almost two months: he’s been struggling with Microsoft for that long, trying to get this transaction to make sense. One important thing that he learned: just because he’s lucky enough to live relatively near a Microsoft Store, that doesn’t mean it will do him any good. [More]

(Ninja M.)

Beware Of HP’s Free Nook That Isn’t So Free

On Cyber Monday, Brian called HP about their selection of computers, and ended up selecting and ordering a computer of his own. The salesman offered him a promotion: a free Barnes & Noble Nook e-reader with the purchase of his Ultrabook. Well, as long as it’s free… The problem came when he decided the computer wasn’t for him, and returned it. HP wouldn’t take the Nook back, and insists on charging him the $99 plus tax that it costs.  [More]

(Louis Abate)

Walmart Sells Fake Display Model iPad, Won’t Exchange It For Real One

A New Jersey woman took the two large Walmart gift cards that her husband had received as a holiday bonus and bought an iPad with them. Only the iPad that she she brought home from the store wasn’t the same one described on the box. The memory capacity and serial numbers didn’t match. She also couldn’t get the tablet to charge, or even to plug in to the cable. The item in her box, you see, was a plastic fake display-model iPad. [More]

You have 8 hours to decide whether to keep this sleeve.

The Return Period On This iPad Sleeve Is Surprisingly Short

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]


At Sports Authority, A Gift Receipt Doesn’t Mean Much

Marjorie received a Christmas gift from her sister from Sports Authority, and needs to take it back. No big deal: that’s why her sister included a gift receipt. The problem is that the item’s price has dropped, likely because it’s on clearance, and they want to give Marjorie $77 when her sister paid $101. That’s funny, because that’s against the chain’s stated holiday season return policy…on the web site. In retail stores, who knows? [More]

My Quest For A Defect-Free Microsoft Surface Goes Surprisingly Poorly

My Quest For A Defect-Free Microsoft Surface Goes Surprisingly Poorly

Being an early adopter can be difficult. Overall, Grady likes his new Microsoft Surface tablet, but noticed some hardware issues, like light distortion and a power button that doesn’t feel right. Those are relatively minor issues when the entire device is working well, but not what Grady expected when he laid out $600 for a new tablet. That’s when he began his quest to return his Surface to Microsoft and obtain one with no defects, cosmetic or otherwise. This quest turned out to be more difficult than he had predicted. [More]


7 Roadblocks To Returning Gifts

Sure, right now is the season of gift-giving. But soon enough, we’ll change gears and consumers will be lined up to return some of the things they’ve been given. So there are some things you should be aware of before Dec. 26. [More]


Why Won’t Old Navy Exchange My Jeans That Won’t Fit?

If you go shopping on Black Friday at a clothing store, you should take the time to brave the fitting rooms, no matter how long the lines are. Nick learned this the hard way, buying three pairs of jeans for $15 each. He made it out of the store unscathed, but when he got home, found that the jeans didn’t fit. Boo. Oh, well, he can just take them back to the store and swap them for the correct size, right? Not so fast! [More]