Do you find yourself morally conflicted when wondering whether you should bring or send something back to outdoorsy retailer L.L. Bean? Apparently, you shouldn’t: people regularly get in the returns line with decades-old cotton shirts, their dead dogs’ collars, and thrift-store finds that they try to return for full price. [More]
Generous return policies are great for consumers, since they give us a long time to bring back items that might be defective or that don’t fit. They also give great opportunities to fraudsters, though, and can hurt employees who get some or all of their pay through commissions, since they lose the commission when their employer loses the sale. [More]
You may remember TigerDirect, a consumer electronics seller that has a website and once had stores across the country. They’re probably best known for acquiring the brands and assets of CompUSA and Circuit City when both chains filed for bankruptcy and went out of business. Now competitor PCM has purchased the TigerDirect brand, and appears to be winding down its consumer-facing business… including abruptly doing away with returns. Any returns. [More]
While it’s always important to keep a store’s return policy in mind when you shop, during the holiday season, return policies are extra important. That’s what happens when we give gifts that other people may not want. Every year, ConsumerWorld’s Edwin Dworsky compiles a list of major retailers’ return policies, comparing them to each other and to previous years’ policies. What do stores have planned for remorseful buyers and giftees in 2015 and early 2016? [More]
Last week, we explained how thieves can easily convert stolen merchandise into cash through shoplifted goods and gift card marketplaces. This week, a months-long investigation in Florida with the delightful name “Operation Plastic Paradise” came to a conclusion, with 18 people involved in the scheme arrested, and more arrests expected soon. [More]
Vee made a small purchase from the cosmetics store Ulta, and needed to return it. That happens. Where things got confusing, though, is that she didn’t receive a refund of the sales tax she had paid. When she questioned this, a store representative’s response was that “the website does not state that we do not give the taxes back when making a return.” What? [More]
If you’ve been bringing used items back to Bed Bath & Beyond long after purchase and without a receipt, the home goods superstore is on to you. The news slipped out a little early that the chain plans to tighten up its relatively lax return policy on April 20th of this year, ending a long run with a policy that most customers enjoyed and a few abused. [More]
Every store has two sets of policies: the official ones distributed to customers, and the policies from the other end that employees learn in training. A source inside Best Buy contacted us recently to explain how it’s possible to return items to Best Buy without a receipt. Yes, it is possible. No, customers aren’t supposed to know that. [More]
As much as we’d all love to believe that everything we give to our loved ones — and everything we receive from them — this holiday season will be exactly what we want and need, and that it will fit our bodies and/or be compatible with everything we already own. But odds are that a lot of us will be returning at least one thing to a store in the days and weeks after Christmas, so it helps to know retailers’ return policies. [More]
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.