Return Policy Comparison: The Worst Five Retailers
Some retailers will let you return anything under any circumstances. I once purchased an artificial Christmas tree on sale from Walmart in December and returned it in July. I returned an unopened Aerobed to Costco a full year after I purchased it. Kohl’s let me exchange a Keurig that had broken down almost 2 years after purchase….without a receipt. Other retailers have a notoriously bad return policy.
Below are five of the worst return policy offenders:
Apple thrives on its reputation that its products are easy and intuitive to use. One might be shocked to learn a company known for its products being user friendly is very customer service unfriendly. Apple only allows returns within 14 days of purchase for most products (you get 30 days for an iPhone). You have to have an official receipt, although they will accept a gift receipt as long as you’re OK with your refund being in the form of an Apple Store Gift card. Also, the product must be unopened or you’ll pay a 10% restocking fee. Finally, if the product being returned costs more than $750, you get to wait for your neighborhood letter carrier to deliver a check.
Barnes & Noble
Don’t wait too long to decide whether to keep that new self-help book your friend thought would be perfect for you, because you only have 30 days to return it. Also, don’t even look at funny until you’ve decided to keep it. If you try to return it, the book has to be in perfect condition and if it was purchased online it has to have the packing sheet.
Another store requiring returns to be done quickly is Best Buy. The consumer giant requires customers to return unopened merchandise within 15 days. Opened products that are eligible for return will incur a 15% or $45 restocking fee. Good luck trying to figure out if your product is even eligible for a return, as their policy uses words like “Most Best Buy Purchases” without listing what can and cannot be returned.
Customers can get a refund in the form of payment used, but all returns require a receipt. If you’re not 100% sure you are going to keep an item, make sure you leave the tags attached. Once tags and labels are removed, the item is yours, forever.
Pay attention video game junkies, this one’s for you. New purchases can be returned within 30 days, but only if you have a receipt and it’s unopened. Used products have a 7-day return policy. If you’ve opened it, you can only exchange it for an identical product.
Many things contribute to what business customers decide to give their business. Location, selection, and price are good reasons, but customer service is another huge one. With the pool of brick and mortar store business shrinking, these stores may want to think about tweaking their return policy.
What do you think, Clever Friends, what other retailer do you know of with the worst return policy?
Check out additional clever articles below:
- The Unbelievable Return Policy At Costco
- Three Costs Of Returning An Online Order
- Lose a Receipt, Lose Money
Brock is a software engineer by day and personal finance blogger at night. He is a fitness junkie and enjoys grilling and smoking meat. Married with two children, Brock strives to improve his skills as a husband and father, and is always on the lookout to stretch his family’s budget as far as he can.
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