View Full Version : Holiday Return Policy Gripes and Kudos

12-30-2007, 09:55 AM
One of the things I hate about holiday gift shopping is having to keep up with store return policies.

Yeah, yeah, I know - "keep your receipt and you got no problem." But, in the real world, people lose receipts.

With all the eletronic goodies out there, not only do you need the receipt, but many techno toys have much shorter return times and some even require a restocking fee!

This year I had bad experiences with both Target and Sears.

We received a new iron (Rowenta Focus) from my parents. We were thrilled since we have been using a cheapo iron that always leaks onto our clothing.

Being an expensive quality iron and being that my parents bought it out of state the receipt was either tossed, lost or misplaced.

The 2nd time we used it the temperature knob broke off. We packed it up in the box with all its goodies and went to exchange it at Sears. The little girl at the register was very rude while telling (not explaining to us) that "no receipt, no refund or exchange."

I politely explained that I understood their reasoning for no cash back, but I just want to trade for a working one as mine obviously has not been used and simply broke. Still, she wouldn't budge.

So, I asked my wife to take the iron back to the car as I proceeded to buy the exact same new $80 iron. We then left and went to dinner. On our way home I took my receipt from the evenings purchase and with the broken iron I proceeded to get a refund. I intentionlly went to the same cashier that rang me up earlier. She started to question the return when I reminded her how insane their policy was considering all a customer has to do is buy a new one and then bring the broken back with a receipt. She didn't care as I had interupted her text messaging.

Target has a similar policy. We tried to return a tooth brush sanitizer that advertises it fits all standard and electric toothbrushes. Not so. Our Oral-B would not fit. So, we tried to exchange it for another brand that only covers the toothbrush head alone and not the entire brush. No go. No receipt, no exchange.

In the end I gave the sanitizer to my mom and bought us the other style.

This is one reason I love to buy gifts at Sam's Club, no receipt needed for an exchange and you can bring anything other than computers back whenever you want.

I tested this last summer when I brought back some outdoor metal lawn furniture after 9 months! The paint started coming off. The Sam's cashier was very friendly and didn't bat an eye giving me a complete refund (I had my receipt, don't ask me why).

12-30-2007, 11:34 AM
Without a receipt, there's no way for them to know you bought the product from Sears. They're trying to prevent folks from buying something one place, then returning it to a different store because it's more convenient. In my younger days, I worked retail, this practice was not uncommon.

That said, I always felt that I earned my most loyal return customers through my handling of their returns rather than handling of sales.

If you're expecting a retailer to stand behind something they sold you, you should at least be able to show that retailer some evidence that they actually sold that product to you. Is that unreasonable?

12-30-2007, 01:48 PM
Without a receipt, there's no way for them to know you bought the product from Sears. They're trying to prevent folks from buying something one place, then returning it to a different store because it's more convenient. In my younger days, I worked retail, this practice was not uncommon.

I've known someone that during a period of her life when she was particularly cash-strapped, would actually return "pre-owned" items to a major discount "big-box" store, just to see if she could get cash back. It worked more often than not. I know she felt this was beneath her, but she also felt very desperate. (No, this was not me).

Target is usually pretty good. I've returned things there multiple times, as they usually keep the credit card records in their system for about a month, so they can look things up if you don't have the receipt with you. Of course, this only works for the first 30 days after purchase, I believe.

12-30-2007, 10:44 PM
I'm a cash person. I hate credit cards.

Well, the fact Sam's has a very relaxed return/exchange policy proves it can be beneficial for customer loyalty and their bottom line.

Actually, even with a receipt there is no way for them to know where the returned product was originally bought. I proved that when I was forced to buy the product again, just to have a receipt to return the defective one.

I don't think cash customers should be penalized. Radio shack can look up cash purchases to verify the original purchase as long as you are willing to give them your phone number.

12-31-2007, 04:32 AM
If Bail Jumper had not specified Sear's, i would have guessed he was referring to Target. I no longer deal with the lil' red dot folk myself, but my spouse, she likes the place.

12-31-2007, 09:50 AM
That's so strange.. even without a receipt and paying with cash, Target has always given me a Red Gift Card for the last price the item rang up as. ( A few weeks ago, I ordered a Transformer from Amazon, found out my son's friend already had it, brought to Target and asked if I could exchange it for a different type of the same thing.. no problem - gift card.. )
Of course, it was still in the same packaging and they could turn around and sell it.

I don't know about Sears.. I hate that place.

But, I love,love,love Sam's Club... and their return policy and their Polish Dogs and Giant sodas for under $

12-31-2007, 10:05 AM
I had a couple of returns for Kohl's (without a receipt). The line wasn't too long (this is last Saturday) and I had no problems getting a store credit.

03-10-2008, 02:27 PM
Kohl's by far has the best return policy of any retail chain. They will take back anything as long as they can verify if came from A Kohls in the United States

03-10-2008, 06:53 PM
Of course, it was still in the same packaging and they could turn around and sell it.

The exact reason stores should take an item back, even if you don't have the receipt.

03-12-2008, 12:27 PM
One would think it would be rather simple for an outfit like Sams Club, which requires you to use your membership card with each transaction, to quickly verify that you bought a particular item. Perhaps that's why their return policy is so much more generous -- well, that and many of the products sold there are special packages made just for warehouse clubs.

03-25-2008, 09:50 PM
Dillards has a pops-point of purchase labels. If your item doesn't have a pops, you didn't buy it at Dillards.

03-27-2008, 01:41 PM
I started working at Wal-Mart in Broken Arrow my Junior year of high school (1996-1997) and worked there until I graduated and went off to college at Oklahoma City University. When winter break rolled around after my first semestre of college, I wanted to make some extra cash so I went back to work for Wal-Mart.

They had me work at layaway before X-mas, Toys when layaway was closed (which was about a week before X-mas) and returns after X-mas (easily the three worst departments at the three worst times of the year.)

When I was working returns, it was interesting to see what people would bring in. We got clothes that were not sold in our store, but management told me to let them exchange it, footballs that had holes in them, you get the idea.

The one that sticks out in my mind the most was a lady bringing in a half-eaten COOKED turkey and demanding her money back because it wasn't cooked right. I replied, "Who's fault is that?" She demanded to speak to my manager (a friend of mine), he apologized for me, gave her a refund and we had a good laugh over it and I bet so did she.

That being said, Wal-Mart has the best return policy; they will accept anything at the right time of year.

04-01-2008, 10:24 AM
FYI - Ran into a snag recently at a Sam's Club.

Last year I bought one of those $80 garden hose carts. Well, we went to unwind the hose last weekend and the part broke (at the weld) where the hose attaches.

Remembering Sam's 100% satisfaction Guarantee I went to exchange it.

Three ladies at the return counter said they have a 90-day return policy and 6-months on computers. I admitted I bought it about a year ago.

I pointed out that their own sign only says 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed! and gives no time frame. They didn't care.

I called two others Sam's stores and was told the same thing.

So, I then called Sam's Corporate. They were very friendly and stated there is no time frame for returns other than computers (6-months, except Dell).

They had me return to the Sam's and ask for the manager. The manager apologized and agreed there was no 90-day policy in written form and that they should have offered me an exchange or gift card.

Lesson Learned: When in doubt ask for a manager. If that fails, call the home office.

04-01-2008, 10:32 AM
That's pretty nice that they honored that.. good for you for sticking to your guns.

I like Sam's Club - they are usually really good but often times, info gets lost in the translation from corporate down to the employess I imagine.

04-01-2008, 02:47 PM
I also think it is an example of employees taking too much ownership in the store. I'm sure they see the lax return policy abused, so they try and be stingy. The managers may also have a bonus incentive to reduce returns (I have no idea) and take matters into their own hands until being caught at it.

Honestly, if it wasn't for lax returns, I probably would not continue to 'pay for the privilege' of shopping at Sam's.