Recently your BBB received a call from a person who was upset because he was not able to return a car hood that he had ordered.
The part arrived damaged but the company’s return policy states that the package must be opened in front of the delivery person to prove the part was damaged in shipping. Unfortunately, this consumer had someone else sign for the package who did not open it at the time of delivery.
Many people think there is a law governing return policies. Not so. They are determined by the business. Subsequently the policies differ a lot regardless of whether you buy online or from a brick and mortar store. These policies should be posted where you buy the item --- online or in a store. It is your responsibility as a customer to read the return policies.
Some companies say that all returns have to be made within 30 days from purchase and you must have your receipt. In addition, they may restrict the return credit to be used only for in-store purchases. There could also be a restocking fee.
Why all these differences? It’s a company’s way of handling the cost of doing business. Return transactions do cost the company money. These costs vary with the item and the type of business.
Several years ago, businesses that sell evening gowns initiated a tougher return policy. If the tags had been removed from the gown it could not be returned. Why did they adopt this return policy? Because women were wearing the gown once then returning it to the store to get their money back. You will probably see more businesses going to this type of return policy, such as high end jewelry and shoes.
Be a wise consumer. Whether you are shopping online or at a brick and mortar store, look around for the return policy. If you can’t find it, ask someone. Be sure you understand all aspects of the policy.
Save your receipts. When making a transaction online, be sure and print off confirmation of your purchase and save it.
Act quickly if a purchase is damaged or doesn’t fit. Return it within the time frame of the return policy.
Have you had any problems with a company’s return policy? Have you encountered any unique return policies?