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Watch those return policies

Dec 13, 2010 | | Comments Comments Off

I was shopping online for a certain gift for my husband. Google Products provided a price comparison chart, and one of the best prices came from a retailer I didn’t know but which had received hundreds of positive reviews from users and few negative reports.

I was just about to pull the trigger on the purchase when I remembered to check the return policy–and I’m so glad I did, because it said “No Refunds or Exchanges will be made after 7 days.”

The retailer didn’t specify whether the 7 day period started: when you ordered, when it was shipped or when you actually received your shipment. In any case, the return period would have expired long before Hubby opened the box on Christmas Day.

I was burned once before on a return policy, when Overstock refused to return my money even though it shipped me the wrong item, and acknowledged it had done so. So I learned that no matter how tempting the savings, you have to weigh it against the fact that mistakes happen, and I’d rather deal with a retailer that makes it easy to rectify those mistakes.

So I paid a little more for a retailer that offers a 14-day return period, starting the day you receive the item, and that has extended the warranty through January for purchases made this month. (I’d tell you who it is, but then Hubby would know what I got him.)

In my view, these are the retailers we should bless with our business–not those who undercut on price and then skimp on customer service.

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