Consumer

3 On Your Side: Store Return Policies

jim-donovan-web Jim Donovan
Jim Donovan is a 13-time Emmy Award-winning consumer reporter w...
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By Jim Donovan

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – So did Santa bring you what you had asked for this year? If not, you better get cracking and make some returns. 3 On Your Side Consumer Reporter Jim Donovan tells us that when it comes to gift return policies, while some stores are being naughty, the good news is that most are being nice.

They are Christmas-type crowds often in a rush to return. Experts say some stores this holiday season will still take items back even if you don’t have a receipt. According to Anna Maria Andriotis of SmartMoney.com, “The good thing is many more stores are becoming more flexible. If you don’t have a receipt, if you take off the tag and go to return it, more retailers are willing to work with you to give you some sort of store credit. But in many cases, you won’t be that fortunate.”

Here are some changes to be aware of:

Target has tightened its return policy significantly. For example computer hardware, cameras, and camcorders must now be returned in 45 days.

Best Buy purchases made between Nov. 13, 2011, and Dec. 24, 2011 fall into the holiday return and exchange policy. You can return the items through Jan. 24, 2012.

Be aware that Toys R Us has a 90 day return policy, but only 45 days for unopened electronics, video games, and DVD’s.

Wal-Mart also has a 90 days return window for most items, but only a 15 day return window that begins today for items like cell phones, cameras and GPS units.

Items shipped by Amazon.com between Nov. 1, 2011 and Dec. 31, 2011 may be returned until January 31, 2012.

When all is said and done, The National Retail Federation says 83 percent of stores are keeping their return policies the same, while 13 % are tightening them. In many cases they have different rules for different categories of items. So there could be one policy for clothing, while another for electronics.

For more information on the return policies for some popular retailers. Click on the links below:

Consumer World:
http://www.consumerworld.org/pages/returns.htm

CNET:
http://howto.cnet.com/8301-11310_39-57345419-285/christmas-2011-online-shopping-return-policies/

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