Thursday, December 26, 2002
More Bang for Your Buck: Holiday Returns
It's a holiday tradition, just like giving gifts. The day after Christmas usually means back to the mall. But whether you're exchanging electronics or collecting store credit, making a return is never easy.
(WSVN) From fruit cakes to not so fabulous socks, we've all gotten gift's that make us grovel.
"I got a pink negligee from my mother..I was mortified."
"I think it was a pair of underwear."
"Boxers and I found they were used."
But if you can't give it away, you can always try to bring it back.
Leonard Elias, Miami-Dade Consumer Advocate, says "Knowing a business return and exchange policy upfront will save consumers alot of hassles especially during the hectic holiday shopping days."
Leanord Elias - The Miami Dade Consumer Advocate - says your best bet is to remember the receipt.
It can serve as a mini-contract between you and the store.
"The receipt is the best evidence that the merchandise was purchased at that store."
No receipt - no problem.
Remember plastic is preferable. This way, you can get a credit or debit card statement.
And if that doesn't work, you can improve your odds by bringing back the original box and tag.
"They should appeal to the store manager and demonstrate that the merchandise was from that store."
You can also appeal if they try to sucker you with a re-stocking fee - common at electronics store.
"That fee should be disclosed, failure to disclose the restocking fee up front would mean there is no restocking fee and the consumer should not have to pay it."
But there are no guarantees. Not every store has an exchange policy.
And many stores will not accept a refund after seven days...
So you may be left with one last resort.
"You give it to someone you really don't like."
If you have any questions on returning gifts, you can call your county's consumer advocate.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Leonard Elias, Consumer Advocate
Consumer Hotline (305) 375-3677