Many Happy Returns

They were just what you wanted;
at least that’s what you thought when you purchased them. But the digital camera that seemed so easy to use in the store proved far more difficult to operate when you got home, and the blue sweater that looked like a perfect match for your new slacks turned out not to match at all. So it’s back to the store to try to return them. But, is it as easy to return things as it is to purchase them?
We decided to find out. A Rival Crock-Pot, priced under $30, was purchased—with a credit card—at Target and Kohl’s, both in Mount Kisco, Bed, Bath & Beyond in Yorktown Heights, and Home Depot in Mohegan Lake. They were each returned on a weekday during lunch hour with the receipt and within a few days of purchase. The boxes had been opened, but the merchandise was undamaged. And? It went smoothly—and that’s no “crock.”

Return Experience
Target: Even though we were third in line, our wait time was just three minutes. Clerk did not open box but asked if there was anything wrong with the pot. Account credited. Clerk told us to have a nice day. Jeez!

Home Depot: No line; easy, though not friendly, return; account credited. Clerk opened the box, checked the merchandise, and asked, “Anything wrong with this?”

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Kohl’s: Customer-service department also processes gift registries and credit adjustments. The person ahead of us had about a dozen items to exchange. Wait time: five minutes. Clerk never opened the box, but asked if the pot was broken.Account credited.

Bed Bath & Beyond: No line; easy return; account credited. Counter at front of store. Clerk did not open the box to check the merchandise; asked, “Is there anything else you’d like to purchase today?” and “Is there anything wrong with this?” Like, wow!
// Lois Podoshen

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