In November, Oregon Women’s Report featured an article warning shoppers to stay away from Best Buy because of their 15% restocking fee on returned items (See article Shopping Alert: Beware of 15% return gift fee.). The latest news is that Best Buy has cancelled their 15% restocking fee due to public pressure this holiday season (USA Today article). We could feel the pressure because we ourselves were getting emails from friends on this issue asking us to not shop at Best Buy.
Not everyone is changing. A survey of retailers showed that 84% of stores planned to keep their return policies in place this year according to the National Retail Federation. Wal-Mart this year tightened up the return period for cameras bought online 30 to a shorter 15 days. This is the opposite of Toys R’ Us for online purchases where they triple the time allotted from 30 days to 90 days.
Most retailers that have been enacting stricter return policies have been doing so to crack down on abuses by customers which can cost millions in expenses. Some companies are creating customer return abuse watch lists to help stop the worst offenders.
The Best Buy return law change is a great victory for shoppers. It shows that customers can still get their way in light of outrageous corporate practices. It also shows that we shoppers should never underestimate the power of sharing our opinions and how effective that can be online.
Note: Best Buy is retaining a charge for certain larger items.
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