The Checkout

Return Stories

Our hard-working retail reporter Ylan Mui is working on a story about returns. If you have stories about travails at the return counter, please pass them on to her at muiy@washpost.com.

By Annys Shin |  December 20, 2006; 12:02 PM ET Reporting Query
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I recently purchased a gift from Sams.com. The Web site promises you can return unopened electronics to any Sams Club store. When I attempted to return the item after discovering it was the wrong device, it took almost 30 minutes at customer service for them to figure it out. I told them it only took me 15 seconds to find the item on their Web site, yet they could not seem to find the "item number" in their own computers. Then the packing slip which was the only paperwork enclosed in the shipment wasn't enough. Then they needed a Sams Club ID, which I did not have because I used my husband's to buy his present, which was what I was returning. I obviously could not ask to borrow his. Then, it inexplicably took 10 more minutes to refund my money, which for some unknown reason, could not be credited the account I used to pay for the item, and I had to take cash. It would have been easier to brave the Post Office lines to mail it back, and that is saying a lot.

Posted by: no more sams club | December 20, 2006 2:54 PM

My husband and I registered at Target and Bed, Bath & Beyond for our recent wedding. Target makes returns a nightmare. I had a shower in LA, and wanted to return everything and buy it again in Florida, as I could not fit everything on the plane. All I wanted was store credit, but they wanted to do exchange only. I had to get a manager (took forever, even in the summer), and they still set a certain dollar limit. I ended up having to mail the rest. Also, a lot of the items we registered for were seasonal and are no longer being sold. we tried to update the registry after the wedding (we are still receiving gifts from people) and we were unable to update it at Target. No problems with BB&B.

Posted by: Missy | December 23, 2006 6:03 PM

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