Post-Holiday Shoppers Experience 'Return Rage'

Tuesday, January 6th 2009, 7:29 pm
By: News 9

By Melissa Maynarich, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Now that the malls have calmed down after an influx of shoppers with gift cards, retailers are seeing more returns.

And when there are returns, sometimes there's Return Rage.

Everyone has seen customers getting upset if they aren't able to give the purchase back.

Sometimes you're stuck with a Christmas gift that you don't really want. You may have already tried to take it back, but the store won't give you cash. If that's the case, you still have options.

In between her returns post-Christmas, Kim Rudolph is shopping for jeans. A nice break after she had an uncomfortable experience last week while taking back perfume.

"I said, ‘Well, it was a Christmas gift, can I speak with the manager?' And he said, ‘Well, I am the manager.' And I said, ‘Well, can I have a card where I can call the home office?' And he said, ‘Well, we'll just take it back this one time'," Rudolph said.

Many times big retailers will work with customers.

"We definitely prefer you to have a receipt if you want cash back, but it's not 100 percent necessary," Mickey Bunal, The Buckle employee, said.

The Better Business Bureau's Bob Manista said retailers don't have to take back a return.

"They aren't obligated necessarily to take a return just because you bought it at the store and don't want it," Manista said.

Return policies are clearly posted at most stores. But customers just don't look at it, leading to self -created frustration.

"Either you're going to live within the policies or you're not, and unfortunately, if you can't bend with the wind a little bit and find a way to work with the store you're the one that's going to end up losing, not the giant retailer," Manista said.

If you can't get cash back ask for store credit, or exchange it.

"There's always re-gifting, there's always re-selling, there's always eBay, there's always an alternative," Manista said. "You don't have to have this ill-gotten Christmas gift hanging around your neck for the rest of your life. Find a way to get rid of it that still benefits you."

One more tip -- don't procrastinate. Most policies have a time limit, anywhere from two weeks to 90 days.