EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Lifestyle

January 11, 2013

And many unhappy returns

Oh, the woe of the shopper who must return a purchase. Most of the time it goes smoothly, but occasionally some of my readers hit snags when returning an item they decided they didn’t want or need.

Dear Jill,

A big toy store is also big on tricks. It was running a sale: buy two video games and get one game free. I selected three games and put them in no particular order on the counter when I bought them. As it turned out, I needed to exchange one game because the kids already had it. As it happened, this game was the third one scanned at the register, so the value was listed on my receipt as $0.00. When I went to return the game, the store insisted that it had no value. They would not exchange the game.

I was livid. Of course the game had value! What if it had been rung up first? But the store wouldn’t exchange it. Another store in the same chain also refused. I vowed not to shop there again.

– Carol S.

Dear Carol,

I have to admit, this problem is new to me. One would think that a simple exchange wouldn’t be a big deal, especially with the receipt in hand proving you bought the game at this store. I agree that the “free” game still has a dollar value. I’m sure the store would have something to say if a person decided to walk out the front door with the same game without paying for it!

It’s a shame that the store doesn’t value customer service and was willing to lose this reader as a customer.

The next readers have questions about returning items they purchased using coupons. How much money should they get back, the full purchase price of the items or the price they paid post-coupon?

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