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Product Return Policies and Procedures
All companies have specific policies and procedures that govern their handling of items that are returned to them. In terms of how they handle returns, companies vary from cheerful to reluctant, helpful to difficult, and lightning quick to dog slow. In conjunction with determining the company's guarantee policies, if any, you must read up on the processes they use for handling returns, and avoid companies that are unreasonable.
There are a number of different facets to look at when considering a company's handling of policies and procedures for returning products. Be sure to review a company's procedures in advance, to let yourself know what your responsibilities will be, and help you avoid companies that have onerous policies. Here are some things to look for:
Tip: You can determine some
of how a company handles returns by looking for feedback from past
Of course, it's no surprise that it's a lot easier to return products to retail stores than it is to return them to an online vendor. This is one reason why many people prefer to shop at retail stores for some items, especially larger ones. This is just one piece of the puzzle, but if you are unsure of what you are buying, it may well be worth paying a bit more to buy from a local supplier with a generous return policy.
Tip: Keep all of your
packaging, and be sure not to discard or damage anything in the package until you are sure
you won't need to return the item. Discarding the box or immediately sending in the
warranty card on a new product are common mistakes. Some companies won't accept products
back if any of the components in the box are missing (usually because if they take back
incomplete packages, this facilitates crooks who would steal parts from products they are
returning--we all pay indirectly for the results of such individuals' actions.)
For information on the practicalities of returning items, see this section in the area discussing issues that occur after the purchase.