Tag Archives: Policy

Return policies: some naughty, some nice

shoppingHave you started your holiday shopping yet? When deciding what to buy, also consider where to buy. Some return policies are more generous than others.

Kohl’s has a very generous return policy. It’s called “Hassle Free Returns” and is quite hassle free. The policy states, “You can return any item, anytime, for a full refund with a receipt. No receipt? No problem. You’ll get a Merchandise Credit good toward anything in the store or online. At Kohl’s, hassle-free is more than a policy. It’s a promise.”

That’s an amazing policy in this day and age where stores are cracking down on returns. Part of it is hte cost to the retailer and risk of fraud. I also think they’re trying to eliminate people like me. People who change their mind. I’ve changed some of hte stores I shop because of their poor return policies that clearly burn a busy consumer.

I’ll admit I buy a lot and return a lot. I don’t like to shop, so I’m on a mission when I hit the stores. Sometimes I buy something and later think twice about it once I get it home and have a clearer mind. I’ve experiecned first hand the need to get back to the store ASAP to return it or I’m out of luck.

I think Dillard’s has one of the tougher return polcieis for a department store. You need to have the tags attached, which I’m fine with, and the item must be returned within thirty days of purchase. I’m used to three months at other department stores and this return policy burned me pretty good this summer.

I bought a jacket, but ended up returning it because it was linen and I was worried it would be a wrinkled mess by the end of the day. I really liked the color yellow, and looked for another one that wasn’t linen. I found one with the help of an associate. We had to order it to get the right size, and when it arrived I wasn’t sold. It seemed big and wasn’t cut the way I hoped. I got busy with a million other things planning our wedding and kept meaning to take it back, but kept forgetting.

It’s my fault. I should have made it a bigger priority, but again I’m so used to a three month return policy at other department stores. I waited and finally found some time to get it returned after our wedding in August. That’s when I learned about Dillard’s 30 day return policy. I was shocked. Now, I’m stuck with an expensive jacket that I’ll probably never wear. What a costly mistake.

Just pay attention this holiday especially if you are buying for a woman because woman’s sizes are all over the map. There is no consistency.

J.Crew won’t let you return some sale items even within 30 days and with a receipt. I’m not talking about super big discounts. All sales were final at a recent 30% off sale I shopped. There were signs near the clothing alerting shoppers to this caveat, which I appreciated.

Forever 21 won’t return jewlery. All sales are final. The cashier told me at the register, and it certainly piqued my curiosity when the woman asked if I was familiar with the return policy? Again, at least it’s brought to the shoppers attention.

Some stores even limit the number of returns you can make each year.

For the holidays, many stores have an extended return policy through mid or late January.

Returns are not that big of a deal for some items. It seems I’m returning clothing most as I change my mind later. Everything looks good in the store. If you’re going out on a limb with a gift or buying clothing, consider the store’s return policy.

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Insurance company guarantees you’ll be happy with your claim

Courtesy: Allstate.com

Have you ever filed a car insurance claim only to be frustrated with the results? Now, one company is offering a claim satisfaction guarantee so consumers won’t feel ripped off in the end.

Allstate says if you’re not happy with how your insurance claim goes, for any reason, you’ll get a credit on your premium for up to six months. While they say the guarantee is simple and use the phrase”for any reason”, make sure you read the fine print.

The fine print also says “any reason” so use that when you send the company a request for the guarantee in writing. It will only help your argument. You have 180 days from the date of your loss, not the settlement date, to dispute the claim under the guarantee. You must do it in writing, and include specifics about your claim, policy, and dissatisfaction. Make sure you send that letter certified mail so you know it’s been received.

Most of the fine print seems reasonable and standard. The only thing that jumped out at me was the provision that if you are unlucky twice during the same policy period with the same car, and don’t like the settlement both times, you won’t be able to cash in on the guarantee twice.

It’s unclear if this policy will continue indefinitely, because there is a line in the fine print that says, “This endorsement will not apply to your policy for any policy periods effective June 1, 2013 or after.” Interpret that as you want.

It’s not nationwide at this point. The guarantee will only be in effect in Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan (6-month policy), Minnesota, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington D.C., West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

What do you think of the guarantee? Click comment below. Do programs like this get you thinking about switching insurance companies?

Insure the value of your home

Are you worried that the value of your home will drop even more? An insurance plan promises to help cover your future losses, but is it worth it?

Home Value Protection is an insurance policy that will pay you money if your home sells for less than the protected home value that is determined when you buy the policy AND if local home values declined during your policy period.  The home value drop is based on a housing index. The policy costs about $20 per $100,000 of coverage.

The policy lasts for up to 10 years and will insure you for up to a 25 percent loss in the protected value of your home. If you’re already underwater, the policy won’t help you cover what you’ve already lost from your original mortgage. The policy only covers the value today versus what it is when you sell.

“For most people, their home represents the majority of their net worth,” Ryles explained. “While homeowners have long been able to buy insurance to protect against events like fires and floods, they have never been able to insure the value of their home against future real estate market declines, until now.”

Since this policy is so dependent on the home price index, you need to be careful. The housing market likely won’t recover for several years. However, will the price index go down enough to recover your investment? The company says the average median fee is $50 a month. That means you’re paying $600 a year for the coverage. You need to weigh that against your future plans.

While the insurance is to cover you against an uncertain future, you really want to invest only if your future is certain for two years. That’s because there is a deductible for the first two years that will cut into your chance to walk away with money and recoup from the policy. The deductible is 10% for the first year,  and 5% if you file a claim in months 13-24.

It’s only available for owner-occupied single-family and condominiums that are your primary residence. Rental homes, investment properties, seasonal homes, or mobile homes are not covered.  The coverage is debuting in Ohio.

Would you buy it? Click comment below.

Giant Eagle responds to coupon policy update

If you shop at Giant Eagle and use coupons, look at the policy before you grocery shop. The Northeast Ohio grocery store giant updated its policy. While the store says these are just updates and clarifications rather than substantive changes, shoppers are using the word “change.”

Whatever you call it, the new policy is generating a lot of reaction. Some of the updates include limiting similar Internet coupons to 2, and you can’t stack manufacturer and e-coupons. This is how the policy is at most stores. When I wrote about my experience stacking e-coupons and manufacturer coupons several months ago, an out of state couponer told me I was cheating. I wasn’t. It was allowed at Giant Eagle until today.

In response to the e-coupon and manufacturer stacking, Giant Eagle said in a prepared statement to me at NewsChannel 5, “the advent of digital and other internet-generated coupons prompted a clarification of what is referred to as “coupon stacking,” or the use of multiple manufacturer coupons on the same item. Per the existing conditions noted on most manufacturer coupons, stacking has always been prohibited for paper coupons, and today’s communication adds that online coupons are equivalent to their paper counterparts.”

Rachel Krych teaches couponing classes and runs the Facebook page, “ Couponing with Rachel .” She doesn’t think the new policy will change her shopping habits or ability to save money.

“I don’t think there are many places you can stack. An e-offer is a manufacturer’s coupon so the idea we were able to stack them for so long I think was a positive and now that they are changing it with the rest of the nation I don’t think should make that big of a deal,” couponer Rachel Krych said.

Hundreds of couponers and shoppers have sounded off on Giant Eagle’s Facebook page. Some people applaud the crackdown, while others blame extreme couponers for the changes.

“I think change is hard for anybody and with coupons they have their plan down and they have their way. They’re going to shop so any change is hard for some people to take,” Krych explained.

Giant Eagle will still double coupons.

Click here to read the entire policy.

What do you think of the change? Click comment and join the conversation.

Coupon policies continue to change

Extreme Couponing is coming back for season two, as stores continue to alter their coupon policies. You can’t say the changes are because of the show, but it’s interesting how so many stores are tightening their policies.

Target’s new policy makes it clear you can only use one Buy One Get One Free coupon, so you can’t get both items free. Rite Aid made a similar tweak to its Buy One Get One Free policy allowing just one Buy One Get One Free Coupon. Rite Aid also won’t let you use a Buy One Get One Free Coupon on a Buy One Get One Free offer.

Rite Aid also limited the number of identical coupons you can use to four so you can’t buy hundreds of the same item. That happens on Extreme Couponing. In one episode featured on the TLC website, the woman bought 50 toothbrushes and another bought 600 pieces of candy.

With so many changes, it’s obvious there is more scrutiny at the counter.  I’ve shared my recent problems getting discounts, but after some arguing I’ve gotten the cashier or store management to make it right. However, a woman in Idaho claims Walmart took her questions to an extreme. Thanks to a reader who told me about this story that aired on a Fox station in Idaho. According to the article, the woman and Walmart management were discussing the “Ad Match” policy, and that set off a string of actions when the woman allegedly tried to record the conversation with her phone. The article says Walmart did not respond to the TV station’s calls, but it’s an interesting situation.  I’d like to see the cell phone video to see exactly what happened, but it’s a reminder to keep your cool when you don’t agree with a store policy of any kind. Getting emotional and angry won’t solve your problem, and could make it worse.

I’ve always scrutinized the checkout process, and always make sure I’m getting every discount. It’s important to watch, because I’ve noticed mistakes. Click comment and share your latest coupon experience.

Related links you may like:
Coupons shouldn’t be this difficult to use
Coupon craziness continues
Don’t let coupons lead you to buy “EXTREME”ly odd products