Local News

Customer Has Devil Of A Time With Store's Return Policy

Posted April 12, 2001

— At one time or another, we have all had to exchange something we have bought. Even with a receipt, returns are not always easy. When a local woman had trouble returning a hand vacuum, she called Five on Your Side.

The Ultra Dirt Devil Hand Vac, complete with attachment, is what is pictured on the box purchased by Tammy Schumann. It was the item she wanted and what she paid for. It is not what she found inside.

"I kept looking in the box and kept looking and where is that thing? And it was just like, it's not the right one," says Shumann of what she found.

The wrong vacuum was in the box. Schumann grabbed her receipt and took the $40 vacuum back to Best Buy to exchange it for the right one.

"I just expected them to take it back and give me another one," she says.

A manager refused, saying Shumann returned it past the store's 30-day return limit. Schumann says he even accused her of switching the vacuums herself, and told her to take up the problem with Dirt Devil.

"I didn't buy it from Dirt Devil. I bought it from Best Buy," says Shumann, whose next step was to call 5 On Your Side.

After WRAL called Best Buy's corporate headquarters, the company still refused to exchange Schumann's hand vacuum, citing the store's 30-day return policy.

Five On Your Side called Dirt Devil, where a customer service representative immediately appologized and agreed to switch the vacuums saying it was "no problem."

Schumann is thrilled. "I just wanted to exchange it. I did not want my money back. I just wanted what I paid for," she says.

This situation is a good reminder that retailers are not required to refund your money or exchange a purchase. Return policies are up to each individual retailer, so make sure you ask about them before you buy.

Reporter:Monica Laliberte Photographer:Robert Meikle 5 On Your Side Producer:Lori Lair OnLine Producer:Michelle Singer

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