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New Bride Upset With Target's Gift Exchange Policy

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DURHAM, N.C. — Part of getting married for most people is getting gifts. If you get something you need to exchange, it is usually not a problem. But when a Durham bride could not return some of her gifts, she contacted Five On Your Side for help.

Shantrel Walker Reed has some great gifts, but she does not need or want them.

"It's been frustrating, very frustrating," she said.

Reed got them as wedding gifts back in September. Most are duplicates and others simply are not right. They were all bought at Target, where Reed signed up on the store's computerized "Club Wed" bridal registry. Because of that, she figured returning the unwanted items would be easy, but she figured wrong.

"They were like 'No. Well, we're sorry. If you don't have a receipt or a gift receipt, then there's nothing that we can do,'" Reed said. "'We're sorry. We can't refund your money. We can't give you a store credit. We can't do anything.'"

Reed said she was miffed.

"So I was like, 'So, what am I supposed to do with these gifts?' They said 'I don't know. Whatever you want, they're yours,'" she said.

Reed called the district manager. She agreed to let Reed return only the gifts that were officially checked off the registry, but that still left her stuck with a bunch of stuff, so she called Five on Your Side.

"I would like to be able to exchange my gifts. That's all -- for something else in the store," she said.

Five On Your Side called Target and we also got a big runaround. Five On Your Side made more than 10 phone calls to the corporate office, district manager and store manager. The company finally agreed to work with Shantrel on the six remaining items.

They said part of the problem is Reed returned her gifts two days after Target started a new, strict return policy that prohibits customers from making returns without a receipt.

Exceptions are made for bridal and baby registry customers, although there are limits. They are now trying to figure out whether Reed has already exceeded those limits.

All of this has Reed suggesting a good piece of advice: no matter where you shop, whenever you give a gift: "Put a gift receipt in there because that's really the only leverage that a customer has. If you don't have that, all you have is what I have -- gifts you can't use," she said.