This week’s reader comment of the week comes from Jake, who was rather ticked off that I gushed about Hubby’s nearly free exchange of a broken Roomba vacuum cleaner for a brand spanking new one at Bed, Bath and Beyond. Jake’s take on Hubby’s actions:
This seems criminal to me. This isn’t far off from shoplifting. And it certainly is lying and cheating. This isn’t anything to be proud of in my opinion.
What is interesting is that the disagreement – was Hubby in the right or wrong to exchange the Roomba – comes down to interpreting the store’s return policy. Bed, Bath and Beyond has one of the most open-ended return policies I’ve ever seen. From their site:
Merchandise returns get you down? Not at Bed Bath & Beyond; we make it free and easy! You may return a purchase for a refund, merchandise credit, or exchange to any of our stores nationwide or to our returns processing center.
There is only one mention of needing a reason to return an item in the BB&B return policy. The store is bending over backwards to please shoppers. In other words, BB&B is a retail pushover. Again, from their site:
Please remember to bring the original packing invoice and the credit card used for purchase. Without the original packing invoice and your credit card, you may receive an exchange or merchandise credit.
This leeway means customers have a LOT of discretion in how to interpret the store’s return policy. Hubby interprets the policy to be that if he is not satisfied with a purchase he can return it. Jake has a more limited interpretation, though he did not specify his exact parameters.