Consumer Reports has released a list of the “naughtiest” and “nicest” retailers this year ahead of the holiday shopping season.
The list highlights company practices and policies that have been either helpful or hurtful to consumers.
It was compiled by Consumer Reports’ staff with some input from the companies’ Facebook fans.
“In each case, we verified the policy and/or practice either by direct contact or reading through the details on the company’s website,” Consumer Reports says on its website. “Although we cite companies by name, other businesses may engage in similar practices — for better or worse.”
On the “naughty” list this year is Amazon, Best Buy, Kmart, and seven others. The “nice” list includes Bed Bath & Beyond, Citibank, Consumer Cellular, Hampton Inn & Suites, Lands’ End, Neiman Marcus, Sony, Southwest Airlines, T-Mobile, and Walmart.
See the full “naughty” list below with Consumer Reports’ reasoning:
Amazon landed on the “naughty” list for raising the requirement for Super Saver shipping on eligible items from $US25 to $US35, Consumer Reports says.
Consumer Reports writes: “The electronics chain has a stern warning for customers who plan to make a return: Even if you have a receipt, you will need to present a photo ID and Best Buy retains the right to store information from your ID in its database to track future returns and exchanges.”
BJ’s Wholesale Club
Unlike Costco and Sam’s Club, BJ’s Wholesale Club won’t accept returns of perishable goods.
Fry’s Electronics was deemed naughty because it does not permit returns on televisions larger than 24 inches.
Kmart “recently bragged that its stores would be open for 41 hours straight, starting at 6 a.m. Thanksgiving day through 11 p.m. Friday, making it just another marathon work day for those in the retail industry,” according to Consumer Reports.
Lord & Taylor
Lord & Taylor recently held a 25% off sale but excluded more than 70 brands and a number of categories, including watches, certain jewelry, beauty products, cosmetics, women’s designer coats, fragrances, luggage and more.
Consumer Reports says QVC’s pricing is too complicated. “There are so many categories of prices that it’s hard to tell whether you’re getting a great deal or a great spiel,” according to the magazine.
Raymour & Flanigan
This retailer offers a deferred-interest credit card that can get customers into trouble if they fail to pay down their bills in full by the end of the promotional period. Failure to pay would retroactively apply an APR of about 28% on the entire purchase, according to Consumer Reports.
Toys R Us
Toys R Us landed on the “naughty” list for failing to price-match its competitors on Black Friday.
Consumer Reports gave United Airlines a thumbs down for its policy of not allowing families with children younger than 4 years old to board early.
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