Ten years ago, I did a series of columns on Future Shop’s unfriendly customer service policies. They had a 15-day return period and a 15 per cent restocking fee if you bought computers or accessories, camcorders or large-screen TV sets and returned them within the 15-day return period.
Future Shop soon revamped its policies, extending the return period to 30 days and socking the restocking fee. The Canadian-owned was trying to fend off a U.S. takeover, which happened anyway when Best Buy swallowed it up. But the customer service policies remained the same.
Now I’m seeing restocking fees used by other retailers. I believe these fees should be disclosed before you buy. Stores should post prominent signs on walls and at counters, so you know your return privileges are restricted.
Here are some stories about restocking fees below. I hope you’re going to ask questions when shopping, rather than being surprised when you’re expecting a full refund.
As for Future Shop/Best Buy, I still get complaints. (Many come from Red Flag Deals, where my name gets tossed around in discussion forums.) The company responds quickly to my requests and follows up to make sure customers are happy. Managers welcome complaints, knowing they can use the information to improve their business practices.