5 Worst Return Policies

Every year throngs of people visit retailers to return or exchange unwanted gifts after the holiday season and every year, many people are turned away from retailers for not adhering to store return policies. Returning an item without being properly informed can be a stressful task so it is very important to read up on return or exchange policies before heading out to a store. I’d thought I’d save you guys some time and stress by providing the five worst store return policies. Be sure to avoid these five retailers on your next holiday shopping spree.


Amazon.com may come as a shock to some for having the worst return policy. Amazon.com has a standard 30 day time frame for most returns but, terms vary by product category. Currently, Amazon.com has 18 category specific return policies and some of those have their own sub-return policies. The vast number of return policies makes returning a few items a complex chore. If you’re buying a gift avoid Amazon.com and save yourself a headache.

Best Buy

Best Buy’s return policy is famous for cheating consumers of deserved refunds or exchanges. There are entire websites dedicated to Best Buy’s horrible customer service and their return policy certainly justifies the backlash. Best Buy’s return policy consists of multiple return periods dependent on product categories. The time frame for returns ranges from 14 to 45 days. Returns not only require a receipt but also a government issued ID. To top it off, some returns are subject to a restocking fee. These are only a few of the conditions that must be met to make a return so consider this the next time you visit a Best Buy

Home Depot

Home Depot’s return policy offers an impressive 90 day window for returns however their policy is not without exceptions. Like the other inconvenient return policies on this list, Home Depot’s return policy varies by product category. Even if you meet all of their conditions, in the end the store manager is the deciding factor for all returns. That’s right, if you run into a Home Depot store manager that’s having a bad day he has the authority to deny your return or exchange.


The biggest and most successful company in the world fails with its return policy. Apple’s return policy is easily the worst from its peers. For their best selling items like the Mac, iPad, and iPod, you have up to 14 days to initiate a return. If you decided to personalize your item it is not eligible for a return. Apple also provides a list of items ineligible for return. If that’s not enough, their online store return policy is completely different. Online purchases cannot be returned if opened. If you can help it, purchase Apple products from retailers with a consumer friendly return policy like Costco.

Office Max

Office Max’ return policy is category dependent. Each category has a specific time frame. Products in furniture, software and technology categories can be returned within 14 days with the original receipt. Office Max won’t accept copies of receipts for full refunds. Office supplies have a standard 30 day return window. Items from the technology category are subject to a 15% restocking fee. These days with the vast options of online retailers with outstanding customer service, paying a restocking fee for a refund is unacceptable. Most items from Office Max can be found online for much cheaper often with free shipping.

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