'Naughty & nice' company policies

Published On: Nov 18 2012 07:54:50 PM EST
Updated On: Nov 19 2012 06:40:00 AM EST

Nikki Kimbleton reviews which retailers are naughty and which are nice according to  Consumer Reports annual holiday report card.

Santa’s not the only one checking who’s been naughty and nice this year. Consumer Reports is out with its third annual Naughty & Nice list highlighting company policies that deserve cheers or jeers. They are not ratings of a company. They look at company policies to see how consumer-friendly they are.

SLIDESHOW: Naught & nice list

Nordstrom lands on this year’s “Nice” list, with its site offering free shipping and free returns on orders of every size. And how about those presents you really don’t like? Kohl’s “No Questions Asked -- Hassle Free” returns policy online and in stores is something many of its competitors don’t offer. It applies to all purchases, and there are no time restrictions.

But other companies’ return policies could leave you with a big lump of coal. For instance, Tiger Direct has a laundry list of conditions you have to meet. And if you don’t, they can hit you with a restocking fee of up to 25 percent.

For travelers, two airlines landed on the Naughty list. On a $248 non-refundable fare. Delta offered the chance to upgrade to a refundable fare for $737, almost triple the original price. And with Spirit Airlines if your carry-on bag won’t fit under the seat, the airline charges as much as $100.

However, if you’re looking for a place to stay, the moderately priced Drury hotels are pretty “nice.” Included in the price of a room is hot food in the morning and at night, and free Wi-Fi.

And Home Depot has a “nice” policy when it comes to buying major appliances. It will haul away your old appliance after setting up your new one, eliminating the hassle of you finding someone to take away your refrigerator or stove.

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