Returning a Christmas gift? Here's what you need to know

If it does not fit, is not working, or is of no use, return it to the store! But be prepared for the No. 1 consumer complaint out there after Christmas
December 26, 2013 8:18:22 PM PST
If you did not love the gifts you got this Christmas, you have time to get them back to the store; but in some cases, not a lot of time.

If it does not fit, is not working, or is of no use, return it to the store! But be prepared for the number one consumer complaint out there after Christmas.

Returns come in all sizes. We found David Herring bringing back an iPad Otterbox to a Houston Best Buy.

"Apparently it was for the wrong one. I have the Air and this one is for some of the later versions," Herring said.

Herring is getting a jump on returns, and when it comes to Best Buy, that's a good idea because the company gives consumers 15 days to return things after they were purchased.

For most other stores, that is not the case.

"Most of the times stores -- any store you go to in retail -- will give you what is common, is 30 to 90 days to get your refund, exchange or probably get store credit," said Carolina Petriciolet with the Houston BBB.

Petriciolet says beating the deadlines for returns is not the big problem for most consumers. She says the number one complaint is the same year after year.

"Number one complaint is you know, I did not know there was going to be a restocking fee," Petriciolet said.

Petriciolet says while you can not avoid a restocking fee, if you do not have a receipt, you may not walk out of a store with cash at all.

"A majority of the time people do not want store credit, and people do not want to have a store credit. And this is the kind of situation you find yourself in without requesting a store policy," Petriciolet said.

And in some cases, if you do not have a receipt and the store can't figure out how much was paid, you'll only get back the lowest selling price on the item.

Find Jeff on Facebook at ABC13JeffEhling or on Twitter at @jeffehlingabc13


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