Oct. 30, 2014   46°F   School Closings
Listen Live WCPN / WCLV
ideastream
Mission 4
Values 1
Values 2
Values 3
Vision 3
Vision 4
Vision 5
Values 4
Values 5
Values 6
Vision 1
Vision 2

Choose a station:

90.3 WCPN
WCLV 104.9
WVIZ/PBS

Choose a station:

90.3 WCPN
WCLV 104.9
WVIZ/PBS

Companies That Were 'Naughty And Nice' In 2012

Posted: November 27, 2012

Share on Facebook Share Share on Twitter Tweet

For holiday shoppers, retailers' approach to fees, returns and other practices can bring praise or anger. And when customers rant or rave, Consumer Reports takes note — and compiles them into its annual "Naughty and Nice" list of companies.

The no-questions-asked return policy of the Kohl's department store chain helped it win a spot on the

The no-questions-asked return policy of the Kohl's department store chain helped it win a spot on the "Naughty and Nice" list compiled by Consumer Reports. Scott Olson

For holiday shoppers, retailers' approach to fees, returns and other practices can bring praise or anger. And when customers rant or rave, Consumer Reports takes note — and compiles them into its annual "Naughty and Nice" list of companies.

"They're policies and practices that people either felt were consumer-friendly or not," Consumer Reports senior editor Tod Marks tells NPR's Steve Inskeep. He adds that the list isn't related to the ratings his magazine is known for.

The list includes 20 widely known companies — such as grocery stores Publix and Safeway (nice), and airlines Delta and Spirit (naughty).

The "naughty" offenses range from BMW and other carmakers' omission of spare tires in new models, and the clothing chain Forever 21's two separate policies for online and in-store returns.

Of particular note in this holiday season, retailer Abe's of Maine was criticized for the many exceptions to its 30-day money-back guarantee. Marks says that under the policy, the seller of electronics and appliances doesn't include microwaves, watches, TVs, laptops and other items.

The Naughty and Nice list reflects the opinions of Consumer Reports experts, along with the magazine's Facebook friends, Twitter followers and online subscribers, Marks says.

"Really, people are just so frustrated," he says. "And they're primarily frustrated because of the inability, or an unwillingness on the part of a lot of companies, to just simply listen to them."

On the "Nice" list, the return policies at Kohl's and Nordstrom came in for praise, as did the all-inclusive pricing of the Drury Hotel chain.

The Red Wing Shoe Co. was commended for allowing no-questions-asked returns of its boots. And PNC Bank won fans for offering a simple, unglamorous product: a free basic checking account, with no minimum balance.

Marks adds that a spot on the "Naughty and Nice" list doesn't necessarily mean a company is making a bad product.

"Oftentimes, we see companies that do very well in our survey, maybe they'll pop up on the naughty list," Marks says. "And conversely, we'll see companies that don't do so well sometimes have a nice policy ... We've got the good, the bad, and the ugly."

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Tags

Your Money

Leave a Comment

Please follow our community discussion rules when composing your comments.