Naughty & nice businesses this holiday
Don't Waste Your Money
Last Updated: 158 days ago
Santa's not the only one checking who's been naughty and nice this year.
Our partners at Consumer Reports Magazine are out with their third annual "Naughty and Nice" list highlighting company policies that deserve a thumbs up or raspberries.
This time of year, whether you're madly shopping, traveling for the holidays, or looking for a good hotel, Consumer Reports says some companies make life a lot easier, but others don't. That's why it's compiled its annual "Naughty and Nice" list.
"It's looking at company policies, and in some cases practices, to see if we like them or not, based on how consumer-friendly they are," said Tod Marks of Consumer Reports.
For instance, Nordstrom lands on this year's "Nice" list, with the site offering free shipping and free returns on "orders of every size."
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.
The following are some of the companies from the Naughty and the Nice sides of the 2012 list:
- Ticketmaster: The king of tickets will snail mail you your tickets for free if you have 10 to 14 days to wait for them, but if you need them any sooner you'll have to pay for expedited shipping. You'll even have to fork over $2.50 per order just to print them yourself. Gotcha!
- Time Warner Cable : The Internet biggie joins a list of other providers to charge a monthly fee (in this case, $3.95 ) to lease a cable modem.
- BMW: Getting stuck with a flat tire isn't the best way to find out your car didn't come with a spare tire or jack, but BMW owners may experience just that. The automaker's models now come with run-flat tires or a Mobility Kit, which can get you to help after a minor puncture.
The disappearing-spare syndrome has been spreading to include even economy models from Hyundai, Chevrolet and others.
-Delta Airlines: A "flexible" fare that costs 3 times the price of a refundable coach fare, just so you can change your ticket if needed.
-Tiger Direct: Restocking fees of up to 25%, with a long list of conditions you must meet to avoid that hefty return fee.
-Comp USA: Antivirus programs added to your computer purchase that can add a $49 annual fee to your credit card if you are not careful.
-Forever 21: Different return policies for the website and store.
- Home Depot: Buy a new appliance from a home improvement giant and they'll haul your old one off your property without charge. The delivery crew will also uncrate, set up, level and test your new one.
- Oxo: The innovative housewares manufacturer backs every product it sells with a no-exceptions pledge - if for any reason you are not satisfied, return it for replacement or refund.
- PNC Bank: In Consumer Reports' survey of 10 banking giants, PNC was the only one to offer a free basic checking account. What's more, the institution doesn't require customers to maintain a minimum balance to keep this freebie.
-Drury Hotels: This top rated moderate hotel chain really doesn't charge for extras, such as free breakfast and free WiFi.
-Honda: Rearview camera now standard in all its SUV's and trucks.
Don't Waste Your Money is a registered trademark of the EW Scripps Co.
"Like' John Matarese on Facebook
Follow John on Twitter
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.