Strict return policies leave people with Y2K supplies

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    BY AARON MANGUM

    The Y2K bug that sent people into a buying frenzy for supplies has left some with a storage of supplies and no immediate use for their stockpiles.

    With the possibility of a high number of returned items, stores prepared differently to deal with the situation. Consumers who purchased a generator and flashlight for Y2K planning to return it if nothing happened should have researched the leniency of the store’s return policy.

    Most stores have kept the same return policy they have always had, while others posted specific Y2K return policies.

    Sears is one of those stores that adopted a new policy, and they were careful to ensure all customers understood the policy. Sears is charging a 20 percent restock fee for all generator returns, said Quinn Beal, Sales Manager for a local Sears at the Provo Town Centre.

    “Customers generally thought it was fair,” he said.

    He also said that Sears has been pleasantly surprised that they have not had one single return at their store.

    Home Depot store manager Chris Whisler said they have had very little returned, but that they have the same lenient return policy they have always had.

    “Any merchandise purchased from us can be returned for a full refund,” he said.

    If customers purchased food from one the many food storage stores, their luck with returns will not be as good.

    Emergency Essentials has kept their return policy the same. “We are not a Y2K company. We’ve been around 13 years,” said Assistant Customer Service Manager Eric Raymond.

    “Food items are non-refundable and non-food item returns are considered on a case by case basis,” he said.

    Raymond also said that any item with defects or damage could be returned within one year. The company has a 30-day money back return policy that is subject to restocking fees and requires the customer to pay return shipping charges.

    The store managers agreed that despite the lack of Y2K problems, people are holding onto their purchases in case of future problems they may face.

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