As more business compete harder to win customers online, the notion of customer-service grows even more important.
We came upon the following list (produced by FreeShipping.org), which lays down a list of 10 firms with sensible, compassionate return policies:
1. endless.com The online-only shoe merchant gives shoppers a full 365 days to return unwanted or flawed footwear with guaranteed free shipping both ways on domestic orders.
2. L.L.Bean There's no time limit on returns with L.L. Bean and no authorization is required. Simply download and fill out an online form or use the form printed on your packing slip.
3. Shoebacca.com As with endless.com, Shoebacca provides free shipping both ways and a 365-day window in which to return or exchange your unwanted, unworn footwear or defective products. Returns must have the original tags still attached and shipped in the original packaging.
4. Lands' End Want to return a purchase and replace it with a different size or color? Lands' End offers free return shipping with no end date for re-orders. For returns without an exchange, use the Easy Return Label for a flat shipping fee of $6.95.
5. Zappos Zappos' free shipping is good both for purchases and returns. Whether you're unhappy with a purchase or simply change your mind, Zappos will provide a full refund or exchange within 365 days of purchase. Returns must be unworn (unless defective) and shipped in the original packaging.
6. Overland Use the Overland free shipping label provided online for a free return via FedEx. Purchases made with a credit card are charged back within 24 hours of receipt and refund checks are issued for orders paid for with cash or a check.
7. Macy's No receipt is necessary when returning a Macy's purchase because the merchant has a program that identifies products in their system. The department store provides a full refund or exchange within 180 days of purchase, except for jewelry, which is limited to 30 days.
8. Kohl's Kohl's free shipping offers come and go, but you can return your purchase any time for any reason. Lost your receipt? They'll let you exchange your purchase for a comparably priced item or give you store credit. No cash back is available, however, without a receipt.
9. Costco Here's a rare deal for a warehouse store. Costco will not only refund the cost of your purchase but it will also pick up the tab for shipping and handling. Just return the item to any Costco outlet and they'll remit your refund in your original form of payment. Most items may be returned at any time with the original receipts attached and in the original packaging. Most electronics, however, must be returned within 90 days.
10. Toys R Us and Babies R Us The "R" Us folks accept returns within 90 days for cash back, if you paid with check or cash. Shipping costs also are refunded, but online purchases must be returned within 30 days and electronics in 45 days. No receipt is necessary if the item was purchased with plastic or from a gift registry.