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Customer focused eCommerce: Return Policy

I recently made a return to Costco for a misbehaving GPS unit.  My experience was made easy in large part because of Costco’s friendly return policy.  The store clerk didn’t give me a hard time or ask me any detailed questions.  I didn’t even need to fill out a form.

But the real find in the transaction was a feature of the Costco web site.  It was worthy of putting into the Customer focused eCommerce best practices archive on the Merchant Stand blog.

Provide return/warranty information on the customer receipt and status lookup pages

I had purchased the GPS three months ago on the Costco web site.  I knew I was going to try a return and so I went back to their web site to print a receipt.  I located my previous order history in the order status section.  As I was reviewing the details of the transaction, I noticed that the Costco return policy was printed at the bottom of the status/receipt page.  Brilliant!  Where I was expecting to have to find this information on some FAQ page it was right there.  A two-fer of sorts for me I was able to print the receipt and validate the return policy and instructions in one step.  Bravo Costco!

For those wondering how it read.  Here’s a copy:

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Shop Confidently
Membership: We will refund your membership fee in full at any time if you are dissatisfied.

Merchandise: We guarantee your satisfaction on every product we sell with a full refund.
Exceptions: Televisions, projectors, computers, cameras, camcorders, iPod/MP3 players and cellular phones must be returned within 90 days of purchase for a refund.

How to Return: Simply return your purchase to any one of our Costco warehouses worldwide for a refund (including shipping and handling). If you are unable to return your order at one of our warehouses, please contact customer service or call our customer service center at 1-800-955-2292 for assistance. To expedite the processing of your return, please reference your order number.