ConsumerWatch: Which Retailers Are Naughty This Holiday Season?

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Customers rush through the door at Best Buy. (CBS)

Customers rush through the door at Best Buy. (CBS)

ROSEVILLE (CBS 5) – In a fashion similar to that of the Occupy camps, mall security guards in Roseville tried to kick out campers waiting out in tents for Best Buy’s Black Friday deals.

Luckily, Best Buy stepped in to negotiate a compromise. The incident is one of the first cases of companies being pre-emptive about the long lines and forecasted crowds days before Black Friday even occurs. But Best Buy’s move to strike a compromise with its Black Friday shoppers have put the company on what Consumer Reports calls its “Nice” List.

It’s an annual report that the company compiles outlining which companies have strong customer service, good products, as well as buying and return policies that treat shoppers well.

Among the companies landing on the Nice List is Costco. Consumer Reports said the company provides free tech support and automatically extends manufacture warranties for two years.

R.E.I also found itself on the list. The store’s policy of allowing customers to return and exchange items for any reason in any time frame by mail or in store merited a Nice List slot.

If a store won’t let a consumer return an item purchased with an American Express card, American Express will refund the purchase price for up to $300 for up to $1000 per year. This “nice” policy also got them on the list.

The Naughty List this year included companies like RadioShack. Consumer Reports calls it naughty because, as the store admits, sometimes it will charge different prices for the same item.

Verizon also made the Naughty List because as the Federal Communications Commission required, Verizon had not taken the best precautions to prevent customers from getting what is called bill shock. Under the FCC provision, companies need to send out warnings when consumers are going to go over their voice, data, and texting limits. Verizon admitted that their warning system can be unreliable.

Fortune 500 company, GameStop was added to the Naughty List because of its laundry list of return conditions and even more, reserving the right to refuse any item for return.

For a full list of Consumer Report’s Naughty and Nice lists, click here.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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