JCPenney's retarded return policies (and a way around them)

This past Christmas I received several articles of clothing purchased from JCPenney; however, while I liked some of it, I decided that several items needed to be returned. I grabbed the clothes I didn’t want and headed to the local Penney’s store in Raleigh, NC. I still had all of the receipts, so I thought I’d just return the clothes at the customer service counter, receive cash in exchange, and then be on my merry way to some other local store where I could purchase something that I liked better. Unfortunately, things didn’t go quite as planned.

Apparently, JCPenney is so afraid of losing customers, that unless you paid for the original item in cash, they won’t give you cash back. Period. They’ll either credit your JCP credit account or they’ll give you a gift card, usable only at JCPenney stores (or online at jcp.com). Unfortunately, the items I was returning were bought as gifts via credit card. After being told the only thing I could receive in return was a gift card, I politely asked to speak to a manager. She told me the exact same thing and wouldn’t budge on “corporate policy.”

Okay, so if you’re just a low-level manager, I can understand why you might not be able to give me a cash refund that violates a higher-up’s rule, but at least refer me to someone higher in the food chain who can actually help instead of reciting a line out of the company handbook. Their customer service is pretty rude and very unprofessional as well. Thumbs down, guys!

All that to say this: JCPenney…you need to seriously (and very carefully) reconsider your returns and exchanges policies. If I don’t want to shop at your store, don’t make me on account of someone else’s mistake! Basically you’ve turned me into a disgruntled customer who won’t be shopping at your store at all instead of rarely ever, and on top of that, I’ll be telling other potential customers to stay away. I hate being locked in.

Now, being the Type-A personality that I am, I’m certainly not content to just give up and accept my circumstances…so I went out and found this great site that will allow you to trade and/or auction one type of gift card for another! Kind of like eBay for gift cards. Pretty sweet, I think. Cardavenue.com has pretty much saved my life and made me a much happier person. Have a gift card you don’t want? Give them a try!

So that’s the saga and lessons learned! Whatever happened to “the customer is always right?”

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  • Brianna

    They should give cash back even if it was paid by a credit card! I want to buy something expensive and use the money I was going to get by returning a dress I got. But it was bought with a card! Stupid policy or rule. Freaking old bags, give me my damn money back!

  • liz Nino

    Why should they be your personal bank? If you charged it, you might not have paid yet, so it’s akin to taking an unsecured loan, to insist on cash. It’s something scammers do all the time. The policy is necessary, and you’re either an idiot or trying to pull something. If you did not pay cash, why do they owe you cash back?

  • ciera

    Jc penneys sells gift cards to restaurants etc….use the credit issued to go sonewhere you like…plenty to chose from…

  • Marc in NA

    “Apparently, JCPenney is so afraid of losing customers,”

    That’s speculation.

    To my knowledge every company does this, whether a department store or Home Depot. If you buy something on a credit card they refund the credit card, if you pay cash they refund cash. Since it was not your credit card they cannot refund other than a gift card. JC Penny’s policy is consistent with what everyone else does.

  • Bert Hamel

    I ordered the wrong size pants on my credit card they close the store and I don’t have a driver’s license to get to a store can I return my pants and then not refund the money on my credit card and just give me a gift card or send me a different size pair of pants back because the credit card is cut up so I have no way of getting there too as so I have no way of getting to a store and exchanging them somebody help me

  • Chelsa

    I am so disappointed. On their page they have a picture of a hutch for sale and that picture includes a changing table… However the changing table was not included. When the hutch came I was very disappointed to discover this. I looked to see if I could buy the changing table and what do you know, they don’t sell it anymore, even though they keep a picture of it up. So when I asked to return it I was told I had to pay $75 dollars on top of the $75 delivery fee… So in order to get it returned I had to take a $150 loss.. The hutch was $160. I am so mad and upset about this, I don’t know if I will ever shop at JCP again. Also, the lady I talked to at JCP online was so rude.