If taking an item back to a store and asking for a refund doesn't put cash back in your pocket, there are other ways to convince a retailer to see it your way. The Federal Trade Commission provides this advice.


It's best to try to return the product as quickly as possible. Many businesses have return policies with time restrictions. Those are often printed on your receipt. Calmly explain the problem and escalate to a superviser if necessary.

If that doesn't work, call customer service, if the company has such a department. The company's headquarters may be more amenable to authorizing a return. Try the manufacturer if the product is defective.

Post a complaint on the company's social media site. "Your post will be most effective if you use a reasonable tone and explain the problem clearly," the FTC says.


Write a letter. Be civil, include all information and state exactly what you want. You may want to send the letter by certified mail and request a return receipt, the FTC advises. The FTC provides a sample letter you can use as guidance.

Get outside help. File a complaint with the attorney general's office, the Better Business Bureau and the FTC. Seek mediation or arbitration as an alternative to going to court.

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