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April 21, 2015

What can you actually get away with under he Bed Bath & Beyond return policy?

Bed, Bath & Beyond ended its famously generous return policy and I attempted to take advantage of those final weeks. Until now, the guidelines for Bed, Bath & Beyond’s refunds have seemingly been “We’ll take back whatever garbage you throw at us no questions asked,” but they are now requiring receipts and they might not accept things after a year of purchase. Next thing you know I can’t bring back a comforter I threw up on! When I learned of the impending policy change, I tested out how relaxed they truly were when it came to exchanges and returns.

I started with a three-year-old towel I bought at a Target in Brooklyn. Have I been using it for the past three years? Yes. Did I wash it before trying to return it? Yes, I am not a damn monster.

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Last moments with my towel.

When I explained to customer service that I was there to return the towel, the clerk eye-balled it and asked if I had a receipt, to which I said, “no.” She then asked another clerk if they carried that brand and the clerk shook her head and wouldn’t look at me. After asking me when I got it, I replied I couldn’t be certain. When she asked me why I wanted to return the towel I replied, “It doesn’t get all of the water off me.” She accepted that as a good enough response. After calling for backup she informed me it might take a while and I should feel free to wander around the store. I milled around and finally picked out a Yankee Candle that smelled like a toilet in a vacation home and, after 45 minutes, went back to the front. They were patient and kind, but ultimately let me know that my towel was Target brand and they did not accept it. So maybe their slightly stricter policy won’t affect me, or MAYBE I should try again with something else.

I dumped the towel in the trash outside the store, because now the towel knows I tried to return it and it’s being all weird and sensitive.

Next, I endeavored to return a spoon that a friend accidentally left in my car.


Goodbye sweet spoon.

I had to go to a store where no one would recognize me as the girl with the Target towel, so I went to a Bed, Bath & Beyond further away. Maybe if I go further from the center of the city, they will be more lenient? Wrong. I brought this spoon in, and after a quick glance, the salesperson told me there was no way to know where I got it. I asked if she could check with a manager and she told me she was the manager. Busted! I slinked out unsuccessful again. This return policy might not affect me after all.

I aimed to return a used Ped Egg that I actually had bought at Bed, Bath & Beyond .

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I understand that this is nasty.

I went to a new Bed, Bath & Beyond location with my Ped Egg in tow. I was feeling frustrated that the policy was not as lax as I was led to believe. I went straight to customer service, offered them the used Egg sans receipt. When they looked me up in the system using my credit card, they indeed found the purchase on my record and ACCEPTED it. I felt horrible and when they asked why I was returning it, I simply said, “It wasn’t powerful enough.” The entire interaction took 10 minutes and five years off my life.

The policy is officially stricter now and it could be that’s for the best. Maybe we should just accept things even if they aren’t perfect. Perhaps we shouldn’t send back every salad with a pube or every omelette with a beak. It is possible Bed, Bath & Beyond is telling us to accept the cards we are dealt and keep that shitty towel, mystery spoon, and spoilt Ped Egg. I know I will from now on.