This time of year whether you're madly shopping … traveling for the holidays … or looking for a good hotel, Consumer Reports says some companies make life a lot easier. Others don't. That's why it's compiled its annual "Naughty and Nice" list. "It's looking at company policies, and in some cases practices, to see if we like them or not, based on how consumer-friendly they are." Nordstrom lands on this year's "Nice" list, with the site offering free shipping and free returns "on orders of every size." And how about those presents you really don't like - Kohl's "No Questions Asked - Hassle Free" returns policy online and in stores is something many of its competitors don't offer. It applies to all purchases, and there are no time restrictions. But other companies' return policies could leave you with a big lump of coal. For instance, Tiger Direct has a laundry list of conditions you have to meet. And if you don't … Tod Marks "They can hit you with a restocking fee of up to 25 percent. That's more than most other companies charge." For travelers, two airlines landed on the Naughty list, including Delta. Tod Marks "When I bought a round-trip $248 non-refundable fare, Delta offered me the chance for 'peace of mind' to upgrade to a refundable fare for $737, nearly triple that of my original fare." And while Spirit Airlines offers low fares, if your carry-on bag won't fit under the seat, the airline charges as much as 100 dollars. However, if you're looking for a place to stay, the moderately priced Drury hotels are pretty "nice" indeed. Tod Marks "Drury hotels really live up to their motto, 'The extras aren't extra.'" Included in the price of a room -hot food in the morning and at night, and free Wi-Fi."
More On Your Side Stories
- Back-to-school shopping is the second biggest spending spree of the year, according to the National Retail Federation.
- 44 children died last year from heat stroke inside cars.
- Can you get away with spending less on laundry detergent?
- Consumer Reports tested a 20-dollar device that promises to unclog drains without caustic chemicals or a costly plumber visit.
- Who doesn't love ice cream, especially in the summer?
- a just-released Consumer Reports' survey found that 59 percent of people look for foods labeled "natural" when they shop. But Consumer Reports says it's essentially meaningless claim.
- With grilling season heating up, all kinds of gadgets promise to take your grill to a new level.
- Flying with a carry-on bag can save you fifty dollars or more per trip. No wonder sales are up.
- Summer is salad time, and supermarkets have shelf after shelf of salad dressings.
- If you think there's no such thing as free lunch, think again. There are lots of products you can get online without having to pay a cent.