Amazon.com nice, American Apparel naughty on Consumer Reports list
Customer-friendly shopping policies landed companies such as Microsoft and REI on Consumer Reports’ nice list for the holidays, while Verizon Wireless and Southwest Airlines were pushed to the naughty side of the line.
The 2011 Naughty & Nice Holiday list, Consumer Reports’ second, covers industries including retail, hospitality, telecommunications and more.
On the Nice List: Entertainment promoter and ticket distributor Live Nation, which got points for allowing customers to exchange purchased seats for better ones if available. American Express was lauded for offering to refund up to $1,000 each year on items that Amex card users tried unsuccessfully to return within 90 days.
Costco was included because of its policy to automatically extend the manufacturer’s warranty on televisions and computers to two years past the purchase date. Consumer Reports also noted Amazon.com’s “Certified Frustration-Free” logo, which marks products without wasteful and hard-to-open packaging.
But several companies landed on the Naughty List. Consumer Reports experts were displeased with AirTran Airways' online display of fares, which don’t include the price of the seat -- a policy that list-makers likened to buying a shirt and being charged extra for the buttons.
RadioShack was slammed for occasionally charging different prices for the same items, while American Apparel was knocked for having varying return policies for online and in-store customers.
SiriusXM Radio and video game retailer Gamestop were also listed as naughty.
-- Tiffany Hsu
Photo: An American Apparel store. Credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times
Video: Consumer Reports discusses its annual holiday report card