You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

Consumer Watch: Don't delay when returning, exchanging holiday gifts

Jan. 8, 2010 - 10:33AM   |   Last Updated: Jan. 8, 2010 - 10:33AM  |  
  • Filed Under

The gifts are opened, the wrapping paper is in shreds, and cleanup is underway.

What about that shirt that didn't fit? That tie you wouldn't wear outside the house, because somebody might see you? The video game that doesn't work?

In the case of a gift that is broken or defective, you should always return it. But if that tie is so bad, why not exchange it for something you can wear or use? Make the best use of those dollars whether you spent them or your grandmother did.

Don't delay returning or exchanging gifts. Stores brick and mortar, as well as online have time limits. Army and Air Force Exchange Service and Navy Exchange Service Command officials have extended their refund and exchange deadline for more than a month after the holidays.

This applies to:

AAFES: items bought between Nov. 26 and Dec. 24, 2009.

NEXCOM: items bought between Nov. 27 and Dec. 24, 2009.

This means for some items that usually have to be returned within two weeks computers, for example your window didn't expire before you got the gift.

AAFES allows a 90-day return window on most items; NEXCOM allows a 45-day window. There are exceptions within that, too, besides computers for example, AAFES normally has a 30-day window for jewelry, televisions, digital cameras, furniture, mattresses, appliances and gas-powered equipment, and 15 days for DVDs and video games.

But if you bought it between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve, you won't have that limited window.

Generally, you're going to need the receipt. But if you don't have a receipt, you can always try taking the item to the store and asking the manager about a refund. It will help if you have the original packaging.

To be certain of the time limits for particular items, check your store's Web site or call the store's customer service office.

Some examples of where to find return policies:

Walmart stores:">

AAFES: Look at the "frequently asked questions" section on">

Navy Exchange:">

Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Contact staff writer from reader">Karen Jowers at">

Answers by RallyPoint

Join trending discussions in the military's #1 professional community. See what members like yourself have to say from across the DoD.

More In Pay & Benefits

Start your day with a roundup of top defense news.

VA Home Loan

Search By:

Product Options:
Zip Code:

News for your in-box

Sign up now for free Military Times E-Reports. Choose from Money and Education. Subscribers: log in for premium e-newsletters.

This Week's Navy Times

This Week's Navy Times

Go mustang
LDO and warrant careers offer more authority, a pay hike and big retirement payout

Subscribe for Print or Digital delivery today!

MilitaryTimes Green Trusted Classifieds Looking to buy, sell and connect on Military Times?
Browse expanded listings across hundreds of military installations.
Faces of valorHonoring those who fought and died in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
hall of valorThe Hall of Valor is a searchable database of valor award citations collected by Doug Sterner, a Vietnam veteran and Military Times contributing editor, and by Military Times staff.

All you need to know about your military benefits.

Benefits handbook

Guard & Reserve All you need to know about the Guard & Reserve.

guard and reserve handbook