Sears agrees to a full refund of restocking fee

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

GILBERT, Ariz. -- Jan Dupont finally has a new refrigerator that seems to function like it should.

Dupont said she went through an exhaustive ordeal finding the right refrigerator.

"My old fridge gave way and I was in dire need of a fridge and I went to Sears," she told 3 On Your Side.

Dupont went to a Sears Outlet store in Gilbert where she found a fridge that she wanted. She paid just over $600 for the appliance and got a pretty good deal because it was a floor model from the outlet store.

Once she got it home, however, she knew there were problems with it.

"It was very noisy," she said, "I could stand at my front door to the house and actually hear the noise that the fridge was making."

Dupont returned the refrigerator and Sears took it back, but when it came to getting her refund, Dupont she hit a snag.

"They said I had to pay a 15-percent restocking fee," Jan explains. She's right. Her receipt calls it a "Service Charge" for $102. Dupont said that doesn't seem quite fair.

3 On Your Side got involved and noticed Sears does have a 15-percent restocking fee. However, it's for electronics and other items returned without original packaging.

Dupont's refrigerator never came with packaging and she can't understand why she's being hit with a $102 penalty.

"The $100 in restocking fee might not be a lot of money, but it is to me," Dupont. 3 On Your Side asked Sears to look into the matter. They did, and after investigating, Sears wrote me an email saying, "A restocking fee should not have been charged to Ms. DuPont when she returned the refrigerator and we are taking steps to immediately refund that $102.33."

Dupont says that's awesome.

"Thank you, Gary and your crew. You're great, great, great!" Jan says.

Sears apologized to 3 On Your Side for the situation. I appreciate Sears looking into the matter for me.

As you embark on your holiday shopping, be sure to check the return policy applied to each purchase so you know exactly how it works.