I have shopped Aldi in several states but mostly in Asheville, NC for 7 years. Last week I decided to return several non-food items that I haven't used.
These products are not carried on a regular basis. All were of good quality and a good value and in new condition with all packaging. Within the past few months Aldi has become very strict about having a receipt for ALL returns. Knowing this, I had dug up three different receipts for items purchased on three different occasions.
The store manager handled my return. She had a very bad attitude and humiliated me since I hadn't returned the items sooner. I explained I couldn't use them as expected and just wanted a refund. She read me the riot act and laboriously explained Aldi's 90 day return policy.
One item was recently purchased. A second came barely within the 90 days, which she reminded me of, and the third had been purchased 5 months ago. It was a kettlebell set. Since I have had multiple recent joint problems (shoulder, knee, neck and back) I decided I had better not use the kettlebells and have been under treatment of an orthopedic surgeon throughout this time period.
She flatly refused to give me a refund. I asked her if she thought it was worth losing a long-time customer over a lousy $25 (on an item fully resaleable.) She berated me in front of the store within earshot of several other employees and customers, insisting that "in six months you should have been able to decide whether you needed this." I explained my physical limitations were the cause of my not yet having used the kettlebells and also my reason for returning them. She was insistent that the policy is 90 days and stated there is a sign posted in the store detailing their policy (which I still have not seen.) Usually I don't do business with stores with poor return policies or those that have changed their policies to make them less customer friendly. I am a regular shopper at Aldi and all of the employees know me and recognize me.
I would estimate I have spent thousands of dollars in this particular store at Patton Ave in Asheville over the past few years. I asked for her district manager's name and phone number which she readily provided. I called the district manager, left a message and have never gotten any call back whatsoever for approximately a week. I will try to reach him again.
I would also like to express to him my dissatisfaction in being rudely treated whenever I return something to Aldi. They make it very inconvenient to return anything. My first experience with their apparently new receipt insistence policy was when I returned a leaking gallon of milk a few months ago and was very loudly and rudely asked "Do you have a receipt?" by an employee who has seen me in there dozens of times, even having checked my out on numerous occasion. I am anal about keeping my purchase receipts and was able to provide one on that occasion and others.
My 82 year-old step-father had a very similar experience when trying to return a heating pad a few months ago, when he had no receipt. This was a $5 item. He was refused a refund even though the item hadn't even been opened. I understand their insistent policy but I think it should be spelled out on the signs at the entrances of all Aldi stores, probably near the sign where shopping carts are dispensed.
This way customers and prospective customers can be fully informed in advance of their purchases, not later when they come to return something they are dissatisfied with for a refund. Aldi does offer a very good value for shoppers and is a Billion dollar company based in Germany. Its founder's family wealth rivals the Walton's of Walmart. I think this company could make an occasional exception to their strict returns policy on a per-case-basis.
It is merely a matter of good business judgement. This manager did a poor job and left me a very dissatisfied customer. Of course, I will give the district manager a chance to hear me out and make this right. As of now I have no idea if I will ever hear from him.
Meanwhile, I will think twice about stopping at Aldi or shopping there for anything that may possibly need to be returned. That is NOT good customer service and should be rectified.
Monetary Loss: $25.