Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Chains >
Dec 31, 2006 04:39 PM

Whole Foods Return Policies

I would like to hear about people's experiences returning items to Whole Foods. At Trader Joes they are more than willing to take anything and everything back with or without the packaging and receipts regardless of your explanation. Have you found this to be a somewhat similar experience with Whole Foods? Often there are items I would like to try either fresh food or packaged (and not ask for a "taste" in the store), but I'm reluctant to buy them because I don't want it to go to waste if I don't like it or if it expires early. Recently I bought food from the prepared section, put it in the fridge, and served it a day or two later to guests. When we dug in it tasted off. I would have liked to return it because it cost me a pretty penny, but it would have looked weird to repackage it in front of guests and then return it the next time I was by Whole Foods. Thus, I would like to hear your return experiences/views/knowledge on Whole Foods' policies. Thanks

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. The WF I shop at takes stuff back no questions asked. At least, they did the last time I tried. I haven't needed to for a while. In general they have almost an extreme "customer is always right" attitude.

    1 Reply
    1. re: bibi rose

      Yup. They never even ask why you're returning something, they just take it back. They do ask if you've opened it, I assume so they can know whether to put it back on the shelves or dispose of it otherwise.

      The wine guy even told me you can take wine back if you don't like it. He said even if you've drunk it down to the dregs you could do it, though that would be pretty poor form. I think he was just trying to let me know I should feel free to take some risks with their selection and not feel like he was talking me into spending more for no good reason.

    2. I must be the only one who's had problems returning produce to TJ's. I was told I had to bring the original produce (as if I want to keep moldy grapes in my refrigerator until I could get back to the store). When I had problems at Whole Foods, I called, they told me to save the receipt and they'd credit me the next time I went back. After the experience at TJ's, I asked if I should save the produce and the person almost laughed but said, "No, that's okay, just the receipt."

      1 Reply
      1. re: chowser

        I had a problem with maggoty produce at TJ's once -- and, to their credit, they did behave nicely -- but they required the fruit to come back, and I said, "It's crawling with bugs, do you really want that in your store?"

        They did... they gave me back the money (in kesh, even) but they wanted the produce back.

        WF, on the other hand, is like Costco -- they'll take ANYTHING back.

      2. Agreed. I bought a prepared item in WF, heated in the store micro and when I was not happy with the taste they gave me my money back and took back to prepared foods and let me try things until I found a replacement item I was happy with. Great people. This was at the Jenkintown store in PA.