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Sep 7, 2011 05:56 AM

Are we 'entitled' to return foods we didn't like to the store?

There's a thread running in Chains at the moment about disappointing Costco purchases and there are quite a few discussions suggesting that if you don't like something you should take it back for a refund.

Not when something is obviously broken, bad, infested, already open or moldy that sort of thing but if you purely did not like the food product and have opened it and tasted it is it realistic for the store to accept an item back and give you a refund? Once at Publix I saw a shopper return a half eaten packet of cookies 'because we didn't like them'. Are we not responsible for making choices in a supermarket that our family or ourselves may not like when we get it home? That hummus was too garlicky, sauce too sweet, curry too spicey, pie too gloopy.

Should the onus be on we the shopper to take risks or on the market to give us our money back because we bought something on a whim that is not to our taste?

My personal opinion is that if you buy something you have not tried before and nobody likes it it's not the store's fault. That product cannot be resold so it's not like bringing back a bookshelf or chair that doesn't suit your house.

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  1. No.

    Hard to believe it's really worth the time and effort to get those few bucks back. I would have to be awfully broke and desperate and the product would have to be awfully bad before I'd even consider it.

    1. I agree, if I don't personally care for it I will try to find someone who can (thank you break room at work) and make a mental note to not buy it again.

      If there is something wrong with the product I will try to return it if it is more than just a couple bucks. Otherwise I don't bother.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Lixer

        Yeah, this isn't even a close call. Stale? Moldy? "Woofy"(Our household term for "off" meat.)? You can return it. If you just don't like it, you're stuck.

        And I had to laugh at your thanks to the work break room. We have a few pretty big eaters where I work. They'll hit anything like a blight.

      2. I agree. In a restaurant, part of what you're paying for is the right to be impressed, or at least satisfied, with the food you choose, mainly because it's cooked specifically for you. Grocery stores, however, are not designed to cater to the individual - they're just a warehouse. Therefore, it's not the grocery store's responsibility to satisfy your individual tastes.

        1. If a store allows me to return what I don't like I do it. They chose the policy and I don't mind following it. And because of it I'm more willing to experiment. But I'm not going to avoid shopping at a store that doesn't allow it. I'll just avoid buying unfamiliar expensive items.

          But I do wish that the store would inquire upon why an item is being returned and keep note of the complaints. I've returned 3 items to Trader Joes. The first because of mold (nozzle of whipped cream), didn't like the product (black bean dip too vinegary), and bad ground beef. They never asked why I returned them, and didn't seem to care when I told them.

          1. No. I wouldn't, anyway. Bad/spoiled/damaged food, sure, no brainer. I tried it and didn't care for it, too bad, lesson learned. Plus, I have better things to do than drive around, waiting in line to return stuff. I don't spend big bucks on new items unless I'm sure it will be good so the hassle for a couple of bucks isn't worth it to me.