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Radio Shack's Absurd Refund Policy

Posted Tue March 25, 2008 12:00 pm, by Paige S. written to Radio Shack

Write a Letter to this Company

Radio Shack/Greene Street/Fort Worth, Texas -

I made a purchase of $162. and paid with a check. When I returned to the store a day later and expressed my dissatisfaction with the product and how it would not suit my needs, I was told I could get a gift card for a purchase at another Radio Shack store; otherwise, it would be 14 days before I would receive a check from Corporate, as the amount of my purchase was "more" than they could refund me in cash.

They didn't have in stock the items I wanted and I found it absurd the corporate office would benefit from the "float" of my check for 2 weeks before I would receive a refund in the mail. I let the sales associate know I would no longer purchase ANYTHING from Radio Shack due to their absurd policy of not refunding a customer the amount of their purchase 24 hours later; and not due to any fault of the customer but due to the store not having the adequate stock on hand.

With the financial difficulties Radio Shack is experiencing in the media and with their current stock price, I would think they would extend customer satisfaction.

Refund the amount of the check I wrote without waiting 14 days for Radio Shack to earn interest on my payment for an item I chose which I learned I did not want, could not use, and for which they could not offer an alternative.


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by Dorene B. Posted Tue March 5, 2013 @ 1:47 PM

we placed a order and was to get a rebate. Our order was over $300
dollors so re bate was to be $60 dollors. made several phone calls no
results, tried to get rebate fom no luck. what kind of bussiness are
you running?? our order #8694307198 Person that order Dorene Byrd
636-541-2457 WHERE IS OUR REBATE.

by mel47 Posted Thu September 13, 2012 @ 9:08 PM

I'm sorry you went through that. I can see not giving cash back on a
larger amount for a week or so, but it shouldnt take 10-14 days; thats
ridiculous. I get hastled for much smaller amounts- for example
yesterday I was as the Dollar General,wrote a check for some food
items and a pair of black pants (they dont have a dressing room to try
on clothes); came back the next day to get my money back because the
pants didnt fit right. They refused me a refund of 12.86 cents of all
things! I had to call corporate who called the district manager who
called the store and told them to refund me with cash. All the Dollar
General wanted to do was give me a gift card. They need to be less
narrow minded. All they have to do is check to make sure the customer
has no prior bad checks written with the company; not to give them
their money back is like saying a check is not legal tender and its
also a HUGE INSULT to the consumer-- treating them like theives.


PS by mel47 Thu September 13, 2012 @ 9:15 PM
by m d. Posted Tue February 7, 2012 @ 5:08 PM

Whats sad is that you are so busy being upset and offended, youre not
looking out how a check works and common sense:
for them to refund your money a day later sets them up to take the hit
if your check doesnt clear, that includes if it was cancelled.
If you are disatisfied with checks and their slowing of ease, and
transaction delays- consider another form of payment.
But to cover themselves, and you, they have that policy in place, like
any other store in America.
I would totally understand. And be blogging online, how you have
alledgedly been wronged because you werent aware of this before


by pbillin Posted Wed December 28, 2011 @ 1:27 PM

Here is the guide to the return policy:

by DebG14 Posted Thu December 8, 2011 @ 9:09 AM

Radio shack would not even give me a store credit last year for a gift
I received for. My birthday . I attempted to return it after their
time return policy of 45 days by 3 days. It was still in the original
packaging, I never opened it, and had the original receipt - it was
not a discontinued item either, they still had them on the shelf. I
asked to speak to the.manager and he was not there so I came back on a
day he was there - he was in the back and "was busy" - I said I would
wait - they made me wait 20 minutes. When the manager came out he was
rude and would not refund or give me a store credit. I will never
ever step in another radio shack store - I am shocked they are still
in business - and I would guess that anyone supporting their return
policy works for radio shack!

by KelliMck Posted Sun November 29, 2009 @ 11:53 PM

I once worked for Radio Shack and I completely agree with their return
policy, in fact they have a very great return policy.
No store would return you cash for a check of that amount. Not even
the great and mighty Walmart.
Radio Shack is actually uses the same data-base as Walmart (as well as
many other stores) for people who write bad checks and therefore have
the same check return policy.
I'm sure if you owned your own business you would want the same
protection and return policy as Radio Shack.
You can't beat Radio Shacks customer service and knowledge of their
products, either. Try finding their expertise and knowledge at Best
Buy...you can't.
Another perk about Radio Shacks return policy is that they let you
return open and used electronics even though it costs THEM money and
they don't charge a restocking fee as many other businesses do.
Radio Shack is a great company to buy from and to work for. I'm sorry
you had such a bad experience as you did not get what you wanted with
the product and getting your money returned as swiftly as you would
have liked, but at least you could returned your opened product for a
FULL refund...even if it took 2 weeks.


by ELIZABETH S. Posted Wed May 27, 2009 @ 2:36 PM

I have to side with RS also. There isn't a store anywhere that would
refund a return purchased by check the very next day! I can't believe
that you are upset by this policy really. There isn't anyway the
store could have cleared this check the very next day! If you're
going to continue writing checks you may want to check out the
policies of the merchant prior to doing so, as I know no other store
with any different policy.

by redlander Posted Fri April 18, 2008 @ 11:10 AM

I side with Radio Shack here. Their policy is fasr from absurd. And,
YES, it is a 'float'. That check is only a note authorizing payment
by the account holder, which the banking institution will honor if
there are funds available and they believe the account holder executed
the note. A check is by no means Legal Tender.

With the advent of electronic clearing, refunds do not take so long to
receive anymore. Irrespective, the recommendation to use the ATM card,
noted above, is a good one; it will reduce such stress situtations for

Further, if an item is not in a Radio Shack store, in most cases, they
can order it for the cutomer and send it to the customer's home with
no extra fees or order it and pick it up at the store with no freight

I play the markets and see no evidence of Radio Shack having financial
problems. Their current CEO is a blood sucker, who makes money at the
the expense of the emlpoyees. This it true of the two previous
regimes that followed Len.

I have divested myself of their stocks (RSH, I am speculating with
MPZ), but, since I am a Ham radio oprator, I do business there. Radio
Shack is not know for junque, and therefore is not an cheap place to

by d0rkiishchris Posted Wed April 2, 2008 @ 1:13 PM

Stop paying with a check, its 2008. I suppose you're the type that
gets snooty when asked for a drivers license as well. It was a day
later, you're check had not cleared. If the store gave you cash for a
check that isn't even known to be good, they would be screwed. You'd
then have their money for a piece of worthless paper. When I take a
check in, your drivers license number goes on it. Its also not worth
a penny to me until it clears into the bank. So you're not getting
anything back for it. I don't have checks to issue here at the store,
so you will get one back via corporate. Its the only reasonable way
to refund by check. They're not a bank. Yeah it takes a while, but
you're the one paying by a means of transfer that can take 3 or 4

I hope you see my point because checks are the most annoying thing in
the retail world. People with checks hold up lines and are pretty
much never ready with them. For gods sake you could have the name of
the place pre-filled out. And then you act as if you gave the teller
real money! Just get a Visa Debit card, thanks.


by PeteSzerszen Posted Wed April 2, 2008 @ 4:40 AM

Normally I can sympathize with the OP; I really can.

However, in this case, the store acted appropriately. This has been
Radio Shack's policy for at least 15 years as I can recall purchasing
a speaker there in the early-90s and having to wait for the corporate

Indeed, the store has no way of knowing if the check is valid. By the
way, the federal act is called "Check 21", not "Century 21". I am a
business banker and while many companies and banks are electronically
processing checks now, there is still a surprising number of merchants
and banks who do not, yet.

I CANNOT understand why anybody still writes checks this day and age.
Debit Cards have been commonplace since the mid-90s. The only purpose
I keep checks is to pay bills through the mail, but even now with
online billpay services, I haven't written a check in over a year.

I hate standing in line behind people at the market who take their
sweet old time writing the check, while I am holding ice cream that is
melting. With a debit card, you can complete your entire transaction
in the same amount of time it takes just to write a check. I do not
understand why there are people with a checking account who do NOT
have a debit card. Most banks offer one for free with the account and
there are usually not any charges or fees associated with the
purchase, plus you can use it as a "credit" card online, where the
amount is withdrawn from your checking account automatically. It's the
21st century!

If you used a debit card, you would have your refund almost
immediately since it is a guaranteed form of payment.

I would take this as a lesson to embrace the technology of today.


by LurkerNoMore Posted Wed April 2, 2008 @ 12:01 AM

I thought checks were now all electronically processed and were
immediately funded from people's accounts. Or is this just in certain
parts of the country? I know it is in my area. It's called Century 21
(not the real estate company). I thought stores don't even take the
actual check from you anymore because they have all the info in the
cash register/computer. Anyone else know anything about this? I swear
I'm not crazy! :-)


Unless they process the check and hand it back to you, by Buzz Tue April 29, 2008 @ 8:35 AM
by Buzz Posted Mon March 31, 2008 @ 7:27 PM

I normally side with the consumer and hate the "playground bullies" so
please don't misunderstand my reply.If you wrote the check the day
before it hasn't had time to clear and while I'm sure you wouldn't
write a bad check RS doesn't know that so their overall policy is to
hold for 2 weeks as do most to insure it clears.If they give you a
refund and your check is no good they are out double as you have a
bounced check and $165 of their money and they don't know if you'll
pick up the bad check or not.I would wait the 2 weeks for the check to
clear and then return the item.Perhaps in the future use a debit card
as I do.


by bababondoman Posted Mon March 31, 2008 @ 6:34 PM

You are 100% right to expect an immediate refund. You sound like you
kept your cool a LOT more than I would have. Floating your money? You
betcha! How else are they supposed to augment their meager profit
margin? Meager? NO WAY. They charge approximately $3.50 to $4.95 for a
2016 type coin cell. That is WAY high! I purchased TWENTY FIVE of the
same battery DELIVERED to me from Hong Kong for $8.15. They tested

by love h. Posted Fri March 28, 2008 @ 9:17 PM


by love h. Posted Fri March 28, 2008 @ 9:15 PM



by Paige S. Posted Wed March 26, 2008 @ 10:28 PM

I did return the items I could not use and did not want, otherwise, I
would not have been given the option of a gift card.
With gas at $3.15+ a gallon, and Radio Shack stores in my location
few and far betweeen, I opted not to drive far away, and to purchase
at Best Buy. There I found plenty of the items I was seeking at Radio
Shack (at the same price btw), made my purchase (on a credit card this
time), brought them home, and they worked as expected and serve my
intent and purpose of the purchase.
My complaint was, and is, I still have to wait 2 weeks for a refund
of my original purchase price, while Radio Shack has their original
merchandise, undamaged and packaged back up in original containers 24
hours after purchase.
If I were attempting fraud, would I have returned the product? For
an even exchange?


Interest for 14 days on $162 = $0.12 @ 2% by Knuckles Wed March 26, 2008 @ 11:05 PM

Who said anything about interest? by Keith C. Thu March 27, 2008 @ 3:07 PM

The OP referenced RS's earning interest on her money by RedheadwGlasses Thu March 27, 2008 @ 5:16 PM

Thanks. I searched for that, but somehow missed it. by Keith C. Thu March 27, 2008 @ 8:04 PM

Gas at $3.15 by Gino Thu March 27, 2008 @ 1:28 AM

Gat at $3.15 is a bargain by Getting there Thu March 27, 2008 @ 9:33 AM

Once again.. by Harleycat Thu March 27, 2008 @ 9:17 AM

"But they have their merchandise back, undamaged. . ." by MA Cunningham Thu March 27, 2008 @ 2:23 PM

Paige, I don't thin you were pulling a scam... by All About the Branding Thu March 27, 2008 @ 2:39 PM

You may no be pulling a scam but by T. C. Thu March 27, 2008 @ 8:13 PM

Get a debit card by ♥Venice♥ Fri March 28, 2008 @ 2:00 AM

by All About the Branding Posted Wed March 26, 2008 @ 10:29 AM

Enough have been said about the check policy, but there is something
else in this letter. Namely a complaint that the store didn't have
"adequate stock on hand." Paige is stating that THIS is the reason
why she thinks the policy is so bad.

This is NOT a case of someone wanting to make an even exchange to
replace a broken item. This is a case of someone buying something,
deciding that they couldn't use it (which is fair, IMHO), and then
wanting to buy something else. Immediately. I can only assume she
wanted a similar item.

They had none of the items she wanted, at that particular store.

She has a valid complaint, in that the store appears to be
understocked. Without knowing the details, it's hard to really know
what happened here.

The link to being able to get cash back for a check payment is a leap,


If that were by MA Cunningham Wed March 26, 2008 @ 10:47 AM

Yes and no by ~Fiナ-la-ネea~ Wed March 26, 2008 @ 11:03 AM

At my chain... by SumnerMan Wed March 26, 2008 @ 11:28 AM

I think I remember by ~Fiナ-la-ネea~ Wed March 26, 2008 @ 12:02 PM

I loved doing that n/t by Sunflower Sarah Wed March 26, 2008 @ 1:38 PM

That's great. I bet that was rewarding. by Knuckles Wed March 26, 2008 @ 5:54 PM

by MA Cunningham Posted Wed March 26, 2008 @ 10:12 AM

from your float? That's rich! You spent well over $100, wrote a
check, and tried to return the merchandise for cash the next day.

And you see nothing fishy about that???

This is not an absurd policy, this is a practical policy. Too many
slimebags have written bad checks and then returned their merchandise
for cash, leaving the merchant in the lurch. If it were your
business, you'd surely understand.

And I'm getting REALLY sick and tired of OP's who think they're being
witty to throw in barbs about a company's (allegedly) poor financial

NEWS FUH-LASH! It's a recession! Everyone is doing poorly and you
throwing it in their face in the context of a whiney complaint is just
petty! (& just FYI, if they were to give in to your demands, they'd be
in WORSE financial shape than they supposedly are now!)

Your change of heart is not cause for them to break their policy.
Wait the 14 days and next time, use cash if you can't decide.


by Sunflower Sarah Posted Wed March 26, 2008 @ 9:37 AM

Every retailer(except for the select few who put checks through
automatically) has AT LEAST a 7 business day hold for checks, if not
more. At my store we weren't even allowed to do a simple size exchange
until that time was up. The register wouldn't allow it.
Debit cards are very helpful, and I think more places should start the
machines that automatically put checks through as a debit.


by ~Fiナ-la-ネea~ Posted Wed March 26, 2008 @ 9:19 AM

They aren't benefitting from the float on your check while you still
have their merchandise in your hands if that check does happen to


by Harleycat Posted Wed March 26, 2008 @ 8:48 AM

This is not an absurd policy. They need to make sure your check has
cleared and then process the paperwork to issue you another check. If
they gave you cash back and your check didn't clear, they are out


And... by SumnerMan Wed March 26, 2008 @ 11:18 AM

hehe by ams1001 Wed March 26, 2008 @ 9:45 PM

by RedheadwGlasses Posted Wed March 26, 2008 @ 8:42 AM

Doesn't anybody ask about return policies before making their purchase
anymore? Before I spent $50 on a top from Banana Republic, I asked
what the return policy was, as I wasn't sure about the purchase (it
was for a special date and I hadn't yet bought pants for it). I was
told "90 days, no questions asked." Good enough for me.

When you make a purchase at a store, you're agreeing to their return
policy. I've seen many businesses with posted policies regarding
returns paid with cash or check. If you want your money back
immediately (well, or faster than two weeks), you could have paid with
a check card -- then you're still not charging your purchase, but
you'd get your money credited back to you.


by inanna68 Posted Wed March 26, 2008 @ 8:30 AM

Everyone else has made very good points but one thing not mentioned is
that most stores stock each register with around 200 dollars in cash.
Had they give you cash back they would have basically cleaned out a
register and made it unusable for the day.

by lissie Posted Wed March 26, 2008 @ 7:27 AM

Every retailer has that policy in place. Had u went back the same day
they would have just given u your check back.


by SumnerMan Posted Wed March 26, 2008 @ 4:26 AM

Trust me. In the retail world, if a person buys a high priced item(s)
with a check and then a day later wants a refund instead of an
exchange or a gift card, it sends up "red flags" like crazy. No
retailer in their right mind will give you a refund until a certain
number of days have passed.


Red flags... by ams1001 Wed March 26, 2008 @ 9:40 PM
by Keith C. Posted Wed March 26, 2008 @ 2:34 AM

As others pointed out, this is common practice among most retailers
when dealing with checks, to avoid fraud.

I know it's not a help in this case, but why not get a debit card?
It's faster and easier to use than checks, and most retailers will
refund cash from a debit card purchase.


by ♥Venice♥ Posted Wed March 26, 2008 @ 1:34 AM

When you pay with a check, no retailer is going to give you cash back
before the check clears. I'm surprised they offered you a gift card.
Why didn't you take it and look for what you wanted at another store?
Or, as Olie suggested, you could have asked if the check was still
there, and perhaps they would have just returned it to you. Honestly,
it looks suspicious that the only thing you were willing to accept was
a cash refund without them knowing if your check cleared.


by olie Posted Wed March 26, 2008 @ 1:10 AM

Some people pay with check that may be rubber, stolen, or forged.
They try to return an item to get cash back before the store can make
sure the check is good. Then the store is out the cash. The store
would still be ripped off if someone accepted a gift card in return--I
can get to a different Radio Shack(for example) way before Radio Shack
can make sure the check is good.

I'm not saying you did this. I am pointing out WHY many retailers
have such a policy in place. It's not so much that they're
benefitting from your float; it's that they're protecting their
business by making sure a check is backed by some actual money.

An idea: Did you ask them to just hand your check back to you while
you handed over the merchandise? There may be a way for them to do
the return that way.


by Knuckles Posted Tue March 25, 2008 @ 11:52 PM

"You can expect a refund in the same form of payment originally used
for purchase within 10-15 days of our receiving your returned

If you gave them cash, you could get your cash back probably without
delay. But you gave them a check. The store can't very well write
you a check, so it takes that long for corporate to write and send you
a check. Makes sense to me.


Corporate policy from radio shack by gabelle Mon December 14, 2009 @ 1:19 PM

cash denied by judys Mon December 26, 2011 @ 9:41 PM

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