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Consumer Reports: Testers rank companies as ‘Naughty or Nice’

As holiday shopping and travel season moves into full swing, Consumer Reports has come out with its fourth annual ‘Naughty and Nice’ list.

Santa isn’t the only one checking who is naughty and nice.

Tod Marks, with Consumer Reports, has been busy compiling this year’s ‘Naughty and Nice’ list.

Lord and Taylor made it on the naughty list.

While a 25 percent off “ultimate sale” sounded great, it came with a lot of exceptions.

Best Buy is also naughty after it tightened its in-store return policy.

Even if you have a receipt, a “valid photo ID is also required.”

Marks said, “Best Buy retains the right to take information from your ID and store it in their database to track future return patterns. They also retain the right to freeze you out from making returns for up to 90 days.”

On the other hand, Land’s End made it on the nice list.

He said, “It has an unconditional guarantee. You can return any item, at any time, for any reason and that extends to even monogrammed items.”

For travelers, Hampton Inn and Suites makes the nice list.

Right at the front desk, it promises, “If you’re not satisfied, we don’t expect you to pay.”

Southwest Airlines is also nice for not charging a fee to switch your reservation.

He said, “You just have to pay the difference in cost between fares. Now, many other airlines charge a penalty for that and the penalty can be several hundred dollars.”

What about the ever-popular Amazon?

Marks said, “Amazon’s on our naughty list this year. To get free shipping, you have to spend $35. It used to be $25.”

You will get free shipping with no minimum if you sign up for Amazon Prime but it costs $79-a-year.

Also on the naughty list is shopping channel QVC.

Consumer Reports says it doesn’t like their 20 different price categories, such as the “QVC Price,” “Today’s Special Value” or “Last Clicks.”

Consumer Reports says it is too confusing and you don’t know if you’ve snagged the lowest price.