Consumer Report: Naughty and Nice company policies

With the holidays just around the corner, Consumer Reports has released its sixth annual Naughty and Nice list of consumer-friendly and not-so-friendly practices and policies at various companies.

Who’s on the Naughty list? Costco is, for selling Tiffany engagement rings that weren’t made by Tiffany. Costco argued that the word “Tiffany” has become a generic description for a type of ring setting. A federal judge disagreed. Costco is appealing.

Tsk, tsk––Tom’s of Maine made the Naughty list after being accused of using chemicals in its quote-unquote natural products. Tom’s didn’t admit wrongdoing, but it did agree to create a $4.5 million fund to settle claims that it misrepresented ingredients.

UPS is on the Naughty list, along with FedEx, for continuing to charge extra fees they call “fuel surcharges” despite this fall’s relatively low fuel prices.

The Nice list includes Jet Blue for offering free broadband in the sky, meaning travelers can be online without paying extra. And Southwest Airlines makes the Nice list for providing the most frequent-flyer award program trips of any big airline.

Kudos, too, to Dish Network, on the Nice list for developing a tracking system for its technicians so that customers know exactly when the technician will show up. And Target gets a round of applause for its liberal price-match policy and generous return and shipping policies. That means life can be joyous even after the holidays are over.

Another on Consumer Reports’ Nice list — Doc Martens. Their boots have a lifetime guarantee for a line of products they call “For Life.” As long as you live, the company promises to make free repairs, including the eyelets, the lining, and even the sole.

Complete Ratings and recommendations on all kinds of products, including appliances, cars & trucks, and electronic gear, are available on Consumer Reports’ website. Subscribe to ConsumerReports.org.

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