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AAFES explains return policy

Posted 9/2/2009   Updated 9/3/2009 Email story   Print story


by Capt. Stacy Dunn
AAFES MCSS Air Force Clothing Program

9/2/2009 - DALLAS, Texas -- As the Department of Defense's oldest and largest exchange service, the Army Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) is constantly looking for the most effective way to communicate information pertaining to its mission, policies, structure and so forth to those it accurately refers to as "the best customers in the world."

Perhaps the most misunderstood but vitally important aspect of AAFES operations involves Military Clothing Sales (MCSS) and what appears sometimes to be a confusing return policy. This is a frequent topic and occasional source of frustration for authorized AAFES shoppers and bloggers.

"Much of the confusion experienced by our customers stems from a lack of understanding that the issued uniform items don't actually belong to AAFES, but rather are considered "inventory with agent" and belong to the Services and are provided to us by Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, (DSCP)" said Jason Moore, MCSS Division Merchandise Manager.

The AAFES/MCSS return policy is consistent with the AAFES published return policy:

Customers normally have the opportunity to use an item purchased at the exchange for a reasonable period of time in order to determine if it's satisfactory or not. The breakdown is as follows:
· 90 days: Items in new condition may be exchanged or returned within 90 days except for the following:
· 30 days only: Jewelry & Watches, Camcorders, Televisions, Digital Cameras, Furniture, Mattresses, Major Appliances and Gas Powered Equipment
· 15 days only: Computers & unopened software/peripherals, CD's, DVDs and video games
· Non-Refundable: Gift Cards, pre-paid music and wireless & phone cards.

If a customer requests a refund with a sales receipt, a cash refund will be made. If a customer requests a refund without a sales receipt, a merchandise card equal to the amount of the merchandise is offered. Once the customer has owned the merchandise longer than the period of time specified and experiences a problem, the manufacturer's warranty provides customer protection. In those cases as well, the manufacturer requires a sales receipt for proof of purchase and warranty start date.

The issued DSCP merchandise is a little different and DSCP doesn't have a published return policy. Nevertheless, AAFES makes every effort to accommodate the customer. Section 13-10 of the Exchange Operating Procedures 40-4, addresses the Air Force and Army stance on Issue Item returns:

13-10. Refunds and Adjustments.
a. Cash refunds for DSCP-procured clothing may be made in full for returns of new merchandise.
b. Merchandise returned in a new, salable condition will be returned to stock for subsequent sale.
c. As prescribed in paragraph 13-7, merchandise returned in a less-than-new but salable condition may be accepted. Cash refunds will not be made for used clothing.
d. Customer returns of defective mer¬chandise will be accepted according to existing retail policy for similar merchandise; that is, "Satisfaction Guaranteed." If the defect can be corrected by alteration or repair, the clothing will be altered or repaired and returned to the customer.

Basically if the item is new and not discontinued, there should be no trouble returning it to any AAFES MCSS location. Used items will be looked at on a case-by-case basis by store management.

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