I want my Yankee Candle refund — Help!

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Christopher Elliott

Where is this consumer’s Yankee Candle refund? He just wanted to take advantage of the company’s seasonal deals. So what went wrong and why is it costing him over $100?

Question

I ordered candles from Yankee Candle during a recent promotional sale. I used a promotional code, but the company charged me the full price instead.

The company acknowledged the error in subsequent phone conversations and assured me that once my order was shipped they would issue a refund. But to date Yankee Candle has not issued my refund.

Yankee Candle charged $29 each for six large jar candles, but should have charged me $11 each. I’ve been a Yankee Candle customer for many years. This latest purchase was the only time I’ve ever had any kind of issue. Can you help me get a refund from Yankee Candle of the difference ($111 plus $6 in sales tax)? — Ronald Spicer, Jr., Porter, Me.

Answer

Those Yankee Candle promo codes should have worked. And if they didn’t, the company should have promptly refunded the extra money, as promised.

I don’t know about you, but I find discount codes to be maddening. You reach the end of a transaction and see that field for entering a code. Then you spend the next half hour feverishly searching for a code that may or may not give you a small discount or “free” shipping.

And when the code doesn’t work — well that really burns your wick.

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Let’s push “rewind” for a second. You had a code, plugged it in, and it didn’t work. At that point, you really have to think twice before continuing. Remember, companies love to take your money and hate to return it. So the odds of getting Yankee Candle to refund the difference were not good. You pushed the “buy” button anyway and you got lucky. Someone at Yankee Candle promised you a refund.

You kept a comprehensive paper trail of your case, which is great. I can see where they promised you a refund and you waited patiently. At the risk of repeating myself, companies take their sweet time with refunds. You should have had an almost instant credit on your card, but instead, you had to wait several weeks. (I’ve seen much, much longer delays.)

The bottom line: Here is your Yankee Candle refund

You could have appealed this missing promo code problem to someone higher up. But finding a corporate contact wasn’t easy. Yankee Candle is owned by Newell Brands, an Atlanta company that also owns Chesapeake Bay Candle and WoodWick. We list the names, numbers and email addresses of Newell’s executives in our company contacts database.

I wish companies didn’t play price games with their customers. The current system forces you to go on a wild goose chase for a code or to use a plug-in like Honey to get the price you want. Why don’t businesses just offer their best price? I guess it feels good when you get a “deal” but it can also lead to frustration.

I contacted Newell Brands about your Yankee Candle refund. “We stand behind our promises to our consumers and we are very sorry for the delay to process the refund,” a representative said. The company processed a $117 refund, as promised.

 

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Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is the founder of Elliott Advocacy, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that empowers consumers to solve their problems and helps those who can't. He's the author of numerous books on consumer advocacy and writes weekly columns for King Features Syndicate, USA Today, Forbes and the Washington Post. He also publishes Elliott Confidential, a critically acclaimed newsletter about customer service. If you have a consumer problem you can't solve, contact him directly through his advocacy website. You can also follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, or sign up for his daily newsletter. Read more of Christopher's articles here.

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