The Down Side of Holiday Shopping

November 24, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
The official start of the holiday shopping season is this Friday. And while this is supposed to be a time of cheer, the shopping experience can be anything but upbeat.The crunch of holiday shopping has some people wishing they could drop a lump of coal in someone's stocking. That's what consumer reports found in its new holiday gripes poll.

"Most Americans are really ticked off that stores drag out the holiday decorations so soon," said Mandy Walker with Consumer Reports, "54 percent of the more than 1,200 people we polled say stores should wait until Black Friday to get decked out."

And six in ten people found one of the top shopping annoyances is being endlessly hounded with an extended warranty sales pitch for things like electronics.

Walker said, "Resisting those sales pitches is the way to go. Consumer Reports' research shows that for most products, extended warranties are a waste of money."

More top holiday shopping complaints - sales that aren't really sales and coupons that exclude almost everything in the store.

It turns out more than half of Americans are put off by employees trying to sell you stuff at the register, cashiers that ask for your phone number or other personal information, and mail-in rebates.

"Interestingly, we found that men were more annoyed by mail-in rebates than women."

But what's the biggest holiday gripe?

"Stores that NEVER open all of the checkout lanes," said Walker

And perhaps surprisingly, almost no one in Consumer Reports' poll was annoyed by holiday music or store greeters!

Beyond store practices, nearly a third of Americans polled are bugged by crowds and difficulty parking. No surprise there.


Load Comments