Companies' holiday gift return services ranked

Amazon, Best Buy, L.L.Bean and Apple were among the speediest and most accommodating companies when it came to holiday gift returns, according to a recent study from mystery shopping network STELLAService.

Amazon, Best Buy, L.L.Bean and Apple were among the speediest and most accommodating companies when it came to holiday gift returns, according to a recent study from mystery shopping network STELLAService.

The firm ranked the same top 25 retailers used in its 2011 Cyber Monday Customer Service Study to determine which would cause the least amount of headaches during the inevitable holiday gift return process.

STELLAService found that previous customer service leader Zappos fell to the bottom of the top 25 for return services, averaging 13.3 days to refund an item. Dell and QVC were similarly unimpressive, clocking in at 14.3 days and 13 days, respectively.

Conversely, Amazon handled returns the best, averaging a turnaround time of 4.3 days and extending its return window to January 31. Best Buy, L.L.Bean, Apple and Williams Sonoma all followed with averages of 4.7 days, while Best Buy extended its return policy to January 24 and Apple until January 9.

"When you're looking at the return side, these guys are making it especially easy (for consumers)," said STELLAService CEO Jordy Leiser as quoted by Business Insider, adding that having a more flexible return policy is a cheap and effective marketing tool that not many companies deploy.