Aldi's 'Twice As Nice' Return Policy Is A Nightmare For Employees

Aldi, on the surface, seems like your average grocery store. Sure, it may have a lot of fan-favorite products for a low price, but at the end of the day, you're still buying your cereals, produce, and other home goods the same way you'd buy them from Walmart, right? If you were to take a closer look, however, you'd notice that Aldi's business model has some interesting quirks that set it apart from the other grocery stores, especially in the most unexpected places.

One of these quirks, for example, is that you actually require a small fee to even be able to shop there in the first place — in the form of a quarter to unlock your shopping cart from the rack. The Aisle of Shame explains that this feature not only makes you remember to return your cart so you can get your quarter back, but it also helps employees by eliminating the need for them to scour the parking lot for lost shopping carts, thus saving the company money. As Aldi's has gone on record to state: "Simplicity matters, we sell the best food at low prices, and everything we do is purposefully designed to save people money." 

On the topic of customer-store relations, there's one particular policy that Aldi has regarding its return policy. It would seem that, while it's "twice as nice" to customers, it's not exactly what some employees think of as "nice," but an invitation for scammers.

What is the Twice as Nice Guarantee?

Much like any business, Aldi deals in returns. While at most stores, you simply get a new product to replace the one that is broken or expired, or just a cash refund, Aldi bills its return policy as being "twice as nice" for customers.

According to Aldi, the "Twice as Nice Guarantee'" follows this very simple premise: "If for any reason you are not 100% satisfied with the quality of any product, we will gladly replace the product AND refund your money." In short, Aldi will not only give you your money back, but it will also gift you a new product for free. This, as Aldi explains, is to both assure the customer of Aldi's trustworthiness in its brands and to demonstrate the company's seriousness toward ensuring only the highest standards for customers.

While this sounds like an incredibly generous deal (and it is), Mission Statement does tell us that not all Aldi products can be taken in for a refund. These include certain types of alcohol. name-brand products, and select non-food items. In order to even get your item and your refund, you need the item you're returning alongside the receipt.

But, getting a full refund and a replacement product aside, doesn't this sound like any ordinary return policy? No matter where you go, you'll need the receipt and the item in question to get your money back. If that's the case, what could be the problem some Aldi employees have with it?

Some workers think people are abusing the policy

If you went into Aldi to return a product, perhaps a birthday cake that wasn't the right flavor or some bread that seemed a bit too stale, and got not only a new product and a full cash refund, you'd have to admit that is pretty generous. Some employees seem to find it generous too — maybe much too generous, considering some customers try to cheat the system.

As an employee of Aldi explains to Mental Floss, while the return policy is one of "the best in grocery," there are people who take unfair advantage of a policy meant to ensure total customer satisfaction. Although the employee didn't go into too much detail on what this meant, it's easy to see how some individuals could abuse it, such as trying to return a product for the smallest reasons in order to get a refund. Some employees on Reddit have also noticed "serial returners" in their stores.

One user details a bizarre encounter in which a woman tried to return a jar of cherries she had mistakenly purchased. Although the user gave her the money, they didn't give her the product she wanted for free, causing the woman to "pitch a fit." Another user claimed that one woman ate almost an entire bag of cheese puffs, only to return the half-eaten bag after saying it was "too salty" for her. Surprisingly, she too was gifted a refund and a replacement.