Archive for June, 2010

This and That: TFSA Returns and more…

June 24, 2010

  1. Are you one of the taxpayers who inadvertently overcontributed to your TFSA. The Canada Revenue Agency explains what steps you should take next.
  2. Want to become a landlord? You might be interested in learning about capitalization rates, return on investments etc.
  3. Thicken My Wallet wrote an useful post on how to minimize the risk of having too many original wills.
  4. Money Smarts Blog rounds up the low cost ways to buy dividend stocks. DRIPs and SPPs are one more low cost way to accumulate dividend payers.
  5. If dividends are your thing, the Think Dividends Blog is an excellent resource to keep up with dividend strategies, dividend hikes and yes dividend cuts too.
  6. Believe it or not, a poster on the Canadian Financial Blog is already (financially) preparing for Christmas.
  7. Michael James rips apart the buy GICs and nothing else advice purveyed by the likes of David Trahair.
  8. Blessed by the Potato has an unconventional take retirement planning and the afterlife.
  9. With Ottawa experiencing an earthquake this week, Canadian Financial Stuff thinks about earthquake insurance.
  10. Larry MacDonald points out that Canadians should keep in mind that the CPP comes with its own set of risks when discussing its expansion.

Just a quick reminder that you can read my posts in your favourite reader or delivered by e-mail. Have a great weekend everyone!

Another Reason to love Costco

June 23, 2010


Costco’s low prices are one reason we are big fans of the warehouse store. Their generous return policy is another reason why Costco is the first stop for our purchases. Over the years Costco has tightened up their return policy somewhat — now, shoppers have just 90 days to return electronics goods such as televisions, computers and digital cameras but their return policy on other merchandise remains very generous.

Last year, I had purchased a pressure washer at Costco and ended up using it around the house less than a dozen times. Over the weekend, I found that the water inlet into the pressure washer was broken. The manufacturer offers a 1-year limited warranty but I did not keep the original receipt or register the product and in any case “limited” likely means a long list of exclusions buried in the fine print.

I thought it is worth a try to put the washer into the original packaging, take it to my local Costco, explain that it is broken and ask if they’ll provide me with a refund. I wasn’t very hopeful considering that (a) I did not have the receipt and (b) it was almost certainly more than a year since I purchased it. To my enormous surprise, Costco took the washer back and provided a full refund even though it turned out that it was purchased 15 months back.

It is a rare business that tries hard to provide customer satisfaction these days. You can find so many instances of businesses trying to hide behind the fine print on Ellen Roseman’s blog. But, generous return policies may not be just altruism on Costco’s part. After all, a satisfied customer is more likely to stay loyal and put in a good word for you. Being nice to customers is just good business.