In the spring of 2020, admist the coronavirus pandemic in the United States, Aldi temporarily amended its return policies. This has led to some confusion online as to what exactly that means.
A lot of the confusion stems from returns versus refunds, made worse by the fact that Aldi is a little confusing in how it uses the words. Our best understanding is that, at the time of this post, Aldi no longer accepts returns on any products, but, as we will see, still offers refunds on many products.
The Pre-Pandemic Policy
Before I explain, let me briefly recap the two major Aldi product policies the store had in place prior to the pandemic. The first was its Twice as Nice Guarantee, formally known as its Double Guarantee. This guarantee applied to non-alcoholic Aldi-brand food products, marked by a Twice as Nice icon on the packaging. (Name brands and alcohol were excluded.) Under this guarantee, if a product was unsatisfactory, Aldi would both refund your price and replace the product.
The second Aldi product policy was its standard return policy. This policy applied to most things other than Aldi-brand foods, including limited-time Aldi Finds. Under this policy, Aldi would allow customers to return an item and receive a refund if the item was defective, preferably with a receipt.
The Pandemic Policy
As of right now, Aldi, like many other stores, no longer accepts returns. That means that you can’t bring a product in and hand it back to a worker. They won’t take it. In addition, Aldi has suspended its Twice as Nice Guarantee.
Instead, Aldi has a “temporary updated return policy” on its website, but here are the two most important parts:
For fresh items, Aldi says: “If any of our fresh produce, meat, seafood or deli items don’t meet our taste and quality guarantee, we will replace the product or refund your money.” In other words, you can still get a replacement product or a refund. You can’t get both like you could under the Twice as Nice Guarantee, though.
For Aldi Finds, Aldi says: “If you experience a quality issue with a non-food ALDI Find, a replacement product or refund will be offered.” Below that, Aldi notes that “a receipt is required to receive a refund in the original form of payment,” and that customers who do not have a receipt “will receive an ALDI Merchandise Credit gift card equal to the current retail price of the returned item.” In short, if an Aldi Find is defective, Aldi will refund your money if you have a receipt, and give you store credit for the current price of the item if you don’t.
What about products that are neither fresh food nor Aldi Finds, like Ranch dressing or canned soup? Aldi’s temporary return policy isn’t quite clear on this point. I reached out to Aldi for clarification, asking specifically what the policy as for non-fresh Aldi products like canned soup. Here is the response I received:
For the safety of our customers and employees, we are temporarily amending our return policy and we will no longer accept returns. We will only accept returns on our fresh produce, meat, seafood, deli, and non-food ALDI Find items that do not meet our taste and quality guarantee. For these items, we will replace the product or refund your money*. We are constantly assessing the changing situation related to COVID-19. We look forward to resuming standard return operations in the future. Should you wish to return an item in the future, please retain the product, packaging, and receipt. For more information, please visit our Temporary Update Return Policy FAQs page by clicking here.
*Please note that a receipt is required to receive a refund in the original form of payment. Customers who do not provide a receipt will receive an ALDI Merchandise Credit gift card equal to the current retail price of the returned item.
As with some other Aldi statements, this one is a little confusing about how it uses the word “return,” apparent in the first and second sentences. More importantly, though, I take the statement to mean that Aldi does not accept returns or offer refunds on non-fresh items like canned goods, salad dressing, toiletries, or other non-fresh or non-Aldi Find items.
As for that product you can’t use anymore but don’t know what to do with? According to Aldi: “If you have already purchased items that you no longer want, please consider donating them to local community organizations or members of your community who are in need.”