The Consumer Reports' Naughty and Nice Holiday List is based on input from Consumer Reports reporters and editors, Facebook fans and its sister site, the Consumerist, according to Consumer Reports' Tod Marks.
"It's looking at company policies and in some cases practices to see if we like them or not, based on how consumer-friendly they are," said Marks.
Nordstrom lands on this year's "nice" list, with the site offering free shipping and free returns "on orders of every size."
How about those presents you really don't like? Kohl's "no questions asked-hassle free" returns policy, online and in stores, is something many of its competitors don't offer. It applies to all purchases and offers no time restrictions.
But other companies' return policies could leave you with a big lump of coal. For instance, Tiger Direct has a laundry list of conditions you have to meet.
According to Marks, if you don't, retailers may charge you an absurd restocking fee.
"They can hit you with a restocking fee of up to 25 percent. That's more than most other companies charge," Marks said.
For travelers, two airlines landed on the "naughty" list: Delta and Spirit.
"When I bought a round-trip $248 non-refundable fare, Delta offered me the chance for 'peace of mind' to upgrade to a refundable fare for $737, nearly triple that of my original fare," Marks said.
And while Spirit Airlines offers low fares, if your carry-on bag won't fit under the seat, the airline charges as much as $100.
However, if you're looking for a place to stay, the moderately priced Drury Hotels are pretty "nice" indeed.
"Drury Hotels really live up to their motto," Marks said. "The extras aren't extra."
The St. Louis-based hotel brand includes free hot food in the morning and at night as well as free Wi-Fi in the price of a room.
Consumer Reports says Home Depot has a "nice" policy when it comes to major appliances like refrigerators and stoves. It will haul away your old appliance after setting up your new one, eliminating the hassle of finding someone to take it away.
COMPANIES ON THE NICE LIST
- Drury Hotels
- Home Depot
- PNC Bank
- Publix supermarkets
- Red Wing Shoe Co.
- Safeway supermarkets
COMPANIES ON THE NAUGHTY LIST
- Abe's of Maine
- Comp USA
- Delta Airlines
- Forever 21
- Spirit Airlines
- Tiger Direct
- Time Warner Cable