JC Penney Price-Match Policy

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JC Penney's policy applies only to local competitors but is very lenient when it comes to returns and post-purchase price adjustment. The company also seems to give store managers a decent amount of leeway. For instance, a supervisor might match a price you show on your mobile phone, even though it's technically against policy.

The JC Penney price-match policy extends only to similar local competitors in the same market area or within a "reasonable distance" of a JC Penney store and requires an original print ad as proof of the competitor's price. However, the retailer seems to give individual managers a lot of authority to decide what's acceptable and what isn't. They're authorized to accept a photocopy or mobile phone version of the ad, for instance. When we spoke with the manager at a local store, he said he'd accept a lower price we showed him on our phone, as long as he could call up the store and verify it.

A JC Penney customer who posted about her experience on Yelp returned to a store after two shirts she bought dropped in price from $36 to $20. Even without the receipt, the manager looked up the purchase, matched the newer price, and refunded her the difference. We contacted customer service to clarify the time frame for price adjustments, because the official policy doesn't specify how long you have to request a refund if you find a lower price at JC Penney or a competitor after purchase. A representative said the company lets store managers make the final decision, but 14 days is a good rule of thumb. Regardless, the ad showing the lower price must still be valid.

For price matching at the time of purchase, the usual restrictions apply. The items must be identical, meaning JC Penney brands such as Stafford and Worthington are not eligible. Neither are optical, salon, portrait, and other services. The JC Penney price-match policy does not include online and mobile prices, even from the retailer's own website, which one customer wasted a lot of time and gas finding out firsthand. On ConsumerAffairs.com, she writes that she saw a pair of shoes on JC Penney's website for $35 and went to a local store to buy them. They were $50 at the store, but she bought them anyway, thinking maybe she was wrong about the price or it had since been updated. She checked later and found that the online price was indeed $35, but when she went back to the store the next day, the salesperson would not match the price or refund the difference. A good workaround is to order the item online and have it delivered to the store. JC Penney doesn't charge for this service, no matter what the price of your order. If you get home after making a purchase only to discover a lower price at JCPenney.com, you can place the order online and use JC Penney's lenient return policy, which sets no time limit for returns as long as the product is still in good condition.

Read the official JC Penney price-match policy here.

Louis DeNicola

Louis DeNicola is a freelance personal finance writer who specializes in credit, debt, and practical money-saving tips. He loves stacking savings opportunities to get amazing deals, traveling for free using credit card rewards, and teaching others how to do the same. Connect with Louis by visiting louisdenicola.com.

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