Ad Alert

Grand Patio

Online retailer's advertised return policy raises red flags.

Online outdoor furniture retailer Grand Patio advertises on its website that its products come with a “30-Day Return Policy.” But the policy is worth taking a closer look at – ideally, before you buy.

For starters, the policy – which is not explained on any product page and is only accessible by scrolling to the very bottom of the website and clicking on “Return & Refund Policy” – states that, “Products that require assembly cannot be returned if the assembled product is free from any quality issues.” “Products that require assembly” appear to be most if not all of the items Grand Patio sells on its site. As the company says on its about us page:

We provide installation manuals and assembly videos for all products, you can assemble the products more easily and enjoy outdoor life assembly.

And while the policy states that the company only offers refunds for assembled products with “quality issues,” it also says that if a consumer wants to return an item because it “doesn’t fit me correctly” or because it “doesn’t meet my expectations,” among other reasons, they have to pay the cost of return shipping. So are these consumers eligible for a refund or not? It’s not clear from the policy.

Confused? You’re not the only one. reader sparks inquiry

Our inquiry was sparked by a reader who said she received mixed signals from Grand Patio when she tried to return an indoor/outdoor rocking chair that turned out to be too big for the space she wanted it to go. After initially being told that the item was ineligible for a refund because it had been removed from its packaging and assembled, the reader said Grand Patio reversed course and said they would accept the item for a refund but she had to pay $99 to ship it back to the company.

At the time the reader purchased the chair the product page advertised “Free returns.” That language has since been changed to “30-Day Return Policy.” But that still fails to convey the severe limitations of the company’s return policy.

Company responds

In response to a request for comment, Grand Patio said it is “not possible” to provide details of the return policy on each individual product page. But the company seemed to indicate that it generally doesn’t offer refunds for assembled products, stating, “[O]ur products need to be assembled, how can we re-sell the assembled products with signs of use?”

So the question remains: What use is the return policy for consumers?

In addition, the company did not respond to a question about whether Hollywood stars John Krasinski and Emily Blunt, whose purported reviews are featured on the about us page, are actual customers. The reviews attributed to the power couple are suspicious, to say the least. For example, “John Krasinski” writes:

Five-star praise, grandpatio’s products are simply amazing, they are very thoughtful for everyone, the experience is very pleasant, they are a great company.

That doesn’t sound like Jim.

Find more of our coverage on furniture here.

Our Ad Alerts are not just about false and deceptive marketing issues, but may also be about ads that, although not necessarily deceptive, should be viewed with caution. Ad Alerts can also be about single issues and may not include a comprehensive list of all marketing issues relating to the brand discussed.

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