Lands’ End
The catalog merchant has an unconditional “Guaranteed. Period.” policy that entitles customers to return for refund or exchange any product at any time, for any reason. That largesse extends even to personalized items that have been hemmed or monogrammed.

Neiman Marcus
Taking a page out of Nordstrom’s playbook, the fancy department store chain this fall began offering everyday free shipping and free returns on most items.

The global consumer electronics and entertainment giant has leaped into social media (Google, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Foursquare, LinkedIn), using it as a tool to communicate with customers and respond quickly to questions and problems. “With tens of thousands of discussions mentioning Sony each day, we strive to take advantage of the global conversation to better service our customers, to learn from their experiences and to create better products and services,” the company says.

Southwest Airlines
Airlines typically allow flight cancellations within 24 hours of booking without financial penalty. Southwest offers greater flexibility if you need to switch flights. You can modify your itinerary without time restriction and simply pay the difference in cost between fares. At some other airlines, such changes can add hundreds of dollars in fees.

The telecomm company earns kudos for bringing transparency to cellular pricing by explicitly separating the price of the phone from the cost of service. Contract carriers typically recoup the "free" or "discounted" cost of a phone through a charge buried in the monthly fee for cellular service. After 24 months, the carrier breaks even on its subsidy but keeps collecting the fee as long as you keep that phone. Not T-Mobile. After you pay two years of fully disclosed phone installment payments, T-Mobile stops collecting the charge for your paid-up phone.

The mega merchant brought back its layaway program, but with a consumer-friendly twist: It eliminated the administrative fee typically required to open an account. Last year, Walmart charged a $5 service fee to open a layaway account. But you still need to put down $10 or 10 percent of the product’s price, whichever is more. And there’s a $10 cancellation fee if you change your mind, something Walmart didn’t impose last season.

Click the links for previous 'Naughty & Nice' lists 2010, 2011 and 2012.