Sunday, August 13, 2006

Walk the walk, talk the talk

I should start a little game - match the customer with the return. Most of the time, what people return more or less goes with the person.

I mean, women return a lot of clothes and shoes, household goods, linens and childrens items. Men return some clothes, some childrens stuff (they usually have the kids with them) and a lot of automotive or electronic items. I've also had men return women's clothing. They ALWAYS have the receipt when they do this. I usually make a little joke and they laugh and my day doesn't seem so bad.

But it's the difficult stuff that usually makes my day (and my job) miserable.

I get a woman early Saturday morning. She says that she has a treadmill. "I've only had it for a month." Uh-huh. And I'm the queen of Sheba. You've had it since last Christmas.

"And my daughter gave it to me as a gift and she doesn't know what she did with the receipt." Daughter dearest plopped out $210 on a treadmill for dear old Mumsy and didn't save the receipt? How careless of her!

I tell her that she's going to have to bring the item in, because she's also thrown away all of the paperwork that came with it. I've got to be able to look up the vendor information and find out how much it retailed for and if we still sell it.

So an hour later this tore-up treadmill comes in balanced on a buggy. And the slattern of a daugher is with her. Trouble on two feet, this one.

I look up the vendor information and find out that we still have two of that kind of treadmill in stock. While I'm at the computer, the daughter hollers past three other customers at me "I don't want to send it out for repair. It's junk and I want my money back." If you wanted your money back, you should have saved your receipt, you little witch.

I go "Ma'am, you don't have the receipt for the item. We're not going to be able to give you a store credit for the item with it in that condition. I'm checking to see if we have another treadmill in stock. Obviously, if you have a broken treadmill, you would want a functioning one in return."

It takes her a second to work through the logic. She realizes that no cash AND NO STORE CREDIT is going to come her way. She goes "But ..."

I cut her off. "Ma'am, we've got two more of that model in stock. You can leave that one here and go back to Sporting Goods and get another one. We can do the exchange when you bring it back here."

She knows when she's been beat and quits the field. She should have saved the receipt. Of course, that treadmill was months old - and it had seen some major use since probably December. It wasn't likely that it could have been returned on the receipt — even if she had produced it.


Alissa said...

First of all, I'm SHOCKED that the treadmill was used! Usually people buy treadmills and they are expensive dust collectors.
Second, couldn't she then just return the new one for store credit somewhere????

Carmen said...

That's exactly what they try to do. The retail store I worked for had several other nearby locations. They would literally leave my store & go to the next one & try to pull it over on them. We would always alert all the nearby stores when we thought this would happen. It's great fun to be able to say to them "Since you just got this one as an exchange because you had no receipt at the last store, we can only do the same for you." I love the anger in their eyes when they can no longer keep pulling over their game!

matt said...

quote: "She knows when she's been beat and quits the field."

holy shit! when's the last time THAT's happened?!?

Stephanie said...

I worked as a manager at Bath & Body Works for a while about seven years ago and we used to get people who would come in with literally more than 3/4 of the product missing from bottles of lotion and claim that they were "allergic" and want store credit to shop for different scents. Point #1: you would know before you got 3/4 of the way through the bottle that you had developed a deathly allergy to floral scented products. Point #2: shopping around the store and coming back with lilac lotion in exchange for the rose scent you just claimed to be horribly allergic to really seems to be a bit a bit unrational to me. I'm just saying.

The one thing I learned from my years in retail is that people never cease to amaze me.

Anonymous said...

So what happened? Did she exchange the treadmill or take the old one back with her?