Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Grilling time

I don't understand the mindset of people who think that they are entitled to special privileges even though they've managed to lose their receipts. Get real dudes and dudettes. The day is coming when receipts will be REQUIRED to return a purchase.

Target will let you return without a receipt, but only if you left some sort of paper trail, like a credit card or check. Wal-Mart does not offer this service, mainly because our register system is so old as to be only a half-step above the old push-button cash register that makes the musical notes. Then again, imagine the cost to upgrade the registers at ALL the Wal-Mart stores, Sams Clubs, etc. Yeesh.

Anyway. This guy comes in with a grill. He says that it is leaking propane. Somehow, I doubt that anyone seriously was grilling with an open flame while THERE WAS GAS LEAKING TWO FEET AWAY. Hello, explosion time anyone? Boom, boom, boom! Whatever.

And anyway. This is the end of November. We started selling those grills in March. This is NINE MONTHS LATER. He claims to have paid $377 for the grill, which he "proves" because there is a big sticker on the front with the barcode and a $377 on it. Magically, that is the only part of this grill that doesn't look like it has been used and abused like a one-armed couch on the fifteenth day of a fourteen-day porn shoot.

But I digress. As you would expect, the grill has been discounted. SEVERELY discounted. In fact, the grill has been discounted all the way down to $200. Which for all I know is how much the guy paid for it.

But this fool keeps tapping the sticker that says $377 and demanding his "full amount" back.

I keep reapeating "Without a receipt sir, I can only give you what the grill is ringing up now."

He gets more and more red in the face. Seriously, it was like watching a volcano erupt. Finally, he blows and goes "I'm not going to sit here and take this. You get a manager here right now."

Certainly, you clodhopper. They're only going to tell you the same thing. Sure enough. The manager even goes into the computer and looks up the grill, which has even been taken OUT of the merchandise system and is a deleted item, so it went on discount more than two months ago and he probably bought it way back at the start of summer.

The manager delivers the ultimatum. $200 in store credit, or $200 credit on a new grill. Take it or leave it. He goes for the $200 in store credit.

About 20 minutes later, he comes back and decides to start the debate AGAIN, except this time he has a buddy with him. And the buddy wants a particular manager. Maybe the buddy is hoping for better luck because he thinks the "knows" somebody.

Dude, "knowing" somebody isn't going to help you scam another $177 off this beat-up grill that you probably bought in May and used all summer and now you want to return just so you can buy Christmas presents.

And karma proves me right. The dial-a-manager plot doesn't work, because the one they want is on lunch, so they get the same one who came up the first time, who is no super pissed off they they still haven't left and are still arguing about this stupid grill.

The conversation this time is more of a "that's the way it's going to be, nobody is going to change their mind, do you have any more questions, thank you for your time, goodbye."

Yeah. Save your receipts. And don't act like a fool.

9 comments:

Nick said...

I'm suprised the registers are so bad.

Wal*Mart is cheap, but they are notorious for considering IT technology and management a key part of their business. Every target has nice spiffy registers which record everything (and then some), so why doesn't Wal*Mart?

Just knowing EVERYTHING that EVERY CUSTOMER with a credit card bought is big-deal useful for prediction, data mining, and all the other computer stuff the IT group says they like to do.

Anonymous said...

Very few people save all of their receipts. They don't want special treatment; they don't think that you should need a receipt period. They're not mad at you. They're mad at Wal-Mart for the policy. And I think that it is a dumb policy. While you're at the customer service desk, you are Wal-Mart. People are going to whine about to you.

Anonymous said...

Still, thats a pretty good deal. Buy a new grill with your tax return, use it for a season, take it back to wal-mart and at least get store credit to do a large part of your x-mas shopping with. Heck, if you use the money to buy decorations you could return those at the end of the season and buy a new grill all over again! sadly enough Im sure someone else has thought of this..

Greg said...

"...used and abused like a one-armed couch on the fifteenth day of a fourteen-day porn shoot."

Now THAT, folks, is how to paint a word picture that is laugh-out-loud funny! Top quality comedy!

And, anonymous, how exactly is requiring a receipt to return something for the purchase price (not current price) a dumb policy? The grills that went out the door in March for $300 are exactly the same as the ones that went out for $200 in August. If only there was a way to prove I paid $300 for it, not $200.... Oh yes, A RECEIPT!!!

Anonymous said...

Amen Greg.
I get tired of the spiteful volcanoes getting what they want just to appease them while the rest of us pay for it through higher costs and no leeway if we do seriously buy damaged merchandise.

Operator said...

I'm torn. On one hand, Wal*Mart doesn't really NEED a receipt anymore since everything has a barcode permanently etched onto it somehow and computer access to all sorts of history on it. After the 30 day mark if they intend to do something about it they should stuff the policy altogether.

On the other hand, if you're going to bring something back to a retailer after 30 days, be grateful if they don't laugh in your face and kick you out door. Why the hell should they be responsible for it now? Deal with the manufacturer and leave the retailer out of it.

Andrey said...

Actually, this is pretty interesting note. Last time I've been there, registers didn't seem so old like the ones in Safeway and self-checkout stands are not so dated as the ones in Fred Meyer. And again, Walmart is notorious for advanced IT technology and RFID-barcodes are the lates example of that. So I suspect the registers are not so old.

On the second thought, I could say that tiny number of Walmart customers use credit cards at all. And this was one of the main reasons why Walmart wanted a banking license -- to give credit cards to many people.

And third, data mining on purchase patterns of credit card holders wouldn't give you much of data or wouldn't help Walmart to mine data better. Do you really think that mass-mailing from Walmart with advertisement will work out? Doubt it.

Andrey said...

Actually, this is pretty interesting note. Last time I've been there, registers didn't seem so old like the ones in Safeway and self-checkout stands are not so dated as the ones in Fred Meyer. And again, Walmart is notorious for advanced IT technology and RFID-barcodes are the lates example of that. So I suspect the registers are not so old.

On the second thought, I could say that tiny number of Walmart customers use credit cards at all. And this was one of the main reasons why Walmart wanted a banking license -- to give credit cards to many people.

And third, data mining on purchase patterns of credit card holders wouldn't give you much of data or wouldn't help Walmart to mine data better. Do you really think that mass-mailing from Walmart with advertisement will work out? Doubt it.

Julie in NC said...

Let me see if I've got this right? WalMart CAN'T use my credit card, debit card or check to look up a purchase?

Dude, even KMart can do that!!!!