Sunday, November 26, 2006

Oh what a tangled web we weave

When people try t0 run game (scam) on me, you either have to be theiving or outside my power to call you on it. Most of the time, I know you're running a scam, but when I get told "Go ahead and return it," I have to, even though I'm secretly wishing that you get in a wreck, your car blows up and your face melts on the way home. Remember. Karma is a cruel and unforgiving mistress.

But back to the matter at hand. This girl comes up with a nice comforter set in her buggy and a few other items in a Wal-Mart bag. The comforter set costs $79.99 and the other items about $5 total. She used a gift card for $84.79, which is the happens to work out to the price of the comforter set plus tax and paid cash for the rest. I find out later that she's got toilet bowl cleaner and carpet powder in the bag.

Can you guess what she wanted?

Of course you can. Cash. It always comes down to cash. Here's the instant replay of that conversation, although I'm not claiming this one is totally accurate, because it went on for about 10 minutes with her and her friend yelling at me in English and in Spanish.

ME: "Can I help you?"
HER: "I want to return this comforter."
ME: "Do you have your receipt?"
HER: "It's right here."

I look at the receipt and notice that the comforter set was more or less the total of what she used the gift card for. Which means that she returned something without a receipt and got a store credit. All returns without a receipt are issued in the form of store credit. Now she's trying to game the system and get her cash back anyway.

ME: "Ma'am, do you still have your shopping card?"
HER: "What do you need it for? I want my money back."
ME: "Ma'am, all purchases that were made with a shopping card must be refunded back onto a shopping card."
HER: "I didn't pay for all of it with a shopping card, so you better give me my money back."
ME: "Ma'am, your total purchase was about $90. Your used a shop card for $84.79, which is how much the comforter set cost. I have to give you this refund on another shopping card."
HER: "I don't want it on a gift card. I want my cash back."
ME: "Ma'am, you can't have cash."
HER: "Well, I need cash. I don't shop here and I already have a store credit that I haven't used yet." You either shop here a lot and lose your receipts or you steal here a lot!
ME: "Ma'am, you can't have cash." How many times do I have to repeat this before it gets through?
HER: "What am I going to do with a store credit? Why can't I get cash back?"
ME: "Ma'am, you can buy food or something you want, but you can't have cash."
HER: "I don't want to buy anything else."
ME: "Ma'am, you can either take a store credit for the merchandise, or take the merchandise back. Those are the only two options."
HER: "My brother works at the other Wal-Mart and he says it doesn't go like this." So now we know where you got this information on how to game the system.
ME: "Ma'am, I don't know what he told you, but this is official policy at all Wal-Marts."
HER: "I don't know why I can't get cash back, I paid for some of my order in cash."
ME: "Ma'am, you paid for $84.79 of your order with a shopping card and about $5 in cash. You are returning an item for $84.79, so you are going to get a shopping card for $84.79 back. If you purchased a television for $100 and used a shopping card for $50 and cash for $50, you would get $50 cash back and a $50 shopping card as a refund. That's Wal-Mart policy. However you pay for an item, you get the refund that way."
HER: "I don't want another shopping card. I already have one I don't use." Really, there's NOTHING at Wal-Mart you want? You're obviously in the trashy demographic they strive so hard for. And here we take a break while her and the girl with her go back and forth in Spanish for a while, way too fast for me to make out, although I'm sure it wasn't complimentary to me or my ancestors.
ME: "Ma'am, what do you want to do? Do you want a refund or do you want to keep the merchandise?"
HER: So she goes for the old chesnut. "I want a manager."
ME: "One moment ma'am." Thankfully, one with half a brain comes up.

She tries to argue again, but to no avail. Management knows why refunds are issued on shopping cards in the first place, and why they must stay on a shopping card. Eventually, that money does come back to the store. Where else are they going to spend a Wal-Mart store credit?

HER: "I want to return everything."
ME: "Certainly ma'am."
HER: "And I want exactly back on my shop card what I started with."
ME: "Yes ma'am."

I start doing the refund when a "problem" develops.

HER: "I don't like that shop card. It's ugly. I want a different one." Keep in mind now that I was using the standard Wal-Mart Christmas gift cards, which they want us to use starting on Black Friday. How ugly could it have been? But I scratch around and find another one.

ME: "Is this one okay ma'am?"
HER: "That one is fine."

No more problems and she gets her refund. But that's pretty much how my Saturday started. Great way to begin a weekend.


Andrew Spiehler said...

Some people just need to be slapped.

Anonymous said...

I agree.

Anonymous said...

"I don't like that shop card. It's ugly. I want a different one."

That is the most concise three-phrase character sketches ever. Kind of beautiful, really.