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    Not The Brightest Bulb In The Box

    | MD, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Money

    (I am one of two department managers responsible for the front end in my store. My subordinate is on the register next to me, processing a return for a rather expensive LED light bulb. This is right after the most recent Target hack.)

    Customer: “I’d like to return this light bulb. It wasn’t the kind I needed.”

    Coworker: “All right. Do you have your receipt?”

    (The customer hands over the receipt, and she processes it quickly.)

    Coworker: “Okay, [amount of return] is going back to your card. Is that all right?”

    Customer: “Yes, that’s fine.”

    (The coworker hands over return slip for him to sign. He stares at it for a moment and compares it to a credit card in his hand.)

    Customer: “This is the wrong card. It should be returned to this card. *shows my coworker the card*

    Coworker: *looking at original receipt* “Sir, that’s not the card that was used. The card used to pay for the light bulb ended in [last four card numbers].”

    Customer: “Yeah, but I don’t have that card anymore. It was replaced because of the Target thing. Let me speak to your manager.”

    (Coworker calls me over. I’ve heard nearly everything, but she explains the situation briefly.)

    Me: “Hi. What can I do for you?”

    Customer: “Yeah, I need this returned on to this card.”

    Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but you didn’t use that card to pay for it. We can only process a refund to the original card, or a store credit. But as the return has already been processed, you’ll have to contact the company who handles your account. As long as it’s in good standing, they’ll issue a check for the amount of the refund.”

    Customer: “Of course my card is in good standing! It’s a prominent bank that deals with veterans and their families. It’s the same account. I just have a new card number. So, you can’t refund my purchase?”

    Me: “We already have. If your card is linked to the same account, then most likely, they’ll credit your account. I’ll call for you right now, if you like.”

    Customer: “It’s Sunday! They’re not open! I just want my money back.”

    Me: “Sir, we’ve refunded your money back to your card. At this point, it is out of our hands. You can call your bank and they can issue you a check for the amount.”

    Customer: “You haven’t given me my money back. It’s not the right card.”

    (I show him the return slip.)

    Me: “As far as this company is concerned, we have. The money is now in the hands of your bank. You may call them on Monday, and they can credit your account, or issue a check.”

    Customer: “So, you’re not going to refund me?”

    Me: “As I said, we already refunded—”

    Customer: “No, you haven’t. Is there something wrong with you? You haven’t refunded my purchase.”

    (The customer grabs the light bulb off the counter.)

    Customer: “I’ll just go to a store where they know how to do a refund correctly. You are all obviously too stupid to do this!” *begins to walk out the door*

    Me: “Sir! You can’t take the light bulb. We’ve refunded that!”

    Customer: “No, you haven’t! I’m going somewhere else!”

    (He stole the light bulb. No other store would be able to refund his money back to the new card. Our system isn’t set up that way. Three days later, I got a call from another store asking about the return. They contacted his bank and they had credited his account. That store took the light bulb from him at that time.)