A Refund Is For Life, Not Just For Christmas

, , , , , | Working | June 14, 2018

(I work in admin in the head office for a high street retailer, and am based in the reception area alongside our receptionist. Recently, the company has expanded slightly and hired a marketing executive; however, as she has no specific “department” to join, she has been allocated a desk in reception with us. The only downside is that due to the way our switchboard works, if both the receptionist and myself are on the phone, reception calls will go through to her phone. It is worth noting that she has never worked in a retail environment before. The receptionist and I are on calls when the marketing phone rings.)

Coworker: *answering phone hesitantly* “Hello, [Coworker] speaking. Sorry? Yes, sorry this is [Retailer]… I’m sorry, could you explain that again?”

(By this point both the receptionist and I have finished our calls and are gesturing to her to see if she needs assistance.)

Coworker: “I’m really sorry. I’m not sure I’m the best person to speak to; would you be okay if I transferred you to my colleague?” *listens for what seems like a lifetime to the caller’s explanation* “Oh… So would you like to speak to our accounts team?” *listens again* “Oh. Okay, well like I said, I can put you through to one of my colleagues who would be able to help.” *listens again– from where I am sat I can hear the caller raising their voice, but cannot make out what is being said* “Right, I understand, but I can’t help without putting you through to someone…. Okay, I’m sorry, too. Bye.”

(She hangs up and looks at us both nervously.)

Me: “Who was that?”

Coworker: “A customer who bought a suit from the [Scottish City] store. He wants a refund for it because it’s ripped at the seams, but he doesn’t want to return it. He didn’t want to be transferred to anyone because he didn’t want to be on hold, but I didn’t know what else I could do for him.”

Me: “Well, the [Scottish City] branch closed over a year ago.”

Receptionist: “And we don’t sell suits.”

Coworker: *looking really confused* “So… if the store never sold that item and isn’t even there anymore, why is he calling us for a refund?”

Receptionist: *snorts* “Welcome to retail, [Coworker]. Just wait for Christmas.”

Coworker: *excitedly* “Oh, I love Christmas!”

Me: “Not anymore, you won’t!”

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