A Return That Wears Itself Thin

, , , , | Right | July 18, 2020

I’m the customer in this story. I went to [Popular Big Box Store Chain] location a few weeks ago and purchased two pairs of jeans. I stupidly tried on one pair at the store but not the other, assuming that they would both be fine since they were the same size, even though they were different brands. Sure enough, when I get home, the pair I haven’t tried on is way too big.

I return to the store location to return the larger pair and am directed by a staff member to the returns counter at the back of the store. Since it is a Saturday, it is fairly busy and there are a lot of people ahead of me in line for the returns desk. The desk is being staffed by two store employees processing customer returns, with another employee acting as a “runner” returning sellable product back out to the sales floor. Since I have a bit of a wait, I get to see the customers returning their items ahead of me.

One older gentleman is a few places ahead of me and finally makes it to the returns desk.

Gentleman: “I’d like to return a pair of pants. Here is the receipt.” 

Employee: “Okay, where are the pants, sir?”

Gentleman: “They’re the ones I’m wearing.”

Employee: “You’re wearing them?! You have to give them back to return them, sir!”

Gentleman: “Well, I’ll get another pair. I just don’t like this pair. I’d like to return them.”

Employee: “I guess if you find another pair we can exchange them… but we can’t just give you money back without taking the old pair, and we can’t have you stand around in the store in your underwear!”

Eventually, the desk employee gets the runner involved to take the gentleman to the section and assist him so that he can find another pair to replace the old ones.

I watch the remaining people in line ahead of me make their way to the desk, hoping I end up with the same employee who helped the older man. Fortunately, the timing works out.

Me: “I’d like to return this pair of pants—” *pause* “—that I’m not wearing.”

Employee: *Laughs*

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