Belting Out All The Excuses

, , , | Right | May 1, 2018

(I’m one of the main employees in our men’s department, and before that I was a cashier. Our youngest, newest cashier calls me over to help with an older woman’s exchange. There are three belts on the counter, two tagged and one untagged.)

Cashier: “We’re trying to do a non-receipted return to exchange this belt for that belt, but there isn’t a tag.”

Customer: “I bought them for my husband, but he got sick and he lost a lot of weight, so now these don’t fit him. He didn’t even get a chance to wear them, see?”

(She shuffles around the belts while saying this, making it hard to tell which is the one she bought and which is the new one.)

Me: “Okay, ma’am, do you have the receipt?”

Customer: “No, I can’t find it. But I found this belt—” *holds up one of them* “—so can’t we just exchange it?”

Me: “Sorry, these are separate belts, so the computer recognizes them as different and we have to ring them up.” *looks at the back of the belt* “Wait, this still has the manufacturer’s tag. Try scanning that; they usually work for belts.”

(The cashier scans the belt, and it comes up at $0.01, which means it’s marked out of stock and we can’t return it.)

Me: “Sorry, ma’am, this came up out of stock; we can’t return it for you.”

Customer: “But it hasn’t been used!” *she repeats her whole story* “Can’t you just exchange it for this belt?”

Me: “I’m sorry, but these are clearly different belts by separate brands.” *I point out how the belt buckles differ* “And our store policy states that we can’t return anything that’s been marked out of stock without a receipt.”

Customer: “Wait, wait, let me take a look.” *she takes out her wallet, goes through a pouch that’s neatly filled with various receipts, and pulls one out after maybe five seconds of searching* “Is that the right receipt?”

Me: “It is!” *looks at date* “Ma’am, this receipt is over two years old.”

Customer: “So? I have the receipt!”

Me: “Ma’am, our return policy only lasts 60 days. It’s written on the receipt. After 60 days, we can only return for store credit at the current selling price, and we can’t return merchandise that’s been marked out of stock, at all.”

Customer: “But I have a receipt!”

Me: “I’m sorry. Sometimes the managers will stretch things if it’s a few days past the date, but this is more than two years past when you should have returned it. Even if we could, you’d only get a penny.”

Customer: “But it’s a [Brand] belt! You still have them back there; I just looked!”

Me: “We may still have the brand, but we don’t have that particular belt. I just finished organizing them all by type the other day; we don’t have any like that. That’s what ‘marked out of stock’ means.”

(The customer begins yelling about how she found it in her closet that morning and her husband hadn’t even taken it out of the bag, and repeating the story that he’s been sick. She’s holding up the line, and the poor cashier looks like she might cry.)

Me: “Do you want me to call a manager for you?”

Customer: “Yes! This is a disgrace!”

(I call a manager over. She listens to the story, looks at the receipt and the register, and proceeds to repeat everything I just said about our return policy.)

Customer: “Now what am I supposed to do?”

Manager: “We usually recommend that customers donate items we can’t return.”

(The customer leaves in a huff.)

Me: “Well, I’m glad that at least her husband’s feeling better!”

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