The Gift Receipt That Keeps On Giving

, , , | Right | June 30, 2017

(I work in a popular clothing retail store in the UK and deal often with returns. It is around mid- April, so the UK Mother’s Day has passed and we’ve also recently had a sale, so returns are more frequent.)

Customer: “I’d like to return this, please.”

Me: “That’s not a problem. Was there anything faulty at all?”

Customer: “Yes! I got it as a gift on Mother’s Day and I went to wear it and there is a huge tear under the arm.”

(The item is a coat that I know went into the sale. The tear is nowhere near the hem so it is not a manufacturing fault and actually looks like the person has worn the coat and caught it on something, or so I originally believe. The store has a very relaxed returns policy so I proceed.)

Me: “I am sorry about that; do you have the receipt at all?”

Customer: “Why would I have a receipt? It’s a gift.”

Me: “If it was purchased as a gift in store then we do offer gift receipts. Without any proof of purchase I am afraid I can only offer a gift card.”

Customer: “That’s not correct at all. I know my rights. It’s faulty and I want the money back.”

Me: “I’m sorry but a gift card is all I can offer you as it was a gift and you do not have any proof of purchase.”

Customer: “Do you have a manager I could speak to?”

(I agree to get the store manager and she approaches a couple of minutes later. The manager approaches the woman and my manager assesses the coat.)

Manager: “As this tear looks like it has been caused by something catching on the coat. We can’t class this as a faulty purchase.”

Customer: “It’s faulty! I got it like that. I know my rights!”

Manager: “I’m sorry but all I can offer you is the gift card, and I don’t actually have to do that as it is not a fault made by the company. As [My Name] has said, without any proof of purchase I cannot give you any money back.”

(The back and forth arguing between my manager and the customer lasted for around five minutes and eventually the woman realised she wouldn’t be getting anywhere and grudgingly accepted the gift card. My manager stayed close by as I proceeded with the transaction. One thing to note about all of our clothes and items is that they all have unique numbers when we scan them and so we can track every purchase made. The coat had all the tags taken off but the actual clothes tag that’s stitched in still had a barcode that I was able to scan. Much to my surprise, the coat was flagged up as never having been purchased at any store and it seemed now it had been stolen. I called over my manager who allowed me to continue despite this, as the gift card would have to be spent in store anyway. Alongside this, without the proof of purchase I was only able to offer the sale price as a return. She did come back to complain about that but I had gone on break by then. We speculated that the coat must have been stolen and they put the tear in to try and claim it faulty so they could essentially get free cash! Chancers.)

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