IOU Nothing

, , , , | Right | June 30, 2017

(A woman has entered our shop, which has a very generous returns policy. This is the second time she has visited with the same story, and the second time this conversation has played out.)

Customer: “I came in just before Christmas to swap [Cosmetic] for another one more suitable, and the lady behind the counter said she ‘shouldn’t do this’ but gave me an IOU since you were out of the one I needed. Then my wallet was stolen with the IOU in it. I came in last week and you wouldn’t help me. But I still want my [Product].”

Me: “I’m very sorry your wallet was stolen. Can you describe the person who served you?”

Customer: *perfectly describes a distinctive staff member*

Me: “That sounds like [Coworker]. She left the company over a month before Christmas. And she would have been perfectly qualified to issue you a credit note — no ‘I shouldn’t do this’ needed.”

Customer: “I still want my [Product].”

Me: “I don’t have any return, credit note, or ‘IOU’ to put into the system. It’s like having no cash.”

Customer: *getting angry* “I’m upset that you won’t give me my [Product]!”

Me: “It’s not that I don’t believe you, but I have no credit note as evidence and the staff member you describe wasn’t here at the time you specified. And none of my staff would do an ‘under-the-table’ IOU. I’m always right here if they need help to process a return.”

Customer: “It’s not fair that I don’t get anything! No refund! No [Product]!”

Me: “I don’t have anything to use as tender.”

(I call the manager over, who listens to the story again. It goes around in circles so many times we give in.)

Manager: “I will give you a free [Product] this once. But it’s important that you understand that without any credit note, receipt, or evidence I can’t help you in future; it’s as if I went to another shop and said, ‘My $100 cash has been stolen! Can I have $100 of free stock?’ I’m sorry that your wallet was lost, but unfortunately I can’t give things away for free.”

Customer: “Hmff! Thank you.”

(I can imagine this lady might have gone on to trade all her invisible lost loyalty cards in for free juices and coffees. The customer is not always bright…)

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