Running Shoes Blues

, | Chicago Ridge, IL, USA | Right | November 10, 2016

(I’m working at the customer service desk.)

Customer: “I purchased a some clothing and shoes. When I went to get the shoes out of the bag today the cashier never gave them to me! I want you to replace them; they were very expensive running shoes!”

(While this is rare, since we have sensors on our shoes, sometimes cashiers set them aside to take the sensors off and might forget to bag them.)

Me: “I’m so sorry that’s happened. Do have your receipt on you?”

Customer: “No, I didn’t keep it. I want a pair of replacement shoes; I know exactly which ones I purchased.”

Me: “I understand. Do you remember which register this took place at and the time? We have notes for when items are left behind and I can get you a replacement pair.”

Customer: “Do you expect me to remember what happened back in March?”

(It takes me a minute to understand what she had just said. It’s October and March was seven months ago.)

Me: “I’m sorry; did you say you purchased these shoes in March? How did you not notice they were gone before then?”

Customer: *with a look that indicates to me she thinks I’m stupid* “I threw the whole bag of things in my closet and just got to them now! It shouldn’t matter when I purchased them. I want them now!”

Me: “Um, well, honestly, we don’t keep items that get left behind that long. Did you use [Store Charge Card] or any other type of credit card? If you can provide me with some sort of proof of purchase, I can attempt to return the shoes for an in-store credit.”

Customer: “I paid cash and I don’t want a credit; I want a new pair of shoes! Exactly like the ones I purchased and I want them RIGHT NOW!”

(Seeing as if this woman doesn’t seem to want to reason with me, I page for a manager to talk to her. The manager arrives and the woman explains the whole story again, this time saying she purchased the shoes only in July. I attempt to let the manager know she told me something different, but the manager doesn’t care to listen. They disappear off towards shoes and return about ten minutes later with a shoe box.)

Manager: “Ring these up as a return and put the total on an in-store credit. After that, you can use the in-store credit to purchase these shoes to replace the ones we lost.”

(I start to return the shoes but since they are without a receipt, it asks me to provide the person’s ID number.)

Me: “Can I please have your license?”

Customer: “No way in h*** am I giving you my license! First you refuse to believe me and now you want to take my license from me?”

Manager: “Go ahead and override the license.”

(I’m hesitant because the corporation keeps track of how many overrides on licenses that we do. I do not want to get in trouble, but the manager once again tells me to just override it. After I do, I unwillingly go ahead and purchase the brand new $160 shoes for the customer. She takes them from me, thanks the manager, and basically runs out of the store.)

Me: “You realize those shoes are brand new and there’s no way she purchased them back in July right? And she first told me she purchased them back in March. I highly doubt her story was remotely real.”

Manager: “I don’t care. The customer is always right.”

(The manager walked away and I stood there completely dumbfounded and amazed that this woman spent only 30 minutes in the store and she managed to get a free pair of $160 name-brand running shoes on such a horribly contrived story!)

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