All These Emails Took More Effort Than A Refund Would Have

, , , , , , , | Working | April 24, 2020

(I do a lot of my shopping online from [Big Retailer]. They have started using third-party sellers like [Online Retailer] does. I order a 1500LM spotlight. When it is delivered I get a 500LM lantern. [Big Retailer] says to contact the third-party company for a refund. From the emails, it slowly becomes obvious this company is very shady.)

Me: “I was sent the wrong item and would like a refund.”

Company: “Thanks for your email and sorry for the inconvenience.

We are the third party on [Big Retailer]. Sorry, could you please kindly tell us how we can help you? Please don’t worry; we will provide solutions as you wish after we confirm the problem. We wish your kindly understanding and wait for your reply.


Me: “The spotlight I ordered didn’t come. I got a lantern of some kind that isn’t even a flashlight.”

Company: “Thanks for your letter.

Please don’t worry. Your request will be accepted. But could you kindly describe the problem in detail?

Have you received the item you ordered? Or have you received the wrong item? We will give you a response as soon as possible. Looking forward to your letter. Have a nice day.

Best regards.”

Me: “I did not receive the item I ordered. The wrong item was delivered. I don’t want a replacement. I want a refund. If you will email me a return address label I will gladly send the item back.”

Company: “Thanks for your letter and sorry for this inconvenience.

Please don’t worry; we will provide a good solution for you.

But could you kindly provide us a picture of the received item and the SKU label on the product packaging?

Looking forward to your letter. Have a nice day.

Best regards.”

Me: “Here are pictures of the box. There is no SKU label on the box that I see.”

Company: “Thanks for your letter. Please don’t worry.

The item you received is the same as advertised.

You could take it out and check if it is workable.

If you have any other problems, please feel free to contact us. Have a nice day.

Best regards.”

Me: “No. The item is not as described. Not at all. Here are the two pictures side by side. The first pic is what I ordered. The second is what I received. Not the same thing. Not sure what the problem is but it’s not the same and I want a refund ASAP.”

Company: “Thanks for your calling and sorry for this inconvenience.

Please don’t worry; we will provide a good solution for you. But could you kindly provide us the picture of the received item and the SKU label on the product packaging? Looking forward to your letter. Have a nice day.

Best regards.”

Me: “I’ve already done this. I sent the email with the pictures of what I received and somebody emailed me back saying it was what I ordered. It was not. Sure, here are the pictures again. It is not the same thing and I want a refund ASAP. Best regards to you. Better when you refund my money.”

(I call [Big Retailer] customer service and read them all these emails. They refund my money. Then, I get another email.)

Company: “Thanks for your letter.

Could you kindly check if it is workable? If it is still workable, we would like to provide you a $3 refund as compensation. Looking forward to your letter. Have a nice day.

Best regards.”

Me: “You should have to send a full refund, not a $3 refund as compensation for something you did wrong! I have settled this matter with [Big Retailer]. I will add my online review to the many other negative reviews of your company.”

Company: “Thanks for your letter and sorry for this inconvenience.

We would like to provide you a $13 refund.

And you could keep the item.

Could you accept it?

Looking forward to your letter. Have a nice day.

Best regards.”

(I send another email. Here is proof that there is no way a person is reading these emails.)

Me: “Your offer is $13? Let me think about it. I think… no deal! As a struggling actor, I need all the breaks that I can get.

Looking forward to your letter. Not really.

Regards and Liberty Biberty to you.”

Company: “Thanks for your letter.

We have arranged a full refund to you. And you don’t need to return the item. It usually takes about three to five business days for the refund to appear on your credit/debit card. If you still haven’t received the refund that time, please ensure that five to seven business days have passed from the time that the refund was initiated. If you have any other problems, please feel free to contact us. Have a nice day.

Best regards.”

(I have my doubts they have any intention of sending a refund.)

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Those Are Some Killer Pants

, , , , , , | Right | April 23, 2020

I work customer service for a local retail store, and I often deal with customers wanting to return a wide variety of items for a wide variety of reasons. My location has a frighteningly lax return policy, but up until now, I haven’t experienced first-hand how big of a problem it can be.

Customer: “Hi, I need to return these pants.”

Me: “Of course.”

I quickly log in to my computer.

Me: “Did you have any issue with this item? Or was it just not what you needed?”

Customer: “Oh, no. No problem. We just don’t need it anymore.”

I start to search the item for a tag and start turning it inside out when I can’t find one. The customer waits quietly while I search but apparently feels the need to break the silence after a minute or two.

Customer: “My father passed this week, you see.”

Me: “Oh…”

I am completely unprepared for a confession like that.

Me: “I’m so sorry.”

Customer: “We bought a lot of pants like this to make him comfortable. He really loved this brand.”

Me: “…”

Customer: “These pants haven’t been worn, though.” 

Me: “Right.”

There are noticeable lint and fibers from some kind of bedding on the pants.

Customer: “My father only wore the mediums for his last three days or so.”

I look down at the big M on the inside label of the pants.

Me: “…”

After digging around in her purse for a while, the customer found the receipt for the pants, and I had to return these pants that she had heavily implied her father died in.

After the customer left, I threw the pants in our defect bin, poured sanitizer on my hands until it was all I could smell, and tried to go on with my shift. When I got home that night, I threw my entire uniform into the wash, and took a shower. I still feel kind of ill.

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Someone Obviously Never Calls Mom

, , , , , | Right | April 23, 2020

Most retailers have a policy that returns should have a receipt, and they have “loyalty cards” that link to purchases made and specific time limits for returns. I work for a retailer that does this. Two teen boys come to the counter.

Male Teen #1: “I’d like to return these items. My mom bought the wrong thing.”

He shows me two containers of very expensive acne remedy. They cost $15.00 each. They’re out of their original box — if they had one — and don’t appear to be something we carry now. I certainly don’t remember selling it recently. I start the return process.

Me: “Do you have a receipt?”

Male Teen #1: “No.”  

Me: “Do you have your Mom’s loyalty card?”

Male Teen #1: “No”. 

Male Teen #2: “But I have a card!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but we must have the original card it was purchased with.”  

I turn to [Male Teen #1].

Me: “What’s your mom’s phone number?”

Male Teen #1: “I don’t know.”

I void the transaction. This is a trigger for more investigation. I call my manager to approve the void. There’s no way I can process this one.

Me: “This young man would like to return these items, but he has no receipt and no card and he doesn’t know his mother’s phone number.” 

The boys step back from the counter, and the manager goes off with the products in hand. After a few minutes, he comes back. He’s done some research.

Manager: “I’m sorry, but we haven’t sold any of this product in over three months.”

Somehow, the boys didn’t seem surprised. They left without so much as a protest and without any money. Next time, know your own mother’s phone number!

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Easy To Get A Read On What Comes Next

, , , , , | Right | April 14, 2020

(I work for a high-end, high-street store which generally goes above and beyond for customers. You have thirty days to return a non-sale item and seven days to return a sale item; beyond that it’s exchange or store credit. This policy is on every point of sale, on placards dotted around the store, and in the fitting room.

During sale time, our decorative image that goes behind the point of sales is changed to a MASSIVE banner with “sale items have a seven-day return policy” and our bags are changed to an obnoxious shade of pink with it written on that, too.

Whenever we make a sale with a sale item, we must say words along the lines of “sales items can only be returned within seven days; beyond that it’s exchange only” or be written up. ON TOP OF THAT, the entire return policy and all terms and conditions are written on the back of the receipt you get when you make a purchase.

It is a sale period at this store. A customer comes to the POS I am manning.)

Me: “Good afternoon! Is everything okay?”

Customer: “Good afternoon! My day is just wonderful; I just would like to make a return.”

(The customer places the bag on the counter. I start taking the clothes from the bag.)

Me: “May I ask what was wrong with the clothes?”

Customer: “Oh, I bought several in the same style but different sizes. I don’t like trying on in the store.”

Me: “Okay, then I can’t be the annoying cashier that attempts to get you to try something else. I see they’re sale items; do you have the receipt?”

Customer: “Yes, here it is.”

(She hands it over and I check the date; it has been over thirty days since she bought them, so she’s outside even the full-price policy date.)

Me: “Thank you. So, I see you bought these on [date], which puts it outside our return policy window, but—”

(The customer’s cheery attitude goes.)

Customer: “But only a little bit, so you can still do it, right? [Company] always looks after its customers.”

Me: “As these are sale items, the policy is only seven days, so you’re over it by a few weeks. I can offer you exchange or—”

Customer: “What do you mean, only seven days for sale items? Where does it say that?”

Me: “On the registers and shelves—”

Customer: “They weren’t there when I was in.” 

Me: “The banner—”

Customer: “It wasn’t up—”

Me: “We say it after we make a sale—”

Customer: *smugly* “It wasn’t said to me; so what are you—”

(I flip the receipt over.)

Me: “And on the back of your receipt.”

Customer: “Oh, but who reads those?”

(There is a pause. I then respond in a fake sweet voice.)

Me: “[Company] has done all in its power to get this policy to you; whether or not you decided to read it is down to you. Now, exchange or store credit?”

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Customers Not Fit To Wipe Your Behind With

, , , , , | Right | April 9, 2020

I work in a large superstore. Due to all the panic-buying, we’ve introduced some social distancing, limited the number of items customers can buy, and made a few other temporary changes to the rules, such as refunds.

I am working at the customer service desk, and I see a woman approach with a cart filled to overflowing with toilet paper. My shoulders drop; I know exactly where this is going.

Me: “Good morning, ma’am. How may I—”

Customer: *Interrupting me* “I need to make a return.”

Me: “Do you have a faulty product?”

I know she doesn’t, but I am giving her the benefit of the doubt for no other reason than that I hope this isn’t going to become that situation.

Customer: “I don’t need this much toilet paper. I want to return it. All of it.”

I point to a sign we have put up all over the store, stating that we are no longer accepting refunds on toilet paper, hand sanitizer, antibacterial wipes, etc. I explain the same thing to the customer.

Customer: “What?! But that’s ridiculous! You just put those up!”

Me: “Actually, yes, we did. Yesterday.”

Customer: “But I bought these last week, so that shouldn’t apply to me!”

Me: “Unfortunately, ma’am, it applies to all purchases of this type, regardless of when they were made.”

I then look her directly in the eyes when I say this part.

Me: “It’s to discourage selfish panic-buying.”

Customer: “I would like to speak to your manager.”

Me: “Ma’am, this is a company-wide policy; my manager will not be able to do anything about it.”

Customer: “Manager, now.”

I call my manager over and explain the situation.

Manager: “Ma’am, we will not accept a refund on your toilet paper. If you have too much, I would suggest making a donation to a shelter.”

Customer: “No! I paid for these! I deserve my refund!”

Manager: “Ma’am, I am certain there are many things that you deserve. Unfortunately, you’re not getting any of them here.”

Customer: “I will be complaining! I’ll post this online!”

Manager: “Woman buys thirty-two packs of toilet paper during panic-buying, denying essential supplies for others, now realizes she was an idiot, and wants to prove it further by demanding a refund? Please, go ahead and send me the link; I need the entertainment.”

The customer huffs and puffs, makes more threats, and storms out with her mountain of toilet paper. My manager turns to me.

Manager: “I’ll keep an eye out on the review sites. If she posts, I’m going to put it on the staff bulletin board to give us all something to laugh at.”

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