These Boots Were Made For Walking, And That’s What They Didn’t Do

, , , , | Right | October 11, 2019

(I’m working the customer service desk one day when an older man walks up and sets a shoebox on the counter.)

Customer: “I need to return these. My wife bought them a bit ago, but she passed away before she got a chance to wear them.”

Me: “I’m sorry to hear that. Do you happen to have the receipt?”

(We have a relatively lenient return policy. We can process returns without a receipt. If you used your rewards card, a debit or credit card, or a check, we can find your purchase. If you cannot provide any of the above, we do a non-receipted return with ID.)

Customer: “No, no receipt.”

Me: “No worries. Did you use your rewards card?”

Customer: “I don’t know. My wife bought them.”

Me: “All righty, let’s check!”

(I scan his rewards card and then scan the shoebox. They were clearly purchased at our store because our sticker is on the box. However, nothing shows up.)

Me: “Well, it’s not showing up with your rewards card; we’ll have to use your ID.”

Customer: “Okay.” *he hands me his ID*

(I go through the steps and enter his information, then I scan the shoes again. Nothing shows up. This leads to me going into our computer system to find the shoes. I search using every possible description that I can think of, and they aren’t showing up. I finally call over to the shoe lead, and she comes over to help. We search for a further ten minutes or so, during which the customer begins to get upset, asking why we can’t just process the return. The shoe lead comes back with this gem:)

Shoe Lead: “While these shoes were purchased here, they’re showing in the system for a penny. We haven’t sold these since 1999. We can’t take them back.”

Customer: “Why can’t you just take them back? She died before she could wear them. She obviously got them here.”

Shoe Lead: “We can’t take these back, because we haven’t carried this shoe in over sixteen years.”

Customer: “Well, what am I supposed to do with them? She never wore them!”

(He then storms away.)

Shoe Lead: “Isn’t there a Salvation Army drop-off in our parking lot? Can’t he just take them there?”

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