These Sales Are Inconceivable!

, , , | Right | February 3, 2020

(Normally in November, the city has a widespread sale day to appreciate the citizens. What most don’t know is that not everyone participates because of a payment fee required to be promoted or part of the program. Regardless of this, our store decides to have a small sale, despite the one we are already going to have later in the month, which unfortunately is happening right after Black Friday. As a result, we have to take extra care in plastering signs all over our windows about all sale items being final, due to the fact the entire store is on sale. Lo and behold, however, that doesn’t stop people from trying to return things. Such is the case with this customer. I am leaving our back room when I notice one of the new staff members having some trouble with a customer. We have seen her shop here many times before so I come over to help her out, wondering what is going on.)

Me: “What’s happening?”

Coworker: “She’s trying to return something, but it was on sale. [Manager] said she could try and exchange it, though.”

Customer: “But you don’t have the size I need. Besides, it wasn’t one of your marked sale items; why can’t I return it?”

(I take a look at the receipt, as we do have a discount for seniors, but this would be the only exception. However, the discount is far larger than what our senior’s discount would be, and checking the date over, it was bought on the city-wide sale day.)

Me: “Well, unfortunately, due to policy, it is a sale item, so you can’t return it. However, you’ve been allowed to exchange it for anything else if you’d like, as said by the person with all the authority here!”

Customer: “It wasn’t a marked sale item, though! No one said anything when I bought it that I couldn’t return it. There wasn’t anything.”

Me: “It says right here on the bottom of the receipt, ‘No returns on sale items.’ Again, though, we’ve been given permission to exchange it!”

(The customer leaves to go find something to exchange with, grumbling. After a few moments, she comes back.)

Customer: “I didn’t find anything and I’m not wasting my time. I don’t agree with this policy; it’s ambiguous. It wasn’t marked as a sale item.”

Me: “A store-wide sale makes all the items on sale.”

Customer: “Well, that’s just ambiguous. There wasn’t anything that informed me of that.”

(I know that’s a lie, as all our sale signs say, “All sales final,” and are plastered all over the inside AND outside of the store with the important details during that day. However, I cannot protest as she walks to complain to my manager instead.)

Customer: “Your policy is ambiguous and should be changed. There was nothing that told me about final sales.”

Manager: “Well, ma’am, we had ten signs in the windows, a notice on our sign outside, and a sign right here–” *gestures to the shelf that is literally two inches away from her where we tape notices* “–and it’s on the bottom of the receipt. I’m sorry. I’ve offered you an exchange and store credit, but that is all I can do.”

Customer: “Well… well, it’s still ambiguous.”

(After she left, my coworker had to ask me what “ambiguous” actually meant. After explaining it to her, we didn’t agree with her. We told this story to our sales advertiser when they came by to visit, and they just laughed.)

Ad Rep: “You should have brought out the quote, ‘That word — I do not think it means what you think it means!’”

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