Wish You Could Just Drop This

, , , | Right | November 13, 2018

(I work at a popular cosmetics store. Our company is known for its generous return policy, where clients can return products for a full refund within 30 days with their receipts, and after 30 days they can still come in for an exchange or store credit. We can also look up their receipt from their membership card. This happens when a newer cashier calls me over to the register.)

Cashier: “This client wants to exchange this product, but since we don’t have it in stock, she’s wondering if we can give them a refund.”

Me: “That should be fine.” *to the client* “Hi. What was the reason for exchanging this product?”

Client: “I bought this powder compact last week, but I dropped it and it shattered into pieces. I wanted a new one, but you don’t have it in stock, so I want a refund.”

(The compact is indeed broken, but most people that use makeup know that powder will shatter if you drop it, especially softer ones.)

Me: “Unfortunately, since you dropped the product and it broke, we can’t give you a refund. Refunds are only given to used products if you’re sensitive to it or if you’re not satisfied with the performance of the product.”

Client: “So, you can’t replace broken products?”

Me: “The only time where we will replace broken products is if they came broken during shipment and it wasn’t your fault.”

Client: “Well, what if I tell you it came broken?”

Me: “Ma’am, you just told me otherwise, so unfortunately, that’s not possible.”

Cashier: *showing me the other two powder compacts on the counter* “The client would also like to get store credit for these two products.”

(Seeing that the outside of the compacts look very dirty and used, I proceed to open one of them. The powder is used to the point that you can see the bottom of the metal pan.)

Me: “I’m sorry but this product is extremely used, and I cannot return it.”

Client: “Why? But your store accepts used products for returns!”

Me: “As it says on our return policy, we can accept gently used products. This product has been used for many times, and I cannot return it.”

Client: *clearly frustrated* “Okay, how about the other one?”

(I open the other one, and it’s been used quite a bit, as well, but not as bad as the first one. Since the client doesn’t have her receipt, I ask the cashier to look up her receipt from her membership card.)

Cashier: “I can’t seem to find her receipt for this product.”

Me: “How long ago did you purchase this?”

Client: “About a year ago.”

Me: *cannot believe she’s returning a one-year-old product* “Unfortunately, our system can only track the last 25 transactions you had in the last year. This product was purchased over a year ago, so we wouldn’t have record of the receipt, and I cannot return a product if we don’t have proof of purchase.”

Client: “But that’s not how it was! Your store should be able to return the product even if I don’t have the receipt!”

Me: “That would be true if it were before we changed our return policy, but we’ve since then modified it, and we do need proof of purchase now.”

Client: “When did that happen?! Why did you guys change it?!”

Me: “It was changed a year and half ago, and we changed it because people were abusing the system.”

Client: *appearing flustered* “Well, whatever. Are you sure you can’t replace my broken compact, then?”

Me: “Yes, I’m sure. We can only refund products if you’re not satisfied with it or it caused sensitivity.”

Client: “Okay, well, I’m not satisfied with this product! I dropped it and it just broke!”

Me: “Ma’am, if you drop something, there’s a chance that it will break! It happens to all kinds of products! That is not a valid reason to be dissatisfied with the product!”

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