Hey, RHU. Without Nametag here, with a story about one of my stranger returns. I had been working for Department Store Hell for about a year and a half, and had picked up an on-call shift in women's apparel.
I was at the registers when I was approached by a sweet little old lady holding a dark red velvet sweater. When she told me that she wanted to return it, it came with a story: she had bought it two years earlier from Store That No Longer Exists, but then she had gotten cancer and almost died, and had never worn it. She found it in her closet, and decided to return it.
Why had she brought it to me? Because Store That No Longer Exists had been purchased by the store that I now worked for, and it was in the same damn spot that the previous store had been in. Locals still called it by the other store's name, as the old store had been there for decades and old habits die hard.
Now, my store had a really generous return policy at that time (this was years before the bullshitty "we'll take back any item for any reason at any time" policy that many stores have adopted now). Ours was 6 months, which was almost insane compared to most other stores, whose policies expired after 30 - 90 days. Ours was a whopping 180.
So, I went through my thing: I told her that I was sorry she had gotten sick, and that I was glad that she had gotten better. It was great that she still had the tags attached, but she didn't have the receipt. This was also no longer [store], and our policy only extended six months. We didn't even carry that brand. I told her that I might be able to return it by finding something similar on clearance, and using that tag to return it for store credit, but that nothing could be done without a manager.
She said something to the effect of "Bless you, dear," and I called the manager. Let's call the manager Barbie. She looked like Barbie.
So Barbie comes over, and she hears the cancer story, and kindly tells the woman the same thing: "Sorry to hear that, glad you're better, return policy, help you out, clearance rack, store credit, yada yada yada."
And we got another, "Oh, that's fine, dear," so Barbie goes fishing in the clearance rack and returns with something kinda-sorta like this lady's velvet sweater. It had been marked down to $10. Barbie goes ahead and processes the return, and lets this lady know that she'll be getting a gift card with $10 on it. That's when shit went down.
You know the scene in the first Ghostbusters movie when the guys encounter a library ghost, and she's all peaceful until they're loud in the library and all hell breaks loose? Yeah, it was like that.
"What DO YOU MEAN, ten dollars? The tag says ninety, and I paid ninety, and I want ninety in cash, because I never wore this sweater and it's in perfect condition because I got cancer and almost died! Give me ninety dollars!"
Firstly, I'm taking cancer off the table. I don't know if you had cancer or not, but I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt here, because what sick fuck fakes cancer? But it doesn't matter either way. Getting sick does not entitle you to a refund on a sweater two years later.
Second: She bought this sweater from a store that no longer exists anywhere, in any form. Our store took returns from stuff purchased at that store for six months after the switch, as a courtesy to the customers. Not two years.
Third: it took her two years to make a decision about this sweater. Granted, if she DID have cancer, then she was too busy to worry about a sweater. But most people that I know of, after finding something in their closet after two years with the tag still on, will gift it to someone, wear it, or give it to charity.
Fourth: no receipt. Prove to me that you bought that from [store]. You can't.
Fifth: No way was she getting full price after two years.
Sixth: Like hell she was getting cash.
We were polite but firm. Given the circumstances, we were accommodating her by taking the sweater back. We would be losing money on the deal, as we would not be able to sell it, and would have to damage it out. Ten dollars store credit was our offer. She angrily stuffed the sweater back into her bag and snarled that she'd just give the sweater to someone, as it was still in perfect condition... because she had gotten cancer, and almost died.
I looked at Barbie. She shrugged. I shrugged. We canceled the transaction and went back to work.
Please return things in a timely manner,