Shoe Dog gets a Retail Balls Award for facing off with a bad returner:
What’s up, RHU? Long time, first time, yada yada yada. I recently got out of retail after over 15 years, and man, do I have stories to tell… now if I could just remember them all! You can call me Shoe Dog since that’s what I did for The Big Fancy for the last 7 years. But this story predates that, and it’s one of my all-time favorites.
Before The Big Fancy, I worked as an Assistant Manager at Structure (they’re not around under that name anymore so I don’t feel like censoring the name), and I was helping out at a location other than my own, about 30 miles away. They didn’t have a store manager at the time, so a few of us from neighboring stores were trying our best to help out.
So this middle-aged guy (MAG) walks in with a bag and says he wants to return a sweater. “Sure,” I say, “let me take a look.” He then takes out a wool sweater that looks like it was made for a 3-year-old – now, keep in mind that we specialized in trendy young men’s clothing.
Me (playing dumb): Well, what seems to be the problem?
MAG: I got this sweater last year and it shrunk. Here’s my receipt. (Hands me a 9-month old receipt.)
Me: Ok, well, I’m sorry you had a problem, but our return policy is printed on the back of the receipt and it is 30 days, unworn and with the tags attached, so there’s really nothing I can do for you at this point.
MAG: Why? Clearly something is wrong with this sweater!
Me: Well, it’s lambswool, can I ask how you took care of it? (what he did would have been obvious to a blind person, but I needed him to say it)
Me: If you would have read the washing instructions on the tag, you would have known that this is a dry-clean only item.
MAG: Well, no one told me that when I got it, so I think you should take it back.
Me: (knowing there’s no manager above me to take it to) Well, that’s simply not going to happen. It’s not our fault that you didn’t check before you threw it in the wash.
We argue back and forth for a minute before he gets frustrated, throws it back in his bag and yells out, “Fine! Then I’m never shopping here again!”
I quickly shoot back with a little smirk on my face, “Good, then I guess we’ll never have a problem with you again! Have a great day!”
He walked out pissed while the store’s 3 other employees who were there just stood there in shock because apparently they had never seen a manager go toe-to-toe with a customer like that before. That put me in a pretty good mood for the rest of the day, and I never heard anything about the incident from the company. Win-win!
Until next time,