LIfe After Retail Hell: Inspirational Signs That Hard Work and Never Giving Up is Worth The Dream
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IRRESPONSIBLE CustY TriesTo Return OLD WORN sweater and gets told


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)

MAG: I put it in the washer and dryer! How else would I do it RHSEPT 561

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,

--Shoe Dog




High-fives! Oooooo nice! Of course its all your fault he CAN'T FUCKING READ! Nice to have the manager's ability that day or you would have had to write off a 9 month old sweater for an illiterate customer that was a total douche.


Woo-hoo! Drive your car into a brick wall, then take it back to the dealer and demand a full refund. Obviously nobody told you at the time NOT to drive into a brick wall, so how is that YOUR fault?

Twit. It's always refreshing to read about the good guys winning one. You're probably a legend to those three employees.

Joe the Cigar Guy

Had a custy try to return a pair of mens dress shoes he said he "just bought a little while ago".
The very faded receipt said "12/07/10".
The shoes said "He wore us on a forced march down the Appalachian Trail".
My manager said "Bye".

NC Tony

@Humor Me: It's not even the fact that he can't read. He said no one TOLD him that the sweater was dry-clean only. I don't know about anyone else but, last I knew it wasn't the slaves job to tell you how to take care of your clothes. I don't expect to hear a sales associate or cashier tell me "Now, when you wash this shirt, make sure you only wash it with colors, warm cycle, tumble dry on medium heat."

Sweater scammer - 0
Shoe dog - 1


Sometimes cashiers give you hints on how to handle some clothes and it's cool. Having said that I'm still 100% sure that even IF the cashier would've given him a lecture ("How to wash wool without actually washing it!") AND if he'd read the tag he STILL would've washed it like... you know, like you normally wash clothes!


We don't sell clothes at our store, but I get all the time "The cashier told me I could return it" or they claim that no one told them a certain item was unable to be returned. Funny thing is, most of us DO tell a custy these things and we still get in trouble.

I took a tip from one of the leads and just started entering little notes on the receipt, like "this item is nonreturnable" or "can be returned within 60 days", that way if they bring them back to me, I know that I told them verbally as well as in writing.


When I worked at The Basin we had a guy come in with a pair of Clarks shoes - which are really some of the most durable shoes in the world. They were wet, smelly, worn out looking and had a huge hole in the side. He tried to tell us he purchased them 2 weeks ago. He had a receipt but it was unreadable (wet, torn, gross..).

But I'm not as lucky as you guys. My manager still took them back.

Big fancy slave

I work at the big fancy and yesterday a custy wanted to return a middle of the road priced handbag for her mother. She actually had a receipt but it was on a debit card. I eplained to her I will need the debit card to do the return. She says she wants the cash since we already took it out of her bak account plus it's she same thing. I explained to her it's not our policy to return debit card purchases in cash only cash or check transactions are returned in cash. She says I used to work at the big fancy so I know what you can do just call a manager to over ride it right now! I call the manager explain the situation and she actually stands by the policy and tells me to tell the customer she can either produce the debit cared or take a gift card. Ok. I tell the customer who becomes enraged. I told you to get the manager to over ride it not to tell me you can't do it! I know you can't do it just get the manager down here now. I call back and manager says I knew she would want to talk to me I will be there in a minute. Manager arrives explains the policy. Customer changes the story by saying she can't get the debit card because her mother doesn't have that card anymore. (the purchase took place two days ago) manager asked if she has something written that stated the card was no longer active. Customer gets more angry. The banter goes back and forth for a few minutes but ultimately the manager caved and returned the sale in cash. Afterwords the customer turned to me and said I didn't mean to be difficult I just used to work here and I know how customer service works. I have found "I used to work here" means I worked here one time during Christmas or I was fired from here or I quit .


Yay for you! Unfortunately, where I used to work (I love saying USED TO WORK! =D), we had a ridiculous "Yes We Can" policy, which basically meant give the customer whatever the hell they want -- COMPLETE BS. Even worn, shrunken in the wash, dirty, tagless, receiptless, pretty much everything had to be taken back. Thank God I never worked customer service. Employees got so lazy they wouldn't even check the tags to see if they matched up or if the store even sells that item/brand; they would just return it. Then us poor floor slaves would have no place to put them. One of the many reasons I left that place in my dust... =) But good for you for standing up to your crusty!

Shoe Dog

Thanks for all the comments and stories, RHUers! I hope I didn't sound like too much of a prick at first, because when he first came up I was sincerely wanting to help him! But that feeling deteriorated QUICKLY. ;)

And even though I (FINALLY!) got out of my loooong retail career, I'm still in the service industry, and I will always have the back of anyone in retail, whether I know them or not (and, you know, if they care about their jobs and customers).

Now I just gotta remember those damn stories!

Svantus the Custy Killer

I used to be an electronics slave at *name redacted due to antitrust laws*..
Wait....what the hell was that? They're invading my internets again...
Anyway, Mart of Wal has a similar insane policy (among other insane policies) of kissing the customer's ass no matter what. I say all this because I was an everyday ball buster there and wasn't fired only because the store manager thought it was funny ( I jailbroke his iPhone for him AT HIS HOUSE while on the clock ). Needless to say, it is your attitude that inspired wage slaves like I used to be. Thank you, Shoe Dog, for possessing the strength of will to pwn.

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