It may get a bit long, but I believe it’s worth the read. This story starts a month ago. January 12th. I go to a store, and for the sake of the story, we’ll call it Xara. So, I know this store has a HORRIBLE reputation in all aspects. Poor customer service, cheap products, scamming. I’ve heard it all. Despite this, I know several people from work who have some really cute things from there so I thought, why not give it a shot regardless?
They have this huge sale where the entire store is a minimum 50% off. I look through their stuff online and see that the store nearest my current class has a pair of jeans for $20 and a jacket for $60 that I’m interested in. Great. I have an hour between classes and it just so happens to be on the way to the place I usually grab a coffee, so it’s super convenient.
Anyways, I go in, grab the things, pay, and leave. The whole thing is maybe 15 minutes and I have no issues finding what I want. It was pretty busy since it was the lunch hour rush so I just got my receipt and went on my merry way.
I try the items on at home and decide that although they’re both great, they’re definitely not made with my body type in mind. They look great online, but those models at stick thin and 6 feet tall, whereas despite being borderline underweight, I still carry enough weight on my thighs to have a curve and struggle to hit that 5’4” mark. Not the fit I hoped for.
Keep in mind, I never throw away any receipt. I have receipts for every returnable thing I’ve ever purchased. I have receipts from years ago, so naturally I have my receipt for this purchase too. Anyways, about a week later, let’s say the 20th or 21st, I have another lunch break, but this time, I’m closer to a different, much larger location. I see this as the perfect opportunity to return the items.
Let’s skip the part where the whole store was literally on the floor and disgusting. I get to the register and there’s a line of 25+ people. How many cashiers? 2. How many registers? 8. Why the other employees stood around twiddling their thumbs and passing by, I do not know. Fast forward the almost half hour I stood in line, I’m finally getting served. I go up, hand over my stuff, and say I want a refund. The girl takes my card, checks everything, returns the $20 pants, and here’s where the problems begin. (M = me, C = cashier).
C: Sorry, I can’t return the jacket
M: Why not?
C: It’s not on the receipt.
M: What? That’s impossible. This is literally the only purchase I have ever made at this store. There’s no other receipt it could possibly be on.
C: Well, no. The pants are on here, and I returned them, but other than that, it says you bought a skirt for $80.
At this point, I take the receipt back and I’m like wtf? And she’s right. There on the receipt, it says “skirt” with a hefty price next to it. I look at her.
The cashier proceeds to call the manager and the manager tells me that if the cashier did mess up, then I have to go to the original store of purchase for them to check the cameras. I work retail (This will be important later), so I think, ok, fair enough, but this is still a major inconvenience on my part.
Not only have I just essentially wasted half an hour to not get a refund because of some cashier’s mistake, I now had to spend the remaining half trying to fix it instead of eating lunch. With wasted time and an empty belly, I was pretty upset. I go back to the original store and ask to speak to a manager. The fitting room attendant seems surprised by the request and clumsily directs me to a woman. And wow, was this woman a character.
I explain the whole situation to her, how I bought it, the cashier must have misscanned it, etc. The whole time, she’s looking at me with this disgusted face, one eyebrow raised skeptically. When I mention the cashier misscanning the item, she cuts me off, and the first thing she’s said to me since I’ve begun talking to her is (and imagine this in the most condescending, ‘you’re an idiot’, judgemental voice possible) (and this is literally word for word what she said) “You’re telling me you didn’t make sure the cashier did her job correctly?”
I was flabbergasted. Um, no, I didn’t. That’s not MY job. It’s YOURS. I’m sorry for trusting a girl scan a tag attached to a jacket I handed her. Where she even got an $80 skirt from, I can’t tell you. I explain that I was in a rush between classes, and the amount I ended up paying, despite being overcharged $30, is roughly what I expected, since I was buying high quality embroidered jeans and a fleece lined, embroidered and painted denim jacket, especially with our taxes being as high as they are. I didn’t expect the cashier to mess up.
In response, I get a few eye rolls, monotone “uh-huhs”, and sighs. At this point, I’m even more upset with the attitude I’m being given for a mistake that was not my own.
I show her my receipt, and I tell her that the manager at the other store said to check the cameras, so I’m going to need her to do that because I need my money back for the coat, especially since bill payments were coming up, and being a uni student always makes those an extra bit of fun. When I mention cameras, she cuts me of and says “Uh, NO. I’m NOT going to check the cameras because it takes a minimum of THREE days. Oh, and since we’re closing soon, that three days starts TOMORROW.”
Now, like I mentioned, it was lunch. They were not closing soon. Second of all, their company uses the same systems my store does as I’m pretty sure they’re the largest in North America. I had my receipt which had the time AND date, and as I mentioned earlier, I work retail and I have looked up receipts for customers several times before. The purchase was only a week ago. It wasn’t months back, it was a few days, plus she had the time of the purchase, register, cashier, everything and more with the other info on the receipt, PLUS all she had to do was select the time and date! The computer does the rest! She literally had the simplest part. Press some keys on a keyboard.
Wtf? No. This is not true. People who used to work here confirmed for me at a later date that this is not true.
So, she then sighs and rolls her eyes ONCE AGAIN when she sees I’m not any close to giving up and she snatched my receipt saying “I GUESS I’ll take down your info.” And then in a split second her mood seems to get better when she cheerfully says “Oh! I can’t help you! You bought this on the first of December, do your receipt is expired. SORRY!”
And I’m here like, wtf, you work here and you don’t know how to read the format of your own receipts? I ask her, “So I bought this on the first of December, 2017?”
Realizing her failed attempt at brushing me off, she goes back to grumpy and takes down my info. Never once says sorry for the mistake by her cashier, wasting my time running between stores, nothing.
After such a horrible experience, I contact their customer service and write them a lengthy email about how atrocious my treatment was in a situation where I was not in the wrong, was completely cooperating, and had all proof and documents on hand. Their reply was something along the lines of “omg, we’re so sorry, please send us pictures of your receipt and your contact info for us to begin investigating.”
Now a week goes by since that “48” hour mark, and I have not hear from that manager. THREE WEEKS go by and I have not heard anything from Customer service. I periodically message them for updates and they keep saying “We’re still investigating.”
FINALLY, on Tuesday, the 7th of FEBRUARY, almost a month after my purchase, I get a call. Now, the call couldn’t have been at a worst time. I was stuck commuting in the middle of freezing rain storm. Tracks have frozen over, so the trains aren’t working. Shuttle buses take forty minutes to arrive and I have to pass on 3 of them because there are way too many people. A 30 minute commute becomes a 2 hour commute, my hands are cold to the point where my phone doesn’t recognize my fingers, and the umbrella of the woman beside me freezes over in front of my eyes so that when she closes it later, the ice mold of her umbrella shatters over her head. I get a call.
M=me, CS=customer service(if you can call it that)
CS: Hello. Can we speak to OP?
M: That’s me.
CS: Hi, we’re calling from Xara about a social media post about not being able to return an item?
At this point, I’m like thank god, at least something good will come out of this horrible day
CS: Yeah, we’re not going to refund you.
M:....what do you mean?
CS: We checked your receipt against our inventory and there are no discrepancies.
M: Well obviously not. Your inventory is going to say that because my receipt shows a skirt was sold. That’s the issue.
CS: Yeah, well there’s no problem with it so we’re not going to refund you.
M: At this point, this is becoming such a hassle that I’ll just keep the jacket. You can’t even refund me the $20 I was overcharged?
CS: No because you paid $80 for that skirt so there’s nothing to refund.
M: Okay, so if I bought this skirt, I would like for you forward me the camera footage of me paying for the skirt. The time and date is on the receipt.
CS: Oh, no, we don’t check cameras.
Wtf? They don’t check the only place that has the evidence?
CS: That’s only for the company heads.
M: That’s not true. There are many situations in which a store would need camera footage to be accessible.
CS: We do not check cameras.
M: So then why did two different managers at two separate locations mention that cameras would be checked?
CS: Well, they lied to you. Is there anything else I can help you with?
Now as I mentioned, he caught me at a horrible time. I was freezing, already in a shitty mood, and really not up for arguing when I was barely holding my phone so I said no and hung up. But mind you, I was FURIOUS.
I’ve been doing the best I can, have been as cooperative as possible, and this is how I’m being treated? I was almost 4 weeks into dealing with this which meant my receipt would expire soon, and if I’ve been getting so much resistance for doing everything right, god forbid they have a legit reason to turn me away.
So with two days left, and a eight of my hard earned dollars at stake, I decide for one more, final, dramatic push. At this point, I don’t care if it gets me banned because I know I’ll never be shopping there again. The next day, I grab my stuff, and rile myself up the entire day. I piece together my plan, from the moment I step in to when the credits role.
I was up to the register and ask for the manager. The cashier asks me why and I explain the situation to her. She waves and mumbles something in a general direction towards two people. One of them is the same manager who I spoke to last time and I prayed for someone else, anyone else because I knew she would tell to fuck off before hearing me out a second time. Luckily, the other person, a man, turns .5 seconds faster and ends up being the one who comes over. The cashier briefly explains what I told her to him and then he turns to me. Here I go, I think to myself. One last attempt.
And I start BAWLING. SOBBING, full out rivers on my cheeks. Now this manager is faced with a short, petite girl crying in front of him. He tries to calm me down and promises he’ll figure this out for me. He takes my receipt and what does he do? He runs to CHECK THE CAMERAS!!!!! SOMETHING THAT COULD HAVE BEEN DONE WEEKS AGO!!!
WITHIN TEN MINUTES, I HAVE MY $80 BACK AND A SINCERE APOLOGY FROM THE TWO DUDES WHO HANDLED THE SITUATION AS QUICKLY AND SWIFTLY AS POSSIBLE WHILE THAT ASSHOLE MANAGER FROM BEFORE STOOD BY AND WATCHED IT ALL UNFOLD. I WAS TURNED AWAY THREE TIMES OVER THE COURSE OF A MONTH FOR SOMETHING THAT COULD HAVE BEEN DONE IN 10 MINUTES!!!!!
Once I left the store, and wiped the fake tears, real ones started coming, like all that pent up frustration was coming out all at once. To some people, $80 may not be a lot. But to a broke university student who has a dog who needs $80 monthly shots to be able to walk, it means the world. I just can’t believe that I had to argue with three different people and be led on and blatantly mistreated over the course of an entire month for a mistake that was 100% theirs, where I cooperated 100% and even went extra miles to get them anything they needed to resolve the matter.
The fact that I had to fake a mental breakdown after a month of struggle to get back $80 dollars that I was literally scammed out of is unbelievable. And had I gotten that same manager a second time, I would not have it to this day. Thank you to those two guys who helped me. Fuck the actual company and their devotion to hire the most incompetent of people for all positions. Needless to say, I will never even consider going into Xara again. This was one hell of a first, and last impression. Buyer's beware.
Also, yes I am on the tight budget, but it was near Christmas time, so I had a little extra cash that I could invest into higher quality clothing that would last me a while and I've been eyeing that jacket for half a year. Besides, my form of stress relief is shopping. When in stressed out, I'll spend some money, and then when I calm down the next day I go return it. It's just how I am, sorry if that's being a bad person lol.