I'm an assistant manager at a somewhat popular clothing store at my local mall. The company just started a new rewards program, where customers receive a great coupon for their next purchase just for enrolling. It's been going pretty great for us, but of course there's been a few hiccups.
This story starts this past Sunday, when a customer (we'll refer to him as C) came up to me while I was filling out some paperwork. I recognized him as he's a regular, one who ALWAYS seems to have an issue.
C: So if I sign up for the rewards program I get $20 off?
Me: Yes, we send you an email in a couple days for $20 off your next purchase.
C: Well my friend said if I sign up today you guys will price adjust the items to reflect the coupon.
Me: Sorry, we're not doing that anymore. That was only during the first week of the program due to some miscommunication between us and corporate. We assumed the email would come through immediately and told customers that, when in reality it comes through in 3 days as an incentive to come back. Now we tell customers it's off their next purchase so we're no longer doing price adjustments for the coupon.
C: Well your website says "join now and get $20 off your purchase."
Me: Yes, it's off your next purchase.
C: It doesn't say next purchase.
Me: I understand that, it's because they assume that people looking at the website are browsing from home, so if they sign up they can use the coupon when they come in stores. But I have nothing to do with the website, I didn't write that. If you enroll on your phone I think the email comes through quicker, but if you do it on the cash register it takes a couple days.
C: I'd like to speak to your store manager.
C: You're the manager?
C: Is there another one working?
Me: She's on break, she won't be back for another hour or so.
C: Ok well you need to help me enroll so I can get this coupon.
I then helped him enroll on his phone (which we're not supposed to do because we're currently in a country-wide contest for enrollments, and they don't count if they're not done on a register). He used the coupon and went on his merry way.
Fast forward to last night (Thursday), he walks into my store again holding one of our bags for a return. Because I'm a manager, I had to do the return for him.
C: I would just like to price adjust this since it's now 50% off. I bought it at full price yesterday and the person told me I could bring it back tonight for the discount.
I told him I'd be happy to do that for him, since it was well within our price adjustment period of 7 days. I took the receipt and notice he didn't pay full price, but $20 below.
Me: Okay, so you're going to get $9 back.
C: Plus the $20 coupon back.
Me: Well, you paid $38 for the shirt and now it's $29, so you're getting $9.
C: But I also get the coupon back.
C: But I'm returning the item.
Me: You're price adjusting it. You're still getting money back but I can't give you the full $29 since you got $20 off it originally.
C: That's not fair. I'd like to speak to your manager.
Me: I am the manager on duty tonight, my boss is on vacation still.
C: So you need to figure out a way to give me my $29 back. What if we return it without the receipt?
Me: Returns without receipts only give the lowest possible price. Since it's 50% off now you would only get the $29 instead of the $38 you paid or the $58 it costs at full price.
C: Try it anyways.
So I did the return without the receipt and obviously, since I know the return policy in my own store, the shirt rang up as $29.
C: That's not fair. It was full price when I bought it.
Me: Well we have the return policy written on the back of our receipts. Here, it says that returns without receipts can only be refunded for the lowest possible price on a merchandise credit. With a receipt you get the price you paid either in the form of the original tender or on a merchandise credit.
C: Then do it with the receipt.
Me: Okay, so you're going to get $9 back.
C: And the $20 coupon!
Me: I understand your frustrations but there's honestly nothing I can do. I can't give you the $20 back because it was never your $20 to begin with, it was a coupon. What I can do is do the return for $38, then you can take the survey at the bottom of your receipt for a $10 coupon and we can apply that to another purchase.
He then snatched his shirt and receipt back and said he'd figure it out himself. He and his wife roamed around the store for almost an hour and a half, making a mess of everything. They'd take folded shirts out of closets and spread them out on nearby tables and just leave them there, only to sit on our couches for 15 minutes on their phones.
Long story short, they were texting and calling their friends and using their information to sign up for our rewards program in order to acquire more $20 coupons, then came to the registers to do 4 more transactions with those coupons. I let them do it since it was the end of the night and I was so fed up with this guy. They didn't end up leaving the store until 15 minutes after we closed. Doors locked, music off, and they were still wandering around the store, leaving things in places they obviously shouldn't be.
I left a voicemail for my loss prevention team before I left explaining the situation, and they just now called me back telling me they flagged the customer's name and to not let him use any more $20 coupons since he's cheating the system. My next encounter with him is surely going to be interesting.