Yes, of course we will allow you to return that cooked steak that you didn’t like…

It should come as no surprise that people ask some of the stupidest questions.  Just the other day while trying to clean dried soap gunk off of my hands, someone calls up at the trusty service desk about a product she bought that was missing a piece.  This product was a set of mini blinds missing the switch to open and close them.  Does the guest realize this is missing before she installs it in her window?  Probably.  Does that stop her from installing it in her window?  No, of course not. That would make things a lot easier.
    
This guest wants to know what the store can do for her.  I explain to her that she would have to bring in the defective set of blinds and exchange them for new ones.
                
Cue the silent pause.
                
“But they’ve already been put up.”
                
“I’m sorry, ma’am, but I can’t return or exchange them without the defective set of blinds.”
                
“Why can’t you just open another box and take the switch off another one for me and I’ll come pick it up later tonight?”            
               
I sigh and try my best to keep my cool.
                
“Ma’am, I can’t just tear another product apart for you.  You will have to bring in the other set to exchange for a new set.  It won’t cost you anything, especially since you said you have the receipt.”
              
She was silent for another pause, and I was finally getting the rest of the soap off of my hands from a busted bag of some new designer hand soap.  Finally, she sighs and speaks.
              
“But I already put these ones up.”
                
Here is where I had to resist the urge to slam the phone against the service desk repeatedly.  Was this woman serious?  Did she seriously think that I was just going to go back and find a box of blinds and yank out ONE piece and give it to her?  No, ma’am, that’s not how business works. 
              
“Well, I’m sorry, but that’s the only option that I can give you if you want to bring it back to the store.” 
               
“What can the manufacturer do for me?”
                
“I’m not sure, if you still have the box, you will have to see if there is any contact information on the box for the manufacturer.”
                
Finally, after some more round about on how she already installed the other blinds and didn’t want to take them back down to exchange them, she finally squeezes out a non-sincere thank you and hangs up on me before I could tell her to have a nice day and go hang herself with her broken blinds.
                
What really gets me, though, is not that fact that she asked what the store could do for her, but the fact that she asked me if I could just take apart another one of our products for her.  Who does she think she is?  I wouldn’t do that for any of my guests.  The only time we have EVER done that is when people bring in broken furniture.  Like for instance the woman who bought a lovely, three-tier glass entertainment center for their brand new huge flat screen TV. 
                
There had been a packing error, and the three glass pieces were packed with nothing in between the sheets.  So, can you image the rattle that box made?  Three sheets of glass just chilling up close, getting to know one another shard by broken shard?  In this case, she brought in the box of the annihilated glass, and we brought an entire new entertainment center from the back and just switched out the broken pieces for some non-broken and packed-correctly pieces.
                
Seeing as this was a store-brand piece of furniture, it all worked out because obviously it was at fault of our own store manufacturer and not some manufacturer with whom we have a contract to sell their products with.  We were able to defect out the one brought from the back, and the lady and her husband had the last pieces they needed to complete their entertainment center.  No harm, no foul.
                
So, you might be wondering why, now it is an issue to pull out a switch from mini blinds for this other woman.  Because, technically, the switch is attached to the mini blinds, so we can’t just detach (and frankly destroy) another product for one piece.  The pieces of the entertainment center were separate parts, not attached parts.  Make sense? 
                
This woman, though, is only one of many phone calls that I get on a daily basis that make me question the intelligence of the human race.
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