Policy Changes Can Be Good and Bad

Recently we had a change in our return policy.  Electronics returns were cut from 45-day returns to 30-day returns.  Wonderful, that makes me quite happy, actually.  You have no idea how  tired I get of people trying to return the $500 Nikon they dropped in the lake 47 days after the original purchase.  Not my problem, and I can’t take it back.  Call the manufacturer and see what they will do for you.

This means, that if there are any legit, big defects in the product, they will be apparent with regular use in those first thirty days.  My biggest thing is, our protection and replacement plans are actually pretty dang awesome.  Not only that, but the high dollar items like that come with their own manufacturer’s warranty, so really, you have no reason to bring it back to the store.

Something else that changed was that Halloween costumes couldn’t be returned after the 31st of October.  THANK YOU!  No one wants your nasty, sweaty, pukey costume returned, thanks.  A lot of people were upset that they couldn’t return things on the first of November, even though it was clearly stated on their receipt under the costumes and accessories that they couldn’t be returned after Halloween.  But who reads these days?  I mean, come on, reading is such an obsolete method of communication and learning.

However, what changed to make me upset was the fact that we now have to accept undergarment returns.  And I don’t mean bras.  I mean panties.  I mean thongs.

Excuse me a second while I go puke around the corner.

We didn’t accept them as returns before because it’s a hygiene issue.  We can’t prove or disprove that you did or did not wear these for one night.  We don’t even let you try them on in the fitting room!  Why are we allowing you to return them?  To go along with our new “method” of pleasing the guests all the time, we have to accept their underwear return and then immediately defect it out.  I’m sorry, but that sounds like the store is losing money now.  We are accepting a return of something that we cannot resell that was not inherently defective (okay, it is, but it isn’t.  It’s not like a camera that won’t power on).

I shudder every time a guest brings in their undies.  I hate it.  I had a woman several weeks back come return about seven pair of thongs.  She was easily in her sixties, and no, she was not attractive for her age.  The mental images that assaulted me were enough to make me want to lose my lunch.  Maybe it makes me mean, but when they come to return things like that, I make a note to try not to touch anything but the tag so that I can scan the item.  And even then I leave them in the bag if I can.  I don’t want that crotch crap on my counter.  I’m one of the few who actually wipes that thing down daily!

We have to make sure to make our guests 100% happy now, even if that means we are losing money, losing time working on important projects, and losing dignity and respect for the store.  I’m sorry, but I can’t picture how someone can actually respect a business that lets you walk all over them.

Oh, you want me to hike all over creation to track down this one item for you because you have a stomach ache?  Sure, I wasn’t working on setting up an endcap that was due last week or anything.  No, we don’t have a visit that we’re not prepared for because we have decided to write “DOORMAT” over our store logo just for people like you.

There’s a BIG difference in going the extra mile for a guest to make them happy and just flat out letting a guest take advantage of you.  Getting them an electric cart so they don’t have to wreck their injured knee again is good.  Getting them the cart and then escorting them around the entire store and doing their shopping for them isn’t.  That’s what personal assistants and personal shoppers are for.

I’m not upset that we are encouraging our team members to be nicer and more willing to help guests, I’m just upset that they are expecting us to bend over backwards for them.  I don’t like letting people walk all over me and sometimes that’s what I feel like my bosses expect of us.

So, next time you pick out a pair of lacey undies at the store, you just make sure you inspect those suckers thoroughly.  And please, please, PLEASE wash your new clothes before you wear them.  You have no idea where they might have been.

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