Posts Tagged ‘exchange’

Shoplifter: The Legitimate Thief

September 2, 2010

Stealing is stealing. I’m sorry. Yet, some boldfaced people use legitimacy, and some lying, to bend the rules and steal in wholly different ways. As many people know, I don’t like cashiering because I believe cashiers only work to take money away from the store–in the form of discounts–and do not do much to add to the sales, or amount people buy. They are like used-car salesmen trying to sell people what they didn’t know they needed–discounts and credit cards.

A customer comes up, she’s a regular, and up until now, I always thought she was a reasonable shopper. In recent days, I’ve been trapped as a cashier against my will, because people aren’t available to work. She comes up with a leather bag. This is the same leather bag she bought only seven days ago with a huge discount coupon. How do I know? Because I sold her this expensive item thinking, “Wow, she spends money easily.” Well I was wrong.

She was returning the bag, saying she lost the receipt. I looked at her skeptically. I told her we can look up the transaction with the credit card we used, because I was the cashier who helped her and gave her the discount. I told her we needed to be fair. She couldn’t remember what credit card she used. I remembered. This, I pulled up the transaction, and she had saved over fifty-dollars ($50).

What she had ‘attempted’ to do was return the item without a receipt, hoping to get a merchandise credit for the full amount, since the item was still new. She was trying to cheat the system by saying she lost the receipt with the discount, just so she could get $50 more to spend. This, my friends, is a liar and a thief. She just doesn’t think she is. The worse part, if she runs into a novice or unaware cashier, they would have given her the merchandise credit, and she could just say, “The cashier did it, I didn’t do anything wrong!” I also hear she comes in trying this scam all the time. In this case, a cashier did save money for the store. No discounts for you lady, sell crazy someplace else!

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You Can Have This Back…

August 19, 2010

Whenever the store opens, we always expect the returns to come in. I’m always waiting for the first return, so I can get it done with. Today, the woman comes in with a bag, ready to return. She hands me items that can’t be returned, but really, I don’t care. I don’t want issues, stress, or arguments at the beginning of the day, because I’ll have several more hours of legitimate irritation time anyway. So I just take the return, as she rummages through my counter–looking at things she’s not supposed to, grabbing coupons that are for buying customers and putting them in her purse. She’s really pushing my patience-buttons, but I let her do as she pleases, as long as I can get her out.

After the transaction, she hands me the bag she brought the returns in with, and says to me, “You can have this back.” Okay, thanks. I look at the bag from another store, a competitor, and let my eyes roll deeply into my skull, as I crumple it and throw it in the trash. “Thanks. Have a great day.”

Customer Type: The Blind, Capitalist, The Dumb

The Benefit of the Doubt

April 3, 2010

A customer comes in with a return, it seems her pants tore on the butt the first time she wore it. It was beyond the return period, and kind of old. She didn’t have a receipt and the item was worthless in price, but after a discussion with a manager, he told her, “We’ll give you the benefit of the doubt, and let you exchange it for another pair.” So she goes off on her merry way to find a new pair of jeans. After her search, she returns to the register, and the same manager returns to help her. She now says that she had it altered and hemmed, which really does stretch our return policy. Yet, again, the manager said, “Alright, I said we’d give you the benefit of the doubt, and we will. Just this one time, you can exchange your jeans.” The story I was told, since I was nearby, but not included in this story, she exchanged her pair of hemmed, torn, used pants and got a pair of brand new pants.

Half-an-hour later she returns, and says she doesn’t want the pants anymore. She asks for specific managers by their name, none of which were working. Instead another manager comes out, since she doesn’t want the first manager helping her. She starts crying saying she doesn’t want the pants and wants her original pants back. The manager asks why. The woman tells my manager, “He called me fat.”
“What do you mean?”
“When he said he was giving me the benefit of the doubt, he was calling me fat.”
“I’m sorry, mam, but I’m quite sure he wasn’t calling you fat.”
“He was!” And the woman sobs more heavily, crying more. “He was calling me fat, and saying he’d give me the benefit of the doubt, because I’m fat!” Of course, she was about 34-inches and about five-foot two-inches in height. Yet, my manager was right, he wouldn’t call her fat, since that’s not his style. After a lot of crying, sobbing, and fat-over-usage, the second manager comes into the back to tell me and the first manager the story. A third manager comes along, one of the people she kept asking for when she was crying. We described her, and he didn’t know her at all, but went to look at the security cameras just in cast.

Because, you know, the whole world thinks she’s fat, which is why the pants tore, right? I know you’re thinking that, stop giving her the benefit of the doubt, people! Shame, shame.

Customer Types: Big Baby

Returns: a jacket with deep pockets.

February 24, 2010

One of my co-workers was attaching tags on items that were returned. I pat the jacket, because it’s a padded, puffer vest. Then, I notice there’s a lump in it. Obviously, I can’t resist knowing what it is. Maybe someone left money, or the original tags, or something else interesting or special on accident. So I shove my hands inside, and I pull out a random assortment–a plastic spork, some salt, and some pepper. This is definitely a reason why you can’t accept all returns, and you need to really check if this item was worn or not. Although I would not be smelling this item, if they keep food articles in their pockets. The spork would have given the whole ‘worn’ aspect away.

We’re actually quite grossed out by this find. Yet I’m intrigued, I have to put my hand in the other pocket. I feel a small lump and I pull it out. Opening my hand, I want to barf a little and I run by my co-worker almost knocking her over. I need to wash my hands, dropping the old, dirty, used napkin on the ground.

At least make it look like you didn’t wear it! Come on people, how disgusting are you? We don’t sell you clothes with used items in the pockets.

Why I don’t exchange things.

February 24, 2010

I consider returning and exchanging parallel because of their repercussions, which is basically embarrassment and a form of harassment, and definitely the seemingly legitimate chance for salespeople to get back at customers by being insulting, degrading and rude. For all intents and purposes, I don’t mind that, as long as there is some form of customer rudeness and stupidity included. This does not count when I’m the one returning or exchanging. In general, I am not stupid nor am I rude.

I bought a product I thought would be reasonable for my purposes, but it turns out, I needed the deluxe version which cost a lot more, but definitely made a difference. So I go to the return window, and I show them my return with my receipt and the item I want to exchange it for. She looks at me, then the receipt, then the items, then me, then the items, and puts the receipt down.

“No, you don’t do it like this! You bring the item you want to exchange to me first! You don’t go and get the item you want to exchange! We will get the item for you! You don’t do it like this! We will take your item for you, and get the item you want.”

I’m standing there, initially thinking I did her a favor, since these two items aren’t even in the same area of the store. I usually appreciate my customers bringing the item they want to exchange, rather than them coming to the register saying they want to exchange, and I have to run around looking for the item, while the line of customers grows longer and longer. I appreciate people who find the item they want to exchange. I am already taken aback.

So I stand there and do my best to apologize. Again, I want to scream that I work retail as well, but it’s never worth my time. This was her time, her time for empowerment, to belittle the customer–I just pray for her never to walk into my store and act dumb or rude, because it will be my turn. Considering the fact I was returning an item worth one-fifth of the item I was buying ($4 versus $20), she was still acting like I was stealing–I understand when people return something that costs a lot to exchange for something worthless. So even here, I was quite in awe. Yet, this reaffirms my vow not to return or exchange items–I just have someone else do it for me. Because no matter how well you plan, and how intelligently you do it, someone else ends up being stupid.

Why I don’t return things.

February 24, 2010

I was looking around for a cheap  jacket to wear as part of a costume for Halloween. I thought I found the perfect item for a great deal. I bought it. I assembled my outfit. When the time came to go out, I changed my mind. Well, actually, my friends never called, so I didn’t go out. The very next day, I go to return the unused jacket. To my chagrin I realize their flimsy paper tag fell off the jacket–which might be something their company needs to improve upon to lower losses–yet also, it made me look like I wore it and now I’m returning it.

I get to a cashier in their returns window. Other than the fallen flimsy paper tag, the buttons were still covered by tissue, and all other tags were attached. Of course, this was the least of my problems. When the cashier scanned the tag, the item appeared as a pack of underwear (on their computer). I was standing there in awe. I looked at the receipt, and lo-and-behold, it said underwear pack. Now, I was surely bemused. As a retail salesperson, I already felt irony and stupidity rise within me.

I hate returning items for various reasons, mostly pride. Why buy the item if you didn’t want it? That is considered a waste of time. If you bought the item as a gift, let them return it to get something better. Unless you spend a piddly amount on them and you want to return it, so as to hide your cheapness–you should never have been cheap to begin with, or just bought a gift they can’t return. There is a certain amount of embarrassment when returning, because the cashiers always question you, look at you with accusation, and definitely give you the feeling of belittling. I much rather keep an unwanted item–if I actually buy something I don’t want–rather than return it. I have a small pile of items I’ve bought and refused to return. This jacket was not one of them.

I, as a cashier, always just accept returns, other than ones obviously worn, older than time, or somehow damaged or destroyed. I don’t question people, even if they are used to the questions and decide to list me various reasons for not wanting the item–it didn’t fit, they didn’t need it, they found something else, blah-blah. I just accept the return, give them no reason for embarrassment, and let them go. We aren’t catching criminals here, we’re just losing money.

By this time, the manager has come to examine the tags and items. Definitely noting the fact the underwear packs don’t cost as much as my jacket. I was flustered mainly that their store mislabeled something and sold it; increasingly flustered that I don’t read receipts so I was partly to blame–you see how this issue with returning always makes people feel bad and stupid? Eventually she says she’ll, “Do this for me just this one time. But only this time.”

I’m standing there, my eyes are rolling inside, I want to scream, saying I also work retail, and I know how all this works, and that I would never use that line on a customer–especially if it was the store’s fault for this mistake, mislabeled ignorance. I will often take blame for my co-workers when there is a return or receipt with a mistake on it, whilst writing down the co-worker’s name for future embarrassment at my hands, of course.

By now, my heart is pumping, my face is red, and I’m quite irritated. I once more resolve never to return things and always to be sure of what I’m buying. Impulse shopping does not exist for me. Especially since I plan for a week or more before I buy anything. Again, I ask, why would I buy something I don’t want or need?

A Last Straw…

September 8, 2009

Last night, a woman comes up to the register with a pile of clothes and a previous purchase in a crushed, wrinkled bag–obviously a return or exchange. The state of one’s shopping bag says a great deal about the shopper, mind you. Which she let me know, was an exchange because she got wrong sizes. She also pulled out a tiny bottle of what amounts to a sample sized bottle of perfume, saying that she was surprised there was no sprayer–thus she opened it (violently?) and it has spilled all over the place, so she doesn’t want it–handing me vial with 1/4th its contents missing.I could already tell I’d be dealing with a neanderthal.

After I entered all her items, she decides to check if she got all the right sizes. Lo and behold, she got an XL instead of a L. (Who didn’t see that coming the moment she stepped to the register with eight shirts in her hand?) So I went to get the shirt from the children’s section. The piles here are neatly folded except for her meanderings–which equals everything above XL thrown asunder, and if you know clothing, XL is on the bottom of each pile, so everywhere I could see explosions of turned over piles. There at the top of one of her disasters was the Large-size she missed.

We have a promotion in which we must manually spread discounts between two items (50% and 50%), which she allowed me to complete before saying, “Wait, I want to see what I actually need.” Lo and behold, yet again, she chooses each item that was part of a ‘two item’ combination, thus leaving the single items with a full discount amounting to 100% off.

This left me with the task of starting the transaction over once again. Which is when I find out another coworker gave her an accidental discount far beyond 50%, closer to 75%-off for each item–which the customer reminded me, I needed to honor. I note, she did not remind me politely. Thus I had to price override every single item, and reapply the discount to 75%-off. Along with the scent she returned, and a hat and slippers she added to the transaction, she had a balance of about $15

She was incredulous with paying $15 (after getting 75%-off everything else). Thus she requested I recheck everything to make sure that it was done correctly, to the point  she didn’t believe the cash register. I mean seriously, who trusts the calculations of a computer, right? Seriously? So I needed to use a calculator to verify the transaction.

(Amusingly, she returned 4 shirts, and bought 4 shirts thus canceling out each other to $0.  She was also dealing with $23 from buying the hat and slippers which is more than the $8 for the returned scent which she exploded elsewhere. What is $23 minus $8? Is it $15? Congratulations if you know this, it’s math they usually teach you in first-grade. The fact she could not do the math on her own, did not trust the computer, and required me to calculate it, made me stop and breathe for ten seconds, because I was so furious I couldn’t even press calculator buttons correctly at this point.)

When my hands shake, that’s a very frustrating time.

After finishing the transaction, I was reminded by a manager this is something we always deal with. Which brings the good point that maybe I shouldn’t work in retail anymore, because the fact of demoralization as a part of work and life is not satisfactory nor does it make any actual sense. I don’t recall the job saying, “You shall be insulted, demoralized, and your self-esteem shaken by working in retail.” In a sense, it was like saying my friends were right five years ago when I retired from the world, retail is not a place for me, and I have too much self-respect and dignity to stand there and be spoken to unintelligably.
Confucius would say, you control the words you speak, you do not control what these words mean.

Customer Terms: Micromanagement