Posts Tagged ‘shipping’

Policy, Say What?

July 21, 2010

I returned from a restless vacation, only for my first incident to be on the telephone…

“Hello, thank you for calling,” I say as kindly as usual–to which I’ve received compliments from people on how polite I am.
“Um, hello? Hi. Well, I have a question. I don’t know. You see, here, I bought a jacket for my daughter but it’s too small. And well, I have to see, I want to know, can I exchange it or something?”
I’m already thinking, looking around, “Oh no, I don’t want this phone call!” I calmly reply, “Of course, do you have the tag the item came with? We can check its availability.”
“Oh sure. I have it here.” Following the sound of ruffling and crunching, “Yes, here, I have it. What number do you want?”
I explain to her where the number is and she finds it. She rattles off the number like a phone number, you know, the ones where they blur it all together, so all you hear is, “Fourseveneighteightnine… Six, two.”
Closing my eyes tightly, I take a breath and ask her to repeat it, because I didn’t get the entire number. Of course, you know, she repeats it at the speed of snail. “Four… Seven…” I suddenly feel like I’m the dumb one in the conversation, which obviously she already believed to start with.
“Oh, this item is only available online currently, or in another state.”
“What does that mean? I can’t come in and pick it up from you?”
As she asks the inevitable question, and much of our conversation becomes stagnant and preemptive, I search for the price of the item, and it’s a super-cheap sale item. No wonder it’s not available anymore–we haven’t carried it in over a month.
“You can come in and exchange the item for something else.”
“No,” she raises her voice, “I want that jacket in a larger size! Where can I get it?”
“It is available online,” but I note there is less than two-dozen left, so she would need to act fast if she wants that specific size.
“So, I have to go online, and pay shipping fees to get this item?”
“Yes. If you do want that specific item.”
“No, are you saying I HAVE TO go and buy it online to get it?”
“It is only available online or in another state.”
“No, you aren’t answering my question!”
“Excuse me?”
She sighs loudly, yelling at me, “Can I speak to someone else! You don’t understand what I’m asking! I need a manager or something…”
My face turns red, and her exceedingly low-intelligence has just busted my last nerve. I tell her I am a manager, and ask her specifically what she’s asking, because she said she wants an item that isn’t available our store.
“I am asking if this is the policy!”
“The policy is that you can come into the store to return the item…”
“No! You aren’t answering my question! Is it the POLICY that I have to go online and order the item, if you don’t have it in the store?”
My eyes roll into my head. Who is this woman? Where is her mother? Because her mother needs something. It’s called a slap in the face.
“No, that is not the policy. Because we do not have the item, and you want the item, in order to buy the item you need to order it. There is no policy for that. If we don’t have the item, our policy is we can let you exchange the item for something else.”
“So how am I supposed to get the item!”
“You buy it online.”
“Oh. How much does that cost?”
For some reason, at this point she stops yelling at me and starts talking to me like a human being once again. I don’t understand at what point she suddenly became sane again. So we work through the process and eventually reach an understanding. She hangs up happily, and proceeds to call online to order the item. End of story.
Actually, no it isn’t. This woman reminded me so much of another encounter several months ago:
Angry Panties

Customer Type: Big Baby, The Deaf, Don’t Kill the Messanger, The Dumb, The Riddler

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Diminishing Returns

April 3, 2010

This will be a more thoughtful post, revolving around the idea of prices, mark-ups, and mark-downs. You see, I often hear people saying, “This costs just two-dollars for them to make,” which is true to an extent. If you could go down to the various factories where clothes are made, and people are paid pennies, then yes, I’m sure you could buy it for two-dollars. But then, oh wise Capitalists, would you travel all the way to these third-world countries in order to buy those products? No, not really.

So, we have to pack and then ship the product to a local store. The costs for packing, shipping across an ocean on a boat to a sorting factory, then shipping to individual stores and locations by plane, in order for a guy to carry it to a store near you, then someone unpacks the boxes, sorts the clothes, hangs them, and displays them… I could go on, but each of these people get paid for your convenience–for our convenience. If you could go to a shipyard and buy it off the boat, that’d be great, but would you? Ha-ha, not-so-much. If, and totally if, you could buy it right after it was processed and ready to sell in a store, then it is worth the price on the tag. This is rarely the case.

The entire process, for me, ignores the Brand price, which you really ‘should’ keep an eye on. Made in Italy means the people are paid a lot more to make it compared to Made in the Philippines, so the final cost is multiplied. Yet, some companies still make their stuff in ‘those’ countries that you’d never want to visit, and then mark it up because they are “The Big Thing”, so they can mark it up, because people will buy it–supply and demand.

Back to the topic on hand, once the price is tagged and the items are on the floor, sure, it cost two-dollars to make and then more to get it where it is, but what then? Then people try it on, and someone else has to re-fold it, re-hang it, and replace it where it was. Someone is paid each and every time this happens, over and over, until that piece of clothing is sold. If you look at the minimum-wage in your state, if this item is worked on a total of one hour, how much is it currently worth? I actually think the more a piece of clothing is touched, the more it is worth, but these are the diminishing returns. Eventually, the items are marked down, which again takes time and effort to move it around as it becomes less-and-less of the ‘main product’ being replaced by newer products. Then they sit ‘on sale’, actually worth more than they were worth when they first touched the sales floor because of all the extra time and money used to upkeep it (it even costs money to have it on display where a store pays rent). In the end, you might sell something for twenty-dollars, but paid all sorts of people so much, you just make a profit of two-dollars on that product.

So when a snotty genius lifts a shirt, ruining the fold, and throws it down, saying, “This costs two-dollars to make,” I wonder how shallow their minds really are. I can learn to accept the rude, but respecting the dumb is a different story.