Frustrating experience at a major brand retail outlet.

Fantastic_PlasticHave you had a recent frustrating experience with a retail outlet? Well I had one today. For the last number of years I have been working in retail myself and wholly understand the issues and day to day operational considerations and constraints. So it’s not as if I’m an impatient shopper, as a matter of fact the opposite is true.

A few days ago, my wife purchased some clothes for the kids without them trying them on and confirmed with the sales assistant in this well known national brand store that it was OK to return the goods for refund if they did not fit. This was agreed to by the retailer and she promptly handed over her credit card and the transaction was done.

That evening, my kids tried the clothes on, the sizes were out and they did not fit. It was decided as my work was the closes to the store, I would pop out during the day and get the refund. Easy, I get a break out of the office and an opportunity to check on how other retailers in the area are doing.

So today, after the lunch rush I went to the store to organise the refund. There was no problem with processing the refund, so I handed my credit card over for it to be swiped. This is when the frustration kicked in.

As the assistant said to me, the card number on the receipt has to match the card number for the refund. That is company policy. So as I didn’t have my wife’s card there was no way the funds would be processed. Even though I held the original receipts and the products were all checked and verified the transaction could not be completed.

Now I understand the need for vigilance and security in a retail setting, but I was holding the original receipt and the goods that were listed on it. To me it seemed that this so called “company policy” was not instigated due to security but more so to discourage customers from returning goods that may not be appropriate. It was simply an inconvenience. Nothing else.

So to finalise this refund I have no choice than to come back at another time with my wife’s card to get it processed. This is where the hypocrisy comes into it. I am returning goods for a credit, and it’s not even my credit card… but that is supposedly OK cause that is the card that the original transaction was done on.

I think it’s just a way of making it difficult to return goods. Am I being too harsh in saying that this frustrating experience has put me of from shopping with this retail group again. Ever.

What is your opinion? Am I being pedantic? Over reacting? Too sensitive?

Let me know in the comments.


9 thoughts on “Frustrating experience at a major brand retail outlet.

  1. Hi Don,
    Agree, a frustrating story…..I have had this happen to me too, so I share the annoyance factor! I dont understand the ruling as they have you intitial money, no matter in what format, so why can’t they simply refund the cash or credit an alternate card?

    A question for you as a retailer, is what is your policy if the same situation happened at your store? Do you credit any card, or give cash or something alternate?

    thanks for the post….tony

    1. Thanks Tony.

      Discouraging customers from this type of scenario is not good for the business. My reaction was.. I’ve got other options and my time is valuable.. not coming back again to spend my money here.
      In our instance, if we can prove you are the customer or authorised representitive and have the original receipt, then that is enough for us to resolve any transaction no matter what it may be.

      1. Definately Don, as customers we have the choice, and for retailers to be successful they must understand this. Treat us well, and we will return, don’t do so and you not only lose the sale but we go and spread the word big time! I guess they are just lucky you haven’t named and shamed them!

        As for your response, nice to hear that is the case as you will not only keep the sale next time, but will get postive stories told of your business. And with your massive range of great furniture options, I am sure they would eventually come back with a positive past experience for that next home item!


      2. Thanks tony. I’m not the vengeful type and don’t believe in name and shame, however when I get good service I certainly do recognise it by naming.

  2. I have dealt with retail stores that have the same policy. However, there system allows the credit to be placed back to the original card without it being available at the time of the return. That is easier for both the customer and the store.

  3. If you have the same surname of the person who originally purchased the goods, and are not requesting cash, some stores can refund. The problem is that as the policies change daily, frontline staff never know what the current flavor is. this leads to an impact on the client, the staff, and, through negative attitude, the store.

    1. Thanks Peter. The issues are the policies. Often they are set by the store… I know, I run one. There are no rules as to how or who you refund money to. These rules are set by the store. The issue is often they are set to favour the store rather than service the customer.

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