I have worked in retail for the last four years. It’s not the best work, but a jobs a job.
It’s no lie I get customers coming in all the time and pissing me off. Claiming something has shrunk, is faulty, or not fit for purpose. 9 times out of 10 they’re just being a pain but it’s too hard to argue. So I just give them their money back.
The very rare 1 out of 10 is when an item is actually faulty. In this instance a customer has every right to request their money back or request a reasonable solution. I am pretty well versed with consumer law. I have to be. And there’s nothing worse than getting a complaint from a customer to head office. So at the end of the day, it is easier to give the customer what they want, even if what they are saying is not true.
Now being on the sales assistant side, this can always be a pain to resolve, because a lot of customers just want to argue. So when I am shopping as a customer and come across a fault in an item I have purchased, I always try and do the right thing because I know how frustrating it can be as a sales assistant to deal with.
So, a few weeks ago I purchased a stunning dress for the Melbourne Cup, from a store that I won’t name and shame. The dress was designer and cost me nearly 400 bucks. Ridiculous to spend that on a dress I will probably wear once, I know, but it was so stunning and perfect I had to have it.
Now due to time restrictions, I did not have time to try it on in the shop so I had to buy and run. When I finally unpacked my purchase and went to try it on I was devastated to notice the zip wouldn’t go all the way down, stopping me from even being able to try on the dress. I was furious. I had spent this much money and I would now have to take it back and get another one.
I did the right thing and called the store first. They were so apologetic and told me to come in at my convenience and they would seek this matter out. When I finally returned the dress, things got heated. As I was standing there, showing them the faulty zip, they claimed it was indeed in perfect working condition. Saying this as the zip is not going down!
How dumb do they think I am honestly?
Anyway, things escalated rather quickly from here. I said I simply just want to replace it with another one and we can all move on. Well, they didn’t have another one and offered me a store credit. Are you kidding? I do not want a store credit for a store that doesn’t even have the dress I wanted! So I insisted on a refund. Well, they refused.
I then outlined consumer affair laws to them, given as a sales assistant I have to be well versed in them, but these ladies didn’t care. I then said I wanted to speak with someone higher, again they refused. I took the dress and walked out and decided from here on I would be communicating through them via email so it was all in writing.
Long story short, after four weeks of arguing, they finally refunded my money. They claimed I had bullied them and had accused them of breaking the dress, which is both ridiculous and absurd considering I wanted the exact same dress in the exact same size. They advised me to never shop in their store again, which I won’t be because the idiots don’t realise they have other stores around Perth that I will go to.
They stuck to their guns for over a month, which I give them credit for, but if the dress really weren’t faulty they wouldn’t have eventually given in.
Who is the real winner here? I got my money back, and can shop in their stores in different locations.
This entire experience got me thinking. I spoke to my co-workers, and even some of my customers and they told me their experiences with some Perth retailers, which made me so sad, because as a sales assistant I always try and ensure that my customers leave happy.
It also made me realise a lot of people, sales assistants and customers, aren’t up to date with rights of customers when a product isn’t fit for purpose.
I’d love to hear anyone else who has had a similar experience with Perth retailers and how you resolved the issue.