Beware. Some stores just suck.

Three weeks ago, I was on a mission to find a light fixture for over the island in the kitchen.  Ian had bought one from IKEA, but it was too big for the space when we installed it and thus went into the bedroom instead.  So, we went to many-an-overpriced store, searching for an affordable, yet perfect hanging lamp.  After some failure, we ended up at a home decor store on King East called Visitor Parking.  There, shining in the upstairs showroom window was one we liked a lot, and though not cheap, not overly pricey either.  We asked for it, but as a showroom, they wouldn’t give us the one on display, so we’d need to prepay and have it ordered. Delivery time = 3 weeks.  So we did.  They wrote out a receipt and stapled the debit transactions to it.

Cut to last week when they called to let us know it had come in.  We made our way to the store (about a 20 minute wait for the bus, then 10 minutes down to site) and picked it up.  Once we’d gotten it home, we tried installing it, only to realize that the plastic insert to cover the bulb from the bottom was missing, and the three wires from which it was to hang were all tangled up.  Frustrated, we decided to take it back and get a different one from IKEA, since we knew we could take it home that day.  After going up to IKEA (30 minute subway ride), we went back to Visitor Parking to return the defective lamp.

Me (polite, smiling):  I’d like to return this lamp because it’s missing a part and the wires are all tangled up.

Clerk (polite, smiling):  Ok, would you like us to replace it?

Me (polite, smiling):  No, I’d just like my money back please.

Clerk (polite, smiling):  I can’t do that.  I can give you a replacement or give your store credit.

Me (slightly irritated, smile flattening):  Well I don’t want either, I just want to refund my money.

Clerk (fake polite, smiling):  I can’t just give you your money back because you changed your mind.

Me (frustrated, smile ceased):  I didn’t change my mind;  it is missing a part and the wires are tangled.  I don’t want it now because it’s a hassle to wait another 3 weeks.

Clerk (civil, smile ceased):  Ok, I’ll give you the display one.

Me (anger rising, mouth gaping):  I asked you when I first ordered it if I could take the display one and you said no.  Just refund my money.

Clerk (flat):  I’ll only give you store credit.

Me (anger rising, accusatory):  What?  Where does it say that you only give store credit?

Clerk points to the fine print on the receipt, which says:  All sales are final, blah blah blah.  No mention of store credit.

Me (angry, glaring), :  It doesn’t say anywhere that you only give store credit.

Clerk (snotty, avoiding eye contact):  Actually, it says all sales are final, so I don’t even have to give you store credit.

Me (royally pissed, looking away):  Fine.  Store credit.  Maybe you should tell your customers that what sales are final BEFORE they pay.

Clerk (dismissive):  Ok.

Seriously?  All sales are final?  On items that are not on sale?  Are they that desperate for sales that they can’t afford to  return an item and therefore leave happily?  Maybe customers have often been screwed over and returned items so they decided not to allow it anymore.  Whatever the case is, beware, some stores are sneaky bastards.


About seburnt

I own 4C and teach at University of Toronto. View all posts by seburnt

2 responses to “Beware. Some stores just suck.

  • joe

    well they did have to order it in thats pretty normal practice on special orders – sucks but some places charge a 30% or more restocking fee too

  • kungfubunny

    Everything in the store would be “special order”. By definition, none of it would be “special” then, making them just orders.

    In any case, I was equally angered by the lack of transparency, the policy itself and his attitude.

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