A friend told me today she was keeping a dress she’d ordered online, but ended up not liking in person. She understandably didn’t want to deal with the hassle of returning it. Which made me think. This a situation we’ve all faced. It could be anything; the wrong color item was shipped, the product was damaged, the darn thing doesn’t fit, etc. Regardless of the reason, it’s important to return purchases with which we are unhappy. When we don’t, we’re throwing away our hard earned cash. So let’s decide we won’t waste money. We won’t keep things we don’t really like.
Small things we can do to make returns easier:
- Shop from companies with strong customer service who streamline returns (a few of my favorites: Zappos, Piperlime, Nordstrom, Victoria’s Secret).
- Try on items as soon as they arrive and decide if you want to keep them. Open packaging carefully, without damaging it. If the product is not right for any reason, repackage it right away in the original packaging, and fill out the paperwork or print out any return forms needed. Place it by the door or in the car so it’s easy to remember to drop it at the post office or UPS, etc., the next time you’re out and about.
- DON’T SETTLE! It’s a waste of money. This one is hard… we see something we can’t resist. We want so badly for it to be as cool as it looked online. But if you don’t honestly love the actual item you received, send that sucker back!
Reputable companies understand returns are part of any business in which goods are sold. They expedite the process, some of them even enclose prepaid return shipping labels. So go for it.
Companies that throw up road blocks to the return process are nothing short of predatory. So again I say, go for it. When speaking to customer service be polite and professional but don’t settle for “no.” Also, don’t be afraid to ask for a supervisor. Or even the supervisor’s supervisor. If you still don’t get any satisfaction, write a firm letter to the president or CEO (usually a matter of public record, Google can help you find out the correct name and address). And never shop with them again!
A friend recently had a customer service problem involving a major communications company. After weeks of getting nowhere, she wrote to the FCC, the State Communication Commission, and the President and CEO of the company. The head of the communication company’s division for the State of California called her a week later, and she now has his direct phone number. She’s getting resolution. This is an extreme example, (hello tangent!), but my point is, as John Wayne is supposed to have said to Barbara Walters, “Don’t let the bastards get you down.” (wha?) I mean, keep it simple (see list above) and remember that there is NOTHING wrong with returning unused, unworn items that simply weren’t what we hoped they’d be.