I recently bought a trench coat from Bebe.com. Online it was a gorgeous, pearlescent turquoise, but in person it was a matte green. It looked like the uniform of a policeman in the Emerald City.
I elected to return it to the downtown store rather than paying shipping fees to return it by mail. According to the policy, online orders can be returned to a store within 14 days of receiving the item, and I was well inside my limit.
When I got there, the guy behind the counter said “Well, you’re one day past the return deadline, but I’ll ring you up.”
Why did this bother me? He was letting me return the thing anyway. I guess it was the condescending, “Stupid woman, can’t even read a calendar” implications. So where normally I would have just smiled and thanked him, this time I said, “No, I’m not.”
“Well, you’re supposed to return it within 14 days of it being shipped,” he said.
“Nope,” I said, “your policy on the website and the receipt says within 14 days of receiving the item. That’s why I printed my UPS confirmation for you, see? I got it three days ago.”
“Well, who knows,” he said. Then he refunded my shipping fees, which he didn’t have to do, though whether this was accidental or motivated by fear I could not say.
But I got home and re-checked that policy. Receipt of the item, jerkface, like I said. And I’ll tell you what else: you’ve got a special holiday policy where any item ordered after November 1 doesn’t have to be returned until January 8, so suck on that.
Honestly, I usually have all kinds of compassion for people in retail. Anyone being rude or incompetent has usually just had a really long day, and a little kindness from a customer can quickly turn them around. But this guy didn’t seem tired or unhappy, he just seemed smug.
Or possibly I am just giving up some of my compassion, because part of being in my thirties (I’ve decided) is going to be standing up for myself, whether it’s arguing a return policy, taking up my allotted amount of space on the subway (instead of cringing away from whatever oblivious guy is trying to take up one and a half seats), or, you know, ranting a lot on my blog. (I’m not in my thirties yet, but I’m practicing.)
Man, I’m all hyped up now. I want to go kick that guy around some more. But instead I think I will go spend the refunded shipping money he so kindly gave me on stocking stuffers at a store where people are nice to me.