Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand.

~ Mark Twain ~

How Many Happy Returns Have You Had?

February 16th, 2012 ~ Est. reading time: 2 mins, 1 sec

Happy returns? You've come to the wrong place.

“What do you mean they don’t fit? How can “one-size-fits-all” socks not fit? Okay, If you’re not happy I’ll take them back.”

Getting refunds and exchanges done isn’t always easy. In fact, it takes a scrap of compassion to ensure they are happy returns.  But, sadly, sympathy and sales don’t necessarily mix.

Sometimes, active obstacles are employed. For example, take the paperwork ploy. Some places make it so hard to bring things back your reaction is to simply give up. Which, of course, is just what they hand-rubbingly planned.

“Sure. Just be sure to fill in parts A,B, and C on form 1-T. Then go on to finish the application, stating the reason why you failed to appreciate your item. When you’re through, you can take it all home. There are six forms in all you still need to do. Then, post them back. We’ll  be happy to review your request when we have a free moment.”

Or, perhaps you’ve encountered the snub:

[Sneering look from sales assistant as she sees you holding one sock shorter than the other, mumbling something to her about hoping they cater for happy returns] “You want what? Oh no, we don’t refund or replace on items with the tag removed. It’s policy. Can’t help you.” [This is followed by a look that says, you must be some kind of cretin to want to replace a pair of socks. Can’t you see I’m busy filing my nails?]

Possibly the least pleasant attempt at trying to achieve any happy returns combines denial with silence. I got both years ago from a famous computer company that sells computers with a certain fruit. The day the computer died I tried talking to these guys, starting with the store that sold it. But they only specialized in selling not fixing. Meaning, my emails and letters kept being flicked into their round, waste-filing thing. After a month, I got a kind of childish Dr Seussian reply:

“Our products are flawless. Our products are good.

You must be a nitwit with a head made of wood!

Forget about changing your super dooper computer.

Instead, simply use our free forum tutor”

Six months and a heap of hassle later, they took the broken computer and refunded the money.

Somewhat surprisingly, happy returns have nothing to do with the product, but all to do with the people. Genuine people who care to help and treat you fairly are all you need for many happy returns to happen. Add a generous dash of respectful attitude and it’s possible to resolve almost anything. After all,  customers, assistants, and head honchos all want to be treated well. Find a reason for good treatment and, eventually, just maybe, they’ll take back the faulty goods they were only too happy to sell.

I wonder, how many happy returns have you had?


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