How to Effectively Solve Problems with a Retailer

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How many times have you purchased a product, only to find something was wrong with it such as possibly a missing component or part? 

This can be frustrating and time consuming to return it and get the problem corrected. Possibly you just changed your mind or maybe found the product cheaper somewhere else. Regardless, you have the right to return the product, if you are not a happy customer.

When you first purchase a product, be sure to inspect it visibly, check your receipt for any fine print, and also be sure to read the directions thoroughly. Save the packaging and the receipt, because most stores might request that when returning the product.

After doing this, if you discover a problem such as the product is still not working properly or not working at all, you may determine you have a defective product.

Before you return the product, decide if you want a replacement if it is available. This will be a part of your problem solving process. Determine if it is the store’s policy to return the item and give you your money back or to give you a credit. Some stores have a sign posted and strongly enforce “no returns.”

When returning the item be sure to get the name of the employee that is helping you. 

Hopefully the employee will have a name tag on, but not all employees do. Also, the employee’s name may or may not be on your receipt. Some of the times the employee will ask you, “Was there a problem with the product?” You can then tell them if there was a problem with the product. Now unless the receipt or a written policy sign states “no returns” or no returns on video, camcorders, cameras, etc. once opened, you should be allowed to return it and get your money back.

Okay suppose you were not aware that there were no returns and you just changed your mind?

If the employee does not want to return your money, you can still request to talk to the manager. Note whether the employee was rude to you. Some employees come to work wearing their problems on their face and demonstrating it through their attitudes. This is not acceptable. It is at this time you explain your dissatisfaction to the manager, and ask, “What can be done? You do this in a civil way and not in a loud voice. Not yelling and ranting, which accomplishes nothing. Most managers want to satisfy their customers. 

If managers want your business, effective managers will be creative in finding a solution. 

woman in white long sleeve shirt holding black tablet computer
Photo by S O C I A L . C U T

They will use their problem solving strategies. Also, managers may want to avoid a consumer complaint. Possibly they will give you a store credit so that you can come back at another time to purchase a different product.

Usually both of you will be able to come to a resolution. 

If you are still unhappy, express your concerns and leave. At this point you want to file a consumer complaint. You can then put your concerns and dissatisfaction in writing and send the manager a letter. If there is a corporate store, you might want to send a copy to the corporate store. 

Also, you can do a review online for that store and state how unhappy you were with the product. 

No one wants a bad review, but it happens. The reason you do this is because you do not know how many other people have had the same problems. You probably are not alone. Possibly the company’s corporate office is not aware of the problems that are occurring. When you put it in writing they have to take a look at it. No you may not always be happy about the outcome, but your input will make a difference possibly in the future for others that might purchase that same product.

Have you ever purchased a coat or possibly a jacket, then discovered after you went home that there was a sensor tag not removed from it? 

It can happen. You might ask, “Why didn’t the alarm in the store go off?” Well sometimes all of their scanners are not working. Well when you take your purchase back, it is not unreasonable to ask for a discount on the item, because it was your time and your gas. The store is not obligated to give you a discount, but possibly by this time you feel you had more important things to do than to return an item because the sensor did not get removed during checkout. 

Most times, again the manager wants to have a happy customer. Hopefully, the manager will acknowledge that this was their problem. If they do not want to give a discount, you always have the right to return the entire jacket or coat and ask for a complete refund, because you are just unhappy with the entire situation. Remember, they are not the only store in the world, thank goodness.

Scanning Law

Have you ever purchased an item, only to discover it was scanned at the wrong price? 

Possibly, it was overcharging you, the consumer. According to the Michigan Scanner Law, if you are overcharged, you are entitled to money back plus a bonus. Now you must make sure that the transaction has been completed and you received your receipt. Then you take your receipt to the customer service area. Now if you are in the process of checkout and you discover it, the cashier has the right to correct it right then and you would not be entitled to any extra money back. 

Now some retailers or cashiers may act as though they know nothing about this law, which in reality, they should if they are working there. If this occurs, again you need to speak to the manager. If there are no results from a manager, you can still document everything and write your attorney General for the State of Michigan, because whether the store acknowledges it to you or not it is against the law. This is another direction for your consumer complaint. 

Depending on what state you might be in the law may vary.

Just think if the scanner makes a mistake overcharging hundreds of customers daily and they never bother to correct it, they have cheated you and made a lot of money off of you. So if the store will not deal with you the Attorney General would be glad to deal with them.

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