Thursday, March 22, 2012

Returning Cuff Links

I had a party last saturday for which I decided to wear my 20 year old tuxedo. I realized the day before that my cuff links were missing. So I walked into a store and bought a pair. On my way out of the store I noticed that the invoice said that I could return the merchandise for a full refund within 30 days. I was with the boys so I asked them if they thought it would be OK to go back to the store after my party and return the cuff links. Their initial reaction was that no, it would not be ok to return them after I used them. I pushed back a bit. I agreed one shouldn't lie, ever, so, if for example one could only return unused merchandise then I shouldn't. But what if the terms allowed for returns with "no questions asked"? If a business decides to have a very lenient return policy that is their decision and customers who take advantage of such policy are not doing anything wrong. I said one possible place to "draw the line" would be whether one intended to return the item before buying it in the first place. That would seem to cross a line. But take the cuff links, I didn't intend to return them before buying them. I only thought of it after the fact. And the return policy said nothing about using the merchandise... We spoke a bit about the reasons why stores have more or less strict return policies. How it is a business decision and a trade off between customer loyalty and cost. And how with more and more sales going online brick-and-mortar stores have to provide better service with things such as lenient return policies.

What about my cuff links? I'll keep them for five years from now when I wear my tuxedo again.

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