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to think these stores returns policies are bonkers

(5 Posts)
sparechange Thu 03-Apr-14 09:35:12

Yesterday, I was in a well-known high street shop trying something on. I wasn't 100% sure, and the shop assistant by the changing rooms was doing her best to persuade me to buy it. At one point, she said 'if you don't like it, you have 14 days to exchange it', at which point the woman standing next to me at the mirror said 'buy it online. That way, they have to give you a refund instead of an exchange'. The shop assistant shot her a bit of a look, and then when I was getting changed, I overheard her saying half-joking, half passive-aggressively 'It has been hard enough in retail over the last few years without you sending all our customers to the internet'.

Which is probably true. So why do stores, who presumably are paying sky-high rates and rents, insist their shop staff stick to an 'exchange only' policy if you buy in store, but let you have a refund if you buy online. I know there are different laws governing the two, but it would surely be good customer service to align them?

Last night, I had a bit of a check online, and all of the shops that have notoriously strict returns policies will let you return things for a full refund either in store or by post.
Some even do a 'click and collect' in store service, so technically, you could try something on in the changing rooms, use your smart phone to buy it from the website and then collect it a few minutes later at the till and qualify for a refund. Vs paying for it at the till and only being allowed an exchange.

SavoyCabbage Thu 03-Apr-14 09:47:35

It's the law. Distance selling regulations. Sometimes you have to pay return postage though so you would be worse off. Although often you can buy online and take it back to a shop.

sparechange Thu 03-Apr-14 10:04:21

I understand the legal difference, but surely it would make good customer service, and do something to stop their customers deserting the high streets in favour of the internet?

Pinkelephanty Thu 03-Apr-14 10:04:32

I don't know any shop that won't do a refund in store? Must be somewhere I don't shop. I don't agree with it, you should have 14 days return for full refund. I also can't think of a shop you can click and collect within minutes of purchasing? The quickest one I can think of is next day. Others take days and days.

MackerelOfFact Thu 03-Apr-14 10:31:28

I think 'click and collect' services still come from their online warehouses rather than stores' own stock. It's more of a delivery option.

You're right though, if they really want people to buy in store rather than online, they need to make it more attractive to customers. People shouldn't feel morally obligated to buy from a store to 'save retail' - business should make it attractive to do so, if they want that custom.

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