Receipts Aren’t Magic

We spent almost 45 minutes of our lives trying to find a product she liked that was EXACTLY the $35 minimum qualifyer for the Estée Lauder gift with purchase. Lipstick is $30, and she could easily get up to the $70 qualifyer for the step up gift. A total of $260 value in free product. But of course, she will only make the exception for lipstick. Any other cosmetic product she will buy, but just not lipstick. So onward our search resumed as I prayed for my  manager to return from her lunch quickly so I no longer had to cover the cosmetics department and deal with more morons. 

I had to keep myself from laughing after she finished telling me the tale of why she no longer buys lipstick from our store. It was the most lousy excuse for having a chip-on-your-shoulder I had ever heard. Apparently one day she came in and bought her favorite lipstick. She then proceeded to go about her way and shop more. While she was looking for a different size shirt she left her purse and already purchased lipstick unattended, and when she returned her bag of lipstick was missing. Immediately she returned to the cosmetics counter and asked for a replacement…but wanted it for free. 

Never had I heard a more illogical story told to me by a customer. Even before I worked retail, the thought would never occur to me to demand a lost or stolen item replacement for free. I understand the little concept known as consequences. You know, where if you are irresponsible or risky with your personal items, you pay for it one way or another? It would be one thing if her lipstick went missing in a pre-sale, we’d replace it at no extra charge to her. Or if she got handed the wrong color. Or if it was defective. Something that was ACTUALLY our fault. No, it was stolen from her, and apparently because it was in-store that it was stolen…it was our responsibility to make up for her irresponsibility. 

Of course, we didn’t replace it, so she was a very upset middle aged woman. Now here she was, probably in her 60s, and would buy anything but lipstick from our store. 

Maybe I’m a little behind the times on customer etiquette. Or even common sense (which is more uncommon than I thought)? You don’t sue a company for getting your car hit in a parking lot right? Or am I out of the loop on modern conduct? Because I thought you go after the person who is the cause of the issue. It’s not the company’s responsibility to reimburse you for the damage of your car. If the lipstick you bought was lost in your home, you’d probably go back to the store and buy another one for losing it. Or would you? I assumed you wouldn’t return to the store asking for another one for free! The associates at the store don’t know if you’re lying or not right? How can they trust you? 

The most common excuse for stories like this are “but I had proof I paid for it.” It doesn’t matter if you have your proof of payment. Receipts are not little pieces of magic paper that vouch for your character. They aren’t a list of all the good deeds you’ve done in your life. It’s not a background check, or police record proving you’ve never done anything wrong (that you were caught for anyway). What do you want from me? A cookie for hanging on to a piece of paper? Just because you paid for it, doesn’t mean you’re a good person. Doesn’t mean anything. Just means you bought some stuff. Probably stuff you didn’t even need. 

Sorry. It just doesn’t work like that.

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