Jun 2, 2010

Returns (Janssen)

Yesterday, my husband and I went grocery shopping. Because of a mix-up on cereals that were included in a certain promotion and a mis-scanned item, I realized after we got home that I'd paid $6.69 more for the four boxes of cereal than I should have.

After mentioning it approximately 100 times to my husband over the course of the afternoon, he offered to go back to the store, explain the mix up and ask for a refund. He had me tell him exactly what we'd paid for what products and then wrote a side-by-side list of what we should have paid, then clipped the receipt, the weekly ad, and the coupons to it.

Ten minutes later, he was home, with $6.69 in his wallet. How can I not love that man?

I know that some people absolutely HATE to return things or ever venture near the "Customer Service" desk. Not me. I am an avid reader of return policies, and my combined hatred of clutter and spending unnecessary money means that I am more than willing to return almost anything.

At the grocery store, I watch them ring up every item and I hold them to the posted store policy of giving you free any item that rings up differently than advertised or marked on the shelf.

If I buy a box of crackers that I open and discover it is stale, you better believe I'll drag it back to the store on my next trip and ask for a refund.

If I buy a shirt that I discover doesn't fit or I suddenly realize I will never ever wear since taking it off in the dressing room, I'll return it.

I'm nice about it, but if the store policy is to correct mistakes, take back inferior or unwanted products, or comp mispriced items, you better believe I'm going to take them up on it.

Is that too much for you or am I in good company?


Heather said...

I'm all about taking it back. You wil no doubt be dismayed to hear that I had to fork out 60 bones on the copay for my son's antibiotics yesterday. SIXTY DOLLARS! Angry, angry. Apparently, there is no generic.

Elizabeth said...

Oh, no, I return stuff all the time, although I've never returned opened food - supposedly you can take something back to Trader Joe's customer service desk and just say "I didn't like this" and they'll refund you, but I haven't taken it quite that far yet.

Packrat said...

I do take things back, unless it is going to cost more to take it back than to just keep it or give it away.

Nothing makes me madder than getting home with rotten food. If it was purchased locally, it goes back immediately. Unfortunately, much of our shopping is done at least 85 miles away, so even as careful as I am at looking things over sometimes I get "bit". If I think about it, I will call the store and complain.

Carole said...

You are your father's daughter.

Carly said...

Yeah I don't like to take things back. Or make phone calls (although I do... I have make one today, in fact). Yesterday I was buying some baby Tylenol (ahem, pain reliever... since I didn't buy name brand) only to discover at home that "infant" is for 2-3 year olds. I guess I should have gotten "newborn" (although I didn't see it) for my 1 year old. Anyhow, my thoughts? Well, I'll need it eventually, might as well put it in the medicine cabinet to be used in a year... I'm guessing you would take it back. Walmart (where I bought it) is just on the way other side of town and I won't be going back for two weeks. Alas. Maybe I'll take it then.

Jill said...

I don't mind taking things back, but what I really love are price adjustments! I didn't know they existed until a few weeks ago.
While I was taking some dishes back to Macy's, I saw the blessing outfit I had bought for my son was on sale for less than half the price I had paid just a week prior. While the cashier was scanning the dishes, I explained my situation, and he said they would do a price adjustment if I had bought it in the past two weeks- I just had to bring him the receipt. So, instead of paying $25, I only paid $9! Cool, huh?

P.S. I'm a new reader to the blog and I love it! Thanks for taking the time to provide some much needed financial suggestions and advice.

Unknown said...

For me, it depends on the item. I have yet to take a food item back (though some salad we got awhile ago DEFINITELY should have been returned), but I do watch the prices things ring up. Just Monday I had 3 items ring up incorrectly. The result was that I got a free watermelon and BBQ sauce, and saved over $7.00 in wrong charges.

I felt pretty awesome. I also think that free watermelon tastes just a little sweeter. :)

Bart said...

My favorite is when I took back those stale Triscuits and offered to let the customer service girl try them and she's like, "I never try returned food."

Makes sense!

Kimberly F. said...

Ha, I'm glad I'm not alone...when I go grocery shopping, I write down the shelf price of every item I put in my basket and then compare it as it rings up or, if I'm distracted while that's occurring, with the printed receipt. And then I go and correct anything (right then and there, in the store) that doesn't match what I wrote down.

Saskia said...

Clothes, books, other items I will return if they turn out to not be what I had thought. Groceries, not so much. I did go back once when I was eating a tangerine and a friend pointed out some wiggling white things on the table. It turns out there were tiny tiny maggots in my tangerines. Not only did I not touch another tangerine for at least a year, I went back and complained. It didn't help much: they offered me a new net, which I was much too traumatized to take them up on.

Nathan Pralle said...

Significant costs, yes, but small things, usually no. My time is worth something, as is gas, car wear, etc. $6.69 would be ridiculous for me to try to get back because it'd take me far too long and a 60-mile drive. (30 miles each way to Walmart.)

I think correcting things and returning things is smart, but you have to weigh ALL factors into the equation, not just, "Oh, I got my cash back."

Kimberly said...

I guess I need to pay better attention at the checkout line. I am all about (politely) returning anything but I have been unwilling to drive back to the grocery store (we live on the 3rd floor..by the time I get through the store with the child and everything up the stairs, I'm not going back) for a few charges recently, but only because they were less than $1. If I just checked my receipt before getting in the car, I'd feel better on both accounts. Good idea, Kimberly F.

Ang said...

I bought a shirt at Old Navy about 3 months ago. After washing it a few times I noticed a large hole in the seam. I would have just stitched it up myself, but the fabric had frayed and there was no way to fix it and still have it look good. I checked out their return policy and they accept defective merchandise ANY TIME. The next time I was near Old Navy (less than a mile from my house) I took the shirt in, she swiped my credit card and typed in the item number. She pulled up exactly how much I had paid for the shirt (it even had the 30% off coupon I used in the first place applied to the amount) and gave me the cash back!