Two weeks ago a gentleman buys a handmade pair of 14 kt earrings with
small diamonds. The price is $289 plus tax.
Wednesday the receipient, assuming it is his wife, comes in my store
and my employee comes back and tells me that a customer wants to
return something for cash back, the customer stating that the
earrings are grossly overpriced.
I go to the front and state to her “Apparently you are going to
start off insulting us!” (I don’t suffer fools easily). I tell her
that we have a policy of return for exchange only, and it is stated
at the bottom of the receipt. She wants the money back, stating that,
based on that piece and that price, she won’t do business with our
I explain that the earrings are handmade and the person who made
them is charging what she needed for time and materials, I can
understand that she feels that they are overpriced. I restate my
policy, I explain that it is common for businesses to have that
policy, larger companies charge more for their products and can take
time to deal with returns and the bookkeeping, we have the lowest
price so things sell quickly, and I don’t want to make an exception
based on the fact that she “feels” the price on that is too high. She
tells me her mother was in the jewelry business and she knows about
I tell her she can get a credit or gift certificates for x-mas. She
tells me that I should want to keep her as a customer ( already
stated that she won’t be back), that I should give her the money, she
can’t afford the earrings. I tell her to send in the person that
bought them ( I thought I could negotiate easier with that person and
come to something mutually agreeable) and that maybe her issue should
be with the person who bought them, and not hold me responsible for
the judgement of the person who made the purchase.
She tells me that she lives in the neighborhood and she will tell
everyone about this, and I reply that if she cannot manipulate me
into changing my policy, she is going to threaten me, and she replies
that it is not a threat it is a promise.
For good customers, we are more flexible. We do have some
flexibility and work with people for a win-win outcome. Fifteen years
of retail experience, and I have little tolerence for unreasonable
customers. When a customer is hostile or abusive with no provocation,
they are fired immediately.
We are aware of how many people are refered to us by word of mouth
because of our merchandise and how our customers feel they are
treated. We constantly have feedback that they love our store and
our prices are good. I mean, almost every day, literally. We have
unique gold items, and we have thousands of sterling silver pieces
from $5 up to designer pieces that are $800. We have a niche and it
works great for us.
At what point do y’all back down when the customer is rude,
critical, or abusive? Richard in Denver