When Fighting Back Goes Wrong, and When The Wrong Fight Back

I always love to see a fellow Consumer fight back against large corporations. However, when that consumer is trying to return stolen goods – stolen from me, that is – it’s harder to get excited.

Last Saturday, a few upstanding gents and I took a stroll to our local mall. Flush some extra money from the relatives, I decided to spend a little bit on myself. Since I am trying to reorganize my work area, I figured removing some wire clutter and buy a nice Blackberry Charging Dock for myself. At the Best Buy Mobile stand alone store, I ended up getting the official charging dock for a cheap $18 dollars. Content in my gadgetry, my party and I went off adventuring further in the mall, reading books, discussing matters of state with fellow learned gents… alright, in reality, we went to the nigh-empty KB toys and played with the lightsabers and made googly eyes a very cute brunette. But that isn’t the important part. Yet.

As we left the store, I realized that I was no longer carrying my charger — put down during the duel of the fates, no doubt. We immediately entered the store to find it, but we could not. Retracing our steps, we spent about ten minutes circling the mall, going to all the stores we could remember going in, finding no one. Just before we gave up, I decided to check at the local Full-size Best Buy, just down the way from the branch store where I purchased the charger. A brief look at the front desks didn’t show anyone had dropped it off. I threw in the towel, and on my way back, I passed by the customer service line. And there she was.

Very Cute Brunette.

Arguing passionately at the return desk.

Holding My Blackberry Charger. (I knew it was mine because of a distinct dent the box received in the heat of our duel).

As I approached, I heard all the arguments that uphold our proud trade. She wanted to return it without a receipt. Right on, sister! It’s a tough act….hey wait, I had a receipt in that bag! With my…name…on it. They want Identification? Hell no! That’s your right to privacy you….thief.

Suddenly, I realized that I was dealing with a consumer who was abusing their rights. She was the reason that companies have restrictive policies that treat normal people as if they were criminals. She was Bizarro-Consumer, The Customer Rights Anti-Christ, and she had to be stopped.

I interrupted the return abruptly, but not boldly. I was, after all, accusing this woman of thievery.

“Excuse me, I know this sounds odd. But I lost that moments ago in the mall, and I am fairly certain that is mine. I bought it at the best buy mobile down the way, and put it in one of those bags. I left my receipt in there.” The Manager looked at me, looked at the woman, and rolled his eyes.
“Sir, We can’t just accuse customers of stealing product from you. It’s your word against hers, and she is holding the product.” He turned to the girl. “You said this was a gift, m’am?”
She looked at me, smiled, and said “Yes, I got this as a gift. For Christmas.”

If my eyes could have emit pure hatred, they would have at that moment. My sanity stayed just long enough to see them hand her $34 cash, meaning she was not only stealing my product, but also about $16 straight out of Best Buy’s pocket.

I whimpered, knowing that Best Buy just accepted a no-receipt return, taking down no information, paying back in cash, and it was completely undeserved. They did a customer more than right, they gave absolute and complete customer service in every way, and they did it for an undeserving thief. All the times they’ve dragged people through the mud, all the times people have given all the retailers in the world undeserving dollars only to have them greedily kept against the customers luck, and this opportunistic bitch gets grade A service.

Ladies and Gentlemen, this has been a true story. It’s a cautionary tale for us as well as it is for businesses everywhere. Though monsters like her exist to strike where opportunity knocks, there are droves and droves of upstanding, honest, and mostly clean individuals who simply want to spend a dollar on something deserved. For every one Bizarro, there are thousands of legitimate people waiting for their fair shake. My charger is gone, and the Bizarro is thirty dollars richer.

What can we learn from this?

Firstly, always remain confident and resolute when addressing someone who you believe has wronged you. If I had been more confident in my accusation, mention KB toys, the dent in the box, I might have my blackberry charging charmingly next to me as opposed to tangled in a wire mess. If you are addressing a business that has done you some ill deed, be firm and calm, and do not shirk from your demands and intent.

Secondly, address your concerns in a proper manner. I charged up to the desk and made a demand, which immediately made me the bad guy, and made the manager brush me off as quickly as I came. If I had, with the same fervor, gotten a different employee, he could have dragged the manager away from the transaction so that I could have explained myself. Always look for the right way to voice your concern, and diffuse drama whenever possible.

And Thirdly, perhaps most important; Whenever engaged in a lightsaber duel, keep a close eye on your personal effects. Too many proud Jedi have fallen to this fact.

May the force be with you.