Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Buying and returning things.

I don’t usually have buyer’s remorse and I almost never return anything and that includes things that aren’t quite right. Because I’m a big sale rounder purchaser it never surprises me when the thing isn’t quite right because usually it is or someone can use it or I’ll decide that it’s just fine.

When I need something, I’m generally good at measuring if that’s needed or eyeballing if it doesn’t have to be exact. So it is sort of amazing to me that currently I’m involved in returning things I bought on line that don’t fit the places that I bought them for.

This pretty much has to do with replacing light fixtures. After our fire, we needed bunches and I was told that we needed them right away so I went to Canal Street and that didn’t work. When I would tell a clerk what I wanted and how much stuff I needed I got really hard sells. When I said that I was just browsing, I was ignored, so I shopped on-line.

Thing is, I didn’t measure anything. I didn’t click that thing that tells you all about the thing you’re buying which I don’t generally read except when there are before and after photos of someone who lost a gazillion pounds by rubbing on a cream or eating a berry with some super-duper brand of fish oil. Tops, for those kinds of things, I’ll pay $19.95 and it has to include shipping and handling and have a good return policy. This is just in case I really believed it was going to work, saved the tube, didn’t lose the tube’s top, found a box to mail it back in and was willing to accept a coupon for something else, that until this very moment was a secret, in lieu of cash. But, since I really didn’t expect it to work, didn’t faithfully follow the directions anyway, and lost the cap, I get to tell myself that it might have worked and accept that I’m an idiot. That’s okay.

Returning lighting fixtures is a whole other story because first you have to click a box that tells why you don’t want it, then you have to wait for an authorized return label that comes with very specific instructions about how to ship the thing back and then you have to wait for credit.
The instructions tell you that the fixture can’t be shipped in its original box and that the company’s authorized return number must be marked on the outside of the package. So, you have to go somewhere, buy a box, $7.99, thank you very much, and then argue with the FedEx guy about whether you can sharpie a number on the box’s outside, which they advise you not to do but let you do it anyway.

I think that FedEx doesn’t like extra numbers on their packages because they have all these codes and your numbers might match theirs and your package might go to some place that is wrong. I don’t know this for sure, and when they lost my package I didn’t tell them that I had insisted on writing numbers on the box, but I would have if they asked me.

Normally, in a situation like this, I’m pretty ready to fess up. But since I was already apologizing for losing the airway bill, didn’t remember the date that I sent it, had no idea if it was sent air or ground, it seemed like I was giving them enough trouble. I sorta liked that they weren’t accusing me of anything and being incredibly helpful. They couldn’t find my package right away, but said that they would call me back the next day with information and they did. They found it; I wrote down a bunch of numbers, e-mailed the company who just confirmed that they received the package and were waiting for authorization to credit me. Sounds like progress, no?

At the moment, I have three more things to return and I plan for it to go smoother. I bought a roll of contractor paper, lots of tape and some twine. I have a return label. I just have to decide if these fixtures would make awesome presents. It’s that thing. Maybe somebody can use these.

1 comment:


Christmas is just around the corner...looks like you may have a head start on gift giving!!