Route 7 Review - Page 143

No Hassle Return Policies By Rob Gray One time my wife returned the last bite of a Subway sandwich and got her money back for the entire sub. The 35 bites she had consumed plus the one bite she handed back to the cashier. Not that I witnessed the entire transaction. I didn’t. When I saw her mouth pucker and her head turn toward the unsuspecting, teenaged girl behind the register, I slid out the front door and sat in our car. I knew what would go down. Sometimes the haggling took seconds, sometimes ten minutes, but the result was always the same. “The customer is always right,” my wife said, shutting the car door and putting five dollars and thirty-one cents into her purse. I used to be her polar opposite. Many years ago, my brother and I went into BJ’s fuel stop in Pleasant Grove, Utah for lunch. They had self-serve hamburgers that customers could stack to the ceiling with garnishings for a dollar ninety-nine. The sign on top of the building always made me smile: “Eat at BJ’s, and Get Gas!” I plopped my burger on the metal assembly-line rollers that took the patty over a heating element. When the hockey puck slid down the escape chute, I pushed it on my bottom bun and headed to the topping section. After the mustard and mayo, I added three slices of cheese, a pile of onions, some tomatoes, and a large skin of lettuce, curiously seasoned with a light green sauce and small pepper-corn-looking pellets. My brother drove us back toward work. Famished, I pushed my creation as flat as possible and began eating. It wasn’t until the last few bites that I saw the caterpillar and realized the green sauce was not seasoning. And the pellets were not pepper corn. But I didn’t go back to BJ’s for a refund. Slowly over time, however, my wife convinced me that if I’m not happy with a product, I should return it and not feel embarrassment or guilt. Merchants want satisfied customers, and sometimes satisfaction means returning a less-than-desirable product. What a blessing this new philosophy would become. My return experience began at JCPenney a few years back. I had purchased several pairs of pants for our then nine-year-old son. As boys tend to, he wore the knees out of each pair. And as I tend to, I had thrown the receipt in the garbage as soon as I brought the new pants home. “That doesn’t matter,” my wife said as she dropped me off in front of the store. “At worst, they’ll give you in-store credit.” I opened the doors and immediately saw the “Returns” sign above a middle-aged man. I shuffled over. “I would like to return these,” I said, placing the pants, damage down, on the counter. He smiled. “No problem. Do you have your receipt?” What should I do? I thought. Start searching my pockets? Tell him they were a gift? My conscience quickly took over as I looked down and shook my head. “Okay, I’ll give you in-store credit. You can use it any time you like.” Less than a minute later, I walked out of the store, JCPenney gift card held