Monday, July 09, 2007

What Are YOUR Policies?

I'm always fascinated how many retailers create policies to manage the extreme situations. I ran across this article on-line that focuses on handling returns and how the policies of some retailers are costing them business.

All Michelle Gluckow and her 13-year-old daughter wanted to do was buy a summer's worth of camp clothes in one night at a New Jersey Abercrombie & Fitch.

After she suffered through long lines, blaring music and low lighting, Gluckow says, the cashier refused to sell her all 24 items, because of a policy that capped purchases at 20 to limit reselling. Gluckow, incredulous that she couldn't pay full price for all the clothes she wanted, refused to leave the store until she had all the layered outfits her daughter needed. "In my opinion, the [20-item] policy is ridiculous," says Gluckow, who was buying different colors and items, all in the same size. "They said they were just protecting their other customers, which I thought was ironic."

Ultimately, she says, the manager grudgingly let her split the purchase between two credit cards. Gluckow says the Abercrombie manager told her she could pay cash or with a check for the four items over the 20-item limit, but she refused. Splitting it between two credit cards seemed silly enough.

Gluckow was luckier than Robert Martin, who says he couldn't get Sears to take back a faulty 7-month-old phone -- despite repeated calls and letters -- because accepting it back would violate store policy. Martin, a 30-year Sears credit card holder, says the decision shows why many businesses are losing loyal customers.

Read the full article here. © 2007 USA Today. All rights reserved.© 2007 ECT News Network. All rights reserved.

Sometime last year, I wrote a post about policies and how the wrong policy can hurt your business. While I certainly understand that retailers face more challenges today with respect to people buying an item then returning it a few days or weeks later, it is still a VERY small portion of the buying public who actually does this.

I personally believe that the more liberal your return policies are, the easier you make it do business with you. And this often leads to increased business.

I welcome your comments on this topic.


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