Refunds and customer care

When you buy clothes as a present, even if you know the exact size, there is a good chance it won’t fit the person you’re buying for. But you’re willing to take that risk because most stores allow you to exchange the item for a different size, and sometimes even offer a full refund.

We nailed all presents this Christmas, except one; a shirt. It was all we wanted: soft, simple, dark, and elegant. But it just wouldn’t fit well on the person we bought it for. The size was right, but it was to tight on the shoulders.

We went back to the store and asked for a refund. The experience was awful. It’s not that they didn’t accept returns, or that we had to sign ten different documents, or that we didn’t get a full refund. Every time we went shopping there they were smiling, greeting, being helpful. But not this time. Everybody has their ups and downs, but man, the look on her face when we said we needed to return something. She made us feel like we’re stealing her kids’ food of the table.

A few years ago, when I was still a student, I went shopping for groceries at the local supermarket. When I got to the counter and swiped my card, the cashier said the payment wasn’t processed and that I have to swipe again. Once I was out, I went to the first ATM and checked my credit card. I had two transactions, seconds apart, for the same amount.

Five minutes later, I was back in the store talking with the store manager, explaining the situation and showing him my credit card statement. He took my name and phone number, and assured me I will get a refund.

After 15 days I got my money back. 15 days is a hell of a long time for a student with “student money”. I never stepped foot in that supermarket.

Your goal as a service/products provider is to make every experience pleasant, not only when you get to profit. Exchanging sizes, refunding, unsubscribing or canceling your account need to be as painless as possible.

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