I’m Begging You: Please Step Out of Line

checkout line

Yesterday, (in the brief span of time between dropping and picking my son off at daycare), I traveled to Target to complete a very simple return. I went first thing in the morning in the hopes of beating the crowds. I try to maximize my son’s time at school. It’s a whole lot easier to map out a plan and run as many errands as possible without him in tow.

When I arrived at the store two women were standing at the register chatting with the cashier. I could immediately tell by the body language of both parties that my hopes for a short wait were about to be dashed.

The women were attempting to return an air mattress that was hanging half way out of the box. The Target receipt clearly stated that returns would be permitted until the given expiration date. The expiration date on the receipt turned out to be August of last year.

The customers requested a cash refund for their purchase. The cashier pointed to the expiration date and explained that the receipt was no longer valid. “I’m sorry,” she said, “but I cannot offer you a cash refund.”

She further explained that their only option was to exchange the mattress for another one or to purchase something else within the sporting goods section of the store. Each time the cashier explained the returns process the women grew angrier, louder and more disgruntled.

I don’t know how long they were chatting with the cashier before I arrived but fifteen long minutes later I was still waiting in line to return my two items. I understand that they felt unsatisfied but store policy is store policy and attempting to convince a cashier to return something the system will not accept is simply not going to happen.

I seem to spend a fair amount of time in long return lines lately. I shop quite frequently on the Internet and some items, like clothing, do not always fit as I expect. That means packing them up and paying shipping fees or schlepping to the store and waiting in line to return them.

I cannot tell you the number of times I have waited in line behind someone trying to cheat the system. Take a few weeks ago, when a woman with an obviously worn area rug and no receipt attempted to convince the cashier at Kohl’s she paid full price for it. The cashier kindly checked all of the woman’s credit cards for the charge in an effort to search for her transaction.

If you are at all familiar with Kohl’s you know that nothing is ever full price in that store. After failing to find the transaction the cashier kindly offered a merchandise credit, but of course that would not do. The woman threw a temper tantrum right there in the store shouting about paying full price and wanting a credit back on her credit card.

I stood patiently in line, waiting.

Please, I beg of you people, get out of line. Let me complete my simple return in two minutes. Let me hand over my receipt, let the cashier scan my item and get the heck out of the store.

f you do not bring in a receipt you will not get your way. If you grow loud and angry you will not get your way. All you will do is make the poor suckers in line behind you wait and quite frankly I don’t want to wait twenty minutes while you try to cheat the system.

If you want to receive your money back then keep your receipts and return the items within the allotted time frame. Please don’t try to pass off used goods as new. Please, I beg of you.

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9 thoughts on “I’m Begging You: Please Step Out of Line”

  1. I love how stores can look up purchases from the credit card you used. Makes it so much easier especially if you lost the receipt.

    • I wish every store had this ability! I keep all of my receipts in a little binder and store them the minute I come home, but every once in awhile one goes missing and I find myself ransacking the house looking for it. If all stores had the ability I could shred those little pieces of paper and never give them another thought.

  2. I cannot even tell you how much I agree with you. The sad part is though,that you are blogging to people who would not do the things being done here…I think your readers would not try to screw the system and get refunds for items that are more than 5 months beyond the expired return date, or return obviously used products that are no longer wanted. I have to say I love the blog though – always feel a little better knowing I am not the only one that feels that way. Get out of line!

    • Thanks for the comment. I really wish every store had two lines. One for those people trying to game the system and one for those of us who are straight and narrow. It sure would save me a lot of time in line!

  3. These people should try living in NZ. Returns are rarely allowed here (though it is getting slightly more common), and it’s a pretty big hassle when they do allow it. Clothes are the hardest to return. If the shirt you bought doesn’t fit–oh well, you should have thought about that before you paid for it!

    The customer is NOT always right here–if you ask for anything a little bit special, you get a curt, “No, that isn’t allowed.” and they move on to the next person in line. Americans have it SO, SO GOOD. Cherish it and stop abusing it, people!!! 🙂

    • That’s interesting about NZ. I suppose we take the ‘customer is usually right’ scenario for granted. I wish the clerks and cashiers could be a little more pushy with these customers though. I wish they could just say ‘I explained the situation and there is nothing more that I can do. Next!’

    • Thanks for the comment. I always wonder this too. A lot of time there are other staff members in the store, but none of them hop on a register to help the next person in line or even take the person out of line that is causing the delay. Either way would make me happy 🙂


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