>If you peruse my blog, you don’t read me griping too much, but when I do, it’s USUALLY about poor quality merchandise or poor customer service. I’m a fanatic about it in by business model (see @ACGwi on Twitter). And numerous posts throughout my blog.

And if we ordinary Americans can not get any sort of satisfaction through social media, then I feel we’re not getting ‘all it’s benefits’. Pray that Party America doesn’t have a Twitter account. heh heh heh heh

Humans treating other humans badly, for the sake of money … there is no excuse for it.

“If there were no return policy, there would be chaos.” “Circuit City had no-questions-asked return policy, look where it got THEM.” “You can’t expect us to police EVERY ONE of our employees, can you?” “Not everyone who returns merchandise is doing it for reasonable reasons.” “I’m just following company policy…”

Frankly, I don’t know how companies like Toys-R-Us, Office Depot, Best Buy, T-Mobile, or State Farm stay in business. I guess it’s a numbers game… make more customers happier than you piss off?

No, that’s not entirely true, I do know why. We give up to easily, we’ve grown accustomed to it. And we have a short attention span, we’ve learned to move on. The cost of recourse feels like it’s not worth it. Waste of energy. Big guys vs. small guys, etc.

Sorry. An irascible rant…

Party America, in Appleton, Wisconsin.

Our insurance carrier held a big rah-rah meeting on the 10th and the Paper Valley Hotel in Appleton, it was also a Halloween costume celebration after all the ‘business events’. Naturally, attempting to be a team player, I went out searching for a costume. Nothing too flashy or cute… believe it or not, it was my first impression with most attending, so I wanted to be more subtle.. “the real me actually takes time to blossom in live crowds”. 🙂

I found a costume that sorta “fits me”. A 60’s hippie costume. Log haired wig, cool psychedelic headband, round rose colored sun glasses, Peace symbol necklace, tie die shirt, and long striped bell bottom pants (ala Sonny Bono). There, simple. And me. A child of the 60’s.

I left my costume out in the parking garage in the van. When it came to change into costumes, I went outside to get the costume. It was lightly snowing, and in the upper 20s. I IMMEDIATELY changed my mind since it was ‘costume optional’.! Too damn cold to change clothes and the costume was thin material. Thankfully, a handful of other party-poopers opted out, too. We had fun, it rocked, we went home.

Fast forward to tonight.

Let’s take back the unopened costume (still in the bag). I stayed home, my bride had other errands to run, she made the original purchase.. she was on her way.

She came home later with “They don’t accept exchanges without a receipt.” Only in-store credit. Yeah, yeah, it’s on the receipt.

My wife is wonderful. She can be a junk yard dog… but only if it’s with me! Not with others unfortunately. So I’m going back tomorrow and do it myself. And I’ll have tonight to get most of the frustration out. Here. On my blog.

I really don’t care what your company return policy is. You can hang it on signs, post it on your website, recite it to me at the register, make me sign a contract, I honestly am NOT interested in what your corporate attorneys decided is best use of company resources… because:

You sold it to me, you’re responsible for it. I bought it from you, YOU are accountable. Not your ‘next up’ manager, not your territory director, not your CEO, YOU!!! That’s MY business model, therefore it’s YOURS, too.

If you’re a CEO and any single employee is NOT representing the brand and mission you’re ‘selling’ to your investors’, then why are they still on the payroll? I’m not expecting perfection, I’m expecting the golden rule!

If Circuit City can take back a Toshiba HD-DVD player that I purchased EIGHT months earlier for $600 because it’s practically worthless now (http://bit.ly/Td0FA) and give me a $600 gift card on the spot SIX MONTHS LATER, NO PAPER RECEIPT… then YOU CAN, TOO! And don’t tell me that’s a bad example because they’re out of business….that’s not why they’re out of business… the CEO said it himself, “We fired our knowledgeable, veteran sales team and replaced them with minimum wage kids.” See: http://bit.ly/3rEHfK

Tonight: My wife had to wait 20 minutes before the ‘ONLY EMPLOYEE’ who’s allowed to ‘make exchanges’ was finished eating supper in the break room.

Tip: If you’re the only employee that’s allowed to do a specific task, hire another employee that can do it and is authorized to do it when you’re on break. There, that was free.

Here’s what the 20 year old employee told me wife. I have absolutely no issues with 20 year olds. My favorite daughter is 20. And I’M POSITIVE she wouldn’t do this or say this to a customer, because I know my daughter. Unfortunately, a majority of kids her age aren’t working in retail because they care about customers. Or for the company that’s paying them.

SO, here’s what the 20 year old employee told her.

Keep in mind, this is a costume store.

Keep in mind, this is on their website, career opportunities page, my edits in [ ].

Bring Your Own:

* Love of selling and balloons … [OK, I ADMIT BALLOONS DO MAKE ME HAPPY]

* Passionate commitment to outrageous customer service … [CLEVER WORDING, I WOULD DEFINITELY SAY IT’S OUTRAGEOUS.. I AM OUTRAGED!]



* Desire to create a fun environment for everyone … [WHEN YOU’RE NOT ON THE CLOCK]


* Very best to the party every day … [THAT YOU’RE NOT ON THE WORK SCHEDULE]

The employee, hired on the above criteria said: “Without a receipt, we can only give you an in-store credit.” Arms folded. Silence.

My thoughts, not my wife’s: That would be a reasonable policy I suppose, if it were a grocery store. I’m sure we’ll be eating again soon. It would be fine if it was a clothing store… we make it a habit to wear clothes. Often. It would be fine if it were a drug store. I’m sure we’ll need Q-tips and tampons again soon. BUT IT’S A FARKIN’ COSTUME STORE!

I take 70% fault for this, by the way. I honestly knew before my wife left to ask her to check if she had the receipt, but I pick my battles. If I would have brought it up, she would have probably yelled at me for treating her like a kid and made ME DO IT. 😀

Man, do I digress a lot. Are you getting this camera guy?

My wife, sweet and non-confrontational with people she doesn’t know well, said, “OK, I’ll drive back home, 15 miles away and come back with it.” That’s passive aggressive for: “I know I have a receipt, are you really going to be petty enough to accuse me of lying over $60 of YOUR unopened merchandise in one of YOUR STORE BAGS?”

Love the employees response: “Thanks for understanding. I’m sorry, there’s nothing I can do.” I guess there was either a camera and microphone on her, wired to their corporate profit and loss department or there’s employee bonuses for turning in other employees who don’t finish their dinner first before refusing refunds.

Yes. We do have receipt. Yes, I will return the merchandise myself tomorrow. Yes, I will get my money back. YES, I will tell anyone that will listen to me about the inexcusable (former) customer service at Party America. And if you agree that bad customer service is viral and somehow I’ve swayed you not to shop there again, please don’t tell me, TELL THEM : http://bit.ly/3Ix9do.

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