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Tool Talk Discussion Forum

Re: Home Depots idea of a new chainsaw

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Author  [Modern View]

04-28-2013 09:34:32

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I have worked for Lowe’s for over 6 years and we have the same issues that any other retailer experiences with returned merchandise. Trust me, the Home Depot store did not know that they were selling a “used” product because of the actions of a dishonest customer. Unfortunately the next customer suffered because of the actions of the “crook”. We see this a lot of these type of things.
Lets say you bought a chainsaw 2 years ago and used and abused it. One day you need to cut up a tree, you find it in the garage and after a bit it finally starts but runs poorly because of the year old gas. You try to cut a limb but it is really slow because the chain is junk because of the piece of hidden metal in the trunk of the tree that you cut the last time you used it.
You take a $400.00 used and needing repair saw back to the store without a receipt, bare without the case, and none of the accessories demanding the we replace it with a new one. Of course we can not do that! You are asking us to pay you $400.00 because you did not take care of the tool. Then there are the threats about how we are going to lose the biggest customer we have, you are going to close all of your non-existent credit accounts, tell all of your friends about our lousy customer service, and finally call our corporate offices. All of this because you did not use and maintain the saw properly.
Knowing in the back of your mind that we were right in refusing to take back your saw and that you screwed up, you decide that you are still going to get a new saw because that tree still needs to cut up. You form a plan and proceed. After all, this is a mega retailer and they have return policies with vendors and its only a few bucks to a mega retailer and the mega manufacturer. So you go back into the store and buy a new saw and head home.

Once at home you carefully open the box just like a kid snooping in wrapped gifts before Christmas. You get that new chainsaw and accessories out of the box leaving the case behind because your old one is in the garage somewhere, and then replace all of the packaging around your old saw and put it in the box. Time to seal the box so that it looks like it was not tampered with. Glued end flaps or staples that were carefully cut open with a sharp kitchen knife are glued back with a hot melt glue gun. Nylon strapping is repaired with super glue. Tamper proof seals are commonly cut off of the box and then glued back in place. The clear box tape is carefully taped over with a new piece and extremely hard to see. Now off you go to the mega retailer to return your “new” saw.

Man you are in luck, the seasoned veteran employee working returns this morning has been replaced by a 20 year old that is just there for the paycheck. You present your receipt and the repackaged saw explaining that you really didn’t need it after all. You “borrowed” a saw to do the job instead. The saw looks like it was never opened and still brand new so we send it back to the floor. We happily refund your money and you are an extremely proud person because you got one over on the mega retailer! For an investment of a little time and materials you saved $400.00!

Three days later another customer goes into the store and sees the chainsaw that they want to purchase and then takes it home. It would be great to have the audio and video recording of that person when they open the box just to find your old saw. This person is upset but not as upset as they are going to be. Off he goes back to the mega retailer to get what he paid for, a new saw!

The seasoned veteran employee working returns this morning greet you as you explain that you got an old saw in a new box. She rolls her eyes because she has seen this “scam” before and is just doing her job protecting the company’s assets. You know the rest of the story from here. We have a customer service issue and it isn’t easy to fix.

The scenario above is all to common. Small parts are lost, parts break and are not available because they are part of an assembly, or my favorite are accessories available with upscale models that are optional with the cheaper model. People buy and return merchandise everyday knowingly committing fraud thinking that its OKAY!
A retailer is put into a poor position by folks like these! It is truly a no win situation for the consumer or the business. The result is higher cost of doing business with higher retail prices.

The shoplifting stories I have are even better.

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