Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Queen of Take-Back (Rant!)

Ranting today. This cooler has been used maybe 3 times since we bought it last year.  I couldn't believe it when I saw how the plastic clasp cracked and is hanging by a thread. I will be making a call to the sporting goods store where I bought it to see how they will  remedy this situation.  Lately, I have had a pretty good run of luck in returning faulty items for a full refund.  If the store doesn't replace it or refund my money, I will be writing a nice letter to Igloo corporate headquarters.  I am the queen of take-back.

While this may seem trivial and silly to some, I'm here to say that second-rate stuff is unacceptable to me. I think we paid $54.00 for this cooler although I'm pretty sure I don't have the receipt. I turned it over this morning, thinking it would say "Made in China". Believe me when I say my jaw dropped when I discovered it was made in the USA.  Houston, Texas to be exact.

While camping Monday night, Gene's daughter was ranting about a battery-type lantern (Coleman) she bought 3 years ago. She bought one for her dad for Father's day this year but warned him that he'll need to plug it in about once a month to keep the battery charged, even if he is not using it. She found this out the hard way. She hadn't used her lantern all winter, for obvious reasons,  and she plugged it in to charge it since we would be camping and it wouldn't take a charge. She called the company and the nice lady on the phone told her that Coleman just assumes everyone knows that you should plug it in periodically to help it keep its charge.  Really???? It doesn't say that in the manual.  Who keeps charging their camping lantern year round? She paid $30 for it and it came with a 5-year warranty. 

I suspect most people don't take the time to complain about such things.  I'm not one of those people.  I hate crappy stuff. I hate throwing my money away. To me, it's like taking a handful of money and just throwing it in the garbage can.

I may have written this already but I recently returned the camera Gene gave me for my birthday in May. I had taken about 400 pictures and I wasn't happy with the photo quality. The store gladly refunded all my money except for a $30 restocking fee.  I wrote a nice letter to the corporate office in Illinois and about 5 days later I got a phone call from the local store and they bent over backwards to refund the restocking fee. I was impressed by that.

Look ... here's the bottom line. If we continue to accept crappy stuff, that's what we'll keep getting. When I worked for J.C. Penney about 30+ years ago, in training we learned that the company lost only about 3% in shrinkage (returns). They told us to always happily refund the customer's money, for whatever reason. They knew that if a customer was unhappy, that customer would tell as least five people about their experience.  What company needs that kind of reputation these days? That lesson has stayed with me.

Have you had a similar situation?  

love, susan

1 comment:

  1. I'm catching up with your blogs now that we're back from traveling and I actually have time to sit and read.

    I can not tolerate cheaply made goods. Especially since the prices don't always reflect how cheaply they are made.

    We just bought two of those coolers (Steve insisted we needed them even though we have multiple sizes in our shed) and he paid more than $40 each for them. Ridiculous for molded plastic, so if we had one break prematurely, I'd be incensed!

    I hope you got your money back!

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