TalesFromRetail: Under Australian Consumer law--!
Ok so yesterday I kinda did a bad thing. I interrupted a customer.
I was tired, with a million other things to do, and things were already difficult enough for the trainee on the register without this woman holding up the line.
So there is this particular demographic of older people who seem to get their idea of Australian consumer law off Facebook and Murdoch media. Under the law, stores DO NOT have to offer a refund OR an exchange for wrong choice/colour doesn’t match my wall/i changed my mind/i bought 80 packets of plastic cups and only used 79/i didn’t measure whatever I needed to use this for first. We only have to offer money back if the item is faulty. However, some people seem to think that can say “Australian Consumer Law” and they will get what they want. Doesn’t work like that. Also, we have a printout on the wall which we read when we’re bored. You can’t intimidate us.
The store I work at (which is a small business) offers a courtesy store credit or exchange for items chosen poorly. Unlike bigger stores, we can’t afford to be taking everyone’s word for things and refunding everyone. There’s a few reasons why: refunds have to be logged at the end of the day by the closer and this takes up more time; when an item is taken and brought back, it has been removed from stock for potential purchase by a customer who was actually going to keep it; the time to process the initial purchase and then to process the refund is time better spent on paying customers; to deter fraud.
Yesterday a woman brought two frames to counter and asked if she could have a refund if they were the wrong size. I said she could have an exchange, and swap them for something else – including the correct size. She objected to this. Didn’t measure the picture first, demanded this is our fault. Eventually did what EVERY older person does in this situation – “Under the Australian Consumer Law–!”
And I have heard this a million times and am fed up with people spreading lies. “Under Australian consumer law, we only have to offer a refund if the item is faulty.”
She just left the items on the counter and walked out.
Sometimes people get confused and think we’re saying they can’t bring it back at all if it’s wrong. Maybe this was the case here? I shouldn’t have interrupted her but I really wish people would research their rights instead of believing what sounds nice. It would make everyone’s lives a lot easier.