Two months ago I purchased a Delta Tenoning jig for $129.99 in cash from a local Woodcraft store. A few weeks after purchasing the jig a friend of mine’s father mentioned he had one that he had never used and asked me if I would like it. With much appreciation I accepted the jig.
This morning, roughly 60 days after the purchase of the Delta jig, I drove 20 miles to return the item, still sealed in the box, never opened. I also had my receipt that plainly states at the bottom “Satisfaction Guaranteed – If you are not happy with your purchase, return it anytime within 90 days for refund.”
I had the receipt and had the jig in it’s never opened box. It should be noted that I am also a very good customer of this store where I have spent thousands of dollars over the past couple of years on things like a Jessem Router Table and Lift, a Steel City Deluxe Table Saw, a Powermatic Mortising machine and much, much more.
I was promptly told by the store’s Manager on-duty that he could only give me back $25 in cash and the balance on a Woodcraft gift card. When asked where that was stated on the receipt I was told it wasn’t but that was company policy. After repeatedly commenting politely and respectfully that I was not leaving the store without the full refund in cash in my pocket (a line of customers was now forming behind me and listening intently to our conversation) the fellow reluctantly said he would give me the money but that he had heard that not long ago an employee at another store had lost his job for doing the same thing (I can only hope it wasn’t a Manager or Ass. Manager).
This had escalated into one of those situations where money wasn’t really the issue anymore (though it could have been) but the principle of the thing was what was really irritating. Sure, I would probably spend that $100 gift certificate (and much, much more) in their store in the coming months (I’m sure that is what they were counting on!), but that wasn’t really the point. The store had upset an excellent customer by jerking them around for basically petty cash, about an unstated company policy. They also now had an excellent employee who was scared to death about doing the right thing (to keep that good customer), over fear of losing his job. Even if the policy was based on some rediculous business reason, at least give the on-duty manager the discretion to make that decision based on the situation at hand, without fearing for their job.
What an absolute disgusting position to put both a repeat customer and wonderful employee in. Woodcraft needs to get it’s head out of it’s ass and start acting like a real, grown-up company, with a professional customer relationship attitude. I shop at stores because I CHOOSE to, not because of some pathetic gift certificate scheme. If they wish to keep good, valued customers they should discontinue such a deplorable, bush-league policy or at the very least, make the effort to state it at the bottom of the receipt with the rest of the “Satisfaction Guarantee”.
Sorry folks for going on and on but I thought that all of you should be made aware of this deceptive practice and anyway, I needed the cathartic experience to calm down a bit.
Happy Holidays!! ;-)
-- Better to say nothing and be thought the fool... then to speak and erase all doubt!