Sunday, May 3, 2020

How I Returned Item Bought in a Mega Hardware Chain?


How to return item bought in a mega hardware store?

Here's the story where I returned an item I bought from a giant hardware store chain and got my refund with no problem.

You have to learn from my experience on this one as you might experience a similar situation that I had.


When is it right to return item bought in a mega hardware chain store?

Saving money entails a lot and one of them is to protect your consumer's right.

Let me be clear this early. The product was not defective, nor it had anything that would deem it as a candidate for replacement or exchange.

The mega hardware store where I bought it is a very established and reputable store. The reason for the refund is nothing about the item. But on the salesman that sold it to me.

How it all started?

The product involved here is - double door lock, and the whole situation happened after I forgot and left the key of the one installed on my pad's door.

I left the key in the lock outside and only after 5-days when I realized that. I frantically went out and found the key on the floor. I got worried that someone had the key copied.


double lock set
This is the model of the double-lock set installed in my front door.


I took a picture of the double lock set installed on my door because I wanted a similar model.

Once in the branch of the country's largest hardware chain in the nearest mall, I showed the picture to the salesman who attended to me. Actually, he was called by the first one that approached me.

I explained to him what had happened and so the importance of similarity of the one that I wanted to buy.

The hard sell

The salesman quickly grabbed a pack of a unit and said that it's the unit and model that I needed. I saw it's different as although the deadbolt was the same as mine, the knob had no visible holes for screws.

It turned out that I needed to disassemble the knob before I can find screw holes, making it complicated.

I repeatedly asked him if the locks had the same dimensions as mine and that if I could fit them right onto the same holes in my door. He assured me and threw out hard sells and spiels.

In my last attempt to get what I wanted, I zoomed in my picture to the location of the screws in the knob and asked him if he could show their units with the same hole locations. He said they didn't have it. He won, and I bought his items.

The revelation

Back home, I was excited to replace my door locks myself. And that's when the inconsistency revealed.

The two screw holes in each of both faceplate and strike plate of the latch bolt are farther compared to the old locks.

That means I couldn't replace my old plates with the new ones that included in the newly purchased double door lock-set.

Off I went back

On the third day, I went back to the mega hardware store and, I asked for a manager. A supervisor entertained me.

I told her about the whole account starting off with my statement, “I believe a misrepresentation has been committed by your sales clerk which deemed installation of these locks can't be possible on my part.”

I showed her the same photo I'd shown to the sales clerk. Then I narrated the whole account.

I explained to her that drilling new pilot holes for plates of the double lock model sold to me by their clerk would definitely weaken and destroy wood integrity of the door's jamb and case which would pose a more serious problem.

A difference in millimeters means that I will drill new pilot holes that will overlap the old pilot holes. It is really out of the question.

At that point a female crew approached from behind me and butted in, saying to the effect that all double locks are standard and will fit in any existing dead bolt strike and door knob holes.

My intention in going back there was to have my money refunded if they didn't have the same model as mine.

This time I already knew the model name, unlike the last time when I had no idea. I saw the model embossed at faceplate when I tried to install their lock back home.

The female crew took me back to deadbolt section, and there she presented me with several options and recommendations.

She seemed to convince me to stick with the one I bought and to just don't replace the old plates with the new plates included in the box of the ones I bought from them.

Until she gave the information that the salesman didn't give to me, which you will read on the next headline.

Giveaway to Ultimate Refund

I asked her if they have a model with screws located in the same location in my old knob. And her answer: They have but not a "combo set" which means I need to buy a separate deadbolt.

She handed over to me a knob unit, and it was the same copy of the one in my door. And that's when I got to know I have a strong case - to have the refund, definitely.

Back in the customer service area, I talked to the same supervisor again, this time assertively.

It was clear that the salesman committed the mishandling of a particular consumer's need. He didn't pay attention to my purpose in buying considering I presented him a photo of the item and even gave him the reason for replacing my old locks.

I've seen he violated a code of conduct in dealing with a customer, in my opinion. You know, we have consumer welfare that looks into situations like this.

What does the law say?

For those who don't know, by law, we can not return a product we bought if it has no defect.

You could just swap or exchange a particular product you bought with another product and — must be within 5-days.

So you see, I had a tough situation there. And if I wasn't a consummate consumer, I wouldn't have succeeded in getting my money back.

The Arguments

So, here are the facts that the supervisor had considered in her decision to give me the refund.

  1. The salesman from whom I bought the product failed to, or in my opinion, intentionally didn't disclose rightful information.
  2. Had he said they have a similar unit like mine only it was not a “combo set,” I would have left the store immediately and went to others.
  3. Instead, he picked a different model and gave me the hard sell pushing that item which I forcedly accept.
  4. The different dimension in screw holes has been overlooked.

How could they make me paid the full amount for the item while suggesting not to use it? Just leave the old plates in the door?

I had a genuine intention to buy as I had the necessity. That made me an easy target for a sure commission as the sale would easily be consummated. So, it is my belief that sales clerks take a situation like this to exploit the opportunity.

Three options in getting the refund

I insisted on getting my refund in cash and outright. I invoked the possible violations of their sales clerk of the code of conduct in handling customers.

I got my money back in the full amount less than 30-minutes after my talk with the supervisor who was the one that processed the refund.

But not until 3-choices in getting my refund have been laid out for me to decide:

  1. Refund that will be processed in 30-days because I used debit card in my payment.
  2. Refund in the form of a voucher that I will use to pay future purchases at any of their branches.
  3. Refund in cash upfront as I assertively demanded on reasons I have already mentioned above.

And I've chosen #3 which I was the one who laid out to them and declared that it's the only option I will accept. Haha!

40% savings

Upon tip received, I went to a branch of the biggest hardware warehouse store in the Philippines. Through enough, the same model and specs I've been looking for were available there. And the price is Php 700. It is cheaper by approximately 40% than the model I returned, which cost Php 1,200. If I didn't win in my counter-arguments with the mega hardware store supervisor, I wouldn't have saved 500 pesos.

Conclusion

We all value our hardly-earned money. The ability to sense that you are being ripped off just to make a sale will protect you from losing money while ensuring you're on the right path on how to save money.

Have you experienced buying a product & decided to return it because of the seller's fault? What did you do? Did you accept — exchange or refund? Share in our comments' box below.

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Vernie Mallorca is an entrepreneur and blogger with years of experience in selling to institutional accounts. He gradually shifted to blogging when he found out that it is his calling to write timely and helpful articles online that can help others to save money, make money, and secure their future by handling their income smartly. In this blog, he shares both managing your finances, however small it is and valuable information on running a small business.

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