Cardiogirl 19 percent body fat 100 percent fun


the pen IS mightier than the sword


My husband and I are letter-writers. I don't mean to say we send amiable notes to friends near and far. I mean we send letters, when provoked and prodded, to CEOs near and far. Our success rate is 100%.

Now let me explain, lest you think we send off poison pen letters just for the fun of it. Part of our success rate is that we actually have a grievance, a leg to stand on, as it were. We try to work with the person at hand. If that fails, we try to work with the supervisor.

It's pretty rare that the supervisor cannot help out. But it happens. Like last week at the shoe store. My husband ran up to the mall to get me a pair of red Converse low-tops for my birthday. (Why not celebrate 39 with a pair of red shoes. I'm gonna make my own Red Hat Society. ) As luck would have it, all of the red Converse were sent out to another store a couple of days earlier. So the manager told my husband she could special order a pair and they would get there in four days. Agreed. After she charged the card and the transaction was finished, my husband pulled a shoe off the wall to double check the order number. Seeing that they did not match, he told the manager.

It was then, that she told him all "special orders" could not be refunded. Oops, she forgot to mention that before the order was taken. So my husband suggested, since it had been less than five minutes, perhaps she could revoke the order via the computer. Sorry, the system is a bit archaic and we cannot do that.

He then suggested she could call the ordering warehouse to stop the order. Negative. He did mention that she forgot to tell him about the "special orderus non refundus" clause. She agreed that she forgot to mention that, but referred back to the archaic system.

So then my husband asked to speak to the manager. Surprise! She was the manager. Then he asked to speak with her supervisor. She said she'd have to call him on the phone. My husband said he'd wait while she dialed.

This is where the fun began.

Her 30-something boss, Brandon, was on his cell phone out shopping with his wife. He told my husband that there was no chance the order was going to be stopped. My husband reiterated the story. It had been less than 10 minutes, he was not told about the non-refund clause, etc. Brandon then said, "Put yourself in my shoes. I'm out shopping with my wife."

My husband said perhaps Brandon could make a few phone calls. Brandon said no, that would not work for him. He then said even if he could cancel the order right now, my husband would have to make a second trip back to the store after the shoes arrived so the charge could be refunded. And, we would not be refunded the shipping cost.

My husband told him that answer was unsatisfactory and that he was very surprised that Brandon's primary focus was what worked best for Brandon. He then told Brandon he would be writing a letter to the CEO of the company about this experience and that he would be sure to include Brandon's response in his letter as well.

At this point, the phone went dead. It's possible that Brandon's cell phone dropped the call. But my husband took it as Brandon hanging up on him. Yes, that's right. The "supervisor" hung up on the customer.

Hubby told the manager that he was extremely dissatisfied and that he was leaving now that Brandon hung up on him. As he walked out of the store he did hear the phone ringing. But, it was too late.

That night (Thursday) he wrote a letter to the CEO. Friday morning he mailed it to Tennessee. Monday afternoon we received a call from the headquarters saying that our credit card had been refunded in full, including the shipping charge. We were further informed that the regional and district manager would be investigating the incident at that store.

That's all we were looking for. A refund of the money so everyone could go on their merry way. I'm sure Brandon won't be strung and quartered, like we were hoping, but maybe he will get bitch-slapped. One can hope, right?


2007-02-06 at 6:34 a.m.

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