Tuesday, 20 April, 2010

A cardboard box costs 100 euros at FNAC

I bought a camera at FNAC yesterday for 79 euros; today, I took it back, to return it and buy a costlier one. I was willing to go up to 179 euros.

First reaction: Collapse. “Why do you want to return it. There is just three of us in this department. I will have to check everything.”

“But I am willing to spend 100 euros more! Isn’t checking worth that?”

With greatest reluctance, the clerk agreed to see what he can do.

Second reaction: “Where is the box?”

“I threw it away.”

“Sorry, can’t accept.”

“Look, can’t you get another box?”

“No. Rule.”

“You mean you’ll walk away from earning 100 euros more because of a cardboard box (that the camera company, Kodak, makes in hundreds of thousands).”

“Sorry, but… You can speak to my boss.”

He looks for another box, shows me the rule, and nothing happens.

What can I say? I just hope this ‘can’t do’ attitude isn’t typical; I fear though that it is.

1 comment:

Arya Chatterjee said...

This rule in the USA also. The thing is that the retail outlet cannot repackage and sell it. They have to essentially send the product back to Kodak to be repackaged. For the retail store that is expensive (say ~ 10 dollars). They are prepared to take that hit because (a) few people return (b) over all they will make a profit even if they make a much smaller profit on this sale. The product is likely to be marked as used by Kodak and they may have to sell it as "Refurbished" since it has been opened. That's the law. If they are caught trying to sell a product that has been opened, they will be fined. So they can't do it. All in all, having the ability to return something (especially the no questions asked return) is a great thing. On most electronics, the margins are very thin.

Also I noticed this. Macy's in Jersey City on their more expensive dresses has the tag that says that it cannot be returned if it does not have that tag - essentially you cannot wear the dress to the prom and then return it. They donot have the same tag in the main Macy's at Herald Square. But you can imagine people trying to do that, so they had to change the policy. Macy's would hate to infuriate their customers. But someone must have done an analysis (we hope) of how much it will negatively affect their sales as compared to the loss they are making by essentially having to dump off these once used clothes to outlet stores. So...