The Comcast representative incident that has made the rounds on the Internet made me think of a time last December when I purchased a protective iPad cover from my local Verizon wireless reseller. It is not as entertaining as the Comcast incident, but to the reseller’s credit, I did get my money back.
I returned the Ballistic iPad cover to the Verizon store this afternoon. The store is a Verizon reseller, and at first they were not going to give me my money back because as the saleswoman put it all sales on accessories are final. I explained to her my position, which was that I only had the item for 24 hours, never used it, and when I took it out-of-the-box and saw what it was and the way it, supposedly, would protect my iPad I realized it was not what I wanted. I called the store and told the salesman that answered the phone that I would be returning the item within 24 hours. The saleswoman very politely explained that I could exchange the item for another item or she could give me store credit. I explained to her that I did not want to exchange the item for another item, nor did I want store credit I simply wanted my money back. The saleswoman responded, basically, our policy is our policy, and “I’m sorry we couldn’t come to a resolution here’s your item back.” I said, “If I can’t get my money back, and you have nothing I want in exchange, and I don’t want store credit; the least you can do is take the item. I don’t want it. There is one thing you can do for me. Could you please give me the name address and phone number of someone at your corporate headquarters I could discuss your return and exchange policy with?”
She gave me the address and phone number of her corporate headquarters, (no name) and I left the store. I rolled about 100 feet away from the store and parked in front of an empty storefront and dialed the phone number the saleswoman gave me. This company has the worst automated personnel directory I’ve ever heard; only names and extensions no job titles, no departments. Undaunted, I simply dialed extensions until someone answered. A very nice woman picked up, and I explained my problem. She explained to me that the number I dialed was “a back office number,” and there was a different person I needed to speak to. She asked me to wait a moment, and I could hear a discussion the background. Then she came back on the line with a gentleman’s name and phone number. At that point it was dark, and I dialed the gentleman’s number. To my very great surprise, he answered the phone. I identified myself and explained my problem. He said all sales on accessories are final. I explained to him the sequence of events, and that the purchase had not cleared my bank yet. He asked me where the item was, and I told him it was at the store. I didn’t want it anymore. Then, he asked me if I was a Verizon customer. I answered yes. He asked me how far away from the store I was, and I told him about 100 feet. He told me he would call the store and authorize the saleswoman to run my card again giving me my money back. Not wanting to wait until he called the store, I persuaded him to stay on the line until I got back to the store and went inside. Then I handed my phone to the saleswoman and said, “Someone from your corporate headquarters wants to talk to you.” I could hear the gentleman ask the saleswoman, “Did you give him my cell phone number?” She said no. Then she hands me my cell phone and he asked me the same question and I related to him the process I explained above. I, then, gave the saleswoman back my cell phone at which point the gentleman told her to give me my money back.