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Why is so damn difficult to get a refund??

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Why is so damn difficult to get a refund??

Postby Candy » Mon, 17 Nov 2008 3:04 pm

Hi all,

I am soo frustrated when shopping in Singapore. Its bad enough that you are overcharged most of the time, but throw in the no refund policy they are so fond of and you find yourself vowing never to shop at that store again!
My first experience of this was when I brought a book for my son at TIMES outlet in Marina sq, after paying, my son told me he wanted to change it for another book instead, so I went to the cashier asking for a refund or exchange. Imagine my shock when I was told from the cashier that I just patronised 2 minutes earlier that I wasn't allowd to get a refund, not only that but I can only exchange for something MORE expensive!!!!! It can't be right for stores to hold their customers to ransom like this surely? Apparently there is no such thing as consumer rights. Don't even get me started on the mis-selling that is rampant here.

My latest experience left me spewing blood, I brought a very expensive handbag at a Coach store. Most women would agree that we tend to get second thoughts after reaching home. (especially after hubby sees the price!!! hehehe....but thats another story)
Anyway, I called up the Coach store and asked about returns...they told me the same thing the cashier from the bookshop said. No REFUNDS, and any exchange had to be of the same of higher value...(so don't even think about getting the cheapest item and getting some of your money back).
For me, this just took the biscuit, I mean I was shopping at a high end international renowned boutique, not some mama shop.
Now, it is not about the money, it is the principle. I have contacted their head office in Florida who tells me that Coach policy is exchange or FULL REFUND as long as the item has never been used and you have valid receipt. Makes perfect sense to me.
So, armed with my email from the HQ I will be paying a visit to the Coach store in Takashimaya, and I will not leave until they give me my refund. So watch out for woman who might be staging a one woman revolt at the Coach outlet!!

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 17 Nov 2008 3:43 pm

Well, I reckon anybody who can afford a "Coach" bag in the first place as they are certainly used to being ripped off. Having said that, this no refund policy is pretty much typical here. Always pay by credit card and then threaten to call the credit card company in front of the store manager and instruct the CC company not to honor the charge by the company as it is fraudulent charge. :cool:

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Postby road.not.taken » Mon, 17 Nov 2008 3:57 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:Well, I reckon anybody who can afford a "Coach" bag in the first place as they are certainly used to being ripped off.


What the heck is that supposed to mean?

Candy, this is how it is done in Singapore. Frustrating, yes -- but I am sure the policy is posted somewhere. Always, ALWAYS ask. Always ask and you won't blow a gasket every time you shop. Most stores have an exchange only policy, and only with 3 days. Makes Christmas shopping so much fun. :roll: If only they would reallocate some of the money spent on whoring up Orchard Rd for their version of Commercialmas and put it into training seminars for retail staff.

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Postby Candy » Mon, 17 Nov 2008 4:17 pm

Actually, my reply from Coach HQ was very prompt and when I contacted the outlet here, I was dealt with very swiftly after my HQ enquiry. I CAN get a refund, although they tell me that it is against their policy. Although after checking my receipt it clearly states that exchanged and refunds can be made within 7 days! So what the heck are they talking about?

SMS, LIke I said, it is not about the money anymore. It is all about the principle! It shouldn't matter if I brought a bag for $10 or $1000.

I have to keep reminding myself now that I am not in the UK, where you can get a refund at any store and under no obligation whatsoever. The point is, Coach is a international brand and they have stressed that they will offer Full refund at any of their store in any country. What I couldn't stand was their apparent double standard at the Singapore outlet.

For example, you CAN get a full refund at M&S in Singapore! (M&S policy is no quibble and no question asked when u ask for refund or exchange)

See, I was careful to shop at international brands so at least I could have the same consumer rights as I would if I was abroad.

Anyway, my rant at the them has worked so I will be making my way to Coach to collect my refund. They knew who I was as soon as I called, so my guess is they have received my raging email from their HQ. Complaining does work!

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Postby road.not.taken » Mon, 17 Nov 2008 4:28 pm

Candy wrote:SMS, LIke I said, it is not about the money anymore. It is all about the principle! It shouldn't matter if I brought a bag for $10 or $1000.


Exactly. And sometimes local retailers like to run rough shod over their customers, simply because they can.

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Postby hibri2 » Mon, 17 Nov 2008 4:44 pm

yah i may get flamed for my next comment, but heck! i cant just take it out of my head...

look, if the item is damaged or so, thats covered by some sort of warranty and its a totally different story, the whole refund concept just makes me sick as its another way to feed up the vanity and empty consumerism of those people who just dont know what they want, less than all... what they need.

buying more crap made easier because when the novelty wears off, we can get refund to go and buy some other crap.

shipping and repackaging more crap to feed the empty needs of addicts everywhere goes in the form of more plastic in the oceans, more energy used and the underpaid kid or aunty in china or thailand have to made another bloody bag. not to mention the extra stress that the underpaid clerk will receive when another "oh i just bought this in a spur of the moment and now i just dont feel like it" overpaid customer start screaming about refunds... stress that the clerk will take back at their families or simply ruining his/her day...

people used to get stuff that will last for ever, they knew what they wanted or needed and they dealt with bad choices, oh but poor poor people now... so undecided... so many bloody choices... cut them some slack so they may feel like getting more unnecessary crap again.

it just brings this quote from that great film, Twelve Monkeys, to my sick mind:

But if you don't buy a lot of stuff, if you don't, what are you then, I ask you? What? Mentally *ill*. Fact, Jim, fact - if you don't buy things - toilet paper, new cars, computerized yo-yos, electrically-operated sexual devices, stereo systems with brain-implanted headphones, screwdrivers with miniature built-in radar devices, voice-activated computers...
"Do not pray in my school, and I will not think in your church." - Unknown.

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Postby road.not.taken » Mon, 17 Nov 2008 4:53 pm

Well, that's certainly one way of looking at it. But you're superimposing morality on the situation. If the store has a policy it doesn't live up to, then they are at fault. If a store has a policy which makes it difficult to shop in, then people will shop elsewhere.

If Candy was buying a book to give away to a children's charity, would you still object?

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Postby Candy » Mon, 17 Nov 2008 5:14 pm

Hibri2,

You are right you will get a lot of remarks on what you said. Unless you live off the grid there is no way you won't contribute to global commercialism.

[/quote]

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Postby hibri2 » Mon, 17 Nov 2008 5:16 pm

road.not.taken wrote:Well, that's certainly one way of looking at it. But you're superimposing morality on the situation.


its not morality, its responsibility... more than any other thing is: dont buy crap just for fun or greed or because you are bored, do responsible shopping better yet, check if there is a way to get the same crap some other way (make it, got to a thrift shop, cash converter or whatever).

road.not.taken wrote: If the store has a policy it doesn't live up to, then they are at fault. If a store has a policy which makes it difficult to shop in, then people will shop elsewhere.


lets start by saying that im against the policy in general, not against this isolated case, my tantrum is over the refund policy, not about if they have it and dont deliver it or so.

i will need more information about what do you define as "difficult" to shop... do they have a lava pit around the cashier? rabid dogs in the corridors? do they force you to walk with your hands? i mean... what is exactly "difficult"

road.not.taken wrote:If Candy was buying a book to give away to a children's charity, would you still object?


im trying to think about the scenario where you need to get a refund for a children book that will go to an unknown child... and well, i can only think that an example will be that she buys a book with some sort of inappropriate content, right? so that will still apply as she being not an able responsible shopper, goes back to the point of: know want you want and / or need

if i buy a pipe to make a cake, its obvious that im sort of stupid, wont you agree with me?
Last edited by hibri2 on Mon, 17 Nov 2008 5:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Candy » Mon, 17 Nov 2008 5:17 pm

Just to add to this, you have completely missed the point!

And where does a poor unpaid clerk get into this? :o

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Postby hibri2 » Mon, 17 Nov 2008 5:23 pm

Candy wrote:Hibri2,
Unless you live off the grid there is no way you won't contribute to global commercialism.


yah, and yet here i am, not complaining about buying crap i dont need then crying because im not able to get a refund... :-|

typical mistake is to think that there are no alternative lifestyles that will allow you to live "on the grid" yet being a proper individual "outside" from it.

you dont have to live in a hippie commune to be responsible, i can point to you several urban alternative lifestyles projects in centres as "commercial" as new york.

not to mention that its a common trend in europe to be absolutly more responsible as a consumer.

the examples are endless.
"Do not pray in my school, and I will not think in your church." - Unknown.

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Postby hibri2 » Mon, 17 Nov 2008 5:32 pm

Candy wrote:Just to add to this, you have completely missed the point!


arent we talking about refund policies? i will appreciate more info about the point i have missed. im simply expressing my views over the whole refund thing.

Candy wrote:And where does a poor unpaid clerk get into this? :o


read again, its UNDERpaid clerk not UNpaid clerk.

where that comes from?

check out the intergrationist vs mechanistic way of thinking, good sources could be Umberto Eco, Alvin Toffler, Robert Anton Wilson among many others i fail to remember now.
Last edited by hibri2 on Mon, 17 Nov 2008 5:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby hibri2 » Mon, 17 Nov 2008 5:36 pm

hibri2 wrote: more than any other thing is: dont buy crap just for fun or greed or because you are bored



i will rephrase the statement above:

more than any other thing is: dont buy crap just for fun or greed or because you are bored... if you feel like doing it, then do it and learn to deal with it!

point is, you have the freedom of making bad choices and make a fool of yourself... is actually nice and make people laugh.
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Postby road.not.taken » Mon, 17 Nov 2008 6:17 pm

hibri2 wrote:
hibri2 wrote: more than any other thing is: dont buy crap just for fun or greed or because you are bored



i will rephrase the statement above:

more than any other thing is: dont buy crap just for fun or greed or because you are bored... if you feel like doing it, then do it and learn to deal with it!

point is, you have the freedom of making bad choices and make a fool of yourself... is actually nice and make people laugh.


Wow, not at all constructive. Not in the least bit and so far beside the point as to be insulting.

If you want a Coach bag, and can afford a Coach bag -- then what the hell?!? Go buy one. In fact one could easily argue the point that buying two or three classic, high quality bags is very European and a clear demonstration of the responsible consumer. It's the schlocky, off the assembly line, non-repairable, disposable ___________________ (could be anything -- fill-in: toasters, hand bags, shoes, phones, etc...) choking our landfills.
Last edited by road.not.taken on Mon, 17 Nov 2008 6:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Candy » Mon, 17 Nov 2008 6:23 pm

hibri2,

unpaid clerk or underpaid clerk - he is still irrelevant.

Your rant about this topic is irrelevant.

For your info I was not crying, I was ranting. There is a difference.

And furthermore, who are you to judge?

Don't give me this big talk about morals and greed.


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