What Happens When There’s a Price Cut Right After You Bought Clothes? Moronic Insanity Ensues

by Darwin on December 13, 2010

I couldn’t help but share this tale of epic stupidity I encountered today trying to save a few bucks on some sweaters I bought my wife for Christmas a few weeks ago.  The basic premise is that when I bought the sweaters, they were 30% off, but today, the store had a 40% off deal on Sunday.  I was right around the corner and they were sitting in my trunk since I was too lazy to wrap them yet so I figured I’d go in and have a price adjustment performed.  Simple, right?  After all, the merchandise was still within the return period, and the $11 I could save was worth the 15 minutes out of my night.

Epic Stupidity at Loft

So, I walk in and tell them I’d like to do a price adjustment and they said I could only do that within 7 days of purchase.  But that constraint is utterly stupid and useless since there’s nothing preventing one from just returning the merchandise and buying it again…until you confront epic stupid people trying to enforce an epic stupid procedure.

  • ME: OK, so I’ll return the sweaters I bought and just rebuy them, right?
  • Stupid Loft people: No, you’re not allowed to do that.
  • Me: Why?  That makes no sense.  I’m allowed to return the sweaters, right?
  • Stupid Loft people: Yes, you can return them if you like.
  • Me: OK….(long silence and perplexed look).  So, if I return those sweaters, you reverse the charge on my card.  I then buy them today at 40% off and we’re done here, right?
  • Stupid Loft people: No, you can’t do that.
  • Me: Perhaps you’re not understanding me, can you get your manager please?
  • Stupid Loft Manager rolls up: See sir, it says right here on the receipt, you can’t do a price adjustment after 7 days.  And these sweaters are past that date.
  • Me: Yeah, OK, call it what you want, but what is preventing me from just returning the things and buying them back?  After all, you have to honor your return policy and then once they are back in your custody – your inventory – I can buy them just like any other customer, right?
  • Stupid Loft Manager: No, you can’t do that.
  • Me:  I feel like I’m in the twilight zone.  Can you explain why I can’t do that.  I mean, are you going to like, hold on to those sweaters and actually prevent me from buying them again after I return them?  Like, you’re going to let anyone else in the store buy them but me?  This is insane.  What is the difference at that point if you sell it to me or someone else tomorrow?  You get the same amount of money as long as this sale is on.  And are you going to physically restrain me from picking up a sweater and bringing it to the register?  Please tell me you’re kidding.
  • Stupid Loft Manager:  (no answer).  (….thinking, perhaps realizing the absurdity of the situation)…. (then, trying to save face and protect her employee and herself from looking really dumb, says the following):  OK, here’s what we’ll do for you – you can do what you’re trying to do if the inventory is already in the store.
  • Me: So, what you’re saying is, I need to go find the same two sweaters out on the floor, bring them to the front, pay for those at 40% off, while returning these?
  • Stupid Loft Manager: Yes, that’s how we’d have to do this.  The system won’t allow us to do what you’re asking otherwise – ad.
  • Me: This sounds really silly.  These don’t even have RFID, they’re just barcodes – and they all have the same one.  Are you telling me somehow, each sweater is tracked discreetly and the system won’t allow me to buy these same sweaters again?
  • Stupid Loft Manager: Well, I don’t know about that, but I can’t let you re-buy these same sweaters.
  • Me:  OK, I can see we’re not getting anywhere, so I’ll get the stupid sweaters off the floor.  You have to at least concede this makes no sense right?
  • Stupid Loft Manager: (no reply).

I found the same sweaters on the floor.  I walked them up to the register.  And we did the exchange.  I walked out with my $11.

This was the dumbest exchange I’ve ever had in a retail establishment in my life.

I actually feel dumber after having experienced this.

Can Anyone Relate?

Am I Nuts?

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

retirebyforty December 14, 2010 at 1:27 pm

Nice going! They are just good corporate drones following the rules. I’m sure the manager thinks it’s absurd. At least I hope so.


Darwin December 14, 2010 at 6:40 pm

Yeah, it’s tough to blame employees for following the rules. The policy is stupid and impossible/dumb to enforce. I also found it annoying that as a manager, she couldn’t articulate how the policy was to be enforced or answer my question. I mean, seriously, she was going to “hide” the clothes from me? I could just send my wife back in to buy them. It’s really dumb. And I’d pay the same 40% off the next customer would. Arrgh!


Just Heather December 14, 2010 at 6:48 pm

Were you at Target? I had this *exact* conversation several years ago, only it was over furniture & netted me a few hundred back when it was all said and done. The gal behind the counter insisted it was impossible and called over a manger. I finally said, fine and left.

I went back to the back, bought all the same furniture I had at home, watched the 2 required team members load it up, cart it to the front where I paid. I then pulled out my old receipt, walked to the desk and said, I’d like to return these now. She asked for my receipt. I said, “You’re holding it.” She insisted she needed the new one. I told her it was irrelevant to this transaction, and the manager returned.

She told the girl to run the return – nothing they could do about it. I had a valid receipt for return and the exact items on my receipt. It was completely ridiculous.


Darwin December 26, 2010 at 3:04 pm

This was Ann Taylor Loft. So silly. I guess their policy must work on some customers first time through, so in the end, it boosts their bottom line.


Invest It Wisely December 17, 2010 at 5:03 pm

Hah, that’s hilarious. They need to fix that policy since it doesn’t seem to make too much sense as is.


Ryan@TheFinancialStudent December 19, 2010 at 4:20 pm

I work retail and that makes no sense. Our price adjustment period is 14 days, but we do exactly what you’re describing all the time (return, then repurchase) if the customer wants to. My manager would give me a WTF look if I told someone they had to go get an identical item off the the rack!

The only real difference is which method is used on the computer. Price adjustments: I scan your receipt and the computer automatically checks if anything’s been marked down or put on sale. Return and then repurchase just means I have to scan bar codes.


Darwin December 26, 2010 at 3:11 pm

Yeah, they claimed it had something to do with the computer. Still don’t get why they couldn’t just do the return transaction first. Then I rebuy, since barcode can’t track individual items, only product code.


Michael Roanhaus December 22, 2010 at 8:24 am

I work at Home Depot, where surprisingly we do price adjustments regardless of the date, as it is common sense people can just return and re-buy the product. We do MUCH more retarded things than this though, Home Depot’s prime example of “customer service” was to return some Firestone Tires which we NEVER have sold:

“A man came into Home Depot one day with a tire and asked to return it. The cashier explained to the man, “I’m sorry sir, but we can’t return a tire.”

The man said, “I bought my tires here but they wore out very quickly and I’m very unhappy with their short life span. I want to return them.”

Again, the cashier calmly explained that we can’t return tires here. He said, “Sir, The Home Depot has never sold tires and we can’t return it.”

The man asked to speak to a manager. The manager, who was all for customer service, asked the man how much he had paid for the tires. When the man told him the exact amount, the manager opened a till and gave the man his money back.

The cashier, baffled, asked the manager why he had given the man money back, when obviously The Home Depot doesn’t, and never has, sold tires. The manager explained to the cashier that the customer is always right, and we want to do everything we can to keep our customers happy.

A week later, after some research, the manager found out that before that specific Home Depot store was there, a tire store had been in it’s place.”

This story is complete bullshit imo, that manager would be fired for just handing the customer money out of the register, as no returns transaction could be done since there was no UPC or receipt number to process the return! Apparently it’s true though, the Home Depot returns ANYTHING.


Anna B August 8, 2011 at 1:58 am

That story is actually from Nordstrom, not Home Depot. The Anchorage Nordstrom was located in a storefront that had been operated by Northern Commercial before, where they did in fact sell tires. Sounds like Home Depot took the story and ran with it.


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