What do you do when you buy a bag of oranges and get them home to discover several areas of rot that you couldn’t see when the oranges were in the bag? If you find an item has a broken safety seal, do you throw it away or return it to the store? One woman I know NEVER returns anything, regardless of how expensive the defective item is. I asked her why once, and she said she doesn’t like to complain.
I think there are times when you SHOULD complain, and with prices so high these days, it doesn’t make sense to just absorb the cost of items you buy and then can’t use. Just be sure you have a fair and valid complaint and that you present your complaint and the item in question to the service desk in a calm, polite manner. Have your sales slip handy, return the item in its original packaging, and make the return as soon as possible (but not before your usual next shopping trip). If there is a reason why you can’t return the item for a longer period of time, call the store, explain the problem, and ask them how you should handle it… they will usually give you a name of the person to talk to when you do bring the item back to the store. If the item is perishable, they may tell you to freeze it… and sometimes they will tell you to throw the perishable items away and just bring in the packaging and receipt. Different stores handle things differently, though, so it makes sense to call.
I had quite an interesting collecton of items to take back to the store yesterday, starting with an absolutely disgusting box of six twenty-eight ounce cans of crushed tomatoes. My husband had bought these tomatoes last week, and from the outside this box looked perfect. Even the colorful plastic skin encasing the cans in their cardboard tray was undisturbed, but inside the plastic skin was a mass of green and yellow slimy mold, crushed and broken cans, and oozing, rotting tomatoes. The stench once the plastic was broken was incredible.
Not quite as disgusting but possibly equally dangerous was the container of grated cheese that was missing the safety seal that should have been covering the top of the container inside the cover. The woman at the service desk was more concerned with the missing safety seal than the probably botulism-covered tomato cans!
The third item was a heavy duty can opener, the type that breaks the seal on the outside of the can instead of cutting around the top. This can opener is sold with a lifetime guarantee, which was the reason I bought it in the first place nearly two years ago. The can opener worked well until recently, when it suddenly completely stopped breaking the seal and opening the can. But because I had kept the receipt and the packaging, I was able to return the can opener to the store for a free replacement. And the replacement was an upgrade to a more expensive model because the can opener I had originally bought is no longer being made.
If it seems like too much trouble to return an item, think of the money you are wasting. The combined total cost of those three items exchanged yesterday was just under thirty-five dollars… well worth, I think, the five minutes spent in line at the service desk.