Real Canadian Superstore / accused of theft
About a week ago was my boyfriend's birthday. One of his friends gave him a video game for the PS3 as a present. After my boyfriend opened the present they realized that the plastic security enclosure was still on the package, the person who bought it didn't see that they left it on. It was bought in a Superstore out of town and it would be inconvenient for my boyfriend to go all the way there to exchange it (he needed to remove the security case and exchange it for the same game but for a different console) so his friend gave him a copy of the receipt and they figured it would not be a problem exchanging it. Personally I didn't think it would be a problem either. I worked in a retail store for 6 years and cashiers forgetting to remove the anti-theft devices is fairly common.
Anyway, he first called the store he intended to go to and explained his situation to the customer service rep. She said it wouldn't be a problem and he confidently went to his local Superstore to exchange the game. After getting there, the girl he spoke with over the phone started helping him but after short while the manager on duty came up and started verbally abusing him. Angrily the manager asked, “is this a joke?”. My boyfriend began to explain the story again. After indicating that it was a birthday present, the manager cut him off and asked again if its a joke. My boyfriend, not a young child (He's 27 years old), was being yelled at as if he was a thieving brat. The manager even threatened to call security and have him arrested. He kept claiming that “we wouldn’t sell this like this”. At this point another customer had began to wait in line at the customer service desk. Richard (the manager) once again launched into a verbal tirade, accusing my boyfriend of stealing the product, saying “[he] would not accept the return”, and asking to “please leave the store” as “you and your friend” are no longer welcome here.
My boyfriend was infuriated, not only was he still stuck with a present he couldn't use, but he was publicly yelled and humiliated by a manager of a store where we both shop quite often. And the claim that they wouldn't see it like this is ludicrous too. People make mistakes, especially teenage cashiers working for minimum wage on a busy Saturday afternoon.
Anyway, we emailed the complaints department explaining the story. They got back to us saying they are going to investigate the matter. It took about 4 days before the district manager got the case and called back. In all this time, no one had even spoken to the original store manager, Richard, to figure out how he could treat a customer that way. The district manager did say that he will speak to the manager on duty that day and get them to exchange the game and give a free game to compensate for the inconvenience. Once again my boyfriend went to that store. This time, a different manager on duty did exchange the game for him but said that he doesn't know anything about a free game. He said that he can't "give products away" and defended Richard's behavior since some people do try to steal.
The most outrageous thing about this is not the fact that Richard didn't want to do the exchange. It is the fact that with no proof whatsoever (and actually proof otherwise because what thief would call ahead to explain) this manager thought he had the right to yell and humiliate a customer in front of other employees and customers. He did not take my boyfriend to a private office to discuss the matter, he didn't offer a solution, he threatened him and kicked him out of the store. And after all that, so far there had been no consequences for this manager whatsoever from his boss (the district manager) or the complaints department.
Needless to say that we will not be shopping there anymore. We can't deal with a company that refuses to take responsibly for its mistakes, first the anti-theft device being left on, then their manager's awful mistreatment.
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