Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Warehouse toughens up against bludgers

The Warehouse retail chain is cracking down on customers who have been taking advantage of its generous return policy.

The discounter is famous for its slogan "Where everyone gets a bargain", and for the last two decades has advertised a twelve month, no questions asked, money-back guarantee on all purchases, even if returned goods were no longer suitable for sale.

But commercial reality and the behaviour of some of The Warehouse's core customers has forced a change in its return policy. Customers now need to provide a printed proof of purchase, and except for genuinely faulty goods, the products need to be in saleable condition and in their original packaging.

A spokeswoman for the discounter said the change in policy followed an increase in customer abuse. She described how some people would buy school shoes, wear them for a few months, then bring them back and expect a new pair.

Other abuses include customers returning clothing which had clearly been worn for a number of months, and those bringing back appliances and household gadgets which were dirty and partly damaged and requesting a refund.

I'm sure those customers are the same ones that live on the dole or "sickness benefit", complaining they have no money after they've bought their weekly quota of Lotto tickets, Instant Kiwi scratchies, cigarettes and booze. (Yeh... gross stereotype, but you know it's true ;-)

Good on The Warehouse, I say! Some customers are upset by the changes, but the company says the new policy has stopped "repeat offenders". Even the Consumers' Institute agrees the retailer's new rules are fair for customers.

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