Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Let the season of returns begin!

As I write this I am on hold with Sears. My mom, who lives in Ontario, sent Christmas gifts for my kids. She ships them, I wrap them, It's a fine agreement.

This year, however, Mom purchased clothes for my 26-year-old daughter in size small. My daughter is lovely and beautiful but a size small she is not. So, I have offered to attempt to exchange them for a larger size. Did I mention that Mom has lost the receipt?

I decide to call to find out the best course of action.

Tick, tock, tick, tock.

Ah, six minutes and the bleat of a voice interjects over the insipid and static-filled Muzak.

And I'm disconnected.

I dial again. This time I am lucky to get through to someone who offers to help. I need the receipt she tells me. Yes, I explain. But I don't have one and neither does my 81-year-old mother. I am put on hold.

When the woman returns, she tells me to call another number to locate the receipt.

But how, I inquire, can they find a receipt for a couple of items purchased in another province and not on a credit card?

That's what they will tell you, she says. Is that okay with you?

Sure, I guess so. I mean if you think it will help.

I dial.

I, of course, am on hold and a recording tells me something about return policies and that maybe I might want to send my query via email.

I do not think so.

I hold.

This Muzak is at least clear. An electronic piano with a popcorn-sounding back beat. Shoot me.

I have to pee.

Oh, glory. Latin-inspired Muzak. Where are my dancing shoes?

I wonder if I can -- oh! a voice!

And I've been given the wrong number. I have to call retail returns not catalogue returns.

At least I can pee. And grab the cordless phone.

Now, for the fourth time, a recording tells me that Sears is most interested in making me a happy customer.

I guess we will see whether that is the case, won't we?

I wait only seconds and am connected with a woman with a bad cough and a heavy accent. French of some sort, I believe. Between the coughing, however, she is able to tell me that I have to contact my local store and that the decision to let me return/exchange something is up to the store.

I tell her that it has taken four calls to get this information. She laughs and tells me that I finally found the right person.

She made me laugh too. There is something in the French attitude of "everyone else is an idiot and I am the only one who can do anything right" that can crack me up.

Of course, the reason I called in the first place is because there is no one at the local Sears store who I have dealt with who I consider the least helpful. Or maybe that's exactly what I consider them to be: the least helpful.

Tomorrow. I'll think about it tomorrow.

Mom, you owe me.

But it's snowing. I can't be mad when it's snowing. Not the early snow. Not before Christmas. Later in the season, yes, but today, no.

Happy, happy day!


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