Do you check your receipts?

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In the past couple of months, I’ve been double charged twice, in separate shops.

1. Jarrold’s.
A department store in Norwich, spread over a number of sites and stocking everything from scones to shovels. I bought some clothes in there and when I got home, realised that I’d been double charged for a jumper. Two things struck me: firstly, why didn’t I notice that I’d been charged nearly forty quid more than I’d expected and secondly – how do I return an item I don’t have?

I rang Jarrold’s the next day to explain the situation, and without hesitation the lady I spoke to got me to come in and get a refund, at my convenience, of course. She was very apologetic and there were absolutely no hassles.

2. TK Maxx
The second was last week, in a Scottish TK Maxx store. This is relevant because I only figured out that a t-shirt I’d bought was on my receipt twice, while waiting for the train back to Norwich at Peterborough. Whoops. It was less than a tenner and, I’ve got to be honest, I thought about not bothering. Then I realised that these are difficult times and I may need that tenner at some point, so I visited the Castle Mall Norwich TK Maxx store the next day.

I was appalled by the so-called ‘customer service’ they have there. In previous times, I’ve been served by shop assistants who push you out of the way to get past, don’t utter a single syllable while serving you and even, on one occassion, closed the changing rooms twenty minutes before closing. It shouldn’t have come as a suprise, but it did. The tills in TK Maxx (for those of you who are unfamiliar) usually incorporate some sort of exchange/refund position. As it was a Saturday when I went in, the purchase queue was about thirty people long. There was someone at the refund till, so I stood next to the sign that pointed to the exchange/refund and waited. When that customer was done, I walked over to the assistant and said hello. He replied with “Do you want a refund or exchange?” which I confirmed, but also warned that it was a little bit tricky. After we’d established that, he pointed to the queue and told me I’d have to queue. I asked if he was joking. He confirmed that he was not. After I’d pointed out that it was the shop’s fault that I’d had to come in, and I absolutely refused to wait in the queue, he brought a manager over.

I explained what the problem was, and the manager asked me to contact the store in Scotland. Odd, but fair enough as they may need to confirm stock counts. I called the shop when I got home, and explained what had happened. Now, I know I’m biased, but the service I got over the phone was light years ahead over the face to face in Norwich. Both people I spoke to apologised and gave as much information/advice as they could. I spoke to the deputy manager, who said that they were actually unable to refund over the phone as their security requires a card to be present. I took his name and number, and promised to call if I needed to, as I went to tackle the other TK Maxx shop in Norwich.

I didn’t need it – once I’d explained what had happened, I got my refund without an issue. The only thing I objected to was that they asked me to sign for it, but that is a security measure to stop staff stealing from the tills, and my signature tells you nothing about me, so I didn’t really mind.

Three lessons learned, then.

A. ALWAYS check your receipt. If you’re buying a lot of stuff, add them up, at least to a rough count. This will alert you to a higher total than expected and you won’t do what I did and just pay it.

B. Customer service varies between locations and stores for TK Maxx.

C. If at first you don’t succeed, ask someone else until they do it for you.

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