Cash is still king

Still too much friction to be fully cashless

Recently we purchased a watch; a purple affair with butterflies to be exact. Didn’t cost much, and we expected it to be perfectly functional until the battery ran out. As it turns out, after a day, we found out that if you press the dial knob in, the watch stops. It was a reputable high street retailer so you’d think the situation would have been quite easy to rectify.

Back I went to the retailer to ask for a refund; turns out there was a succession of people who weren’t empowered to make any kind of decision. The watch was faulty (and I showed them how); and yet they wanted to resell it and asked for the guarantee slip which was missing from the case. I was pretty annoyed that they wanted to resell a faulty item, so I had to speak to the on-duty manager. Even after sorting through that mess with a manager; they then said it was impossible to refund me as I didn’t have the original credit card with me.

My wife paid for the item; and the cards are linked, although they have different numbers. Surely it’s not beyond the wit of these retailers and/or the credit card companies to figure this out and to allow you to refund a card, provided it’s designated as from the same account as the original card. Intellectually, I know that with PCI compliance and the banks shifting the responsibility for fraud onto the retailer this forces them into opting for the safe course of action. As a customer though, I don’t really care, my experience in the shop wasn’t great and I was disturbed enough to write a blog post about it.

Faced with the computer says no; I opted for taking a gift card instead; we’re bound to be able to find something that we can spend it on. If it didn’t have REFUND written all over the card I’d probably give it away as a birthday gift. I think I’ve learnt my lesson though; in this day and age; it is still simpler to pay in cash for the small ticket items.

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