Note No. 62
April 7, 2010
In the end, the customer was right.
The customer is always right but modern commerce does not seem to recognize this. Egos get in the way. Greed. Ulterior motives. Shortsightedness. However, I was dealing with an old school merchant when I bought the nearly perfect pair of black pants, so although there was some initial discontent and defensiveness when I tried to return them, I was told in the end that I had done the correct thing—that it was completely within my rights as a consumer.
The main reason for refund, as you might remember, was the distance. Those pants were sitting on a far away shelf and I was only thinking about wearing them. Sure, I had tried them on and liked them but how many times have you done that in the dressing room, only to get home and find out how something REALLY fits? Until you walk around in a pair of pants, you have no idea what you are dealing with. Do you need a belt with them? Do they shrink too much when you put them in the dryer? Will long shirts be okay? Or should you be tucking your top in? Heels or flats? Sandals or boots?
There are a lot of questions with a new pair of pants and most of them can only be answered through the tried and true method of trial and error, wear and tear. That could take months, a year even, which is what I was not getting out of the nearly perfect pair of pants. I mean, look at the name: nearly perfect. I truly had no idea. I was barely further along than admiring them in a catalogue.
Also, there was something about those pants that made me think I’d be better wearing them in about 20, maybe 30 years. So, of course, I had to return them. I mean, it doesn’t matter how cool your mom is. Mine plays drums, so you can’t get much more awesome than that. But I don’t want to be wearing her clothes now, the year I turn 30.
I am really thankful then for the vendor’s graciousness and integrity. It wasn’t even my money back that I was looking for. I just wanted to reverse the transaction so that the pants were out of my hands but without having burned any bridges. After all, you never know where life will take you. It was my friend’s boutique where I first saw those pants, as you may recall, so I could very well find myself outside that same shop one day. I want to at least be able to walk in the door again.