Tuesday, 10 August 2010
I used to walk to primary school. The journey was about 1.4kms and went past three corner shops, all of which sold mixed lollies. Occasionally, I had 20c or so with me, so I would stop at one of these shops. I remember one time I bought a chocolate santa and when I bit into it, it was filled with maggots. Because I didn't know any better, I didn't contact my lawyer and demand a huge compensation payout, instead I resolved to never again buy a chocolate santa in March, regardless of the price. You'd think I would have at least demanded a refund but it really just didn't occur to me.
So. Roll forward about 10 years years to when your shoes were a crucially important factor in your social scene (well they were in mine anyway - but I also waited for the school bus in 2 degrees without a school jumper on because I was too cool to wear the royal blue dorky version and my cool navy blue one had fallen apart). Anyway, I had an after school job at one of the corner shops which I really didn't like but I got paid $4 an hour - so with my hard earned money I bought a pair of Adidas Tennis shoes which I loved. Unfortunately after about 4 weeks they started to fall apart. I was devastated, but luckily mum suggested I take them back to the shop (Myers) and ask for a refund - she even wrote me a letter confirming the purchase and how dissappointed I was. To my surprise Myers were completely happy to refund my shoes and I don't think they even asked to see mum's letter so the shoe story ended happily. But I think that marked the beginning of my resolve to return things which I don't think I've had a fair deal on.
We live close to a Big W department store, but a long long way away from a K-mart (25 minutes). I almost never buy anything from K-Mart because it's too much of a pain to take it back and that is an important part of any purchase. Today for example, I took a pair of Jett's shoes back to Big W. He's been wearing them for 8 weeks but they were beginning to fall apart - the soles were starting to crack on the inside, there was a tear in the outside of the shoe, and the velcro was no longer sticking. They also looked pretty grotty but to be fair, that wasn't Big W's fault. As I paid $30 bucks for these Dunlop shoes, I believed that they should at least last one school term, and they have fallen about 3 weeks short. If I'd only bought the crappy looking $15 pair I would have accepted that 8 weeks was a pretty good deal, but I paid $30 and that is not a good deal in my view. Of course I didn't have a receipt - all I had was a grotty pair of old shoes which the staff behind the customer service desk were reluctant to touch. Did I get a refund? Yep. Well sort of, they let me swap them for a brand new pair of the same shoes. They will certainly fall apart in the same way but as they will have lasted a term all up, I won't take them back again, as a fair deal is a fair deal and I will have got my $30 worth by then. And that is the end of my story.