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  • Bob Brooks

How to Be a Prudent Steward with a Product Return.... Especially at Best Buy

You ever have those moments when the dark side just comes out? You know, the argumentative, difficult, and ego-filled self? I received a gift for my birthday in September. It was the wrong size and I was due to return it. Of course, it wasn't on my list of high priority items and I thought for sure I had 30 days. After all, I had the receipt. It should be an easy return. After I arrived at the customer service desk, I find out that 30 day window was actually a 14 day window. Now, this was Best Buy. I would assume that a store like that would have a generous return policy. So, I asked could it just be put on a gift card and I will figure it out later. No, that is not an option.  

My first impulse (which I acted on) was to inform them how stupid and out of touch their policy was on returns. Of course, after summoning the manager into my outrage (as if that was going to help) all he could do was confirm the store policy. Although I was prepared to go to the mat on this one, I knew I had been defeated by the stingy store policy. As a mere token of consideration the manager was going to give me until the end of the month to exchange it for something else. I took his olive branch without any gratitude and walked out in all of my disgust (as if that mattered to the employees I dealt with). Not one of my better moments...

I write about this for several reasons especially seeing that Christmas shopping season is right around the corner.

(1)  The employee didn't write the rules - If you need to feel better about yourself, beat up on them all you want. The individual who wrote the rules is up in a corner office somewhere in another state hoping that his company stays profitable and could care a less about the fact you didn't bother to read the refund policy (which was written on the back of the receipt)

(2) As you act in anger, the only person you are hurting is yourself - oh, sure it feels good at the time. It is like eating McDonald's. It smells good and it tastes good at first. Then the experience changes a few minutes later. As Christians, all we are doing is sacrificing our witness for the need to be right.

(3)  You are not entitled to a perfect experience - you have been wronged (so you think). You think they should bend company policies just to satisfy your lack of responsibility.  Company policies are what they are regardless of whether or not you agree with them.  Remember, you chose to shop there to begin with.

Stewardship lesson -  Luke 16:10 says - "Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much." 

As stewards of what God has given to us, we are called to manage the little things and manage well. How we manage the little things is practice for how we manage the big things. Next time, if you know you are taking an item back, check the refund policy rather than running on assumptions. Assuming is not a good financial stewardship process.  

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