As you already know we own part of retail business. it is growing slowly, but steadily. This is my first experience with specifics of retail business. One of such specifics is dealing with returns and unsatisfied customers.

Lately we had a customer who wanted to return merchandise way after period of time allowed by our return policy. Initially we got defensive since it is really against our return policy and because that particular merchandise was supposed to be returned to manufacturer within short time frame. So we could not just resell it on eBay or something. So we did not issue RMA number to the customer. So she just mailed it anyway and threatened to dispute the charge with PayPal. Then in over one month after she mailed she contacted us again. But we did receive it. My guess is that it was shipped to address of distribution company.

This time I have decided to do some research and find out what other retail business veterans do in such case. So I have interviewed handful of SCORE experts and posted my questions to several forums and I can summarize all answers to basically two:

  1. Customer is always right. The company should accept charge backs as another cost of doing business.
  2. That the company have full rights to refuse refund if it is stated so in its policy or if there was no policy then State Law applies, which in our state is 20 days refund.

So what do you do in situations like this?