Bending rules — not breaking the bank

Have you ever been flexible with rules or policies to satisfy a customer? Recently I bought some items at a specialty clothing store in New York for my daughter’s birthday. This store happens to be her favorite place to shop, and the brand is only located in a few cities worldwide. While I was trying to be a thoughtful dad, once I returned home I realized I was not very talented in choosing the best styles for a 13-year-old. My daughter was very appreciative of the gifts, but mentioned that two of the three items ideally should go back.

By the next time my travels took me to Manhattan, the date had passed for the window to return the items. My receipt clearly stated “no returns, exchanges or exceptions” would be made 14 days after purchase. I called the store just in case and explained my situation. The person helping me was very empathetic but insisted she had to stick to the policy unless her manager would approve the exception. She asked me to hold while she got in touch with her manager (not on duty at the time) via phone to ask. When she returned she apologetically told me her manager said “no.”

I hung up the phone being disappointed not only in anticipation of my daughter’s reaction but also in my lack of ability to convince the store to help me. A few minutes later, my mobile phone rang, and it was the woman I spoke to earlier saying she felt bad about the situation and she could help me if I still was interested in a return. I had not even left my phone number; she used caller ID to phone me back. Needless to say I was so thrilled someone took the time to help me, break the rules and satisfy a very loyal customer!

Has anyone ever broken the rules or ignored policy to help you?

MPD: Satisfy a customer by showing flexibility.