I bought a telephone from an office supply superstore. The clerk looked me in the eye and said, “You need to buy the warranty, because you can’t return it after 14 days.” Then she slapped a giant, mean sticker on the box. Then she rubber-stamped the same message on my receipt.
I completely understand and sympathize with retailers who have to deal with the cost of customers abusing their return policies.
But treating your good customers like thieves is not the right answer. Ever.
These are what I call “Punishment Policies” — rules that are created when a few people do bad things, so the company punishes all their honest customers instead. Example: When you’re not allowed to bring more than three items into the dressing room because the clothing store treats all customer like potential shoplifters.
Your company has Punishment Policies. Find them and kill them.
P.S. You can solve these problems in a positive way. See this post.