Wednesday 29 December 2010

Singapore: Exchanging Christmas items

The goal was to exchange two Christmas gifts in Isetan (Japanese department store) which unfortunately started its end of year sale for store card members. Each level of the store was packed with hot, sweaty, politely aggressive customers.

  • Upon arrival, a story had to be spun about leaving the country the following day which provided access to the emporium without a store card.
  • Found counter.
  • Refund not possible.
  • Assistant A needed to see Supervisor A to discuss the possibility of exchange.
  • Supervisor A agreed to exchange.
  • Assistant A stated replacement item must be selected from a tiny subset of display counters the width of her outstretched arms.
  • Returned to Supervisor A to override Assistant A’s guidance on display counters to increase selection opportunities.
  • Assistant B loitered while identifying replacement item.
  • Selected item was taken to Assistant A with Assistant B in hot pursuit.
  • Assistant A and B discussed logistics.
  • Assistant B provided instruction to obtain refund from cash desk and return to purchase replacement item.
  • Assistant B informed that this would mean queuing twice in the kilometre-long queue.
  • Assistant B wrote receipt for replacement item and provided instruction to queue once.
  • Assistant B informed item 2 needed to be replaced.
  • Assistant B agreed to stand in the queue while item 2 was exchanged (splendid chap).
  • Found counter.
  • Refund not possible.
  • Assistant C advised exchange only possible within seven days of purchase.
  • Provided receipt to Assistant C who did mathematics and concluded (with look of disappointment) that this condition had been met.
  • Assistant C asked Supervisor B if exchange possible.
  • Supervisor B suggested retuning tomorrow for refund.
  • Supervisor B informed of return to UK tomorrow (slight fabrication to elicit desired result).
  • Supervisor B suggested queuing at cash desk for refund.
  • Supervisor B informed this would take too long.
  • Supervisor B stated item 2 can be exchanged for any other item.
  • Replacement for item 2 identified at no extra cost.
  • Item 2 swapped for replacement item.
  • Returned to queue to replace Assistant B.
  • Stood in sweaty queue.
  • Reached cash desk.
  • Assistant D discussed paperwork with Assistant E.
  • Assistant D claimed a different cash desk should be used for a transaction of such complexity.
  • Assistant E fetched Supervisor C.
  • Supervisor C completed refund for item A and payment for replacement.
  • Supervisor C provided receipt for replacement item.
  • Receipt handed to Assistant B and Assistant F.
  • Assistant B stated replacement item should be in transparent bag, but none available.
  • Assistant B informed that item 1 replacement will be placed in shopping bag with receipt ready if challenged.
  • Assistant B content with plan.

  • Emerged from building with headache.

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