Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sunday Unreasonables - A Funny Thing Happened to Us at Sam’s Club

I always do what makes sense and expect people to apply a reasonableness test in situations when the rules just don’t work. A very peculiar incident gave me an idea for a section called Sunday Unreasonables. (Don't worry - Sunday Winnables, which I agree are way more fun, will still take place on select Sundays!)

A couple of weeks ago, Husband bought raw salmon at Sam’s Club. He brought it home right away, and we opened the package to cook it. The problem was it smelled awful! This wasn’t the first time we were to cook salmon – we cook all kinds of fresh fish all the time. It was clear that it had gone bad, so we threw it away.

Yesterday, we went back to Sam’s, and I brought the receipt with me to ask for a refund of nearly $15 that we paid for the fish. The customer service professional said:

“I’ll refund it to you this time, but next time, you need to bring the merchandise back.”
“Really? You want us to bring the smelly fish back?”
“You can freeze it if you want, but we do need to see it to give you a refund.”

Seriously? Freeze the smelly fish and bring it back? Bizarro, wouldn’t you say? Hypothetically speaking, if I were to keep a bad piece of fish, I certainly wouldn’t let this fish sit in my fridge for a week or two – I would freeze it (not that I would be thrilled about having it in the freezer). Then, say, I brought the frozen fish to Sam’s Club as they requested. What would they have done – waited for it to defrost and then checked to ensure it really was bad? Somehow this course of action just doesn’t pass the reasonableness test. What do you think?


  1. LOL Janna! Great story, LOL!!! They did that to me one time when I took my receipt in to tell them that some grapes I bought were bad. They asked were they were and I said in the trash of course. I wasn't about to save moldy grapes to bring, LOL. Thanks for sharing this funny story :0)

  2. Because of that type of thinking, I go ahead and save bad milk, produce and such that I get (or freeze it) and take it back with me. That way they have it. The worst was the milk from Wal-Mart. Went bad 5-6 days before the date. I called them, they wanted to see it so I took it back. The girl said 'What do you want me to do?' I said "Either give me my money back or new milk, it shouldn't go bad this far before the date." I got my new gallon of milk after she smelled it. :)

  3. Totally ridiculous, but it doesn't surprise me. I've been in a similar situation before, and I find that customer service is lacking at most (not all) big retailers.