After reading some of these nightmare posts on return processes, I wanted to shed light on a retail store that has been doing it right since day 1: Nordstrom. As a previous employee, sure there is some bias. But let me open up your eyes to Nordys, you will not be disappointed! They used to be famous for not having a return policy – meaning you could basically return anything you could “prove” you got there. Since it was abused a bit too much in recent past they made very slight modifications. The return funds need to go back onto the card that was used or a gift receipt. There is no timeline of when something must be returned by. I once took a return from 8 years ago…
There are different but extremely similar processes to both an online and in store return. Let me break them down:
Item purchased in store:
Each item is tagged with a UII (Unique item identifier). That UII is AMAZING. It is basically a virtual receipt for the entire purchase – noting which item on the receipt it is.
Say you bought five items: three shirts, a pair of shoes, and pants. Since Nordstrom has a no timeline on returns. You could have lost the box with the UII on the shoes, worn the pants and 2 of the shirts, and thrown away the receipt. If you still had the tag on one of the shirts with the UII and wanted to return all of those items from that transaction, scanning that code would bring up the receipt and it could be done!
Even if you lose the receipt or UII tag, their POS is very sophisticated. They could swipe the CC you used to find the transaction within 2 years.
Say you used cash and lost the tags, likely they would give you store credit if they could validate the cost it was purchased at.
Can be shipped back for free using the label they pre-print and place in the box.
Items can be brought back to any store for return. Although they do not have the UII tag, a receipt can be looked up by credit card similar to the in store purchase.
Did I mention you can return Nordstrom clothes to a Nordstrom Rack (off price store) and vice versa?
In a sea of stores that seem to be completely missing the mark on customer experiences and returns. Nordstrom is your North Star!
Question: Is a customer service experience like this a noticeable difference? Knowing this now are you more likely to shop at Nordstrom?