So this belligerent older lady and her mid-twenties daughter and her grand-daughter came into the store one morning trying to return a pair of shoes - sorry exchange, except that they didn't have the box.
No dice. I tried to explain to her just why she couldn't do that and to no avail, as I was being the difficult and unreasonable one for not kowtowing to her ridiculous request to simply exchange the shoes for a half-size bigger.
Nevermind the fact that the shoes had creases from being worn for far longer than her alleged 5 minutes she just couldn't seem to grasp why I wouldn't take the shoes back without the box and that she'd buy another pair and leave that box behind and I could just use my 'neat writing' (her words, not mine) to scratch out the erroneous info on that box to suit her needs.
Again, I tried to explain to her that I, in fact, needed the box to process any returns, silently thinking to myself that 'this isn't Wal Mart, when did it become appropriate to return things without the proper packaging?' Then she proceeded to come up with the biggest oh poor me story about how her cleaning lady (they were staying at a hotel because they were from out of town) had accidentally thrown out the box and it was impossible for them to retrieve it.
I find that very hard to believe. Having stayed in hotels before I'm pretty familiar with typical cleaning lady practices and it's not like they go rifling through your stuff hunting for a secret cache of empty boxes that they can throw out/recycle.
A more likely story is that they got back to the hotel and they threw out the box in their room and the daughter went to go put on her new shoes the next morning and discovered that her feet were a little swollen and no longer fit. I'm a serial returner, so I'm always pretty organized about keeping boxes/receipts until I'm absolutely sure about sizing and whatnot. If they were really that intent on returning them they would have left the shoes in the box like a rational person.
The grandmother actually had the audacity to attempt to blackmail me into processing her return stating that they had the intention of buying a hoodie if the return was processed to her liking, or else they would never shop at our store again; an empty threat if I ever heard one.
Lady, you're going to have a hard time shopping anywhere if that's how you treat staff members when you're clearly the one in the wrong!