Annals of Annoyances
Even before Covid, returning things was never my favorite part of shopping. I’d drive to the UPS Store, drop off a package of ill-fitting garments, and leave the receipt on the front seat of the car.
I never checked to see if the items I was returning ever arrived. I just forgot about the refund I was owed. I wonder how much money I leaked over the years. It’s such a small thing. Until it is not.
And then came the lockdown when I couldn’t leave the house. I’m no fool, I quickly switched to online shopping, and with it, more problems of fit and photography. (It doesn’t fit. Or it doesn’t look like the picture.)
Back to refunds. I ordered a pair of shoes from Zappo’s. They didn’t fit, so I ordered a pair in a different size. A couple of days later, three Zappo’s boxes arrived on my doorstep. They were all the same thing — the shoes in the better size. I had to send two of those back, along with the first pair that didn’t fit. Now it was no longer a small thing.
While we’re promised free refunds, we are not guaranteed that they come in quickly or at all. According to Returnly, a return management platform, slow refunds are the largest source of customer support contact stress. Unfortunately, neither banks nor retailers are incentivized much to solve this problem — both parties would prefer us to spend more and return less.
Fortunately, Jaimin Desai, CEO and co-founder of refund management mobile app Reconcile built a simple solution for consumers to offload this pain onto an AI-bot that tracks and resolves refunds. Because I live a karmic life, I had just begun to beta test Reconcile when Zappo’s pulled its Sorcerer’s Apprentice trick. It’s a really simple app to use, and it can pack a hell of a financial punch.
For the first time in my shopping history, I will now actually know when I get my refund.