Customer becomes irate when asked for proof of purchase.

Hi, I have only posted once before but this happened to me yesterday and I figured I would share! It’s not too exciting, but I found it ridiculous at the time.

I work for an international shoe company in their customer care department. I deal with a range of calls from tracking orders, advising people on returns and just general enquiries.

So for this I will be “me” and customer will be “EL” for entitled lady.

Me: “thank you for calling customer care, Me speaking, how can I help?”

EL: “hi there, I bought some shoes for my daughter, I bought them quite a while ago when they were first released for my daughter to grow into. She has only worn the shoes twice and now there is a long hairline crack along the front of the shoe. What can you do about this?”

Now although it sounds like there may be a fault with the shoe I can’t comment on this as I can’t see them. I would suggest for the customer to go back to a store if she has proof of purchase where they would deal with the situation. Otherwise I would ask that she sends photos in so I can look at this “crack” and judge whether it’s a fault and whether to offer her anything.

Me: “Oh right, okay, have you got your proof of purchase for the shoes?”

EL: “no, I don’t have the receipt anymore.”

Me: “that’s not problem, can I ask if you remember whether you paid with cash or card?”

EL: “oh yes, I would have definitely paid by card!”

Me: “fantastic. If you could get the bank statement that will be considered as a proof of purchase.”

I would then suggest the customer take the shoes to her local store with the proof of purchase, although I wouldn’t be able to guarantee the outcome as I have no idea if the shoes are really faulty and how long she has had them, but then this happened…


I try to get a word in but EL has become very upset for some reason.

EL: “Why should I have to spend MY TIME looking for this bank statement?! I’m disabled you know, I have bought about 20 pairs of shoes from you this year, why should I be expected to find this bank statement!? This is disgusting.”

Me: “I am sorry but I can’t do anything without knowing how much you paid for the shoes or when you bought the shoes, I would need the proof of purchase.”

So now I have decided not to ask her to send in photos because she is having a strop over nothing. She goes to store or nothing.

EL: “I have been shopping with you for years and I have never received such bad service! I will just go back to store, they know me there, they will help me!!”

Me: “of course, that’s no problem at all. I was going to suggest you go back to store with the shoes, but it’s likely they will ask for proof of purchase as well.”

EL: “No!! They will give me good customer service! This is terrible. I’M NOT AN IDIOT! I know you could just do a few clicks and find my purchase! You’re just being lazy!”

After this the customer hung up the phone and I was kind of just shocked, I’ve never had someone react that way. I figured it’s common knowledge that you need a proof of purchase to return an item. Although as I said, we could have offered some goodwill in a voucher form if she didn’t have the proof of purchase (depending on the photos), but I just really wanted to send her off to store.

It’s also frustrating when she says she knows what we can do with our systems. The only way to trace her in-store payment would be if we knew the store, date, time and amount of the purchase. I don’t think she would have known a few of those details and it would have upset her more. The company I work for sell 10,000 pairs of shoes roughly a day. It’s not a small company. I do feel a bit smug thinking she will have the same problem in store, they will usually flat out refuse without proof of purchase and send the customer our way. Anyway, I know this story isn’t too exciting, but thanks for reading 🙂

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If you’re too dumb to understand the company name, there’s nothing I can do to help you

Ah, the airlines…