Eddie Bauer: “Lose the Paper Receipts!”


Here’s the batch of receipts.  I looked through it feverishly, but it appears that I kept the ‘throw-out pile,’ and got rid of the one I needed.  The Eddie Bauer  receipt was in the latter…It’s gone, joining all the other receipts I wrongly did away with, over the years….

I told myself not to worry.  I was certain Eddie Bauer was one of those modern stores where salespeople can simply put your credit/debit card into their computer (one you used for purchase) and retrieve your information that shows what you bought?…when?…how much it cost?…In other words, they operate like Home Depot..Lowe’s… JCP ( recall their ads with Ellen Degeneres trying to return items w/o receipt in ancient days?)

You see, 2 months ago, in the dead of winter (if there’s such a thing in Asheville, NC), I bought a pair of khakki pants I believed would fit me by spring. After all, I was going on a Spartan diet; I knew I’d lose the weight.

Well, I discovered that the 20 lbs. that’s somehow crept onto me from those DQ peanut buster parfaits and occasional/frequent cupcakes and pastries (especially if ‘apple,) had no intention of co-operating.  They’d not be lost so easily. 

Yep, like Krazy Glue, the weight’s stuck to me. I’ve semi-dieted for ten days now and nothing’s happened—Not one ounce off.

So, I did what any realist would do—I packaged up the never-worn, still-with-tags-on pants and took myself off to Eddie Bauer.

Here’s how it went:  The sales lady, a pleasant, older woman, smiled, as she asked: “May I help you?”

I reply, “Yes, I bought these pants and simply can’t find the receipt.  That won’t be a problem…correct?”  (meaning “I won’t just get store credit…right?”)

She says:  “Oh, I’m sorry…we can only offer you store credit.”

I say:  “Oh, please, I can’t have Store Credit because (a) I never remember those and (b) I sometimes inadvertently throw them out, when I clean out my bag….especially if they’re paper.

I go on saying:  “They’re not paper—are they?…Because, if it’s Store Credit in the form of a plastic card,  THEN I might remember it and even feel like I’m treating myself to something fun, when I use it (like a Gift Card.)

She answers:  “No, I’m sorry—They’re paper.”

Now, I’m angry…Here I am in this ergonomically-correct store, trying to return my khakis that probably didn’t use any of the earth’s non-re-plenishable resources; I’ve always recognized  the Eddie Bauer label as supposedly synonymous with good, outdoor-healthy activities, and they—this bastian of wise stewardship in a wasteful world—are still using PAPER receipts…

And making us use them, too.  What’s wrong with this picture?

When the ever-so-nice clerk finally issues me the paper credit that she folds to ostensibly fit in my billfold, I take it grudgingly.  It occurs to me—then– that it might be best if I use the credit at the moment, ‘lest I lose it altogether…

This is what EB’s driven me to.

I meander about, grousing inwardly, and begin rifling through a rack of dresses that I consider might work for summer travel plans. At that point, a young clerk approaches me, chirping in a syrupy manner: “Hello, ma’am….It’s a Dress Day?”

I’m confused…I don’t know what she means. I blink and she repeats…”It’s a Dress Day?” (like it’s a national holiday of sorts.)

I answer:  “No, it’s not a Dress Day…it’s a ##$$$day when I have to pick some ##$$$thing I don’t want out because I’m afraid I’ll lose the ##$$$store credit.”

But I didn’t say that….  I just thanked her and walked out…terrified to remain there, in my own skin, unleashed on people who didn’t make this policy; they only work for Eddie Bauer. 

They’re not the problem…EB is.

Tell me how you feel about this.  Are you tired of stores’ insistence on paper receipts in an era that shouldn’t require these? (the tech world’s supposedly made this superfluous and computers have terrific memories.)

Have you lost receipt slips and gotten Store Credit and never used?

Let’s send EB (and stores like it) a message to follow the lead of more progressive retailers and ditch the need for receipt slips. 

We’ll all have less stress in an already-too-stressful world.


About admin

A lifetime teacher and realtor who's now a published writer, Colleen Kelly Mellor is a humorist first, ever aware of the thread that connects us all. Her works have appeared in the WSJ, Providence Journal, and CNN and NY Times-acclaimed medical blog, kevinMD.com, to name a few. All material on this blog is exclusive property of the author and cannot be reproduced without this author's express written consent.
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