My mother in law and I seem to have poor luck with my birthday gifts. Last year she got me an Ott Lite, but when I received it the bulb did not work. Well, I solved that issue by ordering a new bulb and it works great.
This year was not so easy, though. She was kind enough to get a Cricut Jukebox for me to use with my Cricut machine. I pulled it out to use at a crafter’s morning at church and discovered it did not work correctly. I ended up emailing the manufacturer and waiting to get the receipt from my mother in law in case I needed it. Once I received the receipt I checked what it said on the back (it did not say anything that would keep me from exchanging it in the policies on the receipt) and went to Michaels to exchange it for one that worked.
At Michaels I was told I needed to wait for a manager. He asked me what was wrong with it, which I thought was pointless since he was not going to fix it, but I told him anyway. He then opened the box, rifled through the warranty book and told me that I would have to deal with the manufacturer. I said, “So you are not going to deal with this?” Then he started to tell me that he was not and had no control over warranties. I said that I would then ask my mother in law not to purchase things from Michaels for me anymore. He then said, in a rude tone of voice to his cashier, “Just do it then” and then mumbled something and walked away. So, I go over to the cashier, who then tries to tell me she can only give me store credit. I was not even asking for money back ever — only to exchange for one that worked. I said that since no one was listening to me I would take it and leave.
I then called the Cricut phone number. They pleasantly explained to me how to reset my machine. I tried that and then called them back. They took my information and are sending out a new Jukebox, without even asking about my receipt or asking me to send the broken one first. They will send the postage label to return the broken one with the new one, but said not to worry about it if someone forgets to put in the label.
This is not my first poor experience with Michaels. I generally only shop there when I cannot find what I need somewhere else due to multiple problems getting assistance and problems with trying to get items that never seemed to get restocked. Now they have added tons of dollar store type items and keep dropping the amount of real crafting supplies, I just don’t see a need to ever go there again. Especially after being treated so poorly today.
How could the manager have made this situation better? If he did not want to deal with the “hassle” of returning the broken machine through his store, he could have offered to let me call Cricut right there to see what they would say. Probably I would have just gone home to do it, but if he had made that offer instead of being irritated with me and acting put out that I wanted to exchange something that did not work, I may not have been happy but I would have considered shopping there again. If he had even tried to explain in a nice tone that he cannot take returns of this item because of its electronic nature, the company, Michaels policy, whatever, I may have believed him. It also would have helped if the manager and the cashier had listened to me since I told both of them that I just wanted to exchange the item for one that worked, not get money back for it or a store credit.
I know enough about how stores work to know that they have their own policies that cover returns that are not dictated by the manufacturer. Perhaps their agreements with the manufacturers allow for the store to return items to the manufacturer and perhaps they do not; this, however, is a separate issue from dealing with the customer. Places that make returns easy when things do not work are places that I will return to forever because there is nothing more frustrating than having a birthday gift that does not work.
Choosing to not help me costs way more than the amount of that Jukebox. After all, I am a customer who owns a Cricut machine, which means I will continue to need supplies for it, such as mats, cutting blades, and paper. I may also buy cartridges for it. This is what the manager should have realized. In addition, what he did not know is that I also tend to purchase yarn, stamping supplies, cross stitch supplies, and kids crafting supplies. None of those will be purchased at Michaels.