Iffy Swiffer – Part I

Version 2

It was such a gorgeous day and I had a few errands to run and since the weather was nice, I decided to walk and not take the car. One of the errands was to pick up a Swiffer Wet Jet for spot cleaning around the house.

I thoroughly enjoyed the first sunny weather we have had in a while as I spent 20 minutes walking to the store.

When I got to my neighborhood drug store, I was pleased to see that they carried the Swiffer Wet Jet and that they had one remaining in stock. Grabbing the last Wet Jet and a few other items, I headed towards the cash registers. There, a friendly and attentive cashier rang up my purchases quickly and efficiently while chatting with me about her plans for the Super Bowl. She even made sure that my purchases would be applied to my frequent shoppers account.

As she was getting my change from her register, she realized that she had run out of $1 bills. Apologizing, she explained that she could get a manager to do a change order which would take several minutes or she could give me 4 quarters instead of a $1 bill so I could get on my way. I told her the quarters would be fine. She thanked me again and wished me happy cleaning.

Greeting the next person in line, she asked them to move over to the next register since she was out of $1 bills. The cashier was paging the manager for a change order as I headed outside. After a stop at the office supply and the art store, I enjoyed my sunny and warm walk home.


This evening I opened my new Wet Jet so I could finish some cleaning. I was upset and aggravated when I discovered the Wet Jet was used, incomplete, broken and filthy. I felt cheated by receiving a defective product and frustrated since I was unable to finish my housecleaning as I had planned.

Version 2          Filthy Swiffer

Obviously, the product was used and returned.  This raised numerous questions. Does this happen often at this store? Had the previous owner made a fraudulent return? Had anyone bothered to check the product when it came back? What is the store’s procedure for processing returns? How had the process broken down? Was one Wet Jet their normal stock level? Did having one in stock prevent replenishment?

But most importantly, how would I be treated when I go back and make my return?

My previous experiences with the store had been great. The store stocked the things I needed, they provided friendly and helpful service, the store was always neat and clean. They even tracked and administered my vaccinations for me. If this had been my first visit to the store, I am sure it would have been my last.

Teachable Moment

The process for taking returns had somehow broken down. The cashier that had taken the initial return should have done a better job of determining if it was a valid return. If the cashier had looked in the box they would have found the item had been well used, the box did not contain all the items and mop head itself was broken.

Even after the return, the person restocking should have checked the item before returning it to the shelf.

I look forward to letting you know how the store does with service recovery when I go to make my return.

Coming soon Iffy Swiffer – Part II

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