The Story of The Return Without End

My Store's Return Policy: Exchanges may be made for merchandise or store credit within 14 days of purchase with receipt.
  1. December 2016
    I sold a beautiful pair of boots to a customer who was preparing for an overseas trip. This particular item was the last pair of a style I had so far successfully discontinued in the shop without having to put it on sale. It was still a current style and color for the company, but it wasn't as popular as others from the brand so I was selling it down.
  2. February 2017
    I receive a lengthy email from the customer, wanting to exchange the boots she purchased. I had to look through sales records to even know what she was referring to. The email goes into detail about how this item is going to be too small, especially for all the walking needed on her European trip. Lots of flowery details. Apparently she just hasn't noticed it before because the trip she was preparing for was way off in February. Which is now.
  3. She Continues On:
    That she would be in first thing in the morning, if possible, on her way to the airport. The time she mentioned was 2 hours before my store opens.
  4. Later that Evening:
    I receive another long email several hours later, with more details about how now, after trying this boot on many times, the style will not work at all, not even the next size, so that the boots will need to be returned.
  5. I Replied Briefly:
    That such a delayed return was not normally allowed but that I would make a courtesy exception as long as the item was unworn in the box, etc.
  6. Two Days Later :
    Another email (from Europe), about how she was unable to make it to the store on her way to the airport but that she would still want to return the boots. She thanked me for making an exception and said that she would possibly be able to have a friend go to her house, pick the boots up and return them to the store for her.
  7. My Reply:
    Was that it was not necessary to ask her friend to do so and that she could come by when she returned from her trip. By this point I am starting to calculate in my head how much time had been wasted because this person couldn't be bothered to decide to return their boots within the stated time frame.
  8. Her Reply :
    Thanks so much and that she would do so when she returned... In two months.
  9. April
    Nothing.
  10. May
    Nothing.
  11. June
    Nothing.
  12. July 5: A Phone Call:
    She's interested in talking about doing that return she mentioned a while ago. Is now a good time to come by?
  13. I Tell Her To Come In:
    I hadn't thought about this issue in months and had pretty much assumed that by now she was just keeping these boots, because...it's frigging July!
  14. She Comes In:
    Thanking me for letting her return these and saying how busy she was after she got back from her trip and then how a friend of hers had passed away a few weeks ago and that she was very busy now planning his memorial.
  15. I Give My Condolences :
    Because I'm not a monster? I tell her that I will have to charge a 20% restocking fee since the item is so far outside our policy. The $36 fee will likely not cover the amount I will have to mark these down in order to sell a random boot style that I don't stock any more.
  16. The Boots Are Back:
    They're exactly where they were last December. She basically rented them without wearing for 7 months.
  17. The Point:
    Be decisive. Read return policies. Take responsibility for your shit.
  18. THE END (?)