Victor Meldewing


Sometimes I'm an idiot, I may have been one today. Or fully within my rights, it's kind of hard to tell but here's a quick story of minor modern annoyance.

I went into Stormfront (the oddly named Apple reseller in Dundee) and tried to buy a £20 iPad stylus. I had some money on me but it was in the form a £50 note so that's what I tried to use. I was being served by Myles Green who then tried to give me change in the form of 30 one pound coins. I was in town to pick up my bike and really didn't fancy the ride home with 30 quids worth of shrapnel in my cycling jacket pocket.

So I asked for my money back. And this is where it got a bit weird.

Myles: "I can't do that"
Me: "What?"
Myles: "I can't do that because it's on the system now"
Me: "I want my money back"
Myles: "I can't actually do that, I'd have to get authorisation from my manager, he's not here and I'd have to call him"

Awkward silence and then Myles goes out the back to make a call. He comes back.

Myles: "Okay I can do that"
Me: "Great"
Myles: "I need to take your details to do a refund"

This is where I could be accused of being awkward I guess. I really object to retailers insisting on harvesting my personal details. There's no benefit for me at all and the potential downside of the information being shared to what are often known as "spamming cunts". So at this point, already miffed that at 10am a fairly biggest shop has two tills each without a single £5, £10 or £20 note, I dig my heels in.

Me: "I'm not doing that"
Myles: "What?"
Me: "I'm not giving you my details I want my money back"
Myles: "I literally can't do that, we have to have customer details to issue a refund"
Me: "You can do that, you opened the other till to check for change, you can open this till and give me my money"
Myles: "That's a different thing, I literally can't do that"
Me: "You literally won't do that"
Myles: "I can't do that"
Me: "You mean you won't do it, you can physically open that till and give me my money back"
Myles: "I can't give you a refund"
Me: "You can open that till can't you?"
Myles: "That is an option open to me yes"
Me: "Can I speak to your manager"
Myles: "He's not here"
Me: "On the phone"
Myles: "Okay"

Paraphrased of course. There was some stuff about their stock system not letting him do it and a bit of pompous "I know my rights!" from me and a bit of quibbling over what constitutes having actually bought something. He phoned his manager and then gave me my money back saying there was no point arguing about it, something I completely agree with.

I then went into Starbucks and bought a green tea and some almonds with a fifty pound note.

Man alive. I hate this desperate data-scraping in shops. Retail is kind of fucked as it is, on-line purchasing is already super convenient and friction free and the only competitive advantage a shop has over a web site is the customer experience.

So fuck em. I totted up in my head that I've roughly spent a couple of grand in there since moving to Dundee around 5 years ago. No more though.