A simple policy and its far reaching impact


The one thing that caught my attention in the U.S. and haven’t seen that dominant anywhere in the world is the unconditional return policy that most of the commercial organizations adopt.
The Organizations include some of the big ones like Walmart, COSTCO, BestBuy as well as small mom & pop shops. When I say unconditional, it is really unconditional with no questions asked and they return your money back in the same form you paid. I have done this myself few times on items that I am not happy with it. It includes items that are as less as $2. The policy typically covers everything in the store from expensive electronics to food and doesn’t matter what is condition of the product on return (not damaged though).
It is time bound but the time limit is more than sufficient to experience the products (most places 90 days)
Though it might look like a very expensive business decision, if you think through, the kind of impact that it has in the entire system is huge
(1) it ensures the Quality of Products / services delivered
(2) It entices people to “try” new things without any worries
(3) and the above (1) and (2) forces as well as encourages people to innovate
Though, there are obviously few people who might misuse (i have heard stories where people coming here in short term travel buy expensive cameras, take pictures, upload and return it back before going to U.S.), the fraction of such population is minuscule.
Every Organization going through challenges and want to really transform should come up with simple policies with far reaching impact which might really pain in short term but transforms the company over a period of time.
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