Shopping: request vs incident
Roy asked the question "Would you agree that there's no difference between walking into a store and buying something (perhaps asking a clerk where the item is located), and returning an item that is broken or which doesn't fit?". It was such a good example I decided to answer in a blog post.
Yes of course they are different: they are different types of the same transaction: going to the store to ask for something.
The sales person engages me through the same channel: I go to the same store and the same counter to conduct them
The sales person uses the same protocols to communicate with me, now and ongoing
The sales person records the transactions in the same computer, pressing a different key
Do I expect to be sent down the back to a grumpy old man in a grey dust coat to report my broken item? not in this millennium I don't.
Do I expect a request to buy to be given a lower level of service than someone else's request to return an item? Better not.
Do I expect the sales clerk to change in any way? Well yes a little obsequiousness is in order when things don't go right, but beyond that, no.
Do I want to know all the activity that will go on over the broken item? Nope. I just want my rights under the Consumer Guarantees Act (in NZ) and a prompt refund so that my service is restored. I don't give a toss what you do with the faulty item.
Walking into a store and buying something (perhaps asking a clerk where the item is located), and returning an item that is broken or which doesn't fit are both requests, just different types. So yes there is a difference, of class, of the model used to resolve.