No exchange, no refund


No exchange, no refund

I rolled in laughter, but at the same time, sympathised with an acquaintance who picked up a pair of shorts at a steal; ‘discount sale’, he boasted. The shorts looked like they were cut out of the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. A few hours later, they fell apart during a game of football, making the wearer look as if he was wearing a hula skirt of many colours!

But then, it makes sense to buy a good brand of clothing for a fairly good price. After all, nobody would know if the premium brand you’re wearing was bought at the regular price or at a discount.

A good friend pointed out that one has to check each item before paying for it. Many a time the fault with items classified ‘seconds’ would be invisible to the naked eye. This friend and I went to the ‘discount sale’ of an expensive brand of jeans. The offer read ‘buy two pairs for the price of one’. Skeptic that I am, the first question to the salesperson was, “Must both be of the same size?” To my surprise, he answered in the negative, but categorically stated, “No trial.” We went about checking the range in our respective sizes, selected a pair each, paid our bills and strutted out carrying bags that displayed a big brand.

Next day, we compared our individual findings. My jeans were great; no complaints at all. He found flaws galore the moment he wore them. The fork almost reached his knees, legs were shaped like tree stumps, and there was a flared base on the right leg only.

Believing Lady Luck was on my side, I patronised another discount sale. This time, the advertisement offered, ‘three pairs of trousers for the price of two.’ I found the fabric to be of good quality, so was the cut and tailoring. In fact, one could even try them on.

Everything seemed fine and I settled on three pairs — black, navy blue and grey. All three went into the wash and I decided to wear the grey pair to church that Sunday morning. It was a great fit, so I thought, since people were admiring my new trousers.

Breakfast followed, then came an informal meeting in a coffee shop at 11. It was there that I got to know why I had caught everybody’s attention, right from the time I set out to church four hours earlier — a wardrobe malfunction had happened ‘on the fly’!
At a charity concert, we artistes received a premium shirt each, as a token of gratitude. One of the organisers, whom I had known for a long time, told me discreetly that they were picked up from a factory outlet that dealt in discounted prices. I returned with my gift-wrapped shirt and eagerly undid the package determined to find the flaw this time. I looked high and low, even under different intensities of lighting, and found nothing. Then came laundry day and that was when I discovered the ‘wrinkle-free’ tag on the shirt collar did not apply to the shirt it was attached to. I could swear only a road-roller would remove the creases from that shirt.

Two years later, I accompanied a friend to a shirt sale with absolutely no intentions of buying. Being a stage performer, a shirt with colourful print caught my eye. Again, I checked every inch of the shirt and proceeded to the counter after I was satisfied. This shirt hung around in my wardrobe until I decided to wear it on stage one Saturday evening. I got dressed wearing a grin of satisfaction. Images of how I would look under the coloured lights swam across my eyes. All those fascinating images pixelated into oblivion, when I discovered that the buttons and buttonholes were a good five inches apart. The size label read 44 inches, but it could have been no more than 36. The seconds salesman had had the last laugh!

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