Luxury department store Nieman Marcus has been sued by a Dallas woman, Patricia Walker, for refusing to take back $1.4 million worth of merchandise. Apparently, Walker was in a traffic accident and spent three years recovering. Her husband at the time, Robert Tennison, began showering her with piles of gifts from Nieman Marcus. Little did Walker know, however, that Tennis was having a secret affair with Favi Lo, Walker’s personal shopper at Nieman Marcus.
Tennison’s “gifts” purchased for Walker were made using her account, and earned Favi Lo very generous commissions from the sales. When Walker attempted to return all of the gifts, Nieman Marcus refused without explanation.
The upscale chain’s return policy is: ” If for any reason you are not satisfied, we will gladly accept your timely return of unworn, unwashed, or defective merchandise. Returned merchandise should include the vendor packaging and tags and be in the same condition as when it was received. Used merchandise cannot be returned unless defective. A pickup and/or restock fee may apply.”
To get out of accepting the return, it appears that Nieman Marcus must take the position that the gifts were worn, washed, or used. From Walker’s perspective, receiving a gift from a spouse is nice gesture; but receiving a “gift” that a spouse purchases with your own money, while earning a commission for a store clerk with whom the spouse is having an adulterous relationship, seems to be slightly less than kind. Although Nieman Marcus may be taking a hard line in refusing to accept return of the products, the real wrongdoers appear to be the husband or the personnel shopper, not Nieman Marcus. I guess the lesson here is to keep an eye on either husband, personnel shopper, or hope that a traffic accident does not leave you bed-ridden for three years.