Today we were THOSE parents.....
Post ReplyPost New TopicPosted 1/30/2013 by tamhugh in NSBR Board
 

tamhugh
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Posted: 1/30/2013 3:13:04 PM
Today, DH and I were the parents we all love to hate. I think it came down to finances...

DS#2 is a sophomore in college. We pay his tuition, room and board and his books. He just started the semester last week and bought a book for his math class on Saturday. It was $300 for one book. On Monday, he talked to his advisor and she felt it was better for him to get in two other classes and he dropped the class with the $300 book. The book is still in the shrink wrap, with the bookstore sticker on it. He took it back to the bookstore and they told him they couldn't take it back without a receipt. He left and has been searching for the receipt. He couldn't find it, so he went back today and told the girl he could show her on his phone that the purchase was made on his debit card. They said no receipt, no credit. They suggested he sell it on half.com, and he figured that was what he had to do. Ummmm, it is still sealed. I don't want to lose $150 on this book when we have to buy a bunch more for the classes he switched.

So, DH calls the bookstore and asks to speak to the manager. She tells him that no store will accept returns without a receipt. DH tells her she is wrong, that a lot of stores will give store credit if the price tag is still attached. She says that is store credit and not a refund. Ok, can he just have store credit since he needs to buy more books? No. He asks why and she says because he might have stolen the book. DH asks if they keep inventory. Yes. Are there any of that book unaccounted for in inventory? No. So then he asks if he can bring in his debit card statement showing the purchase on that date, for that exact amount. No, he could have bought that exact amount of other items. After going around in circles, she finally tells him he can bring in the debit card, the printout, and the book and they will credit it back to his debit card. He rushes over there and she says she can't do it, because she now needs proof that he was in the class and dropped it. He went back to his house, off campus, found his old schedule, and new schedule and took it back. Still waiting to hear if she made the refund.

So.... tell me my child will not be a messed up entitled person just because DH wasn't willing to lose $300 and made a call to the college bookstore.

Lori McMud
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Posted: 1/30/2013 3:19:45 PM
Can you call your bank and have them request proof of the sale? Don't they have you sign a credit card receipt when you make a purchase? I seem to remember back when I used to work retail, every now and then we would have to go through the store copies and send it in.




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Posted: 1/30/2013 3:20:40 PM
Sorry, no comprendo. How would this affect your kid? Sometimes the boss needs to take care of business. Dad did his job by helping kid with return. I dont see the problem.

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Posted: 1/30/2013 3:20:54 PM
I see nothing wrong with your DH stepping in...to help. Your son is learning a life lesson that won't cost the family $300. I would do more for less money than that.

I don't think your son should have to eat $300 because he lost his receipt, but he may have learned that all receipts need to go in his wallet and kept there until item is used. At least, too, he now knows to keep a copy of his schedule and new schedule for dropped classes if this ever comes up again.


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Posted: 1/30/2013 3:21:03 PM
Omg. That is so messed up. When I got the the end where he's supposed to prove he dropped the class my jaw DROPPED.


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Posted: 1/30/2013 3:27:30 PM
I say Dad absolutely did the right thing. I would have done the same. But, do you need receipts for your or your son's income tax return?


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hollymolly
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Posted: 1/30/2013 3:36:18 PM
Do you get tax credit for books?

JustCallMeMommy
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Posted: 1/30/2013 3:39:48 PM

There are times to get involved and there are times to sit back and let DD/DS handle things. $300 is enough to get involved over. When I was in college, my dad called the school when I couldn't get them to fix a leak over my bed - I needed some intervention there.

The parents who get labeled THOSE parents are the ones who get involved over little things. I can't tell you how many parents have called over a $10 fine on a sorority bill or to explain that little Jill can't come to a certain activity. There is pretty much never a time for a parent to call a professor. Those are the things parents should be letting the kid handle.


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tamhugh
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Posted: 1/30/2013 3:41:01 PM


But, do you need receipts for your or your son's income tax return?




We have never deducted their textbooks on taxes. I never even thought of it.


Can you call your bank and have them request proof of the sale? Don't they have you sign a credit card receipt when you make a purchase?


He pulled up his bank statement on his phone, which showed the purchase but she said it didn't prove it was that exact book. He did finally get the refund with the same statement in a printed form.



Thanks, everyone. We try really hard to make them fight their own battles, but DH was not willing to lose $300 on this one.

BEF2008
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Posted: 1/30/2013 3:54:24 PM
I don't blame you for stepping in. I would do the same for a child, for a friend, you name it.

It sounds like it's resolved now but I was going to suggest that he try selling the book to someone else registered in the same course - or at least tell the bookstore that he was going to do that so they'd lose a sale and maybe be more motivated to do the return.

It's ridiculous that a paper copy of his account statement was good enough for them but not a digital copy.

peaname
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Posted: 1/30/2013 3:59:10 PM
Nope, sorry you're not "those parents" you're totally reasonable.


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Peabay
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Posted: 1/30/2013 4:01:46 PM
Man, college bookstores haven't changed one iota since I was at school - so dickish about returns.



I-95
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Posted: 1/30/2013 4:03:34 PM
I'm glad he got his refund, and I'd have been all over that one too. Likely I would have gone ballistic when the started saying stupid things like they can't tel from his receipt, he might have stolen the book and bought other books for the exact same amount.With that kind of logic, I'd be asking where SHE went to college!!!

schooby
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Posted: 1/30/2013 4:24:24 PM

Do you get tax credit for books?



do you need receipts for your or your son's income tax return?


I'm way back on ... You can get a tax deduction or tax credit on college textbooks????? I need to look for that when we do our taxes. We'll be dealing with it next year.


OP - You definitely did the right thing. I think some of those bookstore managers take pleasure in making some of the college kids' lives miserable. I dealt with it a couple of years ago as an older student, and because I was older and more persistent, I got a different answer than the younger students and only paid half the price as everyone else. Of course, I shared my story with all the younger ones and sent them to get their bill fixed.

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Posted: 1/30/2013 4:28:53 PM
It is YOUR money that paid for those books. That does not equate to you being THOSE parents in trying to get your own money back.

College bookstores must be breeding ground for dictators...and you can skip the "tator".



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Posted: 1/30/2013 4:32:22 PM

There are times to get involved and there are times to sit back and let DD/DS handle things. $300 is enough to get involved over


I agree with this. You were not over the line.


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DastardlyBoo
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Posted: 1/30/2013 4:36:45 PM
Nahhhhh, not those parents at all.

Dad didn't take over, he just helped a little. DS was still the one doing the running around. DH actually taught DS how to handle a situation like that.

However, it really sounds to me like the manager/owner was just trying to think of any reason not to refund, and DH had the life experience to get around the BS.

I get the feeling that there was a little age discrimination against your son, also. Because you know ALL young kids are thieves...




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Posted: 1/30/2013 4:37:33 PM
I think you did the right thing. He tried to handle the situation and wasn't able to get it resolved. You and your DH have had more experience navigating crazy circumstances like this. Your DS stayed involved, pulled the paperwork requested and didn't step back to let you take over for him. He likely learned a few things -- keep track of receipts, don't take the first no as the final answer, and how to tactfully work through a transaction. It's all good. You weren't THOSE parents -- you were good parents.

Maryland
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Posted: 1/30/2013 5:07:06 PM
That is a lot of money and I would help my kid out too! As long as my child tried and it was a lot of money I would be going to the store and doing the same thing. I always handle stuff like that, my husband isn't good at it. I won't waste money!

Let us know if he got his money back! I recommend next time having him go straight to the copy store and make copies of all receipts for big purchases. Keep them in safe places, or mail them to you. I do that when I have a big purchase or if it is something I am reimbursed for. I don't trust myself not to lose it! haha!

bunnylady
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Posted: 1/30/2013 5:16:13 PM

There are times to get involved and there are times to sit back and let DD/DS handle things. $300 is enough to get involved over. When I was in college, my dad called the school when I couldn't get them to fix a leak over my bed - I needed some intervention there.

The parents who get labeled THOSE parents are the ones who get involved over little things. I can't tell you how many parents have called over a $10 fine on a sorority bill or to explain that little Jill can't come to a certain activity. There is pretty much never a time for a parent to call a professor. Those are the things parents should be letting the kid handle.


This exactly. I think your husband did the right thing! And I think your son will learn what a hassle a lost receipt is by having to go back and forth off-campus and dicker around with these folks. That's a fair consequence, he's having to pitch in since he lost the receipt so it's not like he is not being affected at all. I see no entitlement mentality here at all, just really cool parents who don't want to lose $300!


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okiescrapgirl
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Posted: 1/30/2013 5:22:50 PM
I would have done the same thing you did. It's your money and that's a lot to throw away. I bet your ds learned from it too.


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ginacivey
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Posted: 1/30/2013 5:24:40 PM
good for you

there must be a secret club for managers of college book stores...where they teach them to be total bitches

i HATE the woman that runs the bookstore at the school i (and now dd) attend

she's a straight up bitch...and if parents knew how awful she treats their kids...they'd probably cut her in the parking lot


mom2cameron
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Posted: 1/30/2013 5:27:59 PM
I would have done the same thing.


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tamhugh
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Posted: 1/30/2013 5:41:31 PM
Phew! I feel better. I was really second guessing myself. DS is 19 and is usually the one to ask us not to get involved. But this time, I think he was frustrated. He called to ask for advice on whether he should just list the book online and DH said he would handle it.


Let us know if he got his money back! I recommend next time having him go straight to the copy store and make copies of all receipts for big purchases. Keep them in safe places, or mail them to you. I do that when I have a big purchase or if it is something I am reimbursed for. I don't trust myself not to lose it! haha!


He did get it back. He said that the woman looked very unhappy when he returned with the copy of his schedules. I wonder if she thought he would just give up. And the copying is a good idea. DH has a smart scan on his desk and the app on his phone. He immediately scans all receipts to the phone and I think I will suggest it to our kids as well.

Thanks again for the opinions!

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Posted: 1/30/2013 5:43:53 PM
That is exactly why I bought all my books online.


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Posted: 1/30/2013 6:06:11 PM

I would do more for less money than that.



Agreed!




Casii
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Posted: 1/30/2013 7:31:28 PM
Good gravy, I'd have been 'that parent' too. $300 is not chump change and I already have a chip on my shoulder regarding the insane prices of textbooks and the minuscule percentage they give you during buy back time.


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Posted: 1/30/2013 8:10:44 PM
I have no problem with Dad stepping in. Now, by example from Dad, next time Son can figure it out on his own.

I hope he gets the $300 back, either in credit or back on debit card. That's a lot of money.

freecharlie
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Posted: 1/30/2013 8:15:55 PM
I know I will be in the minority here, but the bookstore was right. There are many, many signs in college bookstores about the return policies. They are written on the receipts and every college bookstore I have ever been in the person at the register makes sure you know the policy.

As for it being stolen, maybe it wasn't from teh bookstore itself, but there are plenty of people who will steal from studentsand try to return the books for cash. Hence the need for the schedule as well as everything else.

While I am glad that you may get a refund, hopefully it will teach your son to keep track of the receipts from now on.


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Posted: 1/30/2013 8:20:48 PM
My DH would have done the same thing. Will it mess our kids up? Probably not.

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Posted: 1/30/2013 8:21:10 PM
Yea, that's pretty much the norm for returning college text books. I think sometimes it can be ridiculous. If they have a record of it..either thru their records, which they have, or debit card, or whatever, they should take it. Are they really losing that much money? they have to be such hard asses about stuff like this?

And what is this about claiming text books on taxes?!??!!! please explain..as we too have been paying for dd's college text books!






scrapApea
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Posted: 1/30/2013 8:24:14 PM
Heck no! $300 that's a lot of $ for a book!

TXDancermom
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Posted: 1/30/2013 8:31:57 PM
No, you helped your son out of a situation that he tried to resolve, couldn't and you, as more experienced adults, used your knowledge to help him out.

next time, he will use what he learned, and do it himself

scrapcreator
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Posted: 1/30/2013 9:16:32 PM
No, you were good parents.

Wow, your story brought back ugly memories of my college bookstore. Where do they learn treat students like that? He might have stolen the book? Nice.

Jeanne



Susie Pea
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Posted: 1/30/2013 10:10:12 PM
I would have done the same thing.



I would do more for less money than that.

Same here!

bbkieffer
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Posted: 1/31/2013 8:38:37 AM
You were NOT those parents...

I'll give you an example though because it's funny...
I work in H.R. A guy was offered a job involving driving a company vehicle and customer service. Then his background check came back with a DWI so the offer was rescinded. He explained what happened (a drunk altercation with his dad in which he jumped in his car and sped off). He was told to reapply in 3 years. A day later his DAD called and said it was all his fault (dad) and that his son shouldn't be punished because he really needed the job! Ummmm...NEVER EVER call H.R. for your ADULT children and beg for a job! YIKES!


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melissa
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Posted: 1/31/2013 9:12:08 AM
Nice to see that some things haven't changed a bit. <not>

Dd is taking a college class on-line. I didn't even think to check the university's bookstore on-line before ordering her books. After reading this thread, I did. I saved over $50 on two books by purchasing them used elsewhere. It was interesting to see The main text arrived and I am not sure that it was every opened by the previous owner. Perfect condition and less than the price of new.

We are fortunate today that sometimes dealing with college book stores can actually be avoided. Those of us who went to school in the dark ages were at the mercy of the bookstore. Our only choice was new or used! I prided myself on finding dd's books on-line when she was in private school. I was even able to get a brand new edition from the publisher once for half price (cover was cut, but everything inside was perfect). Doesn't work for those small printings though.



Georgiapea
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Posted: 1/31/2013 9:24:23 AM
He now knows that the 'real world' is composed of people who think nothing of throwing up every road block they can find, just to make life difficult for others. Hopefully he will also have a 'good' experience soon to offset that.

Bet he hangs on to every receipt he gets from now on.

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Posted: 1/31/2013 9:35:36 AM
I would have been THAT parent, too.

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Posted: 1/31/2013 9:55:19 AM
Our university that both Ds and I attend will not accept ANY returns without their receipt and after a certain date (14th day into the semester).


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