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True story – fake name!

Jake ordered a new shirt from a well-known online retailer. When the shirt arrived, unfortunately it was too small. Jake initiated the return process. Much to his surprise the online retailer responded with a simple but clear message: “send a picture of yourself destroying the shirt, once you have done this, we will issue a refund.” Jake didn’t really want to destroy the item, but he did want the refund. He cut the shirt with a pair of scissors and sent the picture. He got his refund.

It is cheaper for the online retailer to destroy unwanted online product purchases than to return them. What this means is that a significant number of online product returns will land up in the trash instead of back on the shelf. In the aforementioned example the online retailer, in an effort to reduce costs even further, makes us the shoppers complicit in the destruction of brand new items. We are placed in nothing less than a moral dilemma: do we destroy a brand new item in order to gain a refund, or do we forget about the expense and donate, regift, recycle or find a new use for the unwanted purchase? Money or conscience? Refund or sustainability.

What would you do?

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