Our first stop at the mall yesterday was to Victoria's Secret so my daughters could exchange some pajama bottoms that didn't fit. In the process we discovered that Victoria's Secret's return policy is to give cash for anything under $50, even without a gift receipt, and store credit for anything over $50. Even though the store was crowded and the line was long, they had enough people implementing a simple exchange policy to move everyone through in a flash.
Our second stop was to Eddie Bauer to catch the after-Christmas jeans sale. The woman next to us at the check-out counter was trying to do an even exchange for a coat. She didn't have her receipt, but the cashier was able to look up her sales slip in the computer using her credit card. After some confusion, she rung up the jacket and told the woman she owed ten dollars. The woman explained that she was only looking for an even exchange. Another cashier who was helping with the transaction explained, "The problem is you didn't have a receipt. You know, we aren't required to look up your receipt on the system."
Which experience do you want your customers to have?